Advice for Lost Time Travelers

A few years ago, I worked on a Big Studio Movie that involved time travel. This particular project never made it off the launch pad, but it started me thinking about an admittedly minor issue with the genre:

How do time travelers know where and when they are?

For travelers with functional time machines, there is presumably some device onboard to calculate geographic and temporal location. Easy enough.

But what if the time machine breaks in transit? Or what if, like Kyle Reese in The Terminator, the voyager arrives in the past with no gear whatsoever?

Here’s the basic question that keeps me up some nights:

If I were deposited somewhere on Earth, somewhere in time, how could I figure out where and when I was?

Ask someone

Assuming there is a human civilization nearby, this seems like the obvious choice.

Odds are I wouldn’t speak their language, but I suspect that observing them would give me a general indication about where I was (Europe versus Asia versus Central America) and when (Paleolithic versus Iron Age). I’d want to be careful making assumptions based on ethnicity, since humans have moved around the globe a lot.

On the off chance I wasn’t immediately killed as an outsider, I’d eventually learn their language well enough to ask more detailed questions that could narrow things down further:

  • Which way is the ocean?
  • What other cultures have you encountered?
  • What’s the most impressive landmark, natural or otherwise, you can take me to?

Available clues

If there were no one else around, I’d have a much harder time even getting started figuring things out. But I wonder how much of that is my own ignorance.

Certainly, a competent biologist would be able to study the nearby plants and animals to get a sense of which ecosystem — and possibly what time period — she found herself in.

Ditto for a paleontologist.

An experienced geographer or geologist would likely look for things I’d never considered, such as minerals in the soil or weather patterns.

A great astronomer might be able to use stars to figure stuff out. (My hunch is that celestial observation could help you determine where or when, but not both.)

An archeologist could likely glean useful information from abandoned settlements, even if the humans themselves weren’t around.

In general, these are situations where scientists have a considerable leg up on screenwriters, both because of the knowledge in their heads and their ability to apply the scientific method.

Phone a friend

Let’s say that through movie magic, I have a radio that lets me communicate with a trusted confidant in 2017. We’ll call her Trish.

Like a lost tourist, I might rely on Trish to Google things for me, or consult modern experts. Let’s assume she’s very resourceful and persuasive.

  • What would I ask her to do?
  • Who would I want her to call?
  • What might Trish tell me to do on my side to help determine where and when I was?

What’s interesting about Trish is that we all have one: the internet. It’s easy to forget that even ten or twenty years ago, it was much harder to find answers to many of our questions. We think of the internet as being a source of facts and opinions, but one of its most important functions is troubleshooting.

So that’s why I’m writing this blog post: to help solve my imaginary predicament. I’m genuinely curious how people smarter than me would solve this issue. What advice would you give to lost time travelers?

If you have ideas, you can find me on Twitter @johnaugust, or send longer suggestions to ask@johnaugust.com. I’ll share the most interesting and/or helpful ideas submitted.

johnaugust.com

Mating kangaroos are literally blocking traffic in Australia

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The internet has grown to understand the crude reality of kangaroos mating, in the hardest possible way. 

Remember when everyone thought this image showed the heartbreak of a roo losing a loved one and instead it was revealed to be an act of necrophilia? 

Compared to that trauma, the sight that Melbourne commuters had to behold this morning is nothing.

A photo shared with 3AW program shows two kangaroos mating in the middle of the road in front of a four-wheel drive. 

Rumour File: Mating kangaroos stop traffic in Melbourne, Australia https://t.co/uyY7jWu55T pic.twitter.com/0HPdUZI1H7

— Melbourne (@MelbourneRR) April 27, 2017 Read more…

More about Melbourne, Traffic, Kangaroos, and Watercooler
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Keep 100% of Your Stock Footage Profits With Videoblocks

Videoblocks is paving the way for 360/VR stock footage.

Just one year ago, Videoblocks decided to push their online marketplace forward with an emphasis on 360/VR video. Turns out that was a pretty good idea and they are now the largest marketplace for VR stock videos.

Consider the fact that unlike most stock footage libraries, Videoblocks lets the contributor keep 100% of the money from the product they sell. Clients pay a small membership fee, but contributors pay none. Just upload your footage and wait until someone pays for it. VR footage sells for $ 3.99 a video, that means $ 3.99 directly into your pocket.

Videoblocks also gave us advice on what sells in their marketplace. As far as stock footage, the things that sell best are nature, time-lapse, and 4k images. The purchasing rate for 4k footage alone has doubled in the past year. The best advice they gave was, «Make it authentic.»

No Film School’s complete coverage of NAB 2017 is brought to you by My RØDE Reel, Vimeo 360, and Blackmagic Design.

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No Film School

Winchester Movie: A First Look at Helen Mirren in the Supernatural Thriller

Winchester is headed to the big screen and it stars Helen Mirren.

