Sunday, 29 March 2015

Entertainment stuff from the week 23-29/3/15

Hi purple people eaters,

Well, this looks interesting!

'James Bond SPECTRE Full Length Trailer (2015)'

{Psst... Bill's not going to be released until the 21st of August now. Mysterious workings, i suppose :-/ }

'Barry Cryer's 80th birthday cake'

Barry had a #1 single in Finland, in 1958, with a song called 'Purple People Eater' which was originally by Sheb Woolley. Due to legal problems, his record wasn't released in Scandinavia, and that's where Barry Cryer stepped in. According to Barry, it only got to #1 because they gave away a free car with every record :-D

'Barry Cryer - Purple People Eater'


The 23rd of March marks the 50th anniversary of the first crewed Gemini flight, which took three astronauts on 3 orbits of the Earth. The Gemini program was a stepping stone to the later Apollo missions and their trips to the Moon.

The 28th March marks Earth Hour, which was instigated by WWF (the World Wildlife Fund) to raise awareness of the subject of climatic change, and our changing environment. 2015's Earth Hour has been described as the biggest yet, with 7000 cities switching off lights, to reveal the darkness beyond.

In other news:

Geologists have found the largest impact zone on/in the planet, in Australia, indicating an impact four times the size of the one that changed the climate enough that it wiped out the non-avian dinosaurs, flying reptiles (my kin), and the marine reptiles! The crater was buried a long time ago, but the remaining camber left in the bedrock is 400 km wide. The geology also shows that the asteroid broke into two 10 km leviathans, before it hit the Earth's surface, in what's now Central Australia. The geological layer that the impact zone exists in, dates to 300-600 million years ago, so the impact must have occurred at least 300 million years ago. All known impacts close to this size have caused huge extinction events.

Last Friday, a much smaller asteroid - NEO 2014 YB35 - that measured less than 1 km across, had been 'predicted' to skim past the Earth. It actually passed a mere 11.7 lunar distances - that's 4.5 million kilometres - from the Earth. When you hear that something dramatic's going to happen, maybe look it up on a website that might actually know, before grabbing your tins of beans and running for the bunker!

Recent news has had a lot about colour-changing animals: from emotional chameleons to predatory fish. Well, here's an amphibian that does something similar: it's a frog that doesn't change its colour, but does change its shape, to mimic the material it's sitting on. When on a smooth surface, that collects moisture from the rainforest humidity, they adopt a similarly smooth, shiny appearance; and when they move to rougher, matt-look ground, where the surface they're on is less smooth, they distort their skin to break up its outline and merge into the background. The frog species - Pristimantis mutabilis - or the mutable rainfrog, which lives in the Ecuadorian Andes, can change its appearance within minutes, and is not the only species to do it. Already-known species can shape-shift too, but because they do so, it's difficult to tell whether you're looking at a different species, or the same one in different form! This means the number of species in the area might have been inadvertently overestimated.

The peoples of North America, 13300 years ago, it seems, consumed both horses and camels. FYI: camels evolved in North America, and migrated to other regions of the world, where they remain today, and are now associated with. As a further reflection on our modern culture: the consumption of horses and camels as food is widely considered to be monstrous, even where eating cows and baby sheep is fine. Ultimately, homo sapiens is an opportunistic species, that will eat whatever it has to, to survive. Cultural tastes and distastes, however, are arbitrary.

Fresh observations using the APEX, SMA, and Effelberg telescopes, have ascertained that a star observed and recorded in 1670 was not actually undergoing a supernova event at all - it was the collision of two (or more) stars, which produced enough light to draw the attention of astronomers, and the name Nova Vulpeculae. Back then, of course, they didn't have submillimetre and radio wavelength receptive telescopes, and so couldn't have worked out what is known now. By observing that there was too much cool material, the modern astronomers have realised that it couldn't have been a supernova, and found that the composition matched what they would expect of a collision between multiple stars, causing the resultant mass to explode, flinging material out into space, and leaving behind a cooled remnant.

------------------------------------------------------ contemporary stuff

'The Darkness - Open Fire (Official Audio)'
Yes, that is his voice; and yes, this song is amazing :-D

'Cheating in exams taken to new levels in India'

'Convicted fraudster escaped from prison with faked bail email'

'The Pope’s latest miracle hype is really lame'
Don't forget that Pope Frank's a fraudster too. But then, he isn't as smart - he still believes in exorcism!

'Man hospitalised with arsenic poisoning after buying herbal impotence pills online'
Please don't buy herbal potions, people. You don't know what's in them, and the vendors probably don't either - they don't care about you, they just want money.

Back to the LOLly stuff, though :-D

'10 Amazing Fire Tricks!'

'How to Taxidermy a Squirrel'

'What does "Probably Cause Cancer" actually mean?'
{I like to think of it with this analogy: if something was labelled 'probably makes things wet' would you go ahead expecting wetness? That it's wetting ability is doubted, suggests that its effect size is small enough to not fret about at great expense.}

'Darwin Day 2015 Questions: #4 How does evolution explain homosexuality?'
This is very interesting. My favourite hypothesis is that we all have genetics to encode masculine attraction (to females) and feminine attraction (to males) and so other biological traits heavily influence which attractions dominate. Reproduction-prohibiting degrees of homosexuality in an individual can be seen, evolutionarily, as an affordable slip-up - one that is uncostly to the individual or to the society they're in. 5% of females expressing the same sexuality as 95% of males doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things, and so the system safely perpetuates. Queerness should be seen as an opportunity for the species' multiple morphologies to better understand each other, when they are wont to segregate along sexist lines.

'Petty's Double Bottom Boat - Objectivity #12'

'east of Chernobyl and the Pripyat river: машеве (Maschewe) village & physics university'

'Starmus Festival 2014: Brian May singing "'39"'

'Where is Scandinavia?'

'Il était une fois à l'Ouest (Akim Omiri)'
{If you go to captions and then auto-translate you get subtitles arguably funnier than the sketch, lol}

'Trevor Noah - You Laugh But It's True - The UNICEF Fly'

'5 Things You Didn't Know About The UK's Electoral Past And Present'

LOL at the last one :-D

'Cassetteboy - Emperor's New Clothes rap'

Shame about the ending. Brand's such a wet, hippy prig :-/

'CRASH ZOOM: Fingered'

'Stop pooping on bike path'

------------------------------------------------------ of the weeks

Word Of The Week: resfeber -- a Swedish word for anticipatory excitement ahead of a journey

Expression Of The Week: 'purple patch' -- a period of great success, or good fortune e.g. "The Purple People Eater's chart success was a purple patch in Barry Cryer's musical career"; or a particularly florid length of prose

Queeneros' Fact Of The Week: Love Of My Life was played as STS 107's wake up call on January 27 2003 aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia. Just five days later, the spacecraft would disintegrate upon reentry into the atmosphere over Texas and Louisiana, killing all 7 astronauts on the spacecraft.

Fact Of The Week: The Western Electric Model 500 telephone was the standard Bell System phone in North America from 1950 to 1984, and is the most common telephone ever to have been produced.

------------------------------------------------------ non-contemporary stuff

'A Question of Perspective'

'Analogue Prototype of Angry Birds'

'Rob's Rants - Checkmate, Mr. Bond'
Very funny and insightful. Classic Rob Grant :o)

'This Seattle Street Art Only Appears When It's Raining'

It's only temporary though - its being biodegradable means it won't last; and its breakdown products are presumably going to pollute the environment. Like all of these things, they're OK in moderation.

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