Sunday, December 04, 2016

"10 Strongest Signs of Alien Life and Aliens"


Time for another short film: “10 Strongest Signs of Alien Life and Aliens”, on Be Amazed:



The “WOW” signal in 1977 has never occurred again, but the narrator mentions a repeating signal said to be from another galaxy, over 5 billion light years away.  He doesn’t mention the possible signal from Tabby’s Star, 1450 light years away, that could indicate a Dyson’s Sphere.
 
He argues that methane could argue for some primitive life on Mars surviving underground, and for the likelihood of an underground ocean on Europa (which was to be left alone in Arthur C. Clarke;’s 2010, when Jupiter turned leprous and into a sun). He doesn’t mention my favorite place, Titan.
The argument that organic materials and some pre-DNA have been found on meteorites is interesting,

The testimony of astronauts sounds interesting.


One other argument he could make:  on Earth, convergent evolution has produced two creatures with about the same intellect in separate envrionments: man, and the orca or klller whale (and other dolphins), so intelligent as to be regarded as “non human persons” potentially needing the protection of the law and actual rights.  Super-intelligence and sentience or consciousness may be a naturally developed component of the universe that counter entropy. The orca is pretty much an alien intelligence on our own planet whose language we should be able to crack.

Wonder, too, if just one teenager had the "powers" (like instant self-teleportation or "speed") of a young Clark Kent in "Smallville", would that men that he or she was an alien?  What would his or her legal rights be?  Donald Trump likes winners  (for "The Apprentice")-- and some day that could make him confront his own fetish on immigration -- from beyond.

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Friday, November 25, 2016

"Why Are Today's People So Much Taller than Historically?"



Today I Found Out” is an interesting series of shorts, and I found “Why Are Today’s People So Much People than Historically?



The average height for males in the US is 69 inches, and the country with the tallest people now is the Netherlands (just over 72 in).  The narrator attributes increase in height to better nutrition and fewer diseases.  Whatever the morality of the situation in the early USW (slavery), the system of large privately owned land holdings improved the quality and quantity of food production relative to population (a typical libertarian argument).
 
Humans are wired genetically to benefit from height up to about 72-74 inches, and above that, excess height (however attractive) can become a medical liability later (sometimes it is associated with Marfan syndrome).  However, it seems that the tendency for men to grow slightly taller with time continues.  On any crowded disco, there are always a few men (usually white) over 76 to even 78 inches, towering above everyone else.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Jose Antonio Vargas: "White People" for MTV; he could face deportation under Trump (maybe?)


Jose Antonio Vargas, former Washington Post journalist who made “Documented” has made a 40-minute short for MTV, “#WhitePeople” (or “White People”, on YouTube now (July 2015).  The prevailing theme dealt with whether white people really feel any sense of identity with race, or have any sense of inherited privilege, from which some could be expected to "give back" (but the reverse of that idea seemed to be behind electing Trump). 


Vargas interviews college students and peers on various campuses and situations.  In a small town, a black person says, “everyone is nice, but we think that behind our backs they say something.”  Or, “you’re one of the good ones.”

A white male high school history teacher talks about having to level with the bad things white men did, besides slavery, to, say. Native Americans, with the Wounded Knee battle and the 1890 Lashoda conquest in South Dakota. There's a Sioux word for "greedy white people." 

The conversations try to dispel a myth that reverse discrimination denies white people scholarships. 62% of college students are white, but 69% of the scholarships are held by white students.

There is a door-knocking campaign in Bensonhusrt, Brooklyn NY to get the signatures for a block party.  Some people are afraid to answer doors because of home invasion fears.

There are fears that under president-elect Donald Trump, Vargas himself might get deported, as was written up recently in “Occidental Dissent” here,  and was spread on Facebook today.

Vargas has an important op-ed on p. 6 of the New York Times review today, "Undocumented in Trump's America".  I didn't see this earlier this morning when I first learned about the MTV film. 

