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Laptop composer

No, not that kind of laptop composer, just a bit of Sunday fun instead.  Sound of Hamburg lets you compose music with Hamburg's citizens using a live video feed.  Choose from five different locations, each one featuring different music and a different way to compose.  If you'd rather play producer instead, Incredibox lets you create your own beats by combining different percussion and vocal sounds.  Enjoy! [via Smashing Magazine]

Hard to love

An exchange from the last episode of Bill Moyers Journal.

BARRY LOPEZ: [Y]ou know, you can turn on the television and see people who claim expertise that they don't possess. And I say that, because the kind of expertise we need is not a facile grasp of policy, but a love of humanity. That's what we need. 

BILL MOYERS: But some people are hard to love. 

BARRY LOPEZ: Humanity. And, you know, what Charles Taylor or Idi Amin did, or Hitler or Stalin or any of these reprehensible human beings. What they did is-- we should condemn. Humanity is also Michelangelo. Or humanity is also Darwin. Humanity is Epictetus or anybody that you want to pull out of the fabric. I mean, if you have the Bach cello suites in your head at the same moment that you're looking at a gas chamber at Auschwitz. Then to me you've got some hope of being fully aware of what it is that we're enmeshed in. 

BILL MOYERS: Well, this, of course, is the puzzle, isn't it? I mean, in that quote, high civilization of Germany at the time. The generals walked in the garden, listening to Bach and Beethoven, while a mile away, the gas chambers were working overtime. 

BARRY LOPEZ: There was no capacity to imagine their own humanity was being destroyed there. The way in which they were ethically compromised by what they were doing. What I hope that I'm saying is that there is in the interior of those six cello suites that Bach wrote. An homage to a quality that is apparent to a Western imagination about beautiful proportion and rhythm; increment and spatial volume . . . There's something captured in them. And that is the fuel that you use to open yourself up to everything else, even those things that break your heart. You have to see into the whole.