A labyrinth is
- A building with passageways resembling a maze and difficult to exit.
- A symbol connoting the complexities of life or some seemingly unsolvable puzzle which, in fact, does have a solution.
- A 1986 fantasy film directed by Jim Henson and starring David Bowie as the evil Goblin King, Jareth.
- Trying to remember the title of a 3D spherical labyrinth game (ask.metafilter.com)
- The Minotaur (socyberty.com)
- Top 9 Magnificent Manmade Mazes (uniquedaily.com)
- Are We Walking a Maze or a Labyrinth? (godspace.wordpress.com)
- Yearning for the faceless crowd (tangledwords.wordpress.com)
- Pamela Newton: Puppets Take Manhattan (huffingtonpost.com)
- Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth Announced (cinemablend.com)
- Superpatron: the library as labyrinth – Petoskey (MI) Community Labyrinth and other labyrinths of the northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan (vielmetti.typepad.com)
- LAist Film Calendar: This Big Bird’s No Turkey! (laist.com)
- Book 24: The Battle of the Labyrinth – Rick Riordan (geoffwhaley.wordpress.com)
In the TV Star Trek: The Original Series Mr. Spock is a Vulcan science officer aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise, played by actor Leonard Nimoy.
As Captain Kirk‘s right hand man, he plays an important role as the only non-human crew member.
Spock’s father was Vulcan and his mother human. As such he has an internal conflict between suppressing his emotions, which Vulcans are known for, and permitting their expression, as human do.
While this was a clever idea back in the 1960s, the notion that any species would try to live purely on logic, as Vulcans claim to do, seems impractical. Along these lines, the Swiss depth psychiatrist C. G. Jung advocated the integration of thinking, feeling, sensation and intuition (albeit for human beings).
When Star Trek first appeared in 1966, Spock’s skin was reddish in color, he looked more devilish and his speech was somewhat rough. He originally conformed to the “red Martian” stereotype of the 1950s and 60s. But Trek producers quickly became interested in developing a more complex character and Spock’s appearance softened.
His looks became more elfin than devilish and he began to harbor intense emotions under the fragile veneer of Vulcan rationality. The changes paid off. At times Spock’s popularity rivaled Kirk’s. The Vulcan psychological, cultural and even political tension between logic and emotion is also brought out in Star Trek: Enterprise through the female character, T’Pol.
In 2009 the hit movie, Star Trek, directed by J. J. Abrams brought Spock back into the spotlight. This time he’s both an old (played by an elderly Leonard Nimoy) and a young man (played by Zachary Quinto). The fact that Leonard Nimoy is showcased in this blockbuster film while William Shatner (who played the original Captain Kirk) isn’t is perhaps telling as to Spock’s ongoing popularity and cultural significance in the 21st century.
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Science Fiction (sci-fi)
A genre of literature, TV and film sometimes trivialized by the arts and literary establishment.
Critics say science fiction characters are wooden, two-dimensional ‘cardboard cutouts’ rarely developed in the manner of, say, a Holden Caufield (J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye) or a Hagar Shipley (Margaret Laurence’s The Stone Angel).
Some sci-fi writers accept this criticism, saying the medium began as an exploration into the human imagination rather than as a commentary on the human condition.
By way of contrast, H. G. Wells, George Orwell and more recent authors like Frank Herbert (Dune), Ursula Le Guin (The Dispossessed), Kurt Vonnegut (Cat’s Cradle, Slaughterhouse Five) and filmmaker Stanley Kubrick’s intense rendering of Arthur C. Clark’s 2001: A Space Odyssey have helped to change the face of sci-fi.
Indeed, William Shatner, who plays Star Trek’s Captain Kirk, says that a good science fiction story must be grounded in distinct human experiences.
Gonzo Bonzo adds:
If you’re looking for some good science fiction focused on characters, you’d better read some of the novels from Robert Silverberg. Dying Inside, which is about a telepath in an early 70’s NYC, who’s losing his power, or Man in a Maze talks about the first astronaut ever to meet alien lifeforms, who comes back being unable to hide his feeling and emotions to his fellow humans, and who chose to exile on giant maze. Book of Skulls is also a good example of human centered SciFi, with very complex and multi-dimensional characters.
