Wednesday, April 08, 2020

"The Main Event in America": a boxer goes straight, to the chagrin of a boyfirend, and he even loses the fight

The Main Event in America”, directed by A. W. McNight. From Mystic Lotus and Backyard Fireworks, running 29 minutes, just posted by Coreynyc.

The film presents a 28 (guess) year old white male boxed (Arthur Kuklov) living in the South Bronx with a single mom (black) abandoned by her husband, and he says he wants to marry her. He tells his (non white) boyfriend, who is passionately attached to him, that he has a “real life” and that “I f—k people up for a living”   Then he loses a fixed fight at the local ring and his life comes apart.  The place is hardly “Fight Club” though.

This film (which needs more video detail) looks like it wants a sequel and may be expanded into a feature (sort of like a Jorge Ameer film).
My experience in life is being the “boyfriend” and clinging to somebody who has a real life as I regard as a “good master” (remember “the rich young ruler” and “why do you call me good”).
I remember riding by Amtrak through the South Bronx back from Boston in 1975 (I had seen a game at Fenway).  It was a disturbing sight. 

Picture: Harlem, 2014, mine. 

Monday, April 06, 2020

"Broken Places": documentary about resilience of kids growing up in disadvantaged homes

Broken Places” (2018), directed by Roger Weisberg, aired on PBS in abbreviated form (55 out of 76 minutes) tonight. 

The film examines families in the New York area and compares the children damaged by poor environment and those who still thrive anyway, with “resilience”.

There was a lot of attention to families with multiple medical problems, including strokes and multiple sclerosis in parents, fibromyalgia, and pain and sometimes opioid.
One baby is shown with her head covered with electrodes, which apparently can do readings thorugh hair without shaving. 
The documentary looked at the development of PTSD in some children.

Sunday, April 05, 2020

"Kiss": in an outdoor outing in Bavaria, a male couple and lesbian couple interact unpredictably, with two endings

Kiss”, from Queerblick, from Germany, presents a lesbian couple and a gay male couple sharing an outing in Bavaria on a lake.

The short film (9 min) offers two endings, a “realistic one” and a “happy one”.

There is some experimentation as to whether the two men relate to the fluid non-binary “lesbians”.
The film dates back to 2015, before this idea became more popular.

By Björn Láczay - Über dem SpitzsteinhausUploaded by Magnus Manske, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

Saturday, April 04, 2020

"Why the Shanghai Tower Failed": Overbuilt, wasteful design

Why the Shanghai Tower Failed”, by B1M.

The last of three competing skyscrapers in Shanghai, built in 1999, 2009 and 2016, it’s 2000 feet tall and twisted (there is a similar condo in Massapequa, Ontario near Toronto).   The developers can’t lease it out.  Much of the floor space is wasted.
But it is spectacular.  

Friday, April 03, 2020

"A New Beginning" for a young man going blind; QA without the short film from Sedona Film Festival 2019

Here’s an interview from the 2019 Sedona, AZ film festival for the 10 minute short “A New Beginning”, directed by Erik Lauer, written with Tyler Mowery (Practical Screenwriting).

I couldn’t find the actual film anywhere, including the Facebook and Instagram handles given by Erik.

A young man with approaching blindness from a rare eye disease goes on a last sightseeing trip with a friend, but then there is a twist.  For him, descriptions of what he could see matter.

By Dr. Igor Smolyar, NOAA/NESDIS/NODC. - NOAA Photo Library: amer0081, Public Domain, Link

Thursday, April 02, 2020

"StandBy": what happens when you don't have a surge protector for your computer (sci-fi) during a storm

StandBy” is a rather curious sci-fi short film from Trey Drysdale (from July 2014), 6 minutes.

In a home in Britain, a business school student (Nico Drysdale) is typing a term paper into his computer. There is a severe thunderstorm outside and the house is hit by lightning. He is plugged in to Britain’s Direct Current without a surge protector, and his computer is fried.
He tries to fix the outlet and it arcs on him.  Then the computer comes back up and seems like a portal to other dimensions.

