Monthly Archives: November 2012

How to Privatize Everything

“Producing laws is not an easier problem than producing cars or food,” says David Friedman, author, philosopher and professor at Santa Clara University. “So if the government’s incompetent to produce cars or food, why do you expect it to do a good job producing the legal system within which you are then going to produce the cars and the food?”

Friedman sat down to talk with Reason TV at Libertopia 2012 in San Diego. Friedman reflected on the impact of his landmark book, The Machinery of Freedom, discussed the differences between libertarianism and anarcho-capitalism and revealed what his father, economist Milton Friedman, thought of his anarchist leanings.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

Chemistry That Mattered

Chemistry is the study of matter — stuff and how it interacts with other stuff. Even though chemistry doesn’t make a lot of news these days, chemists are making discoveries that change lives all the time. If the SciShow‘s Hank Green had to narrow down all of chemistry’s flashes of brilliance into the most awesome experiments in history, he would narrow it down to these three.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

Energy Independence Near

Canada and the United States are on a path to achieve energy independence, pundit Charles Krauthammer tells Ezra Levant of Canada’s Sun News. Canada will do so first, owing to the Obama Administration jumping into bed with radical environmentalists who have impeded the pace of energy development in the United States. As a result, Obama has gutted the coal industry and not allowed natural gas fracking to proceed as quickly as it could.

But Krauthammer predicts Obama will begin to modify his failed energy policies during his second term to help turnaround the anemic economy. The pundit even believes a reversal is imminent on the Keystone Pipeline, and advises Canadians to wait a few months before committing to send vast oil resources to China. H/T Blazing Cat Fur

ARVE Error: need id and provider

Dr. Cyclops

The team behind King Kong, director Ernest Schoedsack and producer Merian C. Cooper, reassembled seven years later in 1940 to create today’s Trillion Dollar Movie, Dr. Cyclops. This is another tale of adventure in a far-off jungle setting, only instead of dinosaurs and king-sized apes, Dr. Cyclops explores the opposite end of the spectrum. It introduces a bald, brainy, but completely mad scientist who has devised a radium-powered beam that can shrink living creatures into Lilliputians. From his laboratory hidden away deep in the Amazonian jungles of Peru, the not-so-good doctor, Thorkel, has progressed from shrinking cats and dogs to trying out his beam on horses. Now, does he dare begin to experiment on human beings?

But, of course he does. His victims — er, subjects — include his servant Pedro, a prospector searching for the radium mine and three fellow scientists who make the mistake of traveling 10,000 miles to answer Dr. Thorkel’s request for a little lab assistance. It’s these scientists who come to dub him “Cyclops,” not only because he towers over them after they’ve been miniaturized, but also because he wears Coke-bottle eyeglasses to compensate for his poor vision.

Dr. Cyclops wasn’t the first film of its kind. That distinction belongs to Devil-Doll, the 1936 melodrama starring Lionel Barrymore as an escaped convict who uses miniaturized people to torment his enemies. Dr. Cyclops also isn’t as action-packed or as philosophically resonant as a movie that came later, 1957’s The Incredible Shrinking Man. Still, Dr. Cyclops is well worth-watching if for no other reason than Albert Dekker’s idiosyncratic portrayal of the mad scientist. He is a most sinister man but also strangely someone who arouses our sympathies.

The film looks like a comic book that’s sprung to life, having been shot in Technicolor, a rarity for sci-fi movies in the 1940s, or the 1950s for that matter. The special effects also are quite good, considering everything is achieved through trick photography –split-screens, matte work and scaled-down sets — as this was made well before the advent of CGI. None of the miniaturized humans face any foe as scary as the spider that battles Grant Williams, playing the diminutive hero of The Incredible Shrinking Man. But they must outwit a gargantuan crocodile, a voraciously hungry cat and a pesky dog, besides the bellicose Dr. Cyclops.

Hope you enjoy, and do return again next Friday for another Trillion $ Movie.


Go! Girl! Go! — Veintinueve

Long before there was “Gangnam Style,” wild and crazy teens were cutting loose in the Bollywood thriller Gumnaam. Here, the masked teens — hot chicks and an entourage of studly dudes — show off their moves winning a dance contest as Mohammed Rafi wails “Jaan Pehechaan Ho.”  This scene from the 1965 movie later resurfaced at the opening of Ghost World and also inspired a widely seen Heineken commercial.

ARVE Error: need id and provider