The Underground — Issue #35
Everything you need to know about in this weekly series: A new Netflix film starring Idris Elba, a film that will make you afraid of children, a NASA administrator completely owned Congress, an update on how many exoplanets could harbor alien life, and how much beer costs at all the stadiums in America.
At Social Underground we go beyond the mainstream stuff and see what’s underneath the surface. What should we get into, listen to, read, eat or watch? If there is something in our culture that needs attention that’s our job: Show you the underground things that you need to know about: Books, music, television, movies, comedians, art, and whatever else we can find to get you into something you never knew about. That’s The Underground.
1. Check out Idris Elba as a warlord in Netflix’s Beasts of No Nation. Idris Elba is pure awesome. I can’t stress the fact that he is one of my favorite actors enough to people. He was amazing in The Wire, amazing in Luther, and pretty much amazing in everything else — even Prometheus.
Now, Idris Elba will play a warlord in a new Netflix film which will again showcase his talents. What makes me even more excited is that it’s written and directed by Cary Fukunaga — the man responsible for the first season of True Detective, and not the disaster of a second season.
Check out the trailer below to see Idris Elba ready himself for a shower of best actor awards.
2. The Hunt will make you never want to be near a child ever again. Before I explain the movie and its impact, let me tell you a tale: This past Christmas, I hosted extended family for a party since no one could decide who would host it. My cousin’s boyfriend brought his two little girls that were 8 and 12 years old. I ended up playing games on my tablet with them and they turned out to be really cool kids. I thought that maybe having a kid could be a good thing after having been against having children since watching friends of mine obliterate their lives.
After the party, my Dad said to me that he was worried about me hanging around them. It was not that I am AT ALL a danger to children, he just knows of stories where a kid can say one thing that isn’t true and completely ruin someone’s life. I thought that was weird, but then I saw The Hunt.
Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen) is a Kindergarten teacher who takes great care of his students. Unfortunately for him, young Klara has a runaway imagination and concocts a lie about her teacher. Before Lucas is even able to understand the consequences, he has become the outcast of the town. The hunt is on to prove his innocence before it’s taken from him for good.
There are scary movies with monsters, serial killers, ghosts, demons, and whatever else, but this was the scariest movie I have ever seen. When I see kids now, I get sick to my stomach. I just picture them whispering to me, “I can say anything I want about you and people will believe me. Give me all your money or your life is over.” One lie can destroy a person’s entire life even if they are found out to be innocent.
Check out the trailer and see why kids are the new terror:
Fiction is making me afraid of everything.
3. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden sent a letter to Congress telling them to stop being dependant on Russia. If you’ve noticed lately, American astronauts have been hitching rides to the International Space Station on Russian Soyuz capsules. Since NASA gets a very limited amount of funding, it really halts how much they can do. When we give them around $15 billion a year in funding and throw complaints at them like “Why are we spending so much on NASA, there are things happening on this planet!” and then give $800 billion to the military, you can understand why NASA is getting annoyed that science and exploration gets the shaft. That’s why Bolden wrote Congress and let them have it.
Since the decision to retire the Space Shuttle in 2004, NASA has been committed to developing a follow-on, low Earth orbit transportation system and limiting our reliance on others to transport U.S. crew to the International Space Station (ISS).In 2010, I presented to Congress a plan to partner with American industry to return launches to the United States by 2015 if provided the requested level of funding. Unfortunately, for five years now, the Congress, while incrementally increasing annual funding, has not adequately funded the Commercial Crew Program to return human spaceflight launches to American soil this year, as planned. This has resulted in continued sole reliance on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft as our crew transport vehicle for American and international partner crews to the ISS.
I am writing to inform you that NASA, once again, has modified its current contract with the Russian government to meet America’s requirements for crew transportation services. Under this contract modification, the cost of these services to the U.S. taxpayers will be approximately $490 million. I am asking that we put past disagreements behind us and focus our collective efforts on support for American industry – the Boeing Corporation and SpaceX – to complete construction and certification of their crew vehicles so that we can begin launching our crews from the Space Coast of Florida in 2017.
Across the United States, aerospace engineers are building a new generation of spacecraft and rockets that will define modern American spaceflight. The safe, reliable, and cost-effective solutions being developed here at home will allow for more astronauts to conduct research aboard the space station, enable new jobs, and ensure U.S. leadership in spaceflight this century. The fastest path to bringing these new systems online, launching from America, and ending our sole reliance on Russia is fully funding NASA’s Commercial Crew Program in FY 2016. Our Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contractors are on track today to provide certified crew transportation systems in 2017. Reductions from the FY 2016 request for Commercial Crew proposed in the House and Senate FY 2016 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies appropriations bills would result in NASA’s inability to fund several planned CCtCap milestones in FY 2016 and would likely result in funds running out for both contractors during the spring/summer of FY 2016. If this occurs, the existing fixed-price CCtCap contracts may need to be renegotiated, likely resulting in further schedule slippage and increased cost.
Human spaceflight and exploration are important activities for this Nation. The broad scope and bold goals of our human spaceflight program set our Nation apart from all others. Human spaceflight is both an exploration program beyond low-Earth orbit comprised of the Space Launch System and the Orion crew vehicle as well as the ISS and the private sector crew transportation systems necessary to support our research and technology development on the ISS – research and development that is critical to the success of the exploration program. While I understand that funding is extremely limited, it is critical that all of NASA’s human spaceflight efforts be supported.
It is my sincere hope that we all agree that the greatest nation on Earth should not be dependent on others to launch humans into space. I urge Congress to provide the funds requested for our Commercial Crew Program this year, so we can prevent this situation in the future. (Via)
This letter perfectly explains the frustrations that the people at NASA are feeling. It’s really sad that they basically have to come hat in hand to beg for more money. NASA gave humanity some of the most wonderful things to happen in human history, and it really sucks that a bunch of lawyers and businessmen don’t see the need to further our reach into the universe.
Just take look at the turnout in the Senate for Neil deGrasse Tyson asking to extend funding for NASA a few years ago. There’s 2 people sitting up there.
4. Here are the 8 exoplanets that could sustain alien life that we’ve found so far. Maybe when humanity stops killing itself so much where we can actually fund NASA and zoom around the galaxy in warp ships, we can visit new worlds and set up some colonies. Maybe we can even meet new species of alien life! This infographic shows how far they are and explains their potentials for harboring alien life.
5. Have you ever wondered how much beer costs in the biggest sports arenas? A genius decided to compile all the baseball stadiums prices of beer. One of the biggest problems with buying beer at a stadium is that you buy more than one. If you have a designated driver, expect to drink way more than one. When beers are near $8 for a 16oz glass of crappy light beer, you end up dropping $100!
What I assume happens in other cities is the super cheap seat deals are offered as a way to get people into games. In Detroit, commercials run during games that offer 4 tickets, 4 drinks, 4 hot dogs, and 4 bags of chips for $76. Sounds like a great deal, but if you go with your buddies, that doesn’t include dropping some loot on beer. Check out this handy little guide on which stadium has the best bargain for beer, and which one is a complete rip. SPOILER ALERT: Boston. It’s always Boston.
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