Thursday, December 12, 2019

"Autonomous Regions of Spain"


Geography Now explains the “Autonomous Regions of Spain” (17 minutes).


There are a lot more of them than I realized.  The best known are the Basque area (Bilbao and San Sebastian-Donesta), and Catalonia (Barcelona).

I visited Bilbao in late April 2001 (it’s not on the main railroad but has its own, as well as bus, from San Sebastian), and saw the Guggenheim.

Basque is a bizarre language not of Indo-European origin.  Catalan is an amalgam of Spanish and French.

There are various political designations for the various regions, which might be thought of as like states in the US.  There is even a little piece of North Africa that belongs to Spain, as well as the Canary Islands.

Spain is less hospitable to free speech, having long had a mandatory link tax (part of the EU Copyright Directive).  Portugal next door is said to have very fragmented Internet access, which sometimes consists of packages of social media and cable channels, with no net neutrality.  But when I was in the hotel in Bilbao (which was both palatial and cheap) my own regular Internet access was good (from a large business center). There was also a marathon run that Sunday, and an extensive subway.  Bars were filled with people watching soccer games.  San Sebastian has an international film festival.

Wikipedia attribution of Guggenheim picture:

The museum appears in a Mission Impossible movie from the late 1990s/

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

"Why We Have a Snowflake Generation": this speaker feels manliness is being lost


Why We Have a Snowflake Generation”, from London Real, “People Worth Watching”, today with Dan Pena.    (The other term is “coddled”.  My own grandmother used to say “pantywaste”.) The video's strike page calls itself "Generation of Cowards". 


This morning we had some snow after a cold front, and it didn’t stick very well.  Pretty good metaphor.

This generation hasn’t had war, and hardship, like earlier generations. 

Yup, some of the demonstrations at Evergreen State and Syracuse are really tragic.

This speaker talks about the handshake test.  Women have stronger grips than men.
  
Most of them have had no military service.

Monday, December 09, 2019

"How to Transfer Your Consciousness to Another Body": store it on Titan where it stays cold


How to Transfer Your Consciousness to Another Body?”, by Ridddle.


The video (10 min) starts out by defining the Hayfick Limit, the number of times cells can divide in an organism, which means no organism is immortal without reproducing.  (There may be a jellyfish that is an exception by playing “Benjamin Button”.)
  
It’s possible for people to arrange to have their brains frozen, so they could be awakened millennia in the future when Man has moved to other planets to escape the billowing Sun (the ultimate climate change).  That wouldn’t work for Alzehimer’s. or if a vengeful assassin shot you in the head to make sure your demise was permanent.

But the storage and computational power to record the entire brain is beyond our computers (although quantum computers might do it).  The memory packs could be cold-stored in a data center on Titan, which belongs to Avenger’s Thanos (aka Carlos Maza with his Pride flags). 

Scientists have downloaded the brain of a planaria, with just 370 neurons, and transferred the memory to robots which actually behave like worms then.

Is a copy of your brain still you?  What if there are multiple copies?

Could a virus (maybe containing a micro black hole, which could evaporate into Hawking radition)  encode all of your memory and transfer it to someone else?

Your consciousness is a composite, as some semi-voluntary drives (like sex in most people) seem to have their own independent wills.

Enjoy this bonus from “Big Brain Boy” (competition for Pewdiepie), and I don’t think this 4-hour game is “made for kids”. 

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Expected gutting of Paramount Consent Decree by DOJ could allow big movie studios to eliminate smaller distributors as competition


John Campea discusses the likelihood that the DOJ will do away with the Paramount consent decrees.


He refers to a Nov 19 article by Brent Kendall and Erich Schwartzel in the Wall Street Journal, which is discussed by Slashfilm, and had been discussed in Nov. 2018 by James Amos at Forbes. 

The speaker fears that large movie studios will require theaters to show their bad films as well as their blockbusters, and therefore reduce screen space for smaller indie films, possibly threatening smaller studios like A24. Changing the rule would stop the FTC from enforcing anti-competitive practices. 

It's possible that established guilds want this because "established" writers and actors can make more money in big studio production, and wouldn't face competition from those who work for less. When people work for others in union conditions, the content produced is often less original.

Picture: In Minneapolis, indie filmmakers often meet at Bryant Lake Bowl on Lake Street. 

Saturday, December 07, 2019

"Gay Coded Characters" in movies and TV, as per Council of Geeks


“Council of Geeks” discusses “Gay Coded Characters” in “Gay Coding in Movies and TV”. It’s a lecture in seven parts.


I’m not sure if the speaker is fluid or trans, but “they” had a significant video on the COPPA problem recently (the FTC comment period ends Monday Dec. 9, reminder; here's a similar recent video).

Most of the examples here are for older films and are with villains, or comics movies or genres.

  (Well, Frodo’s relationship with Sam is gay-coded, more than just male-best-friend coded).  The “Joker” gets mentioned.   Yes (yeth), the lisp (lithp) can constitute gay-coding, but that was more pre-Stonewall (Tiny Tim, “OGAB”, as was “thmooth”).

This is not the same as casting diversity.  In a particular gay film, it might be important that the characters be sexually attracted to one another for more old-fashioned signals of the “external trappings of manhood.”

Thursday, December 05, 2019

"In Arms": in high school, two friends deal with grief and loss



Lucas Cox directs the 9-minute short “In Arms”.


In a Catholic high school, two students deal with the loss of a sister, sitting on the floor of the bathroom. The setting is about as simple as you can imagine.

With Harry Thornton and Will Harrison.
  
This situation is as protist as it gets.

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

"5 Reasons to Like Blue Jays": are they smart?



I don’t know if blue jays, which are corvids, are as smart as crows, but I thought I would share “5 Reasons to Like Blue Jays”.  Corvids have evolved problem solving ability from evolution separately from mammals. 


The caterpillar scene is interesting.

Bluejays are common in northern Virginia and conspicuous.

But so are crows.  I had one befriend me in the house, and in the new condo a crow will sit on the balcony and watch me work at the computer.  On the day of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the crow “Timo” kept chasing me back into the garage when I ventured out to test the weather. He knew a storm was coming and seemed to protect me.