Sep 11 2005

Cordoba, Sevilla, Malaga… Oh My!

Sarah Marttunen

A bath under the palaceIf you didn’t notice, the site was down for a little bit but thanks to supersister things are back up and running. We have had some amazing adventures since our last update (which to us feels like months ago!). We went to Sevilla on Friday. It was beautiful. We saw the Cathedral & La Giralda (tower) and an ancient muslim palace called Alcázar. Both so different yet incredibly beautiful. The cathedral’s claim to fame is Christopher Columbus’ tomb. The structure is primarily gothic (check out the pics!). We climbed the bell tower which was cool and 34 ramps up. Very pretty view of the city.

Next we went to the palace. It was huge! There were some tapestries and tiles dating back to the 10th century, wow. There were some giant gardens attatched with a pretty little hedge maze.

Both these sites were incredible, but tough on the feet so afterward we sought solace at a cute patio cafe and had delicious prawns and salmoneja (our favourite dish in spain so far). We walked around the town a bit more and then head back to Cordoba.

Sarah in front of the Cathedral in SevillaThe next day we took the train from Cordoba to Málaga (Piccasso’s home town) for a beach day. Our first dip in the meditteranean Sea. In Málaga there was an ancient muslim city (Alcazaba), some parts nearly 2000 years old! We had a lot of fun exploring this old city. Unfortunately it isn’t kept as well as other sites we’ve seen. It was a hot day though, so in the afternoon we soaked up the sun at the beach and cooled off in the water. We wanted to try some of the seafood the city is known for, but by the time we got hungry it was 5pm and everything shuts down from 4-7… Spaniards eat at very different times than us we are discovering!

We are now in Granada our last stop in Andalucia. Tonight we are spending our first night in a tent! We’re staying at a campground just on the city limits that is really more of a hotel where you sleep in tents (: Swimming pool, tennis courts, laundry, restaurant, supermarket, a trillion showers and lots and lots of trees. Tomorrow we go and see Alhambra, a muslim fortress in the 11th century. Apparently one of the most magnificant buildings on the continent. It was the capital of the last muslim kingdom in Spain.

On Tuesday we take our first night train to Valencia here we will visit the Balearic islands. Very excited!

We’ve posted more pictures so check them out.

Aug 6 2005

Flash MP3 Player

Jeffrey Larson

In certain cases, playing music on websites can be good. I know that some people think that adding a soundtrack to your personal website gives it that little bit of extra distinction… but when I come across those sites I usually end up turning off the sound because it gets annoying.

Since websites are about communicating content to viewer, some of that content could be sound bytes or music. A band’s website for instance, should probably have some way to allow the users to hear their latest track.

The most common way to ’embed’ music into a website is by using Macromedia Flash (I won’t go near the alternatives). Flash is mainstream, it comes installed in almost all web browsers, so it makes compatibility easy.

Flash supports a couple of different ways to play audio: embedding the audio files right in the ‘swf’ files as well as playing external files. There are a few Flash based MP3 players which use an external XML file to load the audio from a (possibly dynamic) list of tracks. I found a pretty cool player that Jeroen Wijering has created.
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Jul 26 2005

The Art of Breaking

Jeffrey Larson

For those of you who have never heard of Thousand Foot Krutch, they are one killer hardcore band. They sound like tight rhythm, they strum rock and sing truth. TFK is from Toronto Ontario. I know they played at YC this past May, although I had to miss it much to my displeasure.

Their new album has just been released. “The Art of Breaking” (

You can listen to 7 of the tracks from the album on the website. Sounds pretty good no?

I first heard of TFK from my friend Matthew Bonthoux. He told me a couple tracks to check out and I dug them. Those were off their first album which wasn’t easy to get because it was on an independant label. There bigger label release was Phenomenon which rocks. I have yet to get out and purchase this new album, but I’m gonna make sure I do. Thanks Matt for sharing TFK with me.

Jun 10 2005

Vertical Horizon : Go

Jeffrey Larson

Album Cover: Go by Vertical HorizonVertical Horizon is my favourite band right now. I just love listening to all their stuff, the driving guitars mixed up with acoustic guitars. Oh and always with the beautiful harmonies, I can’t not sing along when I hear certain songs.

I bought the “Go” album by Vertical Horizon when I was in Malaysia. I remember sliding it into my Discman and walking down the streets of Kuala Lumpur… as I listened I couldn’t help but smile and I felt like running around and jumping up and down, that’s how excited I was to hear such great music.

You should really listen to some of their stuff. I just wish they were coming out with another album sometime soon.