d e c a y
d e c a y
It's not easy separating fossils from everything else that comes out of the ground -- especially when some of it plays tricks on you!
In this video, Dr. Elizabeth Smith of the Australian Opal Centre in Lightning Ridge, NSW, Australia, demonstrates some of the imposters, illusions and complications in the process of identifying fossil material found on the opal fields.
In this video I meet up with Ross Jackson, project manager for the NSWGR 900/800/700 Class "DEB Set" restoration project. These guys are working tirelessly to restore a NSW Government Railways railcar set that ran up until the 1980s, servicing most of New South Wales. Here, we take a tour of the train and discuss the future of the project!
Lightning Ridge, in northern New South Wales, Australia, is a unique place with a spectacular name. In this episode, we meet up with Barbara Moritz, from the Lightning Ridge Historical Society to learn not only how Lightning Ridge got its name, but how it was three towns for the price of one -- Wallangulla, Nettleton and Lightning Ridge.
The man with the opal teeth: Harold Hodges' teeth are one of the strangest and most popular items in the Australian Opal Centre's collection of mining heritage and cultural artifacts. In this video, we check out the teeth, the man, and the trams that make up this bizarre but awesome story. Thanks, as always, to the AOC for their support and access to their awesome things, and thanks to Barbara from the LRHS for her insight and participation!
You can support I Don't Understand by following the project on your favourite social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or the project website at idontunderstand.info will probably work, too.
It's been a while since I've posted any music, so, uh, let's do a whole bunch at once. Here're three bits of noise, Montauk, Hardtack Teak and Sally-Anne Test. None of them are overwhelmingly remarkable, but I'll leave it to you to be the judge. If you like them, leave a comment, or something. If you don't like them, I guess you can leave a comment, too. I'll probably ignore it, though.
Another episode of I Don't Understand is up, you can watch it below, or on YouTube. This one is about mazes and opal mining history!
Hello hello. I've just started a new project -- an educational channel on YouTube.
The first episode of I Don't Understand is now up, featuring an interview with Dr. Elizabeth Smith at the Australian Opal Centre in Lightning Ridge, NSW, Australia. Dr. Smith explains how crayfish (yabbies) use secret stores of calcium that they keep inside their heads to allow them to generate new exoskeletons as they grow.
I'm probably not the first person to have this idea. I'm sorry. I can't be bothered to do any research to see who else has already figured this out. If you've strung all of these points together before I have, good for you. Have a cookie.
One of the many loose, tattered and mismatched threads of chaos winding its way through the storyline of Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace is the ludicrous idea that Anakin Skywalker, at the age of nine, built the protocol droid C-3PO.
This is very clearly one of the gigantic neon signs that George Lucas insisted on littering throughout The Phantom Menace. Uncle George's signs all say the same thing: Anakin Skywalker is the greatest kid that's ever existed. He's a whiz with technology, he can build outrageous things, he can fly a deathtrap around a canyon better than anyone else, and the Force is with him because he can randomly mash buttons in a spaceship and shoot battle droids by accident.
He also built his mother a protocol droid. I can imagine the day he wheeled its naked, wiry form into the kitchen: "Mother, I've made you a monster. It's hideous, unfinished, smarmy, speaks with a British accent, and its elbows don't bend, so there's no chance it can help you with the dishes."
There are two things wrong with this entire scenario. The first is obvious: Anakin is an idiot.
Great, kid. Mom doesn't need a protocol droid. Mom is a slave. Mom doesn't need to speak six million forms of communication. Mom also probably won't appreciate having to constantly spit-polish the exterior of a metallic gold translator with a superiority complex, either.
The second problem with the whole Anakin-builds-3PO concept is that there's no real reason why Anakin should have built, specifically, a protocol droid. Anakin could have built anything. Anakin could have built something customised to his (or his mom's) situation. Anakin could have built something, y'know, cool.
C-3PO is one of a series of protocol droids. Without going full nerd on you, he's part of the 3PO series, he's made by a company with the remarkably stupid name of Cybot Galactica, and he's -- assuming the alphabet in Galactic Basic Standard (Star Wars' overcomplicated way of saying "English") has the same number of letters -- one of about 26 extant units. To put this into perspective, several other 3PO models appeared in the original Star Wars trilogy alone:
From left to right:
So, Anakin built an exact knock-off of an already existing product that did not actually suit his mother's purposes, and -- if anything -- would actually hinder his mother.
This is the equivalent of an amazing technological and mechanical whiz kid who has the ability to build a car in his garage from scratch, and instead of choosing to build an exact knock-off of a Bugatti Veyron, OR a practical vehicle that suits his (or his mother's) purposes, OR a completely customised vehicle that's exactly what he (or his mother) needs, instead.....he builds an exact replica of Volvo.