Three Unbelievably Surreal TV Moments From Overseas

Surreal TV Boy Gun

Source: The Guardian

Americans were at the forefront of inventing and making widespread use of television. We were also at the forefront of using it as a teaching tool for uplifting people all over the world. Unfortunately, we were also the first to toss that noble vision right out the window and run cigarette ads thinly disguised as news programs and hundreds of episodes of The Gong Show.

But, despite our own imbecility, Americans are consistently amazed at the surreal TV sometimes produced overseas. Every culture that has adopted TV has approached the medium in its own unique way, from North Korea’s all-propaganda, all the time format, to Japanese game shows that cross the conceptual boundary between lowbrow entertainment and actionable war crimes. It’s as if TV was our kid, who we sent to college overseas, only to have her come back as a Mao-quoting anarchist who runs a scat play blog on Tumblr.

Sometimes, mass media, ratings desperation, and striking cultural differences collide—and the results are then broadcast for the world (and a few aliens, probably) to see. Fortunately, some thoughtful people have done the public service of uploading the weirdest moments of surreal TV from overseas to the Internet for posterity.

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How Computers “Sing” Love Songs

So, we’ve never really seen anything like this before. Martin Backes–who somehow finds the time to be an artist, DJ, hacker, composer and designer–has actually come up with a way to program pathos.

Backes’ fully automated machine endlessly sings top ’90s love songs and, according to Backes, “as the computer program performs these emotionally loaded songs, it attempts to apply the appropriate human sentiments. This behavior of the device seems to reflect a desire, on the part of the machine, to become sophisticated enough to have its very own personality.”

You have to see it to understand it–and we highly recommend that you do.

Beer-Powered Cars And The Future Of Energy

Beer-Powered Cars Tanker

Brewtroleum now fuels beer-powered cars across New Zealand. Source: 3News

Climate change and the global energy crisis have escalated to the point where if we want to reverse or limit their impacts, something drastic must be done-and fast. The potentially dire circumstances are enough to drive anyone to the bottle, and for a few people, it already has—albeit for honorable reasons.

While other breweries are busy perfecting gimmicky seasonal brews to satisfy the barflies and frat boys, the minds behind DB Export have been hard at work developing their very own recipe for an alternative fuel—and it comes from an unconventional source.

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Your World This Week, Volume VI

Kepler 452b Earth Comparison

An artist’s concept drawing of Earth (left) and Kepler-452b (right). Source: NASA

Newly Discovered Earth-Like Planet Could Very Well Support Life

NASA recently declared that its Kepler spacecraft found “Earth’s bigger, older cousin.” Kepler-452b, located about 1,400 light years away, marks the first discovery of a planet whose size and distance from its star are comparable to Earth. While there are still many questions left unanswered, researchers know that Kepler-452b has a 385-day year and receives about the same amount of energy from its star that Earth does, and suspect that it has an atmosphere and a rocky surface.

What all this means, of course, is that Kepler-452b may very well support life. In 2017–when NASA launches the TESS satellite–and in 2018–when the James Webb Space Telescope becomes operational–we may get some answers. NASA states that these new projects could illuminate details about other planets’ colors, seasons, weather, and even vegetation. Find more at CNN.

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