The film did not get into interracial relationships, and the controversy among some people of openness to them (previous film).  Among white men, sometimes there are more differences in sexual secondary characteristics than among non-white men.  

Thursday, November 17, 2016

"The Yak in the Room": shocking short film about a campus speech codes and expulsion of a student for "passive racism"


Here’s a shocking short film “The Yak in the Room” by Nathan Gelfand-Toutant.  A white male (heterosexual) undergraduate at Colorado College gets suspended for two years (later reduced to one) after a “Yik Yak: session in which he merely said he doesn’t find black women hot.


The comment occurred in a rapid interchange, and at first the student didn’t think anything of it.  The next day he was suddenly called to a Dean’s office to face his “punishment”.  The suddenness of this reminds me of my own William and Mary expulsion n 1961.

But is saying that you are not sexually attracted to someone of a particular race, itself racism?  Theoretically I guess it reduces someone else’s reproductive chances (if you believe in the demographic winter argument – which ironically Is usually argued by the socially conservative right). 

I see evidence of this kind of thinking myself on disco floors.  If I pay attention (by watching intensely, even from some distance) to someone who fits my “Smallville Clark Kent” fantasy, sometimes another person who does not fit this fantasy (often a black female) suddenly challenges me to dance, and gets upset if I refuse.

As for the women in the film, they seem so thin-skinned.  The student’s comments in no way indicated exclusion of others from anything but a personal intimate relationship.  Yet the college was aggressive in throwing him out. 

No wonder some people on the “right” said, “enough” in this election.

This is campus speech codes gone way too far. 

The film appears on the Facebook public figure page of Milo Yiannopoulos (Nov. 3), who has been banned from Twitter. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

"Qatar's Plan to Turn the Desert Green": looks like a vision of Arthur C. Clarke



Jonathan E. Smith, an engineer, reports on “Qatar’s Plan to Turn the Desert Green” ( 9 min), from Journeyman Pictures.


The film shows greenhouse technology gradually expanding into the desert, creating a “Rama” look, as in Arthur C. Clarke.

But I wondered if greening the desert could set up an area where Syrian refugees could be resettled, in another Muslim country.

The film does show some of the opulence of Doha. 

Wikipedia attribution link for picture of Doha by Ragesh Unappally, under CCSA 3.0. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Bryce Harper (Nationals' baseball star) makes a short film (maybe good for Angelika's "Pre-Show")


Bryce Harper (Washington Nationals outfielder) has made a 90-minute short film for ESPN and Yahoo! Sports, saying that Baseball (MLB) needs more emotion in the game.  I hope the link sticks.    I need to give the film an official title. “Baseball Needs More Emotion”.

You may need to be logged on to Facebook to see it.



Actually, I hope he makes other short films, like when he took a hike on the Billy Goat Trail along the Potomac at Glen Echo MD on an off day.  Or when he has breakfast at Ted’s.  Maybe Angelika Mosaic (next door to Ted’s in Fairfax VA)N can use it for the pre-show.  Lately Angelika has been showing a pre-show short about “Procrastination”, and interpretive meditation as a cure.
   
Richard Harmon (“Judas Kiss”, “The 100”, "The Greatest of All Time"), who likes the Fighting Irish, the Buffalo Bills, and the San Francisco Giants (why not the Toronto Blue Jays?) would like this.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

"All-American Family: Where Deafness Is Not a Disability", short film on CNN by Andrew Jenks


Andrew Jenks Entertainment has a 12-minute short on CNN Films, “All-American Family: Where Deafness Is Not a Disability”, link here or here.

The film traces a preparation of a Pleasanton high school football team in the Bay Area in California, where several members are deaf and talk in sign.  The mother is deaf, as are two sons, including Zane the quarterback, but the other family members hear.

The team prepares for a big game, and the clock counts down.  The team wins 48-0.



Of course, Malcolm Gladwell thinks that all football (at least in high school) is morally problematic because of the concussion risk.

The video above is an interview of Jenks, “The World of Jenks” on PopSugar on MTV.
By Alfred Twu - Own work, CC0, Link