Tuesday, August 31, 2021

"How Distant Galaxies Mess with out Lives" (Veritasium)



Veritasium explains “How Distant Galaxies Mess With our Lives”, 22 minutes.

The answer is, cosmic rays, which break off elementary particles as they move through the upper atmosphere.  The animated film shows them as forked lightning bolts, like aliens. 

The documentary starts with the story of an election in Belgium, where a certain candidate’s votes were overcounted by a computer by 4096, which happens to be 2 **12.  An elementary particle hitting a transistor can cause a “bit flip”.

It can cause a “blue screen of death” on a Windows computer. Or maybe a spinning wheel on a Mac.

The problem has been known with early chips back in 1978 (remember the movie “Tron” from Disney appeared in 1979), if their casing contained trace radioactive elements, as did some manufactured in Colorado.

The “heliosphere” created by the Sun does protect the inner solar system somewhat from cosmic rays.

Picture: Silicon crystal, Wikipedia embed, click for attribution

Monday, August 30, 2021

"Chess at Cast Castle" (Can Tim Pool play chess as well as he can skateboard?)


Grob's attack at Cast Castle

Chess at Cast Castle”, longer title, “Britne Gets Up and Rage Quits While Playing Chess at Cast Castle”, Tim Pool’s facility near Harper’s Ferry (in Maryland).

The actual game was a Grob’s Attack:  1. G4 d5 2. Bg2 Bxg4 3. Bxd5?? Qx d5  0-1 (White Resigns, dropping a piece).

But earlier one of the cast was 3-D printing chess pieces, with a rook that is a miniature of a feudal castle.

There is a lot of skating in the rink, which is also a basketball court, and games, and making of toy race cars.

It’s hard to explain.  I wonder if Andrew Neighbors will really make his Cast Castle West as elaborate.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

"My Flower Farm-House Update" by Andrew Neighbors (or Andrew-Goes-Places)

Camping site Lake Quinault


My Flower Farm – House Update”, 12 min, by Dr. Andrew Neighbors, aka “One of My Chickens Got Eatern!

Neighbors, an optometrist by profession, is a popular YouTuber with upbeat videos about gay life, especially health, fitness, and going places (outdoors), even during the pandemic.

Recently he bought a farm in Washington State (I think it is near Olympia National Park), with an old house, which he is fixing up doing his own renovation, creating a separate wing of the house for guests and apparently a facility for doing shows and interviews.  He also has a farm (and one of the products is beautiful flowers) and hiking trails in his own woods. 

I’ve watched some videos of Tim Pool’s Cast Castle on the other side of the country, and Neighbors seems to be doing the same thing with his new property. I’ll review one of Pool’s Castle videos soon. Pool's place has chickens, too. 

Picture: Lake Quinault in Olympic National Park, Wikipedia embed, click for attribution

Saturday, August 28, 2021

"Why I Will Never Come Back to the United States", by YouTuber Nathaniel Drew

HS20 Al Br├ęck


Why I Will Never Come Back to the United States”, Aug. 26, 2021m by Nathaniel Drew.

He films this 13-minute video in Luxembourg City, and explains how he learns more my going different places all the time.  Permanently he lives in France.

I wasn't aware that Luxembourg has its own language. Belgium has two. 

Drew has been a popular YouTuber for young adults, reminding one of John Fish, Nate O’Brien, even Max Reisinger (who also has spent a lot of time in France).

He didn't talk about what life was like during the COVID lockdowns. 

Picture: Luxembourg City, Wikipedia embed, click for attribution.

Friday, August 27, 2021

"4D Matter: Time Crystals" from DW News


coins, 2 sides

DW News offers a short “Time Crystals: A new phase of matter, and breakthrough for quantum competing? The cover title is “4D Matter”. 

The illustration is a glass of ice water where the ice melts and refreezes back into floating cubes. 

There is an illustration of shaking subway tokens, and seeing them be heads or tails about evenly. But if it were 4F matter, they might all be heads or tails alternating. Imagine playing poker this way.

In a sense a refrigerator cycle (somewhat audible in a smaller apartment or condo) seems like a time crystal.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

"The Space Adventures of Kirk DeVille"

Black hole details


The Space Adventures of Kirk DeVille”, from Turnshoe Productions, apparently from the “Boast Brothers”, starts out with what looks like the Sun preparing a coronal mass ejection.

But soon it transmutes into a man’s eye, with the sunspot the iris.

Then we are introduced to the immortal space warrior Kirk DeVille, approaching a black hole and fighting battles as if in a video game.

