Tuesday, January 25, 2011

3D will never fly

Walter Murch is a badass. One of the best film editors on Earth (Apocalypse Now, Cold Mountain), great sound editor, oscar winner, smart guy. And guy whose experience in a classical radio station library still blows my mind. [28 minutes into that linked podcast.]

He thinks 3D movies will never work. (And he edited Captain Eo, one of the best 3D short movies.) His point is that in real life, our eyes point at objects AND focus on them. But in 3D movies, 3D tricks us to point at things that aren't there, but we have to focus on a screen that's further away than the illusory object our eyes are pointing at.

3D just breaks the way we see, and will never, no matter how good the technology, be a convincing way to see things. It's an interesting trick, but will never displace 2D screens.

Nintendo and others hope he's wrong, but I think he's right. 3D TV and movies are like the internet refrigerator and the video telephone. We don't want it because it doesn't align with who we are.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Nathan Fillion is awesome

Not only does the script of his new show Castle occasionally feature references to Firefly, but he worked in a gesture.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Placebo Side Effects

This guy (bloke) tells an amazing science story about how placebos can actually cause negative side effects if you think they will. For example, pacemakers work after implantation but before they're turned ON.

And if you're my mom, you want to skip over the first 30 seconds and stop at 5:10, because he throws in some random cursing. (There's some mild cursing during as well, but it's meaningful and not random.)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Axe Cop

Written by a 5 year old. Drawn by his 29 year old brother. Axe Cop. (Who answers your questions in the most awesome way possible.)

Now a video, narrated by a really good narrator.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Girl killed in Arizona attacks born on Sep. 11

I just learned that Christina Green, the 9 year old girl killed by the crazy person in Arizona, was born on September 11, 2001.

Even though I know that's a coincidence, it's still spooky.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Thunderstorms make antimatter

Yes. Thunderstorms create antimatter.

And not just trace amounts of it. Jets of it, shooting out into space. Electrical storms whip up fountains of positrons that bombard our satellites.

Science is awesome. As are the pictures in the article I linked to.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Hate speech leads to hateful acts

Unfortunately, I wasn't shocked by the shooting in Arizona. Because the amount of violent rhetoric in our body politic has created an environment where this isn't surprising.

Paul Krugman wrote exactly what I've been thinking. Just as months of violent speech against Muslims culminated in violent acts, so too has years of violent, racist speech attacking Latin Americans resulted in a violent act.

I'm not talking about calling Obama a socialist or a communist or even Hitler. You can hate his actions as irrationally as you wish. But when you call for "second amendment solutions" or put crosshairs on a map or talk of watering the tree of liberty with blood, you are suggesting violence. And it's wrong. When we still HAVE freedom of speech and free elections, there is no justification for violent attacks on the government. I can respect the choice of anti-apartheid South Africans for choosing to use violence against a truly repressive regime. But this is evil - this is how regimes like South Africa's get started.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Political Hypocrisy

Paul Krugman put into concentrated form something I've been thinking for a while: Republicans are total hypocrites about deficits. They hate them when Democrats are in charge, but they don't mind them at all when they create them.

You can say many things about the new British government, but the Conservatives there actually walk their talk. They said they would cut spending to balance the budget, and they did. I feel like our Republican't party is insane, demanding government cut back and keep its hands off Medicare. Maybe they have an evil plan behind it all, but I think there's just a focus on loyalty and fighting to win and not any long-term view at all.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Library dreams

I had a dream last night of a strange library. I have the strongest sense of deja vu, that I've had the dream before.

I dreamt that there's a reading room inside a library that you have to climb a ladder to get to. But before the ladder is a narrow hallway - vertically so narrow you have to get down on your stomach and shimmy through it. Awkward and uncomfortable and claustrophobic.

My college library had lots of cool, weird rooms. But I'm pretty sure nothing like this. Yet much more mundane and with outdated upholstery and furnishings than in a Harry Potter school library.


I actually went online and looked at floor plans of the libraries at my college, to make sure I'm not weirdly remembering something. I'm not. I wonder what book-spelunking would symbolize to Freud.