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The Solar System Circular Orbit Conspiracy

[ Comments Off ]Posted on March 4, 2013 by admin in Popular Media

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Is there a vast science conspiracy dating back to the time of Copernicus? Probably not, but this video is fun anyway.

Did you know that science is perpetrating a vast global conspiracy to prevent you from knowing the truth about the shape of our solar system’s orbits? Yeah, me neither. Remember how in school they taught us that the planets all move in a circular orbit around the sun? And later, when they thought we could handle it, they admitted that they had lied, and that the orbits were actually elliptical? Well, the fascinating video below (which might be more fascinating with a different soundtrack) finally reveals the shocking truth that scientists have been hiding from us all along! Or not. As cool as the clip is, and although it highlights an interesting aspect of relative motion in a rather visual way, most of the hyperbole in its claims about this radical “new” vortex model of the solar system that is somehow destined to replace the “old Newtonion [sic]/Copernican Heliocentric model” is exactly that. There is nothing new about looking at the motion of the planets in this way, and in spite of the fact that the video highlights the fact that the sun is indeed not a fixed ball like the one at the local planetarium, it also is itself a pretty inaccurate representation of the relative motion it intends to convey. Ignore the fact that the creator of the video cites sources like Dr. Pallathadka Keshava Bhat and Nassim Haramein, the physics crank, whose cred is mostly derived from his appearance as an “expert” in the wacky conspiracy movie Thrive. He may just be doing it for page views, or maybe he actually believes it. Who cares. The video is fun, and I’d bet a nickel that you’ve never thought about the fact that on top of the Earth rotating on its axis as it revolves around the sun, we’re also moving in a dizzying spiral through the galaxy, occasionally dipping into the dense arm of it long enough to cause mass extinctions  . Video below. Read the rest of this entry »

Where Are Your Torches & Pitchforks? Why Aren’t You Mad As Hell?

[ Comments Off ]Posted on February 1, 2013 by admin in Popular Media

Friday, February 1st, 2013

The 1976 film “Network” may offer some insight. You see, the world is a business, and if you don’t like your job in it, you better get a new one.

The other day I had a conversation with a few friends in which we were sharing our collective befuddlement regarding the epic new levels of American Apathy. We agreed that it was hard to understand how people could seem so unconcerned about things, and ran through the typical list of things that people should be enraged about but aren’t. Things like the Bush administration lies that mired us in war, their reckless deregulation that contributed to the bailouts, and the banskters arrogant behavior after the bailouts, when they paid themselves bigger bonuses than ever. Or our presumed “good guy” Obama, who was elected on promises of reform and transparency, but who started the deceit before he was even elected, by reversing himself on public campaign funding and voting for FISA. And then proceeded to maintain Bush-era secrecy and tax cuts, uphold the Patriot Act, keep Guantanamo open, and create a health care plan that benefits the insurance industry more than the insured. And then added a whole NEW level of hostility abroad, with drone attacks and the “surge” in Afghanistan. Or the entire culture of modern American governing itself, which sneers at honesty, integrity, and the collective good as naive concepts, primarily so it can comfortably perpetuate its pervasive bribery and grift system under the epically misleading term “lobbying”.

That’s just the short list; also discussed were the outright crimes of big Pharma, health care, the energy industry, the military industrial complex, corporate media, and the new industries and agencies built around creating a surveillance state. As is typically the case in discussions like this, the sources of information Read the rest of this entry »

Put on Some Nice Shorts and Enjoy Sundance At Your Leisure

[ Comments Off ]Posted on January 27, 2013 by admin in Popular Media

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

Didn’t get invited to Sundance AGAIN this year? Put on some nice shorts and enjoy it anyway.

