The brothers and welsh duo of Richard and Adam Johnson do Nan proud. Sandwich shop workers Richard and Adam brought their biggest fan, their nan, along for support. Watch them wow the Judges and bring a tear to her eye with their rendition of The Impossible Dream.
I had a stroke this last week, and then spent 5 days in the ICU/Observation ward at Suan Dok Hospital. Partial paralysis on both sides of the body, but more severe on the left side. CAT scan showed that there was no blood clof on the brain. so not as horrific as it could have been. But not a pleasant experience.
Typing is still very difficult, so Jing -reed posts will be a bit on the light side for a while.
I really do not believe in most of the many batshit crazy 'conspiracy theories', but the following two videos are compelling evidence [not just speculation, but substancial EVIDENCE] that the 'facts and truth' about 9/11 was perhaps little more than a fabrication.
hy.poth.e.sis - Steven Jones documentary
" 'hy.poth.e.sis' is a documentary film that follows physics professor Steven E. Jones during a pivotal point in his life. In 2005, Steven went public with a controversial theory regarding the collapse of the World Trade Center on 9/11. His assertion that the collapse was likely the result of pre-positioned explosives rather than the hijacked planes resulted in a backlash from the community and even threatened his standing as a professor at BYU. Despite hate mail, threats, and even bribery to end his research, Steven refused to give in to overwhelming pressure and continued his pursuit of the truth."
Loose Change documentary
"9/11 conspiracy theories are conspiracy theories that disagree with the widely accepted account that the September 11 attacks were perpetrated solely by al-Qaeda, without any detailed advanced knowledge on the part of any government agency. Proponents of these conspiracy theories claim there are inconsistencies in the official conclusions, or evidence which was overlooked. In a 2008 global poll of 16,063 people in 17 countries, majorities in only nine countries believe al Qaeda was behind the attacks. 46% of those surveyed believed al-Qaeda was responsible for the attacks, 15% believed the U.S. government was responsible, 7% believed Israel was and another 7% believed some other perpetrator, other than al Qaeda, was responsible. The poll found that respondents in the Middle East were especially likely to name a perpetrator other than al-Qaeda.
The most prominent conspiracy theory is that the collapse of the Twin Towers and 7 World Trade Center were the result of a controlled demolition rather than structural failure due to fire. Another prominent belief is that the Pentagon was hit by a missile launched by elements from inside the U.S. government or that a commercial airliner was allowed to do so via an effective standdown of the American military. Possible motives claimed by conspiracy theorists for such actions include justifying the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq as well as geostrategic interests in the Mideast, such as pipeline plans launched in the early 1990s by Unocal and other oil companies. Other conspiracy theories revolve around authorities having advance knowledge of the attacks and deliberately ignoring or helping to assist the attackers. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and media outlets such as Popular Mechanics have investigated and rejected the claims made by 9/11 conspiracy theories. The civil engineering community accepts that the impacts of jet aircraft at high speeds in combination with subsequent fires, not controlled demolition, led to the collapse of the Twin Towers."
2001: A Space Odyssey, so its fans will tell you, is awesome, amazing, astonishing, astounding — and that doesn't even exhaust their list of "A" adjectives. But however emphatically they're spoken, those words don't tell you much. I fear they sometimes even put off potential 2001-lovers — or at least those who would enjoy a screening or three — who fear themselves unequal to the imposing labor of appreciation ahead. You'll learn more meaningful things about Kubrick's film in 2001: The Making of a Myth (made in 2001), a 45-minute documentary on its conception, its production, and its undiminished resonance in our cultural imagination.
Introduced by filmmaker James Cameron — he of The Terminator, Avatar, and Aliens, science-fiction spectacles of an entirely different nature — the program brings in a host of the original contributors to 2001′s look, feel, and psychological and technological verisimilitude. We hear from those involved in the photography, design, editing, and even technical consultancy. Actor Keir Dullea, still best known for his role as astronaut Dave Bowman, has much to say about working with his co-star HAL, and even the fellows in the ape suits offer insights into their non-verbal craft. Critical minds such as Elvis Mitchell and Camille Paglia weigh in on the picture's simultaneous visceral and intellectual impact, but Arthur C. Clarke, who wrote 2001 the book while Kubrick shot 2001 the film, puts it most sharply when describing the intent of his director counterpart: "He wanted to make the proverbial good science-fiction movie." Mission accomplished.
Was I stoned the first time I saw "2001: A Space Odyssey" ? My viewing of this monumental film occurred in the 1960's, and I lived in the San Francisco bay area, where love, grass and flower power ruled the day.
That all occurred more than 50 years ago, and I still watch it anew from time to time.
Songkran, the world's largest and most joyful water fight is here again. After weeks of blast furnace like temperatures, time for everyone in Chiang Mai, and all over Thailand, to cool off a bit with some water throwing.
I recall the pleasure with which I discovered my first TED Talk on Youtube. At last something substancial and worth watching on YouTube.
TED, globally known as a showcase of ideas, hosts “fascinating thinkers and doers” who occupy a stage for 18 minutes or less to share their ideas with a global audience. Started in 1984, TED began as “a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader.”
TED’s mission statement reads:
“We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we’re building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.”
Imagine my dismay when recently I disovered that two TED talks had been posted, and then removed from YouTube.
