The Lybbaverse / films  

I am a scientist

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Lybba is thrilled to have just released the film I Am A Scientist, to inspire youth about the benefits of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Released in collaboration with The California Endowment, California Biotechnology Foundation, and the California Department of Education, the film explores how STEM education can open up career opportunities in the life sciences, particularly for students from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds.

The film chronicles a day with students from L.A.s Manual Arts High School at the biohackathon that Lybba conceived of and created. Inspired by traditional hackathons by computer programmers and software developers, our biohackathon offered students a real-world DIY science experiment. Lybba’s partner, Wondros, captured the whole day on film, and this footage is the main backdrop of I Am A Scientist.

“The biohackathon was a hands-on, immersive experience that yielded palpable energy and excitement from the students. I was inspired by their imagination and wonderment as they explored outside of their comfort zone,” said Jesse Dylan, founder of Wondros and Lybba. “These students are genuinely passionate about pursuing careers in science, medicine, and research.”

Events like the biohackathon and films like I Am A Scientist strive to create the next generation of health and science leaders. “At the California Endowment, we know that health and academic achievement go hand in hand. This film gives students the opportunity to share how they’ve been inspired by STEM education and that’s the most effective way they can encourage their peers to consider the life science field as well. That’s how healthy communities are built,” said Kathlyn Mead, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of The California Endowment. “We want to help students find their passion and to get a sense for what’s possible in the future.”

Enjoy the film and spread the word!

 

View the press release for I Am A Scientist 

Learn more about Lybba's Biohackathon projects

 

 

Yes on Prop 37

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Our partner Wondros just created a series of films for Food & Water Watch, supporting Proposition 37 - to make GE Labeling the Law.

The ballot measure requires simple, clear labels letting consumers know if foods are genetically engineered. Just as labels list fat, sodium, and sugar, they should tell the buyer whether or not the product includes GE ingredients. 

Prop 37 was written with broad input from food groups, industry, science, legal, and health experts and qualified for the November ballot with more than 1 million signatures from California citizens.

Please share the films far and wide with the message: "Vote 'yes' on Prop 37" because consumers should have a right to know if their food is genetically engineered. 

Learn more about Food & Water Watch's campaign here.

Life is a pre-existing condition

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Sign the petition to support ObamaCare and those with pre-existing conditions today.

The American public talks about healthcare like it’s a controversial issue. We weigh the pros and cons, we take sides, we argue. The truth is, everyone is better off when everyone is healthy. Especially those of us who have been dealt a rough hand – people with conditions or diseases like cancer, diabetes, Crohn’s, Alzheimer’s, HIV, asthma or arthritis.

The insurance networks that control our doctor’s offices, hospitals and emergency rooms have a more difficult time-sharing our pro-health perspective. Not because they’re bad people, but because their focus is on profitability, and they haven’t found a way to be as profitable off of the sick as they are off the healthy. Which is not to say they aren’t profitable.

The insurance industry’s structure left 129 million Americans – including 17 million children – at risk of being denied health insurance because they have a pre-existing medical condition. Millions of Americans tried to buy health care, but were turned away or charged more because they were sick (or had been sick), and therefore didn’t look like a good risk. Millions more Americans were unable to afford insurance, or exceeded their lifetime treatment caps, or experienced other difficulties that left them uninsured and without access to affordable health care when they needed it most.

Business isn’t a bad thing. But the business of health insurance hasn’t been a good thing in America. Not for anyone with a chronic illness, or with a spouse who got sick and lost their job, or for a gravely ill child and his or her parents. President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) recognized these shortcomings and rectified them. Obamacare does for health care what business could not or would not; it prohibits discrimination against those of us with pre-existing conditions. It ensures everyone, regardless of their employment status or health care situation, access to quality insurance and medical care. Everyone. Period.

We are a musician and a filmmaker, who are also fathers and businessmen, who are living with chronic illnesses. We know firsthand of what we speak. We were also friends with the late Jennifer Jaff who, through her organization Advocacy for Patients, fought tirelessly with insurance companies on behalf of chronically ill patients who had been denied payments or coverage. Our friend Jennifer imagined a day when her services would no longer be needed, when health care for all Americans would be seen as both good business and good values.  If you share this vision and these values, watch and share this little video we created as a tribute to Jennifer, and help elect a President this November who shares these values as well.

