All posts by jboushka@aol.com

DC Environmental Film Festival 2017: “Nuclear Power Play” QA

Wednesday, March 22, 2017, the DC Environmental Film Festival held a program “Nuclear Power Play” at the Carnegie Science Center.  There were two short films, “Nuclear Winter” and “Triad” and “City 40”.  The panel included Kit Roane (Retro Report), Dan Sagayin, and Samira Goetsche.

Generally, there was concern expressed that the US and Russia, following the Soviet Union, tend to make it more plausible that they could use nuclear weapons if they maintain the hardware.  There was concern over making rogue states and non-state actors believe “everybody wants some”.

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4  Question from the audience about the character of scientists

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(Posted: Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 2:30 PM EST)

My 1960 Sonata #2 in D Minor, more notes as to making it playable

I want to make some remarks about progress with my Piano Sonata #2 in D Minor, composed in the early part of 1960 when I was a junior in high school and submitted by the “Arlington Junior Music Club”. I believe I wrote a lot of the manuscript out in black ink on snow days in March 1960 (the “three white Wednesdays), seated at a kitchen table, where I also handwrote term papers.

The work, described in an earlier posting here Jan. 27, 2016,  mixes some perfunctory “neoclassicism” with “storm and stress” and violent outburst and then triumph near the end.  It would run about 28 minutes (taking first movement repeat). The style is a simplification of the “rhetoric” in D Minor piano concertos by Brahms, Rachmaninoff, and especially Anton Rubenstein (#4), as well as the C# Minor piano concerto by Amy Beach (which really needs to be played a lot more). And I think there is a little influence even from the Beethoven Piano Sonata #17 in D Minor, the “Tempest” (probably invoking Shakespeare’s play).

.I think the work would be a cloud pleaser with a virtuoso pianist who likes “romantic style”. Very little new music (really zero) in this genre get commissioned these days.  There is a sense of balance and gathering momentum and striving toward big climaxes.

But a lot of the harmonic mannerisms sound trite to me today, in spots.  In the first movement, toward the end of the Development, starting on p. 5, there is a lot of repetitious virtuoso rhetoric centered on the dominant A Major, which could make the listener feel that piece is supposed to be centered around the tonality of A rather than D.  The same buildup occurs in the introduction to the Finale, on p. 17, and then one more time (‘Nsync indeed – imagine Justin Timberlake as the concert pianist) on p. 23, as after the final presentation of the main toccata theme and the sonata prepares for the return of the second theme as a Rachmaninoff-style “big tune” in D Major.

There is also an issue with the toccata theme that opens the Rondo, in that the first stanza migrates to dominant A Minor quickly and stays there too long.

I sketched out some proposed revisions in Sibelius.

File Son2Ch1 suggests a richer harmonization that could apply around line 3 of p. 5 and similar places on pages 17 and 23.  The experimentation could be extended.

File Son2Ch2 suggests a treatment of the toccata theme that opens the Finale by varying away from the respondent dominant A minor to other tonalities (p. 18 with a dal segno, and then p. 22).

Son2CngIntro suggests some more harmonic flavor for the opening four measures of Adagio for the first movement.

Son2ChgCodas suggests ways to make the passage work more harmonically varied as the final climaxes at the end of the first movement and finale approach.

In general, the use of higher interval dissonant chords based on the subdominant is more effective in preparing a final pedal point, and is overuse of the dominant.  Look at the great climaxes in Bruckner, or at the end of Scriabin’s Divine Poem.

I do have the original handwritten 1960 manuscript, which could be copied and pasted over manually.  I do have the PDF online (see Jam 27, 2016 posting) and physical copies.

(Posted: Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 11:45 PM EDT)

Characters’ travel itineraries in my novel “Angel’s Brother”

My novel manuscript “Angel’s Brother“, for which I developed a new “screenwriters’ outline” here on Feb. 28, involves the major characters (especially Randy, 40, the CIA agent, Sal, 21, the gifted angel-to-be, and Bill, or “me”) making lots of trips, within the United States, back and forth to and within Europe, as far as Arctic Russia in one chapter.  (Correction: Lake Lagoda is in NW Russia, as is most of Karelia, near the Finnish border.)

There are many novels and films based on road trips.  Most of them tend to be based on one continuous journey from a start to and end, like in a board game.

