Words that make questions may not be questions at all.
GZA of Wu-Tang Clan to release a science inspired album: “Dark Matter”
Source: The Wall Street Journal
“I’m not unmindful that I am in the shade and you are not, so consider, we’ll keep this short, plus you have a commencement speaker to follow. A real commencement speaker.
You should know, I think, that black cloth absorbs 98% of all incident sunlight upon it, which makes graduation robes good for cold, dank, British boarding schools and bad for outdoor graduations, I just want to tell you that.
That’s a tweet, right there, isn’t that? Just a moment, excuse me. I feel compelled to textify. Hold on. Black cloth, absorbs 98%… graduation robes good for cold dank British prep schools, bad for outdoor graduations.
I just want to make this quick because, I’m tired. I’m tired of trying to fix the world. I need the rest of you to help me fix the world. The world is getting stupider. It is not good when the world starts getting stupid. So yes, even on John Stewart, the opening credits, rotating globe is turning the wrong direction. I told him this.
And in tall buildings, you realize 80% of them don’t have a 13th floor. This, the 21st century America, there are people afraid of the number 13, I need help!
I need help when a member of congress said “I have changed my views 360 degrees on that issue. I need help!
I need help when I see newspaper headlines lamenting the state of the school system and they complain half the schools are below average. I’m thinking, that’s kind of what an average is, sort of, you kind of need half below! I can’t keep doing this!
Why do we drive on a parkway and park on a driveway?! What’s that about? And why do people think the world is going to end this year? They study the Mayan calendar and they believe that the Mayans somehow knew more about Astrophysics than I do! What they didn’t tell you is that the Mayans somehow actually, in their ability to predict the future, didn’t see the end of their own civilization coming.
And then the people who don’t like high-tech, or space… you’re having a conversation with them, and they’re like “Oh, wait a minute, I have a call on my cell phone to get the GPS coordinates of where the sattellite photos are going to be so that we can hold a party when it’s not raining.” These are the people who don’t like technology. Who are these people?! And why do they even exist with that going on in their mind? You have to fix these people!
Cause you know what we need here? I want to make the world smart again, and I need you to be a part of the community of people who help make this happen, because, only then can you invent the future. You don’t discover a preexisting future, you create the future. I want you to create the future that you would be proud to bequeath and honored to inherit.”
well, this rules.
yes, please make TV better. It’s so awful.
I’ve been patiently waiting for an update on this & I am super excited & proud to be able to post this on here (…nerdy giggles….)
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COSMOS. Seth MacFarlane. Neil deGrasse Tyson. Need we say more?
Seth MacFarlane came in 74th on this year’s Celebrity 100 by making people laugh. But sitting in a booth at the Polo Lounge in Beverly Hills, the 38-year-old creator of the hit Fox cartoon Family Guyis surprisingly distracted by the cackles emanating from a nearby table. “What I wouldn’t give for a sack of manure,” he says in a dead-on Woody Allen impersonation.
Usually it’s MacFarlane who is getting the yucks. His animation empire, which includes American Dad and The Cleveland Show, generates more ad revenue for Fox than the venerable Simpsons. (All four shows are bundled on Sunday night for what Fox accurately calls Animation Domination.) Family Guy alone has earned more than $200 million for Fox.
MacFarlane’s sense of humor spares no sacred cows—abortion, diarrhea and matricide represent some of his lighter fare. A typical gag: Stephen Hawking having sex with his similarly disabled wife. The biggest part of MacFarlane’s genius, however, might be his business model. As the creators of the The Simpsons have learned over the past 20 years, channeling racy humor through the prism of animation means the cast never has to age, and MacFarlane is able to keep an outsize share of the profits—$36 million over the past 12 months, FORBES estimates—for himself.
The son of a teacher, MacFarlane drew cartoons from the age of 2. He studied animation at the Rhode Island School of Design and worked on cartoons like Johnny Bravo until 1999 when Fox picked up Family Guy. The rise and fall and rise of the show about a clan from Quahog is now the stuff of Hollywood legend. After getting a big post-Super Bowl push, Family Guy failed to find a large audience. It didn’t help that Fox repeatedly changed the night it aired. After two seasons the network gave up on the show.
But not on MacFarlane. He started developing his second show, American Dad. Meanwhile, Family Guy started to attract a large fan base on DVD and in reruns. In 2005 Fox made the surprising decision to bring the show back. The first new episode attracted 11 million viewers, and a hit was reborn. The Cleveland Show, launched in 2009, gave MacFarlane a cartoon troika on Sundays with the Simpsons as his formidable lead-in.
This year MacFarlane is trying to leverage his TV animation success in new areas. His first movie project, Ted, hits theaters this July. The $65 million film, which MacFarlane wrote, directed and kind of stars in, is not a huge departure from hisFamily Guy brand of humor. It tells the story of a man (Mark Wahlberg) whose teddy bear came to life when he was a child, with the two still living together as cursing, dope-smoking best buds. MacFarlane voiced Ted and acted the role using motion capture technology. “A character like Ted couldn’t be on TV,” says MacFarlane.
His second initiative is further out there, at least for him. The man who never met a toilet or sex joke he didn’t like is deeply concerned that the U.S. has lost its passion for science. No one seems to care about the space program. Evolution has somehow become a debatable fact. “The resistance to science is idiotic,” says MacFarlane, sipping on a coffee that he declares way too fancy. “Those people shouldn’t be allowed to have antibiotics. Give us back your TVs and the dentures.” But MacFarlane is serious, putting his money and his clout with Fox, where his mouth is. Fox plans to air a reboot of the 1980s PBS science show Cosmos, one of the most popular and least hip programs ever made. MacFarlane is also spending his money to help get late Cosmos host Carl Sagan’s substantial collections of letters, notes and drawings into the Library of Congress. “I never met Carl Sagan, but this is my way to give something back to him for all of the things he gave to me,” says MacFarlane.
MacFarlane’s path to Cosmos started with the Science & Entertainment Exchange, an organization set up by Airplane director Jerry Zucker to help Hollywood work with scientists to ensure shows like CSI are factually correct. Through the group he met the famous astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson. “He said he was going to host Cosmos, and he was trying to sell the show to a cable science network,” says MacFarlane. “I said, ‘Let me take you into Fox and we’ll see what happens.’”
Fox might seem like a strange network to host a reboot of Cosmos. The show was one of the most popular ever on PBS, but much of its success depended on viewers buying into Sagan’s poetic vision of space as the exhilarating new frontier for exploration. Not exactly the kind of show you’d expect on a network dominated by shows like American Idol and MacFarlane’s naughty cartoons. “It’s not going to be the biggest money earner,” admits Kevin Reilly, head of entertainment at Fox Networks. “But it could have a cultural impact.”
Ann Druyan, Sagan’s widow and the force behind the new Cosmos, says that the network has agreed to make the show using cutting-edge visual technology (the original was one of the first to use green screens) and is letting her have control over the content of the show. “Seth was already a hero in our household because of Family Guy,” says Druyan, who has two sons. “I knew he would be someone with a skeptical nature and an impatience with superstition and nonsense.”
Perhaps in penance, the king of animated lowbrow hopes the show will help inspire better programming on TV. “The trend today is vampires, zombies, angels, all the stuff that puts me right to sleep,” says MacFarlane. “It’s too bad because it’s so much less interesting than the diversity of stories you can tell with science.”
Neils full testimony before the senate.
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