Retro SciFi Film of the Week…

Waterworld (1995)

Over a quarter of a century ago, this climate-change movie was way ahead of its time. When it was first released, many critics panned this wonderful film simply because the oil industry controlled so much of the economy and the media at the time. If it was released today it’d get glowing reviews.

It was an expensive movie to make because of all the underwater scenes, which required highly specialized cameras and gear to films. The special effects were also top notch. And those elaborate sets must have cost a fortune. Today it would be much easier to produce.

It’s kind of campy and the premise (that the entire Earth is covered with water due to climate change) is complete nonsense, but it’s still fun to watch.


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NASA’s asteroid-hunter spacecraft misses Didymos…

DART, the spacecraft mission designed to test whether we can defend ourselves against asteroids crashing into the Earth, has missed the asteroid Didymos. Didymos is the larger of two asteroids of a binary minor planet system discovered in 1996.

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= A statement that is logically or literally true (or partly true), but seems to imply something that isn’t true or is just plain weird. (for rhetoric, logic or propaganda studies… or just for fun)

Why should you never, ever shoot a video with your phone in vertical format?

Because people don't look like this:

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Retro SciFi Film of the Week…

Loss of Sensation (1935)

This movie and Metropolis (1927) were heavily influenced by the 1920 Czech play U.R.U., which introduced the word “robot” to science fiction and the English-speaking world. (“Robota” in Czech means “corvée”, serf labor or unpaid labor.)

Recently, a lot of authors have been writing about the post-scarcity economy, but this film examined the concept back in 1935. These filmmakers were likely influenced by Marx, thinking that productivity was a bad thing because it means less work (and fewer workers) are required to produce what we need. Most writers today envision a more utopian outcome from a post-scarcity world in their stories.

The film is in the public domain. Here’s a link...
commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.

Star Parker is so anti-abortion, that she wants a law to prohibit people from swipping left on Tinder.


(image: cropped, CC-BY-CA-2.0, Gage Skidmore, Fickr)

Retro SciFi of the Week…

Splash (1984)

A creature comes out of the sea and reeks havoc.

(image: fair use image from the film)

The truth is...

The King of England from 1714 to 1727, George I, could not speak English.

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= A statement that is logically or literally true (or partly true), but seems to imply something that isn’t true or is just plain weird. (for rhetoric, logic or propaganda studies… or just for fun)

Retro SciFi of the Week…

Epoch (2001)

This is an independently produced film which I assume was done on a low budget, but as with last week’s film, it’s a much better film then you’d expect. It was released around the time of the 9/11 attacks, so there wasn’t much room available to create a lot buzz for it. Even so, when it aired on the SciFi Channel (SYFY) in November 2001, it drew the largest audience of any film on the channel to that date.

The movie is about an artifact that suddenly appears in Agua Dulce.

(image: fair use low-res movie poster)


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Congratulations to Liz Truss on becoming the presumptive next Prime Minister of the UK.

(image Open Government License 3.0, gov.uk/government/people/eliza)

Retro SciFi of the Week…

American Warships (2012)

If you’re a fan of independent films, I highly recommend this one.

This ten-year-old film is what’s known in the business as a “mockbuster”, a lower budget film with a similar name or theme as a major studio film and released around the same time. The idea is that the major studio will spend a ton of money promoting the big film, and then the low-budget mockbuster film will “draft” off of all that promotion, with audiences wanting to see similar films or sometimes mistaking the low-budget film for the major studio film. In this case, the big film was Battleship (2012).

However, despite having a budget of less than 1% of that major motion picture, this mockbuster, American Warships, was a much better film. Battleship got sunk at the box office (and with critics), while American Warships made money for Asylum (the independent studio that produced American Warships).

As a low budget film, this one lacks the high-quality computer graphics of major studio films at that time, but it makes up for it with great casting, a well-written script, decent thespians, a unique plot, and an overall high-production value (except the CG).

Note: Don’t read any descriptions or watch trailers for this one, most of them contain major spoilers.

(image: fair use low-res movie poster)

This is long CoVID...

If Biden had worn a respirator whenever he was around other people, he would not have gotten infected with the virus and he would not still be sick from it.

Bowman: “Well HAL, I'm damned if I can find anything wrong with it.”

