Industrial action, Quarks and Gravity

Yogeshwar_Ranga2I’ve just been watching an edition of Quarks and Co., a German-language science magazine programme on WDR with the ever-compelling musician turned astro physicist, Ranga Yogeshwar (http://www.wdr.de/tv/quarks/). Yogeswar (left) is a true polymath with considerable charm. I watch this when I can as part of my German learning programme. The Edition on 3 September was all about time. