Wednesday, September 18, 2019

"Every Day I Wake Up as Someone Else': also, woke Left gets a run of a film about Jordan Peterson canceled


“Roman K.” delivers a short film “Everyday I Wake Up As Someone Else”, by SirSpooksaLot.


The video (about 13 minutes) in black and white, shows the path down a stairwell of a walkup.

Every day he wakes up as a different person, and within a half hour has the memories of that person.
   
But in time that person perishes that day after some violent event.  A teenage girl who had been bullied in school had committed suicide in a locked bathroom, and the mother had not been able to save her. He later, at the end, wakes up as the mother.

Does this premise for a narrative make sense?  Suppose after you’re gone, the information content of your life is transferred to a living person and you wake up in that body with your memories, and then taken on “his”, and then get cut off once you know too much.  Maybe it only happens when he is aroused.  Maybe he has captured other people and you start taking on their personas with each successive wakeup. In between, there has to be an awareness of waiting, of Erwartgung (Schoenberg’s piece) forever.

A Toronto theater has canceled a screening of a biography “The Rise of Jordan Peterson”, directed Patricia Marcoccia, from Holding Space Films and Gravitas Ventures,  after “complaints” from the woke-left.  I’ll be on the lookout for this one.  

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

"The Afterlife Dysfunction": our consciousness needs a brain to re-activate it?



The Afterlife Dysfunction” by Breaking Beats, asks “did quantum physics just prove the afterlife? Quantum physics is now the afterlife realm”. The film is by Athene, Reese, and Raxxroth. 


Our consciousness defines everything, and can be mapped onto a 2-d space (like a hard drive, or the surface of a black hole).  It seems to need a body and a brain to map it.  But what happens to it when we die?  Can an existing file be given to another person to redevelop?

Maybe this does have something to do with profound giftedness.

So I'm not quite sure why this is "dysfunction"?  Does function return when there is another brain to map it to? 

If you've ever been befriended by a stray cat, you learn that wild animals "know" things we don't, and sometimes know a lot more about us that we can imagine.

Animals nurture that partition of consciousness that they need to produce their own offspring.  There is a certain parallelism between permanent consciousness, and the partition of it an animal needs to produce offspring.

"Proving Reincarnation with Quantum Physics" by No Apologies (6 min) has a woman explain how the quantum record of a mind can energize a developing baby about 5 weeks into pregnancy.  You normally don't know what bodies used your life-experience set before.  But having a 15 year old healthy body to start reusing the information of a physicist who might have lived to 100 sounds like a good deal.   Does it matter how you die, as to the quality of the knowledge you pass on?  Is a natural end much more likely to leave a closed record that a succeeding child can develop with?  Unfinished music compositions (like Bruckner's Ninth Symphony, which he almost did complete) might exist in the quantum record, and another person might have access to it that way.  

Monday, September 16, 2019

"Sleep Is Just Death Being Shy" -- even if you didn't pass on your own genes



Sleep Is Just Death Being Shy”, by exurb1a.


Right, every conscious being sleeps. 

The filmmaker counts how many descendants we should have with our DNA in a number or years or generations.  He doesn’t mention climate change but he does talk about the sun warming and making the Earth uninhabitable anyway in less than a billion years – meaning evacuate Earth – when there is not room for everybody, posing moral questions we aren’t ready for.

So maybe the information content of your own life is permanent and winds up stored on the surface of a black hole forever, if you have a normal passing at tend of natural life (my mother more or less did).  Maybe your consciousness misses physicality.  Or maybe if you die suddenly and violently at someone else’s hands (or even your own), you are denied even that permanence.

But I will have zero descendants with my DNA.  Will that matter?

It won’t when the Universe ends, if it does. 
  
Maybe as you go, time stops and you sense immortality in a relativistic sense.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

"Titan: A Frozen Oasis": new short film with an interesting prediction about Saturn's lively moon



Titan: A Frozen Oasis” is a new 16-minute short film from SEA: The Lesser Worlds.
  
   
The film notes that Titan has an underground ocean (like Europa) which could have its own life, creating a “political struggle” if there is also sheet-like life in the oceans on the surface (rather like slime molds, maybe).
  
The cloudtops get 1% of the sunlight on Earth.

The moon is slightly smaller than Ganymede (Jupiter) not counting the atmosphere.  
   
The interesting premise of this film is that when the Sun turns into a red giant starting in about 5 billion years (long after life on Earth is fried – by true climate change – and Earth has had to evacuate) the moon will warm up, the ice mountains will melt and conditions may be similar to a primordial Earth (no oxygen at first).  But it will have only a few hundred million years of mild temperatures.

The film also mentions “Avengers: Endgame” with Thanos depicted as living on a terraformed Titan. YouTube activist Carlos Maza was sometimes compared to Thanos in memes a few months ago during a major censorship controversy.

NASA 2018 photo of Titan surface under the clouds, 2018, Public Domain 

Friday, September 13, 2019

"Natural Born Settlers": NYTImes op-doc on what life is like in a West Bank settlement




The New York Times has an interesting op-doc (among many), this one directed by Iris Zaki, “Natural Born Settlers” (18 min), with the subtitle “What It’s Like to Group up in an Israeli Settlement”.


A young woman who has grown up in Tel Aviv decides to spend the summer living in a West Bank Settlement of Tekoa.  It is viewed as a “moderate” settlement, compared to Hebron, with is more radical. There are 132 legal settlements and 106 illegal, according to the film.

She rents part of a small house on the edge of town, and then opens a tiny snack shop, and first is visited by a cat, but soon has a parade of people willing to be interviewed and filmed. Many have grown up in the settlement and believe Israel has its only possible homeland, and that the Palestinians are here because of “history”. 

One woman lost part of her family to a drive-by terrorist shooting.
  
Another woman says Israel has to decide on the sovereignty question for the West Bank and suggests a confederation as a legal structure.

Wikipedia attribution: 
By Deror avi - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

"What Is Consciousness?" The Economist (and Michio Kaku)


What Is Consciousness?”, from The Economist.


The film isolates the claustrum, underneath the cerebrum, as critical.

Consciousness is continuity of a point-of-view about one’s experience in the environment, with the capacity to make choices of interactions and live with the consequences of choices.  Consciousness, when taking action based on choices, reduces entropy.

The video describes a theory of mind, meaning a conscious being and imagine another conscious being (even an animal) from externality. Some speakers and writers can communicate what it is like to be “him”.  Just watch a John Fish growth video. But a “relationship” produces that kind of illusion.
Michio Kaku describes closed loops composed of individual pieces analogous to thermostats. These objects can detect temperature, moisture, space, and time. Only humans and maybe a few animals can process time.

Kurgesagt weighs in with the first of a series. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

"The Fifth of November": a women loses her fiance to gun violence and plots for group revenge


A site called “The Audience Awards” offers a lot of new short films in circulation, some not on YouTube. 

(Note: As pf  9/13, the film is no longer available publicly and the video is marked private now by embeds.  The video below is a poem of the same name by Juliette Hannah.  I don't see a trailer in YouTube now but I'll look again soon;  there is likely to be one soon.  IMDB link.  I'll check later to see how to get an account to view the private films ).



The Fifth of November”, directed by Javier Augusto Nunez, entered in a horror short circulation, presents Jane, a secular possibly Muslim woman (not really PoC) played by Qurrat Ann Kadwani with a good job in San Diego.  The said date is her birthday.  As it approaches, she recalls how her fiancĂ© (William H. Bryant, African American) was murdered in a restaurant in a mass shooting a year ago.
  
The boyfriend had urged her to get into real group activism and spend less time alone.

She begins to imagine her revenge, to kidnap and shoot a white man for his part in collective guilt. Os this real or just a fantasy? 

The title of the film reminds me of the play "The Fifth of July" which I saw in NYC in 1978.  The film comes from QK Company and was made with SAG.

Picture: San Diego, night, 2012 (mine)

Monday, September 09, 2019

"Three Ways to Destroy the Universe" by Kurzgesagt (is the Bootes Void evidence of a Big Rip already?)


Kurzgesagt gives us “Three Ways to Destroy the Universe” (6 min).


“The Big Rip” is often presented as the most likely.  Dark energy causes space to expand with acceleration.  Space between galaxies expands first (maybe the Bootes Void?) but eventually gravity is not strong enough to hold galaxies, then stars, then planets, then even atoms together. 

The second is a “heat death” (or big freeze) driven by entropy, but it might be reversed by “quantum tunneling”.
   
The third is a “big crunch”, a reversing process that might eventually rebound with another big bang, a cycle that could go on infinitely.

Saturday, September 07, 2019

"It's Still My Bed": when the parents "hire" a roommate for the summer



Tyler Reeves presents a 17-minute short film, “It’s Still My Bed’, by Tyler Reeves (link).

David (Damian Joseph Quinn) comes home to his parents’ desert ranch from college, and finds his parents have hired a farmhand Brent (Cooper Stone).  David has already been coming out to a supposed girl friend at college, and now he suspects Brent is gay.

This film goes out of its way to present “masculine” gay men.  These two are model "macho men", yet clean cut, perfect, with body sanctity.  No fluidity or ambiguity. 

  
The film is rated R, for some rather explicit fantasy material, so I can’t embed it.  I’ll embed Palm Springs Pride instead, as a kind of pseudo-trailer.  I was last there in 2012.

Friday, September 06, 2019

"The Aestivation Hypothesis": the aliens are hibernating


The Aestivation Hypothesis”, a short video by sci-fi author John Michael Godier, proposes a novel solution to the Fermi Paradox.


He says the really big galactic civilizations are hibernating in summer (aestivating) and waiting a few trillion years until the universe cools down, when it will be easier for them to achieve their “psychological” goals.

They may be sending von Neuman probes to check up on us, the way wild animals (like crows or stray cats) will visit humans whom they like and feel they need to watch.

The video shows many shots of the insides of an O’Neill cylinder. Imagine a cylinder that is wrapped around and closed like the inside of a tire pressed against a rim.  A resident would think he was living in a closed universe with no edges or boundaries.

Thursday, September 05, 2019

"Minority Report": sci-fi about arresting people for thinking about committing crimes, relevant to weapons debate today


Remember “Minority Report” (2002), directed by Steven Spielberg, from Dreamworks and 20th Century Fox, based on a short story by Philip K. Dick.


Tom Cruise plays police Chief John Anderton, a police chief of a unit in Washpngton DC that uses telepathy or monitoring to arrest people for “pre-crime”, before they commit the crimes.


The telepathy is possible for special mutants called “precogs” who share consciousness through a “group mind”.

Anderton tries to avoid the system with a retinal transplant.
The film is important because of the way we have to protect public safety today in a world where there are so many guns, arresting people for threats or for social media evidence based on the possibility they are planning crimes. 
It used to be that people could be banned from serving in the military for showing a “propensity” for future homosexual acts.

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

"Abilities Evolution Took from Us": animals sense things we miss


Sci-Show explains “Abilities Evolution Took from Us”.
  

Call it “losing it”.   That has some meaning in my own life.

The speaker talks about the residual human pineal gland, which does process melatonin, but which no longer functions as a “third eye” as in some amphibians.

Some fish (eels) can sense or generate electricity.  Land animals lost that ability because it doesn’t work in the air.  But when the went back to the ocean, whales and dolphins gained something similar, which evolved into a sonar. 
  
He also discusses pheromones, which are detected in a nasal gland which is almost inactive in humans, where visual stimuli became more important.

Monday, September 02, 2019

"The Egg": animated film with an unusual interpretation of the afterlife



Here is a short animated film by Andy Weir, “The Egg”, drawn by Kurzgesagt “in a nutshell”.


A man with a bad marriage dies in a catastrophic car crash.  He meets “God” and is told he will be reincarnated and while in the interim will gradually remember some of his incarnations.  You don’t have a point-of-view continuity of your entire self until you “die”.  His wife cries, and secretly feels relieved he is gone, and then feels guilty for feeling relieved.  Familiar?
  
But then there is a real surprise.  He will be reincarnated into the past.  And that’s not the end of it.
More people have lived than are alive today. 

Friday, August 30, 2019

Jack Andraka narrates episode of "El Poder de los Centennials" from Colombia






I’ll share a series episode for a Colombian TV film “El Poder de los Centennials” from BanColombia, in which Stanford scientist Jack Andraka appears.  It means “The Power of the Centennial Generation”. It is directed by Luis Ara.

The byline ?Hay sufficiente acceso a la salud” asks “sufficient health care?”

Jack has been finishing a project in Sierra Leone this summer regarding drug resistant tuberculosis, and will finish a Master’s in Electrical Engineering project this academic year at Stanford.  Not sure of the details – it has to do with tagging microorganism or contamination in water in developing countries, I think.  I had not heard he had worked in Colombia.  

This is sort of a "the young people will win" film (a phrase from David Hogg). 
   
Wikipedia:
By Felipe Restrepo Acosta - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Thursday, August 29, 2019

"Tolkien's Philosophy: Why Doesn't Frodo Destroy the One Ring?"


Tim Hickson (Hello, Future Me) discusses “Tolkien’s Philosophy: Why Doesn’t Frodo Destroy the One Ring?


The refers to the scene 20 minutes before the end of “The Return of the Kings” (2003) when Frodo, on Mt. Doom and having outwitted Sauron, screams “The Ring is Mine!”


There is no wholly good person.  It takes evil to destroy it self, and the left is left to humility.

The ring is lost anyway.

Tim would certainly make a good high school English teacher.
  
He sells a book “Of Writing and WorldBuilding.”

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

"Broga": men in a "straight" exercise class go over the line?



Jake Underwood stars in Jason Holman’s comedy film “Broga” from Australia (6 min) -- or did it look like England.


A straight woman and her boyfriend invite two gay men to her exercise class.  When is accepted contact between participants over the line?  This happens in gym class (wrestling. maybe tumbling), drama, of even self-defense classes or even hand-to-hand in the Army.

You can expand this into rituals.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

"Contact", based on Carl Sagan's novel, seems a bit corny now, but sends Jodie Foster finding alien civilizations


I saw “Contact” (1997), directed by Robert Zemeckis (Warner Brothers) at the old Shirlington.



Theater in Arlington on July 11, 1997, the day my first book was officially published.
It’s based on the 1984 novel by Carl Sagan, who passed away six months before the film was completed.


A young scientist Eleanor Arroway (Jodie Foster) works on the Very Large Array in New Mexico (which I visited once in the 1980s). She receives a signal which she decrypts to be the plans for an unusual spaceship based on large gyroscopic rings.  It seems to come from Vega, a surprisingly young star. 
  
The first attempt, which is very large, blows up on the dock (I remember that scene, where the device spins itself into destruction), but there is a second secret one, which she rides through wormholes, sees alien cities on various planets, and finally meets an alien who is a projection of one of her own relatives.  With David Morse, Tom Skerritt, and Matthew McCaonaughey.

Monday, August 26, 2019

"Sleep Study: My Sleep Paralysis on Camera": It starts out like a grainy horror movie


Computing Forever, Dave, who seems to be a young white adult male conservative blogger, shows his “Sleep Study: My Sleep Paralysis on Camera”.

  
The footage is in dusky black and white, like a horror movie, shades of Blair Witch (howbeit indoors).  My own screenplay "Epiphany" starts with a scene like this. 
  
He has electrodes attached to his bod, which are gradually revealed later, as he describes and shows sleep paralysis.
  
I sometimes have it when waking up. You want to move your legs and then sit up and you can’t.  I wonder if ALS (which my cousin died of in early 2018) is like this.

But medicine generally doesn't think it's serious. 
   
There would be the possibility that death might be like this, at space-time would freeze, and time would not advance, and you would experience stuck there forever.
  
Dave says that sometimes you can keep dreaming while awake, and this could explain alien abduction accounts.
  
An attendant comes into the room and he negotiates (Trump-like) the idea that he will push a button to summon her if another episode happens.  It doesn’t. 
  
It’s possible to imagine an erotic or ritualistic screenplay movie based on material like this.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

"Cuteness": sometimes in gay male film, restraint really works




Cuteness”, posted by DentalTech1000, is a 4-minute gay short film


Two young men play a “shell game” in the kitchen or hallway of a condo, and gradually become more intimate. The material stays within PG-13.  It is the restraint that makes this little film erotic.  Porn in leather bars is boring.
  
You can follow up by watching “Measurements” on the same channel.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

"The 10 Top Chess Openings": an overview indeed



The 10 Top Chess Openings” by the Chesswebsite in 10 minutes inventories the opening moves of 10 opening amateur chess players should know.


I wonder about his inclusion of the Fried Liver Attack in the Two Knights Defense, because Black usually plays Na5 on move 6 and sacrifices a pawn for very active play.

The mention of the London System is interesting, because it looks so amateurish.  It is related to the Colle.  Against negligent defense, White can set up an impenetrable barrier on the dark squares to mount a King Side attack.
  
Some people say Magnus Carlsen is no longer at his peak, and has played some garbage openings recently.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

"High Noon": 1952 suspense film in real time, as the clock runs down, a western about standing up to a bully


In these times of political polarization, “High Noon” (1952, directed by Fred Zinnemann) may be one of the ultimate films about standing up to bullies. It was written by Stanley Kramer and produced by his company (and Republic Pictures) and released through United Artists, the independent film company of the past.

  
The film, lasting 85 minutes, is a western shot in real time, as a released con Frank Miller (Ian Macdonald) is due in a New Mexico town at high noon on a train, and the sheriff Will Kane (Gary Cooper) will have to deal with him and protect his new bride Amy Fowler (Grace Kelly).


The story concept is somewhat similar to the 1966 film “The Chase” (2016/10/13). 
   
I recall seeing this film at the old Buckingham Theater in Arlington VA (now a post office) with mother before we met father at National Airport coming back from a business trip. I remember the menacing clock being shown repeatedly.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Ubanell's new short film, "Couples Therapy", with the help of a non-Apple robot that runs iOS


Eduardo Sanchez-Ubanell has a new short film, “Couples Therapy”, with Andrew Neighbors, and “Alex”,  a “therapist” who is a robot tablet (it’s not from “Tim Apple”;  maybe it is a Wacom – and the technology for touch screens with Apple may change with OS 10.15, but that’s a side discussion.)


They both have good condo housekeeping habits and can assemble furniture and fold clothes (look at John Fish’s latest video from Montreal). 

But the computer decides “they are not compatible”.

But they know that they are.

Picture: Mine, from a hotel on the 405 in LA (2012 trip). 

 Ubanell shows determination to bring masculinity (or “manliness”) back to gay short film.

Monday, August 19, 2019

"Atomic Tours" by Carl Willis and Taylor Wilson (scientist), a visit to Hanford site (Manhattan Project), along with recap of radioactive sites in former Soviet Union


Carl Willis and Taylor Wilson (scientist) present the first of their “Atomic Tours”, a 23-minute documentary film directed by Jared Branden Flande and produced in part by Taylor.


The early part of the film gives Carl’s background and shows him visiting Chernobyl and various other controversial nuclear test sites in former Soviet republics.  This is controversial (as Sam Nunn has pointed out) that the world doesn’t have much of a handle on former nuclear waste, which can fall into the hands of terrorists. The recent explosions (there seems to have been more than one and at more than one location) in Russia at sites related to nuclear-tipped cruise missiles seem relevant now.

The film then switches gears as Taylor and Carl give a tour of the B Reactor at Hanford, Washington, which was very critical for the Manhattan Project during World War II.  V-J day in Times Square in 1945 is shown, with commentary from descendants of people who worked on the Project with all the moral mixed feelings. Taylor says that the Hanford site, and what it produced, maybe the most significant location in the world regarding its current recent history.
  
The site does not have access to normal running water, which makes bathroom breaks difficult. And, no, that has nothing to do with woke political correctness.

Wikipedia attribution:
By Image#2011393 at http://www.doedigitalarchive.doe.gov., Public Domain, Link

Sunday, August 18, 2019

"The Privilege Game": a card game version of kids' "Mother May I"



Neel Kolhatkar directs “The Privilege Game” (8 min), a companion short film to one about education July 27.


In a bland UK classroom, players draw trivial pursuit-like cards that assign them social status.  Being the victim of hate speech raises your status. Trump comes along (from the US) and reverse’s everyone’s gains from wokeness.
  
This sounds rather like “Mother May I”.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

"Woodstock at 50": CNN documentary by Bill Weir recalls the 1970 documentary in 70 mm of the 1969 hippy rock festival


Bill Weir of CNN hosted the one-hour documentary “Woodstock at 50”, where he talks to seniors who were there in a farm property in Bethel, NY (not the same as the town of Woodstock, maybe 50 miles NE in the Catskills), Aug 15-18, 1969, an event that drew 400,000 people and had off-duty police officers as a “please force” and had to get by on plenty of food and cooking donations toward the end.
  
In fact, I saw the 1970 184-minute 70mm film live documentary (“Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace and Music”) from Michael Wadleigh and Warner Brothers in the early summer of 1970 in a Cinerama theater in Indianapolis, IN when I was working for RCA on my first job as an adult.


Weir found that many of the seniors who had attended still felt a bit like hippies.

  
CNN’s own promotional article is called “Woodstock at 50: Unseen Images of the Festival that Changed America”.
  
Weir notes that the polarization was maybe worse in 1968-1969 than it is today, before the Internet.
   
I was in the Army, stationed at Fort Eustis, but most of us heard about it in the barracks from the one television in the day room.  At least it had color. And a scanning tone that I could hear when I was young.

Friday, August 16, 2019

"How Safe Is China, Really?": Poppy (American travel blogger) documents living in China (Shenzhen)




“Where’s Poppy?” provides a 14-minute video, “How Safe Is China, Really?”


Poppy takes an air trip from Shenzhen to Nanking by air and visits some of the historical sites. Namking is half way to Shanghai. Toward the end, a woman goes way of the way to “chaperone” her back to her hotel.  I had an experience (in the US) on a bike trip in the 1990s I think I’ve share before.
   
She also left her camera and other affects unattended for a moment outside and no one disturbed them.

She has many other videos on her travel blog about life in Shenzhen, including cost of living.  Rent is about $900 a month for a reasonable high-rise, and she lives with a boy friend (white, English speaking, American).  Shenzhen is the closest big city to Hong Kong, which is certainly under stress now.

She does mention Internet service, which is like phone service and doesn’t discuss the controversy over censorship or social credit systems. She makes life there look very agreeable, in one-party unary Communist country.
  
But there is another video about how she was scammed out of $5000.

Wikipedia: 
By Simbaxu - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Film by Arvin Ash simulates traveling inside a black hole ("Crazy Journey")


I wanted to share Arvin Ash’s “Realistic Simulation: Inside a Black Hole: New Universe Through a White Hole?” (15 min).  The processed strike image reads "Crazy Journey: Inside a Monster Black Hole". 
  

Although no one can survive the tidal forces of going through an event horizon, you might someone feel pretty normal inside one if you could – but you are lost forever to the universe.  Furthermore, he says, every direction is down.

Space moves but time stops.
  
Arvin talks about the various mathematical theories about the singularity.
  
That’s why you have no sense of existence before conception, yet your life seems “indefinite” or infinite when you live it.
  
What if a black hole inside our galaxy generated another big bang?

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

"Happy Winter" shows middle class people celebrating "nothing" in an annual Italian beach festival



PBS POV presented a condensed (91 minutes to 51 min) version of “Happy Winter” (2017, “Buon inverno”), directed by Giovanni Tartoro, on Monday Aug. 12, main link here .  It don’t know why PBS condenses so many of these films.

The film traces some vacationers at the Ferragosto holiday on Mondello beach in Palermo Italy.


The festival provides over a thousand cabins, that are not much larger than enlarged outdoor privies, arranged in rows on the beach, painted blue.  Families “live” in them for a few days in August during the festival which is supposed to celebrate the Assumption of Mary.

During fascist Italy under Mussolini, the event provided politically oriented vacations for members of the middle and lower classes.

The families presented are in debt, dealing with aging or political challenges.  It seems strange to see living this way as a “vacation”.  Many are concerned with their social status now. 

The people seem to enjoy the camaraderie with activities like karaoke and scraping lottery sheets.

Many of the men, particularly, are overweight and rather sloppy. 

There is a book with a similar title by Joao Tordo.
  
The film was followed by very brief comments by the director, and a micro short animated film “My Father, the Giant”.

Wikipedia attribution:  By Lahiri Cappello - Padova - FerragostoUploaded by Markos90, CC BY 2.0, Link


Monday, August 12, 2019

"An Unresolved Mathematical Chess Problem": well, it's not quite about Lie Groups


For today, I thought I would present “An Unresolved Mathematical Chess Problem”, by Xhess Network and The Problemist. Not every post needs to be political.


The speaker poses two problems.  The first is to show Mate for White in 24 moves. The position is a complicated endgame with nights and bishops and pawns and no rooks or queens. There is an odd configuration of 4 black pawns quadrupled on the h-file. It is unclear whether this position occurred in a real game or could occur.

The solution is to realize that both sides are in practical zugzwang with White being able to move only the light bishop form a8 to h1 back and forth.

The second problem is to count the number of solutions in 24 moves possible.  The problem author wants a mathematical proof (I guess this would involve number theory and could require computer simulations, maybe a master's thesis at a university.) 
       
I suppose the collection of all possible legal chess positions is a vector space, but it is hard to describe an algebraic paradigm to map game moves to operations like what we see in group, ring or field theory. The number of possible operators seems infinite, and I don’t know what body of mathematics can really prove theorems like this.  Yet chess is such an amazing game in how it works that we don’t know where it came from.  The rules would be the same anywhere in the universe, or any universe.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

"Deep Impact" (1998) simulates what happens if a comet hits the ocean, but also poses a "political" question



Deep Impact” (1998, dir. Mimi Leder, from Paramount and Dreamworks) dramatizes what happens to western civilization when the Earth is hit by a comet (not an asteroid, which was “Armageddon”, a different review).


In fact, the comet had been discovered by a high school student and the whole matter is uncovered by a sleuthy journalist in the first half of the movie.

Comets pose somewhat different risks to Earth from asteroids or very large meteors.


The scene where the comet hits the Atlantic ocean is impressive, and a 1000-foot high tsunami knocks down all the skyscrapers in Manhattan.

But the film is also noteworthy because there is a lottery to determine who will be sheltered underground to survive the event and restart America.  People get a simple phone call inviting them to the shelter.

The idea might be unacceptable today if people were chosen based on some characteristic (given the political climate today).  But a film where people are on an escape vehicle going to another planet and are hand selected can have that political objection (previous review).

Morgan Freeman plays a “black” president and nobody thought anything of it in 1998.

I originally saw the film in the General Cinema (now AMC) in the Mall of America in Minnesota.

James Horner supplies the music score.

NASA “Deep Impact” gif of a comet landing, public domain, Wikipedia reference. 

See also review of cable film “Impact”, June 9, 2009 on cf blog.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

"The Hunt" canceled by Universal after recent rampage incidents, although the movie is said to be related to a classic "The Most Dangerous Game"



Universal has cancelled the release of “The Hunt” by Craig Zobel and Blumhouse, for September, after the reaction to the two rampages last weekend.

The film has persons who have been captured finding out they are targets for a hunt in the woods.  An article (linked by imdb) by Dave Trumbore in Collider compares the film to the 1932 classic “The Most Dangerous Game” (May 5, 2009 review here) by Irving Pichel, based on a 1927 story by Richard Connell.  I was working on a substitute teaching assignment in northern Virginia in October 2005 where the story was discussed in an English class and the students were asked to write a paper on “brains v. brawn” in the story.  During the assignment, there was a major controversy concerning writing of my own that had been found on the Internet (regarding a fictitious screenplay I had written about a substitute teacher who gets into trouble, and then this happened later in real life, although not by me).  I’ve discussed this elsewhere (“BillBoushka” blog, July 27, 2007).  So this whole thing now is very ironic.  I have not heard the last of that 2005 incident, as something related to it happened in the 2016 election. This little incident keeps coming back and biting other people (like Hillary Clinton).


Furthermore Fox News had claimed (as quoted in the Collider story) that the film satirizes killing of Trump supporters (the "basket of deplorables"), and Trump tweeted about it.
 
But NBC News says that the film presents "the rich stalking the poor." 
It sounds reasonable to expect a DVD or VID eventually, from an indie distributor. 

But any writer with an edgy script that gets a movie greenlight has to wonder if politics will outrun his/her work.  My own “dangerous” screenplay is integrated into the backstory of a screenplay feature of mine where the characters have been abducted by “angels” and are being studied (and "chosen" for a journey) as they live in an O’Neill cylinder.  Will that be too controversial?
 
Regal Potomac Yards in Alexandria VA still had a poster for the film in the lobby tonight. 

Friday, August 09, 2019

"Are We Alone in the Universe?" I say, consider the orcas



I wanted to share an Arvin Ash short, “Are We Alone in the Universe? Likely Yes, and Here’s Why


OK, there are some really improbable things that happened.  The collision that gave Earth a nearby large moon and an iron core and strong magnetic field.

And some fortuitous extinctions and survivals, like a single backboned "worm" survived one of the older extinctions.

But we are not the only really intelligent species.  Dolphins including orcas have more brain power than we do – their sonar is essentially a biological Internet. And they have been intelligent longer than we have.  But they went back to the water – free fish – and lost the use of hands and tools.
  
Quantum theory suggests that whatever can happen eventually does.  Maybe civilizations are spread apart in time as well as distance.  

Thursday, August 08, 2019

"Homegrown Revolution": important film about urban homesteading in Los Angeles


Path to Freedom – “Urban Homestead” offers the 2009 short film “Homegrown Revolution”.


One of the speakers makes an interesting reference to the Vietnam era draft.

But he took up urban homesteading in Pasadena CA when he returned.  In the 1990s he started farming with mulch.  He also took action to protect his family from food additives (or “alien food” as he calls it).

He also makes biodiesel fuel.

“Don’t look to others to change. You have to change yourself.  The government won’t do it.”  Sounds like Jordan Peterson!

Economic Invicibility (youtube channel) has sometimes advocated this activity, as has Tim Pool.
  
This group was involved in a trademark controversy (the Dervaes family) described today on my trademark blog.

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

"The Carrington Event of 1859": short film from a sci-fi author gives a level-headed explanation of a event that could sack the power grids today


John Michael Godier explains “The Carrington Event of 1859
  
  
Godier, a science fiction author, doesn’t overplay the narrative, but warns that similar coronal mass ejection occurred in July 2012 and the Earth missed it by only a few days.  It could have done trillions of dollars in damage to US infrastructure. He also discusses a 1989 incident in Quebec. 
   
He also demonstrates with animation and art what the auroras looked like as far south as the Caribbean in 1859 and in the American west.  The CME arrived on September 1, 1859.
  
Telegraph operators actually got electric shocks from the effects, and messages got sent even when the equipment was off.
  
He also talks about a similar event in 774 AD.
  
Wikipedia attribution:
By Richard Carrington - Page 540 of the Nov-Dec, 2007 issue of American Scientist (volume 95), Public Domain, Link

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

"What Caused the Big Bang?"


What Caused the Big Bang?”, from Deep Astronomy.


