Category: Technology

Anders Helstrup, Norwegian Skydiver Records Meteorite

Anders Helstrup, Norwegian Skydiver Records Meteorite

Last week a Norwegian skydiver, Anders Helstrup, captured a first ever video of a meteorite that shot past him right after he deployed his parachute. Apparently the search for the rock still continues. (See the video and associated article linked to the image above)

Just like in my “Ground Control To Major Tom” blog about the first music video made in space, this is another groundbreaking celestial cinema first! Never before has a meteorite been recorded in mid-air after its light has gone out. It would be extremely difficult to try to make such a thing happen, given that it is unknown when or where a meteorite will hit our atmosphere. However, with the abilities of new technology it makes sense that someone would find themselves in a situation where they are in mid-air with a Go Pro camera, and here we have it, a statistical anomaly has been recorded for posterity.

“Remarkable Story Of Chicken Little” – 1865 edition

‘The sky is falling’ is a famous term from the children’s story, “Chicken Little”, and apparently versions of this story go back more than 25 centuries. (See above Chicken Little story link). So perhaps seeing a shooting star is good luck because you presumably lived to tell the tale and therefore since you are so lucky you deserve your wish come true? That is my humble analysis.

It should be noted that the term, “The Sky Is Falling” is from Chicken Little, but has nothing to do with shooting stars (but rather a sort of fear mongering that is sort of like crying wolf). I just thought the “Sky Is Falling” term was so appropriate in this case of this skydiver, because to him that is exactly how it appeared!

When you wish upon a star...

When you wish upon a star…

The term “shooting star” originally came from ancient times, before advanced science, when there were actually thought to be stars shooting across the night sky. Now we know it is actually not a star at all, but rather a meteorite that burns up as it passes through the earth’s atmosphere. (Source article linked up to below image)

Shooting stars are a symbol of hope in our society. They provide the idea that there are unknown things out there, and the possibility of a granted wish. Apparently the wish originates from ancient Greece, it was believed that the stars were leaked from the Heavens and while the God’s were looking down on us they were more receptive to hear our wishes. (Source article linked up to above image)

Did Helstrup’s wish come true? According to the article about the skydiver and his meteorite, if he had jumped just two seconds later it would’ve ripped him in half – Anders Helstrup couldn’t be luckier, and it seems his wish has been granted.

My Meteorite Necklace

My Meteorite Necklace – formerly a shooting star

Someone very special recently gave me a piece of a meteorite that had been made into a necklace, which was quite possibly the most meaningful and serendipitous gift I’ve received (most of the reasons I won’t go into here). This is a rare item that I will cherish forever. It is my kind of jewelry, unique and natural. It looks very mysterious. It definitely doesn’t look like a star, nor does it glow. Looking at it I am reminded of Superman’s Kryptonite, and what’s funny is that they both come from outer space.

The coincidences that surround shooting stars provide a mystical element to the moment in which they are viewed. They take us out of our everyday reality just for an instant and give us hope. It is a reminder that we should be thankful for the present, and that at anytime something spectacular could happen!

The Music Needs You - Copyrite 2001 EAM Entertainment

EDM is the new mainstream music fad, but what we know now as Electronic Dance Music has actually been around for quite a while. What’s new is the process of making the music sounds and also that it has crept out from inside of the underground scene. It wasn’t always called Electronic Dance Music, either (or EDM for short). At first these musical sounds were termed “Techno”, the first time I remember hearing this kind of music was C+C Music Factory in the 80’s. Then after that people were calling it “Electronica”, which is a beautiful name for the genre and I have no idea why the name didn’t stick (maybe it’s too complicated for everyone?). For a while after that, and even up to this point in my circles, it is called “Electronic Music”, which seems strait forward, doesn’t it? Well, apparently not everyone else agrees and so yet another a new term has slipped in and it has now been coined EDM or “Electronic Dance Music”. Personally, I don’t like calling it EDM. For some reason it feels like it cheapens the whole thing. Everything I have heard that is called EDM actually doesn’t pay homage to the real artists that previously spun vinyl, nor does it have the same musical variations. There are two types now in my opinion, both EDM and Electronic Music, but the names are not differentiated enough so now it is all getting blended together for people on the outside. I guess one reason why the EDM name urkes me is that it denotes that we are all just “fist pumping” in some club, and really not the type of “dancing” that one would do at a rave or a music festival. One should not be confused with the other.

So, is electronic music here to stay? The above sticker was made to “save the music”, and I’d say the music was evidently saved since that was from a party that friend’s of mine threw over a dozen years ago.

