Having just seen this movie, I am reminded of another movie where I was thoroughly confused from beginning to end. What is that movie?It was Dune by David Lynch. This begs the question, is John Carter this generations Dune? I can say that since both came from printed material, that range from 50 to 100 years, trying to bring them to the big screen is nearly impossible. Hell, do you remember how Peter Jackson struggled with making the Lord of the Rings series into three separate movies and was told to make all into one?
Granted when I first saw Dune, I had a vague idea about the series but did not know the source material and how dense the created universe came to be. After reading Dune, several times (normally I read a book once), I saw how hard Dune the movie tried to live up to Dune the book. In John Carter’s case, I am aware of the material from Edgar Rice Boroughs but I never read it. I have a feeling, when I read John Carter of Mars, I would like it more than the movie – which is usually the case.
Now, having said this, John Carter lost me completely. I had no idea who the aliens were from the humanoids to the 4 armed freaks nor did I have a clear understanding of the story/conflict. What threw me off were the names of characters and certain words they movie used – just like Dune. Once I was off put by this, I really couldn’t care for John Carter as there was nothing for me to latch on. Even as attractive the Princess looked on the screen, the onscreen chemistry was painful to watch. The Princess in certain scenes looked orange and I was yelling in my head, “Why is John Carter going afterPrincess Snooki?”
Recently, I watched JJ Abrams Star Trek movie and rewatched it with commentary. I loved his approach to update a tired franchise and have it accessible to not hard core Trek fans but also non Trek fans. I had wished this John Carter was done differently where it wasn’t so CGI heavy and there was more of connection to the lead. With marketing ad touting, “Before Avatar and Star Wars there was John Carter,” you have better deliver on the goods; Carter failed. I still think that Mars is a great setting for scifi for movies like The Martian Chronicles and Total Recall but overall Mars is a tough cookie to crack. Remember Red Planet, Mission to Mars, John Carpenter‘s Ghost of Mars? I think it is safe to say John Carter can go on this list as well.
The Power of Pee | Discovery News Video
July 8, 2009 — Urine-powered cars, homes and personal electronic devices could be available in six months with new technology developed by scientists from Ohio University.
Using a nickel-based electrode, the scientists can create large amounts of cheap hydrogen from urine that could be burned or used in fuel cells. “One cow can provide enough energy to supply hot water for 19 houses,” said Gerardine Botte, a professor at Ohio University developing the technology. “Soldiers in the field could carry their own fuel.”
Pee power is based on hydrogen, the most common element in the universe but one that has resisted efforts to produce, store, transport and use economically.
Storing pure hydrogen gas requires high pressure and low temperature. New nanomaterials with high surface areas can adsorb hydrogen, but have yet to be produced on a commercial scale.
via Urine: A ‘Clean’ Energy Source: Discovery News.
Having found this information incredibly interesting, I started to think about I could tie this in to a scifi angle. The first thing that can to mind was Dune. I did a Dune Book Group on Google and posted some discussion question about ecology and the kind but we never talked about waste. The Fremen wore a stillsuits on the deserts of Arrakis, one would be able to reclaim the water from the waste so as there to be little to no loss of water. In essence, this fuel for another type of engine – a human engine. I had written an earlier post about a similar technology that was discussed on The Colbert Report back in April 2008 which you should check out.
What is even funnier, is the picture above of the women pointing to the man peeing on the car. If you look again, it appears that she is pointing to the gas tank where I man could one day peeing the tank to fuel up his car. If we carry that thought further, how far from reality would be for a man to start having sex with his own car. Take a look at the video below and the video may not be work safe as this may be a little risque.
Every once in a while you get amazed about a concept that could only be done in a work of fiction. As technology makes incredible leaps and bounds, those concepts become a reality. I’m sure you’ve heard the arguements for the invention of the cell phones was due in part of Star Trek and not William Shatner, lol.
As I saw this interview of the Colbert Report, Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway, came up with a brilliant water reclamation design. As Dean was speaking about how water can extracted from pretty much anything, I wanted to bring up the Deathstill from the book of Dune.
If you have ever read the book or seen the movies, Paul was challenged to a duel by a Fremen called Jamis. As Jamis lost the battle and his life and his body was placed in a Deathstill. The water from Jamis’s body was extract and given to Paul. As part of the Fremen ritual, this water is given to the winner who used and lost the water during the fight. From a Dune Wiki – The Fremen also put the deathstills to use for reclaiming the water of their enemies. It was usual practice for Fremen women and children to go through a battlefield when fighting was over, killing the wounded soldiers of the enemies with their crysknife, so that their water could be reclaimed in the deathstills. In the second Dune book, the Deathstill was used a torture device. Can Kamen’s invention one day be used on a living being? Before you say nay, as Spock would, “There are always possibilites.”
Thank you to all those you expressed an interest in joining the book group both in person and online. To further enhance the book group experience, if you remember from my previous entry, I am using Meebo as our chat room. You can click on this link to see the Meebo room. The great feature, aside from the chat transcripts being recorded, one can insert various video clips from YouTube and Google Video as well as images from Flickr and Photobucket. I am in the process of putting some videos from the movies and then, I started to think some more about this. If you have a video camera record yourself ahead of time with your thoughts about the book or leave a short video question for us to answer. If you can upload it to YouTube or Google Video, I can then add it to the chat room for all of us to view and enjoy; just send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. So, get cranking on finishing the first Dune book as we are close to a month away from the start of the first.