Forbidden Planet

An evening pause: Forbidden Planet (1956). Almost a half century after its creation, this science fiction film is still one of the best every made. The story is supposingly inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest. This is also the film that gave Gene Roddenberry his inspiration for Star Trek.

Tour of ISS, part 4

An evening pause: Mike Finke’s tour of ISS continues in the Progress freighter, moves through the Zarya functional cargo module into the Zvezda service module at the aft end of the station, showing us a Russian crew cabin and the station’s main bathroom facilities.

ISS tour continues, part 3

An evening pause: Astronaut Mike Finke’s tour of ISS continues, taking us through the Unity module and into the Russian part of the station, showing us the inside of a Soyuz lifeboat, the Zarya functional cargo module, the Piers docking module/airlock, and ending looking into the hatch of a Progress freighter.

ISS tour, part 1

An evening pause: We talk a lot about the International Space Station. Why not take a tour? In this January 2009 video, part 1 of 4, astronaut Mike Finke starts us out at the docking port used by the shuttle and takes us through the Harmony and Kibo modules. Along the way he gives a great view out the port side of the station.

You can see the remaining parts of Mike’s tour by clicking through, or you can wait until I post them over the next week.

Your Show of Shows: the clock skit

An evening pause: Yesterday we had a modern animation of a machine that made music. Tonight let’s watch a very different take on a vaguely similar idea, this time to produce comedy. This is a classic skit from Your Show of Shows, Sid Caesar’s variety show from early television. The four performers are, left to right, Sid Caesar, Imogene Coco, Carl Reiner, Howard Morris.

Chamberlain’s speech from movie Gettysburg

An evening pause: In our modern “politically correct” society, many people object strenuously when I express my unwavering preference for the British-American culture that founded the United States. It seems that today’s polite society considers it judgmental and unfair to suggest our way of life is superior to others. Well, before you protest, please listen to this speech from the movie Gettysburg, in which Colonial Joshua Chamberlain explains why he decided to fight for the Union in the Civil War. To quote, “We are here for something new. This has not happened much in the history of the world. We are an army out to set other men free.” Then he adds this most important point: “Here we judge you by what you do, not by who your father was.”

That is our culture. That is what we as a society have always stood for. And it is these values that I wish to propagate to the stars, a desire for which I will make no apologizes.

Whisper of the heart

An evening pause: Of all the animators in the world today, Hayao Miyazaki is probably the best. Every single one of his films is an incredible viewing experience. Here is a clip from Whisper of the Heart (1995), a truly wonderful film about young love and hope. Though he didn’t direct it, Miyazaki wrote the screenplay and storyboards as well as produced it. Not surprisingly, the film is seeped in his style, with the same unique but believable characters, unpredictable but compelling story-telling, and a magical originality that is rare in movies today.

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