Dan Burns, a high school physics teacher in Northern California since 1992, explains how gravity and space-time warping work at a teaching workshop at Los Gatos High School.
Stretch a sheet of lycra over a drum shape made out of PVC and electrical conduit. Put a 2kg mass in the middle and roll marbles to show orbits. Put 2 large metal spheres on it and they will slowly attract. Put a large marble rolling with a smaller one next to it and it will orbit the larger marble mimicking the Earth-Moon system. Throw a handful of marbles going one way and a slightly larger handful going the other. They collide and fall in, leaving most of the survivors all going in the same direction, just like the formation of the solar system. Put 2, 2kg masses apart from each other and try and get a marble to do a figure 8 orbit around them both. Have a pole stick up from below creating a force of repulsion and you have Dark Energy.
Want to make your own Spacetime Simulator? Yeah you do, you beautiful nerd, you! Click here.
(via) The Library: A World History, is a new book from Thames & Hudson by architecture historian James W.P. Campbell and photographer Will Pryce. From CNN: “When Dr. James Campbell of Cambridge University could not find a book that traced the history of library buildings through the ages, he decided to write one himself.” From the publishers: “Ambitious and wide-ranging, this is the first single volume to tell the story of libraries around ?the world, from the beginnings of writing to the present day.” The 320 page hardcover tome features over 292 images of libraries from around the world and from different eras, from ancient Mesopotamia to modern China. We’ve not yet seen a copy in Vancouver to date (although we haven’t looked that hard), but copies are selling for $60 or so online.
The GOODS from Music Direction
Vancouver, BC | It’s been all about Christmas and holiday music updates for the team at Music Direction for the past few weeks. Each of their clients is presented with customizable options to integrate the holiday tunes into their existing playlists (upping the Christmas content as we go towards the big day). After listening to literally hundreds, if not thousands of tracks as part of this yearly process, here’s a hand-picked selection of some of their all-time favourites. Pour yourself a cup of mulled wine, connect a good set of speakers or a headset and enjoy the warm glow that emanates from these tunes. Get the complete tracklist and details about Music Direction after the jump… Read more
Local dreamers Stewart Burgess and Julien Thomas have launched a campaign to have a public “parklet” inserted into the two parking spaces in front of the lovely Prado Cafe at 1938 Commercial Drive. The plan sees artist Jordan Bent creating an art piece for the parklet’s planter boxes (to be laser etched by Derek Gaw of the Laser Cutter Cafe) with the steel fabrication done by BCIT Ironwork students. The project has received $5000 in funding from Prado’s owner (yay, Sammy Piccolo!), $1000 from the Awesome Foundation, and a Parks Board Grant. They’re currently looking to raise the difference, some $3,500, via Kickstarter. If everything comes together like gravy, we can expect to see it open to the public this March.
(via) 83 year old Italian architect Luigi Prina has a unique hobby. He makes model ships with his bare hands, but not just any model ships. Using balsa wood, ultra-light paper, and some very particular rubber bands, he makes ones that fly. And they, in turn, make him happy, even when they crash.
by Douglas Haddow | I like to consider myself a ‘Blue Liberal’ in the most classic sense. It makes me feel like a grown-up. As such, I tend to hold a less reactionary position on the Harper government and its crude approach to politics in comparison to my more orange-tinted friends.
For instance, take Harper’s dogmatic obsession with the expansion of Canada’s oil sands. The pragmatist in me understands that oil means money, which means jobs, which means tax revenue, at least in theory. As for his cyril-sneering at all things green, such as hobbling our capacity for environmental stewardship, gutting vital research facilities or muzzling any scientist who doesn’t goose step to the development drum, I get that too. The conservative base clearly has more use for money than they do the natural world, and political parties are beholden to their base. That’s how democracy works, folks, if you don’t like it, you’re free to build a time machine and piss off back to when the Soviet Union still existed.
The senate scandal, while clear proof that the Harper inner circle is party to a culture of deception, corruption and brazen criminality, is to be expected. After nearly a decade in office, even the most stalwart ethicist is bound to accidentally break a law or three. If anything, they should be congratulated for not slipping up sooner.
And although Harper’s positively heinous treatment of veterans should leave any red-blooded Canadian choking in contempt, cutting the pensions of wounded soldiers does save money, as per his mandate.
But there is one issue that I cannot rationalize away, no matter how hard I try, and that is the impending destruction of our most persistent and beloved cultural artifact – Hockey Night in Canada.
If you’re not up to date on the $5.2 billion NHL rights deal that went down last week, here’s the gist: Rogers owns and controls everything related to the NHL in Canada. All the programming, all the time, on all platforms. Outside of a few local broadcasts, they have a complete monopoly.
