Sunday, January 04, 2015

A Few Documentaries To Past The Time

I've been riding my bike (on the trainer stand) three times a week.  I have to say that riding bike in the basement is not the most fascinating thing to do.  If it weren't for Netflix I think I would not be able to keep at it.

Over the last couple of weeks I've watched some interesting documentaries to pass the bike riding time.  Here are a few that I've found interesting:

  • "Particle Fever" is about the discovery of the Higgs Boson - also known as the God Particle.  The movie follows physicists whose entire life's work may be vindicated or utterly destroyed by the data collected using the largest piece of science experiment ever built, the Large Hadron Collider.  The movie humanizes the physicists, one of the most esoteric of the nerd sub-species.  The end result is concrete proof that the Universe has a sense of humor.
  • "Desert Runners" follows a group of non-professional runners as they attempt one of the most difficult ultramarathon series in the world - for ultramarathons through four of the planet's harshest deserts (The Atacama, The Gobi, The Sahara, and Antarctica).  Each race is like doing six marathons over a five day period and these crazy people do four of them over the course of a year - known as a grand slam.  There are many ups and downs along the way and two moments - one in the Gobi and one in the Sahara - yank you out of the world of obsessive runners and back into the real world.
  • "Print the Legend" follows the development of 3D printing.  The movie, while concentrating on MakerBot, covers other companies in the personal 3D printer business and the political infighting between the various founders and companies.  You witness the growing pains that many idealistic startups experience.
  • "Time Zero: The Last Year of Polaroid Film" describes the development of instant photography and it's slow death and rebirth in the late 2010s.  The movie follows several photographers whose art has revolved around the Polaroid Instant camera.  In 2008, when Polaroid stopped making the film, several fanatics start a campaign to bring it back.  
All four of these documentaries are interesting.  If you have to limit it to two, I would go with the first two but you can't really go wrong with any of these.

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