Tuesday, July 27, 2021

"Refill": a man alone in the mountains, looks for a flying robot to give him daily fixes

 

Stony Man, VAn 2021-7

Refill”, directed and written by Luis Villatoro, from Ignorante Films, presents us with a young man (Jose Corales) living alone in a shed in Spain in the mountains, getting regular visits from a flying robot saucier that gives him an oral fix by hose.

He seeks to destroy it, and meets a companion (Daniela Honzalez, from whom he might have the last child on Earth.  What more to ask for?

Monday, July 26, 2021

"The Space Border that Could Seal Us on Earth", with Johnny Harris

 

Astrolabe 

The Space Border that Could Seal Us on Earth”, with Johnny Harris (17 min), July 23, 2021.

Johnny explains how the privatization of space, as recently illustrated by Jeff Bezos at all, is creating a lot of orbiting space debris, that once in a while collides.  If the cloud of space debris gets thick enough, it could set off a chain reaction that prevents further development in space.

Harris notes there is little legal control or liability enforcement now in international law. 

Although one wonders if you could try different orbits at different distances from Earth. 

An orbit results when an object moves fast enough that free fall keeps it at one distance from Earth.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

"The New Left of the 1960s: Deep Dives" according to Ryan Chapman

 

M14 and M16 from Vietnam war era, Army museum

Ryan Chapman, in April 2021, presented an explanation of “The New Left of the 1960s: Deep Dives” (one hour) 

He presents basic tension between “reform” v. “revolution” as “liberalism” left too many people behind. Cultural Marxism tended to take over revolutionary elements of the left (he starts with Stokely Carmichael) by attaching itself to other identity groups besides economic class, especially race and gender. At the same time, cultural Marxism thought it was separating itself from the Soviet Union and previous Stalinism.

He lists several separate issues (race, gender, LGBT, students) and notes that the Gay Liberation Front was much more “revolutionary” than the Gay Activist Alliance which tended to replace it. Because (especially among gay men) there is so much though to what one’s own values are in another person, LGBT activism for me doesn’t fit well with collective philosophies (and trans and non-binary are quite different from the rest of the community).

Generally, revolutionary groups tried to draw people into collective awareness rather than individual self-concept.  Identifying with a group is attractive if you haven’t competed well as an individual.

He talks about the evolution of SDS, and finally notes that the Weahtermen was one of the most dangerous of the movements, that we dodged a bullet on them.  Misunderstanding the new Left allowed the polarization that has occurred since about 2014 – we are living with the consequences.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

"John Hurley: The Anarchist Concealed Carrier Who Stopped a Mass Shooting", documentary from News2Share about a tragedy in Arvada, Colorado in June 2021

Aerial image of Arvada, Colorado

 

News2Share offers a 23-minute documentary short film today “Johnny Hurley:  The Anarchist Concealed Carrier Who Stopped a Mass Shooting”. 

(You can watch the video on YouTube by clicking on the letters). 

Katie Shepherd has a detailed report in the Washington Post. On Monday, June 21, 2021, a veteran police officer, Gorden Beesley, in Arvada, Colorado (a suburb of Denver ten miles to its north, actually in two counties) was gunned down by a suspect later identified as Ronald Troyke, 59.

A bystander, Johnny Hurley, carrying a concealed handgun, intervened and shot the suspect, as it was apparent that the suspect was going to shoot more police officers.  Then an arriving police officer shot and killed Hurley, before realizing that Hurley was a good Samaritan and not the original perpetrator.

Hurley is described as someone very dedicated to protecting people.

News2share describes this video as a “documentary”.  In the language of the film industry, it is “distributing” the film, and (at least to my observation) is likely to expand in this area; now it often licenses major footage (which includes that in this film) to other news networks or documentary filmmakers, but I hope this means that Ford and others connected to him and considering producing their own feature documentaries.

Wikipedia has articles listing killings by law enforcement in the United States by month, but no separate article yet for John Hurley.

The incident illustrates the extreme difficulty police can have with split-second decisions.  They are proportionally more likely to occur in poorer neighborhoods with people of color, but this time that was not the case.

Picture: Arvada, CO, Wikipedia embed, click for attribution 

Friday, July 23, 2021

"Noble Deeds" and "Newburgh Conspiracy" at the new US Army Museum at Fort Belvoir, VA

 

The Army Values 2021-7

The new US Army Museum at Fort Belvoir VA show a 13-minute nearly 360-degree cyclorama film “Noble Deeds”, or “The Story of the American Soldier”, showing the self-sacrifice of American soldiers over many conflicts.  The first scene is in Da Nang in Vietnam in 1966 (I would be drafted in 1968).

