Back to the Future

I’ve been always advising to get rid of the rubber mat on old Thorens turntables.

Lately, I’ve been reconsidering some of my well established views. The otherwise excellent Funk Firm Achromat I’ve been using for years looks a rather warped today. So I tried a felt mat I had spared and…. differences? Well…. really tough to tell.

It is debated whether the stock Thorens rubber mats of the 70s are still usable or not. Basically, the function of a turntable mat is to avoid placing our precious records directly on a rough metal plate. Modern turntables that use acrylic plates do not need a mat. The use of rubber in the past was due to its isolating properties and of course to their soft protection for the records.

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The greatest long-term threats facing humanity

Can we actually say anything about the far future? If we can’t predict when it will rain next month, forecasting billions of years hence might seem impossible.

However, not everything is as chaotic as the weather: even predictions very far ahead are sometimes possible, especially in astrophysics and cosmology. We can be confident that there will be a total solar eclipse in the UK on 23 September 2090 because the Moon, Sun and Earth move in stable, predictable orbits with very minor disturbances, and the laws of gravity are now well-tested. Similarly, we can use known astrophysics to predict what will likely happen across the Universe as it expands.

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I’m no longer in the Mood…

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Be an artist, right now!

I am very fond of the ideas the Korean writer expressed in this TED talk. I play lead guitar and vocals in a rock cover band. Often I had to hear sly comments about it, referring to teenage behavior, to ungrown kids, to the uselessness of the whole thing – who will ever care about you guys? Well, the point is completely different. We do it for ourselves. Everyone should do it, go our and practice their own art. It is not necessary to make a job out of it. We are born artists. Kids do art spontaneously. Then we teach them to grow, they have to study, find a job, take up responsibilities. Art is for artists. But why? It would be healthy if we practiced some art side by side to our own duties. It would be good for our mind and soul. The ones who do it have less problems in carrying on with every day’s life. I speak by direct experience…

So I strongly advice you to go on and read Young-ha Kim’s own words, not mine, in this excerpt from his TED talk, or watch the whole video above.

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