25 Years of “Wild at Heart”

Sailor

This year we celebrate the 25th anniversary of my favorite David Lynch film, Wild at Heart. Released in 1990, Wild tells the tale of Sailor and Lula, a red-hot couple who are reunited when Sailor is released from prison. The pair take off on a cross-country road trip that turns into a journey that resembles The Wizard of Oz on mushrooms. The film won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival before becoming mired in controversy. The movie’s opening scene finds Sailor (Nicolas Cage) smashing the head of a would-be attacker hired by Lula’s (Laura Dern) mother against a marble stair step until his brains slurp out of the back of his head. Commentators claimed to be shocked by the scene — and they probably were — but the reaction against the film seemed to have more to do with the overall violence of the bizarre imagery and strange set scenes that make up this weird and wonderful tale.… Read the rest

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Super Bowl XLIX: Greenest Circus in History?

Parker Anderson (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Parker Anderson (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Silvio Marcacci via CleanTechnica:

Media days, star-studded halftime shows, and million-dollar television ads traditionally dominate the news leading up to every Super Bowl, but it’s probably time to add a new tradition to the list: Annual “Greenest Super Bowl Ever” claims.

This trend has picked as Americans become more involved with environmental and climate issues, and this year Super Bowl XLIX is primed to score as perhaps the greenest sporting event yet.

From solar and wind energy, to LED lights, landfill diversion, and even both teams playing in the actual game, the 2015 Super Bowl is set to score big for sports sustainability.

A 100% Wind Powered Super Bowl

As with most CleanTechnica post, this one starts with renewable energy. While Arizona’s University of Phoenix Stadium doesn’t have any on-site solar or wind power resources, local utility Salt River Project (SRP) has agreed to provide all of the big game’s electricity needs with 100% wind power.

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Google Making Human Skin

Google is making human skin as part of research into “wristband that can detect cancer,” reports the Independent:

Google has been making synthetic human skin as part of work to create a wristband that can detect cancer, impending heart attacks and other diseases.

Scientists in the life sciences division of Google X laboratories in California needed to create arms that were as realistic as possible to test the technology.

Dr Andrew Conrad said the system, which is still in the early stages of development, would detect cancer cells when they first appear by using nanoparticles that “search” the body for disease.

It would theoretically allow diagnosis long before any physical symptoms appear, enabling early intervention to reduce the fatality rate of illnesses.

“We’re trying to change medicine from being episodic and reactive, like going to the doctor saying ‘my arm hurts’, to being proactive and preventative,” he told The Atlantic.

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Dualism vs. Monism in a Nihilist Context

Hartwig HKD (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Hartwig HKD (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Via Spinoza Ray Prozak at American Nihilist Underground Society (Anus.com):

This world may be a simulation. We may be figments of the imagination of a daydreaming god. We may be pure mathematics, or data in some cosmic computer. Or we could be physical beings, or some combination of the above. However, if this world has one characteristic to rely on, it’s this: it creates the same response to the same causal impetus.

That means if you pick up a ball and hold your arm up away from your body and drop the ball, it will fall — every time. Even if a friend sneaks a hand in there to catch it, it will begin falling first. If you put a support table under your hand so the ball doesn’t drop, the effect can be observed that the instant the table is removed the ball drops.

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Breaking Up the Narrative: the 2015 Philip K. Dick Film Festival

FilmFestivalDaniel Abella is the founder and director behind the Philip K. Dick International Film Festival, which just held its third annual event this January at Tribeca Cinemas, NYC. I spoke with him about Philip K. Dick’s ongoing, reality-bending influence on cinematic expression.

J: What compelled you to start a Philip K. Dick film festival?

D: I have been a big fan of Philip K. Dick since learning he was compared to Jorge Luis Borges by Ursula LeGuin. After reading VALIS, Ubik and The Divine Invasion, I found a writer of great depth approaching some modern day philosophers. Philip K. Dick represents a distinctive voice that speaks of a bygone era in science fiction where humanity is prized and valued. My first film feature The Final Equation(1) was inspired by Philip K Dick’s mind bending 2-3-74 experience of meeting an alien intelligence he called VALIS. Based upon the good reception of the film it occurred to me that other filmmakers may want a forum to express their ideas and stories.… Read the rest

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Can ESP help us learn?

Natalia Synyster (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Natalia Synyster (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Via John Eggers at Bemidji Pioneer

I have been a believer in ESP (Extra Sensory Perception) for a long time and this is why my students do well in my classes. I literally will them to do better. Before you label me a bigger nut than what you may think I already am, read on.

I don’t think there is a mother living that hasn’t at one time or another had a thought or feeling prior to something significant happening. This is known as precognition. My mother used to say things like, “I had a sneaking suspicion this would happen.” Or, “I had this certain feeling about that.”

Mothers do seem to have a sixth sense when it comes to knowing their kids. Their brain is sending them messages they don’t routinely receive.

Not surprising, there is much we don’t know about the brain. Consider this.

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Take Me to the Death Cafe

hans van den berg (CC BY 2.0)

hans van den berg (CC BY 2.0)

Sophie Elmhirst writing at Prospect Magazine:

In the middle of the graveyard in Vissoie, a small town in the Swiss mountain valley of Anniviers, stands a grey stone cross. For years, the cross was the focus of a local competition among the town’s teenagers. The brief was simple: turn up at midnight, sit by the cross, and whoever lasts the longest wins. By day, the task doesn’t seem too onerous. The graveyard is absurdly picturesque, perched on the side of a hill next to the church, the valley dropping away to a river, mountains on the far side rising up against a faultless blue sky. Even the graves are palatable: there’s no ornate Victoriana here, no ghoulishness or mawkish angels, no sentimental inscriptions; just a few rows of simple wooden crosses planted in the ground. (A rule was declared in the town that the dead should all be commemorated identically, to prevent wealth-displaying one-upmanship.)

Not long ago, Bernard Crettaz, an eminent Swiss sociologist who was born and raised in Vissoie, sat on a stone wall by the shared grave of his parents—Pierre and Genevieve—and recalled his year of competition.

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American Fascism

frames w english subtitles from the anti-fascist movie 'ordinary fascism' (Обыкновенный фашизм, 1965)

frames w english subtitles from the anti-fascist movie ‘ordinary fascism’ (Обыкновенный фашизм, 1965)
Karl-Ludwig Poggemann (CC BY 2.0)

 

By Laurence W. Britt via Information Clearing House:

The cliché that people and nations learn from history is not only overused, but also overestimated; often we fail to learn from history, or draw the wrong conclusions. Sadly, historical amnesia is the norm.

 We are two-and-a-half generations removed from the horrors of Nazi Germany, although constant reminders jog the consciousness. German and Italian fascism form the historical models that define this twisted political worldview. Although they no longer exist, this worldview and the characteristics of these models have been imitated by protofascist1 regimes at various times in the twentieth century. Both the original German and Italian models and the later protofascist regimes show remarkably similar characteristics. Although many scholars question any direct connection among these regimes, few can dispute their visual similarities.

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