Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Colonizing Jupiter (Outward Bound series)

Another Outward Bound series explores “Colonizing Jupiter”.

The video examines the four major satellites:  Io, Europa (the best known), Ganymede and Callisto.  

 The last of these is the most sheltered from radiation.

The video examines the idea of subterranean ocean life on all four, and there may not be the interaction of a shore which could have helped Earth life get started.

The film has some narrative connection to the previous film on Titan (Jan. 9), as the protagonist was cured of cancer (maybe by Jack Andraka’s nanobots) after downloading a backup of his consciousness on Titan’s quantum computer (no doubt designed by Google Project Zero as well as Graz University’s Daniel Gruss).

At about 14 minutes, the film talks about our lack of knowledge of low gravity living.  It is possible to build a rotating rama to simulate Earth’s gravity, but you have to factor in a Coriolis force added from the moon itself. I have this issue in my own “Epiphany” screenplay.  The film suggests a system of rotating teacups as in an amusement park as a better solution than a typical rama.

The most provocative part of the film deals with colonizing the atmosphere of Jupiter itself, possibly with intersecting bands of rama-surfaces about 1.5 times the radius of the visible planet, to get close to Earth’s gravity.  Then they talk about turning Jupiter into a star (not just a brown dwarf) which Arthur C. Clarke had done with the film 2010.

Wikipedia attribution link for NASA p.d. picture of Jupiter’s clouds. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

"Generation Zapped" will warn consumers about accumulating health risks from cell phone use and surrounding towers and microwaves

There is a new documentary film “Generation Zapped”, directed Sabine El Gemayel, which maintains that microwave radiation associated with cell phone use is causing major health hazards.  
Here is their FAQ on EMF's (electromagnetic fields of radiation). 

The film producers are still asking for screening hosts and don’t seem to have other distribution or DVD’s yet.

Facebook page is here.

The Epoch Times has an article and review here

 A group called Reticare has been warning about a future epidemic of blindness in young adults from retinal damage from screen use. 

Another user Jude Kamel has three-hour-plus video by that name on YouTube. 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

"So You Want to Own a Fox": Is he (Loki the Red Fox) more like a dog or a cat?

So You Want to Own a Fox: The Instinct” is the first video in a series with Loki the Red Fox.

The video makes it clear that a fox is normally a wild animal, not bred for domestication (although in Russia it is). Foxes normally don't make satisfactory pets. 

Before I sold the house, there were some red foxes that would come into the yard, eat mice and snakes, and take naps.  One or two of them obviously recognized me, probably because there is a fox den on a hill behind a church I have attended.  Foxes in some ways behave more like cats than dogs, having developed behaviors through convergent evolution.

At one point Loki takes the car keys to mark them with his scent.  I had a stray cat in Dallas try to take my car keys once.  The cat would return after several days of hunting.  He knew how to open doors. 

The foxes in my yard stayed very healthy living on what they can catch in the wild. A fox fed human food would probably develop Type II diabetes.

YouTube has videos involving servals and other larger cats. Particularly in Africa, some larger cats stay in human homes and will bond with humans and remember where they are welcomed and get food. But servals, according to the literature, require enormous space and natural space to be kept.  Many wild mammals, especially carnivores, will bond with humans when they have favorable experiences.  You have to be pretty smart to hunt for a living. 

The Wikipedia picture shows a Russian domesticated red fox. 
By Kayfedewa at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Friday, January 12, 2018

Logan Paul: "Real Life Pokemon Go in Tokyo"

OK, here is my token short film from Logan Paul: “Real Life Pokemon Go in Tokyo”.

This reminds me of a Friday night in July 2016 (before the election, before Trump’s convention) when I saw some friends from Town DC near Angelika Film Center in Fairfax VA when the U Street area of DC had a power outage – playing Pokemon.

I don’t have a lot to say about Paul’s insensitive gaffe on Dec. 31.  I tend not to react to these things as much as others. 

The picture above is a source location for a lot of manga and Danganronpa, which Reid Ewing shows on his Twitter feed.  

By ElHeineken - Own work, CC BY 4.0, Link

Thursday, January 11, 2018

"Longtime Companion", an obituary euphemism, recalls the earliest days of the AIDS epidemic in New York

I do recall seeing “Longtime Companion” (Samuel Goldwyn Films), directed by Norman Rene and written by Craig Lucas, in the early 1990s, after I had returned from Dallas (where I was living when the epidemic struck) to DC.

The film gets its title from the early refusal of the New York Times to acknowledge gay lovers as partners, but rather called them “longtime companions”.

The film covers the growing awareness of the epidemic in the earliest days, starting in 1981 with the earliest rumors about Kaposi’s sarcoma.  I didn’t actually see the rumors until I picked up a “This Week in Texas” magazine at a screening of “Making Love” at Northpark in Dallas in February 1982, and saw mention of the unusual “cancer”.  By late 1982, there were only four cases in Dallas, but it would explode in late 1983.

