Sunday, November 29, 2020

"Deep Dive" on DUST Channel, through contact lenses


Mohammad Solei presents “Deep Dive”, a 6-minute partially animated film for the DUST sci-fi channel.

A young woman arrives in Los Angeles and is issued unusual contact lenses, which mediate and screen what she sees.

As she goes into a lounge, she finds many other men won’t allow her to see their faces, with “access denied”.   This would an interesting device if you didn’t want to be stared at.

Then she is surrounded by colorful underwater images created by animation, as if she were in an underwater Deep Dive.

This reminds me of “Blade Runner” a little bit.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

"Cashless Society" where all you have is your social credit score on the blockchain (Denman)


Zachary Denman has a number of other dystopian soliloquies as he walks through an apocalyptic London.

Now he offers us “Cashless Society”.

But what he describes is a social credit system, where your comradeship is stored on the blockchain, after all your accumulated assets were taken away from you and redistributed to the needy.

China isn’t quite there yet.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

“Why Families in Europe Are Sending Elderly Relatives to Care Homes in Thailand” from Journeyman and Aljazeera

2010 09 19 red shirt protest bkk 09

 Journeyman Pictures presents an Aljazeera report, “Why Families in Europe Are Sending Elderly Relatives to Care Homes in Thailand” (26 min), posted Nov. 16, 2020.

The report must have been filmed in late 2019 however as it makes no reference to the coronavirus pandemic.

The film focuses mostly on families in the UK.  The families say that costs are much lower in Thailand and they think the (assisted living) facilities are more luxurious (mostly individual little cottages, one level), in splendid tropical surroundings, and the actual care is better.

However the families are much more separated from their relatives (usually with dementia, sometimes not even that old).  It would sound like they would have to be locked in to their cottages at night to prevent wandering.

The film finishes with an external visit of the old home in rural UK that the relative had “lost”.

The film was punctuated with excessive ads from YouTube.  Two of them were from Tyler Mowery’s Practical Screenwriting (in the same presentation).  I actually take that. Sorry, but for the sake of time, I had to exit out of it!

Thailand has had “free speech” and other political freedom issues with respect to(and for)  the monarchy.

Wikipedia embed: Red Shirts protest in 2010, click for attribution.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

PBS: "All Cats Are Grey in the Dark"; "Kachalka"


PBS POV has assembled a program of two shorts that it calls (together) “Uniquely Euro”.

The main offering is “All Cats Are Grey in the Dark”, by Lasse Linder, 15 min (German, subtitles).

In Austria, an elderly man has a female “Marmalade” impregnated by a Russian cat Katyuska, takes care of the couple, and nurses the mommy cat when she delivers the kittens.

There is a scene early on where he simply allows the cats to be together in a playroom, and the tomcat goes right to it.

The second film is “Kachalka”, directed by Gar O’Rourke (9 min, in Ukraine).  The film depicts an outdoor gym in Kiev, filled with very heavy metal.  There is a shot of sparse chest hair filling the screen made to look like an alien landscape. Later there is some very physical massage.  There are women there, too.

Here is a related video.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

"Belly of the Beast": in California, female prisoners sterilized illegally possibly for eugenics



I hadn’t even heard the stories that forced sterilization of women (often PoC) go on in prisons, especially California’s, but Erika Cohn laid it all out in a documentary, filled with interviews, aired Monday Nov. 23, 2020 on PBS Independent Lens, called “Belly of the Beast”m PBS link.

NPR has a useful historical link on the practice, which continued until at least 2010. 

The women talked unashameably about their prospects for love again.  And they describe not knowing they will be sterilized, for “eugenics”.

You could imagine connecting this to Bryan Stevenson’s work on wrongful convictions (“Just Mercy”).

The film seems to be related to or inspired by the book “In the Belly of the Beast: Letters from Prison” from Vintage Books by Jack Henry Abbott (1991).

The prison is located near Chowchilla, in the Central Valley along I-5.   I’ve been in the area twice, in 2002 and 2018.

