Roxë15 is ALIVE and WELL

Roxë15

Roxë15, a science fiction short film by Celia C. Peters. (Artwork by Rowan Stocks-Moore)

Some of you may be wondering: What ever happened to that sci-fi short film? Well, I’m here to tell you that Roxë15 is, indeed, alive and well.

Ohio-based editor Chris Croft and I have been working hard for the past several weeks….and (thank God!) the light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer and closer. I have had the great pleasure of editing sound effects (call me geeky or whatever, but I happen to LOVE editing audio). Anyhoo, the final pieces are coming into place. It has taken a while but as they say, good things come to those who wait — so stay tuned.

Also, I’m extremely excited and honored to announce that the feature-length screenplay of Roxë15 was recently selected to be a part of cultivEight, a national film development program sponsored by NEA Art Works! cultivEight is produced by PushPush Film and Theater in Atlanta, in partnership with BrandCinema in NYC and producer Alexander A. Motlagh. It’s an innovative, hands-on, filmmaker-centered incubator that develops out-of-the-box film projects over 8 months.  The object is to thoroughly and thoughtfully develop projects, connect filmmakers with producers and get projects into (what?) PRODUCTION!

Feeling extremely thankful/grateful that both the long and short of Roxë15 are moving in the right direction…..ever forward!

A Heavenly Menage à Trois

Jupiter and Io captured by space probe Cassini

Jupiter and its moon Io

A couple of weeks ago, Jupiter had a lovely menage à trois: a spectacular triple eclipse. Three of its big moons — Europa, Callisto, and Io (shown above) — passed in front of the huge planet at the same time….and like dedicated voyeurs do, the Hubble Telescope got it all on camera. Gas giant Jupiter has 62 moons, so eclipses aren’t exactly a special occasion, but having three of its four superstar moons show up at the same time IS a special occasion. Only Ganymede (my personal fave) couldn’t stay for the fun. Imagine: if you had been standing on Jupiter, you would’ve peeped three solar eclipses at once. Side note: the moon Europa is kind of a big deal. Astronomers think that there’s life in the incredibly deep oceans under its icy surface….life as we know it, that is.

See it happen! At 00:07 look for the shadows of the 3 moons on Jupiter’s surface.

Size Matters

Artist: Ron Miller

Artist rendition of J1407b by Ron Miller

So you thought Saturn was big? Well, it is…but heavenly body J1407b is even bigger than our darling Saturn and it’s surrounded by 37 rings that are 200 times the size of Saturn’s rings. Sit with that for a second.

Galileo discovered Saturn in 1610; that’s old news. Now a joint team of American and Dutch astronomers has published definitive findings on J1407b, which was first peeped in 2012. J1407b is a brown dwarf (i.e., not quite in Magnum territory): it’s smaller than a star, but bigger than a planet. And if you’re in a traveling mood, it’s also only (!) 434 light years away, in the constellation Centaurus. (BTW, this is our first discovery of rings outside of our solar system.) Astronomers speculate that J1407b’s massive, 90-million-kilometer-wide bracelets were carved out by orbiting moons.

A little context: according to Dutch astronomer, Matthew Kenworthy of Team J1407b, “If we could replace Saturn’s rings with the rings around J1407b, they would be easily visible at night and be many times larger than the full moon.”

J1407 in sky

Copyright: M. Kenworthy / Universiteit Leiden

Knock-knock. Who’s there? THE FUTURE. (Apple Is Making Minority Report a Reality)

Tom-Cruise-Minority-reportApple has just brought us one step closer to sci-fi reality. Business Insider reports that the tech innovator has been granted a patent for “three dimensional user interface session control” — translation: a technology that will enable users to operate their computers (and devices?) using hand gestures in the air. You know….like in the film “Minority Report.” According to BI, the technology already exists, but kind of sucks as is. So now Apple is in prime position to work their magic and make it so. Take a look.

(Shout out to director of photography Jendra Jarnagin for the 411.)

This Is Not Science Fiction

From May to November of this year, European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst was on the International Space Station. While hanging out in the stratosphere, he took thousands of snaps of Planet Earth with ultra-high-def cameras….and when he got back, he did what most techies eventually do: he made a video. But Gerst’s video is not your everyday mash-up — he edited 12,500 images of what the cameras saw from space into a stunning (and we mean stunning!) timelapse video. And he gave it a dope soundtrack.

This is Earth as extraterrestrials might see it.

SIDE NOTE: from 3:11 to 3:31, there is footage of space that is MIND. BLOWING. To say that it puts everything happening down here in perspective is an understatement.

The Robots Are Coming

artificial intelligenceArtificial intelligence has just evolved in a huge way. The NY Times reports that scientists at Google and at Google Stanford University have developed a software that can teach itself to recognize what’s happening in photographs. Google’s old-school image-recognition software could only teach itself to identify individual objects. (After seeing 10 million images from YouTube, it taught itself to recognize cats. Ha!) This new program is braniac in comparison; in most cases, the software’s photo captions were pretty much the same as those of human observers. It’s very cool, but maybe a little unsettling? I just wonder, when the software describes  “A pizza sitting on top of a pan on top of a stove,” what does that mean to the software? What is its understanding of what pizza, a pan, and a stove are?

I guess one day very soon, I’ll be able to ask it myself.

Women. Film. Now.

Women + Film = Power

Women + Film = Power

If you don’t do anything else the rest of the day, read this little ditty:
Here’s Why Female-Driven Films Are Important Right Now
by filmmaker Alexis O. Korycinski

Indeed….what she said (so well). For now, let’s just stick with business. I suspect that, as with much cultural progress facing futile resistance these days, the money will win out in the end. Women spend a lot of money going to the movies; neglecting that audience/market segment is simply idiotic. And I, for one, am not an idiot. That is all.