Northern Virginia International Film and Music Festival, 2016


The film “TRI” (directed by Jai Jamison) about the Nation’s Triathlon, based in Washington DC, aired at the Northern Virginia Film Festival April 29.

Here are three files from the QA




The horror film “Altar” by Matthew Sconce aired on Tuesday April 29.




There are full reviews on Blogger here.

Below is a picture by Terrabass of the countryside in the Sierra near the site of the film (Wikipedia link CCSA 3.0 license).

Sierra Nevada

(Published: Friday, April 29, 2016 at 9 PM EDT)

Major illustrated lecture on Titan by author of major sci-fi novel


The SETI Institute offers a 49 minute lecture (March 25, 2016) by Michael Carroll, heavily illustrated with artist drawinsg,, of Titan, by Michael Carroll, author of the 2015 science fiction novel “On the Shore of Titan’s Farthest Sea”.

Carroll provides a simulation of exactly what the cameras on Huygens saw over two minutes as it landed in 2005, along with stunning renditions of dunes, lakes, and an explanation of how submarines would work in extremely cold hyrdrocarbon lakes (methane evaporates, creating rain, but leaving ethane). Ice cliffs are as hard as concrete, and enormous sand dunes are forced from hydrocarbon soot that falls from the sky.


(Continuing discussion from Nov. 12, 2015.)

Wikipedia attribution link for NASA photo map of a lake on Titan similar to the lecture (p.d.)

Wikipedia attribution link for diagram of Titan’s internal structure by Kelvinlsong, CCSA 3.0

Here’s another lecture, “It’s Life, Jim, but Not as We Know it”, by Jason Barnes

Smithsonian “Air & Space” has a 2016 section “Life in the Universe” with two chapters: “Life among the Gas Giants” (including Titan), and “Would We Know Alien Life If We Saw It”? about Mars, going back to 1976 (why Dan Fry thought there was evidence of life).

(Published: Wednesday, April 27, 2016, 11:45 PM EDT)

QA for George Mason University law school forum on films about Ukraine and Chernobyl


The following is sample of the Q and A  from a session Sunday, April 24, 2016 in the auditorium at Founder’s Hall at the Law School of George Mason University in Arlington VA, maybe 70 people in attendance.

The first film was a short “One Story of Basketball: War and Peace” about a Phoenix Suns player emigrated from Ukraine.

The second was about young classical pianists, “Pianino for Peace”, by Max Rydow, about to enter college, who did QA with other filmmakers.

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From audience

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One of the directors of “The Babushkas of Chernobyl”, Holly Morris, spoke very briefly by Skype but did not do a QA. The film is to be distributed by Journeyman Pictures.

A full review of the three films is on my Blogger site (but not all the video is there).


Dmitro Vlasoy of the AP has a story on the remembrance by Ukrainian citizens of the accident that happened thirty years ago today,   and which the Soviet government tried to deny for a while.

Here’s a film (9 min) “Chernobyl New Safe Confinement”, the Apka Shelter for Reactor 4.

Here is a Russian or Ukrainian film “Shooting Inside the Sarcophagus”

Wikipedia attribution link for picture of Pripyat and Chernobyl after desertion by Jason Minshull


(Published: Tuesday, April 26, 2016 at 1 PM EDT)


Info on the Combined Book Exhibit (my most recent book is included in 2016)


The Combined Book Exhibit allows an author’s book to be shown at library shows and book conventions.

A related service is PubMatch, which provides management for international intellectual property rights for book authors.

My “Do Ask, Do Tell III” book will be in the 2016 CBE cycle, as explained here.   I will be present at the Wshington DC exhibit July 1-3 2016 (venue TBD).

(Published Wednesday, April 20, 2015 at 10 PM EDT).

QA for “People Are the Sky” at Filmfest DC


Here are some Question and Answer comments from film director Dai Sil Kim-Gibson of the movie “People Are the Sky”,  shown in Filmfest DC on Sunday, April 17, 2016 at 3 PM.  The main review is here.

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Clip 7 (audience)

Clip 8  (audience)

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(Published Tuesday, April 19, 2016)

A sobering view of North Korea’s labor camps: “Secret Footage: This Is the DPRK

There are numerous such videos on YouTube.

Wikipedia attributionn link for picture of North Korean bookstore with works only by the Kim family, by Roman Harak, under CCSA 2.0.

CBS airs “Faith, Spirituality and the Future”, and I’m in it



CBS News has aired a 25 minute short film “Faith, Spirituality, and the Future”, narrated by Roland Smith, directed by John Blessington, link here.

The film starts with commentary by the new pastor at the First Baptist Church of the City of Washington DC (which shared the link on Facebook) , Julie Pennington-Russell, and Diana Butler Bass.  There is a general idea that churches need to reach people where they are, rather than open the doors and say you’re either “in” or “out”. The documentary covers several groups (including Unitarian) in Washington DC and New York City, including one pastor who also plays as a hip-hop musician.

I appear in this film, sitting in the FBCDC congregation, about four minutes in.

(Published: Monday, April 11, 2016 at 7 PM EDT)

“Poverty, Inc.” Film QA at Cato Institute


The following is some excerpts from the QA of producer Mark Weber of the film “Poverty, Inc.” (2014), shown Monday, April 4, 2016 at the Cato Institute in Washington DC.

The film takes the position that conventional foreign aid programs typically destroy incentives of local businesses and farms overases to produce for themselves, and that what people in other countries need is stable government, “rule of law”, and infrastructure.  A complete review is here.

Here are three excerpts




(Published: Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at 11:15 PM EDT)

Ellie Hassenfeld discusses “Give Well” for Harvard Effective Altruism

(Added here May 3, 2016).


“Containment” film QA at American University


Here are some videos of the QA for the film “Containment” by Peter Galison and Robb Moss, shown as part of the DC Environmental Film Festival in the Communications school auditorium, 2nd floor, at American University in Washington DC, March 25, 2016.

The film deals with the storage of nuclear waster (main review).

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(Published Monday April 4, 2016 at 11:30 PM EDT)

Bonus: Tour of Yucca Mountain (2002) near Nye, Nevada (YouTube)

Taylor Wilson talks about the future of Energy at the University of Nevada