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Doug Ellison
Lived in Churton, Cheshire
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More fun with the Lytro
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Episodes 2 & 3 of Cosmos watched, mainly out of respect for Brandon who said I needed to wait and watch the show after I was so critical of its trailers.   Sorry Brandon....It didn't get better like I hoped it would.  We've been to comets, to Titan, all over the Solar System and yet we almost never see the real amazing images from these places.  Instead, the show takes the easy way out every time with shiny VFX that go from 'OK' to 'Oh god that's so f'ing inaccurate it hurts'.    The flow of every episode has been turbulent. Clunky. It jumps all over the place.  And then there are the metaphors. The tree of life. The weird cloisters of extinction (that managed to brush over the most famous mass extinction of all, the one people have actually heard of and might understand).  Such painful and warped metaphor that the actual message itself is lost.  And finally....the God bashing.  I'm not a religious person - infact, I would go as far as to say I'm 'anti-religion'..... But wow....seriously....enough of the God bashing.  I saw someone, first hand, vow to not recommend this program to religious friends and family members because it expends so much of its energy poking at what people believe and how it's wrong.  It's too much.  Far far too much.  FOX viewers are doing what I though they would. Turning off.   Ratings in millions are approx 5.7 to 4.9 to 4.2 - and last night, 3.89.   That 9 O'clock slot couldn't be more appropriately filled with other showings if it tried. Last night "Resurrection" and "Believe" had a total of 13 million viewers. 3x that of Cosmos.  When you poke at peoples beliefs so hard, so long, and have only shiny VFX to show for it...people are going to walk away.  And they have.   I know Cosmos was never written or produced for people like me.  It's not for me.  It really isn't.  But science shows can be made that appeal to the public, and the scientifically literate alike.  I hate to say it yet again but BBC's 'The Planets' and the 'Wonders of...' series did all of this so very much better.  My overwhelming take away from Cosmos is this: I'm disappointed. It could have been so much more.
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Well said, I tried to like it at first, but it's not meeting expectations. At least we have the original to watch.
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A few snapshots added from my iPhone
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Trail Mix. Knee Pads. Lava Tube. GO! 
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Are the knee pads for you, or ...? ;-)
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During the hangout one of the Q's I saw in the QnA stream was if there's a global topography map of Mars.  Not at the same resolution - but here's pretty much the best 'global' topo map of Mars. http://www.gigapan.com/gigapans/150085
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The USGS have produced a new global map of Mars - an amazing effort. Sadly they've released it as a 12 Gigabyte CUB file which 99.999% of people will never be able to look at. I managed to downloaded it - get it converted to a GeoTiff (thanks Fred Calef - GDAL saved the day..also FU ISIS3) - then from GeoTiff to Photoshop RAW and from that...up to the Gigapan Website where hopefully anyone can enjoy it. 
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Have him in circles
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Doug Ellison

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Very first picture with my Lytro
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It's a toy. Nothing more. It's not a great camera. It's not something you would carry with you very much.  It's small though - like having a tiny red-bull can.
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So. Cosmos then. Biggest TV series launch in history. Here's comes the Doug Review..... Really not sure how to tackle this. I've seen people ripped apart for giving it anything other than 5 stars....and I think I'm likely to become another one. (Caveat, I'm not a fan of the original. It has always felt to me like a show made by people too stoned to make television. Just my opinion, and I know very well it's a minority one - but I can't even get thru a single episode without giving up and going to do something else) So - fast forward to 2014 and Episode 1 of Cosmos 2. At the end of it I was left so very underwhelmed. While the 'Cosmic Year' played very well as a third act, the 'Cosmic address' was poor as a first act. As an intro for the layperson it covered too much, too quickly. As for Act 2, the story of Bruno. Wow - what an awkward, tedious and jarring distraction. Not sure the best way to ingratiate yourself with the american public is to point out to 25% of the population how evil the history of their faith is. It didn't need to be covered. It felt like they were just looking for an argument. It really added nothing to the progress of the episode. In terms of technical accuracy...well, we're talking about Neil deGrasse Tyson - a man who has complained repeatedly and at length about the stars in the background of Titanic....so one would expect accuracy of the ultimate degree here. And yet....The usual hideously misleading asteroid belt and Kuiper belt graphics (they commented that the Oort cloud objects are many AU apart, but made no such qualifiers for Asteroids/KBO's). Galaxy animations that had fixed angular velocities from edge to core and so on and so on. BBCs 'The Planets' did all of this so much better 15 years ago. Those graphics of '99 were both better looking AND more accurate (on computers less than 1/10th as powerful as todays) . The sound editing - something one usually never even notices - made its presence abundantly clear in an ugly way....the change in tonality of NdeGT's voice between booth recorded VO, on blue-screen set VO and on location pieces to camera was really really bad. Never seen a show struggle with that so much before. Even Top Gear can make in-car voice match post-production booth-VO better than this. Some of the VFX were pretty but ...but...it's no good..I can't hold it any more. The f'ing 'Ship-of-Imagination'. Please - please - make it stop. Make it go away. I find it an annoying and unnecessary distraction in almost every damn shot. Looking thru its floor winds time backwards, and it's roof is the future....and then it flips over sometimes, flies sideways sometimes, on it's side sometimes. Foot first sometimes. Flying thru the clouds of Venus and it's there. Flying across an old Viking image it's there. Why, when he looked out the floor of it at the Jupiter Great Red Spot were we not looking 250,000,000 years in the past like at the Earth? Why have it there at all? Is the universe not beautiful enough? It certainly isn't improved by the presence of some weird chrome sex toy from the 22nd century (yes, yes, I know it's in the original series. I think it's a horrible distracting gimmick there as well) At the end of it all, I just felt zero compunction to see more of the ship of imagination, and indeed, the whole show. The link between Neil and Carl, whilst touching, just felt so horribly of "Oh shit - we've not mentioned Carl. Quick...bolt something on the end before the credits".  BBC's 'The Planets' or the 'Wonders of...' series...I was always looking forward to the next episode. Cosmos...I'm not. I wonder how its ratings will do in weeks 2 and 3. I fear for it. I really do. I'm sure I'll watch another episode or two, but I just can't see myself watching the whole series. Jenn watched it with me and her reaction at the end actually matched mine (although for entirely different reasons). It was pretty. It made me want a bigger TV. It was OK. That's it. It was OK. For all the hype and hysteria....it was just....OK.
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Well- one of the researchers told me after my comments that it basically is going to get worse for me from here. My compunction to watch the rest of the season which was near zero, sort of flash evaporated at that point. :(
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Always fun to be on Scott's show!
 
Games, Space, Science, Tech - you know - nerd Stuff.
This Hangout On Air is hosted by Scott Manley. The live video broadcast will begin soon.
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Deep Space Hangout
Tue, February 18, 11:54 PM
Hangouts On Air

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Have him in circles
381 people
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Visualization Producer
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Other names
Doug, Douglas, Damn Foreigner
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Introduction
Space nut, speed freak, gadget addict. The damn foreigner loving life in Pasadena
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Previously
Churton, Cheshire - Oxton, Birkenhead - Rodborough Common, Gloucestershire - Tetbury, Gloucestershire - Aylestone, Leicester - Pasadena, CA