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How Creating Monsters Is Like Jazz
Guillermo del Toro is a Mexican filmmaker, producer, and author. Most recently, he won the 2018 Academy Award for Best Director for The Shape of Water.
Question: How do you create new monsters?
Guillermo del Toro: You know, monster creation is truly a beautiful... it’s like jazz—it’s not like algebra. You don’t take a bunch of ciphers and try to add them or subtract them or multiply them or factor them. You... you’re dealing with almost a musical process and, and like Jazz, what is important is that you riff, you riff by instinct and you riff with the best you can. You try to have Thelonious Monk and you try to have, you know, Charlie Parker and you try to... and so you jam with great people. I jam with Wayne Barlow on “Spectral Motion,” Mike Mignola and you’re doing music together.
I come up the first few notes and then they answer with rhythm, and then, and it’s a truly organic process. To give you an example, the Paleman in “Pan’s Labyrinth” I originally said to DDT, make it a fat guy that lost a little weight so that he’s skinny but he has a lot of sagging skin on his bones. And they sculpted this realistic face and then I was having dinner with my wife and I said, I’m not comfortable with the character, I think that it should be an incomplete character. So I was thinking maybe he would have wooden hands and a platter in front of him and he would put those hands in his amputated stumps. Or he could have no eyes and have a flat face like a manta ray and just have a little tiny mouth—because she always jokes with me that I’m fat, she says, “How did you get that fat with that tiny little mouth with little teeth?” And I felt the voracity of this character was better enhanced with a little mouth with tiny baby teeth than making it a big mouth.
And then riffing on that, I said to my wife, “What do you like the best?” And she says, “I think the eyes.” And then I then told DDT to take the sculpture and erase... and they were outraged and shocked and they got angry at me for a long, long, long—I think they were angry with me all the way to the Oscars, or past that. But that’s how we started riffing. And I said, let’s make a hole here, a stigmata because the guy was kind of the church in the movie. And then I said, let’s... And then I thought of a... it’s an organic process. As you can see by my bulk, I am an instinctive man that tries to organize his thinking, but impulse is 90% of it.
Recorded on September 22, 2010
Interviewed by Max Miller
Monster creation is not a mechanical or algebraic process. "What is important is that you riff, you riff by instinct, and you riff with the best you can."
Duke University researchers might have solved a half-century old problem.
- Duke University researchers created a hydrogel that appears to be as strong and flexible as human cartilage.
- The blend of three polymers provides enough flexibility and durability to mimic the knee.
- The next step is to test this hydrogel in sheep; human use can take at least three years.
Duke researchers have developed the first gel-based synthetic cartilage with the strength of the real thing. A quarter-sized disc of the material can withstand the weight of a 100-pound kettlebell without tearing or losing its shape.
Photo: Feichen Yang.<p>That's the word from a team in the Department of Chemistry and Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Duke University. Their <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/adfm.202003451" target="_blank">new paper</a>, published in the journal,<em> Advanced Functional Materials</em>, details this exciting evolution of this frustrating joint.<br></p><p>Researchers have sought materials strong and versatile enough to repair a knee since at least the seventies. This new hydrogel, comprised of three polymers, might be it. When two of the polymers are stretched, a third keeps the entire structure intact. When pulled 100,000 times, the cartilage held up as well as materials used in bone implants. The team also rubbed the hydrogel against natural cartilage a million times and found it to be as wear-resistant as the real thing. </p><p>The hydrogel has the appearance of Jell-O and is comprised of 60 percent water. Co-author, Feichen Yang, <a href="https://today.duke.edu/2020/06/lab-first-cartilage-mimicking-gel-strong-enough-knees" target="_blank">says</a> this network of polymers is particularly durable: "Only this combination of all three components is both flexible and stiff and therefore strong." </p><p> As with any new material, a lot of testing must be conducted. They don't foresee this hydrogel being implanted into human bodies for at least three years. The next step is to test it out in sheep. </p><p>Still, this is an exciting step forward in the rehabilitation of one of our trickiest joints. Given the potential reward, the wait is worth it. </p><p><span></span>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
Vaccines find more success in development than any other kind of drug, but have been relatively neglected in recent decades.
Vaccines are more likely to get through clinical trials than any other type of drug — but have been given relatively little pharmaceutical industry support during the last two decades, according to a new study by MIT scholars.
What would it be like to experience the 4th dimension?
Physicists have understood at least theoretically, that there may be higher dimensions, besides our normal three. The first clue came in 1905 when Einstein developed his theory of special relativity. Of course, by dimensions we’re talking about length, width, and height. Generally speaking, when we talk about a fourth dimension, it’s considered space-time. But here, physicists mean a spatial dimension beyond the normal three, not a parallel universe, as such dimensions are mistaken for in popular sci-fi shows.
Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.