Archive for October, 2011

A new unit of time: The Wagner

After a full evening of writing music, I am proposing a new unit of time. The Wagner (abbreviation Wg). One Wagner is equal to one thousand minutes, approximately the length of the entire Ring Cycle. Here are some useful conversions:

1 day = 1.4 Wagners

1 year = 511.35 Wagners

1 minute = 1 milliWagner (1 mWg)

This unit will be particularly useful for superficially evaluating the works of other composers:

The entire works of Anton Webern can be contained on about 6 compact discs with a total running time of 36 centiWagners.

Or making us composers feel crappy about our own productivity:

After sitting at the piano for the entire evening, I realized that I was only able to compose about .5 milliWagners of usable music. Furthermore, my maximum rate of composition rarely breaks the 1 mWg/h mark.

Anyone know anyone over at ISO?


Oct 2011

OK. Just ONE Steve Jobs anecdote.

I was just on John's left, but they cropped me out.

Having worked at Pixar since 1993, I have quite a number of Steve Jobs stories. Most of those I keep well within the confines of the building or my close friends, but this is one that I think really exemplifies Steve. (Names and email addresses have been changed.)

In the early days of Pixar, Steve seemed fairly hands off. I didn’t see him in person until 1995, after I had been working in this fairly tiny company for two years.

Around that time, a particularly outspoken employee (we’ll call him Richard) sent an email to the entire company ( that was quite critical about some decisions that Steve had made. About 30-45 minutes later, Richard sent a sheepish follow up email to the smaller, more casual Pixar email address ( warning us that “Hey everyone, I just found out the hard way that Steve actually reads mail sent to Thought you should be aware.”

Five minutes later another email goes out to pixarchat, this time from Steve Jobs:

“Hey Richard. I also read pixarchat.”



Oct 2011

The creepiest thing ever…

What’s creepier than the Teletubbies? Teletubbies in slow motion with a Arnold Schoenberg soundtrack.

(Warning, if you’re easily spooked, you should probably watch something a little less creepy. Like ‘The Ring’ or ‘Saw III’.)


Oct 2011