News Briefs 28-01-2011

“We are at the very beginning of time for the human race. It's not unreasonable that we grapple with problems…Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions and pass them on.”

Thanks to RPJ and Rick MG for the links - and to RPJ for the inspiration!

Quote of the Day:

“NASA owes it to the citizens from whom it asks support to be frank, honest and informative, so these citizens can make the wisest decisions for the use of their limited resources. For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled."

Richard Feynman, Rogers Report on Space Shuttle Challenger Accident, June 9, 1986

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emlong's picture
Member since:
18 September 2007
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10 hours 49 min

It is kind of gratifying to see Nabokov get these kudos for his scientific work. His repuationas a novelist has suffered in recent years as more and more critics decide he was just a crafty wordsmith without much feel for narrative pacing, deep human emotion, and other warm body stuff. The New Yorker magazine wouldn't run his short stories because as one NY critic put it, "We don't publish anagrams" which was to say that Nabokov's elaborate verbal hangups and wordplay can get real tedious real fast. When I was a young writer, Nabokov was one of my heroes, but entering early middle age I began to see that he was substituting the "purple patch" for real story telling. It is then nice to see him getting applause for his scientific work because at heart that is what N really was - a technician and scientist.

LastLoup's picture
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6 April 2010
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5 hours 34 min

So, since everyone is wondering, if there is an Edward tree, is there a Jacob tree? ;)

...I forgot how I got here but everyone seems to be heading off in that direction. I hope someone brought food. I have a feeling this is going to be a long journey................

Rick MG's picture
Member since:
2 May 2004
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1 hour 18 min

Interesting theory, but it doesn't really add up for me.

The original Star Wars story was exactly how Lucas intended it -- Darth Vader killed Luke's father, and Leia was a romantic interest. Lucas continued this in a novel he co-wrote with Alan Dean Foster, Splinter Of The Mind's Eye, published in 1978. It wasn't until Lucas began conceiving the sequel, The Empire Strikes Back, that he overhauled the entire story, and gave the world those awkward scenes of Luke kissing Leia (while a scruffy-looking nerf herder looks on), and the most-spoiled movie scene in history.

Another thing is Lucas was heavily influenced by Joseph Campbell's The Hero With A Thousand Faces, so you can throw most mythological symbolism at Star Wars and it'll stick.

As for the Jedi, Lucas has said that he was heavily influenced by Akira Kurosawa's samurai films, Bushido, and also Eastern mysticism, particularly Taoism and Buddhism. It's this influence that made Lucas change the story from Darth Vader literally killing Luke's father, to Darth Vader figuratively killing the man he used to be; Anakin Skywalker, the father of Luke & Leia. It's very Zen.

As for Osiris symbolism, what about C3PO? He got blown to bits, and Chewbacca put him back together again -- does this make Chewie a hairy Isis?

The symbolism is there (particularly Obi-Wan Kenobi as John the Baptist, as Lucas has admitted he was inspired by the gnostic monks living in the desert for the Tattooine scenes). However, because of the many sources Lucas borrowed from, both knowingly and subconsciously, you can make a lot of theories fit and they'd mostly make sense. In the end though, Star Wars is a pretty simple tale cooked with ingredients from a multitude of sources. This may explain why The Phantom Menace tastes like boiled socks! ;-)

The prequels though, that's when George really started aiming with specific symbolism. Until Lady Gaga does a gig at Skywalker Ranch though, I'm remaining skeptical.

Meanwhile, about those rumours of George Lucas telling actor Seth Rogen that the world will end in 2012... greatly exaggerated. Oh, and Han fired first. ;-)

~ * ~

@levitatingcat

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
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Another thing is Lucas was heavily influenced by Joseph Campbell's The Hero With A Thousand Faces, so you can throw most mythological symbolism at Star Wars and it'll stick.

Well I for one still find that fascinating, the way symbols are conveyed by the artist is a very subconscious way, almost as if they were memes seeking to remain alive and present in the minds of men

As for Osiris symbolism, what about C3PO? He got blown to bits, and Chewbacca put him back together again -- does this make Chewie a hairy Isis?

It still kinda works if you see Chewie as a representation of Anubis, but I gotta better one for you: In the first film we learn that wookies are so strong and savage when they get in "feral" mode, that they often rip a person's arms out of their sockets. In the second film we see exactly the opposite: Chewie assembling 3PO after he has suffered a terrible trauma.

Most likely it was a nice twist intended to serve as a comic relief to the drama unfolding in the rest of the movie. Although someone like me see a bit of a correlation with the shamanic initiatory path, where the shaman must go alone into the wilderness and face his animal spirit, who will devour him and afterward put him back together.

Meanwhile, about those rumours of George Lucas telling actor Seth Rogen that the world will end in 2012... greatly exaggerated. Oh, and Han fired first.

The whole official statement given by someone close to Lucas has a niuk niuk tone of "oh! it was all a joke". Maybe Lucas never intended Rogen to disseminate what he told him in private to the whole damn world, and cause a media storm, and now he's backing down because he doesn't want to be publicly viewed as one of those "loony 2012 guys".

So maybe it was all a joke, but I still find VERY interesting that this storm was caused by a Seth Rogen --the Egyptian god of darkness and chaos ;)

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie

Rick MG's picture
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2 May 2004
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1 hour 18 min
red pill junkie wrote:

So maybe it was all a joke, but I still find VERY interesting that this storm was caused by a Seth Rogen --the Egyptian god of darkness and chaos ;)

I was wondering who would spot this first; I had my money on earthling. :-P

If you knew the world was ending in about 23 months, and you had the wealth & power of George Lucas, would you spend your last days working on more Star Wars prequels?

~ * ~

@levitatingcat

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
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1 hour 37 min

It's not a tragedy to die doing something you love ;)

Besides, read my last blog. Lucas is not exactly the kind of person who is NOT known from backpedaling and constantly revising his ideas :P

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
Last activity:
1 hour 37 min

I was really hoping people would have used the comment section to share their own personal experiences about the Challenger tragedy. Sadly this wasn't the case.

As for me, it's true that Myth #3 (millions watched it live) applied in my case. I don' remember much about that day, but I'm pretty sure I was at school, and didn't learn about the accident until I return home that afternoon. I'm sure that afterward the TV networks showed that fateful moment again ad again and again. I'm also sure that folks here in Mexico felt pretty bad about it, even though it didn't relate to us directly; but like many people around the world, we still saw NASA's astronauts as pioneers exploring the ultimate frontier for the benefit of all mankind.

Regarding Myth #5 (that NASA installed ejection seats afterward) I remember that I once bought a science magazine with a very cool rendering of the shuttle, in which the whole cabin would eject and detach itself from the rest of the fuselage. At that time I thought it was a great idea, but evidently someone at NASA or Congress didn't share my opinion.

It seems however that such ideas were explored in the canceled European version of the Shuttle.

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie