Man Will Never Fly (to the Stars)

first_imgIt’s risky to say “never” in science.  The Man Will Never Fly Society had a short life.  However, an article on Space.com makes it seem a safe bet that, Star Trek notwithstanding, warp-speed flights to the stars are out of the question for humans.  “Warp speed will kill you,” the article announced; why?  Because interstellar hydrogen atoms would become lethal weapons, delivering a deadly radiation blast to ship and crew.  The ship’s electronics would fry and the crew would be killed instantly.  The last thing Kirk might have told Scotty was, “Jump to warp speed.”    Don’t think that “Shields up” would have helped.  If the Enterprise didn’t have shields a kilometer thick (making warp speed all the more impractical), they would not have done any good.  William Edelstein (Johns Hopkins U) explained these problems to a meeting of the American Physical Society last month.  The demise of the Trekkie dream is not the only ramification, he said.  The physical barriers to near-light speed also suggest that aliens would have been physically unable to drop in for a visit – if they are made of atoms.  “Getting between stars is a huge problem unless we think of something really, really different,” Edelstein said.  “I’m not saying that we know everything and that it’s impossible. I’m saying it’s kind of impossible based on what we know right now.”  Trekkies might still take hope in lessons from history where yesterday’s impossibilities, like flying, became today’s everyday experience.It is a safe bet that star travel is not going to happen in your lifetime.  And if the UFO people are wrong, aliens have not figured out a solution, either (or they do not exist, or have quarantined us).  This might be the answer to the Fermi Paradox – where are they?  They can’t get here.  Reality has a way of spoiling a good fantasy.    Accept your limitations.  You’re stuck here, physically (not a bad place though, no?).  In your mind’s eye, you can travel to the outer limits at the speed of thought.  Star Trek is real – in the movie theaters.  Those movies did not just happen.  They were made by the combined efforts of dozens of creative minds with feet on the earth.  Star Trek demonstrates that anything creative requires intelligent design.  It reminds us that our aspirations outpace our physical bodies.  It can be a stepping stone to the realization that we had better quit fantasizing and get busy fulfilling those aspirations by reading and following the Operations Manual of the ultimate intelligent designer, who planted those aspirations within us.  Joining his enterprise is the only hope of star travel some day.(Visited 13 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Homeowner Groups Are (Still) Battling Solar

first_imgDisputes are widespreadMougy had filed plans with the community association, but didn’t get a reply. He went ahead with the project, but in the end, both he and his neighbor had to remove their PV arrays.Susan Hoffman, the community association manager for the Mougy’s HOA, pointed to community rules to explain that the solar issue was more complex than it appeared. The structures and their common areas are owned by the association, not individual homeowners, she explained, and it is the community that can decide what goes on the roof.But a community-wide change of heart is not out of the question. “The association is not against solar,” Hoffman told the Mercury News. “Looking at solar for all the buildings is a reasonable approach.”The issue is not limited to California, and it’s not really new. (GBA’s Richard Defendorf wrote about the conflict between HOAs and homeowners in 2009). Cases similar to Mougy’s are easy to find — they’ve been reported in Missouri, Georgia, Oregon, Nebraska, and Texas, and there appears to be no standardized way that HOAs deal with the issue. A 2013 report from Greentech Media said that 22 states had solar rights provisions on the books, falling into any of four categories.Delays that add time and complexity to the permitting process ratchet up the “soft costs” of solar installations, which are helping to prop up the price of PV installations even as the cost of PV modules continues to fall. In the first half of 2012, for example, the Department of Energy estimated that hardware costs made up less than half the total installed cost of a PV system, with taxes, permitting, labor, and marketing among that factors making up the balance-of-system costs. California homeowners who install solar panels on their roofs may run afoul of their homeowners association, despite state laws designed to protect them.There are 43,000 community associations in the state, second only to Florida, The San Jose Mercury News reports, and they dole out guidance and restrictions for some 7.2 million state residents. Rules can cover anything from paint colors to lawn maintenance.Photovoltaic (PV) installations are booming in the state, jumping by 66% from 2013 to 2014 and adding up to more than $11.7 billion in new installations last year, the newspaper said. A state law passed in 1978 and updated regularly since then restricts the power of homeowner associations (HOAs) over residential solar installations, but PV installers say that the associations still can add months to the construction process, driving up costs and frustrating homeowners.Randy Zechman, CEO of Clean Solar in San Jose, calls it “death by 1,000 cuts.”For example, the newspaper tells the tale of Ilam Mougy of San Jose, who got permission from his utility and the city to install solar panels on his roof. Because one of his neighbors already had an array, Mougy didn’t think he’d have much trouble with his HOA. But he did. He was ordered to remove the panels, fined $300, and directed to repair the red clay roof tiles.The nearly 30-year-old state law specifically prohibits associations from rejecting a solar installation for aesthetic reasons, but that still appears to be happening. Bernadette Del Chiaro, the executive director of the California solar energy association, says that some HOAs don’t know about the law. Others simply ignore it.As a result, some installers refuse to work in communities run by an HOA.last_img read more

