Friday, July 25, 2014

Iraqi Tango


The story of the paralleling lives of a war traumatized marine and an upscale Argentinian prostitute whose worlds collide in the underground network of sex trafficking.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Milongueros - thanks Nina P...!

I have never seen the film "Tango Bar" with Raul Julia...I see that it's available in its full length on YouTube...

However, I would offer this version of La Cumparsita as an alternative sound track...

Or this one, for a little more the staccato piano and violin picking in this version...when I used to DJ, I would usually play two or three versions of La Cumparsita as the last song...chosen from the 40 or so versions I've collected over the years...

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Alan Watts on Waking Up

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

This is what social tango is all about...

Thanks to Marina for setting her video as "Public" so it can be shared...

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Tango & Architecture

Happened across this...looks like tango dancers...but the leader's posture is all wrong for tango...but still, I'll take it as tango...

The artist is Sean Edward Whelan...

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Monday, June 2, 2014

Carbon Dioxide aka CO2 Emissions :: Playing with the Math :: Corrected Version

So I wake up this morning and put on the coffee and start to read the news. Right up there at the top is this:

Down towards the bottom of the piece, they throw out the figure 2.05 billion metric tonnes for 2013 CO2 emissions (from coal-fired power plants alone).

So naturally, I hop on over to an old blog post of mine to check/cognitate/validate/equilibrate/machinate to otherwise make some rusty-old-carbon-based-life-form-gears kick in and make sense of this figure. Keep in mind that those mind gears of mine are lubricated with high-fructose corn syrup - which ain't a good thing. (grin)

So, immediately (EEmEEdEE-EETLEE like they over-EE-none-CEE-ATE it on NPR), I notice my frickin' math is off. By an order of a thousand or something or other.

You dumbfuck!, I exclaim, and EE-MEE-DEE-EET-LEE run out to my officehovelcave to re-run the numbers and make the corrections.

Big difference in the numbers. BIG, difference. I remember thinking (when I ran the original numbers) that it didn't seem like that much CO2 (by weight). I shoulda double-checked myself.

Shouldawouldacoulda. My mantra these days.

Here's the old post with the wrong math -

Below is the revised post - with the math corrected correctly, I hope. Someone please check my "simple" math. Thanks in advance.

I was looking for data on total U.S. energy usage - something to validate the 5 terawatt figure I have rolling around in my head - when I ran across another troubling figure.

Annual CO2 emissions (from fossil fuels) in the U.S. are estimated this year at 5,981.5 million metric tons or tonnes. A tonne is 1000 kilograms or 2205 pounds.

I pull up a blank Excel spreadsheet to start doing the math - simple unit conversions.

So that's 5,981,500,000,000 or five trillion, nine hundred eighty one billion, five hundred million tonnes.

In pounds, that equals 13,189,207,500,000,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere each year. Thirteen quadrillion, blah, blah, blah pounds.

I decide to convert this into units I can get my head around.

The curb weight of one Ford Expedition is give or take 5500 pounds.

That equates to 2,398,037,727,273 [two trillion, three hundred ninety eight billion, thirty seven million, seven hundred twenty seven thousand, two-hundred seventy-three] Ford Expeditions [by weight, not volume], a figure that's still difficult to comprehend. Try writing a check out for that amount! Ha!

A Ford Expedition takes up a footprint of roughly 110.70 square feet. Those 2.398 trillion Ford Expeditions parked side to side, bumper to bumper, would cover 9,522,176 (nine million five-hundred twenty-two thousand one hundred seventy-six) square miles.

Still meaningless?

The United States is 3,537,379 square miles in size.

So that's the entire United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, covered solid with 2.67 (two and two-thirds) layers of Ford Expeditions.

That's just for one year. The annual amount will continue to grow each year to 6800 million tonnes in 2030.

That's just emissions for the United States - you would have to figger in the rest of the industrialized world. Note that this is all CO2 emissions from burning all types of fossil fuels. Then you've got wood and dung and whatever the fuck people are burning.

Ready to reduce your carbon footprint now?

Yeah, that's it, you got it - go ahead and screw in your little fluorescent twisty bulb thingies. Bring your cloth sacks to the grocery store and don't use their plastic bags. String a clothesline. Set the thermostat to sweat in the summer and shiver in the winter. Upgrade your old fridgerator to an Energy Star model. Sell your car and ride your bike. Hell, go ahead and sell both cars. Sell your house or condo and move into a teepee, or a yurt. Erect a solar PV panel to power your computer and tee-tiny two cubic foot refrigerator. Tend your energy usage to zero.

Go ahead and do it, do your part. It still won't be enough to make a difference. Why not? Because there are five billion other people on the planet who will never do it.

Houston, we have a problem.

So you've made it this far and probably noted that I didn't say anything about the article, or Obama, or the EPA's new rule or whatever that is coming out today to reduce CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030. So 30% of 2.05 billion (metric tonnes) over 16 years equates to 10 billion metric tonnes of CO2 "not" pumped into the atmosphere. That's if they started the 0.615 billion metric tonne annual reduction this year.

