London Reverie


 

The above video has been shared around the Internet ever since it came out. I’m just getting around to it now because I’m lazy and save topics to write about later. But this one was important to me for a single solitary reason: London

As far as I’m concerned, London is by far the greatest city that exists on this blue marble called Earth. The video elicited memories and emotions within me that hold a very dear place within my heart. In fact, they are the very essence of the creature I am today.

A distance of 3,300 miles separates me from it, but I still hear the whispers of London in my ear. It beckons me to reside within its storied thoroughfares once again and finish what I started. I can still recall how the air invigorated my senses and cajoled my melancholy down cultured and artful avenues. I vividly remember standing under the dizzying lights of Piccadilly Circus with my best mate as we stood in awe and inhaled the possibilities that surrounded us. We had inherited a city which could devour you if you so much as slipped. We weren’t afraid or proud. We were humbled and blessed.

The imagery in the video made me realise just how ingrained the city is in my mind. I can close my eyes and instantly transport myself back to my apartment in Pennington Court in the beating heart of the city. From there, I take a lengthy constitution across Tower Bridge and head down to the Queen’s Walk. And so on and so forth, as I retrace those footprints I left behind in the concrete soul of the city. Angel, Chelsea, Hammersmith, Waterloo, Liverpool Street and Convent Garden are not merely destinations. The Thames is not just a river.¬†They are places of reverence where hearts were broken, love was made, drinks were had, stories were shared, and memories were forged.¬†

I might have left London almost 3 years ago, but its riddle still haunts me. Perhaps that’s because there are entire worlds in London that I never got to experience. I hope to return one day in a more permanent role upon its stage. Until then, London and I remain starcrossed lovers.

London: this city of dreams, this city of kings and queens. 

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Gravity Waves from Big Bang Detected!


Big news in Cosmology today of a landmark discovery.

From Scientific American:

“Physicists have found a long-predicted twist in light from the Big Bang that represents the first image of ripples in the universe called gravitational waves, researchers announced today. The finding is direct proof of the theory of inflation, the idea that the universe expanded extremely quickly in the first fraction of a second after it was born. What‚Äôs more, the signal is coming through much more strongly than expected, ruling out a large class of inflation models and potentially pointing the way toward new theories of physics, experts say. “

In layman terms, this is robust evidence of an “echo”¬†from the big bang which brought the Universe into existence 14bn years ago, and ¬†it allows scientists to witness how the Universe came into existence. In other words, it is the very encouraging physical evidence for the theory of inflation. Think of it as ripples spreading outwards in water or waves crossing an ocean. These primordial gravitational waves will tell us about the first, infinitesimal moment of the universe’s history and its obvious expansion. Of course, these waves are not exclusive to the Big Bang, but are ripples in the curvature of spacetime which exist throughout space emanating from different sources (e.g. black holes, cosmic explosions).

The Guardian explains all these terms well here.

Needless to say this is fascinating stuff that promises to expand our understanding and reverence of the cosmos in brand new ways. Old questions will be answered, and new ones will be born. Old technologies will be improved, and new ones will be dreamt of. Einstein predicted all this way back in 1916 in his Theory of General Relativity and remained its sole untested prediction. It took scientists only 98 years to prove it. What a bunch of slackers!

Here is the beautiful moment Andrei Linde, one of the authors of inflationary theory and¬†who in 1983 first described chaotic inflation, is told that his theory was correct ūüôā


Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/inflation-theorist-andrei-linde-hears-bicep2-news-2014-3#ixzz2wFNkYl1A

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How Big is Space? Take a Look for Yourself


Since the world is still reeling from the return of Cosmos hosted by the ineffable¬†Neil DeGrasse Tyson, I figured it would be a good idea to a space related post (mainly because I’m shameless want more hits). If you haven’t seen Cosmos, then go watch it…after you finish reading and telling your friends about my post.

