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There is no radio address this week, or the first weekend in 2014, due to the holidays. In lieu of a creative monologue, I’m here to deliver a short meta-report — something I do not more than once per year — and an announcement, or perhaps a quasi-announcement…really just more like a simple, cryptic heads-up.

Creatively speaking, Howell Creek Radio will be going in a bit of a new direction in 2014. I’ve already left several clues, and I’ll leave it to you to figure it out as it happens.

Mention is made of a blog post with technical notes about recent updates to the podcast: stay tuned, it’ll be up within the next day or two.

If you have headphones on, you can clearly hear the atmospheric background music “Leviathan” by Z. D. Smith. It’s currently my favourite audio for thinking, tinkering, and producing: an ethereal yet crunchy digital mystery; the lightless, calming cacophony of the ocean floor and the relentless machinations of an artificial intelligence. You should really get your own copy at — it’s name-your-own-price, and the rest of the tracks are free. I’m not getting anything for this, in fact he doesn’t even know I’m doing this, and I just hope he doesn’t mind.

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Radio address for December 21, 2013, about the affinity I feel for a cat at work that is, for the time being, both alive and dead.

Very prominent mention is made of “Schrödinger’s Cat” — read all the details on Wikipedia, for starters. It seems likely that quantum mechanics is right about small systems existing simultaneously as a superposition of two states correct even though in reality the cat would actually be dead or alive long before you opened the box (hint: the Geiger counter is itself an observer).

There is also the obvious problem that the cat would make an ungodly racket.

Artistic Depiction of the impossibility of Schrödinger's Cat
An artistic interpretation of the impossibility of Schrödinger’s Cat. By Jie Qi (CC license).

Cartoon of Schrödinger's Cat
Read more about the many appearances of Schrödinger’s Cat in popular culture

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Radio address for December 14, 2013. We tend to place a bit of our power into things: trees, books, jewels, bullets and hats. Lose one of these talismans, and you are put to a world of trouble to get it back again.

I never really thought I’d write about the experience of losing my wedding ring, but the time seems to have come when I can talk about it reasonably. Not long after it happened, encouraged by stories such as this one, I tried posting on some treasure hunting boards, and a couple of people said they’d look but ultimately I never heard back.

The second loss (not talked about in the audio): As mentioned at the tail end of the episode, there was another time when I actually lost my second ring too: it went missing for a few months. One day my mom shows up at my door with the ring: it had been found under their piano, looking like this:

My ring, as found: squished

The jeweler was able to restore it to its original condition, and in the process reduce it by a half size, making it a little less likely that I’ll ever have to live through this again.

The Second Ring restored

This address’s extremely appropriate and well-placed music cues are:

  • The Blue World from Lady in the Water by James Newton Howard
  • Wow, from Finding Nemo, by Thomas Neumann
  • Treasure, from Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by Alberto Inglesias — “…those wanings of power, which are the inevitable result of old age…”
  • …blended seamlessly into One Ring to Rule Them All, from Fellowship Of The Ring, by Howard Shore
  • and ending with The Grey Havens, also by Howard Shore, from The Return of the King

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Radio address for December 7, 2013: a glimpse into everything, everywhere, all at once.

Mention is made of the living, breathing digital experience The Aleph: Infinite Wonder / Infinite Pity created by David Hirmes, and the short story on which it is based. There is also a reading of 0016. Similarity from my in-progress ebook, Noise of Creation, which I promise is still in-progress.

The musical dimension for this episode is by Z.D. Smith, who I met through his ideas and writings on You can listen and download the music at his website,

Bill Watterson drew this strip about what it’s like to suddenly see both sides of an argument.

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