Sept 11, 2022


Recently, I had an short article published in the British Columbia Field Ornithologist newsletter — a reflection on my involvement on urban breeding Glaucous-winged Gulls here in Vancouver. Click here or on the image below for a link to the PDF.

I was also fortunate enough to have some of my photographs posted on Dr. Jerry Coyne‘s website Why Evolution is True. The first was a collection of photos of Glaucous-winged Gull chicks and the second my foray into learning about the bees and wasps in my backyard.


Myrmecophilidae, also know as ant-loving crickets, are a rare genus of cricket that has evolved to live entirely in the nests of ants. Through evolutionary adaptation to their specialized lifestyle, they’ve lost their wings, as well as their ability to make or hear sound. There is sparse information online about them, with one of the best sources being on Antwiki (an outstanding source for information on ants of the world.)

From what I can glean, some species fool their ant hosts into thinking they are ant larvae and are fed directly by the ants on nursery duty. They must also mimic or co-opt the chemical signature of the ant colony so they aren’t attacked or expelled by their hosts. At least a dozen Ph.D. theses waiting to be written on these mysterious little insects, although given their rarity and lifestyle, it would be a frustrating and challenging venture. Regardless, they are one more astounding reminder of the myriad of strategies for life that has evolved in at least 3.77 billion years since our planet came alive.

Photo by Karim Strohriegl, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons


The Animal Translators – An engaging article in the New York Times about the rapid rise of sophistication in bio-acoustics due to the use of machine learning algorithms.

I recently finished reading Empire of Ants: The Hidden Worlds and Extraordinary Lives of Earth’s Tiny Conquerors by Susanne Foitzik & Olaf Fritsche. No doubt an informative and engaging book about ants, although I felt at times it was trying a little too hard to be charming.


In the mid-to-late 1990s, a generation of kids influenced by rave, acid house, and techno started pushing the bounds of computer and music technology. They ushered in what I consider the golden age of electronic music. While a handful of artists reached a modicum of mainstream attention, countless albums went relatively unnoticed, spread only by word of mouth or a lucky spontaneous CD purchase.

Released in 1997, Lunatic Harness by µ-Ziq (aka Mike Paradinas) is one of those hidden gems. The album ventures over extensive musical territory: from joyously playful to frenetically ecstatic to eerily brooding. In an echo of Charlie Daniels’ The Devil Went Down to Georgia, Mike Paradinas reached a level of percussion programming on this album that would have the Devil lay down his golden drum machine and walk away in shame.

For the 25th anniversary of the original album, Planet Mu re-released the original 13 track album along with related singles, remixes, and miscellanea: Lunatic Harness – 25th Anniversary Edition

Until next time, get outside and pay attention…

June 26, 2022


Bush Tucker Man is an utterly mesmerizing Australian TV series from the late 1980s that follows Les Hiddins as he travels through remote areas and demonstrates how to find bush tucker — forage wild foods — in inhospitable environments.

I find it remarkable in the respect and indebtedness Mr. Hiddins gives to the Aboriginal people of Australia, as well as the the understated editing. I can only imagine how frenetic and unnecessarily dramatic a contemporary version of this program would be.

Unfortunately, it seems only the first three episodes of the first season are available. Also, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation doesn’t allow video embedding, so you’ll have to follow the link:

Bush Tucker Man on Youtube


  • Putting Time In Perspective – It’s all too easy to become fixated and trapped by our myopic experience of time. This humorous and eye-opening exploration breaks down our regular human measurements and makes the vast spans of time slightly less abstract.


Tabula Rasa


Recently I found myself in the postmodern-Roman Colosseum of the Vancouver Public Library rummaging around the botany section. Through the electric hum and drone masquerading as silence, I heard the unmistakable sound of aggressive mumbling. I emerged from the beige aisle to see a frustrated man at a public computer terminal, scrolling through the comments of a Youtube video — obviously not pleased with what he was reading.

Who knows what grudges and sociopolitical dramas were unfolding on the 6th floor of the Vancouver Public Library that day. Maybe he had every right to be irritated by the comments. But it got me reflecting on both the toxicity of our comment culture and my own relationship with the disturbing entity we call the Internet.



I have no good explanation why, but lately I’ve been fascinated by Qawwali music, and so I’ve been listening to the great Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the king of kings of Qawwali. Live at WOMAD 1985 has been playing on repeat.

I can’t quite trace the breadcrumbs of how I learnt about Zulfiqar Ali Loond, a Pakistani multi-instrumentalist who won a national award but can only be heard in a few amateur videos on youtube. Regardless, enjoy…

Tunguska revisited

“Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it.”

André Gide

Today sees the re-release of my second (and so far final) album under my 833-45 moniker: Tunguska.

I was both flattered and surprised to hear it described as “a record like no other in contemporary electronic music.”

I’m grateful to Notype for the support with both this re-release and with my music in general throughout the years.

Listening to Tunguska now, I hear an ominous foreboding of the Sixth Extinction which most of us were only barely aware of at the time I composed it around 2001. The path we’re on now makes the devastation of the Tunguska event seem quaint by comparison.

While the album is available for download under a pay what you want model. If you do listen to it and enjoy it, consider making a donation to a conservation organization of your choice.


R. Murray Schafer, a Canadian composer, author, educator, and pioneer of acoustic ecology passed away recently.

Many years ago I stumbled into acoustic ecology when I was studying at SFU, and promptly switched my major. Although I never met Mr. Schafer, his book The Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and the Tuning of the World was revelatory — an astonishing read that roiled with ideas I’d never considered.

A 2009 short film by David New serves as a brief introduction of some of R. Murray Schafer’s ideas:

Solar Cycle 23

“I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.” — John Cage

Solar Cycle 23

Today, NoType is re-releasing an album of electronic music I recorded over twenty years ago. Solar Cycle 23 is an album of noisy, minimal electronic music based primarily on shortwave radio recordings I made. You can listen to or download Solar Cycle 23 for free or by donation.