Curious about Everything

Day: October 31, 2021 (Page 1 of 2)

The university lecturer who lived in a tent for two years

Anna Fazackerley, The Guardian »

Lê was awarded an annual fellowship of £16,000 for three years from Royal Holloway to do her PhD on minority ethnic groups in American literature, and won an extra scholarship from the US, where she is from, in her first year. But as an international student she had to pay £8,000 a year in fees to the university (fees that have been waived for UK fellows), leaving her with £12,000 a year to live on including her wages for teaching.

She says she was just about managing until the cheap postgraduate hall she was living in was closed for renovations at the end of her second year. She was faced with finding an extra £3,000 a year for rent, which she says she couldn’t afford. Determined not to drop out, she borrowed the tent from a friend.

Lê admits that at first “I was really scared. I found out there was a protest camp near campus so I turned up with my tent and asked if I could stay there so I wasn’t alone. And that was the start of my next two years.”

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Halloween offers an excuse to re-experience classic horror films

George Méliès’ The Haunted Castle / 1896 / 3:26 » The Haunted Castle, technically the first horror film, and one of the first movies—likely the very first—to deliberately use special effects to frighten its viewers. By the great Georges Méliès.

 

Nosferatu / 1922 / Silent Movie / 1:20:45 » “Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens” (translated as “Nosferatu, a symphony of horror” or simply “Nosferatu”) is a classic 1922 German Expressionist horror film, directed by F. W. Murnau, starring Max Schreck as the vampire Count Orlok. The film, shot in 1921 and released in 1922, was an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”, with names and other details changed because the studio could not obtain the rights to the novel (for instance, “vampire” became “Nosferatu” and “Count Dracula” became “Count Orlok”).

 

The Astro Zombies / 1:31:18  1968 »

Newly Re-mastered in HD! A film that has it all… a mad astro-scientist (John Carradine, House of the Long Shadows) reviving corpses at his laboratory; two gore-crazed, solar-powered killer robot zombies; a bloody trail of girl-next-door victims; Chinese communist spies; deadly Mexican secret agents led by the insanely voluptuous Tura Satana (Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!) and intrepid CIA agent Wendell Corey (The Killer is Loose) hot on their trail and trying to figure it all out! This cult favorite was written, produced and directed by cult legend, Ted Mikels (One Shocking Moment, Blood Orgy of the She-Devils) melds into a high-powered fusion the films of Ed Wood, Russ Meyer and George Romero with undead cannibal gore chills… hot-pants sexploitation thrills… ’60’s sci-fi mumbo-jumbo and Cold War espionage intrigue.

 

Vincent Price performes the “Thriller” rap live (1987)

Vincent Price was the guest on the Late Show starring Joan Rivers. Price performs his iconic rap from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” live.

Darkness falls across the land
The midnight hour is close at hand
Creatures crawl in search of blood
To terrorise y’alls neighborhood
And whosoever shall be found
Without the soul for getting down
Must stand and face the Hounds of Hell
And rot inside a corpse’s shell

The foulest stench is in the air
The funk of forty-thousand years
And grizzly ghouls from every tomb
Are closing in to seal your doom
And though you fight to stay alive
Your body starts to shiver
For no mere mortal can resist
The evil of the thriller

1.5C is ‘real science’, not just a political talking point

Fiona Harvey, The Guardian »

Johan Rockström, the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and one of the world’s foremost climate scientists, warned that the 1.5C target was not like other political negotiations, which can be haggled over or compromised on.

“A rise of 1.5C is not an arbitrary number, it is not a political number. It is a planetary boundary,” he told the Guardian in an interview. “Every fraction of a degree more is dangerous.”

Allowing temperatures to rise by more than 1.5C would vastly increase the risk of irreversible changes to the climate, he said. For instance, it would raise the risk of the Arctic losing its summer ice, with dire knock-on effects on the rest of the climate as the loss of reflective ice increases the amount of heat the water absorbs, in a feedback loop that could rapidly raise temperatures further.

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COP26 serves an important role, but we need to do more to drive down greenhouse gas

The 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) will fall short.

James Temple, MIT Technology Review »

Six years after nations adopted the landmark Paris climate agreement, countries haven’t committed to, much less enacted, the necessary policies to reduce emissions anywhere near as much as required to achieve the accord’s stated goal: preventing 2 ˚C of global warming this century while striving to limit the increase to 1.5 ˚C. And rich countries are still tens of billions of dollars short of the $100 billion in annual funds they agreed to provide to help developing nations address climate change.

If countries do no more than fulfill the loose pledges they’ve made for 2030 under the agreement, the planet is likely to heat up by around 2.7 ˚C this century, according to the UN Environment Programme’s “emissions gap report,” released earlier this week. If all they do is abide by domestic climate policies already in place, temperature increases could exceed 3 ˚C.

In a 3 ˚C warmer world, coral reefs likely disappear, the ice sheets begin to collapse, hundred-year droughts will occur every few years across vast stretches of the globe, and sea-level rise could force hundreds of millions of people to relocate, according to various studies.

“If the goal is to maintain a safe, livable climate for the majority of the world’s population, the grade is an F-,” says Jessica Green, an associate professor of political science at the University of Toronto who focuses on climate governance. “We’re not there; we’re not even close.”

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