The Stanley Kubrick Exhibition, San Francisco

Wednesday, 20 July, 2016

How many people would ever wonder, even for an instant, whether the tools and equipment, the papers and the books, they worked with during their lives, would ever end up as part of a museum display, or an exhibition?

I wonder if Stanley Kubrick might have had such a thought? Would he ever have envisaged The Stanley Kubrick Exhibition, currently taking place in San Francisco?

For those of us with an interest in Kubrick and his work though, the show is surely a boon, but if you’re unable to attend, this video tour of the San Francisco show, hosted by Adam Savage, will give you an idea of what it’s about.

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All the world’s books on a stamp size data storage device

Wednesday, 20 July, 2016

Where are we going to find the space to store our seemingly limitless stock of photos and videos, together with all the other data we need to keep, when our hard drives are forever running out of space?

Researchers at the Delft University of Technology, in the Netherlands, may have found the solution, an atomic-scale rewritable data-storage device, that can potentially hold up to five hundred terabits of data, within a square inch. To put that sort of capacity into real terms, every book ever written, could be stored on a device the size of a postage stamp.

This atomic hard drive, developed by Sander Otte and his colleagues at Delft University, features a storage density that’s 500 times larger than state-of-the-art hard disk drives. At 500 terabits per square inch, it has the potential to store the entire contents of the US Library of Congress in a 0.1-mm wide cube.

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Timelapse video of Norway’s fjords

Tuesday, 19 July, 2016

Timelapse footage of the fjords of western Norway. In a word, spectacular.

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A list of US made films that aren’t big budget blockbusters

Tuesday, 19 July, 2016

Looks interesting, a list of thirty US made films that you may not have heard about, that Taste of Cinema writer Matt Hendricks thinks are worth seeking out, and watching.

Present-day audiences pretty much wait for the next theatrical releases from Tarantino, Scorsese, Fincher, David O. Russell, anything owned by Disney, and anything associated with Batman while ignoring just about everything else out there. Consequently, it’s quite easy to think America’s cinematic culture is quickly going down the tubes. While there’s no denying that it is, it’s just not as quickly or as obviously as one might think. To explain further, there actually isn’t a shortage of good movies out there. In fact, there is such an abundance of them that it has become easier for us to write them off than it is to make the effort, do a little reading, and seek them out.

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There’s more science to a cup of coffee than meets the eye

Tuesday, 19 July, 2016

The Melbourne based Australian Coffee Science Lab, headed up by Dr Monika Fekete, is dedicated to improving the coffee roasting and brewing process. Yet better coffee is on the way.

“Science is very good at finding cause and effect,” Dr Fekete says. “You make a perfect cup or a perfect roast, but it’s a bit of luck, a matter of trial and error. By doing coffee science, we’re taking some of the guesswork and mystery out of making good coffee.”

I wonder if they have any vacancies for field testers?

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Star Wars sans Empire, Rebellion, and light side of force. Is that so?

Tuesday, 19 July, 2016

If you like your alternative takes on the Star Wars saga, you’ll enjoy this article by UK writer Sam Kriss. Here he argues there is no real empire, or rebellion, for that matter.

For instance: what, exactly, is the Galactic Empire? It’s strange: something that’s fully omnipresent, but also nowhere to be found. The Empire rules the entire galaxy, but all we see are border zones: corrupt, bandit-strewn scrubworlds; autonomous mining colonies; planets inhabited only by storms and monsters; bucolic pre-agricultural fantasies. There are warships and soldiers, thousands even, but that only proves the existence of a border, not anything on the other side. The Empire is all hollow inside, it’s nothing more than its own border. If you have shipyards, why build your weapons platform off the forest moon of Endor?

Just goes to show doesn’t it? The more thought you give a story like Star Wars, which on the surface seems like a relatively simple story of good against bad, the less sense it begins to make.

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Spectacular storm footage, thanks to storm chaser Mike Olbinski

Monday, 18 July, 2016

Thanks to people like Mike Olbinski, we can enjoy spectacular storm footage from the comfort of our homes. What would you rather be? A storm chaser, or a storm observer?

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Travellers tales from the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region

Monday, 18 July, 2016

Recently Jan Chipchase spent five weeks travelling through central Asia, including the sparsely populated Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region of Tajikistan. It seems one can learn much about life, and the world, while in the area:

Everything is fine, until that exact moment when it’s obviously not. It is easy to massively over/under estimate risk based on current contextual conditions. Historical data provides some perspective, but it usually comes down to your ability to read undercurrents, which in turn comes down to having built a sufficiently trusted relationship with people within those currents.

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Night surfing deserves a quiet, dark, night

Monday, 18 July, 2016

Hopefully, the thought of night swimming invokes happy memories of warm summer nights, and a nearby lake or river to take a refreshing dip in. The notion even inspired a REM song from 1992.

Then there’s night surfing, an all together different pursuit. It’s an activity that requires a little more care, especially when there are others in the water at the same time. Still, that doesn’t stop night time surf competitions taking place, nor people turning out to participate, and watch.

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I read my tea leaves last night, and the future doesn’t look too good

Monday, 18 July, 2016

People creating their own pandemics, the complete end of privacy, irreversible climate change, robots that will either manipulate us, or try to kill us, and the rise of authoritarianism, these are some of the less pleasant aspects that the future might hold for us.

As threats to national security increase, and as these threats expand in severity, governments will find it necessary to enact draconian measures. Over time, many of the freedoms and civil liberties we currently take for granted, such as the freedom of assembly, the right to privacy, or the right to travel both within and beyond the borders of our home country, could be drastically diminished.

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