I found the movie to be unbelievable and technically wrong on so many levels so I can't give it two, or even one thumbs up – Sorry. Come on! How can two astronauts that rigorously train together prior to a mission know so little about each other? These people eat, sleep, change clothes, and work together so closely that they would definitely know each other profession, projects, children's names, etc. that there would be no point going over that again while in orbit. And why would CapCom put up with all that non-mission related chit-chat? Other space stations in the same orbit so close that you can see them with the naked eye as more than just a speck? Using your MMU ('jet pack') to 'speed' up in order to get the next space station in your orbit will only put you farther away from the co-orbiting vehicle because speeding up will just put you into higher orbit (you have to slow down to catch another object). And somehow, after three volleys of orbital debris, the only thing that is not hit is Sandra Bullocks' character. How many times did the script overuse the phrase 'transmitting in the blind'? Lastly, how does a high caliber actor like George Clooney get just five minutes of screen time? I guess the studio needed a box office draw. Frankly, I lost count of the number of technical issues with this film. If you want to see a good space flick I recommend 'Moon'. Sam Rockwell carries the whole movie, and even though there are some technical gaffs, you can count them on just one hand.
I watched "Gravity" just yesterday with 3D glasses in a nearby theater here in India. Apart from the movie itself which was a totally engrossing experience for me , another scene in the theater lifted my spirits - A school teacher had brought about 10 of her students to watch this movie and since she had a limited budget, she compromised on not buying that popcorn so that the students could enjoy the movie from the premiere seats.
Apart from the pull of "Gravity", I was happy to see the "pull of science" still existing in the student community which has become so Facebook-twitter-Whats-app- crazy these days.
I also couch surf all the time, Junko, like now for instance. Only there's no tablet or smartphone involved. I have a wirelss full-size keyboard on my lap, a wireles mouse on the couch next to me, and a desktop PC on the equipment shelf under an HDTV. The HDTV is the PC monitor, and my stereo is the PC's audio system.
For TV channel surfing or web surfing, or reading EE Times articles, all you need is the mouse.
There's no shortage of media celebrating our planet and universe. I am a huge fan of the BBC'sPlanet Earth series and its Blue Planet docu-flicks. The episodes are always just a few clicks away on my tablet, which allows me to couch surf into the depths of jungles, deserts, and oceans.
I remember not a long ago, you wrote that "tablets are cool, but I just don't use them"!
I recommend the coffee-table photography book Full Moon -- a book of photographs the Apollo astronauts took on the Moon. I saw the photographs in an exhibit at SF MOMA a few years ago and bought the book. The photos are amazing and scans NASA allowed to be made from the master negatives; it's hard to believe the photos are in color because the moon is so grey and space is so black. Only when you see a few splashes of color (such as yellow foil on the landing module and the famous photo of Duke family photo).
We saw Gravity too. It was well done. I read a review which said the one main inaccuracy was that all of these satellites are not traveling around the same orbit. So you can't just hop from one to another. It would take a major change in energy to move to a different orbit and reach the other satellite, not something you could do with the maneuvering rockets.
The other point is, this is the thrid movie, in a short time span, that is essentially a one-actor show. The other two are After Earth and Captain Phillips. (The latter made me sea-sick.)
@Karen: I'm 3-D junkie so I recommend seeing it on the best stereo 3-D screen you can find. It's worth it. Sandra Bullock gives a great performance.
As for work gratitude, I am regularly humbled by the amazingly smart people I get to meet. As folks at the annual SIA dinner said recently this industry has brought amazing things to life (like space travel) and it aint done yet.
Hi Rick: We're hoping to see Gravity this weekend but have heard it's a must see at an IMAX theater. What type of screen did you see it on? As far as what I'm grateful for in my work life, I love what I do but it's the people I work with that make it amazing. When you consider all the time one spends at work, I'm grateful for me that it's a great experience that I look forward to every day. :-)
Replay available now: A handful of emerging network technologies are competing to be the preferred wide-area connection for the Internet of Things. All claim lower costs and power use than cellular but none have wide deployment yet. Listen in as proponents of leading contenders make their case to be the metro or national IoT network of the future. Rick Merritt, EE Times Silicon Valley Bureau Chief, moderators this discussion. Join in and ask his guests questions.