HAL: “I would recommend that we put the unit back in operation and let it fail.”

HAL: “We can certainly afford to be out of [commission] for the short time it will take to replace it.”

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Most people are aware that SpaceX launched a Tesla Roadster into space, but did you know that between 2008-2015 the European Space Agency put several ATVs into orbit?

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= A statement that is logically or literally true (or partly true), but seems to imply something that isn’t true or is just plain weird. (for rhetoric, logic or propaganda studies… or just for fun) (public domain image per commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:All-terrain_vehicle_Quad._New_Brunswick_2008_7575.jpg)

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Retro SciFi Film of the Week…

When Worlds Collide (1951)

Although the story of approaching doom with people trying to avoid or escape disaster is a very old story (e.g. Noah’s Ark), I think this was the first to cover the specific case of a planet (or star) approaching Earth. The film is an adaptation of the novel, which was written in 1933. The story was very influential in science fiction, with many stories afterwards having the premise of an asteroid, star, planet or whatever heading toward Earth with our survival in the balance. It really has become a subgenre. Flash Gordon directly borrowed many aspects from the novel.

Its fairly well produced for the time it was released, with elaborate sets and decent actors. However, the graphical special effects set a new low. Today it’s done with computer graphics, but back then they were hand drawn. I actually laughed out loud when I saw them. And of course the film predates our having anything at all in space, so things like zero-G, etc., are off, but otherwise the film is very good for a 50’s scifi.

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The Inflationary Epoch is a supposed brief period occurring shortly after the beginning of the Big Bang during which the universe rapidly expanded. However, cosmetologists have absolutely no theories whatsoever to explain why it happened, how long it took, or where the theory originated. They also have no intention to attempt to measure the B-mode polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation in order to provide observations to support the theory.

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= A statement that is logically or literally true (or partly true), but seems to imply something that isn’t true or is just plain weird. (for rhetoric, logic or propaganda studies… or just for fun)

(public domain image from NASA)

#2001

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The James Webb telescope has discovered a large spot on the surface of Jupiter that is larger than the Earth. It appears to be some kind of atmospheric disturbance.

No signs of any monoliths, though.
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= A statement that is logically or literally true (or partly true), but seems to imply something that isn’t true or is just plain weird. (for rhetoric, logic or propaganda studies… or just for fun)

Kamala Harris has held public office for many years and has been Vice President for nearly two years now, but some people still can’t pronounce her name properly. Here’s how to properly pronounce her name.

It’s pronounced: har – us, with the emphasis on the first syllable, soft “a”.

(Your welcome)

Retro SciFi of the Week…

Electric Dreams (1984)

More of a ROMCOM or a fantasy than a scifi, this great film received mixed reviews when it was released, but it’s a perfect snapshot of the 1980s – technically, culturally, and artistically. Plot-wise it was kind of like Short Circuit, if you remember that one, except this one is much more upbeat and better produced. Basically, it’s about an out-of-position guy who buys a very special computer and meets a woman.

When this film was made, most people didn’t own a computer or even understand what a personal computer really was, but the technology was rapidly expanding and creating a lot of buzz. There were no websites or social media. Because of this ignorance, the film was able to stretch the limits of credibility, so today you will need a healthy dose of suspension of disbelief to watch it.

The score, cinematography, editing, and art direction are excellent. The acting is pretty good but the main character plays it in a very stilled style in contrast to the rest of the cast which is probably why it got mixed reviews.

The title is derived from “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”, the 1968 novel by Philip K. Dick, and there’s a clever little easter egg nod to the novel in this film.

This video clip gives a sample of some of the quality of the fantastic cinematography, art direction and score.
(fair use)

In case you're wondering which US president did the best job in Afghanistan, here’s the most important metric for the loved ones of the soldiers who fought over there…

(The objective of the war was to eliminate Al-Qaeda. Bush started the war, Biden won it.)

Question about using qoto...

There is a toot and I want to see the list of users who have favorited the toot. It indicates that it has "4" favorites, but when I go to the page that displays the list of users, it only shows two names.

Here is the page that shows who favorited it:
qoto.org/web/statuses/10882614

Here's an image of how the page displays the accounts:

Show more
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