"Gasland" The Documentary

In recent months, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has brought our attention to the extreme hazards and true costs of oil and gas exploration. Until I watched the documentary "Gasland" however, the scope and obscenity of the problem hadn't really registered. "Gasland" is a synopsis of the natural gas boom since 2005 when Dick Cheiney and the Bush administration fast tracked legislation that made oil companies such as Haliburton and Encana exempt from government regulations such as the clean water act. The clean water exemption in particular is shocking because the process used to extract the gas (called "fracing") involves injecting a carcinogenic cocktail of chemicals into the earth where it then seeps into the groundwater.

At this point your inner-self might be saying "blah-blah-blah...I've heard this all before... big oil with ties to government pollutes the environment... same old story". It's easy to become desensitized and that is why I implore you to watch "Gasland". Images of (previously clean) tap water literally being lit on fire offer the requisite documentary shock value but it is the documentary's over-arching (and overwhelming) warning that hits home: the current deregulated exploration and extraction of natural gas is systematically poisoning and destroying the groundwater supply in the continental United States.

I think it is important that this movie get viewed by as many people as possible and I am therefor linking to the torrent site ( here ) so you can download it and watch it.

If you do download it, I would suggest going to the movie's web page and making a donation.

I don't think the trailer does the movie justice but check it out anyways:

Wing Suit Base Jumping - Norway

By now, most people have seen video of these guys jumping off cliffs in wing suits. That said, it still never fails to amaze me when I re-watch the videos. I just came across this video again... and, yup, I"m still amazed:

Note: apparently the next step is actually landing. That's right, jumping out of an aircraft or off a cliff with no parachute. Landing a Flight Suit

Three Videos Showing the Depth in Music

I think we often forget how music affects us and shapes our lives. A few bars of music can flood us with memories and change our state of being. Consider that people actually dedicate their entire lives to studying it. Like so many other ways of knowing; mathematics, physics, philosophy; the layers are endless... eventually leading to a mystery that goes beyond the logic of rational thought

Below are three videos that touch on the depth in music:

The first is a light and humorous demonstration of how four simple chords are used as the creative building blocks for numerous hit songs. In the second video, Bobby Mcferrin shows how music seems to be cross-culturally embedded into the human experience. In the last video, Tool takes a mathematical concept often used to describe nature and uses it in a song that is, essentially, about evolution: cool!


Axis Of Awesome - 4 Four Chord Song

Bobby Mcferrin: The Power of the Pentatonic Scale

The Fibonacci in Lateralus

Al Jazeera: Great Journalism

If you don't have the Al Jazeera phone app yet, I highly recommend it. For the past few days, as I've prepared and eaten my breakfast, I've propped up my Iphone and watched the live feed of the Al Jazeera English news service. The quality of the feed is almost HD but, more importantly, the quality of the journalism exceeds anything I've seen on cable, including the BBC.

Watching the Al Jazeera news feed has reminded me that "news", even if the story comes from the other side of the world, is usually something more important and more relevant to me than whether or not some actress has decided to adopt a baby, got cheated on, or lost ten pounds.

Just before I was posted this, I randomly came across this image comparing the landing pages of CNN and Al Jazeera. I think it helps underscore my point:

Al Jazeera vrs CNN

The Blind Side


I watched “The Blind Side” the other night. As fiction it would be a great story but the fact that it’s a true story makes it even better. It brought tears to my eyes a couple of times.

I never saw Meryl Streep in “Julia” but I heard, from a technical acting perspective, she was better than Sandra Bullock and that’s probably true. Nonetheless, I can see why Bullock beat Streep for the best actress award. It’s hard to explain, but her performance had a power to it that seemed to transcend technical acting. I think she’s still in the negative as far as bad movies / good movies but this one negates at least four of the bad ones.

Below is a real news story on the actual family portrayed in the movie. Don't watch it until you see the movie first… it will ruin some of the surprises.

If you want to download “The Blind Side” torrent you can find it here: http://bit.ly/a5fyT0
(side note to movie industry: please create a site where I can download your movies easily for under three dollars)

Dear Heinze


Seriously, what's the deal with the tiny 'single serve' ketchup packages. Who uses just one pea size serving? Please at least double the size; save me the trouble of having to open so many, save the environment from excess packaging and save yourself some packaging costs.

That is all.

What Is Consciousness?

I like this quote from a Stuart Hammeroff, a medical doctor specializing in anesthesiology who has studied consciousness for the past 30 years:

Stuart Hameroff
Most people think that consciousness emerged over eons as a byproduct of random mutations and the inherent complexity of natural selection, but I look at it the other way around. I think a fundamental field of protoconscious experience has been embedded all along—since the big bang—in the [quantum realm], and that biology evolved and adapted in order to access it and to maximize the qualities and potentials implicit within it. . . I think that when you meditate and attain nothingness . . . it isn’t quite nothingness. You move more deeply into the basic fabric of the universe and actually become more consciously a part of it.