Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Space Debris: A Look at Gravity and Planetes

Alright, let me just get this out of the way, first off: Gravity is really, really good, and you should all go watch it. Right now, if possible. I don't usually recommend this, but if you can watch it in IMAX 3D, do it. The 3D is totally worth it, and I really wish that I could have seen it in IMAX. The screen at the theater where I watched it wasn't nearly large enough. Trust me, it will help with immersion, not distract you from the movie. As a side note, the final shot in the movie is one of my favourite shots of all time. Just the cinematography behind it, it's so packed with meaning and purpose... the way the camera is placed, the direction that it's facing; it was clearly well thought out, and I truly appreciated it.

Moving on, let's talk about the plot of Gravity (without any spoilers or anything). The entire time that I was watching the movie, I couldn't help but be reminded of an anime that I watched freshman year: Planetes. Also 2001: A Space Odyssey, but I haven't actually watched that movie so I feel like I shouldn't make that comparison. Nevertheless, it's a movie that uses its space setting to explore the human condition, so I feel like that counts for something.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Grace Hopper Celebration 2013: It's For Men Too

So, this past weekend I was up in Minneapolis, MN attending my very first professional conference: The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing 2013. Yes, yes, I know I'm not a woman. It's the celebration of women in computing, not for women in computing. It's totally ok for men to attend.

Nevertheless, I was definitely in the minority. Being a tall, blond haired, blue eyed, Caucasian male made me stand out from the crowd, that's for sure. And you know what? That's not a bad thing. It made me memorable to everyone else attending. I met several people over the course of the conference that recognized me later and came over to say hello, which was very nice because I didn't know anyone there. I came up from school by myself to present at the poster session as part of a group that had never met before, so I felt a little lonely. Not knowing anyone in a crowd of 4,807 can kind of get you down. So whenever someone that I had met previously saw me again and said hi, it picked my spirits up.