Monday, March 10, 2014


Media Weekend

I finally got out and saw some movies, 300 II and Stalingrad, this weekend plus Walking Dead, True Detective and Cosmos on TV.

The sequel to 300 was about the important naval battle at Salamis (east of Athens) in 480 BC. The movie has the same position relative to the contemporary histories by Herodotus and Aeschylus as The Cat in the Hat has to the Tractatus Logico Philosophicus by Wittgenstein. Artemisia, tyrant of Halicarnassus, was a real woman admiral but I'm seriously doubting she had sex with the Greek general Themistocles on the eve of battle and was a superior sword fighter. She could have looked as good as Eva Green. Could have. The problem the Persians had at Salamis was the same problem the French knights had at Agincourt--too many vying in too small a space. The Persian triremes in back forced the ones in front on and left no room to maneuver. The less numerous Greek boats chewed 'em up.

Stalingrad was a battle involving a million people so the movie focused on about 7 and seemed nearly neighborly. The Germans still lost.

Walking Dead continued to show the separate fates of the former prison survivor clan. Kinda boring. BetterBattlePlan: Check to see who's on the other side of the door before you open it. Like it that Jeff Lorber has joined the fight semi-permanently.

True Detective ended as well as it started. Could there be a sequel, a second season, or even a third? Not unless we want to see Marty and Rust solve crimes in their 70s. Can't tell if Carcosa is a Civil War or a Spanish-American War fort. I'd guess the latter.

Slightly disappointed so far by Cosmos. It's beautiful and Tyson is avuncular and informing and says 'billions' properly. But the stupid spaceship of the imagination goes whoosing by with full doppler effect in the vacuum of space where, they sometimes remind us*, there is no sound. Not good for a real science show. Kubrick could do it right, why not anyone else? Also Tyson is saying we must be skeptical to be real scientists but he is clearly a global warming climate change alarmist (we're burning coal to our peril, he solemnly states--I thought it was to have enough electricity to make and watch shows like Cosmos, but what do I know?). That's a little off putting. And I've never accepted the Big Bang Theory (nihil ex nihilo I always say). Gaia out of Chaos in the Theogony has the same problem. Maybe next I'll be yelling "get off my lawn!" to neighborhood children.

Oh, and Venus does not have a runaway greenhouse gas problem. It is hot because it is a lot closer to the Sun (duh!) than us, and it has a very thick atmosphere which heats the surface from pressure alone. Yes, the atmosphere is mainly CO2, but Mars has an atmosphere with an even higher concentration of CO2 than Venus, but Mars is a lot colder than Earth because it is a lot farther away from the Sun (Duh!) and its CO2 atmosphere is very thin with no pressure heating.  CO2 never controls the temperature of a planet. Not looking forward to more climate change propaganda, science about which one dare not be skeptical.

*The tag line for Alien was, "In space, no one can hear you scream." True, but nuclear detonations came through just fine in the film. Non Alanis Morissett type irony there.

UPDATE: This gal liked 300 II. Huh?

UPDATE II: This guy found three more things to criticize about Cosmos beyond Venus and CO2 and whoosing through space. One seems trivial but the show's editing of the true history of Arian heretic Giordano Bruno is monumentally misleading. And I really like the jujitsu move of pretending to believe the one calendar year timescale comparison of the life of the universe was literal to show the hypocrisy of Tyson's ilk sneering at the unscientific 6 days of creation in Genesis.

Oh and the word is True Detective will have a different cast and a new story line next time it airs. What? No Marty and Rust? Now I feel like people I knew and liked have died


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