Take a first look at Helen Mirren from the upcoming Winchester movie

CBS Films has today revealed a first look at Dame Helen Mirren from the upcoming Winchester movie. The supernatural thriller is now in production with Michael and Peter Spierig (Predestination) directing from a screenplay they wrote with Tom Vaughan. The Academy Award-winning star joins Jason Clarke, Sarah Snook and Angus Sampson in the film, which is set for a 2018 release. You can check out the full image in the gallery viewer at the bottom of this page and, in the player below, watch a brief video version that compares Mirren to the real Sarah Winchester.

RELATED: Production Begins on Winchester Mystery House Movie

The Winchester movie follows the story of firearm heiress Sarah Winchester (Mirren), who was convinced that she was haunted by the souls killed at the hands of the Winchester repeating rifle. After the sudden deaths of her husband and child, she threw herself into the 24-hour a day, seven days a week construction of an enormous mansion designed to keep the evil spirits at bay. But when skeptical San Francisco psychiatrist Eric Price is dispatched to the estate to evaluate her state of mind, he discovers that her obsession may not be so insane after all. Winchester will take audiences inside the labyrinth like house that is believed to be one of the most haunted places in the world.

Winchester is being financed by Bullitt Entertainment, Diamond Pictures and Blacklab Entertainment, with Diamond Pictures handling international sales. Bullitt’s Benedict Carver, Diamond’s Daniel Diamond and Tobin Armbrust are executive producing. Andy Trapani, Toni Lianos, Brian Gilbert, Marc Shipper and Simon Oakes also will serve as executive producers. Imagination Design Works’ Brett Tomberlin and Blacklab Entertainment’s Tim McGahan are producing.

Are you planning to check out the Winchester movie on the big screen? Let us know in the comments below!

The post Winchester Movie: A First Look at Helen Mirren in the Supernatural Thriller appeared first on ComingSoon.net.

ComingSoon.net

Daily Dialogue — April 26, 2017

“I’m gay!”

Almost Famous (2000), written by Cameron Crowe

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Coming Out, suggested by Angry Cyborg.

Trivia: John Fedevich, as Stillwater drummer Ed Vallencourt, speaks only one line, announcing (under duress) that he is gay.

Dialogue On Dialogue: A comedic take on coming out.


Daily Dialogue — April 26, 2017 was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Go Into The Story — Medium

Revisit the History of the Pirates of the Caribbean Franchise in New Video

Revisit the History of the Pirates of the Caribbean Franchise in New Video

Revisit the history of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise in new video

Walt Disney Pictures have debuted a new promo for the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, revisiting the history of the entire franchise from a Walt Disney-created ride to the blockbuster franchise we know today. Check it out in the player below!

Johnny Depp returns to the big screen as the iconic, swashbuckling anti-hero Jack Sparrow in the all-new Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. The rip-roaring adventure finds down-on-his-luck Captain Jack feeling the winds of ill-fortune blowing strongly his way when deadly ghost sailors, led by the terrifying Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil’s Triangle bent on killing every pirate at sea—notably Jack. Jack’s only hope of survival lies in the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it he must forge an uneasy alliance with Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), a brilliant and beautiful astronomer, and Henry (Brenton Thwaites), a headstrong young sailor in the Royal Navy. At the helm of the Dying Gull, his pitifully small and shabby ship, Captain Jack seeks not only to reverse his recent spate of ill fortune, but to save his very life from the most formidable and malicious foe he has ever faced.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales also stars Kevin R. McNally as Joshamee Gibbs, Golshifteh Farahani as the sea-witch Shansa, David Wenham as Scarfield, Stephen Graham as Scrum, and Geoffrey Rush as Captain Hector Barbossa.

Directed by Norwegian filmmakers Espen Sandberg and Joachim Rønning (Kon-Tiki), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales will debut in theaters on May 26, 2017.

The post Revisit the History of the Pirates of the Caribbean Franchise in New Video appeared first on ComingSoon.net.

ComingSoon.net

A Story Idea Each Day for a Month — Day 26

This is the eighth year in a row I’ve run this series in April.

Today’s story: The Most Expensive Record Never Sold: Discogs, Billy Yeager And The $ 18,000 Hoax That Almost Was.

This is the story of a hoax that almost was. Its motivating force was a hunger for fame, or infamy, or whispered legend in a particularly American sort of way. It begins on a beach somewhere in south Florida.

Earlier this year, a test pressing (literally a test, for labels and artists to hear before ordering a full run of new record) of an unknown musician’s record was put up for sale on Discogs, a resale website popular with collectors. Two days later that test pressing almost became, at a price tag of $ 18,000, the most expensive album ever sold on the site, besting a record set last year for a sublimely rare Prince piece which sold for $ 15,000.

The lightning-fast turnaround on this record-breaking sale, however, seems to have been a fiction woven by the record’s creator. This morning, Discogs canceled the transaction.

Cover art for 301 Jackson St.

