2-d plotting program, now distributed under the GPL. Used to be called Xmgr.

I have just started using it and my initall feeling is generally positive. It has a very nice GUI interface that allows fast plotting of multi-graph plots. The exciting thing about this program (unlike Super Mongo for example) is that it also has a command line interpreter. This makes the prospect of plotting shit loads of data not too daunting.

The homepage is now at
http://plasma-gate.weizmann.ac.il/Grace/

Documentation is still being written but there is quite a lot available at present.

Jeff Buckley's first (and only while he was alive) full-length album released in 1994 by Columbia records. An ecletic mixture of straight-up rock, indian tablas, dreamy flowing meandering guitars and that beautifully angellic voice of a choir-boy who can sing with real emotion. His voice has been described as similar to Van Morrison's in its amazing range and portrayal of feeling, but is a lot sweeter. For me, it is an album that is always highly emotive and emotional and has helped me through many an ugly breakup with its dwindling and resigned yearnings for love and lost love.

The album starts with the dream-like Mojo Pin, an obvious drug reference, in his own words "a euphenism for a dropper full of smack you stick in your arm". The floating, fluid guitar lines create a smack-dream-like atmosphere as his delicate voice floats atop. The song builds to a Led-Zeppelin-like crescendo as Buckley wails over the top. With lyrics such as "touch my skin to keep me whole" we realise from the onset that he is a deeply passionate and spiritual lover, and sets the ethereal and achingly lovelorn tone present through much of the album.

The next track, Grace, the true range and raw emotional power contained within his voice are revealed in this soaring track once again dealing with love and loss. It is one of the darker, moodier songs on the album, marking Buckley's penchant for writing and singing about death and sorrow: "And the rain is falling, and I believe my time has come, it reminds me of the pain I might leave behind."

Perhaps his most well-known track is to follow. The only single released off the album, Last Goodbye is a song of breaking up and lost love with a simple acoustic guitar progression overlaid with some lush strings. It also features a very catchy and classic rock bass line. The lyrics are about those feelings we have all felt at some stage during a breakup…like the feeling you get when you realize you’ve seen your lover for the last time, no matter how much you want to see them again. This is sort of the ‘obligatory rock ballad’ of the album, so as such it great, but not the greatest on the album.

Lilac Wine is the first of the cover songs on the album originally performed by James Shelton. Buckley's rendition is quiet and moody, he sings shakily in a voice tinged with pain as simple, quiet guitar chords and strings glide along behind him.

In So Real a haunting flanged guitar swirl in the background as Jeff recalls an outing with a former lover in a yearningly reminiscent tone. The near-breakdown into chaotic noise in the middle of the track represents the frustrated anger one feels shortly after the end of relationship and the wish it was still there.

What follows is perhaps the most spiritual song I have ever heard. This cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah is very simple. Jeff and a finger-picked guitar. Very, very effective and intricate guitar work lays the basis for Jeff’s soaring voice to almost bring us to tears. In my opinion, it is even better then the slightly monotonous original version. One of the most powerful moments on the album.

My personal favorite track, Lover, you should've come over is a hopelessly romantic song filled with yearning and lust. Jeff’s lyrics are tender and touching and backed by some very simple yet interesting chord changes. It continues the proclivity of the album towards death and all things somber, as he “looks out on the funeral mourners”. A lot of introspection is also present in the song; the kind you get when you are dumped and ask ‘was it all my fault? What could I have done differently?’ As the song builds to a heart-wrenching crescendo, Jeff wails and pines over the top in a touching and empathetic display of unrequited love (listened to this track a lot after my most recent breakup). Another one of the most powerful songs.

Corpus Christi Carol is a remake of an old hymn by Benjamin Britten. Buckley at his choirboy finest. Another track with just his quivering voice and a simple guitar motif behind it. Perhaps the weakest song on the album (in my opinion), but it still has its place. The angelic, innocent qualities of his voice are displayed in this one.

The most ‘rockingest’ track on the album, Eternal Life is an outburst at all things bad and evil in this world, such as "the man that shot Martin Luther King, World War II, slaughter in Guyana and the Manson murders." A Led Zeppelinesque guitar riff comes crashing down and Buckley wails lines such as “did you really think this bloody road would pave the way for you?” A fine rock tune, but not his best work.

