Monday, April 24, 2017

Caterpillar found to eat shopping bags, suggesting biodegradable solution to plastic pollution

"The caterpillars are not just eating the plastic without modifying its chemical make-up. We showed that the polymer chains in polyethylene plastic are actually broken by the wax worms," said Bombelli.
"The caterpillar produces something that breaks the chemical bond, perhaps in its salivary glands or a symbiotic bacteria in its gut. The next steps for us will be to try and identify the molecular processes in this reaction and see if we can isolate the enzyme responsible."
As the molecular details of the process become known, the researchers say it could be used to devise a biotechnological solution on an industrial scale for managing polyethylene waste.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Cormac McCarthy on the Origin of Language

A logical place to begin would be to define what the unconscious is in the first place. To do this we have to set aside the jargon of modern psychology and get back to biology. The unconscious is a biological system before it is anything else. To put it as pithily as possibly—and as accurately—the unconscious is a machine for operating an animal.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Mr. Jealousy (1997) ***

Teeters on the brink of rom-com cliché territory but eventually comes down firmly in Baumbach land. Owes more than a little to Woody and Whit.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Seconds (1966) ****

Ahead of its time, pioneering camera work, outstanding performances from mostly career character actors, this adult fable has a number of exceptional sequences and a couple of clunkers, yet remains a compelling and riveting experience for viewers d'un certain √Ęge.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Phil Spector (2013) ***

Solid leads and some tight writing overcome an uncharacteristic reliance on closeups by director Mamet.

Never Forever (2007) **

Vera Farmiga shines in this formulaic soaper with a peak at the Korean-American community of NYC.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Ghost in the Shell (2017) **

Not as spectacular as expected on the FX side nor the action sequence side. Scarlett looks great but is not given very much to do. It's as if a large chunk of the script was left on the cutting room floor. What's left is watchable but not compelling or coherent.

Hush (1998) **

Really blows an opportunity for a much better film with two great female leads.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Goodreads | Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari — Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists

In the heyday of European imperialism, conquistadors and merchants bought entire islands and countries in exchange for coloured beads. In the twenty-first century our personal data is probably the most valuable resource most humans still have to offer, and we are giving it to the tech giants in exchange for email services and funny cat videos.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Gary Taubes, the Man Who Knows Why America Is Fat | GQ

Is the "French paradox" bullshit? Do French people actually eat a high-fat, bread-filled diet and remain skinny?
Historically, the French seem to lag about 100 years behind us in sugar consumption. We seem to use about twice as much sugar as the French. When I lived in Paris in the '80s, I saw that for the most part women of a certain age did not eat bread. Also French white bread has a lower sugar content than in America. It has about 2 percent sugar, where white bread in the U.S. can be 10 or 12 percent. So it's really not a paradox if you look at sugar consumption, only when you look at fat consumption.