Picture: From Smithsonian, Washington DC (2015) 

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

"In a Moment": In a high school in Germany, music and basketball set off a relationship

In a Moment” (“In Einem Moment”), directed and written by Sharon Lucia, is a sweet coming out film set in a high school in Germany.  The film as shown on YouTube did not offer subtitles.

Max (Born Helge Jochum) prepares a guitar song (“Meine Kleine Festung”) for a rock concert, and plays basketball (imported from America). He witnesses Leon (Aaron Rufer) get bullied. Later, when Leon shadows him on the court in practice, Max feels some intimacy.
Leon will indeed open up to him after the concert.  The music (arranged by moog) sounds like a theme from Arvo Part, I think, and it sometimes is a church hymn.

Picture: Whiteface Mountain, NY, 2012 (mine) 

Monday, March 30, 2020

"Papercut": Just conversation in the back seat of a cab

Omad Productions offer “Papercut” by Damian Overton.

Two closeted actors talk in the back seat of a cab about the film awards they will get.  One of them even says he is straight.

The cab driver has different ideas, though.
Both young men are “interesting” and the film could have done more with this material.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

"What If We Relocated Humanity to Proxima B?"

Some day we may do this: “What If We Relocated Humanity to Proxima B?

This is a relatively new “evacuate Earth” video.

A select group of humans boards a spaceship that will take generations to get to Proxima B.  It will have an authoritarian political structure.  Everyone has to have kids.  People will be born and die on the vehicle.  Everyone will have to share the same communist version.

The Chinese may be better at this.
Proxima B’s earth-like planet may well be tidally locked and is not likely to have free oxygen.  

Saturday, March 28, 2020

"Just Like Arcadia", a gay Garden of Eden that starts out with perfect communism and non-compete

Just Like Arcadia” (7 min) is a short film by Serj Llado, presented by Cine Gluck.

The world starts as a gay garden of Eden, perfect communism, off the grid, with no need for ego or initiative. It’s only when ego comes into the picture that, well, the pretty boys start smoking.
There was no need for women, for reproduction, for genetic diversity.
The film appears to be shot in Spain, Castille.

Picture, mine, near Myrtle Beach SC, Feb. 2019 

Friday, March 27, 2020

"The Math of Epidemics": statistics, and differential equations; many good videos (2 of them here)

Professor Tom Britton at the University of Stockholm, from Vetenkapenshus (36 min) explains “Mathematics of the Corona Outbreak”.

He models diseases abstractly, and mentions how HIV developed in the 1980s with a smaller totality of susceptible populations but very long incubations which is what resulted in increasing the R-naught.  The R0 came down with changes in behavior and with drugs that suppressed the virus.

The presentation with regard to Covid19 (Sars-Cov2) is relatively abstract and simplified.

Then Trefor Bazett explains “The Math of Epidemics” with an introduction to the SIR Model.   He uses differential equations to model outbreaks (a system of three equations).  This reminds me of an undergraduate course at GW and then a more difficult course in Partial Differential Equations at KU (starting with the Wave Equation, which may matter to quantum theory now) with a text by Blaisdell which was hard to follow as I remember (in 1966).

For predicting the peak of an outbreak (like in New York now), it is the second derivative of the curve that matters, it needs to become negative for the actual slope to flatten. I’m not sure which functions would mimic the curves;  maybe my 1968 thesis “Minimax Rational Function Approximation” (KU in Lawrence, KS)  matters.

The graph on page 12 of my thesis (picture) looks like a poorly controlled pandemic with recurrent waves with sharp peaks, where there had been no social distancing (e.g., Trump). I’ll look into this some more and see if this is a close model to outbreaks.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

"Elevate" from the series "Frame of Mind" by Braden Summers

Elevate”, by Braden Summers, is the first short film in a series called “Frame of Mind”.
A male-female trans person (Aug Wang) rides a glitzy elevator and gradually interacts a little bit with the people.

The link from the director on Vimeo is here.
There is no embed.  So I embedded one of his other videos.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

"Science Proves Dogs Really Loves Us", and there is a genetic twist

“Science Proves Dogs Really Love Us but For a surprising Reason” by Anton Petrov.

Petrov was trying to raise money for a dog charity in South Korea.