There is also a short in one of the museum rooms “Newburgh Conspiracy”, a plot by some military after the Revolutionary War in 1783 to take over the government unless certain demands were met.  An agreement was signed in New Windsor, New York which would establish civilian control of the military. Given what happened January 6, 2021 you have to admit that even that can be abused.

There is also a demonstration in a “red phone” room of how a nuclear crisis might evolve, with a fictitious “Lariat Advance” by the Cold War Soviets into western Europe, and how it was rehearsed constantly by troops stationed in western Europe.   There is a panel that talks about the end of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" in 2011 under President Obama, and there is a different one that talks about "unit cohesion" in WWII, as being broken up during the Vietnam war by the policy of making deployments to Vietnam just one year. 

Thursday, July 22, 2021

"Where Is this Place?": Max Reisinger (Perspectopia) reports on his surprise trip to Azerbaijan

Ancient Azerbaijan 4

 

Where Is This Place?” aka “I Was Invited to a Country I Didn’t Know Existed”, by Max Reisinger.

Max describes a trip to Azerbaijan ( sovereign county, a former Soviet republic on the Caspian Sea, capital Baku, largely Islamic) which he was invited to go on around the time of his 18th birthday, with other young journalists.  This all happened about the time of his high school graduation and his skydiving lesson (which “everybody” does:  Trey Yingst, Avi Schiffmann, Matthew Cappucci, Tyler Mowery, and a bartender/waiter at Freddie’s in Arlington VA).

The itinerary took them through Istanbul, and some of the content was displayed on Max’s “MaxTV” Patreon channel.

He saw lots of remnants of war, left in the field, and I don’t know off hand the history. He meets the kids in the park.  There is no religious tension, the practice of religion seems moderate as in the US.   But he has to take off shoes to enter a mosque.

The city of Baku is spectacular with architecture, and super modern and luxury hotels, one of them renovated from a castle.  

Max's style here, while playful at times, looks toward the detail of a Johnny Harris video, or even the current reporting of News2Share (Ford Fischer). 

Oh, yes, you had to be fully vaccinated to go.

Picture: Gobustan petroglyphs, Wikipedia embed, click for attribution 


Wednesday, July 21, 2021

"Dune": Timothee Chalamet will play "saviour" in the remake, due Oct. 1

USA Oregon Dunes

 

FabTV has a 17-minute preview trailer of “Dune”, which Warner Brothers and HBO Max will release on Oct. 1, 2021.

I remember reading Dune, Frank Herbert’s novel,  in paperback, shortly after it was published, in the summer maybe of 1967, while I was in graduate school.  I saw the first film in 1984, directed by David Lynch.  I remember the Guild as a detached brain inside a box.

Oh, if we had four planets we could freely travel among in our solar system.

Dune seems to be the main one.  Timothee Chalamet will play the young avatar Paul Altreides, and the idea is a bit Smallville-like;  he seems to be intended to grow up as a savior of others.  His mother Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) seems capable to challenging people with her deadly devices like the gom jabber.  I do recall that the desert planet was the center of the system’s economy because of the “spice” and that he sandworms were a threat – until Paul rides one.

Denis Villeneuve directs and has adapted the new version to the screen.

Picture: Oregon Dunes, embedded, Wikipedia, click for attribution 

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

"Mensa Told Me to Delete My IQ Video" (well, not mine, anyway)

 

Arts exhibit, Rafko Park, Leesburg VA, 2017-7

An appealing mathematician from Germany who runs the Flammable Math channel reports:

“Mensa Told Me to Delete My IQ Video (My IQ Is Not 145)”/

He made the video unlisted.  But he was also criticized for discussing the Mensa test, even generally.  He wonders if this is a copyright issue, but if he talked generally about it, probably no.  Maybe there is a trade secrets or contractual issue.

Monday, July 19, 2021

"What Exactly Is Post-Modernism?", according to Ryan Chapman (two types!)

garden on 14th ST DC 2021/7


What Exactly Is Post-Modernism?”, by Ryan Chapman, Aug. 26, 2020.

Ryan describes two types of post-modernism, which followed the “modernism” of liberalism (which in turn followed the Enlightenment).  It is interesting at the outset that modern liberalism really does need some foundation in truth, that is discoverable and stable and can lead to progress for everyone.  One might even argue that conscious beings must exist because mathematics is incomplete:  so mathematics needs local intelligence to make choices.  But individualism of consciousness means competition, and some individuals fall behind, so there is always tension over equity. 

