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 »

Increasingly Impossible Objects Becoming Increasingly Possible

[ Comments Off ]Posted on October 7, 2010 by admin in Technology

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

These 3D renderings of fractals suggest that just around the corner, there’s something just around the corner.

There’s a place I know, just around the corner of the corner of the corner. It’s inside a house designed by Karl Menger , and the walls, floors, and ceilings are covered with carpets designed by Waclaw Sierpinski. I’ve been going there since I was about five, when a Japanese fellow who rented a room from my family showed me how to make a Möbius strip. You’ve probably seen examples of impossible objects before; people are probably most familiar with MC Escher’s work, but there are many other artists who’ve dabbled in this arena. You can even make your own impossible triangle, or if you’re feeling really ambitious, you can engage in a little fractal origami. I love illusions like this, but I’ve always been even more fascinated with objects that can be partially represented in two or three dimensions, but require a little imagination or mental investment to grasp. We’ve touched on hypercubes and extra-dimensional ideas before, but today I ran across something I’ve longed to see for ages, which is detailed, 3D animations of fractals, and objects like the “Menger Sponge” referenced at the top. I became a little obsessed with these forms when the book Chaos: Making a New Science came out in the late 80′s. I spent a lot of time in bars drawing the Menger Sponge (which possesses infinite volume and no mass) for strangers, because it was a great conversation piece with the the right sort of person. But I have to confess that my fascination with mathematical/conceptual objects like this runs much deeper. Much like how – after several millenia of believing that human flight was just a dream – the world changed phenomenally in a short period of time once a handful of people saw the Wright Brothers fly their simple craft, I believe it only takes a handful of people seeing the strange possibilities of these shapes before another paradigm shift will occur. I believe there’s something right around the corner of everything, and that our ability to reach it is right around the corner. Of the corner. Below are a bunch of amazing little clips, mostly animated, 3D renderings of fractals. With – alas – really bad soundtracks. Just turn the sound down and enjoy. Read the rest of this entry »

Soviet Animation Is Something You Can’t Go Russian Into

[ Comments Off ]Posted on April 28, 2010 by admin in Popular Media

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

A seemingly endless well of Soviet-era animation is popping up on line for your perusal

This image actually has
nothing to do with animation.
I just like the imagery.

Last year we touched on some of the amazing Russian Flash Animation that’s out there, but I had no idea what an amazing body of work existed in terms of Soviet animation in general until I ran into this piece about 80′s Russian animation the other day. I’ve always had a mild fascination with things Russian; especially in the 80′s, when the cold war was sputtering out. I had a fair number of Russian military surplus caps, pins, and jackets, and loved the bold graphic style of Soviet propaganda posters. At the time the Soviet Union not only still existed, it was a dark and mysterious place in western eyes. I’ve also always enjoyed the tough-minded humorous attitude of my Russian friends, which is probably why I’ve threatened to run away and start a Balkan Funk Band. But that’s going to have to wait for a minute, because this Russian animation thing has triggered a wicked case of Wikiphilia, and I’ve got some YouTubing to do. The visual style of Russian animation prior to the 90′s is all over the map, and it’s hard to get a grasp on who did what and why. Some of the coolest stuff may or may not be politically-motivated, and all the best sources for this stuff are in Russian! So I’ve only included two clips below, but if you find this stuff intriguing you might start your trail with some things like this Soyuzmulzfilm channel on YouTube, or Wikipedia pages about the film studios Kievnauchfilm and Soyuzmultfilm. Read the rest of this entry »

KOMS.ru – Inspired Russian Flash Animation

[ 3 Comments ]Posted on February 20, 2009 by admin in Popular Media

Friday, February 20th, 2009

I’ve always been intrigued with the amazing possibilities for new media that Flash offers, and a little disappointed that most things you see created with Flash are annoying ads or clever games. We’ve mentioned the eerie creations of Han Hoogerbrugge before, but yesterday I ran across a fantastic collection of Flash work, some interactive, some [...]

ChevengurI’ve always been intrigued with the amazing possibilities for new media that Flash offers, and a little disappointed that most things you see created with Flash are annoying ads or clever games. We’ve mentioned the eerie creations of Han Hoogerbrugge before, but yesterday I ran across a fantastic collection of Flash work, some interactive, some not, at KOMS.ru. The screen grab at left (I couldn’t find an embeddable clip) is from the dark and macabre CHEVENGUR, an animated video based on the work of dystopian Russian writer Andrei Platonov , and featuring the music of one of my favorite composers, Arvo Pärt. There are many more clips at KOMS.ru, who describe themselves as a “non-commercial community of artists, which presents the new wave of russian flash-animation” adding ” This is not a sequel of flash junk-collections located all over the world, which don’t have any system or ideology. We want to introduce you intellectual flash-animations made of different styles: gothic, urban, vanguard, neo-psycho, etc.“. I love this kind of hip bad-assness in Russian pop culture. I haven’t seen anything this cool since the controversial Russian pop act n.A.T.o.

Learning To Read Can Be Creepy

[ Comments Off ]Posted on August 21, 2008 by admin in Popular Media

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

Run Wrake’s animated short film “Rabbit”

I don’t recommend watching this animated film over your morning cup of coffee. Your day probably just won’t feel quite right from then on. Using a familiar style of imagery from a childrens’ learn-to-read book, Run Wrake creates a macabre reality that only Brueghel and Roald Dahl would feel at home in. You can watch the little clip at left, but it’s more effective in the native YouTube scale, or better yet, download the higher-resolution version (QuickTime file) from Run Wrake’s web site. On a side note, that YouTube link appears to be unauthorized, calling the film “Idol”, when in fact it’s called “Rabbit”. Whatever. Creepiness has never been so eerily beautiful.