Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Mexican Marilyn Manson...

This is just too amazing to not share, I would say this one is self explanatory:

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Temporal Anomalies in Time Travel Movies

This is my new favorite website:

Check out every Time Travel Movie and why it works or doesn't work according to the laws of physics. I haven't read it all yet but it seems 12 Monkeys and Millennium follow the rules while films like Minority Report are completely torn apart. I recommend it highly.

Here's an excerpt from the Minority Report section:

"If you've already read the material on Frequency, you're aware that information traveling from the future to the past can be as damaging or even more damaging in time travel terms than people doing so. Viewed this way, Minority Report is an unmitigated disaster, a collection of hundreds of anomalies none of which can be resolved.

The core concept of the film is that psychics are able to predict the future. Three in particular, victims of drug use by parents which affected their unborn minds, have visions of emotionally charged events in the short-term future, especially murders. Using very sophisticated mind/machine interface technology, an experimental police organization is able to view these visions, identify people and situations from them, and arrive at the scene of the crime before it happens. They then arrest the perpetrator prior to the murder. Often this happens at the last moment, as the fragmentary visions are pieced together just in time to stop the attack. Yet these authorities are not unwilling to arrest someone a week before his crime, if they have the information in time.

It is evident that as a time travel situation this creates paradox upon paradox. Agatha and the twins, our three psychics lying in the tank and seeing the horrors of the future to come, receive images of an event, a murder, and pass these images to their keepers. The keepers act on those images and prevent the murder from being committed. Yet if the murder is not committed, the images cannot exist in any real sense. Thus if the murder is prevented, the images don't exist, and the psychics cannot see them; but if the psychics cannot see them, the police cannot be warned, and the murder cannot be prevented. Each time a murder is prevented, an infinity loop is created, and time is trapped in the anomaly.

There is another striking problem in all this related to the main story. Tom Cruise' character, Captain John Anderton, is seen in one of the visions killing a complete stranger. He does not understand why he would kill a complete stranger; but it is obvious that he is going to be arrested for it immediately, although the event is a week or so away and appears to be a planned murder, not a crime of passion (as most are now that everyone knows you will be arrested before the murder if you plan it). He runs; he puts a lot of time and effort into trying to discover who this victim is and why he would kill him. He kidnaps Agatha, the best of the three psychics, to help him in this. Ultimately he finds the man. It appears that the man is the kidnapper who took Anderton's son some years before. Anderton decides not to kill him, but to arrest him. Then things really start falling apart, as it now appears that this man is not the kidnapper, but was set up to look like it so that Anderton would kill him; and that the man is intent on dying, because he has made a deal with some unnamed person who will care for his family if and only if Anderton kills him. The result is that the man kills himself with Anderton's gun, and of course the police are already on their way, completely unaware of the truth of the situation.

The problem in this is that the cause is dependent on the result. That is, why does Anderton kill the man? He would not do so were he not there. He would not be there had he not attempted to find out who the man was. He would not have sought the identity of the man had he not seen the vision of himself killing the man. In the end, Anderton kills the man because he kills the man. We're fooled by the sophistry of the causal loop, sold the bill of goods (popular in fixed time stories) that because everything in this story has a cause in the story, it's all plausible. It is not plausible, because there is no cause outside the loop that will start the loop. Further, this is not and cannot be a fixed time story if the psychics are seeing actual future events, because in that case the best that could be done would be to have the police arrest the criminals immediately after murders which, in fixed time theory, they would have been inexplicably helpless to prevent (another problem in fixed time theory).

It helps in these situations to do a reverse negation of the causal chain. If Anderton does not see himself kill the man, he will not investigate. If he does not investigate, he will not discover the man's identity or location. If he does not discover the man's identity or location, he will not be in the room. If he is not in the room, he will not kill the man. If he does not kill the man, the psychics will not have the vision. If they do not have the vision, he will not see himself kill the man. There is no cause outside this chain that can trigger it.

Such chains can be created, under the theory of this site, by an original causal chain which is erased by altered circumstances. Perhaps someone calls Anderton with an anonymous tip regarding the man who kidnapped his son. Anderton responds, kills the kidnapper, and so creates the image for the vision. This image appears while he is in the office (creating the CD timeline) and so he has a new information source leading him ultimately to that man at the right time and place. In this case the victim is shot anyway, as the police arrive too late; thus the vision is preserved (possibly in altered form--now Agatha is in the room with him, although see more on this below) and this is a brief sawtooth snap terminating in an N-jump.

Apart from this one death, all the other arrests create infinity loops, if viewed as information traveling from the future to the past. However, there is reason not to view it this way, and this reason saves the movie."

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Atari Teenage Riot...

I saw ATR once at CBGB's in the late 90's and the intensity of their gear and the low bass tones actually made me feel a little nauseous. I kind of felt like all of my organs were vibrating unnaturally and at any moment I might throw up. Supposedly they are releasing an ATR app for the iphone that lets fans play with sound samples that are designed to irritate people to the point that they will riot... well, if you bring a gigantic club size sound system with you to run your iphone through. Check out the article below:

From Pitchfork:
"Recently reunited German electro-punk spazzes Atari Teenage Riot are still causing controversy. ATR's iPhone app has been delayed by the German iTunes store due to a dispute over its content. The free app is set to feature every ATR album, song, and video, as well as photos, news updates, and more. But it also included something called "Riotsounds Produce Riots", an audio player that features sounds that ATR used at a May Day protest in 1999, at which the band members were arrested.

