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Well, it’s not often that I send a bird back to the taxpayers.xpayers.xpayers.xpayers.xpa

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Random Thoughts is a rather good source of mashups and remixes. Much better than anything I’ve managed to squirt out lately. Have a listen at http://ramdom.wordpress.com/

Have… the English language… Many^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H

>>>> CARRIER LOST

>>>> RETRYING

>>>> RETRYING

>>>> RETRYING

Yech. So, I was tired and didn’t really wrap up that last post well. I lost focus some time after midnight. Here, let me distract you with some Space Invaders.

Not that hard, really, given that the invaders already live among us.

Here we go: I don’t buy that global warming is caused by what we’re putting into the atmosphere. It may very well be possible that human activity is indeed responsible for it, but no-one’s really proven it yet. Call it an unfortunate side effect of my skeptical brain and my desire to critically evaluate things.

I certainly take what the doomsayers tell us with a large grain of salt, yet if you read on I’ll establish that we’re mad if we don’t back their play.

One of the basic premises of science is that it seeks to find the formulae that describe the way the universe works. To put this in the lingo of the everyman, science is trying to find the stories that explain how things work. Once you know the whole story, you can change one part of it and successfully predict how that one change alters the whole story. For instance, once you know the formula for speed (velocity = distance / time) and an object’s speed, you can alter the amount of time travelled and find out how the change in duration alters the amount of distance travelled at that speed (or the amount of time it takes to travel the original distance) using your formula, rather than actually changing the object in the real world and making more measurements.

That’s essentially what scientists on both sides of the global warming debate are doing when they tell us how things are going to turn out if we do/don’t change our input into the environment. Their respective formulae calculate the Earth’s temperature by filling in the known values of time and carbon emissions and use that data to to estimate the Earth’s tempurature. All without us sending a time travelling thermomter to 2050.

In the terms of global warming, the formulae being proposed are much (much, much) more complex than our formula for calculating an object’s speed. Nonetheless, they can be explained in fairly basic terms; we have the scientific majority telling us their story (of SCIENCE!) which says that there is a relationship between the amount of CO² into the atmosphere and the rise of global temperature. By way of example I gesture now to Al Gore waving his pointed stick at a giant chart. Armed with a formula that fits existing data they say they’ve extrapolated the following about the future: we’re fucked.

The other prevailing theory (also, of SCIENCE!) is the one presented by anyone anti-green (let’s say, for instance, heavy industry lobbyists and white supremacists, but I’ve picked those groups out at random). “No!” they shout, waving at the far end of Al Gore’s chart. “WTF? Your pretty graph has all these spikes in global temperatures at regular intervals, and it sure as sam hill looks like we’re due for another.” And they’re quite right, there. But, then, the greenies reply, “You r-tard. Do any of the historical spikes look anywhere as beefy as this one we’ve in now?” The last retort, though, goes the other way, “Er, hang on. Your chart seems to be a bit small, don’t you think?”

And therein lies the problem with both sides of this battle of scientific stories.

The amount of time we’ve been collecting verifiable data on the atmosphere isn’t really that shit-hot when you look at the complexity of a system like the Earth. We don’t have enough of the facts to declare either one or the other of these theories a 100% accurate description of the relationship between greenhouse gasses and global temperature.

But there are other things going on in the realm of environmental science…

The media has carbon dioxide tunnelvision lately. Anyone remember the other greenhouse gasses? A methane particle contributes 20 times as much towards the greenhouse effect as a carbon molecule – but there aren’t nearly as many methane molecules floating about. We’re doing our damnedest to make more, though, and I don’t see the masses rising up against cow burps.

To get really crazy, maybe we need to make sure we’ve got enough CO² in the atmosphere to keep us growing enough food to feed the planet through the mini-Ice Age that’s potentially due quite soon. We can devote our science to figuring out how to scrub the atmosphere later, when the big chill is nearly over. Assuming there is an ice age due, that is.

A bit of Googling turns up more zany schemes. In the end, though, one really ought to pay heed to experts in the field, since they’re the only people will the skill set necessary to make heads or tails of the situation.

Until we have enough data to gather enough information to accurately model our home planet’s weather patterns and prove any model correct (or at least disprove the others incorrect), surely the smartest course of action is to act as if either of the most accurate ones are correct. In that situation, wouldn’t you want to err on the side of caution and make sure you try to reddress the worst predictions of each theory?

(Also, I like this stand because, frankly, most of the evangelists on either side of this debate are kind of scary – like all extremists.)

(No music today. Back to audio pleasures next post.)

Pierre Henry – Psyché Rock

Jeez, I should’ve mentioned this sooner.  JJ Speedball and Buddkiller (among others) are playing at the Globe Theatre in Fortitude Valley tomorrow. JJ’s also launching his new album at this gig – an album which contains a Viper Pilot remix, of all things. It’s a match made in a strange and foreign place, but somehow humanity will have to come to grips with it.  I’ll be there should anyone else feel the urge to come on down for a heavy dose of dirty southside rock ‘n roll.