Ryan first describes French post-modernism, as an attempt to loosen up rationality and make it more fluid and more able to enlarge life.  But the radical post-modernism of the far Left has become obsessed with placing people into groups and classifying them as oppressed or oppressors, something that needs to be fixed reparatively.  He makes mention of "first principles" (covered by Tyler Mowery in his Writers Mind, video Episode 9). He makes a comparison between Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning, interesting.  


Sunday, July 18, 2021

"Never Too Late": A gay basketball player deals with HIV positivity as he meets people

 

soccer field, Arlington VA 2021/7

Never Too Late”, 5 minutes, short film by Roger Slate in August 2016.

An attractive, college-age young man is shooting hoops when another young man walking a dog comes by and makes friends.

Then we learn that the basketball player is HIV-positive and tells his doctor that the protease inhibitors cause headaches and nausea.  Then he has to tell his new boyfriend.

The film seems to come from southern California and is fully American, but YouTube has some credits in Russian alphabet, which is odd.

Friday, July 16, 2021

The Hoh Rain Forest, and Glacier National Park, as per Ethan, during a heat dome

Highline Trail (4169004303)

Ethan travels from Kalispell MT to WA, but makes a visit to Glacier National Park, which was still closed when I tried to visit it in 1981.

He also hotwires his van to provide new air conditioning from Walmart.  He is enduring the Pacific Northwest heat dome.

He winds up at the Hoh Rain Forest in Washington state.

Picture: Highline trail near Going to the Sun road in Glacier, Wikipedia embed, click for attibution 


Thursday, July 15, 2021

"Why the West Isn't Having Kids": New Culture Forum Channel interview

 

NJ, from Freedom Tower 2015-11

Why the West Isn’t Having Kids” or “Why the West isn’t having children and Why Elite Men are having all the Fun”, from the New Culture Forum Channel, May 19, 2021.

Petter Whittle interviews expectant married journalist Alexi Kaschuta, from her studio (zoomed onto a flatscreen) in Romania.

They discuss assortive mating, and whether that is inevitable and perpetuates wealth gaps among people.  Well, of course it does.  Heterosexual men want the most nubile women, and conversely would-be mothers would want the most economically resourceful future husbands.  I remember all that from my own heterosexual dating in 1971 (it’s in my short story “Expedition” in the DADT III book).  This is all basic George Gilder stuff from the 1986 book Men and Marriage.  The problem was, conservatives assumed forced monogamy and fidelity thought that would help gradually redistribute wealth more fairy on its own, and it didn’t.   As H Ross Perot said in 1992, “trickle down didn’t trickle”.  But of course another problem is that people (like me) find cultural satisfaction by outflanking marriage altogether, which is one reason for the population demographics issue. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

"The Marxism Behind Leftist Identity Politics", by Ryan Chapman

 

Pride NYC 2021 anti-gun group 

Ryan Chapman gives an lucid explanation of “The Marxism Behind Leftist Identity Politics, Explained”, Feb 1, 2021.

Chapman explains how Marxism and communism arose as a result of a failure of “liberalism”, which today might almost be called libtertarianism, which left many people behind to fail personally.  It was easy to perceive their labor as exploited by those with more property and to consider them oppressed as a group (workers).  Colonialism and slavery (and settlement of indigenous lands) provided an excuse to invent a similar ideology for race.

Chapman also traces the Frankfurt School and the writings particularly of Marcuse, to a system where society is divided into groups of oppressors and the oppressed.  The idea is circular, as the oppressed get to define who is the oppressor.  Oppressors are considered like witches and given false choices.  Critical Race Theory arose with a substitution of race for economic class, but it is also profoundly collectivist, anti-individual, and demands that the individual become socialized through lived experiences of the group.  This identarianism can create its own moral contradictions when dealing with gender and sexuality. 

Chapman has shorter videos on May 28 and July 11 focusing just on CRT.  He warns that activism is a component of the theory, and it is not just simply something that is taught as another ideology in academia.  The idea of anti-racism makes personal demands of everyone, and in theory could override a country’s constitution.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

"The Science of Being Gay": OK, genetics, but what about epigenetics

 

NYC Pride 2021-6 Bryant Park June 27

The Science of Being Gay”, from the Powered by Rainbows Channel, with Dr. Matt Haslam.

As in a video recently shown discussing the biology of gender identity, this looks at statistical studies on sexual orientation.

