Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Arthur C. Clarke Dies at 90

Author and geosynchronous satellite thinker-upper, Arthur C. Clarke died in Sri Lanka at the age of 90 on Wednesday. I had, of course, read several of his books. But my first contact with him came through the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey (he wrote the original novel, though he collaborated with Kubrick on the story, and co-wrote the script with Kubrick). I had been pretty young when my mom took me to the movie at the Continental (once upon a time our grand movie theatre here in Denver ... and still kinda is). The movie came out in 1968, which would have made me five years old. I don't think I was that young, so perhaps we saw it on a re-release tour in the early '70s. However, I remember enjoying the movie up until the end when the ginormous space baby shows up and then wondering what the hell?! My mom tells me the most memorable part of the film was when she bought popcorn and brought it back to our seats and spilled it everywhere (or maybe I spilled it everywhere?) - however, I don't remember the popcorn incident, so maybe I was only five. As an afterword, it wasn't until years later as a teenager when I read the novel that I finally understood the whole ginormous space baby thing. And did you know that the word 'ginormous' is in the dictionary (along with humongous)? I didn't.

Click here to see a write-up on Mr. Clarke in the L.A. Times.

Some favorite quotes from Mr. Clarke:

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

I don't believe in astrology; I'm a Sagittarius and we're skeptical.

The greatest tragedy in mankind's entire history may be the hijacking of morality by religion.

It may be that our role on this planet is not to worship God but to create him.

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