The film was followed by a brief QA where the director talks with several former prisoners.

Wikipedia embed shows the prison from the air (click for attribution).   The film shows various shots of downtown Sacramento (visited 2018) and the Capitol (my pic at night).

Monday, November 23, 2020

"The Great Reset" occurs with the pandemic


Zachary Denman offers “The Great Reset”, the fifth in his series of dystopian science fiction films.

As a result of the inequity created of risk by the pandemic, all private property was seized, and money eliminated, replaced by a social credit system on the blockchain. Inherited privilege is stored, too, and the rich in the past have to work it off.   People who could avoid the virus will be assessed now for hiding from risk while working from home. 

Maoism came back   Kain, an attractive young man now (he has a strong cellular immune system and survived without ever getting sick but infected a lot of other people going to circuit parties), walks though empty streets in a city, but he knows he will be grabbed soon and taken to the countryside to take his turn living in the Stone Age, and being resurfaced to look like everyone else, a mere cell in a colony, like a siphonophore.  It will be a new, just kind of "survival of the fittest".  Ironically, you have to reproduce. 

Sunday, November 22, 2020

"Housekeeping": thriller short film, what you can expect in an extended stay hotel when on a business trip??


Tracy Kleeman has a short film “Housekeeping”, from Lucy Kat Productions, and a hit at the LA shorts filmfest and in New Hampshire. The film dates to 2019 (pre-pandemic). 

A housekeeper (Kate Boledian) starts developing a relationship with an extended stay guest (Hank Amos), who is quite assertive and full of himself.  The room does leave some interesting clues behind, like a mini chess set, card games, and drugs. The room looks more like a furnished apartment than a hotel room (full fridge, full kitchen, etc)m separate bedroom.  I once had a place just like this in Charlotte on a business trip!   

The film makes it look like the plot will be driven by gear left missing in a room.  What if I left a smart phone in my room?  In Minneapolis, I once left a UBS drive that had my backups and passwords.  I think it wound up in a landfill, but yet I changed all the pw’s when I got home (and discovered I had forgotten it).

The film has the plot device of doing “one week later” several times.

Hotel workers are generally required to be able to clean 12-15 rooms in an hour, I thought.

Friday, November 20, 2020

"What Would It Be Like to Stand on Pluto?" (from V101)

Pluto-01 Stern 03 Pluto Color TXT


V101 Science presents What Would It Be Like to Stand on Pluto?

The dwarf planet is the largest known object in the Kuiper Belt. The surface is relatively new, and is occasionally graced with methane snow when it is retreating from closer approaches to the Sun (which can be closer than Neptune). The surface has areas of white, black and dark red, because of the ultraviolet hitting the methane.

There may be a subsurface ocean in some areas, which could conceivably have life.

The documentary shows how large the similar moon Charon looks in the sky.

Triton, a moon of Neptune, is similar to Pluto. 

Wikipedia embed of NASA image of Pluto, note the crimson color, click for attribution. 

Thursday, November 19, 2020

"Soul Goes to Another Universe": The central dogma of biocentrism

WMAP 2010

“3QuestionKnow” looks at “Scientists Discover What Happens after Death: Soul Goes to Another Universe

The video looks at biocentrism. There is a view that souls are instances of consciousness, and when a baby is created, the microtubules in the brain link to one such instance.

After death, the instance travels to another universe and repeats the cycle.

There are records of NDE’s after brain death, where the consciousness seems to have been mirrored in cells of the body, enabling resuscitation.

Think about when you doze off, and start a dream, which you can’t remember but which you know you “experienced”, almost as an alternate reality.

In some animals or organisms, the logical equivalent of “microtubules” is dispersed throughout the body in varied ways.

You consciousness could also be viewed as a box in space-time, of all the information content of your lifetime, which could be reviewed.  Maybe it could be stored on the surface of a microblackhole and transferred to someone else to read.