Apple Motion Video Tutorial: ‘The Walking Dead’ Inspired Titles

first_imgLearn how to create ‘Walking Dead’ inspired titles in this Apple Motion video tutorial.If you’ve ever seen the AMC series The Walking Dead than you’ve probably had these two questions: “Why are the zombies so easy to kill” and “How can I create those awesome intro titles!?”Well, in the following video presented by FinalCutKing we will get the answer to at least one of these questions! The video tutorial shows us how to create “Walking Dead” inspired intro titles in Apple Motion. It covers a wide range of techniques, including:Using Blend ModesUsing TexturesWorking with TextWorking with KeyframesYou can download the project file from the Walking Dead post on FinalCutKing’s website.This video was first shared by FinalCutKing on his YouTube Channel. Thanks for sharing!Want to watch more about Motion & FCPX? Check out more tutorials on the PremiumBeat blog.Have any tips for selling this effect? Anything you’d like to add? Share in the comments below.last_img read more

Is HFR The Future of Travel Videos?

first_imgHigh frame rates don’t always work well on the big screen, but they’re transforming the field of travel videography.Cover Image via Jacob + Katie Schwarz.When The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey premiered several years ago, many cinemagoers noted that the film felt “different”: “It’s like being on a film set in person: all of the magic is lost. You get to see behind the curtain, and you’re no longer under a spell,…”  “It looked too real,” and so on. These reactions are due to The Hobbit‘s frame rate of 48fps instead of the industry standard of 24fps. Filming at a high fps is also known as a high frame rate or HFR for short.The reason HFR looks more real comes down to motion blur — more precisely, the lack of it. The images, especially those with fast movement, look a lot sharper. Peter Jackson noted that he wanted an immersive experience, and many found the experience too immersive. It was almost as if the film disallowed suspension of disbelief. As James Cameron said, “3D shows you a window into reality; the higher frame rate takes the glass out of the window.”Despite all the reasons for using 48fps, the choice drew criticism, and in the industry, talk about how cinema could move forward with 48fps died down significantly (save for James Cameron and Peter Jackson). There are some aesthetics, like the motion blur that comes with 24fps, that are irreplaceable.However, while it looks like cinema will abandon HFR, for the time being at least, there is one genre of filmmaking that I believe benefits from HFR: travel videos.A travel video or travel vlog takes the viewer to the other side of the world for a glimpse at what life is like over the horizon. The video above from Jacob + Katie Schwarz could very well be one of the best examples of this notion.Watching the video at only 1080p on a 26-inch monitor was enough to project a sense of realism that I haven’t felt before. Let’s not overlook the fact the filmmakers used the Red Helium sensor and 8k resolution. The dynamic range coupled with the clarity of 8k attributes creates the beautiful imagery. The crisp detail, the vibrant color, and the fantastic cinematography all make this video an excellent example of travel videography. However, the feel of the footage derives directly from the 60fps frame rate. As one YouTube commentator has said, “HD 60 FPS is Amazing, 8k 60 FPS is like real life!”  This leads us to wonder: has HFR found its place in travel videos? There are plenty of beautiful travel videos that crowd YouTube, but many have been shot like a film: 24fps, letterboxed, creative color grading. The results are a far cry from reality. If HFR removes “the window,” then it is the next best thing to actually being on location.What are your thoughts? Do you think the 60fps ruins the beauty of the short segment, or do you think that it helps bring you one step closer to the location? Let us know in the comments.For further reading on the science of HFR, I recommend these articles.The Science of High Frame Rates, Or: Why ‘The Hobbit’ Looks Bad At 48 FPS48 FPS and Beyond: How High Frame Rates Affect PerceptionWhy movies look weird at 48fps, and games are better at 60fpslast_img read more