According to a press release, those sounds include "very low sub basses, square waves, noise sounds which trigger hysteria and panic within the audience." So your iPhone could make a whole lot of people very uncomfortable, if hooked up to big speakers-- which ATR encourages, via press release.

But Apple has held up the app's release while they investigate whether it's legal to release an app with all those noises on it. The band had hoped to get the app out in time for this year's May 1 protests, but that didn't happen.

Responding to inquiries about the app's status, ATR mastermind Alec Empire writes, "Today's status is that the ATR iPhone will be released within the next ten days. The Riotsounds player might be added later with an update. It's a legal loophole. So not sure yet what the outcome will be. But the free app which includes all ATR songs and videos plus a lot of extras will still be pretty awesome, even if the Riotsounds player is not included in this version. ATR plans regular updates for the app including free bonus tracks, unreleased songs, outtakes and more."

On May 24, the group will release the reunion single "Reactivate" on their own Digital Hardcore label."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

In Honor of Star Wars Day (Repost)

May 04, 2010
May the 4th be with you! (Or why all Stormtroopers are left-handed)
Posted by Steve Spears at 03:00:00 AM on May 4, 2010
in Geek to chic | Permalink

What's going to shock you the most: To know there's a "Star Wars Day?" Finding out that it's May 4 ("May the 4th be with you" ... dare I say, classic?). Or that while the rest of the world is waiting for an oil spill to wipe out the Gulf Coast of the United States, I spent the start of my work week digging up crazy Star Wars trivia for this very special day.

All of the above. I hear you. Hey, someone has to sort out Dantooine from Tatooine.*

It shouldn't even be Stars Ways Day. The movie itself was released May 25, 1977. But here we are. So while you run home to get your plastic lightsaber, here are 10 nuggets of trivia about the original flick that are worthy of inclusion in the Archives of the Jedi Order.

1. NEVER TRUST A LEFTY: Those evil Stormtroopers all appear to be all left-handed! It’s because their ammunition magazines on their weapons are on the left side, so it’s easier to hold the guns left-handed. Of course, it could also be because most Stormtroopers are cloned from the bounty hunter Jango Fett, who could have been a lefty.

2. MEET 'LITTLE ARTHUR’: Ever wonder how the droid names sounded in other languages? Confusing! That’s why some Spanish subtitled versions of the film renamed R2-D2 as “Arturito” (meaning “little Arthur”) in Spanish. C-3PO simply became “Citripio,” which has no meaning. (We would have thought "golden prissy one.")

3. TIE GAME: How did those one-man Imperial starships get the name TIE Fighters? TIE is actually an acronym that stands for “Twin Ion Engines.” The movie’s model-maker reportedly came up with it, though other fans maintain TIE stands for “Third Intergalactic Empire.” (How about "Time to Incinerate Endor" instead?)

4. OBI-WANTS OUT: The late Alec Guinness, who played Obi-Wan Kenobi, infamously regretted his participation in the movie. Guinness once told an interviewer that he talked creator George Lucas into killing off his character because a ghost would be a better mentor for Luke Skywalker. “What I didn’t tell him was that I just couldn’t go on speaking those bloody awful, banal lines,” he said. His role was greatly reduced for the next two movies. (Sorry, Alec, but would you prefer us remember you for 1983's Lovesick?)

5. CHEWY'S FURRY FOR A REASON: Mark Hamill once revealed that studio execs were frightened that Chewbacca had no clothes on and suggested that his costume be adjusted so he could wear shorts.

6. NOW WHO'S THE ASS? Do those crazy, gutteral sounds that the Tuskan Raiders (Sand People) sound like a day on the farm? That because mules were used as the main basis for the sound.

7. JUST PLAIN NUTS: When Darth Vader crushes the neck of Captain Antilles, on board the Alderaan Diplomatic Cruiser Tantive IV, that's the sound of walnut shells being crushed. The same sound is used in 1983's Return of the Jedi when Han Solo is freed from his carbonite imprisonment. (I find your lack of faith in sound engineering disturbing.)

8. ON SECOND THOUGHT... Lucas once told an interviewer that Luke was originally conceived to be a girl and that Han was supposed to be an alien. Next thing you'll tell us is that Chewbacca got the last line in the film...

9. OH, HE DID: Chewbacca's language and growl was a combination of various large mammals, mostly bears. But he does have the honor of speaking the very last line of the movie after Han and Luke get their medals from Leia. Way to go, Chewy.

10. THE ULTIMATE POWER IN THE UNIVERSE: After opening in May, Star Wars officially dethroned Jaws in November as the all-time box-office champion. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial snagged the record in 1982, holding it until Titanic rose to the top in 1997. Nowadays, another soon-to-be classic holds the record: Avatar.

[* Dantooine is where Princess Leia says the rebel base is hidden, though it’s really on Yavin IV. Tatooine is Luke’s home planet. And yes, I need to get a life.]


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