Nice short video overview of the ScienceOnline2012 unconference I attended last january, just days before my life went into a turbulent period from which I am still recovering. I had several blog posts in mind to record my own experience at the meeting, and summarize the discussion in the un-session I was able to lead there. It is nice to see this video which reminds me of the warmth of that unconference, and jogs memories that should help me write those blog posts… just as soon as I’m done catching up with all the other more urgent scheisse that has piled up at work in my absence! In the meantime, enjoy this video, which even has my own hairy face on camera for a second, laughing at something Brian Malow, the Science Comedian said during lunch on the final day. Its only been a couple of months, but feels so long ago that I have to say: ah, the memories!
Sad times indeed, now that Adrienne Rich too has disappeared. At least we still have her powerful voice with us… if only we choose to listen.
In his very second outing, the newest Doctor Who (a white guy… ever wonder why the last remaining Time Lord in the universe keeps choosing to be reincarnated as a parade of white guys?) and his newest (and whitest; again, where’s the kick-ass black beauty Martha Jones who accompanied him for a season?) companion land on a strange sort of ship which is really home to all of Britain transported into outer space somehow.
A spectacular view of the freshly rain-and-snow-washed Sierra Nevada range had me in its thrall during my morning commute this morning! Just the kind of view that all-too-rarely these days reminds one of the value of living in Fresno, so near to these fantastic mountains. Yet also so far sometimes as we get too caught up in the daily mundane. A view like that, and a video like this one, remind me again that I don’t go up in these mountains as often as I would like to… as I really should! At least I get to see them from my windows more often than most people, though. Besides, perhaps it is better that more of us enjoy getting up close to them via such HD footage than actually crushing those trails (like the one here going up Half Dome which the National Park Service is seriously worried about) underfoot. I also particularly love the nocturnal shots in this film, showcasing a Yosemite that is likely even less accessible to most people, including those who tromp through there on short visits. Therein lies the trade-off in capturing such spectacular footage of such special places, I guess: it is great that some of us have access so they can bring all this beauty to the rest of us!
A 3-minute journey through the last 250 years of our history, from the start of the Industrial Revolution to the Rio+20 Summit. The film charts the growth of humanity into a global force on an equivalent scale to major geological processes.
The film was commissioned by the Planet Under Pressure conference, London 26-29 March, a major international conference focusing on solutions.
The film is part of the world’s first educational webportal on the Anthropocene, commissioned by the Planet Under Pressure conference, and developed and sponsored by anthropocene.info
Now that sure looks like a fun movie, doesn’t it? Pirates! Aardman’s brilliant digital claymation wackiness! and Pirates! What’s not to like?
Well, a rather big chunk of the premise of the story, apparently – if you’re American. For the film is based on a novel titled “The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists”. Not just any old scientists either – but the story actually revolves around Charles Darwin, whose Beagle is sunk by the titular pirates who then actually team up with him for some scientific mayhem. Sounds like fun, right? But you wouldn’t know any of that from the above trailer for the film intended for the American market. Not only is there no mention of Darwin (although some of us may recognize him from one tiny glimpse in the above trailer; hint: he didn’t have that famous beard while on that voyage of his youth), the trailer makes it sound like some comic knock-off of that awful Disney Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. With a Band of Misfits!
Why, Sony, why? Is this what your marketing department and its focus groups told you? That mentioning scientists or Darwin would be the marketing death knell for this movie in America? That no one would go to see a movie with scientists in the title? Is this what we have come to in this nation that was once the proud global leader of science? That one must remove not only any mention of philosophers, but even scientists from children’s literature and cinema? I guess the marketers know something we don’t quite appreciate fully – just how low science has sunk in the estimation of the American public! And that is rather sad and quite alarming…
At least the British aren’t as squeamish about science or Darwin, going by this, rather more fun, musical trailer being shown in the UK – although this trailer too doesn’t exactly play up the science bits:
Let’s hope the actual movie itself hasn’t been purged of references to science or Darwin when it hits the screens here in the US. Or I will have to look for ways to pirate that original UK edition myself!
Bonus: David Tennant, who voices Darwin in the film, was on BBC’s Five Live with Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode this week to talk about the film. He said something about having to fight to keep the original title at least in the UK. You can listen to the interview online for the next few days, or download the podast.
My favorite, most poetic definition of jet lag, that modern malady of the flying-across-time-zones age, comes from an observation attributed to an Indian (of the American kind) saying which goes something like this: “if you travel too fast, your soul can’t keep up“.