Space… the final frontier

NASA’s Mars venture is exciting stuff; funny how the pictures of Mars so far makes it look a lot like… Earth?

I was actually watching a little bit of “Seventh Heaven” on WB (Channel 11) – the show with the parents with seven plus kids. Don’t know why I was watching – the show has its moments, I guess; I’ve followed the plotlines via the commercials over the years. For some reason, I was channel changing and lacked energy to channel-change some more and at least followed the interesting storyline concerning the eldest child, medical student son Matt Camden (played by Barry Watson). Matt’s really stressed out, ready to drop out of medical school and petrified of losing his young bride, a fellow medical student. Instead of turning to his parents for help, he confides in his father-in-law, the Rabbi played by Richard Lewis, who eventually persuades him to (what else?) talk to his parents. Gotta give these two actors credit – they’re very convincing in their respective roles.

Minor tv trivia: The patriarch of the Camdens, Rev. Camden, is played by Stephen Collins, who played Capt. Will Decker in “Star Trek: The Motion Picture”; Mrs. Camden is played by Catherine Hicks, who played Dr. Gillian Taylor (aka Capt. Kirk’s 20th Century love interest) in “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.” It’s a much too… odd a piece of trivia to know, and it may very well explain why I can’t never really get myself to watch “Seventh Heaven” even for guilty pleasure viewing. I would keep expecting Kirk to overshadow Decker and, of course, Kirk would steal the girl… oh, wait, sorry, wrong series.

Totally off-topic links to refer: consider’s fascinating take on Mrs. Bush’s sort odd “perspective” on her husband’s “poetry”… And, then there are the articles on “World Idol” – (I still can’t believe I actually watched both Parts 1 and 2 on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day (with the results of the votes on all these different idols)). I think there is a consensus that Kurt, the Norwegian Idol, does have a nice voice. He sang “Beautiful Day” almost better than Bono of U2. He had good enthusiasm.

Watch out for the stars in space or the spaced-out stars.

Are You Hungry?

Kosheen, “Hungry” (Windows Media)

The Food Network has been using a catchy dance number for their promo music. A memorable montage includes the flashing of dim sum on the screen, and then an Asian (Chinese?) mother and daughter looking down Victoria Peak to the skyscrapers of Hong Kong. I thought it was something that they came up with themselves, but I saw a public television promo for I think some sort of report of starvation in Africa which used the same music. Curious, I hunted down who it was: a UK dance group called Kosheen. The rest of their album, Resist (which you can preview on their website) is really good. The lead singer, Sian Evans, has been compared to Annie Lennox. I want to get a copy.

There are many other instances of sound recycling. The theme music for Iron Chef, for example, originally came from the “Backdraft” movie soundtrack. The most egregious case of sound abuse is the “Wilhelm Scream” which was mentioned recently on Slashdot. The unmistakable “scream and fall off a cliff” sound has been in continual use since 1951 in many major motion pictures, including the Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Lord of the Rings series. If you look at the bottom of this Star Wars fan’s page, you can download the Wilhelm’s video portfolio to prove it is the same sound.