The Busker – Media Production Silent Film

“The Busker” – a silent film

This is my edit for this past silent film partner assignment for Media Production.

My partner for the assignment was Dave Hollier and the two actors in the film are classmates Andrew Parker and James Hiebert.

Music: “Kill the DJ” – Peeping Tom (feat. Massive Attack)

New Chemical Reagent Turns Biological Tissue Transparent

Via GizMag

The clear mouse embryo on the right was incubated in the Scale reagent for two weeks

Scientists are constantly looking for new and better ways of seeing through biological tissue, in order to see cells within it that have been marked with dyes, proteins or other substances. While recent research has involved using marking materials such as carbon nanotubes and firefly protein, scientists from Japan’s RIKEN Brain Science Institute have taken a different approach – they’ve developed a chemical reagent that causes the tissue surrounding the marked cells to become transparent.

Known as Scale, the reagent was created by a team led by Dr. Atsushi Miyawaki. Already, they have used it to turn mouse brain tissue clear, in order to optically image the fluorescently-labeled cerebral cortex, hippocampus and white matter. They were able to see several millimeters into the tissue (keep in mind how small mouse brains are), allowing them “to visualize the axons connecting left and right hemispheres and blood vessels in the postnatal hippocampus in greater detail than ever before.”

Not only did Scale turn the unmarked tissue transparent, but it also did not decrease the intensity of the fluorescent proteins that the RIKEN team used to mark cells.

While the experiments performed so far have mainly involved brain tissue samples, Miyawaki believes that it should work equally well on other organs, and ultimately in living subjects. “We are currently investigating another, milder candidate reagent which would allow us to study live tissue in the same way, at somewhat lower levels of transparency” he said. “This would open the door to experiments that have simply never been possible before.”

Two Moons in Earth’s Past?

Via DiscoveryNews

Our Moon. It lights up our nights, governs our tides and has inspired millions — perhaps billions -– of people throughout history to contemplate its nature, its influence on our lives (if any) and, of course, where it may have come from.

The currently accepted theory is that over four and a half billion years ago, our newly formed planet was hit by a Mars-sized body, a catastrophic collision that flung molten bits of Earth’s mantle into space and created a ring of debris.

PHOTOS: 2011 Supermoon: Readers’ Photographs

This ring gradually coalesced into the moon, which cooled and moved further and further away from Earth into its current position. This theory is widely accepted, and research on the composition of lunar samples seems to coordinate with an Earthly origin of the moon. But one thing never quite lined up perfectly with the whole scenario: the moon’s far side.

The lunar far side looks very different from the face we see. It is much more heavily cratered, for one thing, in fact featuring one of the largest impact basins in our solar system. It lacks the features that create the “man-in-the-moon” patterns so familiar to us and while the near side is relatively flat, the far side is much more mountainous.

SCIENCE CHANNEL: Challenge Yourself with the Moon Puzzle

These “lunar highlands” have been an enigma to scientists since they were discovered at the beginning of the Space Age. Thanks to some recent computer models by researchers at University of California, Santa Cruz, we may be a step closer to solving the mystery.

Earth may have once had two moons.

Erik Asphaug, professor of Earth and planetary sciences, along with postdoctoral researcher Martin Jutzi, have developed a model that fits in with the giant impact theory, but also explains the disparity of the lunar far side.

In this model, the remnants of the collision coalesced into two moons, one larger than the other. These primordial moons settled into orbit around Earth within the Lagrange points — that is, until the smaller one became dislodged and migrated toward its larger sibling, eventually colliding with it in a low-speed impact.

ANALYSIS: NASA Twin Science Probes Launched to the Moon

Rather than smashing apart and starting the process all over again, the smaller moon got absorbed into the larger one, creating the far side highlands and making a single, “lopsided” moon that eventually oriented itself so one side continually faces Earth — exactly what we see today.

“Of course, impact modelers try to explain everything with collisions,” said Asphaug. “In this case, it requires an odd collision: being slow, it does not form a crater, but splats material onto one side. It is something new to think about.”

It’s definitely an interesting thought!

(I wonder how having two moons might affect our werewolf population…)

Read more in the journal Geology here.

My First Stand-Up Routine – For Comedy Writing

I had a very intense childhood. There was lots of violence, lots of tears, drama, sex … of course that was before my parents finally started disconnecting the television antenna before they went to sleep.

I was a really horny kid, hell, I still am, but when you’re at that age everything is heightened. It was a kind of constant horniness that never seemed to go away no matter how many times I jerked off.

Though, you can only blow your load to so many Sears Catalogue underwear models before you need something a little more risqué to appease your growing sexual appetite.

We had a video store in my hometown where I was forced to get my carnal excitement. There was a soft-core section that was labeled “thriller” … and I got kicked out of there pretty quickly.

So naturally, I went to the library. I took out books on anatomy to start. Those books didn’t really raise the suspicion of the librarians. But then I upgraded to “photography” books. Those were pretty awesome. As I gradually got more courage I began taking out instructional books on sex. Or at least I attempted to … the librarians never let me take them past the counter.

“A little young to be interested in stuff like this aren’t we?” (nasally, grating voice)

If I’m old enough to cum, I’m old enough to be interested in sex.

So I gave up trying to take them out and just took them to the library washroom and jerked off in there.

Don’t act like you haven’t done it before!

Yah, I was obsessed with sex. And violence. But what pre-adolescent boy doesn’t like violence? I mean, Power Rangers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? God, I remember Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Especially the way I used to beat the shit out of my brother after I watch it. I would get all pumped up during the episode and then when it was done I’d grab whatever I could use as a weapon, this one time it was the long, thin, wooden stick, you know those ones that hold up large house plants, and proceeded to smack my brother around, pretending I was Donatello and he was Baxter, or BeeBop, or Rocksteady.

I played really rough with my brother. I look back and find it amazing that I didn’t kill him in my irrational, imaginary adventures in which he was always the villain I have to beat the snot out off.  There was one time that I thought I did though, we’d been playing in the sandbox outside our house and I was making a sandcastle and I guess my brother had knocked into or damaged it in some way, so … logically … I took a little plastic boat beside me and hurled it at his head. The shape of the bow caused the skin in his forehead to peel back as the boat impacted. He collapsed on the ground screaming as a sea of blood began to trickle out from under his crippled form.

I rushed into the house screaming to my mom: “Oh my god, I killed Jordan. I killed Jordan.”
Fortunately I didn’t. But he remembered.

It wasn’t long after that, maybe a week or two, and he got me back. I was sitting in front of the television, watching whatever the fuck I was watching, Darkwing Duck, Full House … two people fucking … whatever it was. So he comes up behind me, ever so quietly … with a massive decorative ceramic pot from downstairs.

I was fully engrossed in whatever I was watching and didn’t even know he was behind me until the pot connected with the back of my head. The whole thing shattered and I don’t remember much else of what happened except being in the hospital and having the doctor tell my parents that they couldn’t stitch me up because all of the cuts were so small that I just had to put a huge cloth over my head and put pressure on it until the blood clotted. So I had a full scalp scab.

That was lovely.

I’m sure there’s some file somewhere labeled, “possible child abusers”. Our family was always going to the hospital. There was nothing salacious or malicious about it, we’re just fucking dumb!

Like one night my brother and I were having a bath, I was maybe 5 which would make him about 3, and my Dad was supposed to be watching us, but he was tired and drinking some tea in a mug at the edge of the bath. He went to put it down and he didn’t put it completely on the edge and the mug tipped over into the bath. He went to catch it but ended up swatting it faster into the tub. The mug shattered explosively sending bits of ceramic mug into our little soapy bodies.

Another trip the hospital.

When I was 3, our family lived briefly in Rankin Inlet, in the Northwest Territories, what is now Nunavut. It was fucking cold and for parts of the year the sun never set or set extremely late in the evening. So, being a 3 year old, I couldn’t sleep if it was bright out. That just wouldn’t make sense!

So my parents put plastic bags on the windows … but we knew … we knew.

One night, after three stories, two false bathroom alarms, and a night snack, my Dad was beginning to get frustrated with us.  We had bunk beds, I was the top bunk … of course … but we’d been reading stories in my brother’s bunk. After the final story my Dad said: “Alright, no more stories. Get into your bunk.”

I didn’t move.

“I’m gonna count to 3 …”

Nothing.

“2 …”

Nothing.

“1 …”

I mean fuck it, I still had another second, I knew he was going to say zero!

And it was about a millisecond before he said “zero” that I finally started moving. He gave me a playful tap on my behind as I tried to get out of my brother’s bunk and that was enough to cause me to lose my balance and fall forward, onto my arm.

Snap!

So they took me to the hospital in Rankin Inlet, but they weren’t equipped to deal with a broken arm … uh, what? A fucking hospital is not equipped to deal with a broken arm? What the fuck ARE they equipped to deal with?

“Uh, … we have band-aids” (dopey impression)

So they charted a medevac flight to Winnipeg and I went to the Health Sciences Centre.  My Dad had to stay with Jordan so it was only Mom and I. When we finally arrived and they put a cast on my arm they pulled me into a room by myself and asked me what happened.

In my little 3 year old brain my Dad did it. ‘Cause I mean I was getting out of bed, he swatted me and I broke my arm. So I told them: “My Daddy broke my arm.” (smiling impression)

Ouroboros – Rough Draft of Episode One, Scene One (Ava Fields)

This is a drafts of a scene I’m working on for my web-series: Ouroboros. I already realize that it’s too dark. I thought I could get a cool Sin City-like thing with the contrast between dark and light in post, but I need to light the shit out of the bright areas and can’t just rely on Final Cut X to fix it in post. But that’s why we call it learning right?

Feat. Jennifer David as Ava Fields.

Music: “The Mind’s I” from the original score by Grey Spade.

 

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And for shits and giggles, this is a trailer (more like a montage actually cause it’s to an entire song) for my first film “Paranoia”. We’re coming up on the 10th anniversary! … wow I feel old.