"Made In America" - directed by Ron Howard

“Made In America” – directed by Ron Howard

Director Ron Howard recently chronicled Jay Z’s MADE IN AMERICA film festival in his documentary film of the same name. In the film, Skrillex, a huge DJ, even gives Ron Howard “pointers” on how to DJ electronic music. Apparently Jay Z has confirmed once and for all that this music is here to stay as he was quoted in the film stating “EDM, people are dismissing as a fad sort of like they did hip-hop, that I think is going to be a bit more sticky. I think it’s good music of the next generation, it’s their soundtrack, it’s their music they’re claiming as they own. They’ll buy hip-hop and they’ll buy other music but they’re like “this music is ours.” Kid’s don’t want to listen to their dad’s music, they want to be on the cutting edge of something new, and I think this is something they can claim.” (See the source article linked to the above image, there is a link to the “Made In America” documentary there also.) It means a lot to have the stamp of approval from such a mainstream pop artist, like Jay Z, because for so long Electronic Music, and now EDM, have been the red-headed step child of the music industry. I live in Los Angeles and there isn’t a single radio station that is dedicated to just Electronic beats. I do know that the world-wide popularity of Electronic Music has been much greater than in the US. I bet the term EDM was made in America.


I used to be a full-fledged raver; I was excited about the socially deviant aspect and fascinated with its elements of social unity and artistic expression in the forms of music, fashion, and dance. I went to dozens of raves/massives from 1999-2002. Most of it I filmed on camera while I was in film school, in hopes to one day make it into a documentary about the phenomenon of so many young people coming together (and so often) all in the name of music. The underground scene was about F.A.M.I.L.Y. (Friends And Music I Love You) and values like P.L.U.R. (Peace, Love, Unity, Respect) used to be tenets that everyone at these parties lived by. There is a great sense of belonging when the community is fostered the right way. Mainstream dance clubs don’t seem to have this same effect, and although the music is still “Electronic” there is also a lack of skill needed for the artistic expression…which brings me to my next point.

Electronic music is an art, whether or not you spin vinyl records or use a computer to “scratch” your beats – it is all music, I do admit. However, spinning vinyl is much more of a skill. I just think that it takes much more physical coordination to put on a record, line up the needle, match beats, and scratch physically using your hands. Nowadays just about anyone can go to any club and “dance” to electronic music while a DJ “spins” on their laptop. It just seems to me that a DJ on a computer could fake their talent pretty easily; I’m sure there’s an “app” for that.


At first it just seemed like a really great Sci-Fi movie, but I know right away people started thinking…maybe this could really happen?  Honestly, it is hard to deny that THE TERMINATOR’s scenario would be everyone’s worst nightmare if Artificial Intelligence (AI) machines were to take over society, but apparently for some reason modern day science still wants to see how close it can get.

Thankfully, the UN has stepped in and is now demanding more ethical research into the matter before they will allow military use of AI to proceed, and a moratorium on use of AI in the military has now been put into place. “War without reflection is mechanical slaughter.” Said human rights expert Christof Heyns at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, which was covered by BBC news last Thursday in the video I have linked below (the original link I saw on MSNBC is now not working for some reason.):


During my Cognitive Science and Philosophy of the Mind coursework, I studied this topic of AI’s potential future role in the military and it is a topic that I am very serious about. I even contemplated going to grad school to study technology ethics so that I may join the philosophical conversation on this particular issue. 1) AI machines are man-made, but their “minds” are not programmed by humans to react in certain ways; they learn how to do this on their own and are autonomous. 2) I believe we as humans have a mind with a consciousness that does not exist in this physical world.* 3) Therefore, I believe that it is impossible to manufacture a “man-made mind” that is in any every way similar to a human’s mind, let alone one that can exist in an AI machine. Because of this I do not believe that an AI machine can possibly make the paramount ethical decisions that are required for military use, namely the decision of who to kill and who not to kill.

I don’t think that mainstream society understands how often THE TERMINATOR film is mentioned regarding this particular issue, because philosophers bring it up all the time! We may think of it as an imaginary scenario, but I probably talked about it every day and in more than a handful of classes when I was studying philosophy of science for my bachelor’s degree.

The above photo is cropped from an original TERMINATOR poster that I got while I was working at Pacific Western Productions (now Valhalla Motion Pictures), the production company that brought us the first 3 films in THE TERMINATOR series. Despite my distaste for AI in the military, I really love all of the movies from this saga…I’ll be back!

*It should be noted that this is not the view of mainstream science.

**Also a little credit should be given to Pink Floyd for the majority of my article title.

Ground Control to Major Tom

I feel obligated to write about the first music video in space, which if you haven’t seen yet (linked above) was a glorious rendition of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” (posted yesterday by Chris Hadfield, an astronaut from Canada). If video killed the radio star, and internet killed the video store, and space is the final frontier…then…did space kill the internet?

Well, yes, I’d say Hadfield “killed it” with almost 2 million views in less than 24 hours!

This is definitely a benchmark in digital entertainment, as space is no longer our final frontier. I think another reason why this seems significant to me is that I vaguely remember that the first script I “covered” in Hollywood was titled aptly, GROUND CONTROL TO MAJOR TOM. If memory serves me correct, it was just the David Bowie song drawn out at length into a feature screenplay. Anyway, it was a great sample of the caliber of scripts that one generally reads while doing said coverage.

Kudos to you, Chris Hadfield. And clever song pick, no-one could do that from a better viewpoint! We all wish we were staring back at Earth from outer space. YOU are officially the most interesting man in the world. Dos Equis had better watch out.

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