This is one of many typical videos that try to explain how space expanded from nothing, and is counterintuitive because space, while constant expanding, is simply all that there is.
It is like blowing up a balloon where we live on the surface (or inside it).

The big shakeout resulted in the four forces of physics and matter instead of antimatter.

A better question is, “why am I, me?”  Why do I live now?  If I had lived at the time of the resurrection and ascension, that might have explained everything.
  
Instead, I watch, and create a progression of my own ironies, the information of which will always exists and influence what follows me.

Arvish Ash has some related videos that explain how the universe came from a zero-size object to a finite object through quantum tunneling, for example

Monday, August 05, 2019

"The Distant Barking of Dogs": a boy and his grandmother deal with civil war in eastern Ukraine in 2014


PBS POV presented an abridged (91 min to 53 min) version of “The Distant Barking of Dogs”, directed and written by Simon Lereng Wilmont, on Monday, August 5, 2019. The PBS link is here
  

In late 2014, as winter falls into the eastern Ukraine, civil war rages between the Ukraine and Russian separatist forces probably supported by Putin.  The area is called Donbass and the village is Hnutove.

A ten year old boy, Oleg, living in a rural shack with his grandmother Alexandra, deal with the shellings in the distance. The script says that Oleg often vomits during the shellings.

At school, the teacher says that the kids must learn to live in a war zone where things can hurt them, and that they must learn to protect themselves and their families.  This is made to sound almost like the conscription of children into adult ethnic conflicts.

This is a Sundance project film, from Final Cut for Real.
  
The presentation was followed by a very brief director interview statement.

Wikipedia attribution: 
By Unknown - This image is available from the New York Public Library's Digital Library under the strucID 487268This tag does not indicate the copyright status of the attached work. A normal copyright tag is still required. See Commons:Licensing for more information.http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/id?1216161, Public Domain, Link

Saturday, August 03, 2019

"What Is Time?" Joe Scott goes back in time as he eats a banana



What Is Time?” in the “Answers with Joe” Scott, who has a good science series. 


A photon moving at the speed of light does not “experience” time or age.

But the main reason to share this video by Joe Scott is the sequence starting at about 9 minutes where he eats a banana as time moves back, and with each bite more banana remains to be eaten.
  
Time is an essential part of the topology of the universe, if you accept the idea of near-speed-of-light travel and time dilation.

Friday, August 02, 2019

"Why You Should Never Travel to North Korea": followup by Jacob Laukaitis


Jacob Laukaitis, now 25, explains “Why You Should Never Travel to North Korea”.  This video follows up an earlier film presented here Aug. 24, 2017.


At the time I reviewed the first video, Otto Warmbier had already been returned from North Korea and died upon arrival in the US.

But Laukaitis (who was born in 1994 in Lithuania, three years after the breakup of the Soviet Union) had made his earlier travels look interesting.

Now he admits that the North Korean government stages everything he was allowed to see, and almost all the money spent there goes to prop up Kim Jong Un’s regime and nothing goes to the people.
  
Wikipedia link, White House picture of Trump with Kim Jong Un (p.d.)  

Thursday, August 01, 2019

"The Early Internet Is Breaking": Old amateur digital content from the early web melts away (and now there is censorship)





Quartz presents “The Early Internet Is Breaking: Here’s How the World Wide Web from the Early 90s Will Be Saved” directed by Meghan McDonogh and Marie LaCerte.


Two former “Netizens” Dragan and Olia recall how it was in the clownish days, of Hometown AOL (which opened pretty much in 1996 after Congress passed Section 230), augmenting to corporate content of AOL and Prodigy; soon there were many small personal web pages, and I supported my own first “Do Ask Do Tell” book with a site called “hppub” (acronym for High Productivity Publishing) hosted by a coworker’s company then called “Virtualnetspace” itself residing on a Rackspace in suburban Maryland called “Announce”.  I had it hosted this way for four years and it was surprisingly stable.

The big platform was Geocities, with over 38 million pages;  one of these belonged to the Paul Rosenfels Community or the Ninth Street Center.

The film notes that many old sites are lost as owners simply don’t renew domain names.  They also note the demise of Myspace (a target of Dr. Phil) as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram took over.
  
They barely mention the censorship problem, which has erupted as a (“regressive Left”) backlash against the Trump administration and particularly the fear of the stochastic threat of the alt-right, as illustrated by Charlottesville, which has even led conventional hosting companies to cancel accounts of a few of their extreme customers, setting a dangerous precedent.

There is a project to archive older sites (besides the Internet Archive Wayback machine itself) called Webrecorder.  I'll look into this.