Monday, September 18, 2017

"4th Generation Nuclear Weapons": and these could matter right now

“EnigmaHood” gives us a 15-minute video “4th Generation Nuclear Weapons

The weapon with the spinning top from “Inception” in fact has an anti-matter trigger.  The basic concept is to replace fission triggers for the thermonuclear fusion, and anti-matter triggers would allow for extreme miniaturization (beyond even the “suitcase nukes” widely speculated after 9/11).
The  presentation gives a history of all generations of nuclear weapons, including 3rd (neutron and cobalt weapons). 

It’s possible that bunker-busting tactical nuclear weapons could be used against North Korean missile sites, or so it would sound from this video. 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

"The Blacklist: How an Underground Script List Changed Movies"

The Blacklist: How an Underground Script List Changed Movies”, a seven-minute short by Vox, explains The Blacklist.  No, that’s not the Blacklist that trapped Dalton Trumbo, nor is it the NBC series with Kevin Spacey.  This is a list of scripts, submitted to WGA (the Writer’s Guild West”) that have gone unnoticed, but occasionally somebody bothers to read some of them. 

Mel Gibson picks up “The Beaver”, a 2011 comedy by Kyle Killen, whose script had appeared on this “list”.

Other films that came from the Blacklist include “Argo” (Oct. 14, 2012) and “Juno” (2007).

You can look at some of Kyle’s blog posts, such as one in 2008 about the Blacklist and another one about personal embarrassment in Austin.

I have one script at WGA, a horror sci-fi script "Baltimore Is Missing" (2002), which means literally that.  A wormhole (caused by a rogue brown dwarf approaching the Solar System) consumes an Amtrak train approaching Baltimore as the protagonists (me) find themselves to be puppets in someone else's model railroad layout.  There's even a straight marriage of some sort, maybe something that would have satisfied Babbitt.  And there's one Wal-Mart in the layout.  Familiarity breeds contempt. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Hillary Clinton Interview Movie by Vox Media ("What Happened") .

Call this a movie if you like (51 minutes).

Ezra Klein of Vox media interviews Hillary Clinton about her book ("What Happened") which I will be reviewing on Wordpress soon.

Hillary talks about universal basic income in the beginning.

Later she says that the hard right wants a constitutional convention to make the government friendlier to business and to inculcate come elements of Christianity into public life, possibly to clamp down on gay rights (by inference).

She sticks to her guns on universal health care coverage.

She talks about the ironies of the Medicaid expansion and the Supreme Court's sabotage of it.

Hillary also mentioned Trump's playing the "zero sum game card", where Trump's base of supporters believe that advances by non-white or non-straight or non-male people came at their expropriated expense. 

Monday, September 11, 2017

"Gliese 710: The Star that Will Enter our Solar System"

Gliese 710: The Star that will Enter our Solar System”, by Anton Petrov, of What Da Math, presents a video diagram of the path of this star, a bit smaller than the Sun, that will pass less than one light year (actually 77 light days) from the Sun and Earth in about 1.35 million years.

The star would pass through the Earth’s Oort Cloud  and could deflect comets and asteroids, causing Tunguska like events (like the explosion over Siberia in 1908). The star could bring its own planets and Oort Cloud.  It would not approach closely enough to raise the temperature on Earth.

Wikipedia attribution link for Oort cloud diagram 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

"Can Jupiter Ever Become a Star?"

“Can Jupiter Ever Become a Star?”, short film by Anton Petrov.

60 masses would make a brown dwarf, which would be smaller in volume but denser.  It takes 78 masses to make a red dwarf star.

What’s more interesting is to wonder what Jupiter’s hydrogen ocean would “look like”, or, for that matter its layer of metallic hydrogen.

Remember how in “2010” Jupiter turns into a star. Not possible.  (See also July 30 post.) 

Wikipedia attribution link, NASA, p.d. 

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

"The Atomic Cafe": get ready to "duck and cover" again

With all the furor over North Korea, maybe this is an opportune time to recall the film “The Atomic Café” (1982), directed by Jayne Loader, Kevim Rafferty and Pierce Rafferty.  I remember seeing the film in Dallas in the 1980s at the Inwood Theater on Mockingbird Lane.

The documentary (86 min) is a collage of news reels, old aspect, black and white, about surviving a world of mutually assured destruction, particularly the inadequate and laughable “duck and cover” drills underneath desks in grade schools.

And, oh yes, there is a café somewhere in New Mexico called this.
The film seems to belong to Journeyman Pictures;  it originally came from Libra Films.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

"Mars One Way": five people who would enter their afterlives early

Would You Go to Mars If You Could Never Come Back to Earth”?  (short title “Mars One Way”), from Vita Brevis Films and NatGeo. 

Well, not if you have kids.  Once you go, you’re already in your afterlife.  One female would-be astronaut says she still has ten years to live it up, but then that last day here comes. 
But if you’re special (not just different) you might well go.