Sunday, July 29, 2012

Designer Babies

We are at the point technologically where humans can play God. 

Up to this point all a parent could do was give their child advantages after they were born. Such as wealth, status, education etc. Now thanks to advancements in genetics a parent can design their ideal child at conception. Enter the designer baby.

Science has identified the genes for intelligence, obesity, depression, heart, liver, kidney disease, alcoholism, addiction and numerous other conditions that affect society. Now they can isolate the desired traits a parent desires in their future child…say tall, blue-eyes, blond hair and have it created

Sound familiar? It should. Hitler used that as the description of his master race. Some scientists believe this technology will be used to create a master race. Which will eradicate all people weaker, different, or disabled. With techno-evolution (technology sped-up evolution) we could alter the course of mankind or destroy it. 

History has shown, for just as many experiments that are successful there are an equal number of failures. This fact has led to speculation that the technology will be used to breed mutants, which are abnormally gifted in all things. The whole subject sounds like a bad sci-fi novel but the science exists and is already in use. Watch the documentary below for more details.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Tormented Art

Amedeo Modigliani  (July 12, 1884 – January 24, 1920) wasn't an extraordinary painter or sculptor. What made his work famous is the story behind the art

I never knew of Modigliani until I saw Andy Garcia play a fictionalized account of his life in the film Modigliani. In the film Modigliani is an up and coming Italian painter who becomes the art rival of then famous Pablo Picasso. He battles with canvas, Picasso, addiction and his love of women. My favorite line from the film is also the best description of the artist. "Why must you suffer for your art Mo, when all you have to do is paint." 

Afterwards I researched Modigliani and found his real history far more interesting than the movie. Modigliani made tormented art. He suffered and lived with illness his entire life. He was born into a wealthy Italian Jewish family who were well established in their community. Modigliani contracted pleurisy when he was 11, then a few years later caught typhoid fever. When he was 16, he contracted tuberculosis which later claimed his life at 35

During his brief career Modigliani was a man obsessed with art. He would sometimes do up to 100 sketches in a day. He loved alcohol, drugs and women just as much so he was often homeless and broke. During those low periods he would sell sketches and paintings for necessities, so the majority of his work is lost history.

The art that remains has become far more famous than Modigliani dreamed. He was a talented, drug addict who only managed one art show in his entire career. Back in 2010 a series of his paintings from 1917 sold for over 68 million dollars. A testament that his art was before his time

Below are some paintings from Amedeo Modigliani, the man, myth and legend. If you would like to see more of his work click the link: Modigliani Gallery.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Aussie Hip-Hop

There are numerous reasons to visit Australia, also known as the land down under. Most people go for the sand, sun, and beaches but recently people have been checking for Hip-Hop.

I was fortunate enough to visit Perth, in Western Australia, several years ago. While I was there most days were filled with Bar-B-Q's on the beaches, surfing, and sun-bleached blondes. (try saying that sentence fast 5 times) I was only there for a short time and didn't see much urban culture. Most of the nightlife was rock bands and the clubs played a mix of pop and top 40 music. Some of my friends who were in Sidney at the time told me they were in the Hip-Hop hotspot.

The Aussie Hip-Hop scene has been independently developing since the late-eighties. Most of their early exposure to Hip-Hop came from television and radio programs. Before the music became popular, other elements of the culture (like break-dancing and graffiti) had already taken root. Their scene is grassroots and underground. Most of the early releases were done by indie labels usually run by the artists themselves. Their style is a blend of Reggae/American rap combined with European influences and local slang.

Just like everywhere else there is a division of wealth, community, and resources. These topics were brought to public attention by Aboriginal (Australian indigenous people) rappers like Brothablack, Local Knowledge, Native Ryme Sindicate and others who are considered conscious MC's.

Recently there has been an explosion of Aussie talent hitting the airwaves. Iggy Azalea made headlines when she signed with T.I.s southern imprint Grand Hustle. Bliss n Eso made a global impression with their album "Flying Colours," from 2008. I like those cats. The Hilltop Hoods, have a track "Nosebleed Section," that reminds me of "Paul Revere," by the Beastie Boys

Below are tracks from Iggy Azalea, Young Warriors Ft. OutLawz, Bliss n Eso, The Last Kinection, and The Hilltop Hoods showing that, there is a lot of talent rising from the land down under.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Scary Science

What is reality? This question has baffled scientists and inspired the writings of fiction writers for hundreds of years. 

Dr. Sylvester J. Gates Jr. is a theoretical physicist at Maryland University who discovered a "Doubly-even self-dual linear binary error-correcting block code," in Supersymmetry (String) theory. This may all sound like a bunch of scientific gobbali-gook (that's the technical term) so I'll break it down in layman's terms. 

Supersymmetry is the study of our universe broken down into mathematical equations. There are different equations used to explain electronics and space travel. While there are a completely different set of equations used to explain the particles of life

Supersymmetry theory is basically the idea that the equations of life and electronics could be switched in a laboratory to create or discover new particles. Two days ago, Physicist at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland successfully discovered a new subatomic particle utilizing similar equations. CERN researchers believe they discovered the fabled Boson Higgs particle which has been the plot of numerous episodes on television show The Big Bang Theory.

Professor Gates and his colleagues have discovered self-correcting binary code in the equations of reality. The kind of codes that make a computer browser work when you're searching the web, emailing, or reading this post. These codes suggest that our reality could be a quantum generated computer simulation, so real that the brain can't tell the difference. The movie that encapsulates these experiments is the Matrix. That movie was science fiction but these equations are real... and hidden within our reality

This research is groundbreaking because it poses the questions. Why does nature have this code embedded into it? What is an 'error' for the laws of nature? Checkout the video below for a more in depth explanation of the code and how physicist plan on pursuing the discovery. Also there are a list of references with more information below the video.


2.) Gates original paper: 
3.) A potential explanation, Bostrom's Simulation Hypothesis:

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Player Anime (AniManga: Zetman)

I recently watched some Player Anime that has me waiting for season 2.

The show is called Zetman. It's an Animanga meaning animation based off a manga series. I never read the manga so this post is strictly from my experience with the anime.

The story follows two characters Kouga (the rich kid wanna be hero) with an Iron Man suit named "Alphas." Jin (poor kid, no family, anti-hero) who was a super Player codenamed "Zet"  genetically engineered in a lab to be a killer of mankind. Players are genetically engineered monsters created by Kouga's grandfather to kill each other in gladiatorial like games. They can hide as a human until they regress to their monster form. Once they change they cannot return to human form. Also they develop a insatiable blood lust to devour people.

Things go wrong when the players gain awareness, stop fighting each other and escape. Once loose in the city some hide amongst the citizens while others just go bananas and start killing whatever they can find. Zet and Alpha's fight to stop the Players, Kouga's Father, several master manipulators and each other. This all happens in a tale full of love, lose and the delicious taste of cold-hearted revenge.

My only complaint about the show is this character the Sweeper. Its a masked suit of armor that appears out of nowhere and destroys Players who regress and attack people. The character is like the boogieman to the Players but they never explain who he is or who he works for. In the end the series was dope but it left a lot of questions unanswered. Which is why I hope there's going to be a season 2. Check out the clip from the show below.