Sunday, September 01, 2013

Jazz in de Gracht ..... Jazz on the canal

One of the highlights of the late summer in The Hague is the 'Jazz in de Gracht' festival, now in its 9th year.
The weather was good enough this year for the crowds to chill along the canal dipping into some fine places to eat and drink along the way.

Above are Remmelt, Muus and Femke  who offered great vocals with a rich folk sound.

One of the highlights of the evening were Blood, Sweat and Kiers who encouraged the crowds to join in with their unrelenting rhythm and the sax sounds of Wouter Kiers.

The full Saturday evening programme:

17:00 uur - 18:40 uur Little Boogie Boy Bluesband 
17:35 uur - 19.15 uur Anna Elis de Jong
18:10 uur - 19:50 uur Remmelt, Muus & Femke
18:45 uur - 20:25 uur Blood Sweat and Kiers
19:20 uur - 21:00 uur Maria Jose Sobral Kwartet
19:55 uur - 21:35 uur Tracin' Tracy featuring  Zane Massey
20:30 uur - 22:10 uur The Scandals
21:05 uur - 22:45 uur Ashtraynutz
21.40 uur - 23:00 uur Stef van Es

 This autumn rolls on the the forthcoming MuseumNight in The Hague next Saturday 7th September. This is the second jewel in the city.
This is the night when many of the museums and hotels in the city throw open their doors until the early hours of Sunday morning. There will be transport between venues for those note brave enough to cycle...

The Hague - city of Peace. 
September will also this year see the Peace Palace celebrating the centenary of its presence in the city.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Stori'r Ddraig Goch :-)

The story of the Red Dragon
The tale of two dragons (one, red and one white), is related to a story that first appears in the 9th Century 'Historia Brittonum'.
The Historia contain a narrative in which the tyrant Vortigern (5th-century British warlord) attempts to build a citadel, but the structure collapses repeatedly. His wise men tell him he must sacrifice a boy born without a father on the spot to alleviate the curse.

Vortigern finally finds such a boy, Emrys (Ambrosius Aurelianus), identified with Merlin in later versions), but Emrys reveals the real reason for the collapsing towers: two dragons, one red and one white, representing the Britons and the Saxons specifically, are buried beneath the foundation.

This story was later adapted by Geoffrey of Monmouth, and thence appears in the Brut y Brenhinedd. Thus, Lludd supplies an origin for the dragons in the Vortigern story.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Crowd it the future of project funding?

I recently posted on the funding and launch of OUYA the new Android based Games console that was funded by the power of the Cloud by Kickstarter a US based company which invites potential investors to make a contribution to new and innovative project.
This form of crowd-funding in 'the cloud' for projects has certainly proved successful for many including OUYA which as you will  see below has been able to secure the second highest capitol investment since 2009 when Kickstarter began, having raised $8,596,474 from 63,416 individual investors.
As with any innovation there are always those who wish to use systems either fraudulently for personal gain. This has caused projects to be removed by the crowd-funding companies as soon as there was clear evidence of wrongdoing.  In the US and other jurisdictions there are copyright and other legal challenges to crowd-funded projects, however it is not unknown for large corporations to be in dispute with each other.

I would say that on balance bringing those seeking funding with an audience who are inclined to offer such support seems to be a good use of new technology and the power of the web.

First on the scene back in 2001 was ArtistShare which began as a fan sourcing site enabling artists
to fund their recordings using their fans support - the result has been truly inspiring as you can see from the awards won by ArtistShare funded recordings:

47th Annual Grammy Awards– 2005
Winner: Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album Maria Schneider - Concert In the Garden,
Nominee: Best Jazz Instrumental Solo Maria Schneider "Bulería, Solea y Rumba" -- Donny McCaslin, soloist (track from "Concert in the Garden”)
Nominee: Best Instrumental Composition "Bulería, Solea y Rumba" -- Maria Schneider

48th Annual Grammy Awards– 2006
Winner: Best Instrumental Composition “Into The Light” Billy Childs
Nominee: Best Instrumental Jazz Album “Lyric”
Nominee: Best Instrumental Arrangement Billy Childs, arranger
Nominee: Best Comedy Album The Agoraphobic Cowboy, Rick Moranis

49th Annual Grammy Awards– 2007
Winner: Best Latin Jazz Album Brian Lynch/Eddie Palmieri - Simpatico
Nominee: Best Large jazz Ensemble Album Bob Brookmeyer - Spirit Music

50th Annual Grammy Awards– 2008
Winner: Best Instrumental Composition Maria Schneider - “Cerulean Skies”
Nominee: Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album - Maria Schneider “Sky Blue”

52nd Annual Grammy Awards– 2010
Nominee: Best Jazz Instrumental Album - The Clayton Brothers - "Brother to Brother"
Nominee: Best Latin Jazz Recording - Geoffrey Keezer - "Aurea"

53rd Annual Grammy Awards– 2011
Winner: Best Instrumental composition - The Path Among The Trees -Billy Childs
Nominee: Best Jazz Instrumental Recording, Individual or Group - The Clayton Brothers - "New Song And Dance"
Nominee: Gerald Clayton Best Instrumental Composition - Battle Circle - The Clayton Brothers - "New Song And Dance"
Nominee: Best Large Jazz Ensemble Recording The Path Among The Trees
Nominee: Best Instrumental Composition - Patrick Williams - Aurora
Nominee: Best Instrumental Arrangement - "Fanfare For A New Day" - Patrick Williams - Aurora

12th Annual Latin Grammy Awards– 2012
Nominee: Best MPB (Música Popular Brasileira) Album - Yeahwon - Yeahwon
Other nominees in this category were Caetano Veloso, Milton Nascimento, Djavan and Mônica Salmaso.

55th Annual Grammy Awards– 2013
Winner: Best Instrumental Arrangement - Gil Evans "How About You"
Nominee: Best Large Jazz Ensemble Recording The Gil Evans Project: Centennial
Nominee: Best Arrangement Featuring A Vocalist(s)-  Gil Evans "Look to the Rainbow"  - featuring Luciana Souza

The business model is explained by Brian Camelio:
Other crowd-funding sites ( from Wikipedia 04/07/2013)
 The United States based company ArtistShare (2000/2001),  Pledgie (2006), Sellaband (2006), IndieGoGo (2008), Kickstarter (2009), Fundly (2009), GoFundMe (2010), Appsplit (2010), Microventures (2010) and Fundageek (2011).

Using the power of small investors to coalesce around a project in order to fund it is not new and indeed there are many examples perhaps one of the best being the funding of the Statue of Liberty in 1886. The web allows this idea to span the globe, allowing many more individuals to be involved.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Invitation from FaceBook

The invitation above was sent those well respected  TechCrunch guys and others in the IT community on Thursday 28 March prompting fevered speculation over what is to be revealed this week?
Debate has raged over the past few years over rumours that Facebook will eventually launch  'Facebook Android Handset'.
The TechCrunch article has followed up some pretty reliable leads which suggest that there is a link up between Facebook and HTC that will see the debate finally answered this Thursday.....we wait in hope.
Source: TechCrunch

Sunday, March 31, 2013

OUYA - The new kid on the block that wants to shake up the world of gaming

Today saw the launch of the OUYA games console, shipped today to its supporters. The development of the new device was crowdfunded by Kickstarter ( Ouya attracted over $8m (£5.3m) in funding from 63,416 backers).
 OUYA uses Google Android technology and the open design will allow games developers to more easily design new games products for the device as OUYA say  'Developers can wave farewell to the roadblocks of bringing a console game to market. Anyone can make a game: every OUYA console is a dev kit. No need to purchase a license or an expensive SDK. It's built on Android, so developers already know how it works.'
The market for games consoles is of course a small pond containing some pretty large, carnivorous competition, however I hope that a company which sends the following message to hackers and mashers has the necessary support and business acumen to survive and thrive - 

'Hackers welcome.

Have at it: It's easy to root (and rooting won't void your warranty). Everything opens with standard screws. Hardware hackers can create their own peripherals, and connect via USB or Bluetooth. You want our hardware design? Let us know. We might just give it to you. Surprise us!'

So all you gamers out there, your help is required........

'All we need is you. 

With your help, we need to: 
  • Convert our prototype to production-ready models and get all the regulatory approvals (yeah, we need these to sell them)
  • Deliver developer kits (for early developers so we can have games on day one, though every console will include an SDK once we launch)
  • Place our first production orders (we are working with a manufacturing firm with lots of game hardware experience, but we need to know how many to make!)
  • Ideally, fund some initial game development (i.e., 1st-party games)
And if you’re international, we want your help too…gaming is global, and we will get you OUYA. We still have a lot to figure out in regards to rights and countries, but it can be done. Look what we've accomplished already!'

Show the world, through your numbers, that you're out there.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Moodle 4 Teachers workshop begins April 1

Being an advocate for the use of Moodle in education,  I would like to draw your attention to the following invitation for teachers. 
You are invited by Nellie Muller Deutsch ( to join the upcoming April 1, 2013 Moodle for Teachers 5-week course on Moodle 2.4 on IT4ALL. The course is fully supported and facilitated by an expert Moodler, but you can go at your own pace and complete the course at your convenience within 1-5 weeks or longer if you need to the time. The course caters to every level, but is not suitable for Moodle administrators. 
You will find a course syllabus here,
For those who wish to learn how to be admins and to manage a Moodle website, the admin course for Moodle teachers begins on May 1, 2013

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Passion of Christ.... from The Hague

'The Passion of Christ' was broadcast throughout The Netherlands from The Hague on Thursday 28 March(Donderdag 28 Maart).
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Taking in many of the main sights of the 'City of Peace' and including musical spectacular plus the carrying of the cross into the city centre, the event was broadcast on the main national channel NOS1 (previously Netherlands 1).
The story moved from 'The Plein' where the last supper was staged, to the rail tracks where Judas struggled with his decision to give up Jesus  to the authorities. Onward to Scheveningen Pier standing in for the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus was given up to the authorities.
Back at the Hofvijver ( the lake in front of the Dutch Parliament) where Mary was in full flow. Jesus eventually brought to the Hofvijver for his meeting with Pontius Pilot and eventual Crucifixion. The spectacle ended with Jesus appearing to everyone walking across the Hofvijver.
While the action was taking place the giant white Cross was making its way past The Peace Palace via Plein 1813, Noordeinde Palace to The Hofvijver for the finale.
This really was a good start to Easter in the city.

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