Haslam claims there are myriads of genes that can influence sexual orientation.  He depicts it as somewhat a mathematical effect, perhaps of set theory, the way the genes aggregated together “measure” or develop a size (which could converge or diverge mathematically -- go ahead and prove the theorems). Nature really tries everything to find out what works in the long run for a larger community in aggregate.   

What’s interesting is that he doesn’t mention epigenetics.  It’s well established that in families with more than one son, each son further down in birth order has an increased probability of being gay.  The mother’s body reacts differently to subsequent sons during pregnancy.  It is almost like nature’s way of optimizing family size:  have just enough children for future generations to be stable and able to feed themselves.  In more primitive societies, the gay sons are supposed to behave “altruistically” and provide backup for essential functions in the society or family.  In liberal modernism, the practical reality is that the gay sons are more likely to become MGTOW, men going their own way.  All of this is particularly the case in higher income, higher IQ families.

He does cite a statistic to the effect that CIS gay adults are about seven times as common as transgender (and non-binary) individuals, and bisexual is actually about eight times as common.

Monday, July 12, 2021

"Critical Race Theory" as explained by Christopher F. Rufo

 

Richmond statues 2020-06 Monument Ave 

Christopher F. Rufo presents a challenging 17-minute video called simply “Critical Race Theory”, as of June 14, 2021.

Rufo presents its aims as revolutionary and communist, where race has replaced economic class in parlance.

For example, he says that Ibram Kendi’s proposals would, through the authority given to a ‘Department of Anti-Racism”, end federalism and even private property and free speech; all experience would be collectivized by race.

He presents the numerous reports of schools and even workplaces forcing their stakeholders (students or workers) to attend sometimes segregated workshops where they must classify themselves as “oppressors”.  It is unclear to what extent this is actually happening under the nose of society.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

"The Frankfort School: From a Failed Revolution to Critical Theory" (Thomas Nichols)

Ffm-adorno-ampel001

 Thomas Nichols (IK) describes “The Frankfort School: From a Failed Revolution to Critical Theory” (25 min).

He describes the way logic and economic theory drove society toward cultural conformity, at the loss of individuality.

The Institute moved around the world from the end of WWI until after WWII when it moved back to West Germany.

The move toward critical theory became a pessimistic evaluation of the inevitability of power structures.

He discusses the 1968 protests in France, which encouraged the film from Bernado Bertolucci and Fox Searchlight, “The Dreamers”, where Michael Pitt’s body gets challenged, to say the least, by the playful twins he stays with, legacy review  (March 21, 2018).  It has an NC-17 version. 

Wikipedia embed show Frankfurt school location today in Frankfurt, click for attribution 


Saturday, July 10, 2021

"The Science of Being Transgender", as explained by "Rainbow Science Class"

 

Go Gay DC flag

“Powered by Rainbows” or “Rainbow Science Class” teaches “The Science of Being Transgender”.

The video maintains that gender is defined in the brain, and usually, but not always, matches the genitals.  The brain MRI patterns of males and women are very different, with non-binary mixed and much less common but still happens.  These seem to be caused by epigenetics.

At about 9 minutes into the video the teacher (who says he is a cis gay male) discusses the pronoun issue.

He discusses the ages at which puberty blockers, hormones, and surgery may legally done according to the medical community (and would oppose state laws that interfere with medicine). Puberty blocker treatment is reversible, he says. Visitors should know that often learning difficulties and ADHD often  improve in teenagers when they start puberty (especially for boys).  It doesn't sound like it is a good idea to use them except when really "necessary".  Yet there are extremists (on the fringe Left) who want all teens to take blockers until they "choose" their pronouns.  

I present these videos to allow visitors to learn about the controversies and let speakers tell us the science as best we know it.  I am not “promoting” it.

Picture:  GoGayDC may be reached on Facebook here

Friday, July 09, 2021

"New Mars": preassigned heterosexual couples emerge from underground to populate a terraformed Mars

Perspective view of Korolev crater

 

In “New Mars”, a 19-minute film on DUST (May 21, 2021), people have been living in underground caves for eons on Mars, having migrated from Earth, which got destroyed.  “They were spoiled.”

One day, men and women are assigned to each other as mates to go out into the terraformed world and repopulate it.

They’re each assigned to a farm with an earthlike Soviet-style building to live in. 

They’ve been chemically treated to increase sexual attraction.  All perfectly set up.

Wikipedia picture of Korolev crater, click for attribution.

