Tuesday, February 22, 2011

In the news again

Like me, you probably woke up to news of another earthquake striking Christchurch, New Zealand. For some reason, it made me think of the 1940s MGM movie Green Dolphin Street, which is set in 1840s New Zealand, and which has a climax involving an earthquake. Now, I actually did a post on earthquakes just about a year ago, although Green Dolphin Street wasn't one of the movies I mentioned. It also doesn't seem to be on the TCM schedule anytime soon; nor is it on DVD yet.

A week ago, the Russian space agency made the news because their simulated Mission to Mars reached the point where the cosmonauts were going to get out of their simulated space capsule and walk on a simulated surface of Mars, before getting back into the craft and simulating a return to earth in eight months' time or so. (The mission began last June, and is being simulated so that scientists can determine what problems cosmonauts might face should there be a real mission to Mars.) A lot of people would think about the conspiracy theory that NASA faked the moon landings, but the real connection is Capricorn One, which involves the US government faking a mission to Mars when it's discovered there's a technical fault that would doom the real thing to failure. Unfortunately, they send the spacecraft minus the astronauts on its way, fake the mission, and have problems arise when the spacecraft burns up on the way back to Earth. Oops. What to do with the astronauts who have been sequestered for months at a remote military base? Capricorn One has gotten a DVD release, at least.

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