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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Firefox Quick Searches with Keywords

If you're a Firefox user who eschews the mouse, then keyword Quick searches definitely are for you. To set up a Quick search, go to any search engine page with an input box using Firefox, like say, the Reseize page.
To set up a Quick search for this search box, right-click inside the “Search Roland’s sites” input box and choose "Add a Keyword for this Search..." in the Dropdown box. Write description of the search in the name field “Reseize site Search” and add an “r” into the keyword field.
Now go to firebox address bar and enter “r quick searches”. You should now find this post.
Give it a try: in Firefox, key up to the location bar for Windows: Ctr-L or Mac: Cmd-L <- you can customize all shortcuts to if you want)
The Firefox search box can also contain any number of engines. However, it's not as easy to get to this box and switch engines using only the keyboard as it is using Quick searches.
Here is a link to Reseize’s favorite quick searches (just download and import).

If you want to learn more about quick searches and bookmarking read this splendid post: Hack Attack: Firefox and the art of keyword bookmarking.

This was seized 4 u at Lifehacker
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Monday, January 15, 2007

Interview with Cameron “Booga Bear” McVey

This is an interview about the "good" and the "bad" old times, the genesis of "Blue Lines", the new project called CirKus he's involved in under the name of Burt Ford with his wife Neneh and the two gifted young musicians, Karmil and Lolita Moon and much more…

Hi Cameron. Could you talk us about the Wild Bunch, the 80's collective of writers, rappers and dj you were part of with Massive Attack members Daddy G, 3D, Dj Mushrooms and Tricky Kid. You were mixing hip hop with punk, funk reggae, dub, we could say you were representing a certain avant-garde in British music at that time?

C: «Ok, I can talk about it but I was never part of "the wild bunch". I started hearing great music coming from from "the wild bunch" and Smith and Mighty so I traveled down there to check out the scene. By the time I arrived there "the wild bunch" had split up as DJ Milo (Miles) and Nellee Hooper had moved to London and the remaining members had changed their name to "Massive Attack". In fact I knew both Nellee & Miles from being out & about in London club land. Smith and Mighty were quite hard to get to know but they were making amazing tunes. I traveled down to meet them several times but they never really let me in. They in fact produced massive attack's first tune "Any love" with a lead vocal by Carlton McCarthy which Neneh and I helped promote by taking Carlton on tour with us at the time of "Buffalo Stance".
When I was making "Manchild" for Neneh I was helped by Nellee Hooper in its original construction and he introduced me to Massive Attack's 3D who wrote the raps on "Manchild". Then I got Mushroom to mime the DJ sections for Top of the Pops on "Buffalo Stance" and then he played me Massive Attack's music and that's how our relationship in fact began.
Neneh and I had "The Cherry Bear Organization" which was set up to help people making music who were in danger of being ripped off by the same music business creeps that had ripped Neneh and I off and this is where we funded the Massive Attack & Portishead projects from. Nellee Hooper and Jazzy B from Soul2Soul were meant to produce the first Massive Attack album but they took too long and Jazzy was too distracted so I said I'd do it. This is when I met Tricky and Claude and the rest of the Massive Attack crew. They were all seriously entertaining, interesting and deeply original people and both Neneh & I took to them and their cause immediately…»

Could you talk us about the birth of "Blue Lines", the Massive Attack album you were the executive producer of, which started what the critics call "The Bristol sound”. Which was the atmosphere you were surrounded by in those days? I read you recorded some of the tracks of the album in the room of your babies and that Neneh Cherry was the one who was pushing the band, very lazy at that time, into recording… Do you have any other particular memory of that time?

C: «In fact I was the producer in charge but Massive Attack thought I would get too much credit if I was both manager and producer so I changed my title to "exec producer!"
We made most of the album in mine and Neneh's house in
London, with babies, the office, the children and all of Massive Attack hanging out of every available nook and cranny! We had debt collectors banging on the door every day looking for money, it was a crazy time.
It took a year in all to record "Blue Lines". The group insisted we decamp to "finish off" the album! This took for ever and wasn't nearly as productive as the sessions. BUT… it was a great time now I look back on it and I wouldn't change it for the world… well maybe some of it… like the Sunday afternoon football matches in my garden… a lot of legs got bruised!
Massive Attack decided after this time to go one way and I decided to go another… I didn't really feel I could do a second album with them so I pulled out. They never really forgave me for this but I stick by what I did. I couldn't top "Blue Lines"».

Neneh Cherry, Massive Attack, Portishead, Tricky, All Saints… in the music of all these artists it's possible to single out a common "touch", yours. How much do you feel responsible for these artists success?

