Cosmic Journeys : Saturn’s Mysterious Moons

Jul 2012

This 25 minute film lays out and explores just what we’ve learned about the Saturn and its various moons; probably the most fascinating planetary system in our solar system. Most of the data is from the Cassini spacecraft’s 7 year findings, with a little from Voyager and Galileo.

Today’s readings included…

Apr 2012

Europe: A crisis of the centre
“There were two “moments” in the defeat of liberal centrist politics in Germany, Austria, Spain etc. in the 1930s: the first, where polite society realised the working classes were swinging to the right and left, but patronisingly reassured themselves that the world of Jazz, surrealist poetry and foreign holidays could never end. That is, they said to themselves: the workers are clinging to the past, but we, avatars of a more liberal and progressive future, have economic history with us, which points only in the direction of liberalism and economic co-operation.” [full article]


Movie Studios Are Forcing Hollywood to Abandon 35mm Film. But the Consequences of Going Digital Are Vast, and Troubling

This year, for the first time in history, celluloid ceases to be the world’s prevailing movie-projector technology. By the end of 2012, according to IHS Screen Digest Cinema Intelligence Service, the majority of theaters will be showing movies digitally. By 2013, film will slip to niche status, shown in only a third of theaters. By 2015, used in a paltry 17 percent of global cinemas, venerable old 35 mm film will be mostly gone. [full article]

Cassini Sees Objects Blazing Trails in Saturn Ring
“I think the F ring is Saturn’s weirdest ring, and these latest Cassini results go to show how the F ring is even more dynamic than we ever thought,” said Carl Murray, a Cassini imaging team member based at Queen Mary University of London, England. “These findings show us that the F ring region is like a bustling zoo of objects from a half mile [kilometer] in size to moons like Prometheus a hundred miles [kilometers] in size, creating a spectacular show.” [full article]

Does the Internet Make You Smarter?
These claims were, of course, correct. Print fueled the Protestant Reformation, which did indeed destroy the Church’s pan-European hold on intellectual life. What the 16th-century foes of print didn’t imagine—couldn’t imagine—was what followed: We built new norms around newly abundant and contemporary literature. Novels, newspapers, scientific journals, the separation of fiction and non-fiction, all of these innovations were created during the collapse of the scribal system, and all had the effect of increasing, rather than decreasing, the intellectual range and output of society. [full article]