Thursday, July 08, 2021

"The Story of Action Park" (NJ), and its history as a risky water park to visit (on Fantastic Horrors)

Action Park (2999307425)

 The Story of Action Park”, from Sept 29, 2020, a “Short Documentary” on the Fascinating Horror channel.

This was a theme park and water park in Vernon, NJ (in the mountains in the NW near the Delaware Water Gap)  that opened in Vernon NJ on May 26, 1978.

In retrospect, the park was known dangerous rides with six deaths and many serious injuries over the years, because many guests were physically able to perform on the rides well enough.

The company went bankrupt in the mid 90s and operated without insurance in its last year before closing and being sold to a Canadian company that made the park much safer.

I was living in Manhattan (between the villages) the year it opened, last year, and sometimes took bus trips to attractions like this.  Good think I didn’t.

In Dallas (where I lived in the 80s) there were two water parks in the mid-Cities, and one got bought out by the other.

Picture, Wikipedia embed, click for attribution.

Wednesday, July 07, 2021

“Trappist-1: Weirdest Habitable Worlds” from NASA JPL

Comparison of TRAPPIST-1 to the Solar System

 

7 Earth-Sized Planets Around the Star ‘Trappist-1’” from NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, otherwise called “Trappist-1: Weirdest Habitable Worlds

The fourth planet, D, may have an average surface temperature of 55F and might be the most habitable (wiki).

The planets may be tidally locked like “eyeball planets” with a twilight zone of milder temperatures.

The NASA article has a 3-D simulation view of the surface of the surface of 1D (360 degrees oculus image) with red sky and snow, but this may be closer to a pole or father from the twilight middle if the average is warmer. 

“Launch Pad Astronomy” in 2018 offered a 12-minute video “Could Life Exist around Red-Dwarf Stars?”   These stars are enormously active with flares until the grow old, but they last a long time.  After hundreds of billions of years, stable life could develop, far in the future, maybe with reincarnations of us living on them.

Wikipedia comparison of Trappist-1 system to our solar system, embed, click for attribution

Tuesday, July 06, 2021

"NYC: A Documentary of Urban Decay", by Macbook repair business owner Louis Rossmann (and Mr. Clinton the Cat?)

 

Chelsea, NYC, near 7th Ave, June 27, 2021;  Gay Pride was about a half mile away

Louis Rossmann, owner of the Rossmann Repair Group, which repairs MacBooks and similar hardware, does a walking tour of 7th Avenue from 27th St, where his own shop is located, and he calls his 28-minute film “NYC: A Documentary of Urban Decay”.

He depicts, in almost every block, businesses that closed for good during the pandemic and after damage during the George Floyd riots.

He (after recharging his phone apparently) offered a 48 bike tour of NYC right after July 4 on his channel.

On Sunday, June 27, on Gay Pride weekend, I walked up to the location of his business, and the area was deserted.  The Fashion Technology center was across 7rh Avenue.  The march had gone down 5th Avenue, and the people were in the Village, from 7th Ave all the way to Washington Square Park, where there were a few incidents.

Rossmann often points out that landlords want much more to rent a space than the market will bear right now.  Particularly interesting to me was his depiction of the old Rivera cafe, in a triangular lot on 7th Ave about Sheridan Square.  I had a very important conversation with a friend there over chocolate ice cream in May 1978 after going to see the play "The Fifth of July" nearby.  The cafe had closed in 2019 (World Pride), before the pandemic.  There is a big sign "Texas" above it. 

Riviera cafe site, 2021/6/27

Rossmann also recently did a 3-week tour of the south, especially Florida, looking for places to establish new branches (or maybe franchise locations?) for his business.  I think he could trademark his cat’s name, Mr. Clinton, as a franchise name, because the cat has such unusual charisma on his video channel, always talking and getting attention.

Monday, July 05, 2021

“Mao Tse-Tung: The Greatest Revolutionary of Our Time”, propaganda film from the 60s according to his followers

Map of the Long March 1934-1935-en

 

 

Single Spark Films, which says it is not the same as Single-Spark Marist-Leninist Archive, posted in early 2014, the grainy film “Mao Tse-Tung: The Greatest Revolutionary of Our Time”. He is also known as Mao Zedong

The footage starts in 1949, when the Chinese communists have thrown out the “Japanese imperialist”   But soon the hostility was toward all western, especially US, capitalism.  Mao believed that the Soviet Union, under Khrushchev, was slouching toward capitalism.  Maoism became the Chinese variant of Marxism-Leninism. The film mentions some historical experiments, like the Paris Commune of 1871. 

