Blog Archives

October 21 2015 Day

Amazon Prime is promoting Back To The Future Day all over their site, with a huge banner video on top of the pages, and streaming all 3 movies for free. I decided to watch Back To The Future II, partly because I have only seen it a couple times (less than the third, and far less than the first), and because it’s the movie which centers around today’s date.

A few random thoughts…

Alternate 1985 Biff looks strikingly like Donald Trump.

I forgot how good some of the special effects were. Absolutely outstanding for the, uh, time.

Doc’s shades. Metal awesomeness.

I want to hang out at the 80s Cafe.

Double Bonus Sakamoto Night Studio – Akiko Yano

J-Pop night’s unexpected (even by me) surprise encore does science! and research.

So this post about Vanilla Mood earlier tonight included the song “Harusaki Kobeni,” which is a rather poppy song. At the time, I did a quick youtube search to find the original by Akiko Yano but had no idea what I was reading since all results came back in Japanese, and I’m too lazy an internationally famous nighttime DJ like myself doesn’t have time to mess with that sort of thing.

Enter wdydfae, who commented –

The song apparently goes back to the early 80s and was sung by Akiko Yano, backed by none other than Yellow Magic Orchestra, the milestone techno fusion band. It was quite a thing at the time.

During his research he discovered a post about the song on a site called Kayo Kyoku Plus, which explains that the song is about “enthusiastically admiring the cherry blossoms.” Enthusiastic is an understatement.. the song is so ferociously upbeat it makes last week’s relentlessly cheery songs seem like dirges –

The song was such a hit that it was used in a commercial for Kanebo Cosmetics –

So very 1981.

The writer of the KKP site relates an apocryphal story…

I found out a rather interesting piece of trivia that I’m still not totally convinced about. Yano has had professional relationships with a wide variety of Western artists ranging from Janis Siegel of The Manhattan Transfer to Thomas Dolby.There is the famous line in Dolby’s biggest hit, “She Blinded Me With Science” in which he sings, “Good heavens, Miss Sakamoto! You’re beautiful!”Apparently, Yano had been observing the recording of the song, and Dolby was referring to her, since she had been married to YMO’s Ryuichi Sakamoto(坂本龍一) at the time. This is according to J-Wiki, but at another site, Miss Sakamoto is supposed to refer to their daughter, Miyu(美雨), who is now also a musician but was only around 1 year old when “Science”came out. Not sure if this is true or not…just throwing it out there.

Asimov’s Night Job

Few know that Isaac Asimov had a second career, apparently traveling and giving nighttime lectures under an assumed name [click image to embiggen]…

Asimovs Night Job 1

A clever disguise, even better than Clark Kent’s.

Skipping ahead a bit…

Asimovs Night Job 2

Asimovs Night Job 3

So the lecture circuit is just a cover for his real career…. arch-supervillain! Jimmy of course finds a way to signal his pal Superman…

Asimovs Night Job 4

Asimovs Night Job 5

Asimovs Night Job 6

Turns out he wasn’t really dead (no one ever is in comics, including Superman himself, who was killed in 1992), instead giving up his career as a supervillain and returning to the life of a science and sci-fi writer.

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If you’re wondering how the hell DC Comics could publish something like this without getting sued…. that’s a story for another post.

 

 

 

Pi In Your Face

Stolen without shame from John C. Wright

Tomorrow at 9.26 and 53 seconds, it will be

3/14/15 9:26:53

Which is pi.

This will happen only once in the history of time.

The world ends. Prepare yourself.

(unless you are not on military time, in which case it happens twice, am and pm)

A bit more numerologizing at his site. No mention, however, regarding apple pi, American Pi, four of fish and finger pi, or private investigators. Disappointing, as one would expect a man of his intellect and wit to have a finger in every pi.

Interstellar

We saw the movie today. John C. Wright discusses it here, in depth and excellently, but DO NOT read it unless you have seen the movie. In Wright’s own words –

…And here I must draw a line and ask no one to step across it who has not seen the film. My main problem is that, for me, the movie worked on so many levels, as hard SF, as pure storytelling, as religious allegory, I don’t know what to say without spoiling it for the virgin viewer.