It could matter how you die.  If your brain is incinerated by a shotgun, maybe the consciousness cannot be preserved.

Cosmic microwave background, NASA. p.d., Wikipedia embed (click for attribution) 

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

"A Lost Youth?" from DW News Documentaries; are young adults sacrificing their social development to protect the elderly from COVID? Not so fast


A Lost Youth? Do Teenagers Sacrifice Their Youth for the Health of the Elderly?”, DW News documentary (11 min) from Nov. 6.

The film shows scenes with teens in Greece, Poland, and the UK.  There is mention of a secondary fallout on GLBTQ youth.

Generally, teens and college or university age kids are giving up inclass school and normal social activities and sports, allegedly, in some accounts, to protect the elderly and people in nursing homes (?) because the elderly are much more vulnerable to COVID-19 – but the cavalry may be on the way with at least two vaccines.

But students are kept under almost dorm detention and told not to party because of the bizarre nature of the pandemic.

It’s important to remember that some young adults have died, and some do have severe disabilities, and a few have gotten a post-COVID severe shock (autoimmune) syndrome.  One 18 year old died of cardiac arrest in Ohio after apparently mild COVID.

Monday, November 16, 2020

"Mr. Clinton, the Cat"



“Mr. Clinton the Cat”, computer repairman Louis Rossmann’s companion, has to be one of the most charismatic pets on YouTube.  (He has several videos of Clinton, this one is typical.) 

Rossmann has three cats, one of whom was a stray who simply appeared one morning at his brownstone doorstep.

Clinton will jump in Rossmann’s lap during videos, or try to play with the mike when Rossmann is about to make a video.

He also can open catfood treats when Rossmann is out.  There are many videos of Clinton.

Clinton is very talkative.  Cats typically have a set of sounds that they relate to the owner.  A talkative cat may want to maintain dominance over the other cats in commanding his human.

See mention of Rossmann’s business in NYC on Oct. 28, 2020, IT Jobs blog.

I know of one person who got Covid as a grad student, and when he returned home from the infirmary, his female cat would not let him out of her sight.  She knew something had happened and would not let him leave the house. Females may believe they should be “motherly” and seem to understand that human kids take much longer to grow up than they do.

Picture: Wikipedia embed, cat kneading its owner, click for attribution 

Saturday, November 14, 2020

"Until There Was Nothing": the Earth approaches a rogue black hole from space

BlackHole Lensing


Paul Trillo presents the short film “Until There Was Nothing”, on the DUST channel (Aug 2020), 5 min.

The Earth approaches a black hole, and objects on the ground (buildings and mountains and sand dunes) are spaghettified.  It is as if gravity itself failed.

The narrator says you have to understand nothingness to have something.

From Wikipedia embed: "Black hole lensing", gif, click for attribution. 

Friday, November 13, 2020

"5 Cases of Soul Transfer" through heart transplants

“Curious Droid”, in an 8-minute Feb. 2016 video, presents “5 Cases of Soul Transfer”.

In each case, there was a heart transplant and the recipient took on some of the memories of the donor.  All of the donors were young adults who died of auto accidents or gun fire.

The idea is that every cell has a memory of one's consciousness.  (Such ideas have the imagined for octopuses, whose brains are distributed to arms which can grow back.)    That would imply that your consciousness is itself "quantized". 

In one case, the donor was a (black) violinist and the recipient started to like classical music.

In another case, the donor had been bulimic, and the recipient became so.

In two cases, the recipients could relive the moments before the deaths of the donors.

In my novel, Angel’s Brother, a virus is capable of transferring parts of souls, and giving the donor (who dies) periodic resumption of point-of-view consciousness in one “infected” person.

In the screenplay for “Epiphany” a consciousness-imprint is transferred by a two-step special ritual called a “tribunal”.  it will tie into the William and Mary embedded backstory. 

Thursday, November 12, 2020

"The Rarest Element on Earth" (it is a non-metal, and it offers sci-fi interesting ideas)


Atlas Pro presents, “The Rarest Element on Earth”.