The film mentions The Long March and the Great Leap Forward before it covers the Cultural Revolution which started in 1966 and was particularly punitive of the intellectual “elite” who could not work with their hands.

Personal identity was to be achieved only in the mass, not the individual.

What effective propaganda!

Wikipedia embed of the route of the Long March, click for attribution. 

Sunday, July 04, 2021

"3 Climate Change Solutions that Could Actually Happen", from the Climate Change channel

R134a container

 

“3 Climate Change Solutions that Could Actually Happen”, from the Climate Change channel.

The three listed are as followsL

Replace HFC refrigerants with natural ones (HFC’s were introduced to replace fluorocarbons in the late 1980s to protect the ozone layer, but HFC’s are greenhouse gasses.  This might affect appliances (refrigerators) sold in the future but the video doesn’t explain in detail how other refrigerants would work.

Emphasize particularly on shore wind turbines.

Encourage individuals to switch to plant-based diets.  Agricultural subsidies for meat farming should stop.

The tone of the film at the end is blunt, and mentions taking to the streets.  

R134A container picture, Wikipedia embed, click for attribution.

Friday, July 02, 2021

"Was Covid Created in a Lab? Here Is What We Know", a short film by Johnny Harris

 

NIH, 2015

Was COVID Created in a Lab?  Here Is What We Know”.

OK, Johnny Harris simply lays it out.  The biggest risk for natural spillover was in southern China.  Wuhan is in central China, and has one of the three virology labs in the world that does gain-of-function research on coronaviruses.  The other two are in Chapel Hill NC and Galveston TX.

And we have never found an intermediate animal host with SARS_CoV2.  Harris does discuss the anti-Trump political climate that kept the mainstream media from taking the lab leak idea seriously, and aptly criticizes WHO's recent visit, and Peter Duszak's "conflict of interest" (and oddly, "skin in the game" in a negative sense).  He says the species jump from a wild animal is still a reasonable hypothesis, despite circumstantial evidence.  He also says he could not have made this video a few months ago and kept it to stay up. 

Harris doesn’t mention the specifics of how furin cleavage happens, which, while it does happen in coronaviruses, seems to have happened in an unusual way with this virus, according to some experts as in a recent Wall Street Journal article.   That’s Chris Martenson’s video May 4, 2020.

This video needs to gain some traction.


Thursday, July 01, 2021

"What We Learned from the UFO Report" (Unveiled)

International UFO Museum and Research Center Roswell New Mexico

 

"What We Learned from the UFO Report", June 30, 2021, on Unveiled .

The video maintains that 1 out of 144 reports was identified as a balloon, but the others are totally unexplained.  They find it hard to believe any rival country (China, Russia) has this technology.

If it were aliens, who did they get here and deal with the speed of light?  Worm holes?

The buzzword is “unidentified aerial phenomena”.

 Picture:  UFO Museum in Roswell, NM;  I visited in April 1998, Wikipedia embed.  


Wednesday, June 30, 2021

"Click, Print, Gun": documentary from Vice about Cody Wilson and 3-D Printed weapons (2013)

 

Austin, TX, 2011/11

Click, Print, Gun”, a March 2013 documentary from Vice Motherboard, by Erin Lee Carr, also having the alternative title "3-D Printed Guns".

The film traces the work of Cody Wilson near Austin, Texas to develop the capability for manufacturing guns by 3-D printing.  But the license to do so is tied to a particular location, he says.  His company is called Defense Distributed.

There have been bills in Congress (as Sem Ed Markey has just introduced for the 117th) to ban 3-D printing of weapons and even distribution of blueprints. These could lead to more Internet censorship issues because the information itself is normally lawful. 

The film notes the political climate of the time, after the Sandy Hook shootings in Connecticut.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

"MATH + QFT"

 

Design 

“MATH + QFT” – “The Bridge Between Math and Quantum Field Theory”, by Quanta Magazine.

Quantum Field Theory is less rigorous than mathematics (which cannot prove it is “complete”), but its use adds to what we know about mathematics, probably most of all topology in higher dimensions.

Gravity is expressed in a field that allows the mass of objects to have effects at a distance.

Monday, June 28, 2021

"Motion Detected", horror short embedded in security camera footage

 

NYC 2021,6

Buried Hatchet Productions presents a short horror film “Motion Detected”, March 2, 2021, directed by Vincent Dormani, acted by his (apparent) brother Frank Dormani.

