Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Tennessee Titan..

..may be ready for the next football season. And, no, I didn't accidentally omit the plural.

The Tennessee Titans (plural) are themselves in good shape but apparently "still  missing a few pieces here and there to be a really good team".  The same could be said for the Tennessee Titan, the ORNL DOE supercomputer.

Frank Munger reports that the remaining GPUs needed for the new system may be delivered in August-September - in time maybe for the new football season. The question remains as to whether Titan will win the Supercomputing Superbowl - the Top500 competition. We'll know the answer later on - maybe in time for the February Football Fiesta itself.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau

The German baritone Fischer-Dieskau, who just died aged 84, was best known for his work with German lieder and, among British, for his 1962 singing Britten's War Requiem in Coventry Cathedral, which had been destroyed by a bombing raid in World War II.

However, I remember him most for the 1968 Deutsche Grammophon recording of Carmina Burana by the Deutschen Oper Berlin conducted by Eugen Jochum. Fischer-Dieskau is rough and coarse in the drunken debauchery of  In Taberna, and gruff in the Abbot's song. But above all, smooth 'DiFi" radiates sensuality in Omnia sol temperat and Circa mea pectora:

"My heart sighs for your beauty and I am tortured.
Send a message! Send a message! My beloved does not come!
Your eyes shine like the rays of the sun, like a flash of lightning, giving light to darkness.
May the gods grant me what I have set myself to do,  to unlock the bonds of her virginity.
Send a message! send a message! My beloved does not come!"

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Monster Tornado - 25 miles from my house

A  hike along the Rabbit Creek Trail in the Smoky Mountains the other day. Hot it was indeed, but the heat was tempered by the shade from the tree cover omnipresent in the mountains of the Eastern Seabord...until, suddenly, surprisingly,... we were in fresh air, open, exposed (above). Every single tree uprooted or simply snapped.  This is where an monster EF4 tornado had hit on April 27th 2011, clearing a track a mile wide and 11 miles long (see below).

Here's what an EF4 did to a populated area (St. Louis, Missouri) a few days earlier:

And Knoxville TN? 
Well, the same storm that created the Rabbit Creek Monster damaged my roof, which I had to replace. 
And, no, the insurance didn't cough up the dough.  
Maybe it would take an EF4 to convince them?
Well, at least there's an educational side:  the Smoky Mountain EF4 dispels the myth that tornadoes never happen in mountains...