Dog personalities and attachment to humans comes from the way oxytocin works, but, compared to wolves, they also have a genetic predisposition like those with Williams Syndrome in people. People with this syndrome may demonstrate a dyspraxia similar to mine, but I am not particularly sociable.  

The syndrome is quite interesting, in that it sometimes lead to individuals with verbal skills that seem to outflank their lack of intelligence in other areas.  And they are unusually friendly or sociable.

Wolves, compared to dogs, have the pack behavior but not the same friendliness.
Cats may, however, for entirely different reasons which Petrov will explore in another video. And Petrov mentioned that dolphins have languages with actual grammar.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

"And Why We Can't Save You" -- a sobering video (GoFundMe won't cut it)

Why COVID-19 Kills – I’m a Surgeon – And Why We Can’t Save You”, a 34-minute illustrated video.  

Duc C. Young, predicts 100,000 cases a day in the US by mid May, the peak in the US.
That’s just when 3% of people need a ventilator, according to his math.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

"Slime Organism Creates an Accurate Model of the Universe" (Petrov)

Anton Petrov explains how “Slime Organism Creates an Accurate Model of the Universe”.

I’ve presented other videos on the slime mold, which is a “protist” animal, usually a single cell with multiple nuclei but sometimes a colony that makes stalks.  But the organism can fill itself in over maps (like London subways) and form networks similar to the filaments among galaxies in the Universe.
Petrov describes a 3-D simulation of this process.  Alien life is likely to be like this.   

Petrov says he works in South Korea and worked from home for two weeks under quarantine.  He says he is fine physically.  

Thursday, March 19, 2020

"Kiss Me Gay" and "Plumber"

I’ll do an easy one today, “Kiss Me Gay”, from CA Men TV.

(Well this one went private.  It didn't stay up very long.  Maybe it will come back later revised. )

Two young men, as one of them returns from work, must simply deal with latent jealousy.

I wish I had ever been in that situation.  I sort of remember 1978.

This is a micro film, running less than two minutes.  I wish the distributor didn't put ads for the next film over the final frame, interfere with even watching this. 

Since the first video disappeared, here's another microfilm, "Plumber", who visits a straight couple. Not that much happens.

From Body Czech. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

"Isocation at the Giant Forest": how to take a quicky getaway during an outbreak?

Andrew Goes Places presents “ISOcation at the Giant Forest”

Dr. Andrew Neighbors goes on a long weekend in Sequoia National Park with Matt and Sean.  The cabin is secluded and luxurious inside;  they have a whirlpool, and drinks, and go on a hike in the mist, through redwood tunnels.

The gathering is fewer than 10 people.  But they are not always six feet apart.
Andrew is an optometrist, I think. I’d love to know his medical impression of the whole coronavirus thing.

Picture: My parents at Yosemite Falls (I think) in 1940, before I was born. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

"Estimating Actual Covid-19 Cases" by Khan Academy

The Khan Academy offers a 12-minute animated or instructional video “Estimating Actual Covid 19 Cases (Novel Corona Virus Infections) in an Area Based on Deaths”, put up on March 14.

The video seems to be narrated by Salman Khan himself.  It is based on a paper by Tomas Pueyo (from the Book Reviews blog). 

The main part of the analysis is to go back with each patient and make a separate bar graph on the day symptoms started.
The video winds up explaining the need to “flatten the curve”. 

Picture: Reno, 2018.  

Sunday, March 15, 2020

"Learn from China Before It's Too Late" from Barrett Channel

Today’s short film is the sobering "Learn from China Before It’s Too Late".  The film’s tag is “Western v. Chinese Mindset”.

Ollie Barrett ("Oli") from the Barrett Channel (the father-son team) walks through Shanghai (where they flew, from Shenzhen recently, I thought they said) still with a black mask.  It’s hard to believe you need a mask outside but he makes a deal of it – to protect other people from “you” if you’re infected and healthy enough not to have symptoms.

He talks about the collective mindset that the Chinese have, since Maoism even as it then moved toward “The People’s Republic of Capitalism”).  This would never fly in the UK, where there is more of “everybody takes care of himself.”  Well, not quite.
He said Chinese pay for their health care – I thought under communism that was covered.  He compared it to the British NHS.