So there are spoilers in the following column, and these will diminish your enjoyment of this masterpiece going in, I assure you. Only readers who have already seen the film are allowed to read further.

Go see it. I cannot, can NOT, recommend it highly enough.

Burying The Truth?

…or just dropping it in an unmarked grave somewhere?

A man living as a woman who suddenly passed away from a brain aneurysm was buried as “Geoffrey” not “Jennifer.”

Okay, whatever. I don’t care what name a person wants on their headstone. I don’t think it’s a big deal how the family chooses to lay to rest one of its members, since the deceased isn’t really going to be worried about it at that point. But again, I really don’t care how anyone outside of my own family handles funerals.

But now California has passed the Respect After Death Act –

It requires any official responsible for completing a transgender person’s death certificate to ensure it represents the deceased person’s gender expression, as documented in other government-issued documents, or evidenced by gender confirmation medical procedures.

Masen Davis of the Transgender Law Center, a cosponsor of the bill, said this was a “common-sense bill that will help protect the dignity of our loved ones upon their passing.”

This is where the failure to think ahead comes in. Will the deaths of transgenders make note of their transgender status? If not, more deaths will be statistically attributed to women. For one, suicide rates are abnormally high among transgender people. After this law, will the numbers read as suicides among women increasing? Will fewer women die from breast cancer, statistically speaking? How will this affect statistics and subsequent medical research?

Then again, this might be a Blow For Equality in disguise. Men generally die younger than women… if transgender men are listed as women when they die, that would help achieve statistical Age Of Death Parity among men and women.

Bu maybe this is exactly what progressives want. If women can be numerically shown to be dying younger and more often, feminists can agitate for more government favors.

The Respect After Death Act

Transgender study looks at ‘exceptionally high’ suicide-attempt rate

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I find it amusing somehow that the article was posted under Yahoo’s “Parenting” section.

Schooling At 367 MPH

[Or: “Too Cool For JUST School”]

In keeping with what seems to be the New School trend around here these days…

Jet-powered school bus. Everyone should own one.

Watch all the way to the end.

Hat tip to VodkaPundit

Rocktober – Final Friday Finale

[Mildly NSFW]

Friday Night. Halloween. 12:30 AM EST. Rocktober’s Final Friday Night Videos has arrived… like fist to face.

You can’t kill the metal!

It comes from hell!

666

Halloween is scary.
Halloween is costumes.
Halloween is metal.

The apex, the sum total, of Halloween is

BATMETAL

No one can destroy BatMetal!
BatMetal will strike you down with a vicious blow!

Rocktober – Breaking Space And Time

12:30 Friday night and Halloween is near \m/

Friday Night Videos

NASA has recorded the sounds of the universe. It is a hauntingly disturbing place. IO and Uranus seem especially unfriendly…

But it was not always so. At first, the darkness was silent… until terrible salvation emerged in rhythm and light and sound –

Bone Machine

There was this man who snapped his poke
In little pieces
And then they drilled holes
And then they put ’em back in there
– The Pixies, “Broken Face”

From here – A 12-year old boy receives the first 3D-printed vertebrae implant.

To quote…

…the bone implant is made from titanium powder (similar to many orthopedic implants), however this material is considered to be safer and longer-lasting than conventional replacements. Plus, since it’s designed to mimic the shape of the child’s original vertebra, neither cement nor screws are necessary to keep the implant in place, and the healing period should come along quicker, as well. Along with that, the implant includes a series of small holes that allow natural bone growth, turning the implant into a permanent, stable part of the boy’s spine, negating the need for adjustments at any point in the future.

From bullets to guns to houses and now body parts.

The long term success of this is still up in the air, but it’s still amazing. I can already picture the day when this sort of thing becomes commonplace, so much so that people keep backup files for emergency printing on their phones.