Sunday, July 14, 2019

"Allegro Train Review, and Russian-Finnish Border Crossing"

Since I visited a couple of Finnish cultural centers in Ohio (part of my own book research for the novel) Saturday, I thought I would select a video of the Allegro train that connects Helsinki with St. Petersburg.

The best short video available now is by Ekain Munduate and is called “Allegro Train Review and Russian-Finnish Border Crossing”.

The border check isn’t made to sound like a big deal, and the announcements are in Russian, Finnish, and English.  Russian rail gauge standards is slightly narrower than Finland’s, which causes problems with some freight trains but not with the Allegro, which runs at 220 km per hour, with a 3-1/2 hour journey including border check  (390 km).

Yet I would wonder about tourists going into Russia from the West, if they had made themselves controversial online in social media or even with other writings.
I haven’t heard much about this. 

By Otto Karikoski - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Friday, July 12, 2019

"Solar Pounder": a lot of issues covered in 3 minutes in this soft-core LGBT short

Solar Pounder”, a micro short by Body Czech, at least starts out by pretending that selling door-to-door is still viable.

“Decotah”, a tall blond salesman knocks on doors selling solar systems for home roofs.
The homeowner is straight, but his wife is in the other room.

So it sounds cynical. A lot of straight men give a little to make the sale, even to other straight men.
But why does the homeowner have that disfiguring tattoo covering his left forearm?  That seems stereotyped in some of these “shorts”. 
It stays _G-13.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

"Memento": Christopher Nolan's early thriller is a delicious plot layering experiment

Christopher Nolan’s early 2000 film “Memento” is interesting to me because it uses different presentations to show flashbacks in different time tracks. The technical term is sujet or syuzhet.

The protagonist Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce) has anterograde amnesia, and is faced with solving a mystery of who killed his diabetic wife (Carrie-Ann Moss), from polaroid photos.

The film presents two timelines.  A forward timeline of what he can remember is in black and white. 

 A reverse timeline of what he cannot is reconstructed in color from photos, and the two timelines converge and meet in the middle.

He also pastes photos to his own body, shaving his thigh to get them to stay on like stickypads.
In my screenplay “Epiphany”, the current timeline (in an O’Neill cylinder) is in sepia color;  the real past events on Earth are in full color, and the imagined fiction backstories are in black and white.
The film was released by New Market (one of its first releases) but produced by Summit.

By Dr Steve Aprahamian - Picture of a chart created in Microsoft Excel, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

"The Prestige": Christopher Nolan period piece does ask good questions about the work of Nikola Tesla

Of some importance in science fiction is the 2006 film “The Prestige” by Christopher Nolan, with the title referring to the last phase of a magic act which offers a payoff to the audience.  It is based on a novel by Christopher Priest.

It is set in the 1890s in London, with two major lead magicians, the aristocratic Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and the working class Alfred Borden (Christian Bale).

The film invokes a speculative experiment with teleportation when it introduces Nikola Tesla (David Bowie), the inventor (later associated with alternating current and electrical engineering).  Angier spies on Borden and wants to produce the trick of teleportation. Eventually we learn that Borden was a pair of twins but they seem to share an identity.  There is some question in the plot as to whether a “new” Angier gets created by teleportation, or if there is anything in quantum physics or information theory that makes this theoretically possible.

The film was produced with New Market Films, which was normally an indie distributor ten years ago. It was also produced by Touchstone Films and distributed both by Disney and Warner Brothers. But the film tended to be shown in theater chains that prefer independent or art movies.

Picture: Reno, my visit (2018) 

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

"Beloved" was an unusual horror film in 1998 based on slavery-related guilt; recalled by recent film about Toni Morrison

The recent attention to author Toni Morrison in the recent biographical film, reminds many of the 1998 horror film “Beloved”, directed by Jonathan Demme (Touchstone Pictures).

Oprah Winfrey plays a former slave after the Civil War, living near Cincinnati, terrorized by the poltergeist of the child (she believes) whom she had killed years before to prevent the child from going into slavery.  Paul D. (Danny Glover) drives away the spirit from the plantation.

I vaguely recall this film at the Mall of America near Minneapolis in the fall of 1998.

Monday, July 08, 2019

"Quantum Immortality" described in a whiteboard lecture

"Werothegreat" presents “Quantum Immortality” (15 minutes)

The speaker writes on a white board, and compares human beings as conscious entities to elementary photons, trying all possible paths in life at once, and living as long as it is physically possible.

In a way, this sounds like a “dangerous” belief.  He gives an interesting diversion where he compare human life to photosynthesis which he describes as a quantum process.

He also describes the plot of the 2006 film “The Prestige” where Telsa makes a quantum immortality experiment out of himself.

Intuitively, it seems to me that I exist simply because I must (the Anthropic Principle) somewhere.  The Earth could have been in any galaxy, it just happens to be here.  Intuitively, it seems hard to believe that once a conscious individual is aware of the self, that “they” can completely disappear. If you know that you are dead, you are immortal.

Sunday, July 07, 2019

The E8 Lattice and Lie Group: does this generate "The Theory of Everything"?

Is the E8 Lattice the True Nature of Reality?” Or is this “The Theory of Everything”?

Arvin Ash explains multi-dimensional algebra if the E8 Lie Group.

This looks like a great board game. 

Will the Hardon collider find one of the 24 undiscovered elementary particles?

See also April 26 with similar short by Joe Scott.

By derivative work: Pbroks13 (talk)Cyclic_group.png: Jakob.scholbach - Cyclic_group.png, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link