By 王沂峤 (Wsj8526) - self-made, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Saturday, March 14, 2020

"Catch Me If You Can": the real DiCaprio movie

I do remember Steven Spielberg’s film with Leonardo Di Caprio, “Catch Me If You Can”, the same title as an ABC 2020 episode last night.

Ironically the movie starts in New Rochelle NY, Frank (Leonardo) wants to get his divorced parents back together after his dad is chased by the IRS.

Frank even impersonates being “The Good Doctor” before it is over (does he scrub properly)?  He also becomes a post 9/11 airline pilot and a prosecutor. A “flim flam man” indeed.

Friday, March 13, 2020

"Brain in a Jar" aka "The Simulation Hypothesis"

Transhumania offers the 40-minute short film “Are We Living in a Simulation?
It could also be called “Brain in a Jar” or “The Simulation Hypothesis”.  In fact, back in the 1950s there was a horror film (“Chiller”) called “Donovan’s Brain” which controlled the stock market (better than Donald Trump does).

The film mentions a mathematician named Bostrock.  It considers relativity to be like an “ingame” model, where as quantum mechanics, with planck nuggets of space and time, is actual physics.

There are multiple circular logical and perhaps moral paradoxes in considering how you would prove your life is or is not real.
One thing I notice is that my own life has a number of really improbable coincidences.

Image: Area 51 sign in Nevada, my trip, May 2012.  

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Animated video "Where Do New Viruses Come From" seems particularly relevant now.

Where Do New Viruses Come From?” seems relevant now. 

This animated video comes from a channel called “Simply Stated”.
The video explains how virus particles attach to receptors on cells.  Animals have different receptors, but evolution enables viruses to change receptors so that they can enter human cells, sometimes.

Monday, March 09, 2020

"Chinese Authorities Tested Me for COVID-19" by the younger Barrett

“Chinese Authorities Tested Me for COVID-19”, a 16 minute video today by Ollie Barrett  ("Oli")

He was riding a cab and had taken off his mask.  When the cab got to a toll booth in Shenzhen, he was detained and taken to a center where he was given a CT scan and the throat and nose swab test, which can make you gag.  Part of the problem was that initially his temperature was elevated, but then dropped.  Then the next day he got he result (negative) before he was allowed to return.
Yes, in China it is that strict.  This is all rather shocking to Americans who are seeing the possibility of local lockdowns and accidental quarantines on their own horizons.
Wikipedia: By Kevin Poh -, CC BY 2.0, Link

Sunday, March 08, 2020

Why "Parallel Worlds Probably Exist"

Veratasium shows that “Parallel Worlds Probably Exist

The video discusses particles as waves which collapse when observed.  He describes superposition, entanglement, and measurement, and a probability of position as a square of amplitude.
If the universe is infinite, you can see only one chain of events.  The theory may explain why bizarre and ironic coincidences happen more often in a lifetime than you would expect.

Saturday, March 07, 2020

Austin cancels SXSW out of coronavirus fears, devastating to some indie filmmakers

City and county officials in Austin, Texas cancelled the South by Southwest film festival (which also includes music festivals), and now the SXSW reports that insurance does not cover city cancellation because of communicable disease outbreak (or fear of one); it does cover other natural disasters and probably terrorism.

The Austin Chronicle reports in an article by Kevin Curtin 
CDC is probably more interested in seeing large events canceled than small things like protests, ordinary movie performances, and the like.  The Travel show in Washington DC was held as expected today. Outdoor events would not seem to raise the same level of concern.

Friday, March 06, 2020

"Will Humans Conquer the Solar System?" Maybe with a lot of social credit along the way

Unveiled, with Noah narrating, “Will Humans Conquer the Solar System?

Noah says NASA expects us to be able to live in a colony on the moon by around 2030. We might be able to start a colony on Mars in about another decade after that.

For Venus, we would have to live in the atmosphere sailing about the atmosphere at an altitude of about 30 miles. But he says we should land on Mercury and mine it for materials to build a Dyson Sphere.

We could conceivably orbit high in the clouds about Jupiter, but we would land on Europa (or other large moons) to look at the subsurface ocean.

