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Fuel Cells: Not Only For Cars

Microsoft has been buying up fuel cells from a company called Medis Technologies. What does this mean? There’s no official word yet about what Microsoft plans to do with them. Whether they plan to integrate fuel cells into their product line or whether the company is just buying fuel cells to test them out isn’t clear. The Zune, however, is a likely candidate for fuel cell technology. MP3 players do not consume much power and can operate independently on fuel cells.

I never thought about using fuel cells in any technology besides automobiles. It makes just as much sense to use them in dozens of other electronics though. Imagine these cells in flashlights, radios, cameras or my wireless keyboard so that I won’t have to change the batteries so often. Fuel cell phone prototypes also exist. Fuel cells for running larger devices, such as laptops, can require additional components such as pumps (not so convenient). So there you have it – fuel cells – they aren’t bad you know.

Music I’m having trouble with

As diversified as I am and as much as I love music, there are still times when I just can’t get into something. Regardless of hype or music snobbery, there are some albums I hear and feel…well…close to nothing. Other than the wonderment of why the bands are doing so well. Forgive me for being harsh, but sometimes that just has to be done.

I cannot get into the Arctic Monkeys. No, I’ve tried. I’ve listened. There is so much talk going on about the band that I almost feel wrong NOT to like them. But to each their own and just because they don’t float my boat doesn’t mean they are dead weights.

What I hear are empty songs with pretentious lyrics sung by guys who just want to feel the lights on a stage. How many times should you really play the exact same guitar rift…? Listen to “Fake Tales of San Francisco” Tell me seriously, is it a freaking loop or what?

Go ahead, send hate e-mail it’s okay. We all have our own views, that’s what makes life so fun!

Korean Culture

This book took me awhile to read. The time it took was not longer just because I have had less time, but also because it is about a culture of which I am not very familiar. “House of the Winds” by Mia Yun is a story which at times drug along, but at other times was quite insightful.

The story takes place in different parts of Korea over time, but for the most part in the city of Seoul. Seoul is in South Korea and is their capitol. We follow this particular family through their struggles caused by the Korean War, as well as through their own personal strife.

The story is told by one of the daughters of the family. She basically narrates while recounting memories, not necessarily in order. She tells about her mother, lack thereof father and her siblings; a brother and sister. Since this is a story of memories there were often times when I wondered if pieces were elaborated or spun into a fairytale quality. It could have just been that Mia Yun has a unique and beautiful way of describing things, even when they are frightening memories.

***spoiler alert***

I folded down corners of some pages that I wanted to share excerpts from, because I found them thought provoking and interesting.

In one instance, she was remembering something her mother had told her about happiness. She recalls this during a period of time when her older sister had runaway from home.

“About happiness. Happiness is not something one grabs out of the air and rubs all over like honey. One had to strive for and work for it.”

There is also a section when they mother and children had to move again because their father was still missing in action and mother couldn’t afford the house. When they moved into the much older, much smaller house, the grandmother visited and she brought a box of matches and cakes of soap. The tradition being that wealth would spread like wildfire and multiply like soap bubbles. I thought that was very cute and will probably be using that sentiment for friends in the future. =o)

Last but not least, I enjoyed when our narrator discussed her feeling about books. She was reading profusely, all the time, waiting for her older sisters magazines and getting her hands on any book she could find.

“Then I began to find words I read in books fanciful and elusive – sunlight streaming through my fingers. They could pass right through me and leave me still hungry and empty.” She further goes on to say, “A word was a tricky thing. It could change meaning from one sentence to another. A word could betray me, fail me and confuse me. But I discovered if words are put to music and a voice sings them, they become permanent. This this way, the words form a link from one day to another.”

Like many other parts of the book I really connected with the way she wrote and explained her feelings. She endured so much and yet rarely complained about it because she could find beauty elsewhere.

Some of the book I still don’t really understand. Why is it important to celebrate someone 100 days after their death? What is so special about Carp that eating them is sinful? Why were men taken to fight in the war, never to return, and yet their parents were told nothing? And how can a country be so divided internally whilst also hating all of their neighboring countries? But then…how is that any different than the quirks of my own culture and country? Perhaps not different, perhaps not at all.

Let me lift The Veil

The Veils will be at The Khyber in Philly on June 12th. Which is, of course, a Tuesday and is just not going to happen for me. However, if you are free that night please go out and enjoy them for me!

They are set to start touring in Europe next week which is something fans overseas have been waiting for since their new album Nux Vomica has been out over there since September 11, 2006. Here in the US we will be able to buy Nux Vomica on April 24th. You can get their previous albums at InSound.

I have listened to about half of their new album and I love it. Nux Vomica defies mainstream with absolute birthright conviction. Finn Andrews has such an alluring voice, it is as if he pulls you right up next to him and makes you part of the song. Finn is also pretty damn good on the guitar. Liam Gerrard had me at first key stroke on the piano. And the remaining talents are Sophia Burn on bass, Henning Dietx on drums and Dan Raishbrook on the second guitar.

Take a listen:

The Veils – “House Where We All Live” (mp3)

Sunday morning kisses

Sunday morning laziness is the best, isn’t it?

Waking up slowly, stretching your arms over your head as you enjoy one last lingering yawn from your slumber. The only thing that would make this Sunday morning better would be breakfast in bed and a fire in a fireplace…if I had a fireplace. ;o)

Breakfast is starting off with a Hershey kiss for me and three for my son Brae. Because it is a new day and there is nothing wrong with a Sunday morning chocolate kiss, or two, or three.

Here are some Sunday morning musical kisses for you:
Gus Black – “Dry Kisses” (mp3)
The Damnwells – “Kung Fu Grip Kiss” (mp3)
Trembling Blue Stars – “The Ghost of an Unkissed Kiss” (mp3)

And since I love the blog “Fifteen Minutes to Live” I thought I’d share a tip from them about a $10 t-shirt sale. If you like music then check out the sale, if you love music BUY SOMETHING!

It is Friday the 13th!

Let’s have a little fun, shall we? Some of you might be superstitious and some of you might not give a hoot.

All I know is that I tend to have AMAZING luck on Friday the 13th. So much so that I would even consider 13 my lucky number.

With that in mind, I thought it would be fun to link some fun “13-esque” type music…spooky titles don’t necessarily mean silly, Halloween spoof music, right? right. You would probably be surprised at how many songs have the word “ghost” in the title…or “haunted,” it shocks me every time I do a search in my iTunes library. (Currently, a search for the word “ghosts” brings back 24 songs).

So here is to Friday the 13th! (Minus ice hockey mask faced actors)

Apartment – “Ghost Of An Unforgivable Past” (mp3)
Lisa Germano – “Except For The Ghosts” (mp3)

Remember Your Memos

Here it is folks! It’s the USB gadget we’ve been waiting for. It’s the super cool and ultra compact USB..MEMO HOLDER. *clears throat* Um, it lights up when a note is inserted. So if you forget that you have a memo, you’ll look at the memo holder and see that it is lit up – signifying that you have a pending memo. You can use as a USB extender too. Yes!

USB Memo Holder.

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Bring Me Up | by Christy Mannering