When Worlds Collide, III

Well, the cat’s out of the bag. Since Tuesday, in fact. What am I talking about? I’m going to get so beaten up in the playground for this…

casino royaleWell, I did a post a while ago about a trip I did to New York to take part in a day long shoot for a magazine, all dressed up in my tuxedo on a “Casino Royale” themed set. You can read about it in full here. What was the point? Reaching out. More science in the public domain, and on the lips of the regular person on the street. The usual things you know (from my writing here and elsewhere) that I’m passionate about. The readership of the magazine in question is not commonly exposed to images of scientists. The world of science and practicing scientists hardly intersects with the world of R&B, hip-hop, sports, fashion, the primary foci of this magazine and many others. I see no reason why not, but those who work in the media that control most of the images we see think otherwise.

Except for some creative people at King magazine. King magazine is a men’s magazine aimed primarily at young African Americans. (See a Wikipedia summary here, and the magazine website here. Warning! This is a men’s magazine aimed at a very specific demographic/readership, and while it does not warrant being on those shelves in the store that are behind the black glass, it is decorated from cover to interior in a manner that is… shall we say “somewhat differently” from the magazines I usually point to, such as SEED, National Geographic, or Scientific American! Ok?)

Every year, King magazine does a feature shoot of a group of people making interesting noises in their respective fields, people that you’ve either heard from (if you’re into those fields, and sometimes even not) or that they expect you’ll hear from soon. It’s all glossy and fun and so forth, and they decided (to my lasting surprise) to call me and ask if I’d take part. Hence the New York trip. The magazine is out on the stands now, and you can go and look at it.

I took the liberty of making some scans of the pictures for you (I hope the magazine’s staff don’t mind!), since I’d teased you so much in the last post with some of the shots I took, but could not reveal details about who was in the group, etc. There’s more in the actual magazine, such as quotes from the subjects about their work, life, etc.

So here goes:

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Fuzz Ball

hot fuzzSaturday night was movie night too. This time it was the Arclight (that modern movie palace I love so much) for the venue, and the movie was “Hot Fuzz”. My normal practice of remaining in stealth mode when I hear other British people nearby was abandoned at some point – I could not resist surprising someone in the line for ice cream and coffee (well, that’s what I was getting, ok?) by speaking to them with my English accent to point out conversationally, as an opening gambit, that half the line (maybe a good percentage of the movie’s audience, by extrapolation) had British accents. This unveiling almost always throws people (wherever they are from since I do not fit most people’s idea of what a British person is “supposed to” look like, especially in an American context). Anyway, to the movie… […] Click to continue reading this post

Because Everyone Wants to see the Woman with the Gun for a Leg

Last week, Friday night was movie night. (Actually, so was Saturday night, but that’s another story.) The venue: The wonderful Vista theatre, one of the great old movie palaces. The movie: Grindhouse. Why? See title (let’s be honest here), and I love well made terrible films (if you see what I mean) but also because I really do enjoy (overall) Quentin Tarantino’s dialogue1.


To get to the Tarantino segment (a movie called “Death Proof”), you have to wade through Robert Rodriguez’ “Planet Terror”, the first part of the double bill. This is a very well done (but maybe half an hour too long?) celebration of the Grindhouse spirit, complete with missing reels, scratchy film stock with burnt out patches, the works. (Clever idea to put in the technical difficulties – including using a missing reel excuse at a pivotal moment – the second film uses that joke too). The level of humour was very high indeed, through all the remarkable and cartoonish slime and gore… It was just the perfect venue that I (with two other friends) had chosen to see this in: Friday night at the Vista with an appreciative Silver Lake/Los Feliz crowd (from the neighbourhood).

Combine Planet Terror iwht the long and marvelously terrible spoof trailer for the movie “Machete”, and that would have been a fun night out on its own. But Planet Terror ended, everyone took a deep breath, and the opening credits Tarantinos’ “Death Proof” began to roll. […] Click to continue reading this post