Zark’s-Lyceum slips past Wangs-Letran for 4th straight win

first_imgJohn Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding CONTRIBUTED PHOTOZark’s Burger-Lyceum weathered a late flurry by Wangs Basketball-Letran to win, 95-93, for its fourth straight win in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup Monday at Pasig Sports Center.Jaycee Marcelino scored the deciding basket, nailing a floater off of a MJ Ayaay dish to push his side up by two with 1:03 left before the Jawbreakers’ defense stood its ground in the end, thwarting numerous attempts from the Couriers, the last of which a fadeaway from Bonbon Batiller.ADVERTISEMENT “I made the mistake. It’s my responsibility because I wanted to give the others a chance to play. It almost turned into a loss and it’s my responsibility.”Robinson lauded how his boys’ composure in the endgame as the Jawbreakers climbed to 4-1 card.“I know that now, we know how to finish games. These close games, we learn from our mistakes and it makes us sharper,” he said.Bong Quinto led the Couriers, who absorbed their first loss with 22 points, 10 rebounds, and three assists, while JP Calvo got 16 markers, three rebounds and five assists.The Scores:ADVERTISEMENT 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Read Next LATEST STORIES Man arrested for slipping alcoholic drinks inside Manila North Cemetery PLAY LIST 01:43Man arrested for slipping alcoholic drinks inside Manila North Cemetery00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises MOST READ NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. ZARK’S BURGER-LYCEUM 95 — Nzeusseu 27, Perez 18, Tansingco 16, Ayaay 11, Jv. Marcelino 8, Serrano 6, Jc. Marcelino 4, Baltazar 3, Santos 2, Caduyac 0, Cinco 0, Ibañez 0, Marata 0.WANGS BASKETBALL-LETRAN 93 — Quinto 22, Calvo 16, Fajarito 13, Ambohot 11, Batiller 7, Muyang 6, Publico 6, Mandreza 5, Trinidad 3, Balanza 2, Taladua 2, Balagasay 0.Quarters: 18-20, 46-45, 77-67, 95-93. AFP official booed out of forum Mike Nzeusseu paced Zark’s-Lyceum with 27 points, 11 rebounds, three steals, and three blocks, while CJ Perez got 18 markers, six boards, five dimes, and two steals.Ralph Tansingco stepped up big for the Jawbreakers, going 4-of-6 from downtown as he poured in 11 of his 16 points in the third quarter, where his side slowly built a 10-point cushion, 77-67, and even extended it to 14, 81-67, early in the payoff period.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutWangs-Letran made a huge rally to tie the game at 93 after a Batiller undergoal stab with 1:25 left.“We have to give credit to Wangs. They really wanted to win it badly,” said coach Topex Robinson as he took responsibility for the near-collapse. Victolero takes blame for Magnolia loss to San Miguel Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC View commentslast_img read more

‘Delhi Police threatened me with the death penalty’

first_imgThe controversy surrounding South African cricketer Herschelle Gibbs’s autobiography – To the Point – continues to reveal new facets regarding his chequered career, including the infamous match fixing episode when he was interrogated by the Delhi Police in 2006.In the book, Gibbs reveals that during the interrogation, one of the commissioners, described as ‘a tough-looking old Sikh gentleman’, tried to intimidate him by mentioning ‘death penalty’.After refusing to be part of South African squads for the India tour on a few occasions fearing arrest, Gibbs, with his lawyer Peter Whelan, finally travelled to the country in 2006 to face grilling by a four-member panel. The South African wrote in his book – To the Point – about his trip to India to face questioning after telephonic conversations of the then captain Hansie Cronje with an Indian bookmaker were intercepted by Delhi Police in 2000, sparking off a global match-fixing controversy.In one of the chapters, Gibbs writes that one of the interrogating the officer said: “Sir, you had better come clean. We still have the death penalty here [in India]. Needless to say, Peter jumped right in with both feet and threatened to end the meeting right there if they tried this kind of intimidating tactic,” Gibbs wrote.Gibbs also reveals he had to apologise to the then Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ranjit Narayan, who is currently the Special Commissioner of the Crime Branch, for having publicly called him ‘hard-a**ed’ some time before.When contacted, Narayan said that he had not read the book yet but had come to know about it from the internet. “I came to know about it today and read about it on the internet. Yes he did apologise for making such statements during the interrogation. What can I say if he has mentioned that episode today. He apologised and it was over that time,” Narayan told MAIL TODAY.advertisementNarayan, however, refuted Gibbs claims on the death penalty. The ‘tough looking gentleman’ has been referred to AS Cheema, who was Deputy Commissioner of the Crime branch in 2006.”That is false. No officer told Gibbs what he has referred in the book. The interrogation went on for four hours but I don’t remember any officer telling him anything of that sort,” said Narayan.In the book that was released in Johannesburg on Monday, Gibbs also disclosed that he had indulged in ‘tonsil hockey’ (deep kissing) with a German girl at the Taj Hotel the night before being questioned by the Delhi Police. Gibbs admitted he was drunk and he could not even remember anything the next morning. “Our flight to India was via Dubai and Peter spent about eight of those hours coaching me on the upcoming grilling I was sure to get,” Gibbs wrote. “Remember that the King Commission (in South Africa) had been five years earlier and we knew the Indians would be looking for any discrepancies between my testimony back then and what I would have to say to them now.”I think the Indians were pretty taken aback when I turned up with both my lawyer and the High Commissioner [in New Delhi]. I was hustled inside to see (Commissioner) KK Paul, who had been my Indian nemesis for the past six years. ‘Hello, Mr Gibbs,” he said. ‘I’m a big fan of yours.’ Not exactly the reception I had been expecting from him!”A four-man panel, headed by the joint commissioner of the Delhi Police Crime Branch, Ranjit Narayan, bombarded me with questions for about three hours. It was a hostile situation, make no mistake, and it wasn’t helped either by the fact that I’d publicly said Narayan was hard-a**ed. The Commissioner wasn’t happy about that at all, and he even brought it up during the questioning. I had to apologise. His a**e was not so hard after all,” Gibbs says in the book.Narayan also denied the reports released by media houses then that he along with Gibbs and police Commissioner KK Paul had met for a lunch a few days after the interrogation was over. Recalling the interrogation, Narayan said: “The interrogation session went on for four hours and we treated him like any other chap we call for questioning. It happened a long time back but I still remember he answered all our queries and the interrogation went peacefully.”- With agency inputslast_img read more