Clive Barker’s “Imajica“, in the first part, traces its major character Gentle from Earth (the Fifth Dominion), with some running-around between London and New York, through three other dominions (essentially planets);  the second half (“The Reconciliation”) has Gentle and many other characters (one of them very gender fluid) moving back and forth among the dominions through what would amount to wormholes in physics.  He winds up in “Heaven” (the “First”) where, sorry to say for David Lynch, not everything is fine. There is even a “Lenten Way”, a superhighway connecting the dominions.

As I best remember, in J. R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” (and Peter Jackson’s film trilogy for New Line) the progress (Bilbo with his ring) is gradually from the Shire to the east, through all the lands of the Middle Earth, until confrontations in a volcano at the end, after which Bilbo sails west and returns home in peace.  But I think it’s one continuous journey, as I recall.   I have to give a hand to Tolkien in inventing bloodlines and families, and a whole language.  The book has many detailed maps (or what amounts to a parallel Earth II) that lend themselves to board and computer games.

Stephen King’s monumental apocalypse, “The Stand“, which became a miniseries in the 90s, traces the lives of many characters after a super bird flu, intended as a biological weapon, is accidentally released.  Generally, the characters progress from New York, Vermont, and Houston to Boulder (the good people), or Las Vegas-Cibola (the bad people).  I remember Tim Cullen’s harrowing journey (to Boulder) up I-15 from Vegas through Utah with an eye watching him.  I’ve even been called “The Walkin’ Dude” myself at work.

In Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged“, which became a three-part movie, and which I read while in the Army in 1969, has the major characters (Reardon and Taggert) wandering around a deteriorating rail system until a crash-landing in John Galt’s ashram hidden away in Colorado.

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(Posted: Friday, March 17, 2017 at 2:15 PM EDT)

Below: Hillary Clinton’s old “Basket of Deplorables”.   For me, in this little video;  I used the guy with the binoculars (the “observer”); the CIA guy has the gun (although be probably needs only the binoculars); the angel looks like the shaman doll, or maybe the man in the space suit.

A visit to Infinity Mirrors by Yayoi Kusama at SI Hirshhorn in Washington

I visited the Infinity Mirrors Exhibit by Yayoi Kusama at Hirshhorn today.

I showed up for the day-pass line at about 9:10 AM.  The line was combined with the other line, and slowly started moving at 9:35.  I finally got my pass at about 11:20,  over two hours after I arrived.

Two hours of my time are worth money.  I would rather pay a fair price for a ticket (maybe $10) at a specific time by credit card or Paypal and not have a hassle.  The Monday noon ticket giveway times out before most users can get ticket.

Before I got in at 1 PM, I encountered Chris the Mockingbird.

Later I encountered him in the garden and he seemed to recognize me.  Mockingbirds are musicians.  But the males do not have plumage color that gives them the obvious external trappings of manhood.  They seem to have made some sort of sacrifice.

In the museum. there were five rooms with the last one temporarily closed.  You go into the room and have 20-30 seconds.  The effect is to see many copies of yourself as in the movie “Interstellar”, where in the end people are saved by creating their own little tesseracts.

You’re not supposed to use flash, and I apologize for one shot;  I thought I had turned it off on my Canon Power Shot but it went off.

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There was also artwork simulating life on other planets.

Are these plants or animals?

And there was a piano room.

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More pics

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(Posted: Thursday, March 9, 2017 at 6:45 PM EST)

A Day without a Woman: Protest in Washington DC

When I got to the White House, the protest had moved to Freedom Plaza near the Department of Labor.

There was a lot said about federal building contractors working without benefits and at less than $15 an hour.

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5 talk of disability

6 talk of wearing long pants to hide disability in public; at as 73 year old man, I do that.

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(Posted Wednesday, March 8, 2017 at 8:30 PM EST)

 

Resuming my DADT video series: Take 1

I started out on my new pass on making videos explaining the point of my writings today.  There will be more to say about this later.

I want to note that the attitude expressed here can be “Milo-dangerous”.  It can be misused my authoritarian politicians, particularly with fascist outlooks.

Nevertheless, I can’t believe myself to believe that everything in political life is about pimping the victimization of people in marginalized groups.

This video was made at the end of the Washington and Old Dominion bike trail in Purcellville, VA, near the Blue Ridge and near route 7.

The still picture comes from the American Classic Bar and Grille off Route 7 near Winchester VA.  “Make America Great Again”?

