A Conversation about Under the Skin

Last night I had the opportunity to watch Under the Skin (2013), a relatively low-budget sci-fi film ($13 million production costs with a box office, so far, of about $6 million) starring Scarlett Johansson. The film’s production values were surprising — there are a high number of non-actors in the film playing roles that parallel their real lives (see its Wikipedia entry). The film was so weird I had to talk to my wife about it afterwards. Annnd… spoilers. Me: Man that was weird. Sheridan: That film you tried to get me to see? Me: I didn’t think you’d see it. It’s … Continue reading A Conversation about Under the Skin

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A List of Things I’d Want to Say to Alien Life Forms

The New Yorker ran an article yesterday by Joshua Rothman titled “The Man Who Speaks for Earth.” It’s about Douglas Vakotch’s recent anthology, Archaeology, Anthropology, and Interstellar Communication. Vakotch is the Director of Interstellar Message Composition at SETI, which means that his job is, as you can guess from his title, to compose messages sent out to the cosmos that we wish to be received by intelligent life forms on other planets. As odd as this whole thing is, Vakotch’s comments (and those of his contributors) are brimming with commonsense: heck, we can’t even understand each other — how are we going to understand … Continue reading A List of Things I’d Want to Say to Alien Life Forms

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