Wednesday, March 26, 2014

That's weird, so "Gravity" turns out to be fiction? Could've fooled me

**Spoiler alert: This movie is listed under fiction. Gasp shock.**
***No but really there are spoilers to the movie you've been warned***

I went to see "Gravity" some weeks ago with some friends and I enjoyed it for the action and the drama, it had me twisted up in suspense on the edge of my seat while Sandra Bullock flipped uncontrollably on the edge of space. I had seen an interview Sandra Bullock did with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show and as she tried to describe the amount of work each frame required, Jon flapped his arms in desperation and she took the hint and conceded "sorry not CGI, we were in space, we were in space."

What surprised me later was the backlash "Gravity" received for inaccuracy. Seriously? Have you seen that movie? Sandra Bullock jumped (in space! where you technically can't jump!) from the Soyuz to the Chinese ship, she controlled her movements with a fire hydrant (in space!), she flipped head over heels several times without throwing up once! OF COURSE it's inaccurate, that's why it's called fiction. Just in case you didn't know:


The keyword here being "imaginary" then there's also "invented" and "untrue" incase the word "fiction" doesn't do it.

I don't feel like it's worth ripping into a movie about whether the space suit was correct or whether Sandra Bullock should have worn a diaper for believability (though that would have reinforced the birth scene when she rolled into the fetal position).

Our favorite scientist Neil DeGrasse Tyson runs a series of tweets questioning the movie's accuracy (he called it "Mysteries of Gravity" haha), but then he ends it with "I actually enjoyed the movie." One of his tweets did ring a little with me though:

Mysteries of : Why we enjoy a SciFi film set in make-believe space more than we enjoy actual people set in real space

It's true, you might wonder, why is that? I feel like the sad truth boils down to marketing; NASA has not branded space travel interesting enough to get viewers to get up on the weekends and check the news on NASA's latest funding updates.

Maybe if NASA can get Miley to twerk the countdown to launch then NASA can enjoy a healthy boost of public interest. Oh if only.



Donda esta my Texan-Arab friends?


A former client of mine is Yemeni-American and his wife is Venezuelan-American, and their kids are beautiful caramel babies with big brown eyes and curly hair. The 6-year-old girl is piercingly smart, and is the linguistic polyglot bridge between her parents. 

The family just moved to Dubai from Texas, so I sat her down and asked her (in English) how she was liking her new school Choueifat. "It's really nice," she started out saying, "even though the teachers are, uhh..." then she turns to her mother and in Spanish asks "Mama donde esta Ms. Iva blah blah blah?" (which I didn't catch because I don't speak Spanish) and her mother says "ask your father" to which she turns to her father in Arabic and seamlessly asks "Baba, Ms. Iva min fayn?" and without looking up from his phone he says "Ireland." The little girl turns to me and continues with "Yeah, so one of my teachers Ms. Iva is really nice, but she's from Ireland and they don't really speak English correctly." This got a huge laugh from her dad, while her mother reached over firmly and attempted to clear her Irish perceptions, but her dad laughed out "tell Ms. Iva you're from Texas and you know what real English is!" 

Throughout this exchange the little girl had a steady expression on her face, completely in control of herself and quietly impressing the shit out of me. I would love to catch up with her in 10 years and see what Spanish/Arabic/English worlds she'd be dominating by her mid-teens.