So, uh, in Michael Jackson’s 1988 film Moonwalker, he transforms into a heavily-armed robot so he can defeat an army of criminals led by Joe Peschi.  Makes perfect sense, right? A guy’s gotta do something when he’s not touching up children.

Unfortunately, you’ll need to get past the halfway mark of the clip to get to the super-transformo-roboto action. But it’s worth it as not only is Jacko a Transformer, but he’s a triple changer (!!!).  To deliver the killing blow, he performs another transformation; this time into a class three transatmospheric attack craft.

Oh, 80s, you make so much sense if we all pretend you’re Japan.

McSleazy – The Baddest One I Know (Michael Jackson vs The Charlatans) | download

White Label – Don’t Breath Till You Get Enough (Michael Jackson vs Q-Tip) | download

If, by saddle, you mean the chair what one constructs audio weaponry while seated upon it.

It’s been a long time coming, and I admit the ending is weak, but god-damned if I ain’t pretty fuckin’ pleased with the first two thirds of this track. It’s not even that the ending is awful, it just doesn’t seem a fitting end given how ass-shakingly-good the rest of the track is. Oh well, it’s not like anyone pays me money to do this.

Arms manifest for shipment 13013/B0B:

Kraftwerk – Spacelab
Player One – Space Invaders
Scissor Sisters – Comfortably Numb (Original, Acapella & Club Mix)

So, space warriors, load your pulse-rifles with this new sonic ammunition and blow some holes in some speakers. In orbit. Or on a moon somewhere. Just go do it.

Viper Pilot – Spacelab Invaders | download

The Happening is an awesome film that plays on our modern fears of terrorism, biological warfare and climate change.  Unfortunately, that awesome film is buried deep inside most of the other parts of The Happening, which as a whole is meek, stupid and boring.

I think I figured out very quickly why this film leaves a sort of poop sandwich flavour in your mouth. Picture in your mind a large boardroom with an expensive Italian table (the kind suitable for sitting at while you tell Joss Whedon that he’s not the guy to write Wonder Woman); one end is host to a slowly decomposing horde of studio execs, sat at the other are Shyamalan and Wahlberg, listening closely to the terms and conditions associated with using the studio’s money:

“Listen, Marky Mark… Since your main character thinks science is cool, he needs to be a total douchebag.”

Some second-rate science journalism that’s kind of related to The Happening.
Warning: contains spoilery stuff.
Second warning: this video isn’t helping science to be cool either.

Right there, I suspect you can gauge just how much I’m not digging The Happening. Wahlberg’s delivery is wimpy and his dialogue is flaky – and I don’t mind Wahlberg on a good day (kick me in the groceries for this if you feel you need to, but I really dig The Big Hit). Zooey Deschanel and John Leguizamo are ineffectual thanks to more lacklustre writing. The supporting cast are filled out with lame caricatures, from the bumbling army private to the oddball horticulturist whose main defining attribute is a love of hot dogs. Basically, anything in this film involving the individuals stuck in the Happening is an ass in a hat because the words they have to say are far too often contrived, simplistic and downrght hokey.

That’s not to say that anything involving people shares the same unfortunate depiction. The effects of The Happening on the populace are chilling (barring some unfortunate moments where they seem to be a little too intricate for the nature of the threat), as are the way the mob reacts to this bizarre shift in the state of things. In fact, the main characters are at their best when scrambling – save the one scene where Walberg’s character finally loses it and still manages to come off as a softcock.

The parts of The Happening that establish the threat in the film, and the subsequent scenes that push the plot along and build layer upon layer of fear and hopelessness upon the survivors of ‘The Happening’ are brilliant pieces of filmmaking; the film would wrap those layers of desperation around us too, if only every other aspect of the story wasn’t watered down to the consistency of Hallmark channel drivel. If Shyamalan had spent more attention to delivering the misery and horror of the Happening and less on bogging us down in his clumsy character interactions we’d have been treated to a pants-wettingly good bio-thriller.

This movie cries out for a Phantom Edit treatment. If I had the time or inclination I’d do it myself, but hopefully some fanboy somewhere will read this and deliver me the goods I crave.

Until then, I guess I can console myself with something else called The Happening that isn’t nearly as disappointing.

Pixies – The Happening

Erm, so, been busy with life.  And not the kind of life where I’m flying a fighter-bomber rated for exo-atmospheric conflict, either.  At least there’s always time for Youtube, though.

Viper Pilot Audio

Looking for music by Viper Pilot? This blog is the current home of Viper Pilot's Munition Works, where he stores all of his mashes and mixes.

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