Dandelion: I had been wondering about Arthur Clarke! Thanks. I recently listened to (in your link Mr. Clarke refers to the event) a several disc collection - Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded, August 27, 1883, by Simon Winchester.
Amazing how it depicts the complexities that brought about the decades long physical growth of the mountain, the geo-political ramifications of the event (not at all unlike the recent tsunami!!), and the effects it had on cultures, trade, and humanity around the world for a very long period of time. The religions in the area blamed it on the Western influx of commerce and lifestyle changes that were becoming more evident. It was the sign that all was wrong with the Imperialists.
Mr. Winchester does the reading of his own book on this collection. Magnificent yet always interesting in his intonation and delivery. He has appeared on the Book TV (C-Span 2) on several occasions.
I remember first reading AC Clarke and being intrigued (way back then) that he wrote from his home in Sri Lanka and electronically submitted everything (via computer hook up to a satellite, I would think) to his publishers in London(?) without ever touching a piece of paper. Though today such a feat is commonplace. Quite a different approach than RB!
[This message has been edited by fjpalumbo (edited 01-11-2005).]
The other day on the radio was a fascinating account of the largest natural disaster of the 20th Century, an earthquake in 1976 in China which killed more than the tsunami (at least by current count.) One of the most interesting parts was that scientists had warned for some time prior of an impending earthquake and were ignored by the government. Yet when the San Francisco earthquake of the last decade occurred, it was asserted that earthquakes just happen--the signs are there, but the time is IMPOSSIBLE to predict! Do Chinese scientists know something Americans don't? Anyhow, in China these huge quakes precede some big event, and right after that Mao Tse Tung died.
This is an amazing thing. Food for the science-fiction writer. http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n0502/12outcast/
Have we forgotten that this...
...was supposed to be the catch all... where all the crazy, somewhat crazy and misc. topics went here? Seems it has leaked lately.
Anyway. My posting for this 'miscellaneous' post:
Have we all read about the flash in the sky last few weeks that could've obliterated all life on earth if it were a lot closer? See the following link, if not, then return: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4278005.stm
Here is my 'theological' take on this. Listen... I think it is pretty interesting if I don''t say so myself.
Light travels roughly 7 times around the world in 1 second. So you shoot a rocket out into space at that speed, it takes '''50,000 years''' to get there, (think in terms of Earth's civilized history and that mile wide spinning object. Can you imagine this thing, so small, just 12 miles wide, so far away, exploding, and lighting up the sky on Earth brighter ( in X-Rays ) than the full moon at night.? THAT is ...incomprehensible.
Now scientists say that if this happened with something closer (and they are all throwing out different numbers)...but let's settle on 2000 light years away. Some scientists say 500 light years would have done the job. Some as little as 10. What job? Damage Earth's atmosphere enough to destroy most of all of life. Okay, ready? Proceed:
Put aside free will for a moment (because it isn't relevant to what I want to say, and anyway, I believe, along with notable theologians, that free-will and pre-destination run side by side, like rails on a train. You can do as you wish, but it has already been predetermined. They are a happy pair, these both. Okay, now to continue...so, when John was thrown on the island of Patmos, and wrote his famous 'Revelation', what did he prophesize? Well, bascially, the end of all things? What exactly was he doing, making it up out of his imagination? No. The thinking is that he was 'seeing' something that already occured.
Christ even states in scripture that he saw...Satan thrown from heaven for all time. Well, that has not happened yet. Satan still has access to heaven. Like in the book of Job. Also, where he is said to continually accuse the brethern (believers) before heaven. So what did Christ see? He saw something that already happened, but not yet happened...here! And that's the point. It happened, but not in our present time of here! One of the most amazing scripture passages deal with this statement: that Christ was crucified before the foundation of the Earth. It goes on to say that it is now, thru his life, it has been demonstrated for us to see what has already been done before the foundation of the Earth. Now come on! This has to put goose bumps down your neck.
If you think about it in this context, everything that may destroy the earth and all of us, has already happened. If the Sun were to go out, we would continue to enjoy life exactly as it is this very moment, and not know anything differently had happened. For 9 minutes!
If that star that collapsed on itself was 2000 light years away, and someone said that in 2000 years Earth would be destroyed, and he knew that somewhere, 2000 light years away a start exploded just then...and would destroy Earth 2000 years later, well, would he prophesizing, or knowing something far beyond normal human intelligence?
I know, a stretch. But, again, not that much of a stretch. The fact we knew nothing about the delayed time frames of space, but know it now, adds a great piece of the puzzle to many many things, including scripture.
Thanks for listening, and now we return you to regular programming.
You will notice I originally mentioned ...12 feet wide... in the above exposition. That's because I read that in two different sources. Now the above link says 'km', meaning kilometers, meaning 12 miles approx. I have since changed it to read 12 miles.
