Watch Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Voodoo Chile’ Performed on a Gayageum, a Traditional Korean Instrument

[shared via Google Reader from Open Culture]

Jimi Hendrix’s 1968 song “Voodoo Chile” is already a classic. But it becomes all the more so when you see it performed by Luna Lee on a Gayageum, a traditional Korean stringed instrument. The first Gayageum dates back to the 6th century. If you like seeing western rock standards reimagined within an Asian aesthetic, then you won’t want to miss: The Talking Heads’ “This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)” Performed on Traditional Chinese Instruments.

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Watch Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Voodoo Chile’ Performed on a Gayageum, a Traditional Korean Instrument is a post from: Open Culture. You can follow Open Culture on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and by Email.

Maggie May Not – a cover song http://bit.ly/YSnSs9

My cover version of the Rod Stewart classic (Maggie May by Stewart and Martin Quittenton, 1971) on which, bizarrely, the late DJ John Peel mimed mandolin on the TotP appearance. This version is just me and my six-string guitar, no mandolins, no classical intro and a scattish version of the beautiful Jim Cregan guitar solo recorded for the song at Abbey Road Studios, London. Cregan famously played a similar acoustic solo on the Steve Harley track Make me smile (Come up and see me)


Maggie May Not – a cover song http://bit.ly/YSnSs9

My cover version of the Rod Stewart classic (Maggie May by Stewart and Martin Quittenton, 1971) on which, bizarrely, the late DJ John Peel mimed mandolin on the TotP appearance. This version is just me and my six-string guitar, no mandolins, no classical intro and a scattish version of the beautiful Jim Cregan guitar solo recorded for the song at Abbey Road Studios, London. Cregan famously played a similar acoustic solo on the Steve Harley track Make me smile (Come up and see me)

From Happenstance to Invention: How a Pixar scene inspired science

[shared via Google Reader from Marblar Muses]

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Dr Andy Ward, a researcher with the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), was plugging away in the lab a few years ago when he happened upon a new phenomenon that was completely unexpected.  He had been working with optical traps and in the course of his tinkering had developed a remarkable device that, with the aid of a few lasers, could manipulate micro-scale droplets.  He could bring them together, pull them apart, turn them into cubes, prisms – you name it. 

Neat trick? Well, unfortunately all too often in blue-sky research these sort of serendipitous discoveries lead nowhere.  Millions are often spent on R&D at academic, government and even industry labs – and while a singular application might be in sight, for a variety of reasons (including pursuing the wrong initial application) the technology doesn’t take off.  It sits on a shelf, forever remaining a cool lab trick.  But STFC chose to think different.  Their mission is to take innovation from their labs and turn them into tomorrow’s breakthrough products – and they don’t just talk about doing it. They actually do it. 

It rapidly became clear this piece of kit was perfectly suited for crowdsourced inspiration Indeed, STFC’s innovation team mentioned they were genuinely stumped on this one – so placing this technology in front of thousands of creative minds on Marblar made so much sense. (A conclusion we at Marblar love!).

After running for about six weeks, Marblars from around the world found dozens of ways this technology could be exploited, ranging from next-generation sequencing to a manufacturing process for micro-mechanics.  But the real doozy came from Alan Tennant, and demonstrated the power of inputting fresh insight into the calculation.  Alan has approximately zero experience with lasers (though I hear he knows his way around a bar-code scanner thanks a summer gig bagging groceries).  Alan’s idea was to exploit the capabilities of the device (manipulating droplets) towards creating a tiny lens that could refract light in an easily changeable manner.  His idea was not unlike how the lens in your eye adjusts to view objects near and far – only instead of being tugged by lasers, the muscles in your eye pull it. 

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But Alan doesn’t have a background in ophthalmology either. After reading about the technology and seeing the video demonstration Alan was immediately reminded of a scene in Pixar’s A Bugs Life where the ant wraps a water droplet in a leaf to create a telescope. When pulled tightly the “telescope” focuses light; when loosened the droplet flattens and nearer objects come into focus. 

This was not only a brilliant idea, but also an area of active interest for many labs around the world.  Only our inventor, Dr Ward, a brilliant engineer couldn’t possibly have been expected to have domain expertise across every imaginable field.  In essence, he had no idea that he’d potentially developed a solution that cracked the problem of creating microscopes that were, errr, micro-er.  In essence, a little telescope the size of a human hair.

Dr Ward and the STFC team are now excitedly pursuing this new direction – telling Marblar Muses the next step is a proof-of-concept, which they don’t believe will be that expensive. 

But what’s most exciting is that one inventor’s inquisitiveness led him to explore how lasers could manipulate droplets, which next allowed a chance encounter with an English engineer, who introduced him to an idea originally advanced by an animated insect – and tomorrow these events may create a product that never existed before. 

Now that’s bad-ass. 

Daniel Perez is a PhD student at the University of Oxford, and the co-founder and CEO of Marblar – a disruptive platform that seeks to crowdsource new ways to use cool science.

Follow Dan @danperez610

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