The Mystery of the Supranational Rabbit (porsupah) wrote,
The Mystery of the Supranational Rabbit
porsupah

Neurochemistry

BMW has announced they're going electric within the coming decade. =:D This isn't to say all electric - there will be hybrid designs, especially early on. Still, a very welcome announcement, and surely but the first of many other makers.

BBC 2's announced an adaptation of China Miéville's "The City And The City", which could be well worth waiting for. "The four-part serial follows Inspector Tyador Borlú of the Extreme Crime Squad, resident of the crumbling city of Besźel. The mutilated body of a foreign student is found dumped on some wasteland and Borlú is assigned to the case. Borlu is unfazed until he uncovers evidence that the dead girl had been involved in the political turmoil between Besźel and its prosperous twin city of Ul Qoma, which occupies the same physical space. Citizens of each city are forbidden from seeing each other, and the frontier between the cities is policed by 'Breach' which punishes all transgressions."

Here's a good interview with Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz on the nature of society and inequality.

I never cease to be heartened by the extent to which furrydom has spread - true, when there was basically a con for people to focus on attending, it did make for quite a sense of occasion. But what's not to love about cons and meets being so much more easily reached now? Here's a cool example: Caracas furmeet, from FursVenezuela. ^_^

It appears Apple's made a slightly odd purchase: FaceShift, a Swiss company working on markerless real-time facial tracking.

Ol' JMJ's got a new album coming out in October 2015 - and it'll be all about collaborations with people who've influenced him, or inspire him now, including Laurie Anderson, Little Boots, Pete Townshend, Moby, Air, and John Carpenter (yes, "They Live", "Escape from New York", et al. I had never been aware he's also quite a prolific composer/musician! But there it is, all his performance credits on IMDb). And indeed, the trailer promises something pretty damned special. =:D

It appears Bill Murray is sneaking into the new Ghostbusters after all. ^_^ The Onion's A.V. Club offers why, in his own words. Really looking forward to this, though it's not coming until June 2016.

One of the films in tonight's viewing was one I'd hoped to see a while back, and indeed, had the pleasure of being in the tiny audience for Simon Pegg's brief stint at the Regents Street Apple Store to promote the flick - Hector and the Search for Happiness. I'd even been vaguely warned off the film by a friend! But no, this was just what I could have hoped for, and more - not perfect, certainly, but a really, thoroughly fun exploration into just what the hell actually makes people genuinely happy. It does provide Simon Pegg with a rich role (in every sense, given the flying Hector accumulates), showing him off to vastly better effect than Mission: Impossible's light comic relief. I'll happily recommend it - it's not perfect, by any means, but if you enjoyed the possibilities Amélie embodies, you'll probably get along with this too. ^_^ (We also watched ParaNorman - not the first time. Such a superb production.. the climax was heartbreakingly wonderful)

If you've got $5m kicking around, how about your own private island? Red Rock Island is up for sale, with the asking price down from $22m originally. It's located between San Rafael and Richmond.

How to restore pony hair, here demonstrated by Pinkie Pie. Once flyaway and frizzy, but following some boiling water and appropriate care, remarkably as good as new!

The fairly extensive renovation of the old cinema in the Mission is reaching its conclusion, with the new Alamo Drafthouse set to open sometime around November. ^_^ "The theater’s 1930s mirrors were recently unearthed, vintage light fixtures now hang from the ceilings, and crews have begun to painstakingly repaint and restore its intricate ceilings and décor. Mike Keegan, the theater’s creative manager, said architectural historians have even been consulted for the project, and the goal is to match the former movie palace’s paint “as much as we can.” The improvements aren’t just indoors. The New Mission’s 70-foot-tall sign and marquee have already been restored. The letters will soon glow green with illuminated yellow accents on a red background."

"While a lot of the renovations will pay homage to the theater’s past, plenty have been planned with the modern moviegoer in mind. Along a wall that still has holes from the old projection booth, crews will build a bar called Bear vs. Bull, open from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m., movie ticket not required. A menu of bar snacks is also being crafted, Keegan said. Once a massive 2,000-seat theater, the reborn New Mission will now have five smaller screens. The biggest theater will hold 320, another will have 90 seats, and there will be three micro-theaters, capacity 34, 34 and 42. Patrons will watch preshows, instead of advertisements, film shorts produced by an Alamo Drafthouse team that relate to the movies being screened. Before the movies start, servers will walk around to answer questions about the food and drink menu, and patrons will be able to place orders from their seats. Staff will also check to ensure people aren’t on their cell phones. One infraction will get you a warning, a second gets you kicked out without a refund." (Is phone usage in cinemas really that significant a problem? I've seen the occasional checking for messages, but thankfully, not actually speaking on it)

Behold the harrowing tale of someone who swallowed the number 7. ^_^;

Woohoo! I just received word from the producers that Landfill Harmonic is now ready to view! I backed the production a couple years ago, and there's been quite the saga in its production, not least some devastating flooding in Paraguay last year. You can view the teaser trailer, or visit the site to find out more about the film. "Landfill Harmonic follows the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, a Paraguayan musical youth group of kids that live next to one of South America’s largest landfills. This unlikely orchestra plays music from instruments made entirely out of garbage. When their story goes viral, the orchestra is catapulted into the global spotlight. With the guidance of their music director, they must navigate this new world of arenas and sold out concerts. However, when a natural disaster devastates their community, the orchestra provides a source of hope for the town. The film is a testament to the transformative power of music and the resilience of the human spirit." It'll be available to buy later this year.

