Blog posts

  • The Talk

    (Geekish) respect is due:


    Big time.

    [Via @BadAstronomer, via web-goddess]

  • Crescent Dunes

    Reuben Wu has posted some gorgeous images of the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Facility:

    Crescent Dunes at night

    From the window of an airplane high above Nevada, the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Facility is a bright flash on the landscape. You can really only appreciate its enormity from the ground: 1,670 acres of desert blanketed with 10,347 billboard-sized mirrors that generate enough electricity to power 75,000 homes.


    Reuben Wu first saw the sprawling solar farm a few years ago flying from Chicago to San Francisco. "I was startled by how bright it was," he says. "It looked like a fake sun."

    He finally visited the place in March. He worked at dusk and dawn, when the light is best and the mirrors make their most dramatic movements to align with the sun. Despite their size, they move almost silently amid the sound of the wind blowing through the structures.

  • Why is water coming out of their eyes?

    John Seavey on rewatching 1980's Flash Gordon:

    But as I was watching it, I started to notice that…well, look. There's no way to be watching a film right now about a tyrannical, capricious madman who has grown decadent with a lifetime of power, treats women as playthings and concubines, and has an equally jaded and debauched daughter that he has a…complicated…relationship with, and not think of the current political climate. I found myself picturing Donald and Ivanka at the inauguration, watching the protesters, and Ivanka asking, "Why is water coming out of their eyes?" With Donald, of course, responding, "It's what they call tears. It's a sign of their weakness."

    Dammit, is there anything that Trump can't ruin?

  • Sequels We'll Never See

    These Posters for Sequels We'll Never See are a bit of a mixed bag.

    I know that Jack Burton was really just a brave but clueless sidekick in his own film first time round, but I think he's one of those sidekicks who ended up making such a huge contribution on their debut that he just has to come back for the sequel if it's to make sense. I can seem that they'd have to cook up what might seem a bit of a convoluted plotline to steer Kurt Russell's Jack Burton back into Chinatown, but I think they'd have to find a way to do it.

    As for Porco Rosso 2: The Last Sortie, I'd like that to happen on the general principle that a world with more Hayao Miyazaki-directed films in it is automatically a brighter, more joyful place so why the hell not?

    Son of Scissorhands could be a nightmare depending upon which Johnny Depp shows up.

    On the other hand, there's Imperator Furiosa returning to the screen under George Miller's direction, 1 to which the only proper response is "Here, take my money!"

    1. I'm lukewarm about the imagined poster in this case, but the idea of the film is another matter.

  • Quick, How Might the Alien Spacecraft Work?

    Stephen Wolfram was asked to contribute some realistic-looking screen displays for Arrival 1 and, being Stephen Wolfram, couldn't help but muse about an awful lot more than just the visuals he'd been asked for.

    [Via Extenuating Circumstances]

    1. I haven't seen the film yet, but given that it's inspired by one of the best, most moving science fiction stories of the last twenty years it's safe to say that I'll be getting to it some time this week.

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