The Big Think

August 16, 2007

Friday Night Lights

Filed under: Movies — jasony @ 8:53 pm

Okay, so I really thought Adam would be writing a post like this, because he’s MUCH more likely to get an actual speaking role, since I couldn’t act my way out of a school for mimes.

On a whim I signed up to the extras call board for Friday Night Lights, which is filmed here in Austin (the school they shoot at frequently is about a mile down the road here in Pflugerville). Adam was actually cast in a speaking role and got some good camera time with some of the principle actors, but, sadly, his scenes were cut (stupid 18 minutes of commercials!). I think you’ll be seeing him on there again soon, though.

Anyway, I figured I’d get called once or twice a season and sit in the bleachers, slather on sunscreen, read a book, and get paid for making contacts and watching a film crew work (lots of stuff to learn there). I signed up three days ago and just got a notice tonight that they want me tomorrow if I’m available. It’s to be an “ADULT DINER CUSTOMER “, which I take to mean an adult customer at a diner, and not a customer at an Adult Diner (cue the wakka chikka guitar). I’d love to do it, but unfortunately I have a previous commitment tomorrow. Ah well, hopefully they’ll call again soon. The pay isn’t great, especially for an 8-10 hour day, but it’s fun. And before you all plow into me for the Great Hypocrisy of not watching TV but still agreeing to be an extra I have one thing to say… my comment section doesn’t work. So there.

I’ve done the extra thing before (check out my IMDB entry here) and it’s generally pretty fun, especially when you’re not out in the heat. I much prefer a role behind the camera but I’ll take any opportunity to get on the set. Hopefully I’ll get the call with more than 18 hours of notice next time. I guess flexibility is the key here.

Say, I wonder if the boom guy might get sick and they might need an stand-in. “Is there a boom operator in the house?”. Why yes, yes there is….

Don’t Fear the Music

Filed under: Music — jasony @ 12:23 pm

Like many people, I tend to put off difficult stuff until later. Luckily, I can do a bunch of easy work now and let the other stuff slide until closer to deadline. I work really well when under a tight deadline, so I know that the shorter time will add motivation later on.

I’ve been putting off doing a difficult arrangement for several weeks now and finally got up the motivation to tackle it. It was partly the weather- a rainy day always puts me in a productive mood. Give me rain and a hot cup of tea and I can sit happily at my desk for hours.

As is usually the case with these things, once I got into the music I discovered that it wasn’t very hard at all. The whole thing took me about four hours to knock out and I loved every minute of it. Typical.

One day I envision doing all of the (supposedly) hard stuff first and then really feeling “off the hook”.

Now after working on it for the last four hours I just have to get the music out of my head. That usually only happens when something else comes along to take its place.

Speedy

Filed under: Science — jasony @ 9:05 am

Two German scientists have reportedly broken the speed of light using two prisms and microwave photons:

[T]wo German physicists claim to have forced light to overcome its own speed limit using the strange phenomenon of quantum tunnelling, in which particles summon up the energy to cross an apparently uncrossable barrier.

Their experiments focused on the travel of microwave photons — energetic packets of light — through two prisms.

When the prisms were moved apart, most photons reflected off the first prism they encountered and were picked up by a detector.

But a few appeared to “tunnel” through a gap separating them as if the prisms were still held together.

Although these photons had travelled a longer distance, they arrived at their detector at the same time as the reflected photons. This suggests that the transit between the two prisms was faster than the speed of light.

I kinda doubt this, actually, since the speed of light is so well established as a fundamental limitation of our universe. It seems more likely that there was either something wrong with the experiment, or that the phenomenon does represent new knowledge, but doesn’t violate the limitations of “c”. Extraordinary claims demand yadda, yadda. It seems like every day we get some odd little scientific experiment or observation and the popular press falls all over itself pushing out headlines that proclaim “Is Free Energy Far Behind?”, or “Time Travel May Be Possible!”. Ugh. Might as well use the Big Font to declare “Lose Weight While You Sleep!”. Why anybody would get their science from the newspapers is a mystery to me.

you can go here for the story.

Filed under: Space — jasony @ 8:33 am

Startails

Funhouse

Filed under: Woodworking — jasony @ 8:26 am

stair_slide.jpg

via gizmodo (h/t futuredaddy)

Marble Magic

Filed under: Woodworking — jasony @ 12:19 am

Wonderful wooden marble machine. Check out the video at the bottom.

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