Philosophia Ritornata

July 9, 2014

“The effort of art is to keep what is interesting in existence, to recreate it in the eternal.”
~  George Santayana


Welcome to the first post on the new home for The Philosopher’s Spoon Blog!

If you have been following the blog recently, you know that a few weeks ago I discovered that the hosting service I had been using since the start of The Philosopher’s Spoon Blog in 2010 would soon be discontinued.  I had to quickly find a new host and rebuild the blog at its new home.  I know the appearance of the blog is slightly different and will take some getting used to, but I think this new look is a good reminder that, although change can be uncomfortable at times, it can also be inspirational.  The road-blocks life puts in our way often guide us down a path not traveled, offering us new perspectives, opportunities and ideas.  And, on that note…

If something old is no longer working, don’t discard it, make something new out of it!

When Compact Disc (CD) audio recordings came on the scene in the 80s, they quickly took over as the format of choice for the music industry and most of the listening public.  The die-hard fans of vinyl were reduced to record collectors, club DJs and turntable artists.  “Vinyl is dead” proclaimed the media and the public proceeded to repurchase their entire record collections on CD.

Skip ahead to today.  Digital downloads, like those offered by iTunes, have taken over as the format of choice.  CDs have been declared “dead”, as more and more music listeners are streaming and downloading music to their smartphones and computers.

Enter London musician Alexander Kolkowski.  In a beautiful example of karmic irony, he is re-engineering old CDs so that they play like 45 rpm vinyl records.  Using a modified version of  a 1950s home recording device called the Wilcox-Gay Recordette, Kolkowski cuts grooves into the CD’s surface, making it playable on a turntable.  By connecting an input device to the Recordette, such as a microphone, Kolkowski can record any sound or voice onto the CD.

The recording process works via an electronic signal that the modified Wilcox-Gay Recordette sends from the input device to a needle at the end of an arm, which then cuts sound grooves onto the CD.  It’s like an old-fashioned record player in reverse: the arm and needle of the turntable are carving the sounds into the record, instead of playing it back (however, the original content of the CD becomes unreadable in the process).

This makes discarded CDs into blank canvases on which to create and preserve sound art.  Kolkowski has been touring Europe, recording spontaneous spoken word, music and electronic performances using his new technique.  Said the musician, “It’s transforming a disposable media storage device made for cloned copying into a one-of-a-kind cult object.”

Kolkowski’s CD-Recycled 45 rpm project is repurposing CDs into records for free while on the road.  He has even recorded marriage proposals: “People bring a CD and I give them one in return.”  The CD project is one of many the musician/artist is doing on retooling, recycling and recreating sound devices, including installations at the Science Museum and the Royal College of Music in London.

So don’t be so quick to throw out something that seems obsolete.  At some point, everything old becomes new again.


Put a new spin on your usual pie with Sunny Side Up Pizza.


Sunny Side Up Pizza
Fried eggs, cheese and chives dress up a ready-to-top pizza crust for a delicious brunch, lunch or dinner.

1 (10-inch) ready to top packaged pizza crust
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup shredded organic mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh chives
3 to 4 organic eggs
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Optional: 2 to 3 pieces of crispy-cooked bacon, crumbled

Preheat oven (according to package directions for crust)

Rub olive oil over surface of pizza crust.  Sprinkle cheeses over surface evenly.  Sprinkle chives over surface evenly.

Bake according to package directions for crust.

While pizza cooks, fry eggs sunny side up (runny), over medium or over hard, according to your taste.  Season with pepper.

Pull pizza from oven when cheese is browned and bubbly and crust is golden (I like to cook mine halfway on a tray and then move directly to rack to crisp the crust).

Top pizza with cooked egg and, if desired, crumbled bacon.  Serve hot.

Serves one person as a meal, two as an appetizer.




5 Responses to “Philosophia Ritornata”

  1. Elke

    Thank the gods you are back.! Don’t eva leave us again

  2. Catherine (Caterina) Del Russo

    I like your new website. Brava!

  3. Jordania

    So glad to see the inspirational and transformative continuation of this beloved blog!

  4. Marie

    “Welcome back, Your dreams were your ticket out Welcome back to that same old place that you laughed about” Sincerely happy to see the blog up and running again. Sunny side up pizza- could the egg cook on the pizza or would that just mess up the pizza cooking time?

  5. Gina

    Marie, Catherine, Jordania, Elke,
    Sorry it took me awhile to approve these; the comment notifications were all in my spam folder! I guess my email didn’t recognize the new WP address 🙂 Anyway, thank you all sooo much for your welcome back greetings!! You made my week!

    Marie, I think one would need a proper, super-hot pizza oven or the broiler to cook the egg from raw on top of the pizza. If you give it a try, let me know how it works. I tend to not like super-runny eggs so I just cooked mine before.