The most common element in the Earth’s crust in Oxygen, locked into oxides and various mineral compounds.  Carbon is one of the most common.  Iron is the most common in the core.

Hydrogen, outside of water, is relatively uncommon since it evaporates into spaces, as does Helium (a noble gas).

The “rare earths” are actually more common than silver, gold, and platinum, and platinum is more plentiful than gold.

One of the rarest is astatine, which is a halogen (in the same family as fluorine and chlorine). It is one of the most unstable, created only by radioactive decay, but would look like a powdery black solid if enough could be accumulated.

The element is mentioned in my novel manuscript (“Angel’s Brother”). I speculated that inside a virus (which turns out to be like the coronavirus with spike proteins), it could be stable and enable the formation of micro black holes to store information from people’s souls for future immortality inside the bodies of “angels”.  The real coronavirus has become so bizarre that I am starting to wonder if my “science fiction” will come true.  I remember the existence of the element came up one time when I was substitute teaching a high school chemistry class. The class had a project to make a short film about a fictitious element, which it named after its regular teacher (out on family leave).  The kids actually dressed in costumes representing subatomic particles. The rarest element on Earth is surely “reltonium”.

Attribution link for picture of astatine-iodide, Wikipedia, p.d.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

"The Clue", gentle short film about treasure hunt(s)


The Clue”, directed by Judie Fenstra, from Chaos2Love, on Miss Robslyn’s channel, Jan. 2019, 10 minutes, with many festivals and awards, presents a kind treasure hunt.

A young woman find a message reflected in her bathroom mirror, leading her on a treasure hunt. It takes her places (there is a cluttered scene in a library), when she finally winds up in the woods, near a waterfall, and finds she isn’t the only recipient of such kindness.

The old Howdy Doody puppet show in the 1950s had a treasure hunt one time. The title of the movie, of course, invokes the board game.

The picture is of a falls near Route 61 near Lake Superior north of Duluth MN, mine, Oct 1, 2019 

Monday, November 09, 2020

"American Psychosis": How preoccupation with "self" makes people susceptible to authoritarianism (= Trumpism)


American Psychosis: Chris Hedges on the US Empire of Narcissism and Psychopathy”, on the UMN channel, directed by Amanda Zackem (15 min).  

Well, he talks about the culture of the self, or of self-aggrandizement, that it is all about you (remember Rick Warren).

The title reminds me of the 2000 series “American Psycho”.

He talks about the “failure to think critically”, yet critical thinking can turn inward too much (in fighting “critical theory”).

When you don’t get what you want, you become vulnerable to a “savior” to seize power.  Remember, as David Pakman often says, "they voted for him" (71 million votes for Trump). 

He says that poor PoC are worth more to the state (and companies) as prison labor.

“A life of attainment comes through service”.  Jimmy Carter said that in an evening service in 1995 at FBCWDC.

Sunday, November 08, 2020

"Detroit, Become Human": Gavid Reed finds love from a cyborg who rents his human body to order on Earth; is this about lookism?


The VickeyLove900 channel offers “Detroit Evolution Movie: Detroit Become Human”, from Gavin Reed + RK900.

Gavin (the human) has become the boyfriend of an alien, who seems handsomely human and lean, with real skin and even hairy arms, but who can phase back (like an octopus) into looking like and android with artificial skin.

Gavin wants the alien to help him find love, in a setting with dark, rainy streets.

The concept that you can have a human body when on Earth and then return it to go back (like renting a car when you travel) is certainly interesting.  Maybe there is a collision damage waiver, covered by American Express. 

 This video appears to be a short that was followed by a full 1 hour 15 minute feature (reminds me of "The House of Adam" which started as a short). I may look at that one later.  It is said to be a fanmade film (Aug. 2020). 

Saturday, November 07, 2020

"New York City Has Changed Forever", by a realtor


A tour of the “middle Village” in “New York City Has Changed Forever”.