The albums closer Dream Brother features Jeff playing a pulsating tabla amidst a swirling, lucid atmosphere created by the guitars that builds into a dreamy rock song. Very dreamlike and lucid.

Technically, this is a fantastic album. Many original and interesting ideas are put forward. Amazing guitar work, especially when you consider he played most of it while singing at the same time. He combines influences such as Van Morrison, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Led Zeppelin and others just as diverse into a very ecletic mix that is also injected with his own style. There are many interesting chords and chord progressions used throughout the album, such the one present throughout Lover, you should’ve come over. Although perhaps a tad over produced in parts, on the whole the production is great, with swirling string overlays, fluid guitars and solid bass and drums.

But the real strength of Buckley’s work lies in his truly amazing voice. Unequalled by anyone in recent times, the range and power it contains it as times mind-blowing. He goes from almost whispered, shimmering trembles to screaming, howling wails. And it is all packed with emotion. You can hear the pain and desire in his voice. His lyrics are tortured and heartfelt, and we can relate to them. He finds words for feelings we can’t articulate.

A defining album of the 90s.

Technical Notes:

  • Produced, engineered & mixed by Andy Wallace
  • "So Real" produced by Jeff Buckley, engineered by Clif Norrell, mixed by Andy Wallace
  • "Corpus Christi Carol" & "Dream Brother" additional engineering by Clif Norrell

Personnel:

Graduate Robot Attending ConferencE

GRACE is a 2-metre tall 135-kilogram drum-shaped robot with a digitally animated face displayed by a monitor on top of it, created by five academic, governmental, and industrial research groups led by Reid Simmons of Carnegie Mellon University that is competing in the Robot Challenge at the American Association of Artificial Intelligence's annual meeting for 2002 in Edmonton, Alberta. The challenge is that it must attempt a sign-in at the registration desk, find a conference room, give a speech, and answer questions. No entry has been able to complete the challenge in years past. GRACE is one of only two entries into the challenge this year (2002), and the only autonomous one. GRACE is equipped with laser and sonar systems to gauge distances and steer around obstacles, "biclops" cameras that watch hand gestures, microphones that use speech recognition software to listen to words spoken to it, and artificial intelligence to tell it how to react to its input. The robots laser systems could become a problem when it attempts to navigate the Shaw Conference Center, where the event is being held, because the glass walled elevators do not reflect the laser.

GRACE completed the mission in 55 minutes, although it had some difficulty minding its manners when interacting with humans, provoking several arguements with its guide.


info from http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/cybernews/story/0,1870,134249-1027893540,00.html and http://www.post-gazette.com/healthscience/20020725gracesciencep1.asp and http://www.canada.com/edmonton/edmontonjournal/story.asp?id={A5E572C8-6688-4CC9-A021-72D52C1CC50F}

Grace (?), n. [F. grace, L. gratia, from gratus beloved, dear, agreeable; perh. akin to Gr. to rejoice, favor, grace, Skr. hary to desire, and E. yearn. Cf. Grateful, Gratis.]

1.

The exercise of love, kindness, mercy, favor; disposition to benefit or serve another; favor bestowed or privilege conferred.

To bow and sue for grace With suppliant knee. Milton.

2. Theol.

The divine favor toward man; the mercy of God, as distinguished from His justice; also, any benefits His mercy imparts; divine love or pardon; a state of acceptance with God; enjoyment of the divine favor.

And if by grace, then is it no more of works. Rom. xi. 6.

My grace is sufficient for thee. 2 Cor. xii. 9.

Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound. Rom. v. 20.

By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand. Rom. v.2

3. Law (a)

The prerogative of mercy execised by the executive, as pardon.

(b)

The same prerogative when exercised in the form of equitable relief through chancery.

4.

Fortune; luck; -- used commonly with hard or sorry when it means misfortune.

[Obs.]

Chaucer.

5.

Inherent excellence; any endowment or characteristic fitted to win favor or confer pleasure or benefit.

He is complete in feature and in mind. With all good grace to grace a gentleman. Shak.

