The Known Universe

This is the universe.
"That's here. That's home. That's us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam."
- Carl Sagan

The Winter Stalker by Stephen Reedy & Alex Pardee



Africa Scares Me

Between the Bond-style dictator and General Butt Naked (aka Joshua Milton Blahyi) it seems wild animals would be the least of your worries.
Consider this another post in the end of the world-themed posts I failed to do.



Images from the launch if STS-129:

STS-129 Ascent Video Highlights from mike interbartolo on Vimeo.

It's not that interesting at the start, but gets better.

Michael Shermers TED-talk:
And here's a concept reel for the potential show Slingers:

SLINGERS from Mike Sizemore on Vimeo.

Looks interesting. Hopefully it turns out good if it gets made.



In Peru gangs kill you to steal your fat so they can sell it to western countries as anti-wrinkle cream.

About the homeless in Ulaabaatar, the capital of Mongolia.

Invest in piracy today!

Big houses full of plants in China. Or vertical farms, as they're also called.

An interview with Jeff Bridges.

You can now feel things with a robotic hand.


Copy of a copy of a copy

We already know that different people view us differently. If this is because we think that's what they expect from us, or if it actually is what they expect from us is hard to know.
But just as people have different expectations from us, they also have different images of us. Who we are to our parents and to our friends aren't really the same person at all. Does this imply that we actually don't have any real personality and are all just social chameleons? Or is it just a behavioral reflex that kicks in whenever we end up together with others?
Anyway, the images different people have of us might actually be what we think they want us to be like. In other words we're trying to play a role that we don't really know anything about, but since we're pretty quick at adapting and blending in, we learn to act in a way that they like. Hence we think they way we're acting is their image of us. We're living up to our picture of their picture, filtered trough their reactions as interpreted by us.
And that's just a small part of our reality.
Now go look have a look at the rest of it.

The Outsider and Me

What makes someone an outsider? Is it something you become, or something you're born as? Do you come out of your mothers womb with a burning desire to kick the world in the teeth, hoping that it'll straighten the bastard out a bit?
Or is it just someone who feels they don't fit in?
Maybe it's both. Maybe you become an outcast at first, struggling to rejoin humanity, to please your peers. But when they've rejected you one time too many, when you've had enough of their excuses and their demands for becoming accepted, then you either give up on humanity and become a hermit. Or you decide that your the one that's right and the world is wrong. You tell everyone and everything to go to hell and back to get some perspective while you stay at home rearranging the furniture, turning the pool into a fireplace and knocking a wall out from the world.
There's also the off chance that you're actually crazy, but just because your crazy doesn't mean your wrong either.
I've always thought of myself as a bit of an outsider. Going back and forth between my parents who lived separately, living mostly with my mom who had a tendency to hoard things she didn't need, which seemed like a way of annoying me in the many moves we went trough. We, the family unit consisting of me, my younger brother, my mother and any pets we had at the time, slowly made our way south. Maybe mom was hoping the sun would provide us with some extra energy whenever there was a gap in her incomes?
Luckily we rarely had to starve. We did steal corn from a field once or twice though. That right there but a dent in my childish belief that stealing is always wrong.
The contrast between living with my poor mom, who's been chronically sick for quite a while now, and my dad, who in those days was motivated mainly by riches, or at least obtaining a upper middle class existence, made it pretty clear that things were different from place to place. So in a way I learned that you can't always assume that people are the same as you. How could I when my own existence went back and forth from the edge of starvation to nice big pieces of meat, potatoes and brown sauce? When pizza seems like luxury you know things are bad.
Sadly I didn't analyze my situation in this manner at that time. You noticed the difference of course, the contrast was pretty big, but it usually resulted in me feeling bad for myself. Luckily you grew up from being a selfish little bastard and starts thinking about others. Or at least I hope most of us do. That not everyone does can be clearly seen all over the place after all.
Enough about me for now though.
Learning from the past is good, as long as you don't get stuck in it.


Greenside by Niko Pueringer

Greenside from Zero Trooper on Vimeo.

A bit longer than what I usually throw up here. Enjoy.



Go Sukashi by John Soares & Justin Spurlock

From the people who brought you Sockbaby. And if you don't know what Sockbaby is I weep for you.


Links & A Video or Two

Bionic limbs are getting better and better. Soon they might even be better than our original ones. In the future all firemen will be former amputees.

Io9's got some more medical news.

The Guardian writes a bit about crime in Rio.

Warren Ellis tries to guide us trough his mind. At least for a little while.

Anatoli Burgorski learned that sticking your head inside a particle accelerator doesn't give you superpowers the hard way.

People are trying to figure out how to land a wing-suit. Seriously.

Dark flow means our universe close to another?



It's one of those days were I've decided that today is the day I get things done.
And then I sleep until 2 AM/1400 and do my utmost to make the day dray by without getting anything done at all.
So now, a few hours later, things are finally starting to move again. A long shower took care of my somewhat passive disposition, and also made me think a bit.
I was thinking about actors. You see, I've recently become a bit of one myself. Nothing fancy or anything, school related productions only so far, but I've got a friend who wants me to play a part or two in things he's planing to make, so who knows?
And while standing there with water running down my face and body and distorting my vision I realized what an actor is.
An actor is someone who pretends to be someone else than themselves. Some even become someone else. And with this realization the way we adore and obsess over movie starts suddenly becomes something sick and twisted in a way. Because what does it mean if someone is obsessed with a person who make a living by being someone else?
What about identity then? Who we are suddenly doesn't become very important at all, it's who we pretend to be that suddenly matters. No wonder psychology is the new religion when you think about it.
Then again, it is fun to be someone else for a while and I'm pretty sure we've all have thought about changing our lives and becoming someone else once or twice. Maybe it's a natural behavior that helps us relate to others even?
I would go read up on it, but maybe it's time to actually do some of the stuff I've been avoiding all day now. We'll see, I suppose.


The Horribly Slow Murder with the Extremly Inefficent Weapon by Richard Gale

Awesome short. You should watch it at least twice.


The Forgot My Meds trilogy by Adam Wingard

Via Twitch

This is your future!

I've decided to try and follow a theme of sorts in an attempt to try and post at least semi-regularly. And if this doesn't feel like an alternative dystopian future where everyone is a potential eye of the state, I don't know what does. It's got a basic psychological appeal though. When you're threatened you tend to switch focus from the individual to the group. Becoming as identical to the members of the group becomes more important than being an individual. The expression "safety in numbers" comes to mind. In this case the group is Americans, and the threat is terrorists. Problems arise thanks to the ambiguity these two groups posses. There are, for instance, American terrorists which makes the division more or less useless... Unless we generalize terrorist into something else. Why not a middle eastern man wearing traditional clothes? If you do it becomes a lot easier to tell who to keep out of your group. And the thing is that this sort of group behavior, were a big and strong group under threat decides that it needs an enemy, rarely targets the weakest group in society. Usually it some other group in the middle. They become the target of something of a propaganda campaign aiming to show just how low and evil they actually are. This is done to strengthen the main group bu giving it something to fight against. Anyway, enough psychology for now. Hopefully someone found that interesting. Neo-Nazis, violent political activists, and probably quite a few others would fit into this kind of group behavior.


Turbo by Jarrett Lee Conaway

TURBO from Jarrett Lee Conaway on Vimeo.

Pretty damned impressive short.

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