Clearing the Reader – Recent Blogposts That Caught My Eye

Today I’m in the midst of unpacking and setting up for the first week of the new year. Part of that involves going through emails and unread blogposts sitting in my RSS reader. Of course, I don’t get around to reading all of the 1200 or so unread contributions sitting there. But, here are a few that caught my eye and engaged my mind today.

Rituals of rebirth: planning some 2010 reading – Back when I was in the academic/theology/philosophy world, I would always set adventurous and formidable reading lists every year. I agree with the quote from Alberto Manguel, that reading is a “…ritual of rebirth” (and with Twyla Tharp that who we become is a function of the books we read and the people we meet). Moreover, musicians need to attend to what they listen to as well, not just for pleasure, but for growth. Time for some list-making.

Creating Guitar Tabs with Logic Pro 9 – Confession time: I’m not a fan of scoring in Logic Pro, even with the recent enhancements. But, it is good to know how to create scores in Logic and this great little tutorial show you how to create TAB, which is really important when working with self taught guitarists.

If Rip Van Winkle had slept for 20 years and woken up today… – Nice visual comparison of technology (and polar ice caps) in 1989 and 2009. Try saying “lightning fast 20MHz processor” without laughing!

A Thousand Kitchen Years Ago – What I admire about great chefs (and great musicians and photographers as well), is not just their ability to do something that is amazing on occasion, but to do it consistently night after night. A restaurant is a room full of people all waiting to be dazzled, surprised and satisfied. This lovely, honest and revealing blogpost from longtime favourite foodblogger lets us in on what it looks like in kitchen as cooks and chefs strive to reproduce excellence.

The best of aromasysabores 2009 – And, from one of my new favourite foodbloggers, a wonderful summary of best blogposts and recipes. Inspiring stuff and great photography.

is this theology (is) a dead end – The Emerging Church conversation remains significant for me on the level of ideas, but I never really saw much of it in terms of personal experience. This post points to a current discussion about whether or not this movement has been “revolutionary.” Personally, I fee that big aggressive terms like revolution, exile, piracy and the like undermine and obfuscate what has been an important and significant part of long term trend in church history.

In Defense of 1,000 True Fans – Part IV – Kelly Richey – A great interview around new realities in music marketing and running your career as an independent musician. Whilst it is getting harder to sell conventional records and book gigs (in many countries), it is also getting easier for good musicians with a good work ethic, to build a fanbase and build relationships with their fans.

Sustaining The Practice of Art – Something that is often missed in work/life balance conversations is role that our work plays in inspiring and energising us. Sure, for many people, their work is toil and drudgery. But, if you love what you do, then doesn’t your work actually sustain and invigorate you as well? I love taking breaks, but more and more, I love making time to really work, dig into projects in a deep and pure way. Blogposts like this, from perhaps my favourite blogger of 2009, inspire me down that path.

The Parlour @ Hullett House – Hong Kong has some great food bloggers. This is a real boon for food lovers in this city, because the general standard of food journalism here is poor and although there are many great restaurants and eateries, there are also some really dire ones that defy logic in staying open and charging outrageous prices for borderline inedible trash.

Planning for 2010 – I don’t do New Year’s resolutions anymore, simply because I believe we should let our work and commitments write our resolutions. Of course, auditing that does involve looking at our time commitments, which this blogpost highlights fantastically well. For me, I expect that in 2010 I will spend even more cooking than in 2009, which is trend for the last five years really. The more time I spend in the kitchen, the happier and healthier the whole family is – everytime.

One Take On the Importance of the Quaker Practice of “Open Worship” – There are a lot of things about Quaker practice that I find compelling. This blogpost is a good summary of that interest, especially the idea that “…open worship trusts the spirituality of people.” Fear and mistrust play a vast, almost structural role in many of the church cultures I’ve experienced.

Apple buy music streaming service Lala – Apple’s purchase of Lala could well turn out to the big music business story of 2010, especially as mobile platforms continue to grow and Apple moves to release some sort of Tablet computer in the next months.

When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like “Avatar”? (via Tensegrities) – I’ve yet to see Avatar, though all reports seem to suggest it is well worth catching on the big screen. However, this analysis resonates with my initial impression of the plot-line as garnered from trailers and early comments.

Real for Reel: The Amazing Sherlock Holmes Experibass, and More Winter Cinema Sounds – Sherlock Holmes was a surprisingly good film and a big part of that was down to Hans Zimmer’s inventive score. This post has some great comments and interviews on the scoring process, including the work of sound designer Diego Stocco, who developed the Experibass, which played a big role in the score.

10 non-PowerPoint books that can help you create better presentations – Great reading list, not just for creating presentations with slideware, but for any situation where you represent information visually (including blogs and web design!).

don’t worry if you don’t know “absolutely everything” before starting out – The great thing about the internet is the way you can research a project or business opportunity before launching it. Of course, the bane of the internet is that research can soon drown you before you even start. That’s why this advice is so timely and something I wish I’d understood six or seven years ago.