Today we have fun with the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Downtown Tulsa is about one mile square, bordered by two highways, I-244 to the west and north, and I-444 to the south and east, together known as the Inner Dispersal Loop.
Despite being one of the coolest extant Interstate numbers, I-444 is unsigned. Instead, it carries US 75 designation for its entire length, as well as US 64 and OK 51 for part of its length. It’s curious that they chose not to sign it. According to kurumi.com, “a mapping supervisor from Oklahoma DOT spoke to the Division Engineer in Tulsa to get a more official answer. To avoid confusing motorists by adding a 444 number to an area with I-44 and I-244, the DOT decided to use the existing US 75 designation.” Honestly, that seems like a weak reason. We have I-80 plus seven different x80 interstates here in the Bay Area and manage not to get too confused by it.
So why Tulsa today? The city was awarded the Parking Madness “Golden Crater” by Streetsblog. Much of the south side of the downtown is covered by parking lots.”
Not pretty, and not a particularly good use of valuable downtown space in the 21st century. And certainly the comments in the article open the city and its residence to a bit of ridicule. Apparently Tulsans are aware of this and the city council placed a moratorium on new parking lot construction. Moreover, Streetsblog describes a proposal by urban-planning major and native Tulsan to revitalize the downtown for walkability and pedestrian-friendly retail.
I did notice that outside of the downtown and Inner Dispersal Loop is the Philbrook Museum. The museum is on a 1920s estate designed in the style of an Italian Renaissance villa.
[By Taken by Kralizec!, cropped by CPacker (Transferred from en.wikipedia) [Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons]
While much of the collection is traditional art, they do have a growing modern and contemporary collection. This piece by Josiah McElheny, for example, makes an interesting contrast to the architecture of the estate. Would definitely be worth a visit.
“videocat sings along with her new casio sk-1″
“Uninspired Kitty : Begs for Inspiration”
Submitted by Jonathan Chang via Facebook.
“Booka cat playing with iPad — KORG iKaoissilator.”
I wonder if Luna would enjoy playing the iKaossilator on our iPad?
Submitted by Damien Olsen via our Facebook page.
“Even WonJai has inspiration issues once in a while.”
Every year on or around Earth Day, we at CatSynth dedicate a Weekend Cat Blogging posts to the endangered wild cats around the world.
Through the work of the International Society for Endangered Cats and their active Facebook page, we continue to be surprised by the diversity and beauty of the small wildcats, even while observing their similarities to our domestic companions. The bridge between the domestic and the wild is part of what makes these cats so endearing.
We start this year with the Scottish wildcat. A population of European wildcats was found in Scotland in 2012. They are critically endangered, numbering less than 100 according to the Scottish Wildcat Association.
Without immediate help, this subspecies – the last cat native to Britian – could go extinct this year! You can follow efforts to save the Scottish wildcat via the Scottish Wildcat Association and Highland Tiger.
The Asiatic Golden Cat lives in the tropical forests of southeast Asia. They are a bit bigger and more muscularly built than domestic cats.
They are considered “Near Threatened” or “Vulnerable” on the IUCN scale, largely because of deforestation and hunting. Sadly, there is a thriving illegal trade in their fur, bones and meat, and they are also considered a threat to livestock, which makes them vulnerable to being killed in reprisals.
The Caracal is quite distinctive in its appearance, with its large ear tufts. They are found widely throughout Africa and the Middle East.
Although not considered endangered, they are often persecuted for threatening livestock. Especially in southern Africa, caracal killings by farmers and ranchers has become all too common.
A perennial favorite of ours, the Black-footed Cat is among the smallest of wildcat species. ISEC is continuing their Black-footed Cat Project in South Africa in order to better understand this species.
The Arabian Leopard, which is found in various parts of the Arabian peninsula, is the smallest leopard subspecies and is considered critically endangered.
And of course, we have our own wildcats close to home. Bobcats can be found here in the Bay Area and throughout California.
The main threats to these cats are loss of habitat and fragmentation, especially in our larger more urbanized areas. Bobcats are also hunted for fur and sport (it is still legal in California).
Please visit the sites mentioned in this article to find out more about wildcats and wildcat conservation, and to support their efforts.
Today we look at back at the show “Noisy with a Chance of TEXT” that took place at the Turquoise Yantra Grotto in San Francisco earlier this month. The program of experimental music with textual elements intended to “break the ultimate taboo in noise: meaning” and featured performances by Pitta of the Mind (my duo with Maw Shein Win), Red Thread (CJ Borosque and Laurie Amat), and Pet the Tiger (David Samas and Peter Bonos). A secondary theme of the night was cats – with abundant animal print in the setting and attire of the participants.
The concert opened with an introductory set by Pet the Tiger, combining David Samas’ vocals and custom musical instruments with instrumental performance by Peter Bonos.
Their performance combined a wide variety of sounds into a short period of time, with experimental voice, instrumentation and electronics. It set the tone for the evening of sometimes complex music but also warm and inviting at the same time.
Next up was Red Thread, a duo of CJ Borosque and Laurie Amat.
The set started (and ended) with extended-technique trumpet and voice, but in between it was a very sparse and captivating presentation of CJ Borosque’s poetry. Throughout, there was a counterpoint between the straight recitation of the text and Laurie Amat’s virtuosic vocal techniques.
Then it was time for Pitta of the Mind to take the stage.
We took the animal-print theme quite seriously with our costumes, and Maw Shein Win read a selection of animal-themed poems while I performed music on a variety of iPad synthesizer apps. You can see our full performance in this video:
I particularly liked how well timed and structured the performance turned out, including the “cat piano” interludes. It was also great to see how much the audience got into the theme, meowing back at us. Afterwards, I was joined on stage by David Samas in an impromptu duo where he combined his extended vocal techniques with my improvisation on an analog modular synthesizer. It’s amazing how much Samas was able to “sound like a synth” with his voice. Again, you can see the full performance in the video below:
Overall, this was one of the most fun experimental-music shows I have participated in for a while. Not only was it strong musically, but we had a large and appreciative audience that packed the intimate space of the Turquoise Yantra Grotto. I certainly hope for more shows like this in the near future.