Shifting Baselines

Randy Olson

When Oppenheimer watched the atomic bomb go off he felt he had played a part in the destruction of humanity. I know the feeling. Last week I got a nice email from a group of graduate students in marine ecology at Northeastern University who apparently are losing their minds as badly as I did in…

Jellyfish and Bacteria

…That’s what you get when the ocean is infer-e-yah. We sang about it six years ago. In 2002 we made a Flash video in which we said, “A new term for the new millennium:  Jellyfish blooms.” And now our dire predictions appear to be coming true, around the world. They’ll sting your knees, and cause…

This is rather distressing. It doesn’t sound like there has been any sort of major, published, peer-reviewed, quantitative documentation of this yet. But that said, something is not right when so many sport divers not only count dozens of dead or dying eels (the diver on this blog itemized in detail 50 encounters with dead…

This is how it’s done in this country.

On the morning after our east coast premiere of “Sizzle” at the Woods Hole Film Festival on July 26 we had a really good panel discussion which WGBH video taped and has just posted. Andy Revkin (of the NY Times) and Naomi Oreskes (star of “Sizzle”) are both excellent. Scott Doney doesn’t quite get enough…

JUNK RAFT Days Away from Hawaii!

Now it’s time to share the truth. Back in the first week of June the Junk Raft expedition faced some very dark days. When they were first towed out to the Channel Islands one of the pontoons broke apart, forcing them to stop and gather the plastic bottles that came loose. Then, a day later…

SIZZLE Reviews: Nature vs. Variety

Here we have it now, pretty much formalized. We spotted the pattern last November in our first test screenings of non-science friends in Hollywood vs. scientist friends. As the Sizzle Tuesday reviews popped up, Chad Orzel noted it among the Science Bloggers. Then Chris Mooney identified the pattern and editorialized on it. Now we can…

Tomorrow is SIZZLE TUESDAY

We’re in the middle of the Outfest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. I’ve been to four of their parties now. I have to say, these are the nicest, most supportive, most polite, most fun, most open, most down home, most un-pretentious filmmakers I have ever met in nearly 20 years of going to film festivals.…

The world has changed. Sometimes its hard to notice. This is what “shifting baselines” is about. And this is also what an excellent article this month’s Atlantic Monthly titled Is Google Making Us Stupid is about. Much more than just the idea of getting lazy and using Google to remember things for you, the article…

As far as anyone that I’ve spoken with in Hollywood knows, this has never been done before. No one has ever organized 50 bloggers to post their reviews of a small movie all on the same day, which is what will happen next Tuesday, July 15, for my new film Sizzle. Turns out it’s an…