While I was visiting Tokyo last month, we strolled through the Harajuku district and
stumbled upon Hot Toys’ brand new, flagship store, Toy Sapien.
I have never geeked out harder in my entire life.
First of all, life-sized R2-D2, C-3PO and a Terminator T800 greet you at the door. Once I collected myself enough to continue inside, I browsed through shelf after shelf of high-quality models and figurines. Some of these were not only rare, I had no idea they were even in production:
• 1989 Batman, Joker, Batmobile • Luke Skywalker Bespin Outfit • Batman Begins Batman • Predator • Captain America • Iron Man and Iron Monger
Having just seen Prometheus, I was pretty thrilled by this Space Jockey, which has a level of detail that is quite hard to find.
The Dark Knight section was also impressive, featuring a 1:16 scale model of the Tumbler, Bane, Joker, and Scarecrow.
Also of note, there were dozens of life-sized helmets from Star Wars, Star Trek, Aliens, Terminator, a fully-stocked LEGO collection, and plush versions of most action figures.
Seriously, if I had the Yen to blow, I would have picked up that Space Jockey, DeLorean Time Machine, and Dewback faster than you can say “Get away from her, you Bitch.”
The raw excitement of planetary exploration is captured at Celebrate Curiosity, with over 1000 of your fellow explorers, friends, party goers, celebrities, scientists, artists, and space enthusiasts. Join us, as we take a thrilling dive into discovering the possibilities at the cosmic frontier in style!
Our Martian Party kicks off after the first day of Planetfest and spans two floors for an out-of-this world experience! As you mingle with your friends and make new ones along the way, keep your eyes peeled back for space industry persons of interest from Virgin Galactic, SpaceX, and NASA. During the course of the evening, catch sightings and conversations from the most interesting Space Entrepreneurs, Sci-fi Authors, Screen Stars, and Personalities.
Bill Nye the Science Guy at BlackStarr’s Yuri’s Night, April 2012
Whatto expect at Celebrate Curiosity:
Customized t-shirts printed while you wait
Interactive galactic art by Andrea Lofthouse, NASA JPL’s Dan Goods, and others
CEO of The Planetary Society, Bill Nye the Science Guy,SpaceX’s Elon Musk, and hosts breakout talks
Short speaker sessions from prolific space advocates!
Enjoy tasty Martian treats and cosmic drink specials
Interactive video games from GameDesk
Gorgeous Spacecraft models displayed for your enjoyment
Giveaways from the Planetary Society
Get dazzled with spaced out music spun by Ancient Lasers and our Suprise Guest DJ
Dance to the undulating cosmic lights of the Jellypuss
Adorn yourself with a selection of complimentary blinky lights and glowey things
Witness live art in the making, interstellar wall projections, and adult games
Intergalactic Girls passing out Space Swag from the likes of SpaceX, NASA, and more
Delicious Astronaut Icecream and Space food Sticks from Funky Foods
Amazing lightshows with some far-out Tesla Coils!
Don’t forget to show off your Martian themed apparal by taking pictures at one of our two sassy souvenir photo booths
The Wheel Of Time is a song I wrote in 2009 while I was renting out a studio by LAX, underneath the flight path of landing 747’s. The studio was your standard 12×10 concrete cell that we outfitted with some tacky green carpet, a couch, and a makeshift desk for my recording gear. It was a great place to escape from everything, and sink into my music.
I soon fell into a very productive routine. I usually got to the studio around 8pm to jam with my band or chat with my friend GG for a bit. His brother is Drew Goddard, writer for Lost and Cabin In The Woods – so I usually nagged him about the ending of Lost most of the time. But GG is also an amazing producer and sound engineer with replicas of every piece of gear Pink Floyd used…ever. (He even once flew to Italy to buy the actual rotary delay David Gilmour used in Live at Pompeii). I learned alot from GG about mixing – which frequencies go where, how to make the perfect kick drum sound, why taking the 500Hz frequency out of a guitar magically makes it sound better, etc. I owe him big time for that.
After social time was over, I would get to work – often moving from instrument to instrument recording ideas. I usually started with a programmed beat and a chord progression and built from there. Once the music was done, I would walk through the vacant streets brainstorming lyrics, and would often record the entire song before sunrise – to avoid the thundering sound of landing aircraft. At around 10am I would lay down on the couch and drift off to sleep, listening to an entirely new song I had just created.
I should probably take a moment to explain something people have been asking me about regarding the name change from Post Human Era to Ancient Lasers. In April of 2010, I had just finished an entire album that was to be the second chapter of a trilogy by Post Human Era. The album was called Echo Corridor, and I was literally days away from releasing it. I had sent the single, Building The Machine, to Daniel Anderson of Idiot Pilot – one of my favorite bands of all time. He decided to remix it, and after I heard the possibilities of what we could both do as a team, I asked if he wanted to do an entire album. We used songs from both To Build A Fire and Echo Corridor as starting points, but ended up with a much more visceral sound. Together, we decided it was too different from Post Human Era to label it as such, and thus, Ancient Lasers was born. Post Human Era, however, is far from dead – I am currently working on something that takes it into very different terrain.
This song in particular, The Wheel Of Time, deals with the insanity of religion. I grew up with a mother that had started out with a Catholic family, but then converted to Judaism; and a Jewish father, so I went to both Church and Synagogue. I remember dreading wednesday night Hebrew school, where I practiced writing an ancient language that was both extremely confusing and downright hard to learn. Yet, there was something mystical about it. When I walked into Beth Israel Synagogue in Bellingham every Wednesday and Sunday, it felt like I was instantly transported to some sacred, distant past. My rabbi was both a Star Trek fan and paleontologist, which was pretty damn awesome to a 10 year old boy – but hilariously ridiculous if you think about it. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the early years I spent learning about Israel, having Seder for Passover, and lighting the candles for Hanukkah.
My mother’s side of the family was pretty faithful about getting together every Easter, Christmas (when we got the ‘good’ presents, as opposed to a book or something for Hannukah), and Thanksgiving (which I consider a Christian holiday). Those holidays, along with the Church experience, felt more commercialized – more ‘American’. They were alot of fun, and I wouldn’t trade those memories for the world.
Yet up until this point, I hadn’t really questioned either religion. Since I was learning about two separate schools of thought, I hadn’t fully submitted myself to one particular ideology. Everything was going as planned, until the moment arrived that would ultimately open my eyes to the world behind the world.
I was about to turn 13, and it was time for me to start practicing for my Bar Mitzvah. My father opened the study guide, which contained the Hebrew I would need to recite for the ceremony. We both sat down on the couch in the living room, and started to practice. After about twenty minutes, I remember looking up at him and asking why we were doing this. Why are we memorizing words that were written thousands of years ago to recite at a ceremony, just to prove that I was entering adulthood? And most importantly, what if I decided I simply didn’t want to?
In one life-changing sentence, he confessed: “We are doing this because my father wanted me to when I was your age.” We both realized that we were doing something simply because our ancestors before us had. Without questioning why; without deciding for ourselves if it was right – what we truly believed in our hearts. He let me decide for myself, and ultimately I decided that I didn’t believe in what we were doing. And I am eternally grateful for his decision.
The next sunday, instead of going to Synagogue, we went fishing together and experienced real life in nature, unfiltered by antiquated dogma and human ideologies. It was liberating for our entire family, and though we haven’t really talked about it since, I think they are thankful I spoke up – because everyone else was afraid to.
This is why we have Holy Wars, racism, and hate. People sometimes get scared to raise their hand in class when something doesn’t make sense. “Keep your head down. Do as you are told. Follow the leader. Memorize this. Don’t ask why.” When something doesn’t make sense, scream at the top of your lungs so everyone can hear you. We can’t change the world if we keep ourselves planted in the sands of the past. Refuse to believe what people tell you – until you know it to be true from your own personal experiences. No one knows anything more than you do, and that will never change.
The Wheel Of Time is about the continual habit of recursion we can’t seem to escape from. But I came here to throw a wrench in its gears. And every day thousands of people are waking up, as I did, from the peaceful sleep of herded sheep.
Ancient Lasers – The Wheel Of Time
The wheel of time repeats itself, it turns you into someone else
You’ll fight a war you’ll never win, you’ll make the same mistakes again
And now you finally see so many reasons behind the great confusion
You know the voices of the dead are really voices in your head
You wonder if you’ve lost your mind, you hope you get it back this time
They tell you what you want to hear, you wish they’d all just disappear
And now you finally see so many reasons behind the great confusion
You know the voices of the dead, are really voices in your head
Maybe we are doomed to repeat this, maybe we still haven’t found the way
But no matter what they say, the pattern’s here to stay
And every time you think you’ve reached the end, you watch it start itself again
Every time it repeats itself, it repeats itself, it repeats itself again
Imagine you want to build a new house or office building. In the past, you would have had to hire an architect, a contractor, a construction company…The entire process would take months – if not years – and construction delays were the name of the game.
A man named Enrico Dini is not only about to revolutionize the way we build houses and office buildings – his technology could potentially cause the largest economic revolution in human history.
Inspired by Gaudi’s architecture, he became a Civil Engineer and, later, began building machines. Yet he soon found that his imagination was constrained by the physical limits of modern construction techniques. Concrete and brick buildings require a certain degree of logistics and manpower, and human engineering errors are often rampant.
Tired of these physical constraints, Enrico invented and patented a full-scale 3D printing method that uses a high-tech glue to bind sand. Enrico’s general concept is fairly similar, however: The printer is installed at the construction site, and using a 3D blueprint designed by the architect, it systematically “prints out” a building.
And get this: the 3D printer could soon also be able to print more 3D printers. His company, Shapeways, is already planning a full-scale sculpture in Pisa, Italy. So in other words, this is all actually happening.
Enrico is only one of many emerging visionaries working on Earth-sculpting technologies. Markus Kayser, who studied 3D Furniture and Product Design at London Metropolitan University, is working on another exciting and revolutionary technology. His newest invention, The Sun Cutter, is a solar powered machine that converts sand into glass-like sctructures. In a world increasingly worried about energy production and shortages of raw materials, the Sun Cutter could be installed in a barren desert to build entire structures – all by itself. This would be hugely important for developing nations or refugees left homeless from a natural disaster.
Once these technologies are refined and begin to enter the marketplace, entire economic models will have to be rewritten. What will we do with millions of suddenly-unemployed construction workers when machines effectively render them obsolete? This dilemma requires our immediate attention, as it stretches far beyond the worlds of construction and real estate. As more and more human jobs are replaced by technology, the unemployed masses and the world leaders governing them will most likely be ill-prepared for such changes. The economic fallout could be disastrous.
But there is hope. Companies like Organovo are already printing human organs, and even food-printing technologies are next on the horizon. With these new technologies, the would would have enough infrastructure and natural resources to provide billions a quality of life on-par with the United States. The transition towards a post-scarcity society has begun, wether governments and multi-national corporations like it or not.
To sum it all up, the gap between human imagination and the physical world is shrinking. As the architects become the builders, together we could build a utopia from our collective dreams. And as Enrico builds his modern day Tower of Pisa, hopefully we will all take a moment to remember that every building needs a strong foundation.