I found this, true, tale of mistaken identity, wrongful conviction and the link to San Francisco history fascinating. Check out the bizarre links in the life of Joe Windred, onetime mayor of Orange, NSW in this ABC radio podcast.
Stephen Dando Collins has uncovered yet another extraordinary true story: of the Australian man wrongly convicted of identical crimes in Sydney and San Francisco.
Little did the people of Orange NSW know when they twice elected Joseph Windred their mayor that this upstanding Windsor-born businessman, colonial hero and founder of their local jockey club had, in chains, helped build the San Quentin Penitentiary in San Francisco during the California gold rush, only to make a thrilling escape back to Australia. And that, technically, Joe was still a fugitive from American justice.
I don’t expect he remembers but I did briefly meet Richard there and pass on my thanks for the work he does for the Zone and Skeptic related events like TAM. I’m looking forward to many more Zone episodes!
Sometime over the holiday break, one of those frequent rubbish days of a summer not to remember, I stumbled upon the documentary film ‘Being Elmo’ on a Sky channel. It was a fascinating look at Kevin Clash's life and career to as the man behind Elmo.
Although released a few weeks back I just heard an interview with ‘Being Elmo’ Editor Writer Justin Weinstein about his next project: 'An Honest Liar’ - The Story of the Amazing James Randi:
A first for the Token Skeptic podcast: an interview with Justin Weinstein and Tyler Measom, who are the directors/producers of the forthcoming documentary on James Randi, called An Honest Liar.
and more at
'An Honest Liar - Movies.com You need to have a lot of gall or a lot of merit to call yourself "amazing." James Randi has both. In the late 1940s he began performing magic under the name of The Amazing Randi…
(Way) Back in the 80s I used to buy an Aussie technology magazine “Omni”, correction it was “Omega Science Digest”!. One issue had a card you could send off (with a few au$) to get the demo cassette for a remarkable new electronic instrument. Yes, that there was an analogue demo cassette for a digital instrument gives an idea of how long ago that was!
It had a bunch of different tracks, samples etc. all created with the Fairlight Computer Musical Instrument but one (complete unlike the others) was the most memorable. I found Claude Larson’s Murrumbidgee River on YouTube (below) but sadly it appears you can no longer buy it, or the album “Rivers” (via iTunes or Amazon at least).
I probably still have that cassette somewhere… (see UPDATE 2012-02-22 below) and wanted to hear it again after listening to an ABC Radio Podcast interview — Big Ideas - Blinded by Science — with Fairlight Inventor Peter Vogel and Thomas Dolby. It covers all sorts of aspects from the evolution of digital musical technology, its impact on music and composition, the inventive process and the business of creating/marketing new ideas. There is even the tale of the (not so ubiquitous as once was) default Nokia ringtone and mention of the Fairlight iPhone/iPad app (why Dolby was in Aus.) which runs on a device vastly more powerful than the original $100,000+ Fairlight CMI!
I never did get a CMI as $100k seemed a bit much for someone who never progressed much past Grade 1 Piano before discovering sailing seemed more fun in the weekends! Maybe if I get the iOS app that cassette will have justified its demo label!
In 1979 two young men in Sydney invented a digital sampling synthesizer that sparked a worldwide musical revolution. It was called the Fairlight and for the first time musicians could play the sound of any instrument on a keyboard. It also allowed them to compose and perform compositions that would otherwise require a band or an orchestra to play. Those two men were 21 and their names were Kim Ryrie and Peter Vogel.
Without the Fairlight you might not have the same sounds out of Thomas Dolby; who shot to prominence in this country with his 80s hit ‘She blinded me with Science’. Dolby had a boyhood obsession with music and technology and some two decades later his innovative computer music has greatly impacted on today’s popular music, games and mobile phones.
Tonight they talk about music and technology then, now and in the future.
February 20, 2012 10:05 PM
Copyright 2012, Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
* UPDATE 2012-02-22: The Just Fairlight Cassette Online
I first saw Mary on Colbert, a great interview, and have added her book to my wishlist to get next time I go Amazon shopping. I’m a bit behind with my Skepticality listening (but have them all saved to catch up) but jumped the list to hear this one!
If you fly, professionally or as a passenger, you’ll love this podcast. I’ve listened to it for years but the real & podcast worlds collided on a flight earlier this year.
It was in the middle of my never ending trek from Auckland, New Zealand, to New Orleans.
Leaving Auckland about 6pm Tuesday means arriving in L.A. about 13 hours later at 10am Tuesday (thanks to the dateline). I was heading for Dallas, then New Orleans but found my anticipated 4 hour stopover extended to 12 hours thanks to storms at Dallas.
Then all flights through Dallas were cancelled. After a frantic call to American Airlines the only route that would get me to NOLA on time was from L.A. (about 10pm) to Miami, sit around there till 11am, then back to New Orleans landing about 1pm, 39 hours later.
On the Miami flight I’d finished my book and was listening to podcasts. There was an AA crew member sitting next to me who was transferring to Miami to start her shift the following evening. She’d never tried the Bose QC headphones I was using (yes I’m one of those recently teased by Betty ) and asked to try them. I happened to have Betty’s podcast playing at the time & she loved what she heard, took note of the URL to subscribe, and told the other crew on the flight. I like to think Betty gained a few listeners from that.
I don’t do many US flights but one day hope I’ll hear a familiar voice as I board the plane. It would neat to meet Betty “at work”. Until then I’ll just keep listening to the podcasts and looking for a flight attendant carrying a recorder...