Category Archives: The Universe

Rest In Peace, General Organa Solo

We here at Vote Simpson/Hemstead have been rather heartbroken at the loss of Carrie Fisher.  She was more than just a princess and a general, she embodied a number of concepts that we would carry with us through our formative years and into our adulthood.  She first stepped into our minds at about 3 years old.  For me personally, Star Wars is my first and strongest memory.  And like so many of my contemporaries, that is how we first came to know Carrie, but we didn’t realize the ways she would impact our lives.


As (Princess) General Leia Organa Solo:

She was our first crush.

She was the first strong female character we encountered in movies.

She stood fearlessly against giants, and not only held her own but often made them back down.  

She was relentless and determined.  

The villainous could subjugate her, but never break her.  And in the end, they’d pay.

As her character aged she became wistful, and a little reticent of some poor choices she might have made, but would not stop fighting for what she believed in.

As I got older, and became a fan of Carrie as a humorist, author, and script doctor I found that Carrie as a human being was all those same qualities I loved about her most iconic character.  It’s easy to separate Carrie and Leia, but I’ve found in preparing this that I’ve had a hard time separating what I loved most about these two icons, the fictional and real, because as I knew her, Carrie embodied what I love about Leia, and Leia was only a woman I love because of Carrie.

She will be missed.



Simpson/Hemstead would like to recognize and honor those who fought on this day in 1944.

We recognize with solemn reticence those who laid down their lives on this day, regardless of nationality or ideology, for their sacrifice and suffering.

As we move forward from this day through history’s unwritten volumes, may we take this moment to remember the series of events, both individual and national that led to this day.

And let us renew our promise as individuals and as nations of a civilized world to learn from the tragedies of war, and from those seemingly innocuous events years before the first bullet is fired that create the atmosphere for such human suffering.

May we never forget the sacrifices of men and women, military and civilian, living and deceased, whose histories have shaped our world.

Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, Sword. May these words echo forever as symbols of courage, strength, and resolve, while whispering solemn reminders of what happens when the hubris of the megalomaniacal gains the favor of a population.

A Friendly Reminder For Today


Coming Soon To A Speaker Near You

Because sometimes there is just too much to type…

Today’s Study Question: 04/03/12

If a tornado is an act of God, and God’s plan cannot be known by man; then why would one pray to God for the safety of friends facing a tornado warning?

Billions And Billions Of Thank You’s

Today is the birthday of Carl Sagan, a scientist that opened the Cosmos to my generation, and the generation before.   While he will be known as an astronomer, a television personality, and arguably the nation’s first televised celebrity scientist, Dr. Sagan was far more.  A shaggy-haired gawky man with warm eyes he was the embodiment of nerd chic in his mod-era turtlenecks and blazers, waxing poetic about such heady topics as the Oort Cloud  and the size of our tiny galaxy within the scope of the universe.

He also inspired the look for a Big Bang Theory character

He made astronomy, and by relation science as a whole, cool for a disillusioned generation who had grown up surrounded by unpopular wars and political turmoil.  Armed with his trademark “billions and billions” descriptor, he related the wonders of the known and theorized universe through his show The Cosmos with the enthusiastic fervor of a small child while speaking in the buttery language of a herald.

Because of Carl Sagan, and his groundbreaking Cosmos, we have a new generation of celebrity scientists who carry on his work of making the extraordinary relatable and digestible to the masses.  Without Carl Sagan we wouldn’t have:

Neil deGrasse Tyson

He's Science Dolomite

Michio Kaku

The Mr. Miyagi of quantum physics

Stephen Hawking

The Snoop Dogg of theoretical physics.

Okay, so the Hawking one is a bit of a stretch, he was publishing books alongside Sagan and well within the public eye by his own right, but I’m a fan of his work and goddamn, look at the man, he’s big pimpin’ brain of the Universe herself.

As for Sagan, he had something that no one else had that set him apart from the scientists of his era; he was a true poet.  He saw the science and read it as poetry.  His greatest gift to me as a boy was the lyrical beauty he gave the cosmos, and the adventure he made it’s exploration; even from this insignificant speck of dust orbiting an unremarkable star on an indistinguishable arm of an uninteresting galaxy amid billions and billions of other galaxies.

Part of my job every year is carrying on the legacy of Carl Sagan’s heralding the Cosmos for the masses, and even though I do it with digital whimsey rather than my words and degrees, I feel proud to be part of that family that Carl created.

The wonderful skeptic in Sagan would hate my next statement, but the poet I hope would smile.

To me, the poet that stands watch in my mind alongside the skeptic saw the Cosmos give Carl a birthday present, if not a day early.  Asteroid 2005 YU55 passed by Earth yesterday, skirting by our little blue marble within the moon’s orbit.  It’s not an uncommon event, NEO’s (Near Earth Objects) are more common than people are aware, but this one caught folk’s attention.

When we got a good look at it we saw what it was; just an unspectacular rock floating through space.  Nothing more than a speck of dust from the cosmos, but at the same time so very important.  The way Carl described Earth.  In a poetic way, it could be thought that the Cosmos said, “Happy Birthday Carl, for an insignificant speck of dust, you’re pretty damned important.”

In reality the mathematical probability of an NEO sweeping past earth in line with one of Carl’s birthdays (plus or minus a day) is pretty high.  But maybe, just for today, we can let the poet win out over the skeptic.

Happy Birthday Carl Sagan, from a tiny speck on a pale blue dot in the corner of your great Cosmos.

Let’s Just Take a Moment Here

I was going to post something about the death of the large format film camera, and something about Quaddafi, but then I saw this and my brain needs a little bit of time to reboot.

My nerd region is so happy, but my good taste lobe is in exquisite, tortuous pain.

I need to sit down.


When I first joined Facebook I was all like this:

And then more of my friends joined and I started reconnecting with people I’d not seen in 20 years and I was like:

But now, after repost after repost after repost of the same bullcrap and an almost uncountable number of status updates that equate to something and inane and pointless as, “tacos for lunch” or “today sucks”, I’m kinda finding myself feeling more and more like this:

"You... you just 'liked' your own status, didn't you?"



Day Job Gets Antoine Dodsoned.

Looks like someone with a wicked sense of geeky to them has collected a series of cable shows and auto tuned the hell out of them to make a catchy little tune about quantum theory, including a breakdown by Stephen Hawking.

Wouldn’t you know it?  The whole thing starts off with my buddy Morgan Freeman and then gets into a bunch of our VFX work for the first season.

See kids?  Science can be fun!!!

On a side note, why doesn’t Stephen Hawking have a signature fragrance like Justin Bieber?

This Is How The Universe Expresses Simpson/Hemstead

Vote Simpson/Hemstead:  We’re whatever the hell that cool thing is.

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