Titan could indeed by interesting. This video showed a shot of what looked like Niagara Falls to simulate Titan? A honeymoon spot?  (The moon belongs to Carlos Maza.) 

We would explore the Oort cloud, which may extend about half a light year, something like one-eighth of the distance to Alpha Centauri.

The sociology of life on a space ship where one is confined for years (maybe a big O’Neill cylinder) is interesting speculation.

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Writing a movie script in seven days: Tyler Mowery discusses Ryan's effort

Tyler Mowery has a new video Tuesday where a friend of his, Ryan, tried to write a script in seven days and “failed”.

(This video links to Ryan’s and embeds much of Ryan’s in a frame partition).

Tyler gives a pep talk here, and says it is a lot about self-concept and self-motivation (this sounds a lot like what John Fish says in his videos about personal achievement in general). Tyler says many new screenwriters have trouble starting the “middle” of a script and then starting the “end” also.
In other words, it’s the middle section (like in a music ternary form) that is a problem, more maybe the development section of a Sonata structure.  I could imagine a situation where going between two characters in an exposition could be a problem (like going between the first two scenes within one Act of an opera).  For example, in a video from 2017, John Fish described (and films in aftermath) an auto accident when he was a teen driver (caused by another distracted driver) and plays music where the transition to the second theme in the Beethoven Fifth occurs with the crash.
I raise the question as to whether it helps to have a treatment first, and a detailed plot with characters and incidents, Wikipedia style, written first.  I encourage outlining your plot in detail in Microsoft Access and setting up keys to check for plot holes and inconsistencies programmatically (with SQL).

Monday, March 02, 2020

“First Ever Animal that Doesn’t Breathe” is not exactly a box jellyfish but just as alien

First Ever Animal that Doesn’t Breathe”, by Anton Petrov.

Anton describes the Henneguya Salminicola, which might be related to jellyfish, but which has no mitochondrial DNA for normal respiration with ADP.  It lives inside the muscles of salmon, and parasitizes them, giving up breathing to have more energy for reproduction.  A sea worm is also part of its life cycle. 
It’s an odd animal to talk about in the middle of the world public health crisis.
Wikipedia: By Michal Maňas - Own work, CC BY 2.5,

Sunday, March 01, 2020

"How Doctors Stay Safe Battling Coronavirus"

“How Doctors Stay Safe Battling Coronavirus”, according to the Wall Street Journal .

The doctors and nurses have to be very precise with the order of their movements putting on and taking off the protective garments.

Then there is the issue of scrubbing. 

The world keeps acting like this is the Andromeda Strain.

Wikipedia attribution: 
By NIAID -, CC BY 2.0, Link

Friday, February 28, 2020

"Must Be the Music" vintage gay short with a teen Milo Ventimiglia

Nickolas Perry directs short film “Must Be the Music” where Milo Ventimiglia, in one of his earliest roles, plays a gay teen attending 18+ night disco in Los Angeles.

They talk about pagers, not cell phones.  The video looks dusky. The film was apparently made around 2000.
They deal with the idea that everybody is “bisexual” (but binary).

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

"The Andromeda Strain (1971) Virus Explained" from Film Comics

FilmComicsExplained : “The Andromeda Strain (1971) Virus Explained

This is a detailed review of the 1971 Robert Wise film (20th Century Fox) of the book which Michael Crichton wrote in medical school and became a hit in 1969.  That’s on my legacy doaskdotell site.  I have a review of the TV series remake on my “cf” blog, May 26, 2008.

The virus comes from a spacecraft at high altitude returning, and it destroys a small town in Arizona, by destroying the small blood vessels of its victims (like Ebola).  But in fact it is a radioactive virus that converts matter to energy and vice versa.

The team goes into an underground biocontainment chamber.  With each level the team undergoes more commitment, including depilation by a photoflash and then “body analysis”.  At the end of the film, the entire facility has to self-destruct to save the world.
The video also discusses the “Resident Evil” virus concept briefly as similar.
It seems fitting today.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

"Does the Future Exist?" It's different for every person

The Science Asylum presents “Does the Future Exist?