It seems he goes beyond the Schwarzchild radius and doesn’t get spaghettified.  That’s pretty good. But he will never be able to return to our universe.  Not even Jesus can save him. 

Wikipedia embed showing basic math of a black hole; click for attribution 

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

"Do I Want Kids?": A Zoom film from Vox says, well, often no in western countries, because it's too expensive when just an individual choice


View of Virginia foothills 2021-8

Do I Want Kids?” A Zoom short-film from Vox from July 21, 2021 (22 min).

The film shows a “happiness gap” by country, and in many western countries people without kids are happier.  A counter example would be Hungary where there is so much statist nationalistic pressure to be socialized by reproduction.

Fecundity decreases rapidly after your 20s for women.  I was conceived when my father was 39 and mother 25.

There are gay couples, and a female-male trans person asked.

The biggest issue is still economic, how mother’s earnings are impacted.  Child care is not very affordable compared to other things, 

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

"What If There Was Life on Mars?", from Koranos

Mars exposed subsurface ice


Koranos channel, “What If There Was Life on Mars?”, Aug 2021

The animated film (8 min, Auf 2021) describes the mission of the Percy rover (from Perseverance, Feb 2021) and the difficulty of knowing that any fossils are not cross-contamination. The rover will explore an area called Jezero, which was a river delta billions of years ago.

The short film also looked at the work of Andrew Steele looking at a meteorite fragment that landed in Antarctica in 1996, bumped off the surface of Mars by a large impact asteroid. Were the structures they found contaminated?

Picture: Exposed subsurface ice on Mars, Wikipedia embed

Sunday, August 22, 2021

“What’s the 4% of our DNA that Makes Us Different from Chimps?”, from SciShow


Orangutang at DC zoo 

What’s the 4% of our DNA that Makes Us Different from Chimps?”, from Sci-Show (11 min), July 7, 2021.

He talks about HARS, or human accelerated regions.  This has a lot to do with gene regulation as well as the biochemistry of the genes or amino acid replacement themselves.  It seems as though language and intelligence started giving pro-humans reproductive advantages rather decisively

Humans are more fully bipedal than chimps which gives them real advantages in making tools.  Bipedalism was an enormous biological innovation.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

"Why Are David Lynch's Movies Like That?", and keep you on the edge of your seat


Wilmington NC 2019-2

Why Are David Lynch’s Movies Like That?”, a 23-minute video essay by Thomas Flight sponsored by Mubi.

Lynch is always about noticing the oddities of the moment, an “life is but a dream.”

He spend a lot of time discussing the bw world of “Erasehead”, which is supposed to be based on the industrial flats are of Philadelphia.

Lynch invites the viewer to go on a trip with him, of discovery, relishing every odd moment of revelation. Remember the discovery of a severed ear in a field in “Blue Velvet”, and the adventure that leads to a hideout in a dingey apartment.  This is Lumberton, NC, “where woodchucks chuck”

Friday, August 20, 2021

"Was 2020 a Simulation?" It seems like it. So is 2021


cameras at a recent media event debate

Venture City asks “Was 2020 a Simulation? (Science and Math of the Simulation Theory)

The video starks out with an analogy where a cave dweller sees shadows of himself on a cave wall in a 2D world and is bemused when he goes outside – to mention of Nick Bostrom’s book “Superintelligence”.

He goes through probability theory – pretty much as in an undergraduate course – to construct the probability that we may be living in a simulation but not have the computing power to compute our own.

A civilization might need a Dyson Sphere to capture enough energy to be at the top of the simulation hierarchy.

A supercomputer might be built in space with the mass of an entire planet.

He talks about Elon Mush’s vides a lot.

The ending of the last Matrix film, where Neo finally steps out into reality, and it isn’t pretty on the surface, may illustrate all these points.

I also feel that the unfolding of the events surrounding the novel coronavirus were so uncanny as to seem like a simulation.  I currently believe that I might have caught it with very mild symptoms at the very beginning, and have been OK since (I am fully vaccinated now)  -- despite being elderly.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

"The Mysterious Deadly Frost of 1709": a warning about the Gulf Stream now? or about sunspot cycles?

Maunder Minimum and Little Ice Age


The Mysterious Deadly Frost of 1709 that Killed Thousands”, on the Grunge Channel (12 min, Aug 2021). 

The worst year of the Little Ice Age, and it started with a cold snap on January 5, 1709 that didn’t let up until March.

