Archive for December 2012

Black swan main actor is paid for what it is worth: 226,000 euros.

December 31, 2012

‘French movies are too expensive. Just behind American studios, France holds the world record for the average cost of production: 5.4 million, while the average cost of an American independent film revolves around 3 million.’ This is the result of the high main actors’ fees. First a focus on French cinema funding rules: French TV channels prefers displaying series or reality shows rather than films that lower their advertisement incomes. But French law forces TV channels to fund and display French films. The fact is that most of current famous French films are economic failures. ‘what are the actor’s high fees if the results do not materialize in economic returns?’ Example: ‘Black Swan movie is only driven by the standard market rules. There is no obligation due to a national funding system. the main actor is paid for what it is worth: 226,000 euros. At the opposite, the French film ‘Mesrine’ needs the national funding system to exist, which explains the actor finds himself with the power of life and death over the project. Indeed the film funding depends on the main actor’s TV value. This actor will therefore call for his share and will be paid between 1 and 1.5 million.’ ‘A simple idea to improve the economic performance of French films: limiting the fee to 400 000 euros per player – and maybe a little more for a director – accompanied by a mandatory sharing the success of the film’ Source Le Monde


On the moon again?: Nuclear fusion reactors using helium-3 could provide a highly efficient form of nuclear power with virtually no waste and no radiation

December 30, 2012

“Helium-3 (He3) is gas that has the potential to be used as a fuel in future nuclear fusion power plants. There is very little helium-3 available on the Earth. However, there are thought to be significant supplies on the Moon”

“Several governments have subsequently signalled their intention to go to the Moon to mine helium-3 as a fuel supply. Such plans may come to fruition within the next two to three decades and trigger a new Space Race.”

“nuclear power plants use a nuclear reaction to produce heat”

“This is used to turn water into steam that then drives a turbine to produce electricity. Current nuclear power plants have nuclear fission reactors in which uranium nuclei are split part.”

“This releases energy, but also radioactivity and spent nuclear fuel that is reprocessed into uranium, plutonium and radioactive waste which has to be safety stored, effectively indefinitely.”

“For over 40 years scientists have been working to create nuclear power from nuclear fusion rather than nuclear fission.”

“In current nuclear fusion reactors, the hydrogen isotopes tritium and deuterium are used as the fuel, with atomic energy released when their nuclei fuse to create helium and a neutron.”

“Nuclear fusion effectively makes use of the same energy source that fuels the Sun and other stars, and does not produce the radioactivity and nuclear waste that is the by-product of current nuclear fission power generation.”

“However, the so-termed “fast” neutrons released by nuclear fusion reactors fuelled by tritium and deuterium lead to significant energy loss and are extremely difficult to contain. One potential solution may be to use helium-3 and deuterium as the fuels in “aneutronic” (power without neutrons) fusion reactors. The involved nuclear reaction here when helium-3 and deuterium fuse creates normal helium and a proton, which wastes less energy and is easier to contain”

“as it does not have an atmosphere, there is nothing to stop helium-3 arriving on the surface of the Moon and being absorbed by the lunar soil”

“there are around 1,100,000 metric tonnes of helium-3 on the surface of the Moon down to a depth of a few metres. This helium-3 could potentially be extracted by heating the lunar dust to around 600 degrees C, before bringing it back to the Earth to fuel a new generation of nuclear fusion power plants.”

“25 tonnes of helium-3 — or a fully-loaded Space Shuttle cargo bay’s worth — could power the United States for a year”

“Russia is planning to mine lunar helium-3, with a permanent Moon base to be established by 2015 and industrial-scale helium-3 production to commence by 2020”

“NASA having announced its intention to establish a permanent base on one of the Moon’s poles by 2024, and with helium-3 signalled as one of the reasons behind this mission.”

“China plans to put a man Moon by 2017. One of the goals of the mission will be to measure the thickness of the lunar soil and the amount of helium-3 on the Moon”


In Nechin, Belgium, we sang “Naked and Tanned All Over”

December 30, 2012

“the most exciting event (in Nechin, Belgium) in recent years was a party for local government workers early this year at which the mayor stripped down to his undershorts while singing “Naked and Tanned All Over,” a risqué French chanson.”

source: NYT

Bonus: The original 1973 track by Carlos:

Quick bio of the artist: “Carlos was the son of the French psychoanalyst Françoise Dolto. Carlos was heavily overweight and cultivated a jovial countenance, and adopted a look similar to the singer Antoine, with leis and Hawaiian shirts. In 1980, he became a spokesman for the Oasis brand fruit drink.”

source: wikipedia

synesthesia by ECM’s designer: “Think of your ears as eyes.”

December 30, 2012

Manfred Eicher is ECM’s founder, producer and chief.

‘Besides producing the music, Mr. Eicher is also ECM’s de facto art director.’

‘As with the sound, his word is final when it comes to the visual. And when he talked covers, the word “marketing” never fell from his lips.”

Mr. Eicher: “The cover is a metaphoric translation who refuses to be a mule to the literal”

Mr. Eicher: “Whatever it might mean, it’s a sign. It’s an envelope, the envelope of the given.”

M.Eicher added that he’s after “silence, poses, thoughtfulness, contemplativeness”

‘he says of his search for images that have the intonation and playfulness of the music, that aren’t obvious, but contrapuntal.’

‘his favorite quotations comes from Gertrude Stein: “Think of your ears as eyes.”

‘That helps clarify ECM’s artistic concerns’

an example: the cover of Bach’s “Das Wohltemperierte Clavier” by András Schiff

Mr. Eicher explained: “Schiff sees music in color. The Bach cover was commissioned to go in the direction of color painting.”

Source NYT:

“When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean…”

December 30, 2012

‘As people who believed in the spiritual power of the name of God, the glorifiers (monks of the tsarist era) felt bold enough to grapple with, and in some sense, pin down the concept of infinity.’ ‘ Their religious faith may have helped them find a path through the old debate between nominalism—the idea that names or sets are just a handy way of bunching things together—and realism, which holds that categories have an objective existence. (Plato was a realist; a famous nominalist was Lewis Carroll’s Humpty Dumpty, who declared that “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean…”)’ the question of infinity was: ‘infinity as a set which had an infinite number of constituents. Were all infinite sets the same, or was it possible to speak of multiple infinities, even an infinite number of infinities?’ Source The Economist

some anthropomorphic shapes are very nice and generate a great sympathy

December 29, 2012

This videoclip below highlights such a fact:

It seems that the clip’s director suggests that:
– The disabled person that animates the “shape” loses its friendly side as soon as he leaves the “shape” to appear as he is: disabled
– that It would be otherwise if the person who animated the “shape” was not disabled.
– that a non-disabled person that would animate the “shape”, would keep all or part of his capital of sympathy, after having left the “shape”
– as a conclusion, that disability when it is perceptible, reduces his capital of sympathy and increases the distance between people.

To activate this installation, step in front of the light box and make shadow shapes with your body.

December 29, 2012

… ‘mouths with razor-sharp teeth will surface; tongues, eyes, and fins will appear; and birds will squawk and dinosaurs burp.

The focus of interaction design is the user’s experience of —and with—digital artifacts, including the behaviors, new habits, and other effects that they elicit.’

Follow the link to watch Shadow Monsters.

Source Moma