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The other day I was eating dinner with my wife in a restaurant located in Gallup New Mexico, a border town to the Navajo reservation. Gallup was recently named “Most Patriotic Small Town” in a nationwide contest. Soon after sitting down I noticed that we were seated at a table directly facing a framed poster of the Declaration of Independence.
The irony almost made me laugh. Continue reading
Yesterday, actor Patrick Macnee died at 93. And those of us who grew up watching him play John Steed on The Avengers (the original Avengers, mind you, and the reason the recent superhero movies have to be called Marvel’s The Avengers) are breathing a melancholy sigh, because we miss the actor who embodied the man so many of us wished we could have been. Continue reading
I came across two interesting articles that tied in to the Charleston shooting and related gun control
debates discussions endless non-starters currently in the news. Both articles made valid points, and at the same time seemed to me to be missing one key ingredient that would really drive their message home.
The first article, David Niose’s Anti-Intellectualism is killing America in Psychology Today, does a great job of describing the root causes of hate, racism, violence and other social dysfunctions on a cultural “embrace and exaltation of ignorance.” Continue reading
The recent shootings in Charleston are bringing out the inevitable tut-tutting about the state of the Union, combined with people decrying our present gun laws, and the inevitable gun lovers attacking them for being short-sighted and un-American for criticizing the Second Amendment.
America’s irrational gun fixation makes me picture a nation full of drivers afraid of the dangers on American highways… so they speed up, trying to get ahead of the danger. But this makes everyone else speed up, everyone trying to get to the front of the line… resulting in a literal Deathrace, highways becoming more and more dangerous amidst maniacally-speeding drivers.
Until you have small accidents… that become mass accidents… that lead to mass casualties, damage done to the highways and to the lives of everyone caught in the traffic behind the crash.
And still those people cry: “If only I’d gone faster…” Continue reading
A good point by Andrew Knighton… and worth looking into.
It’s one of those favorite icons of science fiction—it’s appeared in books, comics and movies: Jacks hard-wired onto our bodies, through which we plug in wires that make a physical connection from the human brain to outside electronic and mechanical gear. These hardwired connections allow us to “jack in” directly to electronic networks and control our gear with our thoughts.
Sure, it looks cool, in a cyborgian kind of way. But how realistic or likely is it that we’ll be able to control computers and machines through a plug to our brains? Will we even want to? Continue reading
Nail head… meet hammer. I’m with you, Dan: Let’s have new movies, not endless reboots of old ones.
Originally posted on Winter Hill:
A man stalks through the jungle, hunting an animal. He feels something drip on his hand and looks down. Blood. The droplet runs left off, down the wrist. Another drop hits – this one falls right instead. It’s just like that really great scene in Jurassic Park, but instead of water; blood.
I went to see Jurassic World at the weekend.
It wasn’t good. It wasn’t bad either. It was terrible mediocre, but it got me thinking. The dramatic tension in the film was undercut at every possible moment by a reference to the original. So we have the visitors centre, the goat, chaos theory, even the jeeps from the first film make an appearance. All seemingly there to say, ‘Hey guys, remember this? It was pretty good, wasn’t it?’ Jurassic World, as it turned out, wasn’t there to outdo Jurassic Park, but exists soley to remind us that Jurassic…
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I feel for Tim Hunt. This Nobel laureate recently made a bad joke at a meeting about women in science, which was snapped up by social media, taken out-of-context (like anyone could have believed he was serious making those comments), and used as justification to force him to resign from his position at University College London.
Let me tell you about my trouble with girls. Three things happen when they are in the lab. You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticise them, they cry.
I mean… yeah. Apocalypse Now. Continue reading
There’s an interesting poll up on Hubpages, asking visitors to vote on the best movie about Artificial Intelligence so far. It’s notable for its fairly comprehensive list of excellent movies (if I was to make a suggestion, I’d say Colossus: The Forbin Project and Bicentennial Man should rightly have been included on the list… but to be honest, if we included every movie with a robot in it, this list would be ungodly huge), but I think it’s also notable for the poll’s results so far. Continue reading