Archive for November, 2013

East Anglia and the Revolution

Those who had settled New England came largely from Eastern counties of England. They built their houses in the East Anglian style, and named their towns after their ancestral homes: Hertford and Cambridge, Boston and Billerica. The English counties that they left behind became the heartland of the Parliamentary cause in the 1640s, Cromwell’s Eastern Association.

When the fighting started in England, the New England Puritans began streaming back across the Atlantic to take up arms alongside their cousins. A majority of Harvard graduates in the year 1642 saw action with the Roundheads.

This quote, from Daniel Hannan’s The New Road to Serfdom makes complete sense to me. I lived in East Anglia for a while in 2005, and one thing that struck me is just how similar the native cultural intuitions seemed. (Even to the point that the stereotypes used to tar the East Anglians were strikingly similar to those employed against Americans at times, but that’s perhaps a separate post.) There is a particular strain of populist, libertarian DNA that ties Robert Kett and his followers to the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street. Those of us who fancy ourselves as occupying some Legrangian point between the two modern American extremes might profit from examining the individualistic, voluntary foundation that Hannan identifies in common between parliamentarian Britain and (little-r) republican America.

The amazing Josy Carver tears it up to some electroswing:

“Now I’m here, freezin’ and hard”

I’m really digging Bikini Daze, the new EP from MØ. I like that this track, “Dark Night”, strikes a nice balance between the anthemic club pop side of her sound and the softer, more fragile sound she displays on tracks like “Freedom (#1)”.

“Narcos in Columbia”

I love that New Wave seems incapable of shame. Even the most over-the-top themes and composition are played off totally straight. So if, as in the case of Peter Hughes, you want to do a theme album about mid-20th-century F-1 racer Juan Manuel Fangio coming back from the dead with vengeance on his mind, New Wave will welcome you with open arms. Peter Hughes is perhaps better known for his work with The Mountain Goats and Nothing Painted Blue, but his two solo albums really ought to garner more praise and attention.

I here direct your attention to the lead track off Fangio, “My God is an Angry God (Juan Manuel Fangio Castiga los Pecados del Mundo)”:

Pretty damned groovy, yes? The rest of the album is equally as well versed in hooky, synth-laden New Wave goodness.

I think one thing that helps the album is that Peter Hughes, often credited as Peter Peter Hughes, is genuinely passionate about cars. He has a relationship with his Saab 900 SPG (the very one in the video above) is the subject of several essays and much coverage from car and music blogs alike. I think that passion really comes through with songs like “Los Viejós” and “Edwardian Grey”. The latter, especially, gives an explicitly romantic feel Hughes/Fangio’s affection for their automobile.

I recommend the album highly, especially for fans of New Wave, theme albums, fast cars, or any combination thereof.

A Glitch in the Matrix

A rare sighting of a Google Streetview Car, as captured by the Google Streetview Car:

Google Streetview Car, copyright Google Streetview

“I’ve gotta forget you somehow”

I fell into a bit of a nostalgia pit this evening, after discovering a bunch of CDs of turn-of-the-millenium Eastern Washington bands. In between ripping albums from the Stoics and Loudermilk, I stumbled across this gem on YouTube:

Mu Meson, “Girl”

“You’ll be the victim of your own dirty tricks”

The Long Winters cover Elliott Smith’s “Pictures of Me” at the Neptune, 2013.11.8.

“The British army is waiting out there / and it weighs 1500 tons”

Relevant to an Upcoming Post…

…A. C. Newman’s cover “Take On Me”.

Android StrictMode Violation not closing URLConnections

So a few times when doing HTTP work on Android, I’ve run into StrictMode Violations (SMVs hereafter) for closeable resources not being closed/finalized. An example stacktrace (yanked from this bug) looks something like this:

E/StrictMode(23606): A resource was acquired at attached stack trace but never released. See for information on avoiding resource leaks.
    E/StrictMode(23606): java.lang.Throwable: Explicit termination method 'close' not called
    E/StrictMode(23606):    at
    E/StrictMode(23606):    at org.apache.harmony.xnet.provider.jsse.OpenSSLSocketImpl.startHandshake(
    E/StrictMode(23606):    at org.apache.harmony.xnet.provider.jsse.OpenSSLSocketImpl.getSession(
    E/StrictMode(23606):    at org.apache.http.conn.ssl.AbstractVerifier.verify(
    E/StrictMode(23606):    at org.apache.http.conn.ssl.SSLSocketFactory.createSocket(
    E/StrictMode(23606):    at org.apache.http.impl.conn.DefaultClientConnectionOperator.openConnection(
    E/StrictMode(23606):    at
    E/StrictMode(23606):    at
    E/StrictMode(23606):    at org.apache.http.impl.client.DefaultRequestDirector.execute(
    E/StrictMode(23606):    at org.apache.http.impl.client.AbstractHttpClient.execute(
    E/StrictMode(23606):    at org.apache.http.impl.client.AbstractHttpClient.execute(
    E/StrictMode(23606):    at org.apache.http.impl.client.AbstractHttpClient.execute(
    E/StrictMode(23606):    at org.mozilla.gecko.Favicons$LoadFaviconTask.downloadFavicon(
    E/StrictMode(23606):    at org.mozilla.gecko.Favicons$LoadFaviconTask.doInBackground(
    E/StrictMode(23606):    at org.mozilla.gecko.Favicons$LoadFaviconTask.doInBackground(
    E/StrictMode(23606):    at android.os.AsyncTask$
    E/StrictMode(23606):    at java.util.concurrent.FutureTask$Sync.innerRun(
    E/StrictMode(23606):    at
    E/StrictMode(23606):    at java.util.concurrent.ThreadPoolExecutor.runWorker(
    E/StrictMode(23606):    at java.util.concurrent.ThreadPoolExecutor$
    E/StrictMode(23606):    at

Unfortunately I can’t post exact stack traces that I’ve run into, since these issues were in the context of work.

The basic reason for many of these SMVs on Android is that Android, by default, uses HTTP keep-alive, meaning that some of the underlying resources (e.g. sockets) are kept open. I think that the strictmode violations are caused when the connection objection leaves scope, the garbage collector eventually cleans up the resources and, in so doing, finalizes some weak references and triggers the SMV. Whatever the exact underlying cause is, the proximate fix is to override Android’s default keep-alive behavior for any connections that don’t require it. This can be done by setting a request property on the connection before you connect, like so:

HttpUrlConnection conn = url.openConnection;
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Magic Blue Smoke

House Rules:

1.) Carry out your own dead.
2.) No opium smoking in the elevators.
3.) In Competitions, during gunfire or while bombs are falling, players may take cover without penalty for ceasing play.
4.) A player whose stroke is affected by the simultaneous explosion of a bomb may play another ball from the same place.
4a.) Penalty one stroke.
5.) Pilsner should be in Roman type, and begin with a capital.
6.) Keep Calm and Kill It with Fire.
7.) Spammers will be fed to the Crabipede.