(Posted: Saturday, March 4, 2017 at 7:30 PM EST)

Gusty thunderstorms

Just to get some video work started (as a workup for some personal history videos to back up a movie proposal),  here are three videos, on a better camera (Nikon Coolpix) as a gusty thunderstorm moved through Arlington VA today.

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3  Looks like I jerked the camera, or the lens got wet

Also: Video of a shelf cloud in Laurel Mountains in Pennsylvania, Weather channel.

Midwest tornado outbreak February 28, 2017 in Missouri and Illinois;  Tornadic storms popped up out of nothing (Weather channel pictures).

(Posted: Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at 3 PM EST)

 

If “Angel’s Brother” became a movie, this is what the critical elements in the screenplay look like

Here is an analysis of my proposed novel “Angel’s Brother” (the draft exists, about 105000 words) following the concept of “screenplay” structure by Michaek Hauge — presuming this would become a sci-fi movie (about 140 minutes).

Some of the Hauge components are repeated with different characters.  There is the concept of a “teaser” for the “point of no return”,

Part 1 – “Just Friends”

Stage 1: Setup

Randy, around 40, has been asked by the CIA to travel to Auschwitz, and he doesn’t know why.  He has a day job as a high school (mostly AP) history teacher. His occasional assignments are based on his former military background, which he was asked to leave because people thought he was gay. Nevertheless, he had married (with real heart), adopted one child, and has two more with Erin, who is a P.A.  Although physically in good shape, he has only recently started losing interest in his marriage

Sal, a senior in college, was asked to make the trip by his ROTC unit, as part of a senior thesis.

Chapter 2 and 3 provide a “setup” with backstories.

Turning Point:  The Opportunity

After they meet, Randy feels “interest”.     (add: Sal should offer contact info)

Stage 2: New Situation

Turning Point 2:   Change in Plans

Erin tells Randy his boss wants him to go to Brussels and see Foss.  This may require a “TSA physical”. Randy already suspects this could “spoil his fun” or “release” with Sal,

Stage 2a

As Randy rides to Brussels, he wonders how his rejuvenation would affect his remote viewing, which he has only experienced in home courses so far.

Turning Point 2a – Change in Plans 2

Foss wants Randy to stay in Europe and go to Russia to retrieve  an unusual weapon rather than go to his remote viewing course back in VA.   Randy realizes his interest in Sal would have enhanced the remote viewing.

(OK, maybe a “turning point” really should be an “Alan Turing” point.)

Stage 3:  Progress

Randy picks up At sample in  Russia from Lurku, smuggles thru Finland it to US (Russians chase across border, almost WWIII).

Bill picks it up in Nevada and takes it to West Texas to “Academy”

Randy takes family on end-school-year vacation to northern MN (6)

Randy investigates Bill in Vegas (7)

Randy visits Academy (8)

Sal visits Academy (9)

Turning Point 2b  Randy visits Quiller at Langley, asked to visit Leadville, Randy learns about govt plans for high altitude evacuations, he hadn’t known.

Stage 3a – more progress

Randy finds new disease related to Astatine in CO at high elevations (10)

Sal participates in hazing session as an upperclassman but knows his limits (11)]

Teaser for turning point 3

Sal and Randy meet in Dallas, have somewhat intimate encounter at Academy after comparing notes

(Part 1 A – More than Just Friends)

Stage 3B

Randy feels charged to become even more techie and wonders why CIA doesn’t tell him much.  He and Quiller talk about hack on Bill’s writings about suitcase nukes (14).

Randy makes trip to Bilbao, meets up with Bill, then gets assaulted and left with another UF sample.

Teaser 2 for turning point 3

Finally he hooks up for intimacy with Sal in Amsterday (14)

Stage 3C  — Sal makes a trip to Lionsgate in Greece, “goes up” and gets mysteriously airlifted to Texas and hails a ride back to Dallas from “angel” Justin.   He then hightails to Amsterdam  (15)

Stage 3D  Randy goes back to Finland (on order) near Russian border (to stop WWIII) and get “goes up” ad comes down in Archangelsk    The yellowcake is gone as is Lurku’s suitcase nuke.   Russians seem to have material suggesting that the activation codes are embedded in novel virus RNA.