A young man comes home from a business trip where he has gotten warnings from his home security company.  As he goes through the video, he sees various ghosts coming into his place at 9 PM each night. 

Then the security mini-console says that a virus was found in its firmware, and to restart the device. 

Nevertheless, some entity is after the young man (7 minutes).

There is sort of am embedded story within the footage.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Unherd event: "Has Lockdown Changed Us Forever?"

 

NYC outdoor dining at Pride 2021-6

Freddie Sayers of the Unherd Channel conducts a 60-minute panel discussion “Has Lockdown Changed Us Forever?” I’ll count this as a “movie” for purposes of this blog.

This discussion comes from the UK, which has delayed full reopening until at least late July because of the Delta Variant. 

Freddie notes at the beginning that people have accepted a “reduced way of life” personally and may have to accept a more collectivized, authoritarian society.

One speaker immediately talked about forced separation from loved ones for very long periods.

Another speaker referred to “what nature could do to us?” Or was it Communist China? There was mention of China’s culture of absolute “compliance”. One speaker and then Freddie note that Covid suggests what a “war with China would look like; we’d lose.”

One speaker notes the shock that the churches closed down. We are at the "Death knell of the liberal order".  The World was already a strange place at the end of 2019.  They were also concerned about "back and forth" lockdowns. And finally believing that a new moral order (constraining individualism and personal agency) may be coming. 

Friday, June 25, 2021

"How to Break into the Film Industry": Tyler Mowery interviews Dominic Morgan

 

Angelika Film Center, Fairfax VA 2019-10

How to Break into the Film Industry with WGA Screenwriter Dominic Morgan”, as interviewed by Tyler Mowery.

Dominic comes from northern Ireland, apparently, and came of age near the violence and shelling.  He describes his entry into the field, with a deal where he was assigned to write another person’s concept and idea as well as his own, and then to travel to Brazil and learn what the people affected by the drug trade were like.  All down to earth.

He says if you have an agent, you need to produce one or two good pieces a year to keep their attention. What sells is a portfolio of screenplays, possibly interrelated and some of them smaller, not a single blockbuster.

The interview mentions Michael Hauge’s screenplay structure, which is a little more complicated thant the Harmon story circle. 

My own “do ask do tell” book series at one time generated three long screenplays (one was called “Make the A-List”) and tended to be long with several critical transition points rather than one (where getting what you want costs you something).  They were based on the world as it was in early 2000’s, immediately post 9-11. Their length and complexity might be more appropriate for a mini-series. More recently, I’ve written “Second Epiphany” which presents the material, well, from a space ship environment, where the backstories fit into various parts of the script, more or less.

I am looking into simpler stories to make that are more in line with normal expectations.  The problem is that the philosophical conflicts, while genuine and maybe captivating to some, require a lot of expository background before they become understandable.

Tyler offers a “Writer’s Mind” YouTube series, half of it free, half of it requiring Patreon support.  One of his most important episodes, about “personal high agency” (#16) is on the Patreon portion but is set up by earlier free videos like “First Principles”. Tyler also offers a course on Practicalscreenwriting

Thursday, June 24, 2021

"Eden": a lone space scavenger gets a chance to start a planet all over again, but with a robot?

Triton moon mosaic Voyager 2 (large)

 

Eden”, directed by Kristian Bakstad (12 min), new on the Dust channel, presents us with a Scavenger (Christoff Lundgren) exploring desolate earth-like planets alone in his spaceship. He encounters a planet looking like Pluto or Triton (Wikipedia embed above).

He goes inside an abandoned mine and first finds a woman (Brandi Alexander) as if he could restart civilization Adam-and-Even style (but no garden).  But then he is led to a Mad Man (Mackenzie Gray) who seems only to lead a religious cult.  Inside a “Box” however there is some mysterious stone artefact.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

"Is There Life Inside the Gas Giants?" (Unveiled): Maybe something like a jellyfish floats

Hubble Ultraviolet View of Jupiter

 

Is There Life Inside the Gas Giants?” from Unveiled, June 21,

The upper atmosphere’s of gas giants like Jupiter are thick enough that complex life forms might float (like jellyfish) or even “swim” (which could become predators hunting floaters).

There is also a question as to whether there is too much “entropy” for life to organize as it did on Earth.

What’s more interesting is what happens as you fall into the atmosphere, and eventually reach a layer of liquid hydrogen and even metallic hydrogen.

NASA ultraviolet image of Jupiter, click for attribution, p.d. 

