Remembering the Future: Metropolis

Still from Fritz Lang's 1927 science fiction film about a dystopian future.

On January 10th, 1927 the world gazed upon a startling dystopian version of the future. Fritz Lang‘s landmark sci-fi film Metropolis was released in Germany. Fans of retro-futurism can celebrate the event and watch Lang’s cinematic masterpiece via the Internet Archive. Cost of admission: FREE!

Show the Internet Archive Some Love

If you haven’t visited or explored the Internet Archive, Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to start. Grab your significant other, cuddle up, and search the Archive using the term romance. You’ll find quite a few gems–images, audio, and even movies that are now in the public domain. One public domain movie that’s full of laughter and love is the 1936 American screwball comedy My Man Godfrey starring the dashing William Powell and the beautiful Carole Lombard. The film is #44 on the American Film Institute‘s list of the 100 funniest comedies. This cinematic production is a treat and is sure to inspire more than a few hugs and kisses.

My Man Godfrey

If you enjoy the Internet Archive, show some love by making a donation to support its work.

Related Resources: Other ginchy public domain movies to watch with your crush include:

Same Old Same Old

Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don’t forget your booties ’cause it’s cooooold out there today!

Happy Groundhog Day!

It’s time to consult that super Sciuridae prognosticator, the world’s most famous groundhog, Mr. Punxsutawney Phil.


Don't drive angry!
Don’t drive angry!

Related links:

The (Freebase) Parallax View

Sometimes, looking at an issue, a concept, or a subject from a different vantage point gives us a whole new means of comprehending the topic. Ultimately, shifts in the direction of our inquiry, engendered by changes in the manner in which we’re making observations provide new perspectives. By observing a notion from different angles, we end up with a parallax view of the idea. We begin to understand that there are more layers of meaning to take into account, additional details that are worthy of inspection.

Humans appreciate familiarity. We grow accustomed to routines and fall into them with startling regularity. When we use a particular path to arrive at a desired destination, whether making our way to a market or an answer to a question, the ruts that form our route are continually reinforced by our travel. The more often we progress along the circuit, the deeper the rut becomes, the more ingrained the routine is in our approach. For example, many individuals, when conducting research these days, automatically turn to Google or Wikipedia for an answer without bothering to deviate to an alternative road to enlightenment.

To be sure, Google and Wikipedia are useful tools for research. Both are invaluable for tracking elusive explanations. However, neither of these paragons of probe are the quintessence of query. There are other avenues of access to answers. Research scientist David François Huynh points out this fact eloquently as he discusses the merits of Freebase Parallax, a “a novel browsing interface” designed for use with Freebase, an open, shared database of the world’s knowledge. Dr. Huynh’s impressive video demonstration of Freebase Parallax ought to convince even the most die-hard fans of Google and Wikipedia that a fresh perspective can often yield richer solutions in a shorter amount of time.

Freebase Parallax: A new way to browse and explore data from David Huynh on Vimeo.

Related links:

  • Drop by Freebase and check out the Categories there.
  • What do you know about a unit of knowledge? Google’s relatively recent Knol is designed to help users locate an authoritative article about a given topic.
  • My apologies to director Alan J. Pakula and actor Warren Beatty for alluding to their 1974 film the political thriller, The Parallax View, in my post title. No conspiracy was involved. It’s an engaging (if not disturbing) work of cinema that’s guaranteed to deliver a shiver or two.