During the same 16 year period, we've pumped roughly 96 trillion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere - rough math of 6.0 trillion tonnes/yr x 16 years.

So, the long and the short of it is that we'll cut 0.1 trillion (one tenth of one trillion) tonnes against a 96 trillion tonne CO2 load. Over sixteen years.

Helluva tiny drop in a helluva big bucket.

Fuckers. Fuckin' disinforming onion-eyed miscreants.

Hey at least we're talking about it.

Baby steps, right?

Some might say we oughta be happy about this news.

It just pisses me off.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Chomolungma Dreaming

Lost dreams of the heart of a man...

Write it asshole...

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ballroom Brainwaves | The Scientist | By Eli Chen

Thanks to Dawn for the find!

The Scientist »
News & Opinion »
Daily News

Ballroom Brainwaves

A neuroscientist studies the brains of tango dancers in an attempt to understand interpersonal connectedness.

By Eli Chen | March 28, 2014

Tango Passion Abstract
The original article showed Eli's photo...this is one of mine cuz it's easier to post...

Dancing with someone for the first time involves a great deal of uncertainty. At first, new dance partners watch their feet nervously, unsure of where to step. But with time, rhythm and flow can develop between them. Eventually, it might seem as though they’ve known one another for years and can predict their partner’s moves.

It’s not fully known what makes two people click. But some researchers are working to understand how human brains can operate in sync. Suzanne Dikker, a cognitive neuroscientist at New York University, is one such researcher, and she’s using partner dance to unravel the complicated neuroscience behind such interpersonal “chemistry.”

“Humans are always trying to gauge compatibility and connectedness,” says Dikker, “so we know who we want to work with and who we don’t. Our survival is dependent on how we synchronize with each other.”

Dikker staged an event in Brooklyn, New York, this week (March 26) to demonstrate what brain synchrony might look like between dancers. With “NeuroTango,” which was hosted by the Greater New York City Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience as part of its Brain Awareness Week, Dikker hooked up two pairs of tango dancers with EEG headsets to measure each person’s brainwaves. She then performed three experiments.

First, the previously acquainted pairs danced to a song like they normally would. Then they switched partners to dance with someone they were less familiar with. After that, the dancers stood in place with their initial partners and imagined they were dancing. All the while, Dikker projected graphics and numerical scores onto the walls of the room, depicting when the dancers’ brains were in sync, and when they were less so.

Dikker is using tango to study brain synchrony for a couple of reasons. For one, she finds the interactions between two tango dancers fascinating because of the amount of coordination it takes to make complicated movements look natural and instinctive.

“Tango is interesting and complex to study because depending on whether you’re a leader or a follower, there are different brain states involved in anticipating what your partner will do,” says Lawrence Parsons, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Sheffield. Parsons conducted the first neuroimaging study on dancers, in 2008, to discover which parts of the brain were most active in dance.

Beyond exhibiting performance art, with “NeuroTango” Dikker sought to test whether EEG could be reliably used to study moving interactions in real time. She had previously worked on Marina Abramovic’s performance piece, “Measuring the Magic of Mutual Gaze,” which was featured at the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture in Moscow in 2011. As part of that installation, participants were asked to sit still and make eye contact with strangers for prolonged periods of time, as EEG headsets captured their brain activities. The brainwave data Dikker collected from Abramovic’s piece were what inspired her to devise NeuroTango—she wanted to compare the EEG’s reading on stationary versus mobile subjects.

However, brainwave data is best collected in the absence sound or movement, and it’s well known among neuroscientists that portable EEGs can be hypersensitive.

“I’m cautious because the subjects’ movements and the audience presence could create noise in the data,” says Lewis Hou, a research associate at the University of Edinburgh, who’s leading a project to discern what’s happening in the brains of Scottish folk dancers. From a science communication standpoint, however, “I think this is event is a fantastic way to engage the public in neuroscience,” he adds.

Dikker also hoped to explore how each dancer’s level of experience played into synchronization. One pair of dancers had known one another for 17 years, while the other had only been dance partners for six. Ivana Konvalinka, a cognitive neuroscientist at Technical University of Denmark, wondered what Dikker’s preliminary data might show about what happens in dancers’ brains while they’re imagining movement, and how that might relate to his or her level of expertise.

“Studies have shown that experienced dancers coordinate their movements very differently than those who aren’t,” says Konvalinka. “[The] premotor cortex, which is activated while dancing, is also highly activated even when they’re just rehearsing in their heads.”

While technological limitations make these questions a challenge to investigate, “NeuroTango” nonetheless provided a glimpse into a small but growing field in neuroscience that’s diving deep into the mysterious space between two people.

Corrections (March 28): This article has been updated to more accurately reflect Suzanne Dikker’s current affiliation, and to correct when and where Marina Abramovic’s “Measuring the Magic of Mutual Gaze” was featured. A previous version incorrectly stated Abramovic’s piece was featured in New York City last year. It was in fact featured in Moscow in 2011. The Scientist regrets the errors.

neuroscience, neuroimaging, EEG, dance and culture Friday