Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Writing About Presidential Candidates at Work

I occasionally write for a blog at work called Periodic Tabloid about the history of science.  Today's post is about how very modern the views of many Republican candidates can be.

I Went to a Movie!!!

Ok.  Not a big deal for most of you, but the second to last time I was in a movie theater was in 2005 to watch "The Devil Wears Prada" with my whole family.  Meryl Streep is as mean as two buckets of rattlesnakes in that movie.  It was a lot of fun.

I also remember the last two movies I saw, though I could not watch the second one to the end.  When I deployed, my roommates insisted that I had to watch "Full Metal Jacket."  I liked it a lot more than I thought I would because the guy who went crazy in basic training was Vincent D'Onofrio, later the star of "Law and Order: Criminal Intent."  The other movie they wanted me to see was "300."  They thought I would like it because it was historical.  It was horrible.  It was the battle of Thermopylae made into a cartoon.

The last time I was in a movie theater was to see "Restrepo" with a friend who just returned from Afghanistan--and was on the way back.  This documentary of life at the worst outpost in Afghanistan kept me staring at the screen.

The movie I saw yesterday was "Senna" the story of three-time Formula One World Champion (1988, 1990, 1991) driver Ayrton Senna da Silva.  I took my sons Nigel (Named after 1992 World Champion Nigel Mansell) and Jacari to the movie at the Bourse Theater in Philadelphia.  Since I did not read about the movie in advance, I did not realize half of it would be subtitled.  Senna is Brazilian.  His main rival, Alain Prost is French.  The boys can't read fast enough to follow subtitles, but there was a lot of historic car racing footage so they could enjoy at least half of the movie. And since this the second time I have been to a theater with Nigel (Devil Wears Prada) and the first with Jacari, they were fascinated with the whole idea of Dad in a theater.

They sat on either side of me in the third row, far in front of the other patrons.  And at the end they were both whipping their heads back and forth between me and the screen.  Senna died in the Imola race in a 170-mph crash.  I remember the race.  A rookie driver died in qualifying the day before.  It had been almost 10 years since a Formula One driver died in the car and Senna was, in most fans eyes, the best driver in the world at the time.  

When a car crashes, it is swarmed by the corner workers, the men and women who stand just behind the fences and wave flags, then run to crash sites.  Most times they workers are doing everything they can to get the driver out of the car.  And you see the swarm just after the crash with the camera at track level.  then they switch scenes and show the car from the helicopter a moment later.  Instead of the swarm, they showed a half-dozen corner workers six feet from the car with their backs toward the stricken machine.

When the corner workers do that, the driver is dead.  I started to tell the boys thats what the corner workers body language meant, but instead, I started to cry.  The boys had never seen that either.  They started to cry.   The movie ended a few minutes later.  They were Ok.  I wanted some time to think.  so I told the boys to double knot their sneakers we ere going running.  We ran back and forth across the Ben Franklin Bridge--1.5 miles each way across the bridge and a half-mile back and forth to the bridge.

Should you see the movie?  Only if you are a racing fan.

Speaking of the boys, I am starting a new blog today.  My wife and I are driving to State College to talk to the social worker of a boy who may be our next adopted child.  The blog is Adoptive Dad.  Just as the Senna movie is mostly interesting for race fans, this new blog is mostly for parents I would assume.