30 Day Song Challenge – Week Six

Day 26: a song that you can play on an instrument

Bonobo – Black Sands (album)

I can’t play any instruments, but this is the album I like to play about with on Djay, mixing software for iPad

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Day 27: a song that you wish you could play

Funkadelic – Maggot Brain

Voted best guitar solo ever, so get ready for a face-melter! Thanks to Andrew for the hookup.

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Day 28: a song that makes you feel guilty

Chemical Brothers ft. Richard Ashcroft – The Test

Hmm… no comment.

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Day 29: a song from your childhood

Leftfield – Melt

I remember this blaring out over the kitchen speakers as I began to develop a taste for music.

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Day 30: your favorite song at this time last year

Way Out West – Only Love

These guys were the soundtrack to my summer last year – nearly that time again!

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So there we have it, people – thirty songs that mean something to me in (at least in some small way). I hope this has been at all enlightening, it’s certainly been fun to put together. Don’t forget, you can always submit new music to me by adding to my collaborative Spotify playlist.

Happy listening, Tom x

30 Day Song Challenge – Week Three

Day 11: a song from your favorite band

Digitalism – Blitz

According to Last.fm, these are my most favourite musicians. Here’s their new one!

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Day 12: a song from a band you hate

The Beatles – Let It Be

Don’t go hatin’ on me, but the fucking Beatles? They’re just so overrated.

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Day 13: a song that is a guilty pleasure

Girls Aloud – Biology

These girls have a seriously good production team. Plus, you know‚Ķ ūüėČ

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Day 14: a song that no one would expect you to love

Lady Gaga ft. Beyoncé РTelephone

I can’t embed the actual video, but this one’ll do. I heart Gaga, but I don‚Äôt know why.

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Day 15: a song that describes you

LTJ Bukem – Horizons

How’s this: a bit electronic, a bit progressive, and a bit jazzy and with a consistently interesting beat.

30 Day Song Challenge – Week Two

Day 6: a song that reminds you of somewhere

Faithless – Sweep / Insomnia

Mind-blowing first ever gig with all sorts of crazy lights, at the Corn Exchange in Cambridge. You’ll be missed, Faithless!

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Day 7: a song that reminds you of a certain event

Sister Sledge – We Are Family

Every single New Years Eve ever spent with family, and who can blame us?

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Day 8: a song that you know all the words to

Jamiroquai – Space Cowboy

Haha – yeah, I went through an extended Jamiroquai phase. It was a difficult time for my family.

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Day 9: a song that you can dance to

Pop Levi РDita Dimoné

I’m not a very good dancer, but I could clap my hands convincingly to this, I reckon.

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Day 10: a song that makes you fall asleep

Pat Metheny – The Truth Will Always Be

Dad used to play this on long and sleepy car journeys, so I associate it with dreaming. Works every time.

13 Tools to Promote Divergent Thinking

New ideas can come from anywhere, but are often hardest to find when you’re actually looking for them.¬†However, I believe it’s possible to jumpstart your brain, even under pressure, by applying yourself to a bit of divergent thinking:

Divergent thinking typically occurs in a spontaneous, free-flowing manner, such that many ideas are generated in an emergent cognitive fashion. Many possible solutions are explored in a short amount of time, and unexpected connections are drawn. After the process of divergent thinking has been completed, ideas and information are organized and structured using convergent thinking.

Wikipedia

So to help anyone out there who may be stuck for ideas, here’s my list of divergent thought helpers:

  1. Stumbleupon – highly recommended: tell it your interests and hit ‘stumble’ to be sent to a random site
  2. Buzzfeed – hit the randomize button in the top right corner (occasionally NSFW) to see something usually quite cool
  3. Mystery Seeker – type something in the search box and receive a set of google results for a totally different subject
  4. The Wiki Game – start in one place on wikipedia, and try to end up in another, while seeing loads of content on the way
  5. We Heart It – inspiring and high-quality imagery, often captioned, and with decent search functionality
  6. We Feel Fine – an emotional search tool, potentially good for scanning & visualising need states
  7. Popurls – see the freshest stories from a range of great online sources, with customisation options
  8. Newsmap – a visualisation of the latest news, powered by google (quite old but potentially interesting)
  9. Thesaurus.net Рhigh quality thesaurus dictionary: search synonyms, antonyms, rhymes, quotes and idioms
  10. Visual Thesaurus – see the associated meanings between concepts – worth paying for
  11. Bing Visual Search – search the web visually in an intuitive, exploratory way
  12. oSkope – discover images, videos and products related to a search query
  13. TouchGraph SEO – see the links between topics and websites

Finally, and it may take more time for ideas to emerge this way, but TED really is an amazing resource for this kind of thing. I recently attended TEDxObserver, after which my head was swimming with ideas.

Can you suggest any of your own?

Coffee Too Hot To Handle? Try These

Coffee Joulies are a¬†new invention that reduces and sustains the temperature of hot drinks, while looking pretty awesome in the process. Their inventors are “two Daves” from New Jersey, who have engineered, prototyped, and produced their first run of units over the last eight months.

They claim that¬†Coffee Joulies are “miniature thermodynamic heat storage devices” which appear to function via some kind of endothermic/exothermic reaction:

They absorb excess thermal energy when the coffee is initially poured too hot to drink, cooling your coffee down to a drinkable temperature three times faster. Once your coffee reaches the right temperature the beans release that stored thermal energy back into the coffee, keeping it in the optimal temperature range twice as long.

They have proven results, too:

And the beans themselves look really cool:

Thanks to Tom Allen for the link –¬†reckon I might try to get a hold of some!