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Moar space robots!

10 Nov

It’s taken ten years to get there, but early Wednesday, November 12 Central European time (from about 1 AM to 8 AM, which is about 5 PM to midnight Pacific time), the European Space Agency will land a craft on a comet. Their Rosetta spacecraft got to comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko three months ago, and has been in a weird jagged “orbit” around it ever since. Now its attached lander, Philae, is being prepped to detach from it.

All the pre-flight stuff is going to happen when I’m busy at a conference next week, and the actual flight and grand finale landing, if it is successful, will happen in the middle of the night. Good luck to the ESA. #cometlanding

Two videos related to this. The first is more cutesy space stuff, but it’s also part of a rather brilliantly accessible series of cartoons promoting and explaining their mission.

The other video is a short art film the ESA collaborated on that I believe is a promo for a longer, upcoming science fantasy film, “Ambition” about the life-creating chemicals and water of comets:

When is a geek not a geek?

26 Jul

Apparently, I’ve lead a sheltered life.

But I know why.

First, a rec from the man behind Wesley Crusher:

http://wilwheaton.net/2013/07/nothing-to-prove/

I have only been aware of this misogyny-in-geekdom problem in the past year or so via blog links and posts on the topic. The short version is Continue reading

Tell me a story

2 Mar

I complained the other day about Hollywood’s trend of remaking current foreign films and TV shows and doing remakes of (slightly) older American films and TV shows (especially annoying when you are any age of adult and can remember the original like it was yesterday because it was).

This seemed to contradict a stray thought I had later that day in which I was remembering mourning the passing of television shows and film series I had loved (esp. Deep Space Nine, Angel, and Harry Potter) and how I comforted myself with the knowledge that “something new will come along I will love, it always does.”

“New”, of course, is relative. It can be argued there are no truly “new” stories to tell, but I think it depends on what you mean by “new.” If stories are stripped down to their archetypal bones, then no, there probably aren’t any new stories out there, but there are plenty of new ways to tell the same archetypal story. Make your Odysseus a female character in the modern day instead of a male. Pile this culture/era/sub-culture’s baggage atop the archetype instead of that culture/era/sub-culture’s baggage–no one will recognize the story archetype without a lot of wincing, and it becomes fresh again.

Likewise, easily recognizable tropes or characters can be made fresh again with a fresh angle to them. Set the (yet another) vampire story in the American south, or have the vampire share a flat with a werewolf and a ghost. Give your formerly-Victorian characters cell phones and sophisticated 21st-century adversaries to test their skills against.

That said, there IS such a thing as trope-fatigue. And making your “adaptations” too thinly-disguised by your “variations” to be fresh enough.

Sometimes, what I really want is to curl up and revisit the same story told the same way I remember it. Sometimes, what I really want is a story trope/archetype/kink that’s deep in my bones told in a way so different from what I’ve heard before I don’t recognize it at first. Sometimes I want a film/show that was done forty years ago, and not too well, to be given a decent (and fresh) treatment.

But I rarely want to see the same story told in just a slightly tweaked way ten years or one year after I saw it before.web statistics

Terminator: Salvation

1 Jun

So yeah, I liked Terminator: Salvation. Major spoilers for the movie

Unpopular fan opinons

26 May

But not in a meme way.

Spoilers for SCC and the new Terminator movie, reviews and previews only

All Things Philosophical on Star Trek

10 May

So I have seen the new Trek movie. With my flist abounding with spoilers and rave reviews, and me needing to de-friend that I’ve belonged to since I joined LJ, it seemed a good idea.

Plus, yesterday I managed to fiddle with my computer keyboard until I found the culprit causing the typing problem I was having, so I fixed that (for now), and could cancel my Genius Bar appointment allowing me to go to an early morning matinee.

So, to make a long story less long, I liked it. I am, of course, not without my issues. movie spoilers

My problem(s) with Terminator…

8 Sep

And why the third movie is canon for me.

The movies, the TV show–Sarah’s mission to prevent the war from happening makes no sense. Well, it makes perfect sense if you’re trying to stop a war. But if you’re trying to build a better future for your son John Connor? It makes no sense at all. If there’s no war, there’s no reason for Kyle Reese to go back in time (and no opportunity), and John will never exist.

They bit the bullet and started the war in the third movie. I respect that.

ETA: SCC2.1 thoughts, spoilers