This is l'astronave's 2,000th post! And its 8th birthday (close enough, anyway). And it recently passed its 500,000th page view.
So... I should crunch those numbers, right?
8 years x 365 days = 2,920 days ÷ 2,000 posts = 1.46 posts/day.
|Donald Glover* in The Martian says, "Your math is wrong."|
Ha! Right. My math is crap. It's the other way around:
2,000 posts ÷ 2,920 days = an average of .68 posts/day.
Yeah, there we go.
It wasn't like that though---per my archive, I averaged more than one post a day some years, but barely one per month one year.
(Also, like half those views were people looking for "that poem from Lives of Others".)
II. The Martian: "Do Your Science Shit"
Speaking of math,
I went to see The Martian (links to trailer; 2015, dir. Ridley Scott) last night--it's about an astronaut (Matt Damon) stranded on Mars, and Earth's efforts to rescue him.
It's a Robinson Crusoe–like tale, so that's fun; and it's also about "the human instinct to help each other out", so that's uplifting;
but overall the movie felt like one loooooong public service message for STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics):
Waking up after an accident to find himself alone on Mars, the astronaut says,
"I'm left with only one option:
I'm going to have to science the shit out of this."
Come on, American kids! Do your science homework!
Or, maybe more to the point? Come on, American politicians, fund this science shit!
It is very cool to watch him do science--there's real shit (toilets in space!), and stuff blows up-- cool for a while, anyway:
at 2 hrs, 21 min, I'd say it was 51 minutes too long.
And I did enjoy the movie.
But it was all very surfacey–– the astronaut never has anything like a Dark Night of the Soul.
That may be accurate, of course. NASA chooses scientists who are not prone to despair, but its absence doesn't make for a great human-interest story.
Also, Mars was awfully noisy...
US movies are too often like radio, disallowing silence for even one second.
The astronaut talks almost incessantly, mostly in a jokey tone that gets old quickly, like avocado-colored kitchen appliances--
and when he doesn't, we hear schlocky movie music or he listens to songs from the Seventies. [Watched Guardians of the Galaxy, did you, Ripley?]
The movie met the Director of Inclusivity's** standards, for men anyway––but bafflingly, all the women were white (even mostly blondish), including Kristin Wiig who has absolutely nothing to do but stand around looking concerned. Very odd.
Of course, if you're a woman who talks in a movie, you're already a minority. * * *
III. The Ten-Dollar Woman
Speaking of representations of women, I hear the US is going to replace Alexander Hamilton with a woman on the ten-dollar bill.
I'm fine with replacing some guy, but working on Andrew Jackson lately, I'd definitely choose to replace him over Hamilton. You could say Jackson inherited a no-win situation with white settlers vs. American Indians, but his response was a kind of mismanaged ethnic cleansing [can it be well-managed?].
A-ha! I see the Business Insider agrees with me about Jackson being the better choice to get rid of. They also explain that the woman will appear along with Hamilton, which seems kinda goofy.
Anyway, what woman would you like to see on the $10 bill?
I choose Sally Ride!
First US woman in space, in 1983––twenty years after Soviet Valentina Tereshhkova––and the first LGBT astronaut in space too.
How cool would this look on currency:
* I thought Donald Glover was new to me, and delightful as a star-dusty-child scientist who comes up with a Star Trekish plan (slingshot around the sun!), but he wrote for 30 Rock, so I do know his work.
**The Director of Inclusivity is a title I got from a much snappier media production---W1A, a BBC TV show sending up working for the BBC---applies equally well to almost any workplace involving humans.
Marketing Evil Genius(?) Siobhan Sharp (Jessica Hynes) tells it like it is to BBC Head of Values, Ian Fletcher (Hugh Bonneville):
*** Washington Post, Feb. 2015: "Study: There are fewer women in lead roles in top films than there were in 2002"
The Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film found that females comprised 12% of protagonists in the top-grossing films of 2014.