Archive for the Random Stuff Category

Real Time Control of Emotional Affect in Algorithmic Music

Posted in Random Stuff, Research and Projects with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2010 by Brit Cruise



The purpose of this post is to propose a solution to the following future research directions offered in two papers on the Algorithmic Music Evolution Engine (AMEE) “A Flexible Music Composition Engine” and “Real-Time Emotional Adaptation in Automated Composition”, recently developed at UWO (Hoeberechts, Demopoulos, Katchabaw 2007)[10][11]. I’ve divided up the problems into two high level categories A and B: Continue reading

It’s ALIVE – Robotic Drummer Interacts With Humans!

Posted in Random Stuff with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 15, 2010 by Brit Cruise


After months of design and construction between myself & Mike Vance, we’ve designed and created a machine we never thought possible…..A robotic musician which can interact with human players. Our Intelligent Robotic Percussion system was presented at the Engineering Design Presentations at the NRC research facility this past Friday. Our system had never been operational until 9 hours before the presentation, we were a hair’s breadth away and ready to finally give up….

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Exploring Music Spaces – Computer Science Research Journal

Posted in Random Stuff, Research and Projects with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2009 by Brit Cruise


A few years ago when I was introduced to Borges I was moved by the idea of a complete library. His short story, Library of Babel, most importantly reminded me of the difference between the infinite and the very very large. Continue reading

Lansanga Garden

Posted in Random Stuff on August 2, 2007 by Brit Cruise

I just returned from a 13 day “working vacation” in Victoria. One of the most important lessons I learned on this trip was the art of lansanga gardening. This layering process of soil eliminates the need for tilling and mixing of soil while creating a very healthy base for planting. There’s no hard and fast rules about what to use for your layers, just so long as it’s organic and doesn’t contain any protein (fat, meat, or bone). The basics of making garden lasagnas are simple:

Don’t remove the sod or do any extra work, like removing weeds or rocks.

Mark the area for your garden using a water hose or a long rope to get the desired shape.

Cover the area you’ve marked with wet newspapers, overlapping the edges (5 or more sheets per layer).

Cover the paper with one to two inches of peat moss or other organic material.

Layer several inches of organic material on top of the peat moss.

Continue to alternate layers of peat moss and organic material, until desired thickness is reached.

Water until the garden is the consistency of a damp sponge.

Gödel, Escher, Bach

Posted in Random Stuff on June 27, 2007 by Brit Cruise

Some new Sagan inspired sounds from my basment –

The Final Frontier

Posted in Random Stuff on June 12, 2007 by Brit Cruise


With every great technological or cultural revolution comes a serious paradigm shift within the ethics of our bureaucratic institutions. Electricity, Aviation, The Internet, Nanotechnology and Biotechnology are among many evolutionary plateaus which challenge existing mindsets and therefore, ethical ideals.  

We currently are in the infancy of one of the greatest albeit slow moving revolutions in human history. This is undoubtedly the frontier of Space. Space exploration is a field which has recently fallen out of the hands of government agencies and into the free market. This has given birth to new (and very important) concepts such as Space Tourism, which will be the focus of this paper. Continue reading

Self Organizing Systems –

Posted in Random Stuff, Research and Projects with tags , , , , , on June 6, 2007 by Brit Cruise

Autonomous Networks, Traffic Control and Intelligent Agents

Brit Cruise

Autonomous, self-organizing, adaptive systems

A popular question in physics, chemistry and biology is “where does order come from?”. The general laws of thermodynamics tell us that systems will follow the path of least resistance to dissipate any energy they contain. Eventually the system finds its lowest energy state and will remain in equilibrium until acted upon by an outer force.

Yet in nature we can observe many systems that maintain a high internal energy and organization which seems to defy the general laws of physics. An ant grows from a singled celled zygote into a complex multi cellular organism, and then participates in a highly structured hive society. What is so fascinating is that the organization seems to emerge spontaneously from disordered conditions. The laws that may govern this self-organizing behavior are not well understood, if they exist at all. It is clear that this non-linear process is based on positive and negative feedback loops among components at the lowest level. Continue reading

Dan Everett and the Pirahã

Posted in Random Stuff on April 18, 2007 by Brit Cruise

The April 16 edition of The New Yorker, has an excellent article by John Colapinto, “The Interpreter: Has a remote Amazonian tribe upended our understanding of language?” Here’s how it starts:

One morning last July, in the rain forest of northwestern Brazil, Dan Everett, an American linguistics professor, and I stepped from the pontoon of a Cessna floatplane onto the beach bordering the Maici River, a narrow, sharply meandering tributary of the Amazon. On the bank above us were some thirty people— short, dark-skinned men, women, and children—some clutching bows and arrows, others with infants on their hips. The people, members of a hunter-gatherer tribe called the Pirahã, responded to the sight of Everett—a solidly built man of fifty-five with a red beard and the booming voice of a former evangelical minister—with a greeting that sounded like a profusion of exotic songbirds, a melodic chattering scarcely discernible, to the uninitiated, as human speech. Unrelated to any other extant tongue, and based on just eight consonants and three vowels, Pirahã has one of the simplest sound systems known. Yet it possesses such a complex array of tones, stresses, and syllable lengths that its speakers can dispense with their vowels and consonants altogether and sing, hum, or whistle conversations.

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Jungle Snaps

Posted in Random Stuff on April 12, 2007 by Brit Cruise


I received new photos from Elise in Peru of the 120 hectare jungle property in Puerto Maldonado I’m interesting in – Beautiful:



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Brit’s Bellochetta-Cotto

Posted in Random Stuff on April 2, 2007 by Brit Cruise

This is a creation I came up with last week to blend my love of bruschetta, Balsamic steamed Portobello mushrooms, Prosciutto and Pizza.

Step 1. Chop and mix Onion, Red Pepper, Ripe Tomatoes. Season to tab.jpgste.

Step 2. Heat up a frying pan to MAX heat, with butter and oil. Once hot, toss in mushrooms and Sauté–adding a dash or 3 of Balsamic vinegar.

Step 3.After 5 min or so add your bruschetta mix to the pan.

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Jazz Pin

Posted in Random Stuff on March 29, 2007 by Brit Cruise

header_logo_black.jpgSo this morning I finally gave into the JAZZ.FM fundraiser campaign. It really is one of the last independent (listener supported) media outlets that exists today on such a scale. I had this sudden premonition that becoming a JAZZ.FM member will somehow better my life.

I don’t know if it’s because of the free JAZZ lapel pin I’ll get, the announcement of my name on the air (it took them 3 times to get it right) or the placebo effect but… I feel like a new man already.

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