While TSN got completely shellacked, the CBC crept out of the coup with a bitter conciliation prize: Hockey Night in Canada will have rights to selected games for four more years, but Rogers will have complete editorial control over its content and will reap all ad revenue. After that, the future of hockey on the CBC is uncertain.
Forgoing all arguments related to the CBC’s viability in a post-NHL reality or whether or not this loss will help the mother corp reinvent itself, there remains a very unsettling detail that calls into question the very nature of the Harper persona.
From its outset, the CBC was a nation-building project and the best chance it had at uniting the two solitudes of French and English Canada was through a national hockey broadcast. And it worked. It delivered a simple, yet profound promise of cultural continuity – no matter where you lived or who you were, on Saturday night you could watch a hockey game, free of charge.
For the past seventy years, Hockey Night in Canada has delivered on that promise, and it now looks as if only Rogers subscribers will be afforded that which we perilously mistook for a right.
Putting politics aside for a moment, If Harper truly is an honest to goodness hockey fan, how could he not be stirred by this turn of events? How could a self-styled scholar of the sport, a man who spent years writing a book about its history, sit idly by as its greatest institution fell to ruin?
This, I believe, will be the truly enduring, universal shame of Harper’s tenure as Prime Minister. Perhaps I have too much faith in the healing power of hockey, but I believe even the most vitriolic CBC critic can’t help but feel some sense of loss from HNIC’s impending demise. And If Harper truly is the man he purports to be, a part of him will rightfully die along with it.
This jolly fellow spends three months every year putting up some 51,000 lights and sets them to patriotic music through 14 different timers. His electricity bill? $700. Mr. Christmas is “an offbeat, touching portrait of a man who has spent three decades turning his small Northern California home into a beautiful, towering Christmas display people travel across the country to see.” He also parties like a wayward teenager and plays a lot of Liar’s Dice for money, which we were not expecting.
The GOODS from SFU Woodwards
Vancouver, BC | There’s a diverse range of interesting cultural programming happening at the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (SFU Woodwards) over this month. Expect a theatrical take on A Christmas Carol that sees Scrooge as a pawn shop owner on Hastings Street, screenings of the film Far From Vietnam, and The Tempest Replica dance production. Get all the details and more after the jump… Read more
This new video from the Toronto Public Library is as captivating as it is exquisitely, touchingly, and fittingly made (the animated story is told through the turning pages of a book). We wish them the very best of luck in their ongoing tilt for culture against Mayor Rob Ford and his hayseed brother, Councillor Doug Ford, who once boasted - as if it was a badge of honour – that he didn’t know who Margaret Atwood was. Bonus: it’s narrated by Giller Prize winning writer Vincent Lam.
(via) I’d love to see a few of these marine biosphere farms bobbing around and lowering carbon dioxide levels off our coastline. The so-called Bloom – designed by French firm Sitbon Architectes – would be anchored to the seabed by a series of cables. Its interior gardens are designed to cultivate oxygen-producing phytoplankton. The people living and working aboard would also be able to grow their own food thanks to an advanced filtration system that turns ocean water into fresh water. The floaters would also be able to warn us of incoming tsunamis. Plus they look pretty sweet…
Back in March of this year, the duo of David Duprey and Rachel Zottenburg (of The Rickshaw, The Narrow, and The Emerald) joined forces with the crew that gave us the revamped (but sadly fleeting) Waldorf on East Hastings to pick up the old Fox Cinema at 2321 Main Street (between Antisocial and Still Life). Their hope was to convert the decrepit porn theatre into a licensed entertainment complex for live music shindigs and all around good times. They put in their applications and did their due diligence over the summer, and they’ve just received a positive report back. If/when City Council approves the report’s findings, “The Fox Cabaret” will be allowed to work a dance floor and host live performances while serving booze throughout. The prospect is exciting, even though the space was once thoroughly drenched in the unthinkable gnarl (ugh). They will find out for sure on December 4th. If it’s all good, they hope to launch in January.
The GOODS from The Biltmore Cabaret
Vancouver, BC | The 6th annual Ice Cream Social New Years Eve Party, The Winter Social is upon us. From 9pm to 4am, we invite you to join us for an evening featuring free champagne for everyone at midnight, all our fave 50′s and 60′s dancing hits all night long from DJs Tyler Fedchuk, Cam Dales, Trevor Risk, and Justin Gradin, and a vintage German black & white photobooth (the Fotoautomaton) capturing everyone looking sharp! Tickets are available at The Biltmore Cabaret, Red Cat Records, Dandelion Records & Emporium or Ticketweb.ca. Act fast, as pre-sales have a tendency to sell out! Learn more about Biltmore Cabaret after the jump… Read more