November 23rd, 2005

krazy koati

A squadron of six X-wings leads the big assault

We went to the Singapore Science Centre, partly to take in the regular displays of applied science -- optical illusions, shows of vortices of wind and water, a robotic climbing Albert Einstein dressed like Doctor Clayton Forrester. We enjoyed the Robotics lab, which showed figures like a Bondi Blue iMac-type robotic hamster, Lego battlebots, and a TV showing The Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye. Adjacent to that is a display of the Electron, complete with animated electron and animated JJ Thompson.

The new -- just a few days old -- attraction is The Art of Star Wars, a show running to April. It features cheerily the warning they do not allow flash pictures, sketching, or tripods. My houseguest took a flash picture by accident, and an exhibit guardian was over right away to scold him. But they had some marvelous attractions, including models that looked like they might be shooting miniatures for the Star Destroyer and many other ships; conceptual art, including a very preliminary poster for when it was called The Star Wars and they used a Logan's Run sort of typeface; a Revenge of the Jedi poster; and a lot of monitors playing the current pravda on how Lucas created the stuff, or showing that trailer of Obi-Wan crying how ``You were the chosen one!'' over and over and over and over. They also had many outfits, like that of a ``Count Dooku'', who allegedly did something, though you couldn't prove it by my recollection of the movies.

We both got many pictures, and they'll come when we get around to them. In an amusing side point, the only reference to Jar-Jar Binks was from a toy set, Incident At Blah Blah Blah, where he's getting beaten up by Sebulba, Lord of Awkward Poses. They had a little Foley Studio where you could try putting noise to a scene of Ewoks beating up Storm Troopers, though we just listened to earlier recordings which consisted mostly of banging on metal. Probably the coolest thing was light sabers claimed to be Luke Skywalker's and Darth Vader's -- they looked 70s enough they could be -- and a Darth Vader outfit that looked 1977 enough to be maybe original. You could even see the buttons on his chest for Record, Play, Rewind, and Stop. I've got to process the pictures.

Trivia: The original 1964 contract for the Apollo Mobile Launch Platform swing arms gave them a price of $11,480,113. The actual cost came to about triple that. Source: Moonport: A History of Apollo Launch Facilities and Operations, Charles D Benson, William Barnaby Faherty. NASA SP-4204.

Currently Reading: Spaceling, Doris Piserchia.