Seeing it another way

I didn’t “get” the “what color is this dress” thing.

colorI read this joke recently. I’d seen it before:

As a man was driving down the freeway, his car phone rang. Answering, he heard his wife’s voice urgently warning him, “Frank, I just heard on the news that there’s a car going the wrong way on the Interstate. Please be careful!”
“It’s not just ONE car,” said Frank. “It’s HUNDREDS of them!”

It doesn’t ALWAYS happen, but I do TRY to see things from other people’s perspectives. Sometimes, I get a compelling narrative that butts up against my own.
For whatever reason, I never warmed to the Oscar Best Picture-winning movie Birdman. One of my oldest friends came out of a screening of the film the same day I saw another film, and she had exactly the same reaction as I did.

Yet, in my visit to one of the ABC Wednesday folks, Anita from India, wrote: Five Lessons from Birdman film. Among the observations: not resting on your laurels, and dealing with your inner voice. The piece is a wonderful contemplation, and I liked it much more than the film it touted.
I didn’t “get” the “what color is this dress” thing. Fortunately, my colleague sent me this story from Wired, which describes the science.

Another colleague noted, regarding the picture above: “Put your finger in the middle – Both panels are same color. It is the fact that the angle and highlighting make you believe the top is in the light and must be darker and the bottom is in the shadow and must be lighter.”
As a result of our conversation at church about white privilege in January, led by two of our members who are, not incidentally, white, one of my white church friends decided to engage his work colleagues about the topic; the result of this is that they looked at him as though he had three heads. Perhaps another reason why our white friends don’t talk about race.
The article in Salon with the provocative title Why the right hates American history has some really interesting notations about the change in in the American English language, which were instructive:

Living in the 18th Century, the Founders never would have actually used the word “privacy” out loud or in writing… The reason is simple: “privacy” in 1776 was a code word for toilet functions…
Instead, the word of the day was “security,” and in many ways it meant what we today mean when we say “privacy…”
Similarly, “liberty” was also understood, in one of its dimensions, to mean something close to what today we’d call “privacy.”

I’m still not going to read the book, thanks to SamuraiFrog’s painful and detailed review. But Jaquandor applauds EL James’s writing process for 50 Shades of Grey. Here’s a defense of its grammar.
As a business librarian, I am somewhat concerned that Tougher ozone standards could snuff out the recovery, businesses warn. Yet as a human being, I’m very concerned that weaker ozone standards could snuff out life as we know it, scientists warn. What to do, what to do?
Saturday Night Live had its 40th anniversary special last month. Haven’t watched more than seven minutes of the three-and-a-half-hour program, and I probably won’t. Didn’t watch the weekly show much in the past decade.

Yet I found myself reading several stories ABOUT the special, e.g., ‘Saturday Night Live’: 20 Personal, Funny Tales. Not only is former cast member Gary Kroeger’s observations interesting, so is the rest of his blog; he MAY run for Congress as a Democrat from California.

I enjoyed Norm MacDonald’s tweets; my, he did not fare well in the ranking of all 141 cast members.
Dustbury cannot decide whether he’s impressed or depressed by the number of YouTube scenes he recognized.
A favorite quote of the week, from Leonard Nimoy’s Mr. Spock Taught Us Acceptance Is Highly Logical:
“As a young black man and science fiction fan, I strongly identified with Spock’s struggles to fit in with his human coworkers as I struggled to fit in at mostly-white schools and workplaces. And I wouldn’t be surprised if other fans struggling to fit into their communities for different reasons felt the same bond.”

My parents and Star Trek

Back in 1986, I suggested that Mom and I see Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

leonardnimoyIn light of Leonard Nimoy’s death on February 27, a not-unexpected event which nevertheless saddened me greatly, a couple of family recollections.

When I was a teenager in Binghamton, NY, my father was a big fan of Star Trek, airing on NBC-TV in 1966-1969. He watched it every week, barring some meeting conflict. I’d wander into the living room, watch a scene or two, and walk away, bemused.

Dad seemed particularly fond of this part-human, part-Vulcan character named Mr. Spock, played by Nimoy, who, I gathered, had nothing to do with the famous pediatrician of the era, Dr. Benjamin Spock.

There WAS a show Dad and I tended to watch together, and it was the spy show Mission: Impossible, which ALSO started in 1966, on CBS-TV. Among the stars was Martin Landau as Rollin Hand as a master of magic and makeup.

When Landau decided to leave M:I in 1969, he was replaced by Leonard Nimoy, who played a very similar character named Paris. Apparently, Nimoy was up for the Rollin Hand part but opted to do the space opera instead.

It wasn’t until the original Star Trek was shown in reruns that I finally “got” it. I was primed to see the first Star Trek movie in 1979, which I found a little slow, but then I watched the second and third movies, in which (can this be a spoiler?), Spock apparently dies, and then survives.

My parents and baby sister Marcia moved to Charlotte, NC in 1974. One of the traditions I had with my mother, when I would visit her down there was for us to go watch a movie at the local cinema. We saw the original Rocky and Dreamgirls, for two, the latter with my sisters.

For some reason, back in 1986, I suggested that Mom and I see Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, which, as it turned out, Nimoy directed and co-wrote. This was not my best idea because Mom had not seen either II or III. She DID seem to enjoy the story but was a bit confused by the back story, which I tried to explain as quickly as possible.

The only non-Star Trek movie I recall seeing Leonard Nimoy in was the 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. I did watch the original Three Men and a Baby (1987), which he directed. Of course, I remember hearing his distinctive speech in several voiceover gigs.

I’ve found a LOT of nifty Nimoy stories this weekend. I liked Live Long and Prosper: The Jewish Story Behind Spock that also shows up in his New York Times obit. Read also Mark Evanier and Jaquandor tell stories about Leonard Nimoy, and Chuck Miller shows some nifty videos.

This quote I found on Daily Kos is true: “We lost the man who played the first ‘cool’ science nerd… Maybe that’s why his death is having a bigger impact on many of us than we would have thought, until now.” As his last tweet read: “A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP.”

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