Monday, June 21, 2021

On the Shores of Endless Worlds? or, "What NASA Discovered on Ganymede"

Galilean moon Laplace resonance animation 2

 

Astrum presents “What NASA Discovered on Ganymede”.

That is the largest moon in the Solar System, larger than Mercury and Titan, and the largest of the four “Galilean” moons of Jupiter.

However it’s density is much lower than Mercury’s.

The Moon has an unusually deep ocean layer dozens of kilometers deep, with a hundred times (or more) as much salt water as Earth’s oceans.  And there are several unusual ice layers.

But Ganymede is also the only moon in the Solar System with its own magnetic field, which might be produced by tidal forces.  Because of the extreme depth of the ocean, in comparison to Europa’s, it is considered unlikely that forces from the interior would create enough energy to trigger simple life.

Wikipedia diagram:   Galilean moon Laplace diagram, click for attribution (animated gif).

Sunday, June 20, 2021

"Communist State": Zachary Denman plays the "social distancing police" to have an easy life

Open Happiness Piccadilly Circus Blue-Pink Hour 120917-1126-jikatu

 

Zachary Denman walks his beat as the social distancing and mask police in “Communist State”, a dystopian short film, only 6 minutes.

The sky is orange.  Some London streets are deserted.  Others have people pretending to be happy.

He says the point is to make life easy, while killing self-expression. 

Picture: Piccadilly Circus in London, SoHo, Wikipedia embed, I visited it in 1982 

Saturday, June 19, 2021

"In the Woods We Can Be Together", two appealing men develop a relationship in the woods.

 

Ohio near Mt Vernon, 2012

In the Woods We Can Be Together”, directed and written by Ryan Schneider, posted in Oct. 2018, is a “long short” at 41 minutes but a good example of straightforward storytelling of a gay male short-term relationship.

Alex Little plays an appealing, clean-cut, non-nonsense med student living in an immaculate apartment near a state park in hilly southern Ohio. He likes to run every morning, and one day he passes by a tall construction worker played by Taylor Riebel.  The encounters repeat, and soon conversation begins. Riebel doesn't like social media or exchanging numbers, and wants the interaction to stay local, in the real world. 

The med student is gay, the construction worker is straight, usually, but strongly attracted to intact men. The discussions of medicine lead to a kiss attempt.  Riebel backs away, but comes back to the park and eventually the pairing continues.  It eventually leads to, well, Little’s apartment.

The Riebel decides he wants to go to college himself and escape his world, and moves away, leaving a memento.

The film was shot entirely on an iPhone 8 Plus, with some glare once in a while.

So is this a good example of straightforward screenwriting?

Thursday, June 17, 2021

"China's Freedom": aka, Things You Can Do in China

Guangzhou Twin Towers

 

China’s Freedom” or “Things You Can Do in China (You Can’t Do in America”, posted June 13, 2021, by the Living in China channel, run by a young man from the UK, similar in spirit to the Barrett Channel.

In a relatively small city in China’s interior, he shows you can drink in public (you can’t in the US) even though you can’t carry weapons (you can often in the US). 

He also notes that the public spaces are very clean (like Singapore’s).

He also notes there is almost zero street crime.

But there is no “freedom of reach” with political speech. Chinese society demands more mandatory socialization of everyone.  He doesn’t mention the social credit score.  Or the difficulty of many people in transcending and moving out of rural poverty.   

Wikipedia picture: Guangzhou skyline, Wikipedia embed, click for attribution 

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

"Occupy Me": two gay men make their encounter a proxy for power and submission

 

NYC, Chelsea, 2016-9

Occupy Me”, (2017, 15 min) directed by Adam Fitzgerald, present two gay men in a quick “stage play” about who has power in their physical relationship. It stars Jaspar Binning and Max Rhyser.

The film has shown in film festivals in Madrid, North Carolina, Out on Film Atlanta, Inside Out Toronto, Qflix Philadelphia.

The title literally says what the issue is, and this is all definitely about cis masculinity.

Since the video is age-restricted, I’ll embed another one where a therapist talks about the topic.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

"The 'Working Together' Riddle": the ultimate "story problem" for algebra tests

 

Rehoboth Beach, DE 2021/6

The “Working Together” Riddle, a problem that ought to be solvable by "common sense".

This may play out like the classic high school algebra “word problem”.

The important idea is to identify the indivisible work unit to solve for.

This test problem sounds like it was designed for intentional communities or communes that try to get by without any fiat currency at all.

tofu warehouse at Twin Oaks, VA, 2012