Japanese art-rock band Perfume has been very busy lately, and this time around we have a few of their Perfume x Technology project videos. These are a series of live presentations using prerecorded audio tracks, combining the music with dance, stagecraft, and computer displays, to render a truly unique theater experience. They are not set to allow embedding on other pages, so you will want to go to the Perfume x Technology project page yourself to watch them. Reframe was posted just last week, with a show segment three songs long, you should start with that one and work your way through the collection; enjoy!
The folks over at Universe Today have put together an eBook called 101 Astronomical Events in 2017, and made it absolutely free. It includes a lot of good skywatching events for the year, but the centerpiece of the observations is the Total Eclipse of the Sun that will take place on August 21st. That will be visible from the majority of the continental US and Canada, and should be quite the show. If you want to find out exactly what time it will be happening where you are, you can go to Xavier Jubier’s Interactive Solar Eclipse Map, and since it is fairly complex you may want to Read The Help File over at Eclipse2017.Org.
This weekend you can swing by the UK’s National Space Centre for an out of this world experience featuring the Science of the Time Lords exhibit. On the 28th and 29th they will be doing a presentation about the science behind the UK’s most popular TV franchise, Doctor Who. Each year they set up a fun family weekend where they look at the fact behind the fiction of this iconic program, and this time they are focusing on the core concept of the show: Time Travel and the ultimate Time Lord vehicle, the TARDIS! The schedule includes workshops, competitions, challenges, talks, exhibitions, and so much more. The exhibits I would most like to see in person include the fully realized recreation of the 1978 TARDIS Control Room from the Tom Baker era, and the Members of the UK 15th Cyber Legion showing off their costumes and detailing how you can create your own. From my perspective, the only down side to these events are the fact that they will be happening on a continent different from the one I live on. I intend to do my best to attend next year, though!
This visit we managed to make it into the London Eye, which is the huge Ferris Wheel that gives you a birds eye view of the city, and it is amazing. It makes a nice contrast with the view you get from the ship that cruises along the Thames, and both of those viewpoints are completely different from the way everything looks from the streets. I was somewhat surprised to learn that the famous London Clock Tower is actually called Elizabeth Tower, after the Queen; Big Ben is the name of the bell in that tower, not the tower itself. The foundry that made Big Ben, the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, also made the Liberty Bell that called the Continental Congress into session in Philadelphia.
For the last week or two I actually partook in a vacation which consisted of a trip to Europe both instigated and accompanied by my very good friend Jenn, and it was amazing. Most of our time was spent in the UK, but there was a day trip to Paris, with a bus stop by the Moulin Rouge, a boat ride by Notre Dame, lunch in the Eiffel Tower, and a visit to the Louvre. I realize that a serious trip to the Louvre takes about a decade to get a good start on, and much longer to complete, and the rest of the city requires a lot more attention than a single day allows for. But within the time allotted for the days visit we got enough of a glimpse of the structure and flavor of Paris to get a good general impression, and I now have a lot of mental and emotional hooks to hang references off of that I might be exposed to through various books, movies, music, or other media. I enjoyed every minute of my time there, and had to share a few pictures.
This complex of buildings was awe inspiring to finally see in person, but when you started looking into the detail work (especially through a high powered telescopic lens) you began to understand just how immense the project that created the facility was.
Here is one of the statues on the bridge that was featured as the suicide weapon in Luc Besson’s Angel-A. Note that if either the Angle or the Human had leaped off the bridge they would have fallen an entire 14 feet before hitting the water, so only careful camera angles kept the scene tense.
The Eiffel Tower springs to everyone’s mind when they think of Paris, so how could we miss it? We not only looked at it from the ground (from multiple angles; it is visible from quite a ways off, after all), but we got on the lift that took us up to the lower platform and to a wonderful lunch of chicken under foam. When we tried to get back to the ground we discovered that was not quite as easy; it seems that some of the approached to the lifts are only accessible at certain times, and while we were not there long enough to learn the rules we did manage to get down again.
The wonderful lunch of chicken under foam I mentioned; trust me when I say it tasted even better than it looks, and it was heart healthy besides!
As a kid from Louisiana, no way I was leaving without a glimpse of the most famous and art-infused strip club of all time! Moulin Rouge is in a category by itself, and had to be included here!
A classic lost story of Doctor Who will be available in select movie theaters for one night only. On Monday, November 14th, Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks will be on the big screen thanks to BBC Worldwide. This was the 1966 story with the very first regeneration, when William Hartnell’s Doctor was killed off, and regenerated into Patrick Troughton’s version of the character. No one had any idea if it would work or if they would lose the audience, but with 20/20 hindsight it is obvious it worked very well indeed. The original broadcast now only exists as a handful of 15 second film clips totaling maybe 3 minutes or so, and a number of semi-complete audio recordings. So they compiled, cleaned up, and merged the best of the audio into the full soundtrack, and had a team of animators create the visuals to go with it. I have never heard this particular story, and while I could just buy the DVD and watch it at home (it becomes available in November as well) I feel the need to be in a large auditorium with a bunch of other serious Whovians and experience it for the first time it has been shown in public in 50 years.