Nerd Break! Listening To: Wilhelm Scream / Castle Thunder / Amen Break (While Watching Lights Blink in an Oft-recycled Sci-Fi Prop)

In order to provide some context for a blog post on a blinking lights prop we’ve all seen in dozens of different TV shows and movies, I opened different tabs for compilations of the Wilhelm scream, the castle thunder sound cue, and the Amen break drum solo. All three of those sound effects are now playing at once, and I am watching the lights blink on this prop. And for a moment, I felt so very…

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The Geekling Worked a Shatner/Nimoy Tribute into Godspell

My geekling daughter, who in Willy Wonka flashed Mr. Spock’s Vulcan greeting during Veruca Salt’s contract-signing scene, also worked a Star Trek reference into Godspell. Here as she says goodbye to Jesus, she is doing the Vulcan gesture in a tribute to Spock’s death (in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan). The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one.

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2001: A Space Odyssey – Discerning Themes through Score and Imagery

Incredibly detailed close reading of the 1968 movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. I stopped reading it halfway through because I want to watch the movie again (haven’t seen it in years) so that I can really appreciate what this author is doing. I’m looking forward to coming back to this one! Yet the audience believes HAL because he’s not human. There’s a certain suspension of disbelief in the ability of a computer to coldly…

Rossum's Universal Robots

Rebooting “Rossum’s Universal Robots” for the 21st century

“It is over three hours long, and it is like a cross between Noel Coward and The Terminator” – Ivor Benjamin describing the original version of “R.U.R.”Last Wednesday I went to see an adaption of Karel Čapek’s play “Rossum’s Universal Robots”, presented at the British Library. | There was one question from the audience that suggested Benjamin had gone too far in the adaptation. “This [play] is more about philosophy…


‘Star Trek’: The Story of the Most Daring Cliffhanger in ‘Next Generation’ History

Around 1990, when I was studying for my MA at the University of Virginia (and also working as a writer/editor for the engineering school), I sometimes had 30 people over at my place for “Star Trek parties.” The local TV station aired the show at midnight Sunday. My friends and I would rotate through different locations, but I seem to remember the group had gathered at my place for The Best of…