As much as I love film, and as much as I love festivals, I’m not sure if I love film festivals. I’ve attended plenty, but in spite of living in a town that presents one of the best festivals in the world – the Ann Arbor Film Festival  – I haven’t even attended that one since we gave it light coverage here a couple of years ago. Looking back, the year I stopped being so enthused about them was around 2000, which coincides almost precisely with the widespread availability of the “time shifted viewing” that the web and digital recorders have made possible. Combine that with the fact that I never much enjoyed hobnobbing with mobs of film snobs and hypersocial restaurant workers with SAG cards anyway, and film festivals have sort of become a thing of the past for me. That’s why I’m ecstatic that when I can’t attend a festival like Sundance, there’s a good chance that at least portions of it will be available online. Not that I’ve ever been to Sundance; to be honest, I’d probably only go if Delphine Chanéac asked me to be her date. So we can probably rest assured I won’t be attending Sundance any time soon. Anyway, one of the highlights of Sundance having an online presence this year was the selection of shorts available on one of their YouTube channels. As I’ve pointed out before, I have a fetish for short film, so below I’ve selected a couple of favorites from this year’s Sundance collection, as well as another exceptional short called VOICE OVER that wasn’t at Sundance. Enjoy, and see you at the festival. On line. Read the rest of this entry »

Monday Demotivator – Are You the Type to Test Your Font of Wisdom?

[ Comments Off ]Posted on January 21, 2013 by admin in Popular Media

Monday, January 21st, 2013

So you think you know your Impact from your Hattenschweiler? Your Georgia from your Palatino? Prove it.

My girlfriend sent me a letter.
So I tested and graded it.

It’s been a long time since we did the Monday Demotivators; as we pointed out when we stopped, with so many people unemployed, it didn’t seem there was anyone to demotivate on Mondays any more!  But the other day my girlfriend sent me a letter that inspired me. I mean literally sent me a letter. It was the letter “B”, and she needed to know what typeface it was. And before I go on, let’s just clarify the difference between typeface and font, so the more graphically inclined in your life don’t cringe every time you say “font”. Anyway, since my girlfriend had so little character – or only one character anyway – I couldn’t use the easiest cheat, the What The Font tool at MyFonts.com. So in the process, I learned that – like any normal person – she couldn’t tell Palatino from Times, Ariel from Helvetica, or Futura from Avant Garde. I also learned that in spite of hundreds of hours of yearning, searching, and kerning, I’m a bit of a typetard myself. Are YOU a font of typeface wisdom? Let’s find out. First, a super easy test, especially if you’re hipster enough to have seen the film Helvetica. If you can’t pass the So you think you can tell Arial from Helvetica? quiz, you’re a total noob. Your next logical choice if you failed that one would be Sara Newton’s Fontastic Quiz, which provides some verbal cues for the fontographically impaired. Bumping it up a notch, we have the iFont game , which is still multiple choice, but a little challenging. Which is why the original version was called The Rather Difficult Font Game. And if you’re more interested in knowing what type YOU are, rather than the other way around, you may want to try the What Type Are You (has audio) from the design firm Pentagram. Happy Monday!

Having a Bad Day? Put Things in Perspective with the “Overview Effect”

[ Comments Off ]Posted on January 14, 2013 by admin in Popular Media

Monday, January 14th, 2013

If we could put everyone in orbit just once, the world would be a radically different place.

I could ramble about the impact of this idea for paragraphs, but the producers of The Overview Effect probably summarize it best: “The Overview Effect, first described by author Frank White in 1987, is an experience that transforms astronauts’ perspective of the planet and mankind’s place upon it. Common features of the experience are a feeling of awe for the planet, a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life, and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment.” I personally was struck by Apollo astronaut Edgar Mitchell’s explanation of his search for how to describe his experience of seeing the Earth from space, which led him to discover Savikalpa Samadhi, which, as he puts it “means that you see things as you see them with your eyes, but you experience them emotionally and viscerally, as with ecstasy, and a sense of total unity and oneness.”

This video will totally be worth the 20 minutes it steals from your life, and might change your day. View it below, or better yet,  right on Vimeo  in fullscreen HD.

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