Category: Video

Differential equation

My attitude on how to dress has been pretty much the same all my life. If it feels comfortable and you like how you look – wear it. Try something new. Try something old and worn.

Functionality helps. Once in a great while, fads are more than cool. More than silly.

Thanks, Honeyman

Copper pulls gun on man recording him

Raw, uncut recording

A Northern California police officer has been placed on leave after a video surfaced showing him pulling a gun on a man who was recording him on his cellphone.

Rohnert Park officials announced their decision Thursday to place the officer on administrative leave…

Don McComas said he was in front of his home and hooking his boat to a trailer when he saw the officer drive into his neighborhood. The officer, he said, made a few turns and stopped to face McComas. The officer did nothing but point at McComas and his home, McComas said.

McComas became concerned, so he pulled out his cellphone camera and started filming.

The video shows the officer stopping his police SUV and appearing to film McComas with a camera or cellphone.

On the video, McComas moves in closer to record the license plate number on the officer’s vehicle. The officer gets out of the SUV and tells McComas to take his hand out of his pocket.

McComas replies: “No sir, I’ve done nothing. I have done absolutely nothing. No.”…

The video shows McComas backing away as the officer moves the gun toward him.

McComas repeats he did nothing wrong and tells the officer not to touch him.

When McComas asks why the officer stepped out of his vehicle, the officer responds, “You’re taking a picture of me. I am taking a picture of you.” The officer then asked whether McComas was “some kind of a constitutionalist or crazy guy or something like that.”

“Why are you doing this?” the officer asks McComas, who responds, “Why are you sitting here with your gun on me? This is why I am doing this. To protect myself from you….”

As the officer walks away, he tells McComas, “Go ahead, have a nice day and put it on YouTube. I don’t really care.”

Another good reason why you need to have some kind of device with you to record interaction with officialdom of just about any kind IMHO. Cops are the most dangerous, of course, They’re usually carrying a gun – if you’re in the GOUSA.

The uncut quality of the video speaks for itself. This wasn’t a civilian trying to produce the sort of gotcha film beloved of Tea Party agitprop. Just a guy in his neighborhood wondering why a cop wanders up to the front of his driveway and stops.

I would recommend a little more discretion. Putting your cellphone in a shirt pocket might be less likely to set off a creep who already thinks he’s superior to all other mortals.

“Are you a constitutionalist or crazy guy or something like that” pretty much sums it up. That’s what too many coppers think of civilians and our rights.

Commercial directors making today’s coolest adverts

The whole commercial makes no mention of brand or models excepting the tiny-print identifiers appearing for a second or two. If you’re in the market for something like this – you already know what you’re looking at!

This is from the Portland, Oregon, crew at Wieden+Kennedy

Wayne McClammy, Hungry Man

McClammy credits meeting Emilio Estevez with kick-starting his career (“If Emilio can direct, I can direct,” he thought), and soon he was making viral comedy hits, many for Jimmy Kimmel. (His short “I’m Fucking Matt Damon,” with Sarah Silverman, notably won an Emmy.) His star-studded reel showcases this broader gift for comedy. Case in point: a growing list of credits for Geico and The Martin Agency that includes the instant goofy-camel classic “Hump Day.”

“Hump Day” alone makes him a star in my skies.

Click here for nine more insane in the membrane-directors leading the world of commercial advertising.

Nosferatu Lives

It reads like the script from one of his horror films; a stolen head, burnt black candles and satanic symbols – but this week they became elements of Berlin police department’s latest case.

The head in question belonged to Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, the director of the iconic early-20th-Century Dracula film adaptation ‘Nosferatu – a Symphony of Horror’, taken from his grave near the German capital.

And officers have have already turned their attention to Germany’s darker sects as they search for those who took the well-preserved body part from a grave site often scrawled with pentangles and other symbols of devil worship.

Murnau’s ‘Nosferatu’ was and remains one of the most important milestones in cinema.

