austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

All that happened was the white night

Dad called to report having left Las Vegas safely, and having spent several days now driving around the westernmost states of these United States. Actually, he's let my brother do the driving, which was fine by him. He reports that there's pretty near no cell phone service in the Mojave Desert, which is good to know for future reference. Even closer to the Pacific as he reported being there wasn't all that much service: I could barely make out his call, and I can't swear that I didn't miss at lest some components. But as of a few hours ago he'd still managed to prove that an ex-Eagle Scout can still survive in well-demarked national parks with little but what you can fit in a late-model Saturn car. And he must be having a fine time: he didn't suggest that I should have been there even once this call.

I have to stop habitually changing the channel to Turner Classic Movies shortly before bed. Occasionally that'll land me in the middle of a movie I find hypnotically compelling, and then I'll stay up another two hours or so when I should have been in bed. In this case it was The Killing, an early Stanley Kubrick piece, which is particularly dangerous since I have a very hard time turning away from Kubrick, particularly in black-and-white. I didn't know what movie it was, just that there was this intriguing narration and people attempting to make good the robbery of a racetrack, and everything was barely being held together and ...

Naturally this got me off on another thread, since the contortions reminded me of the B-movie and Mystery Science Theater 3000 experiment starring Ed Platt, The Rebel Set. They're not really very similar, outside the matter of being caper movies. Still, I have noticed that fairly often a really bad movie will have some clear origin as an attempt to duplicate a successful or at least more successful movie. Tracking down pieces like that would be a great project, although not one for me. It's too much work, and I have ... nothing particularly obvious to do myself.

Trivia: Androsterone, the first male hormone to be isolated, was found in 1931, when fifteen milligrams of it was found from 15,000 liters of urine from Belgian police. Source: Napoleon's Buttons, Penny Le Couteur, Jay Burreson.

Currently Reading: Noise, Hal Clement.


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