Enough astronaut blood to last the winter.
“There never was a war that was not inward.” –Marianne Moore
Jeff, a telephone company engineer, just called and explained what’s been wrong with Juanita’s telephone line, that was messing up her DSL (phone line based) internet connection and sometimes dropping the stream to the transmitter during the show (which you’ll hear in the recording as my occasionally unprofessionally startling at the visual alarm). (The recording is complete, no sound breaks; it’s made where I am, not at the other end, at the transmitter.) Jeff isolated the problem and fixed it today. “The line that goes under the street to your apartment complex– it just got water in it is all.” Clear sound now, no static, and a solid internet connection for next time I do the show by remote from Juanita’s.
Interesting problem. The phone had been ringing with no-one calling, and then giving a torrent of rushing static or actually ringing outbound as though /I/ had called, and on Monday night a policeman came to the door and woke us up at three in the morning to respond to a 911 call, which of course we hadn’t done. They’d got phantom 911 calls from several others on this side of the street, but they must respond because, you know, what if? I thanked him for looking out for us, and shook his hand, and he seemed surprised, as though all the other people he had to wake up had been angry at /him/. Or maybe he was surprised because I’m clueless enough to reach for the gun-side of a policeman’s personal space. That’s probably it.
Copper is on its way out, but I still prefer DSL over cable internet service. And everyone I know with cable-company-based phone service has way worse service horror stories, and whenever their internet service has a problem their phone won’t work at all, and then even when it’s working perfectly there’s the annoying time delay that disrupts the flow of normal conversation.
Anyway, here are links to a few not necessarily radio-useful but really worthwhile items that I happened upon while putting the show together, found mostly thanks to the fine websites listed to your right.
Beautiful ice-scapes and the last of the giant quietly dignified things that live in them.
An old man burns his memories on a twig fire in the snow.
A young lady plays the Star Wars theme on a modern electric organ. This might be the same person who played /Camptown Races/ at TED four years ago.
Similarly impressive: a young man plays the Star Wars theme arranged for solo classical guitar. When, in a quiet part of a magical, skillful performance like this, someone in the audience coughs like a series of plegmy gunshots (one does here) I always imagine the cougher, years later, playing the recording for his grandchildren and proudly pointing out, “That’s me! That’s me coughing!”
Drone video of the permanent homeless encampment in Eureka.
Here, going up in two minutes of time-lapse smoke, is enough money to buy every one of those hundreds and hundreds of homeless campers a decent house of his own and pay him or her to raise a healthy family in it.
How Donald Trump answers.
How an artist makes a cute little model robot so he can paint pictures of a giant robot.
How to get out of handcuffs with a hairpin, demonstrated on a giant transparent handcuff with a giant hairpin.
But, master, what if I only have a paperclip?
How we get carrots.
It’s 2016, and these girls are being held in prison until they’re old enough to be legally executed. Their crimes range from foolishly being beaten and raped to fighting back against being beaten and raped. You know what they say: Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.
I don’t think they’re crazy trains at all. I think they’re pretty.
Art that is a walk-through freeze-frame of the result of two people (or creatures) made of thousands of keys (and yarn for blood), each creature exploding out of its own wheeled rowboat.
Always go last.
Upload your photograph. The experimental algorithm will determine how old you are and how attractive you are (on a scale of /Hmm, OK, Nice, Hot, Stunning, Godlike/). It said I’m 48 (I’m 57), and it said I’m Hot (my face is noticeably asymmetrical, my nose is massive and twisted a little to my right, my beard is blotchy colors of gray, brown and red, and there’s a big gap between my front teeth, but –or rather, so– who am I to argue?). It reminds me of the scene in /Hyperdrive/ where deck officer Teal, anxious to look good to meet her old flame (the egotistical leader of the Green Javelins space-o-batics team), goes to one of the ship’s makeover terminals and says, “How much to make me look stunning?” The terminal quotes an unacceptably price. She says, “How much for quite nice?” They agree on a price, she sticks her head in it, sounds and lights occur, and she pulls her head out, hair all done up and makeup where there wasn’t any before. She smiles at the mirror and says, “Hmm. Quite nice.”
