Oh man! It’s cold here!! This is that week in North Dakotaland when the temperatures do not peek above 0 and no one ventures outside for long. But this is ok, because one comes to live in North Dakotaland not to enjoy the great outdoors, but to hunker down by the fire and draw the blinds and read and write and think and listen to music. If you want to be outdoors in the sun, move to Florida or Arizona or someplace like that.
If you’re happy by the fire, then please enjoy these quick hits and varia:
- To Toronto wyth love.
- Congratulations to this year’s AIA award winners.
- Frank Kidner’s photos of the Syrian countryside at Dumbarton Oaks.
- Database of Roman Temples.
- Ruin or Rebuild?
- And more on that same conversation.
- Photographing the remains of the refugee camp at Calais.
- The University of Athens introduces one-year, English language, masters in archaeology.
- The American School of Classical Studies at Athens introduces a new traveling seminar.
- The annual photo essay on Mt. Athos.
- Archaeology from space.
- Kim Stanley Robinson and Marina Abramovic.
- Breitling Sprint Reference in resin from the 1970s.
- What I’m reading: Alan Moore, Jerusalem: A Novel. (New York 2016).
- What I’m listening to… so Tidal (the music streaming service) announced last night at the CES that they have started streaming MQA audio. Basically, this is high resolution streaming. For the uninitiated, Tidal has been streaming CD-quality (44.1 kHz/16 bit) audio for a couple of years now. This makes people who really care about how their music sounds happy because CD-quality audio avoids some of the nastiness that comes from various forms of audio compression (e.g. MP3). For very fussy listeners, however, CD-quality audio has never been quite enough, and they have looked to higher resolution (generally 96 kHz/24 bit and greater) formats to wring the most out of their typically high end audio gear. There has been vigorous debate, of course, about whether these higher bit rate formats produced an appreciable difference in audio quality and this has been further complicated by the tendency for higher resolution audio to be remastered making it difficult to isolate the improvement (or at least change) in the sound quality. Finally, it has been impossible to stream high resolution audio because the files tend to be very large (e.g. 1 GB plus for a full album). A couple years ago, Meridian Audio developed a format called MQA which allowed for higher resolution music files to be streamed in very compact packages no larger than CD-quality audio. The catch, of course, is that special (and proprietary, of course) software will be required to decode MQA files. Tidal has baked it into their desktop music streaming software and a number of other high end audio manufacturers have done the same things in their products. So today, I’m listening to Tidal’s new “Masters” selections.
Wake me when winter’s over.