Theories range from volcanic activity, to weak sunspot cycles (Maunder Minimum) to maybe some kind of disruption of the Gulf Stream, which is feared again.

Over 600,000 died and society became very unglued.  The event may have made Russia stronger.

Wikipedia data charts, click for attribution on Maunder Minimum article 

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

“Can the Human Body Handle Rotating Artificial Gravity?” -- like on a space station

NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas


Scott Manley asks “Can the Human Body Handle Rotating Artificial Gravity?”

I’ve covered this before, in conjunction with my screenplay “Second Epiphany”, where I have a colony of people living in a rotating O’Neill cylinder spinning on Titan, but ready to take off.

He explains the relationship between mass, continuous rotation, and then centrifugal and centripetal forces – and Coriolis effect, which could make baseball or tennis difficult.

And me makes a pitch for a rotating space station some day.

Picture: Johnson Space Center in Houston, embed from Wikipedia, click for attribution 

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

"The Complete Evergreen Story": a "reconvocation" looks at the "day of absence" two years before on this far Left campus in Olympia, WA

Olympia Washington


Here is Benjamin A. Boyce’s “The Complete Evergreen Story”, as posted Aug 15, 2021, 33 minutes, and it appears there are many episodes preceding it.

This seems to be a set of talks from the “Reconvocation” two years after the 2018 “day of absence” at Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA.

Bret Weinstein and his wife Heather are shown in shadows, and Bret is compared to “Trump”.

There is a lot of talk by a native American student of a “Media Works” class.

There is a black woman giving an opening speech asking for white people not to be trees blocking the way in somebody else’s forest, a bizarre metaphor. They talk about being marginalized as groups, when many of the people simply have not performed as well in life as others expect so they feel personally rejected, so they make the push-back and demands for anti-racism sound “personal”.  

Picture: NASA photo of Olympia, PD, click for attribution 

Monday, August 16, 2021

“I Gave My Cats 10,000 Packing Peanuts to Play With”, in the kitchen no less


wild reeds 

Here’s something with a lighter tough, from Ninelife.

“I Gave My Cats 10,000 Packing Peanuts to Play With” (6 min. Aug 9. 2021).

The owner made sure these were safe to play with (can be eaten, although couldn’t it be a choking hazard?)

 I used to give a housecat a ping pong ball to play with. 

Sunday, August 15, 2021

"Conscientious Objectors in Israel: Choosing Prison over the Military", from DW films, about defending the West Bank settlements

Flickr - Israel Defense Forces - A New Soldier Packs His Bag


Conscientious Objectors in Israel: Choosing Prison over the Military”, 42 minutes, Aug. 12, 2021, directed by Molly Stuart, from DW documentary films (Germany). 

Israel still has compulsory military service for both genders (making women register for Selective Service is being considered in the US).  I believe that it has accepted gays since 1992 (even before the US “don’t ask don’t tell” in 1993) although for a time gays lived “at home”.

This film traces conscientious objectors in Israel’s military, particularly to serving reinforcing the settlements on the West Bank.  There is a phrase “occupation is evil, Judaism is not”.

There is a female detainee interviewed by the conscience board at the end of the film. Is this about occupation, or military service?   The occupation issue is complicated by the fact that many Israeli's believe they need a buffered homeland to be physically safe because of their history. 

Picture: Israeli soldier of IDF packing his duffel, Wikipedia embed, click for attribution 

Saturday, August 14, 2021

"In Deep Water: New Ways to Manage Flooding" from DW

Grote Kerk, Dordrecht


DW Documentary (Germany) gives us the documentary “In Deep Water: New Ways to Manage Flooding”, alternative title “Deep Flooding: Can Nature Itself Save Us from the Effects of Climate Change?”, 28 min, July 27, 2021.

The film is inspired by the severe flooding particularly in Germany in late July.

The film looks at several places, starting with Dordrecht, Netherlands, where people inside the dike zone have legal protection but outside they don’t.  There are curious structures which keep water in houses had keep them from reflooding the city.

It then moves to Colonge, Germany, and then the Loire in France.

But there is a surprising new technique:  tear down dikes, and let the flood plain return.  In some cases farms in the flood plains are elevated by about 6 meters with massive amounts of soil.

Kipton, Ohio, Rosa St., 2010
Wikipedia embed mentions “Kipton”, which is a town near Oberlin Ohio where I spent summers as a kid. I never knew that it is a Dutch name. Click for attribution.

