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Gregory Weinkauf
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Gregory recorded his first variety show at age four, took up music, played leads onstage, and wrote, directed and appeared in Beyond Our Control, a highly-rated comedy series of 20 seasons. These experiences carried him through a degree in Cinéma at the University of Southern California, as well as rollicking studies of humanties and guitar in the U.K., at the University of Kent. Originally an oddball high-school journalist, he has worked on-air at five radio stations, written extensively for a dozen newspapers, interned at Paramount Studios, read scripts at CAA, and contributed to the Huffington Post since 2007. He won the top prize for Entertainment Writing from the Southern California Press Club, and is wont to note that he aced A.P. Physics. He's also worked enough awful jobs to be nice to people. If we must fall to definitions, Gregory is a Moderate Vegan, Green, Democratic Socialist, pretty good dancer, wanton bibliophile, and friend to creatures of the wild.

Entries by Gregory Weinkauf

My Favorite Year: The Pop Culture Peak That Was 1984

(1) Comments | Posted June 13, 2014 | 10:06 AM

"Dearly Beloved, We R gathered here today 2 get through this thing called life..."

Purple Rain -- the film by Albert Magnoli, the album by Prince & the Revolution -- rocked my world in 1984. I had liked Prince since he debuted on American Bandstand and coyly told Dick Clark...

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Filmmakers David Salzberg and Christian Tureaud Discuss Their Front-Line Afghanistan Documentary, The Hornet's Nest

(0) Comments | Posted May 21, 2014 | 8:35 PM

Hands up, who's visited the most hostile battlefronts in the very middle of the longest war in American history? No? Me, neither. However, having viewed The Hornet's Nest, the new documentary set within the conflict in Afghanistan (and not the Jimmy Carter book; though they probably share themes), I got...

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Talking Godzilla With an Old Nemesis

(0) Comments | Posted April 1, 2014 | 6:01 AM

Nimoy. Gilliam. Gaiman. Many more. When it comes to interviews, I'm blessed with the best. But sometimes even I go slumming. For instance, take this piece (please): I'm trying to scoop everybody on the mysterious new Godzilla movie, right? So one of those publicity people says to me, for a...

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Audrey Evans and Alonza Bevan of Tumblewild Discuss Their Evocative New Album, When the World Had Four Corners

(0) Comments | Posted March 10, 2014 | 10:05 PM

What do you get when you mix a founding member of chart-topping women's choral group Mediaeval Baebes with a founding member of chart-topping psychedelic rock band Kula Shaker? It's amazing, and you can hear the results on When the World Had Four Corners, the brilliant, brand-new album, just...

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Archaeology Professor Sarah Yeomans Discusses the Reality of Ancient Pompeii

(1) Comments | Posted February 25, 2014 | 8:30 PM

These days, more people are probably pondering the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and the resulting devastation of ancient Pompeii than when it actually happened, in 79 A.D. The eponymous movie (Pompeii) is fun, and I like this stuff, thus I figured I'd go the extra mile and speak with a...

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Cherrytree Records Extravaganza: Ivy Levan and Sting Set to Rock Beatles on Letterman; RAC Readies New Album; Much More

(0) Comments | Posted February 4, 2014 | 7:47 AM

Remember when you first heard "Roxanne"? I do. I was a child in a record store without a clue about the song's theme. Not sure I could've identified reggae, let alone purloined reggae. But I well recall my impression: "People can do this? I want more!" And indeed, The Police...

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No Longer Science Fiction: Start-Up Unveils Radical Consciousness Technology

(5) Comments | Posted January 29, 2014 | 12:59 PM

CONSCIOUSNESS APP from Subtangle on Vimeo.


The world reads news together. The world listens to music together. But can the world feel together? And furthermore, can this shared awareness - this collective consciousness - actually impact the physical world?

What would you do if you could tap into that collective consciousness?

