Saturday, March 30, 2013

NASA Trailer to Run Before New Star Trek Movie

Successfully crowdfunded too. Pretty cool. Especially because of the narrator.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sacred Reich, Crawling (Independent, 1993)

Independent is the "single" from the album of the same name, as much as metal bands had singles in 1993, and had a video, and is a solid piece of well-developed late thrash by Sacred Reich. But please listen to Crawling here, and treat yourself to two of the most highly evolved pieces of chunky riffage ever to come out of a guitar, the bridge/solo and fade-out riffs in particular (starting at 2m36s and 5m9s, respectively.)

Most Likely Chord Progressions

Hook Theory is a site which took someone a lot of work, where you pick chords and it tells you the percent likelihood of the chords which follow; check it out here. (Sort of like Markov chains for music?) The only problem is that it's crowdsourced and the crowd so far has been pretty un-metal, two Metallica pieces and nothing else I could find. If you like the site, help them change that!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Evidence of Panspermia in Sri Lankan Meteorite?

That's the claim made by some scientists from Sri Lanka and Wales on material from a witnessed fall, based on elemental content and electron microscopy of structures inside the rock. The problem with these claims is always a) ruling out contamination (the fragments landed in rice paddies) and b) making a claim of life based on electron micrographs.

My question: why do these claims never rely on gas chromatograph or NMR data (for instance)? No, we wouldn't necessarily know what we're looking for, but you'd very likely see some large complex molecules, a few of them much more common than others, and then we wouldn't have another 1996 Martian meteorite false-start. Until then any discussion of space algae is premature. And I even think there will actually be evidence of life (panspermia or von Neumann probes) on asteroids and comets - I just don't think this is evidence thereof.

Monday, March 4, 2013

First Law Making Drones Illegal for Individuals, Okay For Government

This is also posted at my economics blog, The Late Enlightenment.

A Senator in New Hampshire - a Republican (more on this below) has proposed a law that would make all aerial photography but government aerial photography illegal.

Francis Fukuyama warned that governments would soon become threatened by this technology, and outlaw it except for their own use in enforcement.

Regarding the New Hampshire Senator's party afiliation: I would like a party that safeguards individual rights, but the GOP is clearly not it at the moment.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

As I Lay Dying, Morning Waits (8-bit version; orig. from Shadows Are Security, 2005)

I was going to post the original, which (like almost all As I Lay Dying) I dig in the extreme - and you know why? Because As I Lay Dying doesn't f**k around, that's why. But Youtube is thoroughly cleansed of their work, so I have to bring you the Legend of Zelda version. That said, this is accidentally kind of cool in itself.