The past, now, and future is separate for everyone, defined by local light cones.  This video seems to present the hidden variable theory, which now seems discredited (the Copenhagen thing).

The presenter also explains the basic idea of calculus, the infinitesimal, the dxdydx thing (and dt).
He also talks about how the light cone shows what or who you can influence in the future – at a distance, by blogging.  Does "Skin in the Game" require you to stay in your light cone? 

SciencePhile has a discussion of this concept, recently shared on Facebook by a friend, here

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Emily Carnichael demonstrates screenwriting from a prompt

Here’s an exercise that reminds me of the 48-hour-film project.

Emily Carmichael (who writes sci-fi action movies) writes a scene in 7 minutes to a prompt.  She has written for “Pacific Rim Uprising” and “Jurassic World III”.

It’s a sci-fi story set in 2048,  It involves a woman, an older man, and object, and a chase scene.

She makes information more specific, like “leaving town” becomes “to the outer ring”.
The object is a small robot.

"You don't need to be perfect at spelling to be a writer".  Just good at protesting?  You are not supposed to tell the director where to put the camera. 

Friday, February 21, 2020

"Bell's Inequality: God Plays Dice" and the EPR Paradox, by Arvin Ash

Arvin Ash : "Bell’s Inequality: God Plays Dice?"  (and the EPR Paradox).   

There are numerous videos about Bell’s Theorem.  But essentially they all come down to the question as to whether Einstein’s idea of reality is consistent with quantum mechanics.

Quantum mechanics had incorporated the idea of “local hidden variables” determining reality until 1964 when Bell’s theorem proposed an experiment.

Reality is really based on the interaction of probabilistic fields and waves. This leads to paradoxes but that still doesn’t imply that information (such as with quantum entanglement) can travel faster than light.

A particle is indeed changed when you observer – it is what manifests when you observe the wave.  Fields are “real” without matter of energy but they seem to connect to consciousness.  Donald Rumsfeld’s “The Known Unknowns” (actually a 2013 film) gets mentioned.

It’s a little hard to say how this affects consciousness.  Could the same individual be reconstructed from waves at a different place in space time?  Could this account for aliens, or angels?

The controversy would also feed the play by Michael Frayn, “Copenhagen”, about a meeting between shown on PBS in 2004 (Drama reviews, Nov. 11, 2006).

In 1978, Jeffrey Mishlove authored a book called “The Roots of Consciousness” that discussed Bell’s Theorem and was popular with a group called “Understanding” that I was part of (Dan Fry’s group).

Thursday, February 20, 2020

"Reverse Film School": what does a script supervisor do for the finished product?

Reverse Film School:  What Happens When a Movie Has No Script Supervisor?” posted by Vanity Fair.

A lawyer (at his desk) and client (sitting in front of him) have a conversation. A female script supervisor points out all the logic errors in the segment.

At one point, the lawyer seems to have teleported himself in the room.  That makes sense only if he is an alien and a superman (like Clark Kent from Smallville).  Never mind that I once saw a teenager do that.  Maybe (benevolent, angelic) aliens are with us.

The wardrobe discontinuity is interesting.  In some gay male videos, sometimes shirts appear rebuttoned suddenly.  Look at this one.  he guy in the green shirt should have kept the second placket shirt button closed until the intimacy started, to maintain continuity (and body suspense).

Screenplays (especially shooting scripts) have to be checked carefully for logic errors;  that includes the issue as to how a character knows something about another character's experiences. 
There’s another process called script clearance. We'll cover that soon. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

"Findians" in northern Minnesota, as Finnish and native American cultures easily mix

Wildwood Vagabond presents “Findians”.

Other videos have presented the history Finnish emigration to northern Minnesota (as well as the UP of Michigan, Ohio, and other places), some of it after Russia took back some Finnish land.

The native American tribes in northern Minnesota also endured “confiscation” by pioneers, which is becoming a guilty political issue on some of the far Left today.
The cultures intermingled and sometimes intermarried. 

Monday, February 17, 2020

"Lasiurus": 2018 short previews today's apocalypse (Omeleto)

Omeleto offers Leonardo Missorion as the young man in “Lasiurus”, directed by Marcus Alquero,

A young man seems unaware that doomsday is happening around him.  He is alone in a grocery store, comes come and finds a note to look at his phone.  His girl friend has locked herself in another room. 

