Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Dangerous Method

The Philosopher's Zone on Australian Radio had a discussion about the movie A Dangerous Method. The show generally has an interview between the host an another philosopher. And this show wasn't really different from that. They used a couple short audio clips from the movie. They attempted to go into some depth about what the characters were talking about. I came away from this show thinking that this is pretty much how i'd like movie reviews to be done. I'd rather not hear about the plot, if that can be helped. I'd rather not hear about how good the photography was, or how good the sets were, or what the special effects, if any, were. I don't even want to hear if the reviewer(s) liked it. What i'm interested in is if it's a movie i'd want to see. This review did that for me.

And it turns out that it was available at the local video store. The kids were away, so we rented it and saw it. I was quite pleased. But mind you, i'm not talking about the movie. I'm talking about the radio show as a review, and the movie as a combined experience.

My favorite movie of all time is still Brazil. It's a pretty odd movie. The review i followed was one of my friends who said, "We're going to a movie. Want to come?". This was an excellent review, since it said nothing about the movie, except suggesting that i might like it. The title doesn't give anything away. Later, i read the book, which includes the screenplay. I still haven't the foggiest idea how the movie name corresponds to the movie.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Eclipse and Transit

Every so often, a cool event gets upstaged.  This Monday, June 4th, at 6 am EST, there's a partial eclipse of the Moon.  The Moon will get partly covered by the shadow of the Earth.  It happens fairly frequently.  But it's pretty cool.  And, to the ancients, it was a way to state that the Earth is a sphere.  That's because the Earth's shadow on the Moon is always round, more or less.  If the Earth was flat, then even if it was a disk, the shadow would sometimes be a thin oval.

Check out Astronomy magazine's eclipse coverage.

The big event happens on Tuesday the 6th.  Here in Michigan, it starts around 6pm EST. Sky & Telescope magazine  says this. And the reason that it's such a big deal (though the effect is way smaller than the lunar eclipse) is that, if you miss it, your next opportunity might be in 2117.  I'd guess that kids born next year won't see one. Few live that long.

But it's not an either-or proposition.  Why not see both? Here in Michigan, there are lots of events set up for the transit:

Transit Events