The album, called 301 Jackson St., was recorded by Billy Yeager, a Florida man who has pursued musical fame (or at least notoriety) for 37 years, by his own account. Despite a clear talent for guitar and a cosmically eccentric and dubiously effective knack for self-promotion, Yeager has been stymied repeatedly. The most eccentric — and ill-conceived — example of his promotional facility, bar none, came when Yeager spent two years planning and executing a hoax that would eventually convince a television station and a weekly paper to believe that he was Jimmy Story, the son of Jimi Hendrix, who was in possession of lost recordings from the psychedelic legend. To pull off the scam, Yeager dyed his skin brown. As The Miami Herald wrote in 1996:

The recently proclaimed, mumbling, mentally defective, cordovan-hued, long-lost love child of Jimi Hendrix is really a Swedish-blond, singing surfer guy from Hollywood beach.

Both the TV station and the newspaper were victims of an incredibly detailed hoax — including forged photos, signatures and birth certificate — that was two years in the making by itinerant surfer/musician Billy Yeager. He then called The Herald to claim, er, credit for the hoax, executed for attention.

Now, it seems clear that Yeager has attempted to perpetrate another hoax: He is, it seems, the seller who posted 301 Jackson St. on Discogs. He’s also likely the buyer. Which means that $ 18,000 never changed hands and also raises the possibility that the test pressing of 301 Jackson St. does not exist at all.

And, of course, the story takes place in Florida. Where else could it be? So what if a musician tried to pawn himself off as a descendant of Jimi Hendrix? What if he claimed to an unreleased LP of Hendrix recordings? He’s just a scammer trying to cash in to the tune of a few thousands dollars.

What if the shit hits the fan? Perhaps an obsessive, deranged Hendrix fan takes our boy (Chuck) hostage. Maybe a criminal outfit figure they can score big with a Hendrix LP, so they go after Chuck. Let’s toss in local police. The FBI. A private eye hired by the Hendrix family.

At some point and feeling the pressure, Chuck confesses the truth. But here’s the thing: All of the groups and people pursuing him don’t buy it. They figure Chuck is lying to get people off his ass. In fact, his denials may increase the pursuers’ belief that the LP is the real deal.

Put Chuck on the run. Chased by a half-dozen outfits. Throw several of Florida’s finest weirdos with whom Chuck intersects… voila! A comic tour du force!

There you go: My twenty sixth story idea for the month. And it’s yours. Free!

Each day this month, I invite you to click on RESPONSES and join me to do some further brainstorming. Take each day’s story idea and see what it can become when you play around with it. These are all valuable skills for a writer to develop.

See you in comments. And come back tomorrow for another Story Idea Each Day For A Month.

For other posts in my A Story Idea Each Day for a Month (2017) series, go here.


A Story Idea Each Day for a Month — Day 26 was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Go Into The Story — Medium

Woman Hilariously Recreates Celebrity Instagram Photos

F**k You Gravity

F**k You Gravity

You Guys Make Me Want To Hang My Head Out A Window And Scream ‘Im Better Than Everyone

You Guys Make Me Want To Hang My Head Out A Window And Scream 'Im Better Than Everyone!

Blessed

Blessed

#7 Real Love Is Perfect, Flawless, Acrobatic, Stylised, Timed And Photogenic

Real Love Is Perfect, Flawless, Acrobatic, Stylised, Timed And Photogenic

Living The Dream

Living The Dream

Privileged People Only Travel In Style

Privileged People Only Travel In Style

Waking Up Feeling Sexy

Waking Up Feeling Sexy

Dear Hot Husband, Stop Acting Like You Love It

Dear Hot Husband, Stop Acting Like You Love It

Being A Model Is Harder Than You Think

Being A Model Is Harder Than You Think

Lady Gaga And I Progressing Nicely At Paddle Board Yoga

Lady Gaga And I Progressing Nicely At Paddle Board Yoga

Us Aussies Know How To Keep It Nice. Am I Right?

Us Aussies Know How To Keep It Nice. Am I Right?

#12 Pull Your Hair. Put On A Full Length Jacket (If Budget Allows) And Fall In The Water

Pull Your Hair. Put On A Full Length Jacket (If Budget Allows) And Fall In The Water

#13 Put On A Gimp And Iron Man Mask And Lie In The Sand

Put On A Gimp And Iron Man Mask And Lie In The Sand

#14 Hiking And Twerking, Obviously

Hiking And Twerking, Obviously

#15 Happy Easter! I Hope You All Have More Luck In The Easter Egg Hunt Than Kendall Jenner And I Did

Happy Easter! I Hope You All Have More Luck In The Easter Egg Hunt Than Kendall Jenner And I Did

 

These censors created a whole new classification for ’13 Reasons Why’

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It’s difficult to think of a recent TV series that has prompted as fervent a discussion of mental health and suicide as much as Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why.

The show’s been taken to task for its graphic and detailed depiction of suicide, and labelled as «dangerous content» by Australian mental health organisation Headspace.

Now, New Zealand’s Classification Office has decided to give 13 Reasons Why a new, unique rating: RP18. That limits the series to viewers over the age of 18, unless supervised by a parent or guardian.  Read more…

More about Rating, Classification, 13 Reasons Why, Suicide, and Mental Health
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