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Friday, February 9, 2018

Friday 5 for February 9: Rock It

From Scrivener's Friday 5 blog...

1. What’s your favorite instrumental hit song?

  1. Hawaii Five-0 by The Ventures. Written by Mort Stevens, this is probably the ultimate instrumental hit song and TV theme ever. The single went to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1969. Since that time it seems like every high school and college band has played the song. It is well known, so well liked that it just had to be used again when the TV series was rebooted in 2010. I remember playing this when I was in our school band.
  2. Main Title Theme From Star Wars (John Williams composer/ London Symphony Orchestra recording) - This was released as a single in 1977 and peaked at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 that year while a disco mashup by Meco went all the way to #1. This is probably the most well known movie theme of all time.
  3. Peter Gunn Theme by Henry Mancini - This record went to #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1959. We played this in band when I was in high school more than 10 years after it was a hit. More people know Henry Mancini as the writer of the “Pink Panther” theme. I just like this song better.
  4. Theme From “The Endless Summer” -  The  Sandals - This came out in 1966 and was the music used in the legendary surf movie documentary of the same title. Two surfers travel the world looking for “the perfect wave”.
  5. Theme From “Miami Vice” - Jan Hammer - This was the last instrumental song to peak at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The year was 1985. The  TV show was one of the most successful of the 1980s. The music  just screams 1980s pop music excess…. Keyboards, synths, a strong danceable backbeat. What’s not to like?

2. What’s a good movie with rockets in in it?

I guess we have to define what a rocket is because I almost would like to pick Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back as my top 2 favorite movies (of all time) with rockets in them. But alas, there are no rockets in those movies even though they are space / sci fi oriented. All the space vehicles are spaceships and whether or not they use basic rocketry I don’t really know. I guess this would apply to all of the Star Trek movies and many others of similar types.

So going with the definition of a traditional rocket that uses a chemical substance self contained in a tube (whether it be liquid or solid fuel), then the following movies are my favorites:

  1. Apollo 13 - Yes, the Tom Hanks movie that came out in 1995 is my favorite movie that has a rocket in it. Actually a big 3 stage Saturn V rocket booster, an exploded rocket command / service module and a stubby little rocket (Lunar Module Aquarius) that went beyond its design capacity and returned the crippled spaceship and its three astronauts back to Earth after the accident on the way to the moon. A true story of course, well acted and fairly close to the book Lost Moon written by Apollo 13 astronaut commander Jim Lovell. A must see for everyone. Failure is not an option and these people licked a major problem…. 
  2. October Sky: Another true story set in the 1950s about some kids who built model rockets and in later life ended up working in the aerospace industry. It’s been a few years since I saw this movie, and forgot most of the plot. I have it on DVD,  and it is time for a re-watch. It is one of those types of movies that make you feel good at the final outcome of the story.
  3. The Martian: Great movie about an astronaut stuck on Mars and the world’s attempt to save him more than 400+ days later. The movie haas a rocket that blows up, rockets that land and take off. SciFi set in this century, fairly close to what could become a reality. The book was great too. Read that before I saw the movie. Was kind of like reading a long, day by day blog.
  4. The Right Stuff: From 1983 a sprawling yarn about the test pilots and early astronauts of the Project Mercury program who pioneered space travel for the United States. Lots of rockets in this movie. X1, X15 rocket plane; Redstone, Atlas rockets.
  5. Marooned: From 1969 comes this science fiction story about an Apollo capsule stuck in earth orbit with its oxygen running out after undocking from a Skylab space station. The race is on to rescue the astronauts. The U.S. launches a spacecraft similar to the conceptual “Dyna Soar” space plane on top of a Titan III rocket to save the doomed crew.
And while we are on the subject of rockets, how many of you watched Space X’s launch of Falcon Heavy this past week and the Tesla that is now in a long solar orbit that will take it to the asteroid belt?

3. In 1977, Voyager I took off on its very long journey, loaded with two golden records containing sounds meant “to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth, and are intended for any intelligent extraterrestrial life form, or for future humans, who may find them,” according to Wikipedia.  The contents were chosen by a committee chaired by Carl Sagan, but if Dr. Sagan called you today (you know, from beyond) and said there was room for ten more minutes of music and he was letting you choose it, what would you fill the ten minutes with?

NASA was lucky that CDs were not invented at the time of the Voyager launches. If they were a CD or DVD would have been included. That said given the issues of CD Rot, it is a good thing this did not happen. I don’t know about later probes but perhaps if they continue the same practice they can just include music and data on an SSD card or chip.
So in an effort to fill the 10 more minutes with music, here are the songs I would choose (tested out with my iTunes for time allowance).

  1. (I Can’t Get) No Satisfaction - The Rolling Stones (3:44) - This is a great song to accompany Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” already included. 
  2. I Want to Hold Your Hand -  The Beatles (2:25) - why no Beatles is beyond me.
  3. Somewhere Over the Rainbow - Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (3:34) - Voyager 1 has long left the world of rainbows and humans. Only fitting to have this song onboard. (Would probably have to use the Judy Garland version if this were in 1977 as the IZ version was not recorded until the 1990s.)

Total playing time for  the three songs: 9:03

4. What’s something you know about constellations?

  1. They are far away
  2. The planets move in and out of them with regularity
  3. Mostly composed of stars, some of which may have their own solar systems
  4. The nearest star to earth (besides the sun at 93 million miles) is Alpha Centauri which is like 4.3 light years away.
  5. I have a hard time making them out unless I have a chart.
5. When did you last spend time in a rocking chair?

On the second floor of the new International Marketplace in Waikiki (Honolulu) there are rocking chairs where you can sit, relax and use up all that free wifi they have over there. I’ve gone there a few times in the past year. Nice.

1 comment:

  1. Wait. The second floor at the International Marketplace has free wifi and rocking chairs? I looked up from below and didn't see anything interesting (or anything I had enough money to entertain). Now someone tells me there's a Papyrus store up there and now you say there's free wifi. Must investigate.