I have formerly given the general character of Mr. Addison's style and manner as natural and unaffected, easy and polite, and full of those graces which a flowery imagination diffuses over writing. Blair.

6.

Beauty, physical, intellectual, or moral; loveliness; commonly, easy elegance of manners; perfection of form.

Grace in women gains the affections sooner, and secures them longer, than any thing else. Hazlitt.

I shall answer and thank you again For the gift and the grace of the gift. Longfellow.

7. pl. Myth.

Graceful and beautiful females, sister goddesses, represented by ancient writers as the attendants sometimes of Apollo but oftener of Venus. They were commonly mentioned as three in number; namely, Aglaia, Euphrosyne, and Thalia, and were regarded as the inspirers of the qualities which give attractiveness to wisdom, love, and social intercourse.

The Graces love to weave the rose. Moore.

The Loves delighted, and the Graces played. Prior.

8.

The title of a duke, a duchess, or an archbishop, and formerly of the king of England.

How fares your Grace ! Shak.

9. Commonly pl.

Thanks.

[Obs.]

Yielding graces and thankings to their lord Melibeus. Chaucer.

10.

A petition for grace; a blessing asked, or thanks rendered, before or after a meal.

11. pl. Mus.

Ornamental notes or short passages, either introduced by the performer, or indicated by the composer, in which case the notation signs are called grace notes, appeggiaturas, turns, etc.

12. Eng. Universities

An act, vote, or decree of the government of the institution; a degree or privilege conferred by such vote or decree.

Walton.

13. pl.

A play designed to promote or display grace of motion. It consists in throwing a small hoop from one player to another, by means of two sticks in the hands of each. Called also grace hoop or hoops.

Act of grace. See under Act. -- Day of grace Theol., the time of probation, when the offer of divine forgiveness is made and may be accepted.

That day of grace fleets fast away. I. Watts.

-- Days of grace Com., the days immediately following the day when a bill or note becomes due, which days are allowed to the debtor or payer to make payment in. In Great Britain and the United States, the days of grace are three, but in some countries more, the usages of merchants being different. -- Good graces, favor; friendship. -- Grace cup. (a) A cup or vessel in which a health is drunk after grace. (b) A health drunk after grace has been said.

The grace cup follows to his sovereign's health. Hing.

-- Grace drink, a drink taken on rising from the table; a grace cup.

To [Queen Margaret, of Scotland] . . . we owe the custom of the grace drink, she having established it as a rule at her table, that whosoever staid till grace was said was rewarded with a bumper. Encyc. Brit.

-- Grace hoop, a hoop used in playing graces. See Grace, n., 13. -- Grace note Mus., an appoggiatura. See Appoggiatura, and def. 11 above. -- Grace stroke, a finishing stoke or touch; a coup de grace. -- Means of grace, means of securing knowledge of God, or favor with God, as the preaching of the gospel, etc. -- To do grace, to reflect credit upon.

Content to do the profession some grace. Shak.

-- To say grace, to render thanks before or after a meal. -- With a good grace, in a fit and proper manner grace fully; graciously. -- With a bad grace, in a forced, reluctant, or perfunctory manner; ungraciously.

What might have been done with a good grace would at least be done with a bad grace. Macaulay.

Syn. -- Elegance; comeliness; charm; favor; kindness; mercy. -- Grace, Mercy. These words, though often interchanged, have each a distinctive and peculiar meaning. Grace, in the strict sense of the term, is spontaneous favor to the guilty or undeserving; mercy is kindness or compassion to the suffering or condemned. It was the grace of God that opened a way for the exercise of mercy toward men. See Elegance.

 

© Webster 1913.


Grace (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Graced (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Gracing (?).]

1.

To adorn; to decorate; to embellish and dignify.

Great Jove and Phoebus graced his noble line. Pope.

We are graced with wreaths of victory. Shak.

2.

To dignify or raise by an act of favor; to honor.

He might, at his pleasure, grace or disgrace whom he would in court. Knolles.

3.

To supply with heavenly grace.

Bp. Hall.

4.

(Mus.) To add grace notes, cadenzas, etc., to.

 

© Webster 1913.

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