In more recent efforts authors like Jeff Vandermeer, Vernor Vinge (with his wonderful Rainbows End), Paul J.McAuley, Iain M.Banks, China Miéville or Ian R.McLeod are good examples of what SciFi is these days. » Source
Regardless of condescension from those literati who think they know best, sci-fi finds itself in a unique position to explore unconventional ideas that the worldly wise regard as ludicrous and unworthy of attention.
An historical example of a truly great sci-fi visionary is Leonardo Da Vinci (1452–1519). Leonardo worked as a military engineer and inventor in Italy. He was venerated in France as a genius and some of his more imaginative sketches depicted flying machines, robots, a tank and submarines. But Da Vinci kept many of these innovative sketches secret, most likely to avoid ridicule.
While sci-fi may still encounter a similar kind of prejudice, the runaway success of J. J. Abrams’ Star Trek film indicates that the snobs out there may just be incredibly jealous. After all, who can distinguish other than for themselves what’s treasure and what’s trash?
» 2001: A Space Odyssey, Abyss, Alien Possession Theory (APT), Borg, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Asimov (Isaac), Cylons, Hal 9000, Lewis (C. S.), Lexx, Matrix (The), Occam’s Razor, Parallel Universes, Roberts (Jane), Star Trek, Star Wars, Tek War, Temporal Paradox, Virtual Reality
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A fictional team of mutant superheroes with special abilities created by Marvel Comics writers Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
The original comic series has been successfully translated into a film trilogy and an animated TV series.
There is also an American and Canadian science fiction television show called Mutant X that is based on the original Marvel comic strip.
The idea of X-Men compels us to remember that genetic mutation and recombination need not always be bad.
Society’s condemnation of the X-Men and their genetically enhanced abilities is unfounded, even paranoid, and might parallel present misunderstandings and tensions between those lying in the middle and at the extremes of the so-called normal bell curve.
Quite possibly some of today’s “freaks and geeks” represent a kind of precursor to the next stage of human evolution.
It has also been argued that X-Men is a symbolic protest against current forms of racism and discrimination that different religious, ethnic and status groups may hold toward one another. » Science Fiction
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2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) Science-fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke, as well as a film with screenplay by Clarke and Stanley Kubrick, starring Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood.
While the novel helps to flesh out the enigmatic film, it’s a bit pedantic. The film, on the other hand, is regarded as a cinematic classic.
In the film two interconnected themes are explored with a bare minimum of dialogue: (1) Mankind vs. Machine, and (2) Mankind in Evolution.
The machine, a HAL 9000 computer, malfunctions and murders astronaut Frank Pool and several others traveling in suspended animation en route to Jupiter (Saturn in the novel). The lone survivor, Dave Bowman, disconnects HAL’s higher processing modules, despite HAL’s advice to “take a stress pill, relax, and think it over.”
Bowman is then transported through an alien gateway to a distant world. Dying, he is reborn a Star Child.
In Clarke’s original story the child-god returns to Earth to safely detonate an orbiting hydrogen bomb. Unsure what to do next, he will “think of something.”
The catalyst for the Jupiter mission (and eventual transformation of Bowman) is a strange signal emanating from an anomalous, rectangular object discovered just underneath the Moon’s surface.
The film tells us that another, identical object was present on Earth at the dawn of mankind. The novel explains that the object, often called the monolith, was planted by aliens in order to guide the evolution of mankind.
The screenplay is far more open-ended than the novel. But both portray astronaut Dave Bowman’s metamorphosis in a way consistent with various mythic cycles relating to the theme of death and transformation.
Subsequent novels like 2010 (also a film), 2064 and 3001 use the literary device of retroactive continuity. That is, certain plot and setting details are modified by Clarke but not at the expense of a greater, more holistic sense of coherence. For instance, in the sequel film 2010 we learn that the HAL 9000 was told to lie by Washington, which was incompatible with HAL’s programming. So the computer’s somewhat sinister ‘malfunction’ of 2001 becomes something more of an unavoidable and forgivable psychosis ultimately caused by human error, as HAL ironically indicated in the original film.
3001 explores an intriguing idea where consciousness of human origin (Dave Bowman) unites with a computer program (HAL) to create a new kind of hybrid named Halman. » Cylons
Official 2001: A Space Odyssey Trailer
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