Defying Gravity

I started out watching Defying Gravity because I wanted to see what a tv show about humans in space would look like from my new perspective, from “the inside,” even though my insider world is still quite far removed from the real thing.

I wasn’t disappointed, per se, because I didn’t really have my hopes pinned on anything. But it was a lot more drama and a lot less space than I’d expected. So much so that I might have given up on it if it weren’t for Twitter. I “follow” quite a few people who work in the real Mission Control or other jobs at NASA and they were all watching Defying Gravity too — and tweeting about it! So it was cool to see real NASA folks respond, critque, etc. how their jobs, astronauts, exploration, etc. were portrayed on tv.

I was surprised this past week that it was the season finale — it seemed too soon. It turns out there’s actually five more episodes that make up season 1, but it’s unclear whether or not ABC will play them because it doesn’t have an open time slot with all of its new fall shows coming. While aired in the U.S. on ABC, ABC is not actually producing the show. It’s made by BBC and Canada … eh, this article explains it better than I can.

If I never see those other five episodes and I never know what Beta is or what the “real” mission is, I’ll  be Ok. I mean it would be nice to know, but it’s not like they’re not showing the rest of Lost or something because THAT would be a tragedy!

“Complete Happiness”? Yeah right!

“To love somebody; it’s the best feeling in the world. It’s that feeling of ‘I need you in my life. I really need you because you make me better. You make me a better person. You give me a complete happiness.’”

— what Jason Mesnick (aka The Bachelor) said just before asking Melissa to marry him. Six weeks later he dumped Melissa on national television and then asked Mollie to go for coffee.

I guess it wasn’t that complete, and he really does need someone to make him a better person.

Think on These Things

To read or not to read, that is the question. Well, the question is actually a little bit broader than that: to consume or not to consume, perhaps, is a little more accurate. I’ve heard all my life sayings like “junk in, junk out” but qualified the “junk” I put in by believing I could handle it. As a teenager I listened to the same music everyone else did but thought that while other teenagers heard negative lyrics and acted out what they heard, I could hear the same bad lyrics and just enjoy the sound.

To some extent I still believe that. Yet just because you can handle something doesn’t mean that you should. A devotional I read recently about integrity said you can’t truly judge whether you can handle something (a book, music, movie, lyrics, etc.) until after you’ve consumed it, and then it’s too late. The devotional also pointed out what my mother always told me but that I never believed, which is that what you see and hear becomes ingrained in your mind and can be/will be recalled later. Your subconscious mind will bring up what has been fed to your conscious mind.

I’ve tested this theory a little over the last month or so and have tried to listen exclusively to positive music, primarily praise and worship music. And you know, in those rare quiet moments, I have found myself many times singing in my head the very praise and worship music I have been listening to. If a song is going to get stuck in my head, I’d much rather it be a positive, Christian song that is uplifting and encouraging instead of a song with a bad attitude like Pink’s “So What,” or a song about inappropriate relationships like Britney’s “Womanizer.”

I use these songs as examples because at the time I read this devotional on integrity I had just purchased both of these songs on iTunes and was listening to them on my computer, via my iPhone, in the car, etc. Even my 5-year-old was singing along with Pink, “I’m gonna start a fight.” I really started to feel convicted about the lyrics that I was allowing into my own head and now the heads of my children. I may can handle Pink, but can my kindergartner?

The struggle with what to see, hear, read, “consume” is not easy, and it’s a constant one. I still like the sound of the Pink and the Britney songs so it’s tempting to listen to them. I can relate to a lot of the lyrics in popular songs because they talk about love, break-ups, hurts, longings, all of which I’ve experienced. It’s enjoyable to hear lyrics that relate well to things I’ve felt and experienced. This is not to say that all secular music (movies, TV, books, etc.) is bad, but one should search their heart and their conscience to determine which ones are or aren’t appropriate to consume.

In fifth grade the principal at the Christian school I attended refused to let me and some friends sing a certain song in chapel because he doubted whether or not it was appropriate. He told us a simple truth that I’ve never forgotten: when in doubt don’t do it. He had doubts about the song so he couldn’t, in good conscience, let us to sing it. I’ve applied that principle many times, to the clothing I choose, the places I go and the people I am around. When in doubt, don’t. If you have doubt, there’s probably a good reason.

