Ray Rainwater RIP

It’s been busy and I’ve fallen behind on posting anything new lately. It’s been a mixed month of good news and bad. The bad news was hearing that Ray Rainwater had died. While not totally unexpected, one never likes to lose a friend. In this case a friend Susan and I knew only through the Internet. Our paths crossed doing genealogical research on the Rainwater family and we’ve corresponded with Ray frequently over the last couple of years. We’d talked about making the trip to Alaska to meet him and he had hoped to make the trip to Dallas at one point as well. Neither happened in time.

He used to send me reminders when I hadn’t updated my weblog in a while (it’s always nice to know somebody actually reads this thing!) and often offered interesting, related anecdotes from his life. When I wrote about my feelings the morning after 9/11, he was reminded of his reaction to the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Whether discussing current events or the specs of the latest digital cameras, there was always something interesting in his emails. He and Susan frequently discussed genealogical mysteries. He will be missed.

There’s been some good news this month as well. Business continues to pick up and there really do seem to be signs of an economic recovery going on. In what spare time I have, we’ve started a major reorganization of the ODP Robotics categories and have already double the size of the category. Meanwhile, after a week or so of downtime, ODP finally installed the new servers for the public side of the site. The new server for the editor site is also up and this week they’re replacing the server that runs the internal forums. The new ODP servers run Linux instead of Solaris and the proprietary forum software has been replaced with GPL’d software. So we’re one tiny step closer in the quest to run the Open Directory Project on Open software.

Don Davis vs Philip Glass

I submitted a question for a recent Don Davis interview on the Music from the Movies website. Unlike the occasional interview questions I submit on Slashdot, this one was actually used. I asked about the similarities between his music for The Matrix Reloaded and recent Philip Glass compositions (in particular his soundtrack for Naqoyqatsi which also had some Matrix-like visual effects). He didn’t think there were any similarities but then went on to say his work was more like that of John Adams or Steve Reich, two other well known minimalists. So I think that means he admits to being heavily influenced by minimalism but he doesn’t want his work to be seen as being derivative of Glass, who also does a lot movie soundtracks. There are some other interesting questions in the interview but roughly half of them are just variations on the question of whether or not it was easy for a modern composer like Davis to work with a techno/electronica group like Juno.