Total Pageviews

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Writer's Life 5/17 - Science

Although I enjoy sci-fi fare, science was my worst school subject. I have no aptitude for it nor any desire to delve into its intricacies. That doesn't mean I don't appreciate what scientists accomplish. A short piece in today's NY Post captured my attention. Here's a synopsis: The International Space Station, in operation the past 17 1/2 years, recently reached a milestone -- 100,000 orbits. It circles the globe once every 90 minutes. So far it has traveled 2.6 billion miles, the equivalent of ten round trips to Mars. Astronauts have been aboard since 2000, not permanently assigned, of course. They have been from the USA, Russia, Japan and European countries. Imagine if only half of government-financed projects worked so well. Why are the USA and Russia able to find common ground on this while currently at loggerheads over so much else? How does that massive, oddly-shaped craft fly? Kudos.

In other science news: Doctors have performed the first penis transplant. That is not a joke. The recipient is a cancer patient. It is not yet known if it will work in the way that is near and dear to all males... A woman snorkeling in Boca Raton was bitten by a small shark -- and taken to a hospital with it still attached to her forearm! She will be fine. The fish didn't make it.

And here is the top ten list of sci-fi flicks, and a comment on each by yt:
10. The Matrix (1999), directed by the Wachowski Brothers - really enjoyed the first. The sequels had good moments but were mediocre overall.
9. The Terminator (1984) and Terminator 2 (1991), James Cameron - prefer the first, but the second was also slam bang fun.
8. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Steven Spielberg - worthy entry.
7. Star Wars (1977), George Lucas - one bit of Americana I don't get.
6. ET (1982), Spielberg - not my cup of tea.
5. Solaris (1968), Andrei Tarkovsky - brainy sci-fi based on the novel by Stanislaw Lem, not to be confused with the 2002 version starring George Clooney, which is not as good..
4. Alien (1979), Ridley Scott - enjoyed the entire series, even the maligned third installment, prefer the second, Aliens (1986).
3. Blade Runner (1982), Scott again - my all-time favorite of the genre, a work of tremendous imagination.
2. Metropolis (1927), Fritz Lang - silent films put me to sleep.
1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Stanley Kubrick - some scenes go on too long, but it's still a masterpiece, a film that forces the viewer to think.

I had company for today's entire session of the floating book shop, two surveyors working with three tripods. They seemed to be measuring the apartment building at the corner of East 13th. The main tripod was set up right beside the books display. It had a revolving top that followed the man carrying a five-foot rod, which he placed as far away as across the street and as close as ten feet away at several different angles. It had a key pad in which I assume he logged the calculations, which made it seem as if the task is an exact science. I did not want to bother them, so I didn't ask the purpose of the measurements. It wouldn't be surprising if it was the city's way of squeezing more tax dollars out of the owners by claiming the property was larger than listed.

My thanks to the gentleman who bought two children's books and to Jimmy, who purchased three works of non-fiction, including a huge medical dictionary. Science was in the air today, which, I suppose, it is every day, at least for high IQ folks.
Vic's Short Works:
Vic's 5th Novel:'s 4th novel:
Vic's 3rd Novel:
Vic's Short Story on Kindle:
Vic's Short Story Collection:
Vic's 2nd Novel: Kindle:
Vic's 1st Novel:

No comments:

Post a Comment