Thursday, March 31, 2016

‘Minimal’ cell raises stakes in race to harness synthetic life : Nature News & Comment

With nearly all of its nutrients supplied through growth media, syn3.0’s essential genes tend to be those involved in cellular chores such as making proteins, copying DNA and building cellular membranes. Astoundingly, Venter says that his team could not identify the function of 149 of the genes in syn3.0’s genome, many of which are found in other life forms, including humans. “We don’t know about a third of essential life, and we’re trying to sort that out now,” he says.

Elvis Costello 2016-03-30 San Francisco ****

There's still no denying the man's a great performer and drawing on his own vast songbook and a nicely designed selection of covers he makes a set list that tells a tale, comments on contemporary issues and characters and still manages to be funny, touching, poignant and thoroughly entertaining. Still waiting for the acoustic version of "Episode of Blonde" however. ;-)

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Interpretation of Screams -

George Lucas, in fact, later asked Lynch to direct Return of the Jedi. Of the roads not taken in film history, that was a highway Lynch was wise to avoid. He worked for hire on The Elephant Man and Dune before he fully abandoned notions of a conventional Hollywood career to make Blue Velvet in 1986. The Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin calls it “the last real earthquake to hit cinema.”

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

George Martin, Beatles Producer, Has Died | News | Pitchfork

He was a prolific producer beyond his work with the Beatles, helming records by Kate Bush, Jeff Beck, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Cilla Black, America, Billy J. Kramer, Cheap Trick, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Celine Dion, the Action, and solo efforts by Starr and Paul McCartney. He produced Elton John's 1997 single "Candle in the Wind," which is one of the best-selling songs of all time. He won several Grammy Awards over the years and was nominated for an Oscar for his work on A Hard Day's Night. He was knighted in 1996.

Tremendous talent. Still startling to listen to The Beatles' recordings and hear the precision and imagination in the arrangements. Perfect production.

Friday, March 04, 2016

The Visit (2015) *

An embarrassing attempt at a found footage fright flick by a director who should know better. Strained dialogue, extremely unfunny attempts at humor and a plot twist that's visible from Jupiter. Annoyingly bad.

AI & The Future Of Civilization |

It's another part of the Copernican story, so to speak. We used to think Earth was the center of the universe. Now at least we think we're special because we have intelligence and nothing else does. I'm afraid the bad news is that that isn't a distinction. By the way, that lack of a distinction is pretty critical for thinking about the future of the human condition.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Terrence Malick Madness: 5 Most Bizarre Takeaways From 'Knight of Cups' On-Set Story

It wasn’t until three days before the shoot that the actor was told the scene was a party in the Hollywood Hills. And nothing more.

Malick had no script to provide his actors during filming, all they were given were cards with phrases meant to inspire them during filming.

“We’re all standing there and Malick hands out these pieces of paper to all of us,” Lennon said. “And the one he gave me said, ‘There’s no such thing as a fireproof wall.’ And I ask, ‘Is this something I’m supposed to say in the scene?’ and he said, ‘I don’t know.'”