C: «I was there, I was a team player and I NEVER ran away no matter how scary things got. Maybe with Sugababes and All Saints I let my children call the shots because my personal musical sensibilities didn't really agree with the group's but I still feel I added my own brand of real shit, song writing and chaos to what they did…
With Portishead… I just refused to "produce" for Geoff Barrow… I just kept telling him to "fuck off" and carry on in the same direction he was already going by himself… me and Neneh paid their weekly wages and gave them train fare to get home regularly to Portishead…

Why did you choose to remain in incognito and use a fake name, Burt Ford, and not to reveal your identity in the CirKus project? You even made up a fake story about Burt Ford saying you found his telephone number on the cover of a demo tape in which he was playing "old school lounge lizard cabaret style classic reggae". That's crazy! But maybe it's something common in your family since I read Marlon from Mattafix is your son and also the little boy who was in the "Manchild" video and he didn't do much to publicize it as well.
C: «For me history is in the past and I'm not a backward looking kind of guy.
Maybe it's because my head won't turn around that far but I'm always peering ahead... and I LOVE the name BURT and FORD looks so good in ads».

How did happen you choose the nickname Booga Bear, which I read in the "Urban Dictionary" should mean "a bald, fat, ugly black woman"?
C: «Well yes that would be one way of describing me: "a bald, fat, ugly black woman". Mind you this is an offense to black women everywhere».

How did you exactly meet Karmil and Lolita Moon?
C: «Karmil got a job at my studio which he was turned on to by my old assistant James Dring who is now part of the Gorillaz and Damon Albarn camp. Karmil then got caught sleeping on the floor of the studio as he had nowhere else to sleep in London and had M.E. (immune deficiency disorder), so he got shipped (by my wife) to our house… he then stole LOADS of equipment from my studio and took it to his bedroom at our house, brought Lolita Moon home and then conned me into writing with him as opposed to watching bad, late night English TV after a day at the studio trying to pay the rent. Then I was trapped and hooked into being a member of his "band" or "group" or whatever it is. It was a fucking hijack!" I never stood a chance».

And how comes a brilliant producer who's always been "in the dark" decided to become the leading voice of a band, playing live on stage?
C: « Come and see us play live and say that! ».

Your voice is very very near to Horace Andy's gravel voice. Is it something "calculated", something you though about, or is it the way the natural way you use to sing?
C: «I think that MAYBE... just MAYBE it has something to do with the amount of ganja we both smoke... MAYBE!!!».

In order to read the whole interviews go to the CirKus myspace site.

This interview was made by Susanna La Polla of Tribe Magazine

This was seized 4 u at CirKus myspcace

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Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Amazon Spacecraft (Your space tourist carrier?)

The development vehicle Goddard on the back of a lorry
The Goddard launch took place in Texas in November 2006
The billionaire founder of has released the first images of the launch of a private spacecraft that could bring space travel to the masses.
A video of the cone-shaped Goddard vehicle shows it climbing to about 85m (285ft) before returning back to Earth. The test launch took place in November 2006 in a remote part of Texas, but details have only now been released. The images mark the first time Jeff Bezos has broken his silence on the work of his space company, Blue Origin. Writing on the company's website, Mr Bezos said: "We're working, patiently and step-by-step, to lower the cost of spaceflight so that many people can afford to go; and so that we humans can better continue exploring the Solar System."
Mr Bezos founded Blue Origin in 2000 with the intention of developing a vertical take-off and landing vehicle, called New Shepard, able to take passengers to the edge of space. No timescale for commercial trips has been announced but documents released by the US Federal Aviation Administration suggest they could start as early as 2010.
My only job at the launch was to open the champagne
The footage shot on 13 November 2006 from a site about 200km (120 miles) east of El Paso in Texas shows the first craft to launch under the New Shepard programme. Called Goddard, the retro-looking development vehicle is shown standing on four legs before blasting off in a cloud of smoke from thrusters on its base. The vehicle continues to ascend for approximately 10 seconds, reaching a height of nearly 300ft (90m). It then starts to descend before making a controlled landing back on its feet approximately 25 seconds after take-off.
The launch, described by Mr Bezos as "both useful and fun", was watched by friends, family and a team of engineers. "My only job at the launch was to open the champagne," said Mr Bezos.

Mr Bezos now hopes to recruit a team of engineers to the New Shepard programme to develop the design and increase the altitude and duration of flights.
Artist's impression of Genesis 1 in space
Inflatable modules could one day form the basis of a space hotel
In particular, he is looking for "experienced propulsion engineers" and people with "experience on large, modern vehicles such as Delta IV or Atlas V".
Blue Origin is one of several private companies vying to open up space to the public. US-based Space Adventures has already taken four space tourists to the International Space Station, while in September 2006, Sir Richard Branson unveiled a mock-up of a rocket powered vehicle that will carry six passengers and two pilots to an altitude of about 140km (85 miles). His Virgin Galactic design is based on SpaceShipOne, the craft designed by Scaled Composites that won the Ansari X-Prize in 2005. The first passengers could take off in 2009.
Other entrepreneurs jostling for their place in space include hotel tycoon Robert Bigelow who launched Genesis 1, an experimental inflatable spacecraft, in July 2006. Mr Bigelow hopes the water-melon shaped craft could form the basis of a future space hotel.
This was seized 4 u at BBC
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