 Then he sees the bats, and runs to one upper study left.
How appropriate now (the film was produced in 2018).  

Sunday, February 16, 2020

WSJ: "How Scientists Are Trying to Develop a Coronavirus Vaccine"

I thought I would share a “short” from the Wall Street Journal on a hopeful development regarding possibly a quick vaccine against COVID-19, the Wuhan Novel Coronavirus   Jason Bellini narrates.
The official title is “How Scientists Are Trying to Develop a Coronavirus Vaccine.”
Scientists design vaccines on a computer based on uploaded RNA genetic codes.  The great hope is that this time there will be a “rapid response vaccine” where the body’s T-cells are encouraged to make their own test antigens that mimic COVID-19 antigens. 
The second part of the short also described how a nucleic acid vaccine could work.  It also instructs the body’s white cells with messenger RNA.  This work goes on at NIH in Bethesda, MD, 
Of course the patent needs an intact cellular immune system.
The video suggests that a trial vaccine could be available in bout four months.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Quentin Tarantino: How to Write and Direct Movies

Quentin Tarantino: How to Write and Direct Movies”, from The Director’s Chair.

He explains how “Kill Bill” comes from “me”.  He says his movies are little autobiographies stuck in his multiple genre worlds. Remember the bizarre reference to Clark Kent in the second film. 

He says in a novel you can start in the middle of the story. So his movies are structured like novels.  The ultimate film told out of chronological order (in seven movements, like a song cycle) that circles back on itself is "Pulp Fiction".  But Christopher Nolan often employs similar circular structures, and Tyler Mowery's screenwriting lectures use a plot circle diagram (as opposed to Hauge's which is stepwise).  
He says he puts little metaphors and epithets in his writing from his own life that only he knows about. Often the material seems like lucid dreams, barely outside of reality. 

Thursday, February 13, 2020

"Coronavirus and Me" -- a young Irishman teaching English in Wuhan "escapes" to quarantine in the UK and tests negative at the end

Coronavirus and Me: Ben Kavanagh’s Journey: From Quarantine in Wuhan to Wirral”. This is quite engaging and shows what has been going on with the pandemic. 
Mr. Kavanagh, from Ireland, had been teaching English.  He was out for New Year’s Eve when he got a text warning him of a few SARS-like cases in Wuhan.
The situation worsened, and most of his film is shot on the deserted streets of Wuhan in late January, as he puts on very elaborate masks and googles to go out for groceries.
He gets a chance for evacuation, rides a bus for four hours to Beijing and is flown to the UK, and place in a well-supported hotel-like quarantine in Wirral, UK.
Finally, he gets out.  There is a second video where he reports testing negative. He mentions the 24-day outlier case, where others complained he should have stayed 10 days longer.  At some point this has to stop. 
Christos Lynteros writes about how in Asia use of face masks, which may not be that effective, show “solidarity”. 
Wikipedia attribution link, CDC diagram of COVINT-19, CCSA 4.0. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

"Paper Boy": black and white short film from festival circuit in India charms with its simplicity

Paper Boy”, from Pocket Films, and Idiot Box films, is a 15 minute short film from India, and won a prize in the Kolkata (Calcultta) film festival and various other fesitvals in India.
It is directed by Amilet Matra and stars Raja as the boy, and is filmed in black and white Cinemascope.
A 10 year old boy delivers a small local newspaper in the slums and runs into touching sights that tourists miss (because they never come to the slums), like a ferry, and pigeons.  Finally a customer throws down a bicycle pump with a paper as a present.

Here's JIFF link to a slum picture. 
I was reminded of “The Bicycle Thief”, Italian film in the late 1940s.
By Arun Kumar Jena / Arnabchat -, CC BY 2.5, Link

Monday, February 10, 2020

"Proof We're Living in a Simulation" according to Connor Franta

Proof We’re Living in a Simulation” (2018), by Connor Franta

Connor experiments with dynamic screenwriting (voiceovers), like “Adaptation”, as he ad-libs after finishing a run in Beverly Hills.  He says he barely missed getting hit by a (driverless) car.  Maybe his own simulation saved him.  His gams are in great shape.