Hardware hacker Adam Michael Curry wants to do just that, by releasing a smartphone app based on scientific research that suggests human consciousness can influence physical reality.

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The app, aptly called Collective Consciousness, is already generating some serious buzz around its potential. It's backed by a team of leading consciousness researchers and Silicon Valley techies, including Dean Radin of IONS, Robert Jahn of Princeton University, and Joey Primiani - Lady Gaga's own tech boy genius.

Here's the idea. Laboratories like Princeton University's PEAR lab, the Institute of Noetic Sciences, and others have been doing experiments to look at how deeply consciousness (our minds) are connected to the fabric of physical reality. They've shown some interesting results that our minds can have an unexplained ordering affect on chaotic systems. The Global Consciousness Project has been showing that a few dozen such systems, called random number generators spread around the world can produce anomalies when global events happen that polarize human attention. Most famously during the attacks of 9/11.

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The odds that the combined Global Consciousness Project data are due to chance is less than one in one hundred billion. The implication is that there's some deep connection between the mind and physical reality, which we don't yet fully understand.


When downloaded, the Collective Consciousness app turns your phone into just such a random number generator, so you can explore the effects yourself. This data is uploaded from users around the world, to create a living network of consciousness information. It's an inquiry into the nature of mind, global consciousness, and the possibility of creating a new kind of "consciousness technology." Sci-Fi fans rejoice.

Me, I'm not a scientist, nor do I play one on TV, thus these thoughts are in a jumble as I hasten toward the birthday party of the one and only Nichelle Nichols -- she of original Star Trek fame ("Hailing frequencies open!") -- where I am to interview Mr. Curry as he presents Ms. Nichols with his impressive "Mind Lamp" (in brief: a glowing tube which changes to the color one contemplates!). It's based on the same technology as his app.

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Nichelle's Party! Live Long and Prosper!


He's a disarming figure, this Mr. Curry, with his tony togs and boy-band coif, and an unexpectedly reassuring one to boot, comforting the nodding non-scientist with gentle coos of "That's a good question."

"I was super skeptical about this research at first," says Mr. Curry. "There was a lot of internet hate speech against scientists who studied consciousness. And on the other side, a lot of wild claims by believers. But when I actually read the research papers and rebuttals I was blown away at how much evidence existed. Both sides of the debate were mostly ideological, and less data-driven. But that was ten years ago. Since then, mainstream science has started to embrace consciousness -- the mind -- as a thing that needs to be studied for the mystery it is."

The potential for consciousness to influence chaotic systems is called mind-matter interaction. It's still controversial, but is getting lots of mainstream attention these days. (This month 80 scientists including a Nobel prize winner called for more research into the field).

Over joyful whoops from the nearby Nichols kitchen, Mr. Curry continues.

"Far more exotic ideas are popular now. Like, 'Do we live in a virtual reality?'"

"Are we just brains in jars?" I suggest, knowingly. Adam concurs, laughs, and shifts into academic gear.

"These are small effects, behave strangely, and are not predicted by our theories, which is why scientists have been divided on them for so long," says Curry. "But that's starting to change. The possibility is more parsimonious with contemporary thinking about consciousness and physical reality. I think that even though we don't fully understand it, we know enough now to harness that interconnection and do cool stuff."

Smart fellow, and turns a phrase with grammatical adroitness. I decide that I like Adam. While consciousness makes its transition into popular science, Curry sees an opportunity to cut ahead of the curve, betting that mind-matter interaction will become a new kind of "consciousness technology."

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Collective Consciousness: The App


Thus do we find ourselves with the seed of an idea - our minds interacting with our phones in a new way - but enough to grok the basics of how Adam's app could work. You couldn't write a script this cool. Well, maybe you could. But at this moment, the lady of the day herself: Nichelle "Uhura" Nichols, calls out, "I hear people!" from the staircase, and descends to join us crewmen. It wouldn't be going too far to state that our collective consciousness has radically shifted the energy of the afternoon: it has become a party, a party with Nichelle. And her sister, and friends. Brilliant.