Nature bats last. (Scroll down to the labeled graph, then, “Select a group to see the changes. Select the different causes of death to see them individually graphed.)
This man getting gas wants to see something in the filler hole and the only light he has is a match, and he never played with fire when he was boy, I guess, so he is unprepared as an adult to navigate a world that’s a minefield of flammable situations, and /now/ look. Tch.
The 67 (sixty-seven!) countries the U.S. is obligated by law to go to war for if asked by.
The cattle caliphate.
What the neighbors think about the so-called standoff in Oregon.
Chocolate. (The other interviews in the series are also good.)
Nancy Sinatra spins desultorily around in a chair and sings. “I’ve never had to slap his face. What a shame.”
A public demonstration of the Edison cylinder recording process and then playback on a gramophone that they just happen to have handy.
Amazingly not a staged art piece but a photograph of real life. So many things happening at once here. (And then click on the image and each subsequent image. Alcohol is suspected to have been a factor.)
Again, not a staged art piece. Art all the same, though.
God/goddess family trees. Useful for fans of the various flavors of /Stargate/, which over the course of nearly twenty years of teevee shows and three films provides an alien character for each one of them and more. (My favorite is Thor, who turns out to be a Roswell-style Gray.)
2016 is a triangular year. The next triangular year is 2080.
22 reasons 22.
Interior spaces cut into chunks of marble and stone.
It’s a hard rock life.
Rockets blasting off. Freeze at 1:28 to clearly see the thrust diamonds in the exhaust.
A simple explanation of thrust (shock) diamonds.
A slow-motion demonstration of a resonating uvula.
Earth’s protective layer of junk. Analogous to Albert Brooks’ mother Debbie Reynolds’ ice cream’s protective layer of frost.
Stormscapes 3. Time-lapse clouds. This gets more and more interesting as it goes.
When I was eight years old and in the cub scouts, I participated in a pinewood derby race. In this video, a NASA engineer explains how to reliably win such a race. (He’s entirely right about the fathers actually being the ones who make the cars. Not having a live-in father at the time, I made my own, and it lost to cars that looked sculpted by Scaglione. The winning car was made by the winner’s recently-returned-from-Vietnam father, and the boy, uneasily accepting the prize ribbon, had the look on his face of one wrestling with the spirit of the Scout Oath.
The first six Star Wars movies all at the same time. They’re mixed not by shining them all on the same screen but by a process of wherever pixels overlap the brightest pixel wins.
Video from the point of view of a bar bouncer. I understand why people want to go in (or go /back/ in if they’ve just been thrown out)– it’s obviously freezing cold outside. But why would someone want this terrible job? It’s like one tense stupid confrontation after another, plus with drunks.
Here’s why a man of God needs his own full airport, hangars full of sport planes, and at least two $20,000,000 private jets. Short version: The world is full of drugs, and people in regular passenger jets are actually demons who look at you funny when you stand up in the aisle and shout back and forth with God, and regular airports are just annoying.
New York cop approaches girl, handles her for no apparent reason, feels around in her sweater. Her surprisingly calm boyfriend borrows his friend’s phone to record these proceedings for posterity. Cops multiply, lose interest in girl, destroy phone, handcuff and arrest boy (calm the entire time), take him to jail on charges of attacking and punching them. Security video surfaces. Oops.
Supercut of dance in films. Doo dah, doo dah.
The 1,000 arms dance done by a troupe of deaf women.
These devices strike me as clothing and furniture for Cordwainer Smith’s Lords of the Instrumentality, if they ever were to get around to making movies out of Cordwainer Smith stories. “The more important it looked, the better people imagined it worked, and the more money the doctor would get.”
Counterclockwise. Knut: “Was it as good for you as it was for me?” Surya: “Oh, yes.” Fish: [rolls eyes].
Imagine appropriate punishment for whoever abused this dog.
But forget all that, and see this wonderful movie that failed utterly as a commercial enterprise but made me cry harder than I ever have at any movie. Wait, read all about it first: