Wednesday, August 23, 2006

8/23: James Follett and Medford College of Technology

James Follett is a rather well-known science fiction writer - although probably better known in England than the States. I'm enjoying his The Destruction Factor - just listened to the 2nd episode at BBC7:

The Destruction Factor
The Devil's Harvest: How can a pot plant be two feet tall when it was only six inches high a few hours previously?
Episode 2 of 6.

First broadcast in 1978. 1978. 38 years ago. And yet the subject it addresses - famine in Africa - is still very real. I sometimes wonder why scientists can't just get together and solve one problem...then another and another...instead of having 'em all scattered around pursuing their own individual agendas. Sure - lots of good stuff gets invented/found, etc. but if there were only a concerted effort ....

I'm busy watching The Absent Minded Professor - the original starring Fred McMurry. It's pleasant fare...I'm going to do a series of articles on the Medford Quatrain...some classy title like that - the 60s Disney sci fi epics The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes and The Strongest Man in the World...and how scientists and scientific discoveries were treated in these films.

Of course being Disney they're all formulaic...but there are interesting themes to be delved in...such as the end justifies the means (using flubber during a basketball game so that an outclassed team can defeat its's still cheating, even if in a good cause!)

And of course considering what's going on in college athletics - any athletics - today, when cheaters abound and good sportsmanship is practically non-existent...undoubtedly due to the fact that there is so much money - including gambling money - to be made out of these sports and the people who participate in them.

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