Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Earthlike planet?

Astronomers have discovered a planet around the red dwarf star Gliese 581, 20 lightyears from Earth, which is perhaps comfortable for life. It is slightly larger than Earth, but is apparently located in a zone around the star which would make it habitable: that is, water could exist in a liquid state on the surface.

MSNBC has the details:

Alien Planet Looks "Just Right" for Life

Friday, September 10, 2010

Kodak 1922 Kodachrome Film Test

This footage is eighty-eight years old. The people who made the film and the people in the film have most certainly passed on. We expect films of this era to be in black and white, and seeing it in black and white we can imagine that distant past to be somehow less real than our current moment. Color makes an interesting difference in how we relate to an old picture or film. Memento mori.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Apparently the Ice Skating Rinks Have Opened in Hell is reporting that Fidel Castro was asked by Jeffrey Goldberg, a writer for the Atlantic Monthly, whether or not Soviet style communism was still worth exporting to other countries. Castro replied that it wasn't--and that it wasn't even working in Cuba any more.

Castro has also reportedly criticized Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for his anti-Semitism and for denying the Holocaust.

Then Fidel Castro, according to, criticized his own actions during the Cuban missle crisis.

Read the whole article:Fidel Castro: Cuban model no longer works or the article by Jeffrey Goldberg in Atlantic Monthly.

The last time I felt this weird was when the Berlin Wall came down, Poland joined NATO, and the Soviet Union collapsed--and then I read Russia had started broadcasting anti-communist propaganda at Viet-Nam.

Perhaps this is one of those moments in history when something is shifting dramatically.