Shape Dynamics of the Cotswold Hills

Julian Barbour, one and only independent physicist, cosmologist, and Shakespeare connoisseur based in Oxfordshire, whom you might know as the protagonist of Bottom’s Dream, the third installment of the Pioneers series, continues his work on Shape Dynamics theory – “a new theory of gravity that is based on fewer and more fundamental first principles than General Relativity”. Sounds promising, doesn’t it?

You can learn more about this potentially revolutionary framework by reading those two papers: Shape Dynamics. An Introduction and A Shape Dynamics Tutorial.

We spent three hot summer days in South Newington, documenting the progress, and filming short “ads” that we’ll present soon – inviting you, and friends of yours, to join Julian and his collaborators in their unique research.

The College Farm, the old farmer’s house Julian has been based in for half a century, is – hopefully – going to become an informal and independent research institution, a workshop center for cosmologists and quantum physicists puzzled by the paradoxes of contemporary Big Bang theories.

Here’s a hint how to proceed – below.

Stay tuned! And just in case you didn’t know about Bottom’s Dream – have a look at its trailer.

Summer of love, summer of protests

Summer in the city, summer of protesting. Since Poland is struggling with a crawling coup d’etat, we “relax” on the streets – trying to save as much of democracy as we can. We usually fail…

When days of acid rains are over

The Central Sudetes, one of the most forgotten, the least hip(ster) mountains in Poland – and perhaps the most beautiful ones. Compact, quiet, surprising on every turn of countless hidden, winding tracks, heavy with unsolved mysteries. It’s a region with the most convoluted history, a perfect example of Central Europe’s cultural complexity.

Despite being washed with acid rains for many decades of the former system they recover surprisingly well – and if you want to spot a pair of common linnets or Eurasian bullfinches while walking to your grocery store – come here.

And here’s Sokołowsko – a city where Krzysztof Kieślowski, the author of Three Colors trilogy, grew up. City once famous for its health resorts – now sleepy and semi ruined.

Postcards from the quantum edge

Before I write more (soon), let me express gratitude for visiting the website by sending those sound postcards taken in a mysterious city on the Equator.

I grew up listening to small format analogue records called pocztówki dźwiękowe – singles or extended play records with images imprinted in them – here’s my tribute to this ingenious (and slightly forgotten) invention.

Those tiny bits of footage, taken from my b-roll Singaporean archives, were used to promote an experiment we run this May with Jacek Mazurkiewicz during the one and only Copernicus Festival in Cracow.

We screened Artur Ekert: A Model Kit (the latest installment of the Pioneers series) with dialogue and ambient sounds tracks only – with Jacek creating unearthly music with his double bass and electronic machinery – live! Just like in the old days of silent cinema.

Since our little experiment went way better than we expected, we’ll be thinking of doing it again.

And, perhaps,  even more than once.

This last one, above, we shot with Artur Ekert in Bali. The footage has been never used – awaits its moment.

Pleasures of staring at birds in the post-truth world

My introduction to the world of birdwatching (many thanks to Jędrzej Winiecki, a real pro). Damn cold and windy March morning, but the whole experience – thoroughly addictive!

Myriads of European golden plovers, thousands of Taiga bean geese, some cackling geese, some ruffs, a dozen of black-tailed godwits, one white-tailed eagle, plus twenty or thirty other species. Most of them migratory, in transit to their summer habitats. 

Simple pleasures of staring at birds (Look, there they are!) in the world of post-truths.

Time to buy a pair of wellingtons.

Sound and science hooligans on board

Here it is. Trailer of the latest, seventh installment of the Pioneers series. Artur Ekert DIY. 

Let me quote the synopsis: In 1992 Artur Ekert (b. 1961), a young maverick mathematician and physicist, invented a unique kind of quantum cryptography. Being a recipe for the perfect cipher, it also questioned some common truths about the nature of free will and randomness. Despite being intensively researched the idea remains remarkably challenging and elusive – as does its inventor. This rare movie presents Artur Ekert in his ad hoc habitat, in Singapore.

I hope you’ll enjoy the trailer (and a bonus, below) – the movie premiere soon.

Images – well you’ve seen some of them. Artur, you might know him as well, from our other projects (The Mechanics, Reality Lost, etc.). He’s a famously elusive master of quantum Zen.

The novel element, the killer element indeed, is the original music composed and performed by Jacek Mazurkiewicz, contrabassist, composer, and sound hooligan – the rising star of European jazz and improvisational scene. Just listen to this excerpt.

Jacek and Artur, honor and pleasure to have you both on board in this project. Thanks a million, guys!

PS Yes, we filmed at Rochor Centre, one of those haunting places in Singapore that are silently giving way to so called modernity.

Unfamiliarization of the city of Warsaw

Making familiar unfamiliar. Unfamiliarization. The first step in research of a given culture, they say. It happens so naturally, instinctively easily when we travel, usually providing us with an illusion of understanding. And it is so difficult to achieve when we try to defamiliarize the place we are used to. Here are some attempts of making Warsaw alien again.   

Love, hate, Warsaw

It is one of those cities that embraces you with love and hates you, tries to shrug you off at the same time. Warsaw. But there is something undeniably unique to it – and it is the river.

This is a personal website of Karol Jalochowski, a science journalist, reporter, and documentary film maker of POLITYKA weekly (supported by CQT/NUS).