Stephen Hawking, Good Luck, 1942 – 2018


“Whereas the rest of the animals were looking downwards at the ground,  he gave humans a raised face and ordered them to look toward the skies and lift up their erect head to the stars.”
In “Metamorphoses” by Ovid
When Dr. Hawking’s body started to fail him he said that one of the things he was challenged with was being unable to work out his formulas on a blackboard. He had to do them in his head instead.’fancy graphics and technology’? He was a physicist and mathematician. He had his brain. Very few of us can conceive of what that would be like.
I am humbled when I think of what this incredible human being achieved in his brief moment in time. He did not let the adversity of his infirmity detract from an incredible mind. He used his static position to explore the universe and bring the infinity of potential scientific knowledge to us mere mortals. He leaves an amazing legacy for the scientists of the future. And he showed that whatever comes our way, we all have something amazing to offer. As much as I beginning to admire Dr. Neil De Grasse Tyson (Saw Stephen Hawking on ” Star Talk ” with Neil Degrasse Tyson couple of weeks ago, the professor was very sharp and very informative), Dr. Hawking was one of the modern epitomes of the Theoretical Physicist (the other one is Roger Penrose). Hawking definitely believed his disability helped him mentally picture abstract ideas. How incredible to live to the age he did and what an extraordinary life. His cameo performances in the “Big Bang Theory” showed his sense of humour and took him to a younger generation of whom my son was one of them. Talking about multi-dimensional universes took the theory into possibilities rather than the pseudo-science it had always been dismissed as. He was a definition of genius yet in his own universe he was a pupil looking curiously at the great design of universe till the end of his last breath.
If you’re into Physics, Cosmology, Religion, Atheism, etc., read on.

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Homemade and Fermented Hot-Sauce: Habaneros and Bird’s Eye Chiles

Because Spring is almost here, it’s time for making hot-sauce…Love spicy food. Hotter the better. Subtlety works too. It depends on what you’re cooking. I make soups nobody I know will eat they’re that ferocious (with the exception of my friend João Claudio who’s also an aficionado of “hot” food; he’s even thinking of founding a hot-chile fraternity…before I start receiving hate email, “chile” is the country and the spice. Chili is the dish…lol). Homemade and fermented chile just gives that huge extra dimension to a meal.  I believe it’s the rush that comes from eating hot chile hot-sauce with my food that is so pleasurable. It enhances food and definitely makes it more interesting and more connected to what I’m eating.
If you’re into all things Mediterranean, especially Chiles, read on.

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Fevered with Love’s Anxiety: "Phantom Thread" by Paul Thomas Anderson


This movie made think on one of Saint John of the Cross’ poems.


At 3am the dragon set forth along the Caparica beach and stared out over the water, lit only with the full moon:


In an obscure night, Fevered with love’s anxiety (O hapless, happy plight!), I went, none seeing me, Forth from my cave, where all things quiet be,” said the dragon, to no one in particular. But someone was there, creeping around in the shadows. Arthur, Arthur Scargill the vampire, twiddling his strangely long thumbs.


‘Zombies! Zombies everywhere!’ Cried the Dragon. ‘Quick!’ Said Arthur, ‘Get in my futuristic looking Ford Sierra. Don’t mind Stig he does that.’ ‘What’s that thudding sound?’ Said the dragon, ‘Don’t mind them. That’s me killer robots.’ Said Arthur as they crashed through some barriers and narrowly missed going over a cliff. ‘What am I sitting on?’ Said the dragon gloomily. ‘That’s just big bird.’ Said Arthur.


Vampire Arthur Scargill wasn’t in the mood for a moody Dragon, and had come to look up to the Beast, through the sunroof, as a source of inspiration. “You just turn that frown upside down, Laddie.”


He stopped the car and told the Grumpy Dragon to look behind them; nothing but chaos, dust, and a shed on a tow-rope.

‘Go and look in’t shed, eh? I’ve got Mr. Sheen in there.’ The Gloomy Dragon flapped his great wings, and whooooosh was half-way out of the sunroof in a second. 



If you’re into stuff like this, read on.

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Space 1999 Reboot: "Interstellar" by Christopher Nolan


How exactly did “solving gravity” allow them to launch NASA and save all human life? Did they develop some kind of anti-gravity? Isn’t that theoretically impossible, no matter how much information of an unspecified nature one gathers from inside black holes? If people in the future are capable of building a device that can send messages through time via gravity, why didn’t they just send those messages themselves, instead of waiting for someone from the past to stumble upon the device and use it? Come to that, why set this device to focus on the bedroom of a little girl who might be able to take the information to NASA, and not just focus it on NASA? How come Coop looked about 50 when, according to the film, he was no older than 35 when he left Earth?


Just saying.


If you’re into stuff like this, read on.

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Tickboxing Screen SF: "Altered Carbon" by Laeta Kalogridis


It’s a shame they’ve spent so much money on it as it isn’t anything new, the only thing that is new is that you see a couple of willies (even though the willie count is going up generally, we always get an almost embarrassed shot which says look there’s a willie in this but lets move back along to the tits, phew) along with the many, many boobs, bums and really as you get closer to the end, stomach churning sexual violence. There is a line spoken by one young actress which made me think that the thirteen year olds watching it (and there will be) will be off kilter for days if not months or years. And of course the scene where one actress fights naked. She seems to be fighting naked because she is a new clone and if she had been born from a vacuum pack I’d have gone with it, but she’d been reclining on a nice comfy chair which could have gone with some nice comfy sci-fi- sweatpants or even a slinky pair of pjs…but no she’s naked. Some of the totemic cliches of the first two episodes are part info dump but are mostly faithful to the book. And unless I’m remembering the novel incorrectly, there’s at least one Chekov’s Gun lying in plain view that had to be there. There is a degree of lingering soft porn that’s been overdone (e.g., the Bancroft clone vault scene), and the screenplay and acting are awkward against the expense and complexity of the effects. But I’m four episodes in and so far it’s not even close to my expectations. Richard Morgan’s novels are heavily invested in violence and sex. They do contrast the violent, casual decadence and immorality of the Meth’s vs the street. It’s the dark side to privilege that, say, Bank’s Culture didn’t always address with the same visceral ugliness.



If you’re into good SF, don’t read on.

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