TED, the popular conference organizer, recently censured two contributors for their TEDx talks, and cancelled an upcoming TEDx event due to the participation of two others. The four share an interest in the possibility that consciousness extends beyond the brain. In an open letter, Ken Jordan, Reality Sdandwich's publisher and editorial director, invited TED's curator, Chris Anderson, to an online forum to explain his action.
I may, or may not, agree with Dr. Sheldrake's assertion that 'consciousness extends beyond the brain', but more importantly I feel that I have the right to make my own decision about his view of science.
Dr. Rupert Sheldrake's TEDx talk censored by the 'scientific board' of TED and removed from YouTube. It was later reposted by someone not associated with TED Talks.
Dr. Rupert Sheldrake talks about his banned TED talk on Skeptiko with Alex Tsakiris
For a film with a daring director, a talented cast, a captivating plot or, ideally, all three, there could be no better advocate than Roger Ebert, who passionately celebrated and promoted excellence in film while deflating the awful, the derivative, or the merely mediocre with an observant eye, a sharp wit and a depth of knowledge that delighted his millions of readers and viewers.
“No good film is too long,” he once wrote, a sentiment he felt strongly enough about to have engraved on pens. “No bad movie is short enough.”
Ebert, 70, who reviewed movies for the Chicago Sun-Times for 46 years and on TV for 31 years, and who was without question the nation’s most prominent and influential film critic, died Thursday in Chicago.
“We were getting ready to go home today for hospice care, when he looked at us, smiled, and passed away,” said his wife, Chaz Ebert. “No struggle, no pain, just a quiet, dignified transition.”
Films have always seemed an integral part of my existence. First encountered Roger Ebert on PBS in 1975, and he immediately became one of my heros. There were occasions when I didn't agree with his film pronouncements, but always appreciated his brilliant critiques.
Last night I invited my Thai buddy Jumraht to watch a DVD of "Sita Sings The Blues". Jum did his university studies at UCLA and, unlike many of his Thai compatiots, has been exposed to many differing aspects of world culture. I thought he might like the film, but was rather surprised when he asked to immediately see it again.
Sita Sings the Blues is a 2008 animated film written, directed, produced and animated entirely by American artist Nina Paley.
"Sita is a Hindu goddess, the leading lady of India’s epic the Ramayana and a dutiful wife who follows her husband Rama on a 14 year exile to a forest, only to be kidnapped by an evil king from Sri Lanka. Despite remaining faithful to her husband, Sita is put through many tests. Nina (the filmmaker Nina Paley herself) is an artist who finds parallels in Sita’s life when her husband – in India on a work project – decides to break up their marriage and dump her via email. Three hilarious Indonesian shadow puppets with Indian accents – linking the popularity of the Ramayana from India all the way to the Far East - narrate both the ancient tragedy and modern comedy in this beautifully animated interpretation of the epic.
In her first feature length film, Nina Paley juxtaposes multiple narrative and visual styles to create a highly entertaining yet moving vision of the Ramayana. Musical numbers choreographed to the 1920’s jazz vocals of Annette Hanshaw feature a cast of hundreds: flying monkeys, evil monsters, gods, goddesses, warriors, sages, and winged eyeballs. A tale of truth, justice and a woman’s cry for equal treatment. Sita Sings the Blues earns its tagline as “The Greatest Break-Up Story Ever Told.”
And then there’s the mixture of narrative and visual styles the press synopsis mentions: What about that? Well, Nina’s story is presented in one visual style and more or less tells itself. Sita’s story is presented in several different styles and much of it is told, as well, by those “hilarious Indonesian shadow puppets with Indian accents” – who seem to function a bit like the chorus of Greek tragedies. Much of the emotional burden of both stories is conveyed in Annette Henshaw’s vocals, except when it isn’t . . .
All of which is to say that you’ve got to be on your toes when you watch this film. You can’t just lay back and let it wash its magic over you. You have to work with it, you have to think about what you are seeing and hearing. And you have to experience it, not just as a narrative, but as an invocation, a ceremony."
The platform launched eight years ago, and some of us have gotten so distracted by YouTube videos that we’ve forgotten that the whole thing is actually a competition. Or, YouTube never actually mentioned that it was a competition. Either way, that competition, called YouTube, is coming to a close.
To decide who has made the best YouTube video of all time, the company has put together an expert panel of judges, replete with film critics, prolific YouTube commenters, and YouTube celebrities including Charlie from “Charlie bit my Finger” and Antoine Dodson of “Antoine Dodson News Blooper ”,
YouTube has over 30,000 technicians working tirelessly to narrow down all the YouTube submissions that have come in over the past eight years. The judges will then spend the next decade discussing which video should ultimately win.
Tomorrow, at midnight, the site will be shut down and all of its content will be permanently deleted. YouTube won’t be ressurected until 2023, at which point the only video on the site will be the winner of this competition. That said, the winner won’t be chosen for another decade, but you can watch the first 12 hours of judging live-streamed from YouTube’s L.A. offices tomorrow.
Talk about slow and steady, right? Will people in 2023 remember YouTube?
Luckily, of the 150,000 submissions viewed by the judges, none of them are judged by popularity. Gangnam Style has the same chance of winning as any other video submitted.
The winner will get an MP3 player and a $500 creative stipend for their next creative project. .