Now I can't find other links saying 12 miles. So they either have changed theirs from 12 ft. to 12 miles, or I can't tell the difference between kilometers and feet at certain times of the day.
Regardless, a 2 million, or 1 million mile wide diameter Sun, shrinking down to 12 ft. wide or 12 miles wide, is no small feat.
[This message has been edited by Nard Kordell (edited 02-24-2005).]
Okay...s o maybe I'm winidng up being the last person on earth...at least on this website. Tried finding out how to get a blog page and start filling up the pages...but http://www.blogspot.com is not accepting any additional new customers at this time. Hm! So where to now...?
In the meanwhile...this 'misc.' page...this 'anything you want to talk about page'... seems appropriate...
My opinion on star-ratings for motion pictures.
I see '4 star' ratings that are pure idiocy, and vulgar junk...and I see '2 star' movies that are great, moving, and NOT a waste of time. Ebert has given '4 stars' to junk. So I am tending in many cases not to be persuaded by start ratings in making my choice to view or not to view a movie! Really all depends on one particular person's view of the movie..and IF..you really like that particular movie reviewer, and the way he (she) thinks, well, then that rating of a movie should hold some weight.
But we have people like "Lester W. Charles" of the 'Minneapolis Broken Sandal Journal' giving '3 1/2 stars' to 'Chilli Dogs & the Big Night Out'. No way...!
Once again...this particular Forum topic DOES NOT have to be about Bradbury. But you'd better be a Bradbury reader at least... ( or else!)
Wow, I'm surprised that Blogspot isn't accepting new customers. That's the free service, isn't it? I opened an account there about a year ago and haven't gotten around to posting on it. Maybe I oughtta delete it to make room for you. Still, there might be other free blog services out there. I think Microsoft offers a free service, as does Yahoo. You could count me as one of your regular readers should you get one up and running.
About movie reviews: I'm with you on much of what you said. I follow Ebert almost religiously but don't entirely trust him. That's not a bad thing, in my book. That is, I know to some extent his preferences and prejudices and try to discount his reviews accordingly. For example, he gave Charlie and the Chocolate Factory only 2.5 stars but I'd give it another .5 or even a full star more than that. Then again, he gave 3 stars to The Devil's Rejects (or whatever it's called.) Ebert's written before about the limitations of his star system and defended the Devil ranking by claiming the system is not absolute. That is, given the type of film Devil is, it succeeds in what it sets out to do. (Which is to nauseate its audience, I suppose.) So it deserves 3 stars whereas Charlie doesn't. Go figure. I use him as a guide but, bottom line, I either go see a movie because I want to or not.
Right! I've been watching some really good movies on TV, AMC channel, etc. and they give these star ratings out...and I think some of them reviewers are goofy. It's a different generation reviewing some of the movies...young mostly. Very self-centered and determined to make do with their observations tho they are full of the mischief of adolescence.
When Joan Cusack had a TV program of her own on, ("Joan")...thru a agency I got a small (silent) part on the TV show.(an extra). I sat at a table with another, drinking an 'un-named' beverage in an 'un-named' local 'watering hole'... (You will never see this episode...because the Chicago based series was cancelled the following week, and somewhere, in some archives, is THAt series...and will probably forever be in that darkened vault of lost episodes). Anyway, guess who was writing the scripts? Twenty-year olds! They brought some sort of energy and a splash of talent, but it all came out as pure adolescence on the camera.
There are some good reviewes, I treat them with an ear and listen. Michael Medved isn't always right on, but I like what he has to say. (He gave a horrible review to the movie ''Radio Flyer'')...which I find one of the most amazing films. But I think he hated the way it was promoted, as if it were another 'Close Encounters of a Third Kind' or some kid's space movie).
It has to do with child abuse and how two brothers cope. I found the audience mesmerized with the ending. (I give it 3 1/2 stars *** 1/2)
I don't read Medved as often as I'd like but he's another critic that I think is trustworthy. (Though I'm afraid I'd have to part ways with him on Million Dollar Baby; I didn't find it to be a defense of "mercy killing" at all. In fact, the Eastwood character pays the price for his actions by losing his soul. I found it to be more about what sacrifices one would make for the sake of parental love and it moved me greatly.)
Interesting about your acting career. I feel diminished, to some extent, by not having the pleasure of witnessing what I'm sure was Emmy-caliber acting. Our loss.
