Is there life on Proxima b? Is there extraterrestrial life anywhere?

Friday, 26 August, 2016

It’s official. Apparently. It wasn’t on Tuesday, though. The existence of an exoplanet, known as Proxima b, that is located within the habitable zone of the Proxima Centauri solar system, that is situated about four light years from Earth.

So, might there be life of some sort there? For that matter, might there be life anywhere, beyond our solar system? Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer at SETI Research, discusses the possibility.

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The vinyl revival, not for me, but here’s how they make records

Friday, 26 August, 2016

Yes, I know we’re in the midst of a vinyl revival, but the format is just not for me. I know I’m not going to win much veneration from music purists, but the convenience of having my music collection on the hard drive of a laptop, far outweighs the hassles of hauling crates of records about the place. But that’s just me.

Still, the process of manufacturing a vinyl record is probably many times more fascinating than creating a music file, something that is plain to see from this look at how records are made.

Via Digg.

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Grey Bull, a short film about the struggles of newly settled refugees

Thursday, 25 August, 2016

For refugees seeking safe haven in another country, and a chance to start over with their lives, finding a new home is sometimes only the beginning of the process. Coming to grips with a new environment, and culture, presents all manner of difficulties and challenges.

Some of these struggles are brought to the fore in Grey Bull, a short film by Eddy Bell, about Martin, a refugee from South Sudan, as he adjusts to life in a small town in South Australia.

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Sailing down Sweden’s Klarälven River on a log raft

Wednesday, 24 August, 2016

All I ask is a sturdy raft, and a star to steer by. A few creature comforts, plus a calm, meandering river, would be nice also. And a few warm summer days. Not much to ask, surely?

Sweden’s Klarälven River, is the waterway in question, and doesn’t the experience look idyllic?

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A trailer for Kenobi: A Star Wars Story. Wait, is that even a thing?

Tuesday, 23 August, 2016

Even though it was introduced as a fan-made clip, as I watched I thought, no, this must be an official trailer, for a Star Wars Anthology, or spin-off, film about Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi. But, no, it is not official, it is a labour of love by Canadian filmmaker Rich Williamson, for a would-be film that might be titled Kenobi: A Star Wars Story.

I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if this went on to spawn an actual film. Or trilogy of films, a prospect that has been on the cards for sometime, from what I can gather. Ewan McGregor, who played Kenobi in the Prequel Trilogy films, is said to be interested in reprising his role, if production were to proceed.

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Night surfing (sort of) at Norway’s Lofoten Islands in the Arctic Circle

Tuesday, 23 August, 2016

Last month I linked to a short documentary about a night surfing competition that is held at Cornwall’s Fistral Beach, in Britain. Surfing in the dark must be challenging enough, to say nothing to trying to do so in a competitive environment.

So, what about night surfing in the Arctic Circle? What sort of difficulties might that present? Well, it depends. If you are surfing in the waters off Unstad Beach, located on Norway’s Lofoten Islands – which are just north of the Arctic Circle – during the summer months, it would be a pretty normal experience.

It may technically be night time, but thanks to the Midnight Sun, there will of course be sufficient daylight. A beautiful spot, by the way, for surfing or otherwise.

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There aren’t too many lift operators in the world, but here’s one

Monday, 22 August, 2016

Today it might seem strange that the elevators, or lifts, in many buildings once had human operators, whose job was to drive it. Open and close the doors. Push start and stop buttons. Be prepared to announce the floor the elevator had arrived at, and what might be there.

It makes me wonder, did operators require a drivers license, before they could take charge of a lift? Of course, elevators weren’t quite as automated as they are today, so some level of skill was required to work one.

But seventy-five year old Ruben Pardo, who has been driving the elevator in a high rise on Los Angeles’ Wilshire Boulevard since 1976, could tell you more about that. His work may have been made redundant by technology just about everywhere else, but I doubt that the people who use his lift mind that there is still a human driver.

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Valerio D’Ospina, painting the motion of the city streets

Monday, 22 August, 2016

Artwork by Valerio D'Ospina

The blurred lines of the sometimes brooding artworks of Italian artist Valerio D’Ospina, give the viewer a sense of being in motion, as if they were running, or a driving a car, along a city street that he has painted.

Their proportions might also aid this illusion, some of D’Ospina’s canvases are up to two metres in height. Here is footage of him working on a generous sized painting of a docked cargo ship, over the course of a day.

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Sonst nichts/Nothing else, a hand drawn animation set on a train

Friday, 19 August, 2016

Still from Sonst nichts/Nothing else

Sonst nichts/Nothing else is an animation produced by Berlin based illustrators and animators Drushba Pankow. The first was originally made sixteen years ago, with frames being drawn on paper, and photographed to later form an animation.

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Silence in movies, sometimes effective, sometimes not

Thursday, 18 August, 2016

When Words Fail in Movies, a short documentary that looks at the effectiveness, and – in some case – otherwise of silence, or an absence of words, in film scenes.

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