Color Organs – Prismatic Glass

There must be some folks like myself still alive and old enough to remember a device popular in the 1970’s called a Colour (for some reason my spell checker only likes the English version) Organ.  It consisted of a box with light bulbs that were modulated to sound (usually music) behind prismatic glass so that colourful (spell checker again) patterns that flashed with the music.


Some were single channel using one colour, often an intense green, and others were multi-channel where they’d assign red to bass, yellow or green to mid-range, and blue to high frequencies.


Back then LEDs of significant brightness didn’t exist so incandescent lamps were used, usually 120V which required triacs and complicated driver circuitry.


I thought it would be cool to make a modern version, one could create many more channels using a DSP and a fast Fourier transform to separate the audio into many more channels and then simple driver transistors and low voltage DC to power bright LEDs of colours across the visible spectrum.


But, an essential component, prismatic glass, with a sufficiently small pattern to create a good display seems difficult to locate.  Home Depot and Lowe’s seem to carry only a prismatic plexiglass and the pattern is to large and plain to be useful.

It’s Such a Beautiful Day

I stumbled across a film on Netflix that I felt was worth bringing to peoples attention, it’s entitled, “It’s Such a Beautiful Day”.  It is done with line animations and strange photography and it’s convoluted and strange but it does a very good job of showing why it’s important to be in the here and now and notice what’s going on around us and enjoy our relationships, in spite of the transient nature of our relationships and our lives.  Don’t give up on it in the first five minutes, it will make sense as time goes on and is worth the wait.

“Rights” = Stolen Culture

The recent take-down of Pirate Bay is another example of oligarchy rule, specifically people making billions off of other peoples labour.

What MPAA, RIAA, and other “rights” groups have done is stolen our culture so they can sell it back to us.  There was a time when people made music and shared it with each other for the sheer joy of doing so, same for acting out plays.

Today, recordings, video, and film, provide a technological means to share with a much larger audience.  I’m not opposed to artists getting paid, and I’m not opposed to the costs of distribution being paid for, however, these rights organizations keep 99% of the income they derive from sales and give less than 1% to the artists.  Basically they are just giving the artists a pittance so they have an excuse to rape the rest of us.

I remember when mp3’s first came out, the music industry was telling us all it would be the end of music, the rampant piracy would make it impossible for artists to get paid (like that was their real concern), and people would stop making music.  Instead, the opposite happened, the variety, quality, and availability of music exploded.

One of the problems with the industry is that they’ll only promote artists that are willing to be screwed and sign for a totally garbage contract.  So instead of getting interesting music we get belly button girls.

Music and films are so much a part of our culture, that these groups that charge ridiculous fees and then give so little of it to artists are nothing more than common thieves, yet they control congress and pass laws that allow them to use our government for their thievery.  Folks, pay attention to what your misrepresentatives vote for and don’t support corporate thievery.