Posts Tagged ‘usa’


The good old ‘merican way

In my recent efforts of trying to change few things in my life, I’ve started to watch some old movies that sat around my computer for ages.

Quite scared by Tree of Life (watched it some time ago), one of more recent Terrrence Malick’s works, I didn’t knew what to expect from his first full-length directed, produced and wrote movie,apart from some rumble about “old ‘merica” and some weird shots of desserts and maybe mountains. Boy, was I wrong…


“The day was quiet and serene but I didn’t notice, for I was deep in thought, and not even thinking about how to slip off. The world was like a faraway planet to which I could never return. I thought what a fine place it was, full of things that people can look into and enjoy.”

Firstly, Badlands is a true american movie. It reeks of 60’s mid-west cultural background and the “good old ‘merican ways” (I’m no expert though). Few shots of that mid-west, quite rhetorical quotes, a James Dean look alike main character (quite resembling the attitude of Rebel Without a Cause) and a mildly Bonny and Clyde inspired plot, gives this movie, both a very spiritual driven, but also action wise part.

Some might argue, it’s even a story about spiritual findings, somewhat remembering Kerouac’s On The Road (the american symbols start to pile), this time, the destination being “the Mountains”, on the far side of the picture. As for the fate of our protagonist, it could be seen as either sad or beautiful, depending on the person and their view of the events presented in the movie.

As for me, I believe this is a story that should be seen with a dose of nostalgia and an attitude for aesthetic western american culture.

In conclusion, Martin Sheen commented in 1999 that Badlands “still is” the best script he had ever read. He wrote that “It was mesmerising. It disarmed you. It was a period piece, and yet of all time. It was extremely American, it caught the spirit of the people, of the culture, in a way that was immediately identifiable”.



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More animals in space


This might sound insane, but actually there were a lot more animals in the space before the Iranian monkey I told you before. Laika is probably the first name that comes in your mind, but that’s not all.

The first animals sent into space were fruit flies on February 20, 1947…Albert II, a Rhesus Monkey, became the first monkey in space on June 14, 1949…On August 31, 1950, the U.S. launched a mouse into space and the list continues with fish, more monkeys, dogs and this is weird, but also, worms.

On November 3, 1957, the second-ever orbiting spacecraft carried the first animal into orbit, the dog Laika, launched aboard the Soviet Sputnik 2 spacecraft. Laika died during the flight, as was intended because the technology to return from orbit had not yet been developed. At least 10 other dogs were launched into orbit and numerous others on sub-orbital flights before the historic date of April 12, 1961, when Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space.

Another great figure is Ham the Chimp. For those who may not know, Ham (acronyme for Holloman Aero Med) was the first chimp to get its “space stripes” rode into sub-orbit aboard the Mercury Redstone rocket, reaching an altitude of 157 miles (253 kilometers) on Jan. 31, 1961. What a nice image to see: the little monkey fella shaking the hand of a human after returning to Earth. Something meaningful, there!

On Nov. 29, 1961, Enos became the first chimpanzee to reach Earth orbit, circling the planet twice aboard a Mercury Atlas rocket. Enos died at Holloman Air Force Base due to dysentery 11 months later.

Able and Baker were the first monkeys to make it back from space alive. In 1959, the rhesus monkey Able and the squirrel monkey Baker flew on an intermediate-range ballistic missile’s nose cone. While they made it back in good spirits, Able died four days later. Baker spent the rest of his days at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala., before passing away in 1984.

The animal payload diversified after the landing of Apollo 11 to include turtles, rabbits, spiders, fish, jellyfish, algae, amoeba and insects. On July 28, 1973, on the last Apollo flights, Skylab 3 housed some creepy-crawlies: Anita and Arabella, two common cross spiders, which were being monitored to see how they spun webs in space.

On 2006 scientists brought 4,000 nematodes, or worms, aboard the International Space Station to see how microgravity affected their floppy bodies. That’s charming, isn’t it?

The list is surprisingly long and proves that animals can be equals to humans. Laika, Ham, Able and Baker and all the other animal that flew in space, from whole humanity, THANK YOU, fellas!

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