Friday, August 13, 2021

"Can We Really Be Carbon Free by 2035?" No, according to America's Power, and that's an inconvenient truth


from a model railroad 2015-10

America’s Power Grid: Can We Really Be Carbon Free by 2035

Well, no, the America Power trade group says.

We need everything.  But for how long?

One question:  What about decentralized power, like solar panels on homes and buildings?

Thursday, August 12, 2021

"Bus 44": In China, a bus hijacking with a shocking and ironic outcome


Bus 44”, a recent short on Omeleto from China, directed by Dayyan Eng, based on a true event in 1999 in northern China, is indeed worth a watch (11 min). .

A bus is hijacked, and passengers are kidnapped and yanked out into the countryside. The female bus driver gets back on and ejects the young man who tried to save her.  Why?

How do you behave in a kidnapping situation?

China is supposed to have very low street crime.

The film was at Cannes.

Wikipedia:  Three Gorges Dam, click for attribution.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

ICU nurse's own video log: "I Got the Delta Variant"


NYC 2015-11

Here’s a sample account ("I Got the Delta Variant") of someone with Delta Variant at home, by Maddy Whitman, a young ICU nurse. I can only presume the fact that it was Delta was verified by a special test.

The video dates to July 19, 2021, and she says she came down with the disease after the first shot, she was partially vaccinated.

She had cough and intermittent fevers between 99 and 101.  By about day 7 or so she was out of bed and active but remained in quarantine ten days. 

The case would be considered “mild” but clinical.  Her blood oxygen remained at 99.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

"The Evolution of American Liberalism" according to Ryan Chapman


model railroad scenery, sim. PA

Ryan Chapman dissects “The Evolution of American Liberalism”.

He sets apart the terms liberal right, liberal left, conservative, progressive, and winds up with a new Nolan chart. 

In particular, progressives are not liberals.

Liberals, by definition, want do define freedom at the granularity of the individual.  Conservatives and progressives both believe that too many individuals fall behind and society becomes unstable, and both focus on tribal or intersectional identities as shared rather than focusing on the individual.

Monday, August 09, 2021

"Uncancelled: Sky News Set Free" by YouTube (medical misinformation controversy)

Mary Street during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brisbane, Australia


Uncancelled: Sky News Australia Set Free” (30 minutes), is mostly one long talk. 

The conservative Australian news channel celebrates the lifting of its one week suspension from YouTube.   YT had maintained it violated the medical misinformation policy with presentations about Ivermectin.  It is true, there is considerable doubt about the conduct of some studies that support it, but there probably needs to be better managed studies of variations of the medication, which could well turn out to be helpful in some circumstances.

The Guardian explains, in an article by Amanda Meade, that the channel deleted other contentious material suddenly, including an interview with Alex Jones.

The Sydney Morning Herald describes more details about the controversy, which are rather entangled, as Whittaker (the president) apparently spoke to the Youtube CEO,

But the video here claims that American tech giants are deciding what viewer in other countries can see according to their own woke biases.

The station admits it is “conservative”, a bit like Fox News. It has been particularly vocal about the harm caused by lockdowns associated with "zero Covid" which is becoming unachievable with the Delta variant. Australia has been slower on the vaccinations. 

Picture: Brisbane, Queensland, under lockdown 

Sunday, August 08, 2021

"A Blind Person Describes What the World Looks Like" (animated)


Grand Canyon, childhood drawing

A Blind Person Describes What the World Looks Like”, 9 min, on the Pursuit of Wonder Channel, Aug. 3, 2021.

A blind person, Lou, encounters a normally sighted young man, Tyler, on a bridge.

Lou has been almost completely blind since birth. The animated film shows his perception as a kind of black-and-white woodcut, with jagged lines imparting sparse images. Tyler’s perceptions of the sights around the river and sky are shown in full color.  But it is impossible for Tyler to impart what he experiences, so the film turns into an exercise in existentialism.

Saturday, August 07, 2021

"Will of the People": Animated short film depicting a revolution, based around a song by Tim Pool


Red Phone room, US Army Museum, Ft. Belvoir VA 2021-7

Will of the People”, from Timcast IRL and Subverse Media, is 4-minute animated dystopian satire of a revolution, with the animation blocking people into three castes: red, blue, and later green.

The music consists of a song, lyrics and music by Tim Pool, arranged by Nishral Ahren.  The short film itself is directed by Henrik Svilling.  The music is in B Minor (I checked on my Casio), or the dreaded “h-moll” – the key of Tchaikovsky’s Pathetique.

