The Underground — Issue #98
Everything you need to know about in this weekly series: Before the Flood is a documentary that is a must-watch, Batman returns… in LEGO form, an article that explains all you need to know about cows and meat, and what it looks like when a star goes supernova.
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. Before the Flood is a different kind of horror film. At this point, if you don’t believe the overwhelming evidence of human’s causing climate change, you’re hopeless. If you look at the basic science facts, the more carbon that goes into the air will cause a greenhouse effect. The more pollution we put into the environment, the more disgusting everything will be. How can people keep explaining away the facts? How come they listen to the 4 out of 5 dentists, but they won’t listen to the 97% of scientists. That mostly because the media will have one scientist and one denier who yells a lot on their show at the same time. It makes it looks equal.
In this film, Leonardo DiCaprio travels the world to talk to important people and to see the change happening first hand. People always want to see the evidence that anything is happening in the world due to climate change. In this film, they show it to you. I had no idea of what’s called “Sunny day flooding” in Miami. Coasts all over the world are having their people evacuate inland because the waters are rising. I had no idea how terrible the Palm Oil production was. Before the Flood is a film that must be watch by everyone. Even if you don’t believe in the facts, just watch it unbiased. Clear your mind to the point that you are watching this film 200 years ago before this was even thought of.
I watched this on Halloween, so it was the scariest movie I saw in October. Watch this with everyone you know. Make it an event.
2. The LEGO Batman Movie trailer looks amazing with all its LEGO goodness. The LEGO Movie was a gigantic hit with fans. I went into it with the sole purpose of seeing if Chris Pratt had the chops, and he did. Everyone did! The bright spot of the film was Will Arnett as Batman. His voice works as a non-comedic Batman, but it works better as a comedic one. When he speaks, it’s hilarious because he knows he’s playing a silly Batman who takes himself way too seriously. But what could this new movie even be about?
Premise: Batman goes on a personal journey to find himself and learn the importance of teamwork in hopes to save Gotham City from The Joker’s hostile takeover.
Yeah, that sounds like a Batman movie alright. Who the heck is going to be playing The Joker and other roles with Arnett?
- Will Arnett as Bruce Wayne / Batman
- Zach Galifianakis as The Joker
- Michael Cera as Dick Grayson / Robin
- Rosario Dawson as Barbara Gordon / Batgirl
- Ralph Fiennes as Alfred Pennyworth
- Mariah Carey as the Mayor of Gotham City
- Jenny Slate as Harley Quinn
The only person I see needing to prove themselves is Mariah Carey. Everyone else is a solid choice for their role. I’m interested to see how Galifianakis takes on The Joker. Sure, he is an amazing comedic actor, but as proved in Birdman, he can act as well as anyone winning an Oscar.
3. ‘Power Steer’ is an article that you must read before eating anymore red meat.
When I was in college, my history professor was a passionate guy. He didn’t just teach history because it was something to major in, no, he became a history professor because the man LOVED history. Sometimes he would tell stories to the people who came early for class. Tales about him visiting historic places all over America. He went into great details about these huge homes being built in the South, but were left unfinished because the South lost the war, and the other owners couldn’t afford to complete it. He loved history. He made you learn and remember history. There were no multiple choice tests. This guy made it all essays, which meant you needed to know what he taught. I have notebooks full of his lectures and they’re phenomenal. He would also give out articles to read about history. One that I would never forget is an article called ‘Power Steer’ in The New York Times.
It tells the tale of a journalist who buys a cow to feed and slaughter. What happens after is him learning about why it takes so little time to feed a cow to its slaughter age versus 100 years ago where it took years instead of months. He learns why you can’t eat cow meat raw without getting sick. He learns so much that the reader takes a journey with him into learning where we get out food.
Here’s an excerpt:
So if this system is so ideal, why is it that my cow hasn’t tasted a blade of grass since October? Speed, in a word. Cows raised on grass simply take longer to reach slaughter weight than cows raised on a richer diet, and the modern meat industry has devoted itself to shortening a beef calf’s allotted time on earth. ‘‘In my grandfather’s day, steers were 4 or 5 years old at slaughter,” explained Rich Blair, who, at 45, is the younger of the brothers by four years. ”In the 50’s, when my father was ranching, it was 2 or 3. Now we get there at 14 to 16 months.” Fast food indeed. What gets a beef calf from 80 to 1,200 pounds in 14 months are enormous quantities of corn, protein supplements — and drugs, including growth hormones. These ”efficiencies,” all of which come at a price, have transformed raising cattle into a high-volume, low-margin business. Not everybody is convinced that this is progress. ”Hell,” Ed Blair told me, ”my dad made more money on 250 head than we do on 850.”
The entire article is worth a read. I read it a few years after it was published, but I still remember it to this day. Every time I eat meat, I think of this article. It’s an amazing read.
4. The best visualization we have of a star going supernova. Remember in Astronomy class where the teacher would show you the picture of a galaxy, and then there would be this huge bright spot on it? That’s a supernova, which is when a star explodes. When a star explodes, it becomes brighter than the entire galaxy full of billions of stars. Or to be more specific: A supernova is an explosion of a massive supergiant star. It may shine with the brightness of 10 billion suns. The total energy output may be 1044 joules, as much as the total output of the sun during its 10 billion year lifetime.
So yeah, if you’re near one of these, you will probably get a pretty significant tan. Below is a visualization of what it would look like if a star exploded. It’s spectacular to look at, and with so many stars out there, you’d think this would happen all the time, but it’s hard to capture one of camera because of how many stars are up there.
Keep watching in amazement as this star explodes below.
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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.