Jeff Buckley sang the hits

“The most audacious thing I could possibly state in this day and age is that life is worth living. It’s worth being bashed against. It’s worth getting scarred by. It’s worth pouring yourself over every one of its hot coals.”
– Jeff Buckley

An astronomer debates a flat earther

This somewhat viral debate between Dave Farina and a guy named Dave Weiss who goes by FlatEarthDave is, well, a lesson in patience and a challenge to one’s wits.

Two things are painful about it: 1) Dave Weiss is willfully ignorant & 2) Dave Farina gets name cally and verbally aggressive.

Even with incredibly detailed evidence for a round earth (I can’t believe I have to write “round”), Dave Weiss continued to defend his views. The arctic vs antarctic star movement should destroy EVERYTHING Dave Weiss says or thinks. But somehow he keeps racing to say it’s not relevant, because it’s looking up. If visual undeniable evidence doesn’t stop an argument, there’s absolutely nothing one can do to meet a person to discuss reality.

Continue reading “An astronomer debates a flat earther”

Starts with a Bang: How do we know the Universe is 13.8 billion years old?

From Ethan Siegel:

However, the uncertainties are much smaller when we look at large collections of stars. The collections of stars that form within a galaxy like the Milky Way — open star clusters — typically contain a few thousand stars and only last a few hundred million years. The gravitational interactions between these stars eventually cause them to fly apart. While a small percentage last a billion years or even a few billion years, we have no known open star clusters that are even as old as our own Solar System.

Globular clusters, however, are larger, more massive, and more isolated, found throughout the halo of the Milky Way (and most large galaxies). When we observe them, we can measure the colors and brightnesses of many of the stars inside, enabling us — so long as we understand how stars work and evolve — to determine the ages of these star clusters. Although there are uncertainties here as well, there is a large population of globular clusters, even within the Milky Way alone, with ages of 12 billion years or more.

Read the whole thing.

We pro-vaxxers have been saying this since the vaccine rollout was bungled

In a recent tweet, Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson wrote: “Vaccine hesitancy, which was much higher among Republican voters than Democrats during COVID, led to disproportionate deaths among conservatives, and may have cost them the mid-term elections in close races.”

Continue reading “We pro-vaxxers have been saying this since the vaccine rollout was bungled”

Holy shit, watch this music video: Lightning Bolt – The Metal East

This Lightning Bolt video for the song “The Metal East” is mind-blowing. While I’m not a huge fan of this genre of music, I can stretch my brain arms wide and pull it close.

The animation by Lale Westvind: is why I get up in the morning. The kinetic colors and linear march is vintage video game meets a strange melange of sci-fi worlds for all time both forward and back. So good.

If the song doesn’t appeal, turn down the volume and let the animation go.

“Glory be! Whatevah did happen in these he-ah midteeeehhhhms?”

Back in 2020 around this time when places like Chicago were bursting with joy over the results of the presidential election, I spoke with conservative friends who said they accepted the results and that they looked forward to the 2022 midterms because the pendulum ALWAYS swings the other way after a swing in favor of Democrats.

At the time, I was like, “Yeah, right.”

It echoed in my head often over the next two years until this week when the expected pendulum swing, red tsunami was supposed to bring a catastrophic red super power back and re-balance the unbalanced scales of society.

Continue reading ““Glory be! Whatevah did happen in these he-ah midteeeehhhhms?””

Short film break: Takashi Ito: “Thunder”

This short film from Akashi Ito is a stop motion photographic marvel. If you have trouble with blinking lights, please don’t press play.

I saw it on the streaming archival motion picture website that I mentioned the other day: CathodeTV. And while I can’t say enough great things about the site, it’s not for everyone. It took me a little over a year to really understand how it worked and to get into it. But I’m hooked, and a true Cathodian Cult Member.

The movies are lightyears better than most movies that come out of Hollywood. Even the shittiest films on Cathode offer more soul and effort than the most Hollywood of all Hollywood movies.

I’ve been watching religiously for about a year now, and haven’t really talked much about it, because I’m worried it’ll get too popular and some nutbag will come and shut it down.

Enjoy the movie and lemme know what you think, my one reader.

Ha. Just kidding. I’m delighted to see that we’re getting between 25 and 50 hits a day. Which ain’t much, but worth the price of entry.

Florence & the Machine, Stan from TYWKIWDBI & My wife all have something in common

The above music video from Florence & The Machine is a beautiful song, gorgeous message, broadly entertaining and there’s a reason to stick it out till the end. Take a look.

My wife Tina LOVES Bill Nighy, who is in the video linked above. He’s an English actor, and just a delightful person to watch do his craft.

Apparently Stan from TYWKIWDBI loves him too and has recommended a couple movies on his site. This link goes to the full movie on YouTube for The Girl in the Cafe. And this is a trailer for a movie called “Living.”

Anyway, on your paths to good cinema and diversions, take a look. The opening to “The Girl in the Cafe” features a great song from Damien Rice, posted below, with the amazing backup vocals from Lisa Hannigan, who I’ve posted here before, but I’ll post a favorite from her as well.

I seem to remember Damien Rice getting a little miffed that Lisa Hannigan inadvertently upstaged him in recordings and shows and ended up stopping working with her over the jealousy.

In a world where we disagree on so much, what can we all agree on?

Yesterday I wrote about how there’s a tendency for people to obsess about something so much that it becomes impossible not to bring that up in an otherwise unrelated situation.

The trouble is the person, whoever they might be, with a particular obsession usually has no clue that his or her obsession is not applicable to friendly conversation, or to everyday kindness. In a nutshell, it shows an an immaturity of decent human interaction.

I’ve heard these instances a lot from friends with parents who have dived face first in the deep-end of the fringe pool. I chatted a little last night with a friend who needs to keep her mom at arm’s length because her mom inserts irrational ideas into otherwise rational situations creating a disturbing and chaotic atmosphere. The chaos hurts.

Or another friend whose brother is a flat earther who brings it up even when the topic is jelly. Or another friend who hasn’t talked to his agoraphobic parents for probably five years, because their obsessions with certain news channels built a wall between son and parents. Or another friend whose dad shared with him a sermon from his church on who they should vote for.

These are all people who cannot have a close relationship with their parents. Any time spent together requires applied limitations, time restrictions, quick forgiveness of little slips and often experience a forced parental grounding.

Instead of being able to achieve civil plenitudes between otherwise loving individuals, a selfish instigation of personal ineptitude disrupts casual situations.

Continue reading “In a world where we disagree on so much, what can we all agree on?”