Turning Point 3   Point of no return

Sal meets Matt at a gym in Dallas.  Matt provides a major connection to Bill’s writings and suggests he may indeed be an angel, as may be Sal.  Sal  takes Bill to a motel near the Academy and gives him an “erotic body shave”.   Bill’s whole appearance becomes younger.  But he gets arrested.  (17)

Randy has a last fling with intercourse with Erin (his wife) but she is suspicious and confronts him (18), after she finds his notes on “erotic royalty” models (which had come from Bill and his hacked diaries from Sal)

(Interlude)

Stage 4   Complications and higher stakes

Sal finishes Hacking Bill, meets with Randy in Westover Market in Arlington, gives Randy Bill’s novel notes  (19)

(Reprise of Turning Point 2a – “change in plans” and original novel “prologues” from Bill’s writings)

Randy finally visits Faber VA and has remote viewing preview and learns he must do a “nighthike”  (20).

Turning Point 4 setback   (and another point of no return, which can also be called a “point of recognition” by some fiction writing courses)

At “nighthike” in caves in the SW Wisconsin hills, Randy and other characters undergo various bodily rituals that give clues as to their futures.  (Apparently former Sal’s former roommate Rusty passes.)    Randy “does” Bill (after Bill cycles back among several previous physical states in his own life timeline)  But Bill suddenly ages back and the “roving eye” plasma appear as both Femeri and Bill temporarily vanish then drop back.

Part 2 – Brothers

Stage 5   Final Push

Dick shows symptoms of disease.  Erin demands divorce, but Randy keeps Dick, who gets better after being taken to intermediate altitudes (in southern W Va) (22)

Randy takes Dick to DC, lives gay life, meets Blueshirt

(Setback 2 or Turning Point 4a):

Dick kidnapped (23)

(Setback 3 or Turning Point 4b)

Sal kicked out of ROTC for rules violations (24), must testify against Bill to avoid court martial (hacking)

(Final Push resumes)

Sal must testify against Bill to avoid court martial (hacking).  Bill “ages” again and goes up with the eye

Sal finds Dick, takes him to mountains (to the “right” altitude)  (26)

Randy traces Bill’s escape thru Texas

Everyone assembles in the strip-mine in W Va (27)

Spaceship takes them back up to Titan as everyone learns how he or she will fare in the next worl

Turning Point 5  Climax

Spaceship takes them back up to Titan as everyone learns how he or she will fare in the next world.  Bill proves he can father a child.

Stage 6  aftermath

On Earth, Sal stays behind for the solar storm which ends the disease but throws everyone back into pre-technology age.  Then Sal makes the second voyage.  He finds his ability to continue remotely viewing Bill limited because Bill can now have children.  On the other hand, Bill has an idea what “heaven” could be like for him in a few years.   He has a better take on what it would be like to be Rusty since Rusty is gone.  He knows Matt has already hosted a lot more “souls”., as they all prepare to move to a new solar system.

Tradition plotting talks about a “beginning, middle, and end”.  In Hauge the beginning and end are significant, like movements of a symphony, as if the middle were a “slow movement”.  Here “Part 1” is the “Beginning”, the “Middle” is Part 1A, the “Scherzo” (and recognition point), and the “End” (or Finale) is Part 2 .  The Epilogue or final pedal point (like in a Bruckner symphony) would occur when the major characters know how they must finally turn out (on the last two or three pages).

(Posted: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 1:30 PM EST)

Arlington VA, where woodpeckers peck

Today, after service at the Trinity Presbyterian Church in Arlington VA, I stopped to take a recording of some bird sounds in the “mountain” of “Chapel Hill” behind the church, which protects the area from damage from the strongest winds in storms.

Say, “Arlington VA, where woodpeckers peck”, a rewrite of the narrative line “Lumberton NC, where woodpeckers peck” in David Lynch’s 1986 masterpiece “Blue Velvet”.

Maybe this is like a nature sound in a Mahler symphony.

(Posted: Sunday, February 26, 2017 at 1:45 PM EST)

Cato holds forum on Trump’s energy policy

The Cato Institute held a forum today, “Trump’s Energy Policy: Promise or Peril“.

The panel comprised Peter Russo moderating, with Robert L. Bradley. CEO and founder, Institute for Energy Research; Adele Morris, Senior Fellow and Policy Director at the Brookings Institute, and Catrina Rorke, Senior Fellow and Policy Director, R Street Institute.

1  The first two clips are in response to my question on proposals by Taylor Wilson and others to decentralize power grids to make them more secure from terror attacks and solar storms.  The market mechanisms provide little support for what some homeland security analysts view as necessary.  I did mention his idea for small underground fission reactors, but there was no reaction.

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(Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at 9:15 PM EST)