Somewhere in the mix, Adam's adviser Michael Mazzola pulls me aside and fills in some details. The unassuming Adam is a pretty accomplished kid; as a teenager, MIT named an asteroid after him for inventing a method to help forecast seismic events, like earthquakes. He has his hands in multiple projects, and lives, rather romantically, in the converted attic of a theatre in San Francisco.

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Adam presents birthday girl Nichelle with the Mind Lamp


And now, a little experiment: Nichelle and her partygoers gather around Adam and the mysterious little lamp, which glows ghostly white. The lamp employs a random number generator similar to the mechanism in Curry's app. Each possible color is an equal probability outcome of this random system, and Nichelle is instructed to use her mind to tip the scale towards the color she desires. We are mesmerized as the lamp slowly fades to red, indeed the color she intended. We repeat this experiment several times, the lamp always obeying the intention of the group.

Astonished but satisfied, Nichelle reiterates her oft-quoted thoughts on consciousness: "I've grown up just thinking that what people refer to as 'powers' are a natural extension of our lives, of our abilities, and are hidden somewhere in that 90% of our brain that even Einstein hadn't used yet."

I retire with Mr. Curry to the music room of the Nichols household. The original Vulcan lyre hangs on the wall. I want to know what motivates him. "I'm fascinated by big ideas like the Singularity, and whether the Internet is becoming conscious," Curry says. "The Collective Consciousness app is an audacious project, but I believe in asking big questions. And the benefits could be huge. This project may force us to confront the deeper interconnection between everyone and everything. That could forever change our society."

I asked Mr. Curry about his goals for the start-up. "It's twofold. On the one hand to spread awareness of consciousness and learn new things. On the other, to push ahead with the technological possibilities. I want to build a platform for other creators to tap into global consciousness data, to do things we can only imagine now. I want to enable other developers to use consciousness technology in their own apps. I can even imagine art installations, concerts, or buildings tapping into this global consciousness. The Internet has different layers; Facebook is the social layer, Foursquare is the location layer, etc. Ultimately I want to build the consciousness layer of the Internet."

And who knows. Maybe Mr. Curry's greatest hack yet will be the interface between consciousness and the fabric of reality. The Collective Consciousness app will be free, and the team is crowdfunding the project over at Indiegogo.

Look out! The Singularity might be closer than we think.

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Beautiful Dreamer: Discussing Facts and Fantasy With Author Peter S. Beagle

(1) Comments | Posted January 15, 2014 | 7:36 PM

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courtesy ITV plc


Engaging fantasy author Peter S. Beagle in conversation is a remarkably lively experience, and fan, friend and/or interviewer should prepare to be surprised. I'm all set for unicorns and werewolves when Mr. Beagle suddenly launches into political observations...

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The Late Cretaceous Leaps to Life in Walking With Dinosaurs

(1) Comments | Posted December 19, 2013 | 3:16 PM

Contrary to expectations, Walking With Dinosaurs is not another Rolling Stones documentary. Rather, this meticulously-researched production is based on the BBC's popular documentary miniseries (narrated by Kenneth Branagh), given new life as a family-friendly adventure, directed by Neil Nightingale (of BBC Earth) and Barry Cook (Sarah Smith's co-director on Aardman-Sony's...

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Neil and John in 'The Key' Go Head to Head With Justin Bieber

(0) Comments | Posted December 4, 2013 | 6:24 PM

There's funny. And there's funny. And then there's WTF?!

Welcome to the world of Neil & John -- they being Neil Hopkins of LOST fame, and John Forest of Young Adult fame. They're weird. They're wacky. They're popular on FunnyOrDie.com and their own site and

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Talking With Annabella Lwin: Pop Icon of the Original Bow Wow Wow

(3) Comments | Posted December 3, 2013 | 11:06 AM

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Dig the scene: As New Wave goddess Annabella Lwin of Bow Wow Wow chats with me about all things bright and beautiful, wise and wonderful -- and especially musical (she'd love to work with Stevie Wonder, Carlos Santana, David Byrne) --...