He mentions Pride.  It’s been a while since I’ve watched him.
But let’s have some real science.

Sunday, February 09, 2020

"Parasite" is first foreign-language film to ever win Best Picture, as politics covers up the Oscars tonight

This was the night for politics at the Oscars, perhaps, as Kate Cohen predicted in the Washington Post (for the 92nd Academy Awards). 

At the end, “Parasite” , Boon Joong Ho’s satire in Korean, became the first foreign language film to ever win Best Picture.   While the rich family was away, the caretaking family found the gangsters in the bomb shelters set up anticipated Kim Kong Un.
The link for the Oscar winners was here on ABC Go

Joaquin Phoneix, after winning best actor for “Joker”, gave an impassioned speech about not only intersectionality, but about our not being the only species (yes, orcas are people and should have the rights of humans) and even did a guilt trip about putting milk in his coffee.

Brad Pitt ranted about the impeachment "trial", as reported in many rags.
The Kodak Theater in LA is really big, like an opera house. They had rainstorms earlier this evening, and now the parties start.  WJLA Good Morning Washington will cover it at 4:25 AM Monday. 

Saturday, February 08, 2020

"Why I Left Social Media" according to Dominick Whelton, but "leaving" is a matter of degree and perspective!

“What I Left Social Media”, by Dominick Whelton.

Well, this one doesn’t seem to be the radical step of closing your social media accounts and leaving it forever.  People have threatened to do that (like David Pakman) and not followed through.

He says he gave up posting on Instagram for a few weeks after some family issues distracted him, and feels better about it now. 

I have a more complicated potential situation.  My own online presence is very old (since 1996) and supports my three books and supports a “brand”, a lot of it with hosted content rather than social media itself.  This does not make money now and that is OK with me in retirement as I am OK because of other assets, but that may not be OK forever with social media platforms or even hosting companies because social polarization and cultural changes, especially since Charlottesville.  It could make a lot of sense to discontinue a lot of my activity (including these blogs, as Blogger is somewhat a social media platform as opposed to just publishing even now) and focus narrowly only on a few things (including finally finishing some music composition that has been out there since 1962).  In that kind of environment, it might make sense to discontinue discussing social and political issues on FB and Twitter too, and mention only narrow interests, and not be taken for granted.  I don’t generally participate in raising money for causes or candidates – but Facebook tries to prod me to do that whenever I make a news story linking post.  I like my work to be mine, and not be someone else’s mouthpiece or let them be mine. 
So right now Whelton’s video seems to be the tip of a very deep iceberg – and we do have climate change.

Friday, February 07, 2020

"The 50s" according to "Andrew Goes Places" in black and white

Cory Ewing and Andrew Neighbors (of “Andrew Goes Places”) present the 5-minute short viginette in black and white, “The 50s”.

A young man, whose shirt flaps open and shits again, plays with a beach ball and his girl friend while staring at a nearby hunk.  They’re “on the beach” waiting for a waltzing matilda.

At the end, a little bit of Mike Wallace’s 1967 report on CBS “The Homosexuals” plays.  Not capable of a lasting relationship like a heterosexual make?


Neighbors is an optometrist by profession and could well make a video about transmitting coronavirus through the iris.  That happens. 
Neighbors sometimes appears with Eduardo Sanchez Ubanell.

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

"A City of 13,000,000 Is Now a Ghost Town: Shenzhen, China", from an (Australian) visitor's perspective

A City of 13,000,000 Is Now a Ghost Town: Shenzhen, China”:  Ollie, from the Barrett Channel (is this from Australia?) walks around three areas of Shenzhen, across from Hong Kong, including the tech avenue, and then Coco Park.

The channel seems to have many presenters.  This was a young white man in his early 20s who stands out when he walks around.

Everyone wears a mask, even outside, as the streets and shops are deserted.  Occasionally a cop stops him to take his temperature from a distance.  It’s not accurate.  You have to go through security to get on the Metro.
The city looks lie a science-fiction metropolis.  There is plenty of fresh food in the grocery stores, and no one in them.

By WiNG - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link