The XI century ukulele

The old chicken and egg problem, with music. Chances are you already knew that the ukulele, that little guitar that people use for accompanying Hawaiian and pop music, as well as a lot of pieces from the Tin Pan Alley era, was born in the late XIX century, when some Portuguese luthiers landed in Hawaii. So obviously the ukulele derives from the guitar. But did you know that before guitar existed there was an instrument that looked very, very much like a ukulele? See what the angel in the picture is playing. Read More

How to write a song

I’ve written six songs within the last week or so, keeping a full-time job and living an otherwise fairly normal life. I don’t claim they are any good, only that they were surprisingly easy to make. In this article I give you a blow by blow account of how this happened, the tools I used, and the process I followed. Maybe you’ll find something that will uncork your own creativity. Read More

Australians, use PassLok!

I’m not Australian, but I can’t help putting in my two (US) cents’ worth on the current debate over theĀ “Assistance and Access Bill.” My point is that the bill has no teeth since it is possible for any citizen (terrorist or not) to use encryption that the bill will never be able to control. It has been possible for years and will remain so for the foreseeable future. So might as well drop the bill and do some productive business. Read More