Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, February 10, 2021

After mostly flying under the academia radar for almost thirty years — popping up occasionally for embarrassment purposes — the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research lab is closing up shop.

The laboratory has conducted studies on extrasensory perception and telekinesis from its cramped quarters in the basement of the university’s engineering building since 1979. Its equipment is aging, its finances dwindling.

“For 28 years, we’ve done what we wanted to do, and there’s no reason to stay and generate more of the same data,” said the laboratory’s founder, Robert G. Jahn, 76, former dean of Princeton’s engineering school and an emeritus professor. “If people don’t believe us after all the results we’ve produced, then they never will.”

Despite the claims of voluntary withdrawal, and notwithstanding the difference between telekinesis and telepathy, the joke about how the Psychic Friends Network never saw it’s own demise coming just scream at me.

If Jahn ever decides to give it a second try, I know of a certain university concept that would welcome him with open arms.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 02/10/2021 03:39:08 PM
Category: Comedy, Science
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[EDIT: The story behind this post has turned out to be completely baseless, as informed below. Further elaboration on the story behind the story can be found here.]
It’s not really so remarkable that the story of deranged NASA astronaut Lisa Nowak would be optioned for a television movie.

Here’s the unique aspect:

Granada America, which has produced made-for-TV films based on other real-life personalities, optioned a [New York Times] article written by reporter John Schwartz, who will serve as a researcher on the project.

In other words, they’re not optioning the story from NASA, Nowak’s family or anyone else directly involved. Rather, the production company is getting approval, as it were, from one of the media outlets who covered the facts of the situation. It’s an important distinction. It points to something of a loophole, too: If the primary source doesn’t want to play ball, you could always base your derivative work on a newspaper article, TV report, or whatever.

This development also marks the first (as far as I know) prominent application of the New York Times’ efforts to broker its content for Hollywood adaptation.

The saga of a diaper-wearing space cadet, trekking 800 miles to kill a romantic rival. Somehow, I imagine the Sulzberger family was hoping the paper’s first movie splash would be somewhat more high-class.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 02/10/2021 03:11:49 PM
Category: Movies, Publishing, True Crime
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