Whatever plot there does not end well for the combatants.  People have the toys  they didn’t earn on their own taken away from them.   (Oh, yes, remember, “Walking through Minefields”, but that was hardly a revolution.)   Can this film wind up in a festival, like DC Shorts? 

Friday, August 06, 2021

"How Reinforced Concrete Structures Age", from Building Integrity


Fort Lauderdale, 2017/11

Building Integrity presents a short (12 minutes), Aug 3, 2021, “How Reinforced Concrete Structures Age”  This topic may be of interest because of the collapse of the tower in Surfside, FL.  This is very much about mechanical engineering. 

The video has an illustration of typical concrete balconies, where concrete is poured around a matrix of rebar steel. 

Similarly, so are other vertical structures.  The chemical pH is to be around 13 when the concrete is poured, which protects the metal from rust for a long time.  But sometimes water, especially salt water, penetrates enough that lowering of pH occurs and rust can happen, and concrete starts to cracj.

Acid rain would seem to be an issue.

Thursday, August 05, 2021

"A Genuinely Shocking Travel Experience" (from Azerbaijan)


 Max Reisinger has a second short film (21 minutes) on his visit to Azerbaijan, five days, which took place right after his eighteenth birthday and high school graduation.  And apparently he was paid for the visit. Refer to the January 22 post for the prequel. 

The 21-minute film is called now “A Genuinely Shocking Travel Experience (Karabahk Azerbaijan)”.  The YouTube has (at least previously) embedded with a different title that is apparently objectionable to the country (maybe), so I will just give the link to be played on YouTube directly, here.  Max has turned off comments on this one video because of apparent sensitivities of some viewers to the historical subject matter. 

In spots, visitors had to be very careful where they walked, as he did visit an areas that had been the subject of conflict in 2020 and perhaps 2016.

There were interesting social and food events, like those in an Anthony Bourdain episode.

There is a touch of “beefcake” at the very end.

Wikipedia explains the conflict in 2020 in Karabakh with Armenia.  This conflict is relatively little known to the general public.,

Wikipedia Karmir picture, embed, click for attribution.

Tuesday, August 03, 2021

"Living on the Brink": A family deals with sudden career destruction by the pandemic lockdowns


Davenport IA 1940s 

Living on the Brink: One Family’s Struggle to Survive the Pandemic” from the Washington Post, 13 minutes, Jan. 4, 2021.

This is a white couple with one son and a house in Arlington VA.  The husband worked as a stage hand, but that career disappeared in a blink with the lockdowns in 2020. The family will sell the house for cash and move closer to family near Chicago.  He will work as a carpenter again.  They will start over.

She has been working selling real estate for some commission income. She says "I could see this happen because of terrorism or cancer, but not for a virus." 

Monday, August 02, 2021

"Don't Touch Me": activists try to block journalist from filming removal of homeless in Venice, CA, but the activists have ulterior motives

Venice Beach - panoramio - tonyfurrer


Don’t Touch Me” by “German in Venice”, otherwise titled, “Activists Try to Stop Me from Filming the Homeless in Venice Beach”.

The vlogger tries to film an eviction of a homeless person from the beach in California. Activists block him from filming, out of shame because he has food on his table. But one of the activists involved in shoving him away is filming it himself for a monetized channel.

Social justice warriors?

Sometimes BLM activists have tried to stop bystanders from filming them in protests if the bystanders won’t join them, particularly when they go into outdoor dining spaces to “recruit”.

Wikipedia embed of Venice Beach, click for attribution 

Sunday, August 01, 2021

"Mobile: When Living in a Car Is Your Last Choice": fundraiser short film by Invisible People on homelessness


car breakdown July 26 in northern VA on I-66

Mobile: When Living in a Car Is Your Last Choice”, directed by Luciana Faulhaber (written with Beth Meredith), 17 minutes, posted July 7, 2021, by a group called Invisible People on YouTube.

A middle-aged white woman, Lydia (played by the director) has been evicted from her apartment (think about the eviction moratorium now as a “political” issue in Congress) and lives in her car, while working in the gig economy as an Uber or Lyft (the script doesn’t say which) driver.

The landlord secretly lets her get some stuff back, and she picks up a couple of gay male passengers.  Everybody is wearing a mask, so her hard-times are pandemic-driven, perhaps. They cheer her up, and then she goes looking for a safe place to park and is almost accosted until another guy chases the accoster off and tells her where there is a safe-place parking she can register for.  There is some red tape with her phone.  Fortunately it works.

What if her car breaks down?  What if the technology dies?

The film is labeled on YouTube as a fundraiser, with links in the description of the video.