Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Dreamy losses...

First, sorry to see Ingmar Bergman go. So many great films. For me, the last five minutes of Wild Strawberries, with dreamy flashbacks and simple, final harp notes suggesting a sweet ending to a long life, is one of my most effecting (childhood) moments in cinema. He taught me about a kind of complex European formality at an age where I was more interested in letting it all hang out...

Secondly, while we're pondering a Christian type of ascension, I'd like to bring up Helium. Where do they get it? If it's lighter than air, does it malinger up in the atmosphere somewhere? Everytime a child's balloon needs filling, do they need to send up a rocket probe? Or does it just grow in those metal tanks? These are the kind of thoughts that keep me up at night.

Thirdly, when finally asleep, a vivid dream of stumbling upon George W. Bush sleeping on the ground next to a shrub, hiding, trying to get some shut-eye, while there's very clearly a nasty war going on. I'm trying to take his picture, but everytime I reach for the camera, he jumps up. Bill Clinton, appearing on cue, tells me I should let him sleep. In response, I pull out a magazine article that says Clinton's new book was the worst of the year. That shuts him up. He get's into an old red Volvo station wagon (Bergman ref?) and drives off. Bush sleeping in the bushes again. What can it mean?

Wait... Antonioni too? That's too much... so that's it. We've got Godard, Wenders, Herzog left from the old guard(s). Antonioni, I can't believe it.

(scene from Bergman's "Monika")


Anonymous brian said...

I am sure you already know this....

Radioactive elements, such as uranium, release alpha particles when they decay (an alpha particle is just a helium atom with no electrons.) Deep in the Earth where these radioactive decays take place, the alpha particles capture electrons and become helium. As the radioactive deposits age, large quantities of helium become trapped in underground caverns. To collect the helium, people drill down into the caverns and capture the helium as it escapes.

We put helium in balloons, because it is lighter than air and is non flammable. However, most of the helium used today is in liquid form. All gases become liquids when the temperature becomes low enough, or when excessive pressure is used. Scientists use liquid helium for experiments that have to be kept very very cold. Helium becomes a liquid at 270oC below zero!

8:01 PM  

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