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Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson Saluted at First Grammy Museum Gala, Architects of Sound: Motown

(1) Comments | Posted November 12, 2013 | 6:47 PM

Did you know all the joy you'd be bringing?
Did you know you'd be the songs
The whole world is singing?
Did you know when you dreamed your dream
That you would make so many other dreams come true?
Did you know, way back when,...

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Discussing The Wicker Man: Final Cut With Director Robin Hardy

(12) Comments | Posted October 30, 2013 | 6:23 PM

Update: While The Wicker Man: Final Cut tours the U.S. from Bellingham to Brookline (see link below), L.A. audiences are fortunate, as it's just been announced that this Friday night, the first of November, legendary actress Britt Ekland -- "The Landlord's Daughter" herself! -- will introduce the 7:30 screening at...

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American Radical Patriot: Discussing the New Woody Guthrie Box Set With Historian Bill Nowlin

(1) Comments | Posted October 23, 2013 | 8:24 AM

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Remarkably vast yet endearingly earnest, the brand-new, limited-edition Woody Guthrie box set, American Radical Patriot -- released this week -- puts into renewed perspective the folk troubadour, humanitarian, and (as the title plainly suggests) complex citizen. Comprising the singer-songwriter's full five...

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Director Thomas Trail Explores New Frontiers With Cutting-Edge Artists

(1) Comments | Posted September 8, 2013 | 7:10 PM

Artists abound in my world, and it's a pleasure to note one blatantly revealing signs of greatness. Thomas Trail is a very gifted director whose easygoing demeanor and boyish charm belie his quarter-century of professional experience, as well as his undying devotion to the art and craft of cinema. If...

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Legendary Writer Peter S. Beagle Takes The Last Unicorn Film on Big Tour

(4) Comments | Posted August 19, 2013 | 6:00 PM

Renowned for his lyrical prose, soaring fantasy, and endearing aptitude for creating earthy, relatable characters and scenarios, author Peter S. Beagle is currently on tour, and soon he's coming to a town near you (or at least not unreasonably far away). The occasion is the highly successful roadshow revival of...

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HollyShorts Film Festival Rocks Hollywood

(2) Comments | Posted August 18, 2013 | 10:10 AM

I love a great film festival -- people, together, not merely your flatscreen between your toes! -- and currently in Hollywood the 9th annual HollyShorts Film Festival is rolling in grand style. Running until Thursday the 22nd, the festival -- LA's largest shorts fest, this year boasting 350...

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Director Neill Blomkamp Talks Elysium

(4) Comments | Posted August 8, 2013 | 8:06 AM

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Elysium: Ooh, the wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'...


Last week I viewed the new sci-fi movie Elysium, which is about a large space station that's remarkably similar to Bel Air, orbiting above a Los Angeles that's remarkably similar to... um......

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Detroit: Touring the Renaissance City With Charles Annenberg Weingarten

(0) Comments | Posted August 6, 2013 | 9:00 PM

Recently a friend told me she got a great new job in Detroit, and I was reminded of Billy Crystal joking about Ethiopian food in When Harry Met Sally: "Hey, I didn't know that they had food in Ethiopia!" Similarly, I very nearly said: "Hey, I didn't know they had...

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Talking Smurfs 2 With Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays, Hank Azaria and the Smurfs Themselves

(3) Comments | Posted July 31, 2013 | 8:35 AM

By far the most entertaining movie I've seen this year, Smurfs 2 has it all: gorgeously-lensed Parisian locales, groovy music, high adventure, magic wands, freaky spells, an intrepid mallard, numerous dubious puns -- plus, of course, our eponymous little blue friends, three apples tall. It's fast, funny and full-on zany.

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