The almost always awesome BBC has put together a fantastic ¬†interactive that allows you pilot a tiny rocket to the edge of our Solar System. That’s over 20 BILLION KM away! That would take you 20 hours to complete if you were on the Starship Enterprise travelling at Warp 1.

Suit up and buckle in for your journey here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbc.com/future/bespoke/20140304-how-big-is-space-interactive/index.html

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Oscars 2104 Predictions


It’s that time of the year again! The Oscars will be happening this Sunday on March 2.

For the most part, I don’t care about the OScars, but tying to predict the winners is always fun. Unfortunately, I tend to get sucked into a maelstrom of anger when my choices don’t take home the gold.

I’ve compiled the top categories below. This year I have decided to do it a little differently. As usual, I predict my overall winner. However, to make things more interesting I have also included my “upset winner” and “wtf winner”. The latter really relates to the Academy’s tendency to, sometimes, go against the grain and pick a totally unexpected winner. That doesn’t mean it’s not deserved, but rather that I didn’t see it coming. Though in Jonah Hill’s case it is totally fucking undeserved!

Without further ado, here are your winners:

Best Actor:

Christian Bale (American Hustle)
Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)

Winner: Matthew McConaughey       Upset:Leonardo DiCaprio     WTF: Chiwetel Ejiofor

Nothing can stop the veteran of our beloved Rom-Coms. Leo might take it for his body of work, since he hasn’t won in forever. Chiwetel Ejiofor is a distant third, but the movie and his acting has been praised. Plus it’s based on a true story and the Academy has a hard-on for those.

Best Actress

Amy Adams (American Hustle)
Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
Judi Dench (Philomena)
Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)

Winner: Cate Blanchett           Upset: Amy Adams       WTF: Judi Dench

I went with Cate Blanchett because Meryll Streep has too many awards, but she was amazing in Osage County. Amy Adams for the upset because she chose not wear bras in American Hustle. Judi Dench because she ¬†has way too many nominations, she can’t see or walk anymore and has a lot of praise for her role in Philomena. This is a tough one.

Best Supporting Actor

Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)
Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)
Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)
Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club

Winner: Jared Leto     Upset: Michael Fassbender     WTF: Jonah Hill 

Jared Leto will walkaway with this while looking all pretty. Any rockers ever won an acting Oscar? Fassbender did a masterful job and was downright evil, but there is no contest with Leto. Jonah Hill….just don’t do it Oscars. Please just don’t even think about it.

Best Supporting Actress

Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)
Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
Lupita Nyong’o¬†(12 Years a Slave)
Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)
June Squibb (Nebraska)

Winner: Jennifer Lawrence ¬† ¬† ¬†Upset: Lupita Nyong’o ¬† ¬†¬†WTF:June Squibb

Jennifer Lawrence is the darling of the awards. She could come in a trucker cap, ripped jeans while smoking a doobie and it would be the next “in” thing. But I think it’s too obvious. Newcomer (?) Lupita Nyong’o has a lot of love going into this and is my favorite to win. June Squibb might sneak in a winner for her body of work.

Best Director

American Hustle (David O. Russell)
Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón)
Nebraska (Alexander Payne)
12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen)
The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese)

Winner: Alfonso Cuaron   Upset: Steve Mcqueen   WTF: David O Russell

I hate to admit it but Alfonso Cuaron will likely win this. He doesn’t deserve it for such a shit film. My money is really on Steve McQueen to take this and it would rectify the Academy’s mistake with Argo and Affleck last year. There really is no WTF here, but I put in a name for heck of it.

Best Picture

American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
Gravity
Her
Nebraska
Philomena
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street

Winner: 12 Years a Slave    Upset: Gravity     WTF:Philomena

I swear I will lose my shit if Gravity wins! This better go to 12 Years a Slave. I would love to see Philomena win, but I don’t think it will happen.

There you have it. Sound off in the comments below and let me know your choices ūüôā

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