Based upon Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel ‘Dracula’, it told the story of Count Orlok of the undead, and its moody scenes and clever camera angles influenced generations of fans and filmakers alike.

But death was at the heart of the movie and death has continued to stir the passions of vampire lovers ever since it was made in 1922.

Indeed, his own death in 1931 aged 41 was enough to elicit some fascination of its own: openly homosexual, he was engaging in oral sex with his 14-year-old Filipino houseboy on the Pacific Coast Highway at Santa Barbara when he lost concentration and slammed into a telegraph pole.

His corpse was embalmed and placed in a metal coffin, and the following year it was shipped to Germany for burial in Stahnsdorf’s south-west cemetery.

And down the years the lovers of the undead – goths, ghouls and living vampires who get their sexual thrills from the drinking of human blood – have made the pilgrimage to the grave of Murnau to pay their respects to a man…

Stahnsdorf cemetery warden Olaf Ihlefeldt found the head missing as he slid the lid of the coffin away while investigating minor damage he had spotted on mausoleum number 22.

‘The body is still in pretty good condition,’ he said.

Murnau’s head was still recognisable and had its hair and teeth, he added, ‘the last time I saw it‘.

RTFA for tidbits and collateral tales of Satanism, vampire cults and other slightly disturbing religious rationales for often-demented, sometimes fanciful behavior.

Good enough for today’s TV series.

I must admit when my parents convinced the head librarian of our neighborhood Carnegie Library that I – 8-years-old – had exhausted the offerings for teens and pre-teens and required an adult library card, I almost blew it when the first book I went to borrow was Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”.

Murnau’s “Nosferatu” has long been my favorite silent film. If you require a soundtrack, try the version by Werner Herzog, “Nosferatu the Vampyre”, starring Klaus Kinski and Isabelle Adjani.

Woo hoo!

The exquisite role of dark matter

Click to reach Priyamvada Natarajan’s essay and video

It is definitely the golden age in cosmology because of this unique confluence of ideas and instruments. We live in a very peculiar universe—one that is dominated by dark matter and dark energy—the true nature of both of these remains elusive. Dark matter does not emit radiation in any wavelength and its presence is inferred by its gravitational influence on the motions of stars and gas in its vicinity. Dark Energy, discovered in 1998, meanwhile is believed to be powering the accelerated expansion of the universe. Despite not knowing what the dark matter particle is or what dark energy really is, we still have a very successful theory of how galaxies form and evolve in a universe with these mysterious and invisible dominant components.

Technology has made possible the testing of our cosmological theories at a level that was unprecedented before. All of these experiments have delivered very exciting results, even if they’re null results. For example, the LHC, with the discovery of the Higgs, has given us a lot more comfort in the standard model. The Planck and WMAP satellites probing the leftover hiss from the Big Bang—the cosmic microwave background radiation—have shown us that our theoretical understanding of how the early fluctuations in the universe grew and formed the late universe that we see is pretty secure. Our current theory, despite the embarrassing gap of not knowing the true nature of dark matter or dark energy, has been tested to a pretty high degree of precision.

It’s also consequential that the dark matter direct detection experiments have not found anything. That’s interesting too, because that’s telling us that all these experiments are reaching the limits of their sensitivity, what they were planned for, and they’re still not finding anything. This suggests paradoxically that while the overall theory might be consistent with observational data, something is still fundamentally off and possibly awry in our understanding.

The challenge in the next decade is to figure out which old pieces don’t fit. Is there a pattern that emerges that would tell us, is it a fundamentally new theory of gravity that’s needed, or is it a complete rethink of some aspects of particle physics that are needed? Those are the big open questions.

PRIYAMVADA NATARAJAN is a professor in the Departments of Astronomy and Physics at Yale University, whose research is focused on exotica in the universe—dark matter, dark energy, and black holes.

Click here to get to her essay + a half-hour video.