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Sunday, 18 July 2004
I, Robot - addendum
Topic: Culture
The right to choose our own safety also includes the right to believe how we want to believe regardless of whether or not that means we go to hell. Anyone who thinks that it's okay to harm people in order to save them in the afterlife, is wrong. This is the motive of parents who kill their children in order to make sure they go to heaven. This was the motive of the inquisition as they felt that they were giving the tortured person a chance to repent, and therefore go to heaven. This is the motive of "deprogrammers" who believe they are doing good by brutalizing people who don't believe like they think is correct. It's all justified in the name of saving them. This is no different from "saving" people from their own stupid choices about this life.

Posted by rachela at 4:56 PM MDT
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I, Robot - Movie starring Will Smith
Topic: Culture
This is a very good movie. It sort of is based on some concepts of Isaac Asimov's books though quite a bit of liberty has been taken with his original stories. Besides the concept of whether or not robots could evolve to take over the world is the idea of what is "safe enough". The robots think they have to take humans prisoner because they keep doing stupid things. This, of course, is what we often do to ourselves with stupid laws.

The current controversy over whether or not we need someone to tell us what we can and cannot eat is part of this. Personally, I think we are each responsible for what we eat and if someone gets sick or dies because of their choices, I don't feel that that is my responsibility or that I should have to pay for it. I try my best to eat what's right and do what's right but this is balanced by what is pleasurable and exciting. These are choices everyone has to make for themselves and when these choices are taken from us, we are prisoners. Anytime such issues are settled by laws and lawsuits, I end up paying for it one way or another. The only ones that come out ahead are the lawyers, like John Edwards.

This is a very good movie and even though it was loosely based on Asimov it's made me want to read some of his books again. I always enjoyed the "science" side of science fiction more than the "sword and sorcery" side, though I liked the s&s also. I always figure science is way ahead of magic and much more responsiable, though anything can be preverted. I just looked at my bookshelf and I have Heinlein and Gibson but no Asimov. I'll have to check the library. (Pause) Oh, just checked the public library and everyone of the "I, Robot" books are checked out. Good! It's always nice when something stirs people to read a book. I put my name on reserve.

Posted by rachela at 4:19 PM MDT
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Monday, 5 July 2004
Highest grossing movies
Topic: Culture
Interesting figures via Commonsense and Wonder and Box Office Mojo on what the top grossing movies really were. I can't believe that Forest Gump made it but I love that Gone With the Wind is the top. Grease is on there, Mary Poppins, the Sound of Music and all the first three Star Wars movies. Yes! Here they are:

DOMESTIC GROSSES
Adjusted for Ticket Price Inflation*
#1-25 -
As of 4/22/04

Rank

Title


Studio

Adjusted gross

Unadjusted gross

Year

1

Gone With the Wind

MGM

$1,218,328,752

$198,655,278

1939

2

Star Wars

Fox

$1,074,061,157

$460,998,007

1977

3

The Sound of Music

Fox

$858,764,718

$158,671,368

1965

4

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

Uni.

$855,381,641

$434,974,579

1982

5

The Ten Commandments

Par.

$789,930,000

$65,500,000

1956

6

Titanic

Par.

$779,086,619

$600,788,188

1997

7

Jaws

Uni.

$772,315,273

$260,000,000

1975

8

Doctor Zhivago

MGM

$748,536,797

$111,721,910

1965

9

The Exorcist

WB

$666,729,078

$232,671,011

1973

10

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Dis.

$657,270,000

$184,925,486

1937

11

101 Dalmatians

Dis.

$602,501,023

$144,880,014

1961

12

The Empire Strikes Back

Fox

$591,573,955

$290,475,067

1980

13

Ben-Hur

MGM

$590,940,000

$74,000,000

1959

14

Return of the Jedi

Fox

$567,178,243

$309,306,177

1983

15

The Sting

Uni.

$537,531,427

$156,000,000

1973

16

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Par.

$531,495,386

$242,374,454

1981

17

Jurassic Park

Uni.

$520,077,229

$357,067,947

1993

18

The Graduate

Avco

$515,995,503

$104,397,100

1967

19

The Phantom Menace

Fox

$511,705,203

$431,088,297

1999

20

Fantasia

Dis.

$500,752,174

$76,400,000

1940

21

The Godfather

Par.

$475,903,072

$134,966,411

1972

22

Forrest Gump

Par.

$475,611,919

$329,694,499

1994

23

Mary Poppins

Dis.

$471,436,364

$86,000,000

1964

24

The Lion King

Dis.

$466,708,371

$328,541,776

1994

25

Grease

Par.

$463,838,169

$188,389,888

1978


Posted by rachela at 12:40 PM MDT
Updated: Monday, 5 July 2004 12:43 PM MDT
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Friday, 18 June 2004
Three Arizona Sculptors
Topic: Culture
Right after work I walked over to The University of Arizona Museum of Art. They were having a reception for a new exhibit featuring the work of Don Reitz, Curt Brill and Nobuhito Nishigawara. I probably like sculpture more than art. I'm not sure why, maybe the three dimensionality of it.

Don Reitz had abstract ceramic pieces that are very interesting. Nobuhit Nishigawara had very smooth, cream colored porcelain sculptures of women's heads with their arms and torsos in the wrong place. They were interesting but seemed rather cold to me. According to the artist you were suppose to decide the emotion of each piece but I could feel any emotion from them.

Curt Brill had sculptures of the human body that were like paper mache that a child might make. They were angular and pinched and floppy looking. I thought they were like me as I'm rather awkward and klutzy. I liked them the best as I could feel them while the work by the other artists seemed more distant to me.

They had some very nice snacks also. Yummy!

Posted by rachela at 11:07 PM MDT
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Saturday, 12 June 2004
Ballet and Shakespeare
Topic: Culture
Right after work I went to a talk by Lawrence Pech. He spoke on his experiences in ballet and what he's done since he had cancer on his spine. It was very interesting, very inspiring. He was in the American Ballet Theatre in New York and the San Francisco Ballet, where he was principal dancer. He's since had his own company and has done quite a bit of choreography for the San Francisco Opera and other venues.

Most of the people there were girls in their ballet clothes since he has been conducting a workshop. I felt rather clunky among them. He told them that while they need to really focus and work hard to get ahead in ballet, they also have to recognize that ballet is a very age specific career and they do need to keep their minds and options open for how they will use what they have learned after they cannot compete as a professional ballet dancer.

Then I rode over to Reid Park to watch Othello. One Shakespeare a year is put on in the park. I really like Shakespeare's comedies but have a problem sitting through the tragedies. I left about halfway because I was tired and just couldn't get into it. The language is wonderful but these were amateur players and it just wasn't enough to hold me.

Posted by rachela at 1:36 PM MDT
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