Nard, I've found Medved to be plain mean-spirited. In one book he said Claude Jarman Jr. of "The Yearling" was "chosen only for his looks." A more unfair review couldn't be given. Jarman was PERFECT in that role. I suppose Medved said that only because Jarman portrayed the exact sort of kid who Medved and his pals would have picked on in school. This is missing the point ENTIRELY. This kid was raised isolated, in rural Florida in the 1870s, with only his parents and a halfwit for a friend. He had no brothers and sisters to teach him to be cool as all had died. That deer was the best friend he ever had. In the book he didn't even go to school; a teacher was infrequently brought in. A kid raised this way was BOUND to be a dork! He had no other choice, and to portray him any other way would be unrealistic. I've also never forgiven Medved for his treatment of Lee H. Montgomery, one of my favorite child actors of all time, and the boy I imagined in the role of Douglas and other of Bradbury's characters, and probably never will.
As for "Radio Flyer," Siskel and Ebert's review was more fair. While a fine movie for some, it is not for everyone. Kids begged their parents to see "the movie about the little red wagon that would fly," and then were shocked by scenes of young children being lashed by a belt. As Siskel memorably said, "There'd be a lot of silent trauma in the audience."
dandelion: This is a very strange movie, 'Radio Flyer'. Tell me, when that kid took that long ride with his 'radio flyer' at the end of the movie, did he die, or did he really go on to send postcards to his mother? For some, it seemed to enter the world of the impossible yet now possible realm. Others thought surely he died. What's your take, if you recall the movie? Does it end on a surrealstic cosmic note, or hard reality?
While I'm here...
...may add that at the bookstore where Sam Weller spoke (August 3, '05) with Ray via telephone hook-up, Ray also read from his works...and Sam read the first page, Chaper 1, from the new Bradbury unpublished sequel to 'Dandelion Wine'.. 'Farewell Summer', which is actually completed.
I never saw the whole movie, but sounds like one of those where the ending is left to the individual viewer.
That's great that "Farewell Summer" is finished!
Totally different subject:
Something happened recently that made me think along the lines of 'time' ...specifically that one definitely can communicate to the future, but the past can only be observed.
Let me explain:
Ray tlaks about a time he climbed up in a tree as a youngster and wrote a note and hid it away. And here he also speaks about, as an adult, climbing up into that very same tree and almost by instinct finding his way to where he placed that note so many years before. And what did Ray write in that note?
It read: 'I remember you!'
Here was this little boy communicating with the future. He 'knew' that his older self would one day find that note! But that older person that Ray was now, could not communicate with that younger self. Or could he?
Something happened to me recently that made me think that it's only a one way street. I can see and talk to the future, but the future cannot talk to me. And if it does, it is NOT the same as talking to the future. It's something else. A deeper mystery.
Ann Althouse, on her blog, made an excellent point about posts like yours. You ARE speaking to the future. And as for Ray�s story your reference, I always thought of it as his younger self telling his older self that he remembered what his older self used to be like. In other words, don�t forget what it�s like to be young.
Intriguing post, as always. I wonder where you�re going with it. . .
...so I was on the top rung of a ladder painting when the monotony of my actions and solitude of my thoughts first were slightly and then suddenly broken. For from around the corner of the building (I was in the gymnasium of our elementary school), there came the distant padding of sneakers along the sidewalk that led to a back entrance.
Without yet seeing the intruder, I knew whose voice was about to follow the clip-clopping of rubber soles on hot concrete. I uttered to myself, and actually grinning, "It's the sound of summer running!"
"Hey, dad!" My older boy (9yrs) had arrived in a cloud of dust to inform me I was doing a good job. He got a cold drink from the porcelain fountain on the wall and vanished as quickly as he had appeared.
...earlier in the summer while camping in a rather remote region of a provincial park in Canada, wide awake at maybe 2:30 am, I lay listening to the sounds of the forest: a distant owl, a searching racoon, the slight rustle of a warm breeze in surrounding pines, and the infinite croaks of tree frogs and insects buzzing.
Knowing I was not about to get any sleep with all this racket going on, I slipped on the headset to a small radio/tape player I frequently use. Situated in the middle of nowhere in particular, the first thing that dialed in on the air waves was an old time radio program. The episode? "Mars is Heaven" from the classic Zero Hour series!! Nice.
...one more! Sitting out on the side deck of our home, which is located in a small NNY town, it is routine to see neighbors strolling by for a leisurely stroll at any time of the day. This evening the boys and I had been reading something aloud when a couple from down the street waved and continued on without stopping to start a conversation. Just after they had passed by, my wife came out to join us for a few minutes before it was lights out on our sons' day.
I off-handedly commented to her that our neighbors had just gone by. She asked what they were doing (no doubt anticipating that an exchange had occurred as is often the case in our friendly haunts).
My younger son (recently turned 7) quipped, without hestitation, "Walking. Just Walking!"
So I guess it has been a good summer, all in all!
(This old grey and red site still has that special charm.)
Re your last thought, I'm sure I mentioned this before, but we need to bring back Summer Front Porch Settin'! And walking round the neighborhood - I go out quite early every Saturday morning in the Summer to pick blackberries, but I run into more neighbors in the evenings.
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