Late Night: The Cosmos Is Unstable, Professor Over-Proves

 


 
Guess what? The cosmos, like Victoria Jackson and life itself, is probably inherently unstable. Most of us probably already know that instinctively without needing the Large Hadron Collider to prove it.

I once had a teacher in high school, Jim Hosney, who wanted to teach a course in existentialism where there would be no rhyme or reason as to why people got the which grades that day. That concept might not have gone over real well at an all-girl prep school where eating disorders and substance abuse seemed to be part of the curriculum.

Hosney was a brilliant and challenging social history teacher who showed us films like The Beguiled, Weekend, and The Devils. Hosney’s methods thankfully had nothing on this professor of quantum mechanics, apparently a frustrated (and very bad) performance artist, who began his lecture by saying:

in order to learn quantum mechanics, you have to strip to your raw, erase all the garbage from your brain and start over again. … Everything you do in your everyday life is totally opposite of what you are going to learn in quantum mechanics.

 

 

A science professor at Columbia University on Monday began a quantum mechanics lecture by stripping into his boxers and eating a banana while rap music played in the background….The professor, Emlyn Hughes, proceeded to redress himself in black, complete with sunglasses, and hug himself on stage at the front of the classroom, a large theater.

As Hughes sat in the fetal position, two “actors” dressed in ninja costumes walked onstage and placed white stuffed animals – lambs – on stools before the audience, according to a student-recorded video of the incident posted on Vimeo.com by “Bwog,” a campus news website run by Columbia students.

The ninjas blindfolded the lambs, then a ninja impaled one of the stuffed animals with a long sword and banged it against the stool – right as an image of a plane hitting one of the Twin Towers on 9/11 started rolling on a large screen behind the performance…

After the lamb’s grisly “death” and the images of 9/11, the footage turned into a montage that included clips of Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and Hitler – as well as numerous shots of war images – tanks rolling, bombs exploding, people hanging upside-down, troops marching, and the like.

 
Weekend, Jean-Luc Goddard:

The Beguiled:

The Devils:

Late Night FDL: Any Early Bets on the Oscars?

Tomorrow we’ll be live blogging the Oscars beginning with the Red Carpet at 7pm ET (4pm PT) –a hard choice E! or ABC?– and then at 9pm ET (6pm PT), when the show starts. FDL is especially stoked this year as three of the five nominees for Best Documentary have been part of Movie Night –Hell and Back Again; If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front; and Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory.

So what nominated films have you seen? What have you seen that you think should have been nominated? Who do like for Best Actor and Actress? And for the supporting slots?

Will the French sweep their categories with The Artist? And then there’s the American battle of the heavy-weights: Scorsese vs Allen for Best Director, with three strong contenders in Terrance Malick for Tree of Life, Alexander Payne with The Descendents and The Artist‘s Michel Hazanavicius.

Oscar contender–and ten time nominee (making him the Susan Lucci of the Academy)–Martin Scoresese has made a list of 85 films you need to see in order to know anything about film. I’ve seen over half of them, thanks in part to my amazing high school teacher, the amazing Jim Hosney. I sat in on his classes in 7th, 8th and 9th grade, and then was able to take them for credit in 10th–and I did every semester.


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