3D mega super HD IMAX explosion

September 12, 2010

Tonight I saw the Hubble 3D IMAX film (narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, thank you very much).  We arrived about 5 minutes late to the movie, and I was bummed about that, because my favourite thing about 3D movies is always putting on the glasses early and taking pictures of how freaking awesome we look. But despite this setback, the film was pretty great, I thought, if totally predictable. It’s space, it’s 3D IMAX, they’re going to try to blow your brain right open with 3D IMAX ULTRA SOUND SUPER HIGH DEF pictures of space, ya know? And, they do. Unfortunately, along the way, they create all these ridiculous false suspense moments: “From the beginning of the journey, the crew ran into some trouble with a stuck bolt. Will it come off, or will this jeopardize the entire mission?” SPOILER ALERT: it comes right off after a few tries. <insert collective sigh of relief here>.

I have a really hard time “getting” space, though. I mean, I’m not a total idiot, but I just can’t keep track of the billions of galaxies with billions of stars in each one. Also, some of the images were seriously mindblowing. Like: “you’re looking at a galaxy that is 10 billion light years away.” How can you start to contemplate that? All the vastness and infinite possibility and worlds out there stuff makes me feel insignificant. There’s all this stuff whirring above our heads 80 bagajillion light years away and I’m all worried about which shoes to wear with my dress (Answer: the ones I didn’t wear. Sorry about that, blistered feet).

But I should have saved my 3D glasses at the end and smuggled them out, instead of neatly stacking them into the tray, as I did.

And that sentence shall serve as a segue into my next hhhhhaaaamaaazink tidbit.

I should have saved those glasses because, get ready for this, CBC is airing a 3D TELEVISION SHOW entitled… please wait for it… Queen Elizabeth in 3D. I looked for a link to an official page, but a Google search that lasted my entire attention span of 15 seconds only pulled up page after page of people asking “wait, really?”

Apparently, Canadians can get their free amber-blue 3D glasses at Canada Post, snuggle up on the couch with some popcorn, and watch highlights of the Queen’s recent trip to Halifax. We were all kicking ourselves to have missed it the first time, that’s for sure.

According to the Gazette, Queen Elizabeth in 3-D airs Monday, Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. on CBC Television, and at 10 p.m. Sept. 20 and 25 on CBC News Network. I know I will be watching: are you kidding me? This is amazing. It’s a Television Event. And when life hands us Television Events, we accept the free 3D glasses and we put them on early, taking pictures of how freaking awesome we look.

For example, I give you Exhibit A.


October 12, 2009
Greebles:  turning ordinary polygons into futuristic technology since the dawn of televised science-fiction.

Greebles: turning ordinary polygons into futuristic technology since the dawn of televised science-fiction.

A greeble, or nurnie, is a small piece of detailing added to break up the surface of an object to add visual interest to a surface or object, particularly in movie special effects. They serve no real purpose other than to add complexity to the object, and cause the flow of the eye over the surface of the object to be interrupted, usually giving the impression of increased size.

A greeble is essentially the small detailed technical part of a larger object. The detail can be made from geometric primitives, including cylinders, cubes, and rectangles, combined to create intricate, but meaningless, surface detail. Greebles are commonly found on models or drawings of fictional spacecraft in science fiction.

From Wikipedia, via Metafilter.

There’s a character on a show I work on who wears a shiny silver helmet with some greebles on it. The greebles are made of little pieces of spaceship toys, broken apart and glued to the helmet in mostly-symmetrical patterns. Some are recognizable pieces of Happy Meal toys. I remember seeing a behind-the scenes Star Trek footage that showed how pieces of disposable razors made the pontoons on a shuttlecraft model.



By the way, haven’t razors come a long way? Goodness, technology. That razor pic is from here. But that’s not my point. My point is that this Hallowe’en you need to make sure you put Greebles on your techie-looking costume, and take your robot suit from crappy to snappy.

Greebles made it better.

Greebles made it better.

One small step for… someone else

July 22, 2009


By Defective Yeti.

Cosmonauts’ secret conversations

April 30, 2009

In the early 1960s, a pair of Italian brothers allegedly managed to hack into Soviet and US transmissions from the first cosmonauts. For strategic reasons, some early space missions were kept secret until they were proven successful, but the Cordiglia brothers (age 20 & 23), managed to make a satellite dish that they claim picked up secret transmissions from space shuttles back to Russian & US home bases:

… on 11 April 1961, an Italian journalist working for the International Press Agency in Moscow received a tip-off that something “of immense importance” was about to happen. He called the Cordiglia brothers.

“We leapt out of bed,” said Achille, “dashed over to our receivers and began listening. Suddenly, in what was a magical moment, the hiss faded and this Russian voice emerged from very far away for a few seconds.” At that stage, no one in the West – not even the President of the United States – knew that the Russians had launched a rocket.

Russian translators were few and far between but the brothers had this covered – their younger sister was fluent in Russian. The first sentence they heard was: “The flight is proceeding normally. I feel well. The flight is normal. I am withstanding well the state of weightlessness.”

As the brothers listened, the cosmonaut experimented with zero gravity. They lost the signal as the cosmonaut prepared for re-entry while whistling a communist hymn. It was only then that President John F Kennedy was awoken at 2am to be given the news that Yuri Gagarin was the first man in space.

Fascinating article here. Cosmonauts and space missions seem very theoretical and almost like works of fiction to me: this article made them seem much more real, even if it may be an exaggeration or hoax.
Via Metafilter.


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