Realtor Cash Jordan shows a small one-bedroom near Union Square, on 13th Street. In fact, from 1974-1978 I lived in the Cast Iron Building at 67 E 11th St, on the 6th floor, two different apartments, on the north side. Across the street, at 80 E 11th St the United States Chess Federation (USCF) had its headquarters back in the 1960s.

I would commute work (at NBC, and later Bradford, in midtown and sometimes lower Manhattan for Bradford) from Union Square, sometimes having a hot breakfast at a place on Broadway between 12th and 13th.  Those were the days.

Cash talks like the bars and restaurants can come back.  (Julius’s, the famous gay bar in on W 10th St, is running a GoFundMe to survive, and many bars say they cannot come back.)

The pandemic slammed into NYC like a bomb just before St. Patrick’s Day, 2020, by which time everything, including Broadway and Lincoln Center, was shut down indefinitely. And the second wave this fall raises the specter of another major lockdown, maybe after Biden takes office.

 Because of work-from-home and virtual learning, most people need to have enough space in their apartments for work, reducing entertainment and sleep space.  Many families will find it making even more sense to go back to the suburbs or at least outer boroughs. 

The biggest problem facing the economy of NYC is that people cannot safely congregate in large indoor spaces, at least without well-fitted face masks.  This could be the case for quite a long time (and we don’t officially have a good word on vaccines yet.)  Maybe some sort of improvement of filtering air for indoor spaces is possible.

Thursday, November 05, 2020

"The Looking Planet": a teenage alien disobeys his family and changes the parameters of the new Universe and creates binary planet Earth-Moon (14 billion years ago)


Eric Law Anderson offers “The Looking Planet” on the Dust channel (16 min, animated).

The film begins with an ode to the Earth and Moon as an unusual double binary planet, whose unusual setup enables life to grow in complexity.

So, 14 billion years ago, some spindly aliens (I will accept nothing less!) are constructing a new universe. A “teenager” wants to express himself (or their-self) by mixing dark matter with baryonic components or quarks.

Their family chides “them”, and we wind up with the Universe that we have, with a special solar system with a special double planet (although that didn't form for about 8 billion years). The film is subtitled, and I don't know if the language is made up, or a form of Chinese. 

Picture: Baltimore science museum, Dec. 2014 

Tuesday, November 03, 2020

"Not Done: Women Remaking America": Hour-long documentary about the women's (and Me Too) movements during the Baby Trump years


Not Done: Women Remaking America”, directed by Sara Wolitzky, from PBS, is offered by Amazon for $5.99 (HD) or as part of a PBS package.

The 55-minute film traces the progress of feminism during the Trump administration. 

The film starts with the overwhelming Women’s March on Jan. 21, 2017.  The march was so crowded that I could not get into the Ballston Metro Station in Arlington to go to it.

It moves on to trace the work of Alicia Garza, with her emphasis on super solidarity, “all of us or none of us”, and her role in founding the Black Lives Matter movement, after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in 2013 for his killing of Trevon Martin in Sanford, FL (I remember the Saturday night the court decision as I left on a trip to Oak Ridge the next day), and then the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson MO in Aug 2014.

It then moves trace the Me Too movement, back thru the fall of Harvey Weinstein, and then others, leading to the testimony of Ms. Ford at Kavanagh’s confirmation hearing in 2018. The film pays a nod to trans people, but doesn't acknowledge the tension between trans women and biological women (as in sports). 

Sunday, November 01, 2020

"The Viral IQ Test": Find out if you are smart enough to go on an Earth evacuation spaceship


Here’s a diversion today with a math problem, “The Viral IQ Test  Only Geniuses Can Solve” the “Viral 11x11 = 4 Puzzle”. 

The point of the puzzle is to figure out what operators are in use, and what the rules are.  This is a little problem in group theory.

I got the problem right.  Hint: think about the spacing of buttons on a dress shirt (as in a “Gay Awesome” or “The Office” video.)