Ok, so my final thought on deciding what to consume is this: Is it healthy? This has been advice that I have given in the past to others yet I’ve seldom applied it to myself. (Remember, it didn’t matter to me if it was healthy or not because I could handle it.) But just this week I had to make a decision about whether or not to read something that I had doubts about reading. Initially I decided there was no reason not to read it and had a “Why not?” attitude. But that still small voice said to me, “Instead of asking ‘Why not?’ ask ‘Why?’ Is there a reason to? Is this healthy? What do you gain by reading this?” And the answer was nothing. Well, nothing good anyway. So I’m not going to read it. Doesn’t make it easier. Just like with Pink and Britney, I’m still tempted. But I’m confident that the positive Christian praise and worship that is filled my mind and my heart (as well as passages from the Bible, which I have been striving to read everyday!) is going to come to mind just when I need it and help me resist.

“Finally brothers, whatever is true; whatever is noble, righteous and pure; whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, excellent, and worthy of our praise; think on these things.” — lyrics based on Philippians 4:8

Moon Hoax?

Mythbusters is doing a NASA-themed episode tonight. It’s all about the the conspiracy theory that the moon landings were a hoax. According to what I’ve read online, some of the specifics are looking at how the American flag appears to blow in the wind, yet there’s no wind on the moon, and whether or not a footprint can be made in dry regolith.

Those mythbusters folks are pretty thorough so this should be interesting. I actually won’t be home in time to watch it live, but I programmed the DVR two days ago to record it, so I plan to watch as soon as I get home.

A few months ago my co-worker David actually flew in the same microgravity airplane as the main guys (Adam and Jamie) while they were filming for the moon episode. This is actually a picture David took with his iPhone during the flight.

Star Wars’ Clone Wars Review

So in a mini-review of the Star Wars Clone Wars movie, which we saw as a family on Sunday, I’ll say this: I liked the storyline but would have preferred to see real actors. I thought the animated action was too much like a video game, for me. Disclaimer: I realize that I am probably not the target audience for this film and that Star Wars die-hards may have loved it for the very reasons I criticized, and that’s OK.

A co-worker recently talked about his opinions on making new Star Wars’ films (ones with actors, not animated) and he was happy with the two trilogies with a “leave well-enough alone” attitude, as I recall. I, however, after seeing Clone Wars think a few “inbetweequels” (in between + sequels) would be entertaining. They could have similar story lines as Clone Wars but kind of fit in the middle of some of the episodes we’ve already seen.

My two stipulations, though, would be that they’d have to use the same actors as are in Epsiodes I, II and III, and you could only have inbetweequels for those episodes. It would be kinda hard for Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill to play younger versions of themselves today, and getting new actors would break rule no. 1. Sequels or Pre-quels that don’t use the same actors are awful!

My husband’s response to my criticism was that animation is cheaper than paying actors. I know too that CGI (computer-generated images) and animation technology are getting better and better which is exciting. Perhaps, it’s just not for me. I have, however, already been informed that we’ll be watching the new animated Star Wars TV series that starts this fall, so Clone Wars was apparently just the beginning.

This announcement from the Star Wars web site has some interesting comments from Lucas and others about both the movie and the TV series.

My Parenting Style

An example of good parents is hard to find, especially among the parents presented in the media. Today’s kids are spoiled and are in control of their homes and famous parents seem more guilty of that than anyone.

Not my kids, and according to an article in the May/June issue of WebMD, not Kelly Ripa’s kids either. While reading this article last week in a doctor’s waiting room, I recognized myself in several of Ripa’s comments. A few examples:

“Basically, it’s my philosophy that doing the easy thing in the short term makes it harder for parents in the long run. Giving in when you want to say ‘no’ quiets things down momentarily, but you’ll just have more of the same — and then some — down the road.”

“I think children are consistency junkies; they need schedules and parameters, and it’s up to us to provide them.”

“I can just see me having to debate with Lola about why we have to leave right this minute. I’ve literally had to say to her: ‘Honey, if there’s an emergency, you don’t have the liberty to argue with Mommy, OK?'”

And I just think this comment is funny (yet kinda true).

“I think children are like pancakes: You sort of ruin the first one, and you get better at it the second time around.”