June 27th, 2004

default, pepper

Speakers of doom

I've been thinking off and on for months of replacing the speakers that I have connected to my computer. It's not that the speakers I have are bad -- they're Roland MA-8's, little powered mini-monitors that you can usually only get in music stores, not computer stores. The problem is that little speakers, no matter how good, can only get so much bass. My computer is essentially my "room entertainment center"; there's simply not the space to set up my old stereo. If I'm listening to music it's via iTunes. I've watched DVDs this way.

So really it makes sense for me to get a full set of speakers for the Mac. But I hate to take a step backwards from something I already own. It's easy to find speakers that drop down past the MA-8's seemingly mediocre 80 Hz, but the Rolands aren't just cheap speakers, they're cheap monitors, designed for accurate, clear musical reproduction. So I wanted to get something that would add the bass without compromising everything above 80 Hz. And as much as I was attracted to the idea of the digital surround computer speakers in vogue now (the G5's onboard audio has digital in/out), they'd have the same "where do I put them" problem that my old stereo did. So it was two-channel sound for me.

After a lot of waffling, I settled on the GMX A-2.1 speakers from Klipsch. (From the outside it looks like I make expensive impulse buys, but that's because people don't see the months of research I go through before I suddenly go let's do it.) Klipsch may be the best name in speakers to get into computer audio. They certainly have some of the most unusual-looking satellite speakers, too, which I appreciate. They look like they need a gray-scale lava lamp behind them.

I bought the speakers yesterday after doing some more on-foot exploration of downtown San Jose, and visiting an amazingly cool apartment complex simply named "33 South Third" -- why is it cool, you may ask? Because it's a sort of industrial deco style that actually carries through the building rather than just the facade. It's one of the few new apartment complexes I've seen built with some sense of character. It's behind, and even slightly wraps around, a historic theatre that's now the Improv comedy club. They turned the stark brick and concrete back of the theatre into something of an art installation itself, with a small, wide waterfall at its base. Part of the space in the complex is going to be used as an art gallery. A really conscious effort to go after the bohemian-with-money demographic? You bet. But also really effective.
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default, pepper

It must be true, I read it on the internet!

I keep seeing the following in people's journals:

98% of the teenage population has tried pot. If you're part of the 2% that hasn't, copy this into your journal.

Where's this 98% coming from, guys? The National Institute for Drug Abuse, which one doubts would be inclined to underestimate usage, reports:

The percentage of youth age 12 to 17 who had ever used marijuana declined slightly from 2001 to 2002 (21.9 to 20.6 percent). Among adults age 18 to 25, the rate increased slightly from 53.0 percent to 53.8 percent in 2002. The percentage of young adults age 18 to 25 who had ever used marijuana was 5.1 percent in 1965, but increased steadily to 54.4 percent in 1982. Although the rate for young adults declined somewhat from 1982 to 1993, it did not drop below 43 percent and actually increased to 53.8 percent by 2002.

So speaking roughly, about half of teenagers have ever used marijuana.

I don't usually go out of my way to take pot shots (no pun intended) at a meme, and the "put this in your journal if you've never used marijuana" half is fine. But this isn't a quiz meme, it's a factoid meme, and the factoid is wrong.

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