So, Hulu's going to offer a almost no ads plan - not quite ad-free, sadly, as there are (currently) seven "exception shows". Still, even those will only have 15s before and 30s after, none within the shows. At $12/mo, versus the regular $8 offering, I'd be strongly inclined to go for it, if I watched much TV. I'd be leery of the exceptions growing in number, though, or the ad duration or frequency increasing - as I understand it, the amount of advertising on Hulu has only grown with time.

Very cute. The Death Star architect speaks out, and raises some perfectly valid points justifying his design. =:)

Or maybe a rapid-fire diatribe on the societal compunction that women must be hairless? Women of the World Poetry Slam Finals 2015 - Desiree Dallagiacomo "Shave Me". It's sort of what you might wind up with if Robin Williams (1980s version) were melded with Billy Connolly, and were female. ^_^

For a little bit of reading, how about Waiting for Doctor Who? It's an everyday yarn, between two people, waiting with great patience for an arrival that never seems to come along.

Egad, the last week or two's seen a veritable pile of iOS games I'd like to buy, but which will have to wait.. The Deer God, Lara Croft GO (a turn-based puzzle adventure!), Gathering Sky, I am Bread, a two-pack of Amazon Studios adventures ('Til Morning's Light, and Lost Within) at half price, Transistor also half price.. well, okay, I did permit myself Gathering Sky, which is - only vaguely a game, more of a participatory experience, accompanied by beautiful chamber music composed and performed for the title.

hastka might be interested in this quite neat look at ELF (extremely low frequency) communications, a very esoteric medium indeed. In particular, it focuses on the Russian Zevs transmitter near Murmansk, home of the Russian Northern Fleet. It operates around 82Hz - no, there's no 'k' or other multiplier missing. It only yields a few bits per minute, and it takes some fifteen minutes to (hopefully) reliably transmit the few characters involved with enough redundancy to be certain it was correctly received, as such instructions might include nuclear warfare. Range? Effectively worldwide, as the planet itself becomes the antenna.

It's looking like this year's El Niño will be especially pronounced, according to the World Meteorological Organisation. "Models and expert opinion suggest that surface water temperatures in the east-central tropical Pacific Ocean are likely to exceed 2C above average, potentially placing this El Nino event among the four strongest events since 1950." Of course, that's not the only effect at play. "But researchers cautioned that the scale of impacts, especially in the northern hemisphere, is very hard to read because there is also an Arctic warming effect seen in the Atlantic jet stream."

Rather cool aircraft livery, with a tiger head-on. =:D

I see Welcome to Night Vale comes to the Castro Theatre on Oct 29.. does anyone know what the live shows are actually like?

Next Wednesday's Apple launch seems likely to propel AppleTV into being something more than a streaming box, finally. Curiously, rumors seem to paint the more interesting side as being the degree of Siri integration. Which isn't an unfair point, given how profoundly most remote controls suck, however adequate the players may be at handling the underlying mechanics of playback of H.264 and friends. Still, we'll see. Frankly, I remain a touch surprised Apple hasn't gone the Beats route with video as well, and set up some degree of TV/film production in house - it's certainly worked out well for Netflix, who don't have to rely quite as much on the studios' whims regarding the timing and geographical availability of programming, let alone pricing. If you consider a top-tier film as coming in at, say, $400m - what's that versus the absurd mountains of money in Apple's vaults? Ten such productions would scarcely be a blip on the balance sheet as an expense, let alone if they turned out to be at least modestly successful. (And there was no shortage of detractors at the time, mocking Sony's decision to buy Columbia..)

And having typed that, Variety now reports that Apple is indeed looking in that direction. =:D A touch disappointing to see they'd bother with trying for Top Gear, though - they deserve to be left squarely in the past.

As for the iPad Pro - mm, probably not for me. The current 9.7" is Just Right for fitting into tiny seatback tables on trains, holding comfortably on a bus, without feeling like you're watching a tiny screen, or catching up on LJ in a cozy pub, able to navigate the ordinary non-mobile site easily, and type proper replies without being careful about digit positioning. (On the other paw, I'd love to see the return of the 17" MacBook Pro, but as I recall, they were very much a fringe line in terms of sales)

NASA's New Horizons, having sent back remarkable footage of Pluto, may have a new destination yet: Kuiper belt object 2014 MU69, some billion miles onward, which it would reach on Jan 1 2019.

That turned out rather well! The supermarket included a trial package of an Indian sauce mix (Punjabi curry), including some spices not yet ground/pulverised - rather than try walloping away at nutmeg, I deployed the never-used coffee grinder (it's rather noisy, and overall, more faff than simply tapping out some pre-ground coffee from a bag. It never gets to sit around more than a few weeks, and the cheap grinders can never seem to manage that fine a grind anyway). Time to use up four lamb steaks that'd been sitting in the freezer since February! All that into the slow cooker, along with a chopped carrot, a couple sliced shiitake, and four quartered Brussels sprouts. A while later, it was tasting good, and quite pleasantly rich in spicing, but didn't quite grab me, so I thought I'd toss the idea of curry authenticity entirely, and added a good teaspoon of minced garlic, half a can of kidney beans, and a can of chickpeas. Finally, shortly before serving, once all the flavors had permeated nicely, I capped them with a dash of oyster sauce, a good bit of hot smoked paprika, a little asafoetida, a tiny dash of chocolate liqueur, and a teaspoon or so of grenadine syrup.

I've got to know - is it just me that certain kinds of smokey bacon crisps give recurring acrid bacon burps to? =:P Frazzles and Discos are fine, but McCoy's "sizzling bacon" will keep reminding me gently for hours after.
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