The Underground — Issue #43
Everything you need to know about in this weekly series: How Einstein changed the way we see everything, DiCaprio shows he needs an Oscar in the trailer for The Revenant, the gun control debate after the tragic Oregon school shootings, the best subreddit to get free stuff delivered to your house, and relive the groundbreaking album that Radiohead dropped on us 15 years ago.
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. Big Think shows us how Einstein changed how we view everything. Why do you think whenever someone does something incredibly smart of clever, someone will sarcastically call them Einstein? Because Einstein was a genius. So much so that his brain was preserved so we could study just how smart he was. There are a lot of bullcrap things about him that people believe like he was bad at math. Uh, no, sorry, Einstein was a genius with math. You can’t do what he did without it.
It all has to do with symmetry. Einstein opened people’s eyes to symmetry with his Theory of Relativity. So you take that and give it to other minds to inspire them, and you get even more to come out of physics into the physical world. In the video below, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Frank Wilczek explains the influence that Albert Einstein had on his career, as well as his influence on all of us.
2. The Revenant is the movie that will probably win every award at the Oscars. Have you ever heard of a frontiersman named Hugh Glass? Well, in the 1820’s, when he and a group of others were scouting for game, Glass surprised a grizzly bear with two cubs… and well, he was mauled by the bear, but managed to kill it with the help of his friends. Two men were left behind to basically watch over Glass before he died, and they eventually did leave him for dead. The thing is, Glass didn’t die:
“Despite his injuries, Glass regained consciousness. He was abandoned, without weapons or equipment. He had festering wounds, a broken leg, and cuts on his back that exposed bare ribs. Glass lay mutilated and alone, more than 200 miles (320 km) from the nearest American settlement at Fort Kiowa on the Missouri.
Glass set his own leg, wrapped himself in the bear hide his companions had placed over him as a shroud, and began crawling. To prevent gangrene, Glass laid his wounded back on a rotting log and let maggots eat the dead flesh.
Glass crawled overland south toward the Cheyenne River using Thunder Butte as a navigational tool. It took him six weeks to reach the Cheyenne River. Glass survived mostly on wild berries and roots. On one occasion he was able to drive two wolves from a downed bison calf, and feast on the meat. Glass was aided by friendly native Americans who sewed a bear hide to his back to cover the exposed wounds as well as providing him with food and weapons. He made his way to the Cheyenne River, fashioned a crude raft and floated down the river, eventually reaching the safety of Fort Kiowa.” (Via)
So now you probably feel a little stupid talking about how hard that boot camp class was at your gym when you were hung over? The film will have a limited theatrical release in the United States on December 25, 2015, followed by a wide release on January 8, 2016. It stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Hugh Glass, Tom Hardy as John Fitzgerald, and directed by Oscar winner Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Birdman).
Check out the pulse pounding trailer below.
3. Here’s John Oliver’s answer to gun control a few years ago in the wake of yet another mass shooting. 10 people were killed and more injured when a man — who I will not name because screw him — shot up a community college in Oregon. There was a hero that charged at the shooter because of sheer will to stop a maniac, but when will this thing stop?
As President Obama spoke, he tried to find words to comfort us all again on yet another horrible act of violence, but he had to use the word “routine” to describe it. To anyone that knows what it’s like to suppress anger at not getting a point across, the President is holding back as much as he can.
This isn’t really an issue of right or left wing politics: It’s an issue of allowing mass murder to happen just to appease people that love guns. The usual argument is to protect your family from criminals and to stop things like this from happening. “Well, if someone on campus had a gun, then this type of thing wouldn’t happen!” Yeah, okay, that is perfectly valid if you drink a combination of the stuff under the kitchen sink to get high, but it’s just not the case.
This brings me to a segment John Oliver did on The Daily Show a number of years back. There was a mass shooting in Port Arthur, a popular tourist site in south-eastern Tasmania, Australia. Between April 28–29 of 1996, a killing spree in which 35 people were killed and 23 wounded happened. This led to the banning of firearms. It seemed pretty reasonable, but it was controversial at the time? Do you know how many mass shootings have happened since? NONE. I know that would never happen in America, but something needs to be done about the ability for a mentally deranged person being able to go to a K-Mart and buy a gun for a few hundred dollars.
Check out the maddening video below of how politicians sacrificed their careers to get guns off the streets and save lives:
Oh, and as a bonus, here’s CNN proving once again that they have no idea how to report anything.
4. This is the best subreddit that you might not know about.
Hey, do you like free stuff? Well I have some good news for you. If you go to reddit.com/r/freebies, they have daily free stuff you can get because companies need to get their products out there. I know this sounds like shameless promotion of another website, but here’s a list of some of the free stuff I got:
- 500 free condoms of all sorts
- Over a dozen magazine subscriptions
- Free food coupons and coupons to local stores that saved me a lot of money
- Free vitamins
- Free Atkins starter packs
- Free workout supplements
- Free cologne
- Free shampoo and soap
- Free Redbox rentals
- FREE COFFEE!
- Free stickers and coloring books
- Free knife
- Free Stella Artois glass (this was by far one of my favorite)
- Free dog and cat food
That is just what I can remember off the top of my head. That condoms one? Yeah, that was a surprise that I actually got it. It came in a big container and I lost it laughing. I even put it with some of the Halloween candy for a funny picture (Ed Note: I’d never hand it out to kids, that would be asking for it).
Every other day I get a gift in the mail. I suggest you head on over to the Freebies section of Reddit and start getting some free stuff.
5. 15 years ago, Radiohead released the groundbreaking Kid A. When I was 15 years old, I was just beginning to play guitar. I heard the pre-chorus riff of Our Lady Peace’s One Man Army and knew I had to play it, but when I listened to Kid A, I knew I had to branch out to play even more.
It literally sounded like nothing else on the radio. Radiohead pushed every boundary with this album and changed music forever. People now criticize the bad for going to far out there with their music, but they’re the only band that constantly changes it up. You can’t put a song from Kid A onto an album like OK Computer.
On October 2nd, 2000, Radiohead really did change how rock music operated. Now just about every experimental rock band adds different synth and sounds to their music to try to emulate Radiohead, but no one has captured the genius that is Kid A. Relive the entire album below. And if you have never heard the album before, I really wish I was you so I could experience it all over again for the first time.
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Jeff Sorensen is an author, writer and occasional comedian living in Detroit, Michigan. You can look for more of his work on The Huffington Post,UPROXX,BGR and by just looking up his name.