Sincerely,

Jesse Dylan, Founder of Wondros, Filmmaker, inspired by his son’s illness to found Lybba, at lybba.org, creating compassionate communities of care to redesign healthcare for good

Mike McCready, Pearl Jam, Guitarist, living with Crohn’s disease

 

Spectrum perspective: “Stand Clear of the Closing Doors” offers a look at NYC through the eyes of a child with Autism

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Support the film "Stand Clear of the Closing Doors" on Kickstarter now.

In November 2009, director Sam Fleischner read an article about a 13-year-old boy with Autism who ran away from home, riding the New York City subway for 11 days. The story haunted him, and a year later he reached out to meet the family in hopes of learning more about their experience. He wanted to know how a child in need of help goes unnoticed in the most public of places, and what happens to an illegal immigrant family whose son goes missing in their adopted country.

With the cooperation of the family, he spent the next two years developing the screenplay for the film, "Stand Clear of the Closing Doors". What compelled him to retell the story in a narrative context was how perfectly it lent itself to a natural synthesis of allegory and realism.

The film explores the adventure of an outsider kid looking for his place, and trying to survive a system that wasn’t designed for him. It's a uniquely modern story with a mythic timelessness centered on Ricky, a 13-year-old Mexican American boy with Autism, and his mother, Catalina, an immigrant who works long days cleaning houses to support her family in Rockaway Beach, Queens.

One day, Ricky escapes into the subway system where he loses track of space, time, and himself. As his family frantically searches for him, he embarks on an odyssey of self discovery, observing scenes of urban pathos and oddity while his body weakens from hunger. As Catalina mounts a dogged manhunt for him, their stories intertwine becoming a dual narrative.

A large part of this story will be set in the New York City subway, with one of the most diverse cross-sections of people in the world. The city is an endless river of contrasting personalities, fashions, expressions, and interactions.

We all see the world differently, but people on the autistic spectrum are an extreme example. In addition to their heightened sensitivity towards light, sound, touch, and taste, they have great difficulty understanding emotions and interacting socially. The film captures the initial difficulty of expression between Ricky and his mother and gives way to a complete absence of communication when he disappears. Within this absence, a bridge between two vastly different perspectives is painstakingly rebuilt.

To tell this story, time and place will be documented in the most economical way, working with a small, efficient production crew, and natural, available light. This will be a sustainable style of filmmaking that uses the rich environments that already exist, fusing them with good storytelling.

"Stand Clear of the Closing Doors" is being created by a team of professional filmmakers who are working for next to nothing to create a top-notch project they believe in, led by two of the freshest companies in the independent film and video worlds. SeeThink Films is an award-winning production company based in New York. SeeThink is currently developing a slate of narrative films based on original screenplays. m ss ng p eces is a Brooklyn-based creative company inspired by storytelling, technology, and the limitless potential of the web. Since 2005, they’ve hand-crafted stories that celebrate the human spirit, innovation, art, and culture.

The Kickstarter goal is $35,000. Please help this film come to life by donating now

CERN: Jesse Dylan pays homage to the Collider

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Jesse Dylan, founder of Lybba and Wondros, our filmmaking partner, expresses his awe of the Large Hadron Collider in his film about the "creativity of the quest for origins", posted on YouTube today in honor of the exciting developments in physics announced recently by CERN.

The pronouncement of the discovery of the new subatomic particle that looks like the Higgs boson, the key to understanding why there is diversity and life in the universe, signals a likely end to one of the longest, most expensive searches in the history of science. 

The New York Times reports that according to the Standard Model, the Higgs boson is "the only manifestation of an invisible force field, a cosmic molasses that permeates space and imbues elementary particles with mass. Without the Higgs field, as it is known, or something like it, all elementary forms of matter would zoom around at the speed of light, flowing through our hands like moonlight. There would be neither atoms nor life."

This is indeed an impressive opening act for the Collider, the world’s biggest “physics machine”, which cost $10 billion to build and began operating only two years ago. It was a visit to the Collider in 2009 that inspired Dylan to make the film to acknowledge the work and spirit of scientists, such as Alfred Russel Wallace, a British naturalist and explorer who proposed the theory of natural selection; Richard Feynman, American Nobel Prizing winning physicist known for the theory of quantum electrodynamics; and Brian Cox, a particle physicist and Royal Society research fellow at CERN.