July 21st, 2005

krazy koati

By airplane to the rocket, by taxi to the airport

The most curious comment I've seen from more than one person about James Doohan's death is that it was ironic or fitting he died on the 36th anniversary of Apollo 11's landing on the moon. I don't see how it's either. It's a fine enough coincidence, but I don't know the right literary term for it.

As it happens I finished the From The Earth To The Moon DVD set yesterday (I'd been watching one episode per week), which I hadn't planned; things just sort of fall into place that way. The Apollo 17 episode's wonderful, but I'm still uneasy about its fake-documentary nature. And then I went to one of my silent movie DVDs to watch Georges Méliès's A Voyage To The Moon, and the DVD player froze up at the climax. I hope the machine's not breaking; it's frozen a couple times recently, but in watching DVD-R's sent by friends who wanted me to have the finest eye-gougeing Hanna-Barbera cartoons of the 1970s, fresh from Boomerang. The CB Bears and Hey, It's The King will break anybody's consumer electronics and belief in the existence of an understandable universe1. Oh, the player had always skipped a few places in the Star Trek: Nemesis Video CD too. Freezing up on the silent movies DVD is the first sign it's having trouble with professional entertainment.

1 Though CB Bears' short Beaky Buzzard is a better Coyote-and-Road-Runner ripoff than the Coyote-and-Road-Runner cartoons done by Rudy Larriva and Bill ``I have four bars of music and you're gonna hear all of them'' Lava.

Trivia: Three batches of mice were lost in testing the procedures for the Lunar Receiving Laboratory quarantine lab. Source: First On The Moon: A Voyage With Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, Edwin E Aldrin Jr, ``Written with'' Gene Farmer, Dora Jane Hamblin. And in one of the many trivial things I'd like to know ... contemporary accounts of Apollo crews almost invariably named astronauts in the order Commander-Command Module Pilot-Lunar Module Pilot; these days, it's almost as surely Commander-Lunar Module Pilot-Command Module Pilot. When the switch?

Currently Reading: The Nemesis Affair: A Story of the Death of Dinosaurs and the Ways of Science, David M Raup.