It appears that I have been given the chance to reach into the past and retrieve a few things that I thought were closed to me. It's frightening and exciting to have some of these doors no longer closed to me. Let's see what I can do with the dice... Of course, with that being open, there are also some irritants that are open to me again. Those types of irritants have a way of self-destructing, and that's always amusing to watch.
I recently, on getting a few MP3s of theirs from a friend, bought 2 CDs from the band Sum 41. Superficially, they're a lot like Bad Religion -- a punk band with a good understanding of harmony. Bad Religion is more rhythmically interesting, and Sum 41's music is much less gloomy. Bad Religion's sound is composed of elements that are very different than Sum 41's -- there are certain patterns of notes and larger musical themes that identify most songs from a given artist that make it easy, for example, for me to get a good idea when I hear a new song by Fastball that it's one of their songs. Unfortunately, after listening to the 2 CDs I got (Does This Look Infected? and Chuck), I noticed that, while I like the CDs very much, they're not very well mixed. Whoever mixed them gave far too much voice to the lead singer/melody, almost completely drowning out the other voices/harmony. I found some live mixes of some of the songs on the internet, and they tend to be mixed better.
Sri Lanka certainly has a lot of chutzpah. For the recent hurricane damage, aid has been pouring in from all over the world. Sri Lanka has forced some of those resources to sit in the capital while paperwork is being filled out, and is now planning on taxing some of it. Analogy: At a birthday party, the host makes people pay a fee to give gifts. I'm surprised that the aid groups are willing to put up with this.
In other news, there's some controversy over BiDil, a medication that recieved testing on African-Americans primarily, and is marked as intended for them for heart problems. Some people worry that it'll reopen the door on what they see as a closed debate in American society -- this (my perspective) threatens a great American cultural taboo -- that people and races are all statistically equal and that races themselves don't exist. I've heard that myth a number of times in society -- that there are no races, no groups, no ethnicities. I generally like to ask perpetrators of such myths if they can distinguish a swede from a chinese. The attitude given by the researchers behind the drug, that they went where the data led them, seems very sensible to me.