MetaFilter : 2017/04/26 09:04

1. Boldly going?
What the Fuck Is Going On With Star Trek: Discovery?

2. I am a great believer in half measures / Or no measures at all.
The Inertia Variations by John Tottenham: a series of poems about not getting shit done. Caution: may be depressing.

3. The Struggles of Writing About Chinese Food as a Chinese Person
Our food is still largely looked on upon from the sidelines as a mysterious cuisine of antiquity. Only certain dishes like noodles, dumplings, kebabs, and rice bowls have been normalized. The majority is still largely stigmatized because, bluntly put, white people have not decided they like it yet. Clarissa Wei writes 2500 words for Vice.com's Munchies section.

Every day, our planet rotates 360°, right? Only if you mean a Sidereal Day. Solar days are 4 minutes longer on average.

Since Earth is also revolving around the sun, our planet needs to spin more than 360° between two successive noons.

If the two days were the same length, then the sky would look the same throughout the year. The discrepancy between solar and sidereal days means that the portion of the sky visible at night shifts by ~1 degree each night. Therefore, the night sky in March looks very different from the night sky in September.

Stars spend half the year (on average) rising and setting during daylight, until they finally appear just moments before daybreak. The night that a star transitions from being trapped in sunlight to finally visible is said to be its Dawn Rising.

5. DepARTment of Corrections
With the exception of Craig's face, the largest portion of this painting is his inmate ID number, HP9290.

6. I wish I was a spaceman, the fastest guy alive
Barry Gray composed all the music for Gerry Anderson productions up through the second season of Space: 1999. Nothing he wrote has resonated through the ages like a simple little tune based on 'ice cream changes': the closing theme for Anderson's second SF-based supermarionation television series -- Fireball Xl-5.

The closing theme -- extended with a third verse and sung by Don Spencer -- was a minor UK hit, reaching #32 on the UK Singles Charts in 1963. It was Spencer's first single, and only hit, although he eked out a career opening for the likes of The Rolling Stones, The Four Seasons, The Hollies and Marianne Faithfull.

In the finale to a late series episode, "Space City Special", Steve Zodiac and the rest of the cast mime their way through the closing theme and something very bad happens to the piano.

This gets pretty meta -- Puppets miming to a hit record from the real world on a teevy show they're putting on within the world of the show. Puppet Steve Zodiac lip-syncs Don Spencer, even though his lips hardly move under the best circumstances. Puppet Matt Matic 'doesn't actually know how to play the piano'; but that's okay, he's an engineer, so he cooks up some very fragile AI to make the piano play itself. Which is rather odd, since there's no piano on the original recording. So for the purposes of the "B" plot -- the engineer wanting to get on teevy with everyone else despite lack of musical talent -- somebody in the real world had to go back and dub the prominent piano part over the original record.

Watch, too, for Robert the transparent-headed robot on drums -- the original drum machine?

Since they had just played the closing theme inside the show, they created a special one-time only instrumental version for this one episode.

Later, Barry Gray released his own recording(s):
Vocal version, sung by Gerry Grant
Instrumental flipside credited to Barry Gray and his Space-makers

Joe Meek's Tornados recorded it an instrumental somewhat in the style of their one hit: "Telstar".

Joe Meek tries again with the Fabulous Fleerekkers / Fleerakkers .

Much later . . .

Dominic Halpin & the Honey B's "the UK's Number One Swing Band" released an extended SF music video with surprisingly high production values. Long but worth the wait. Also demonstrates why real astronauts don't smoke.

From the 2000 film Love Honour and Obey, the karaoke scene featuring Sean Pertwee and Trevor Laird.

Craig Ferguson show opener on 21jul2009 (40th anniversary of Apollo 11 moon landing). Puppets, copious acreage of precarious aluminium foil, and huge balls of gas.

Neil Gaiman joins Amanda Palmer & Grand Theft Orchestra -- 31dec2012
There are a lot of cell-phone recordings of this performance from various angles -- I just had to pick one. Gaiman is no singer. But he explains the importance of Fireball XL-5 in his life, marks the death of Gerry Anderson, and recites a nice New Years Wish.

Neil Gaiman 'singing' again, this time with the FourPlay String Quartet in Sydney 25Jan2013

Here it is done in the style of XTC but with German lyrics
As performed by The Kadettes in 1982
As performed by Lev's Lounge Band, 18may2009
As performed by The Trashtones
As performed by Pinkietessa
Closing with a wistful solo instrumental version.

I was originally determined to avoid any ukulele renditions, but was shocked to find this one that was -- nice. Ukedoug says: "I'm a child of the 60's - that glossy, technicolour wonderland where the future promised technological wizardry, economic prosperity and the exploration of space. In our imaginations we were all boldly going where no man had gone before... boy have we all been disappointed . . . "

It's all imagination, I'll never reach the stars . . .

7. Fixed stars, rotating Earth
Just a short video with the stars fixed while the Earth rotates (SLYT).

8. I will hug him and pet him and squeeze him and draw on him
It's probably not a good idea to leave your pet with kids. Or with your friends, apparently. (A bit of overlap, but not much.)