The film is set mainly in Manhattan and Fire Island (the Pine and Cherry Grove) which I had visited often in the 1970s when I lived in the Cast Iron Building myself.
Full film link is here
Attribution link for “The Judy Garland Memorial Parkway” between the Pines and the Grove. 
By Dinker022089 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Colonizing Titan ("Outward Bound" series): The solar system's center for AI, where computing is so efficient that people upload their minds to the iCloud

Isaac Arthur offers the 30-minute animated narrated film “Colonizing Titan” in his “Outward Bound” series that has covered Venus, Mars, and will later cover the moons of Jupiter and Jupiter itself.  A spaceship colony called Borman seems to be the focal point of all the colonization.

The key idea is that Titan has enormous resources of hydrocarbons, but also its low temperatures makes the thermodynamics of computing and manufacturing by robots much more efficient than on Earth. 

He proposes tethered columns of ramas with artificial gravity by rotation for livable habitats, but also claims that computing is so efficient that people will be able to live without bodies inside computers once their minds are uploaded.  Titan could become the lodestone of artificial intelligence for the solar system.  I guess the people who keep their bodies (and have access to sex and fantasies of sexual attractiveness) will use Andraka nanobots in their bloodstreams to stay healthy.
If people could be uploaded to AI machines, they could become immortal and not need to reproduce.  Peter Thiel would approve. 

Monday, January 08, 2018

"Out of the Cold": Muslims shelter the homeless in Toronto

Out of the Cold” (2014) is a half-hour documentary showing Muslins sheltering the homeless.

This facility is the Jaffari Communitt Center in Toronto. Despite Canada’s welfare and refugee programs, there is considerable homelessness and poverty and many people do not make enough to afford apartments. 

During the Ontario winters, the homeless spend the night on cots along the halls.  Volunteers spend the night.  On the other hand the working poor do not stay there but are fed and use community assistance, which is about 80% local government funded.

One (Gentile) volunteer had been homeless, had Parkinsons, and had lost an apartment when a leasse was not renewed and the landlord wouldn't go month-to-month. 

Many of the recipients are not Muslims.

There are many personal interviews, about walking in others’ shoes as an act of faith. The faith makes considerable demands for service.  The volunteer time and effort here must be considerable. 

There is a lot of emphasis on the role of luck in the lives of the homeless.

One beneficiary was actually a graduate student quite brilliant in mathematics.  Some scholarship money was raised for him.  So this was a striking narrative (compare June 10, 2017 AOPS). 

Wikipedia attribution link 

Related: New York Times article by Abnnie Correal, "How I Approached a Story about the Homeless". 

Sunday, January 07, 2018

"Blow Up": 1966 film anticipates what could happen today with amateur youtubers

I don’t find a review of “Blow Up” on my legacy doaskdotell site, but I recall seeing it while in graduate school at KU, I think early in 1967.

I mentioned it recently on Wordpress so I wanted to give it a nod here.

The film, directed by Michaelangelo Antonioni and produced for MGM by Carlo Ponti, concerns a fashion photographer (David Hemmings) who discovers he may have inadvertently filmed a murder. 

 One of the women in the picture, Jane, Vanessa Redgrave, tries to recover the picture.


This was a big hit at the time with students who saw the movie.

What if you were out filming YouTube today and this happened with you on a digital camera? Zapruder? 

Wikipedia attribution link for photo of Maryon Park in London where film takes place.  I might have been there in 1982 or 2001, ly Le5zek, under CCSA 3.0. 

Thursday, January 04, 2018

"Amistad": major slavery drama that took place 20 years before the Civil War

I recall seeing Steven Spielberg’s “Amistad” from Dreamworks at the Mall of America (in the days that the theater complex belonged to General Cinema) in December of 1997.  I think that day a woman’s purse somehow got hooked onto my car and I had to call her to return it.  I think she wound up buying a copy of my book.

And a good friend of mine from the Libertarian Party of Minnesota who would arrange my Hamline speech in 1998 would say that the film was “libertarianesque”.

It’s based on a book by Alexis Pate, who spoke at ReliaStar, where I worked in downtown Minneapolis at the time.

The film concerns a slave ship in 1839, and a rebellion of the slaves (Mende tribesmen) when crossing to Cuba from the United States.  They had been kidnapped into the slave trade. Once in the US, their case wound up before the U.S. Supreme Court, twenty years before the Civil War.  The second president John Adams (Anthony Hopkins) had been instrumental in their release. Djimon Honsou plays the rebel Cinque.  Matthew McConaughey plays attorney Baldwin and Morgan Freeman, his assistant Joadson.

“This Dangerous Book”, by Steve and Jackie Green (who founded the Museum of the Bible), takes up the story in some detail. 

Monday, January 01, 2018

"Pink Triangle": a gay Nazi undercover informant has his own crisis of conscience

Pink Triangle” (2014), directed by Ryan Jeffrey Davis, produced at the University of North Carolina, sets up a covert homosexual Harmon (Jon Parker Douglas) who is enlisted by the Third Reich to entrap other homosexuals.

After he sees one of his contacts executed during interrogation, he must face his own past and is own conscience.  The lead character is quite attractive.  With Bill Moser as the intrusive Colonel and Davis Harper as one of the marks.  

The script refers to the practice of "naming names" which Randy Shilts would describe later when he wrote about gays and lesbians in the US military ("Conduct Unbecoming").

You get the impression that the Nazi elimination of homosexuals was part of the idea of not permitting individuals with any imperfections that could need attention to continue to exist in their reich.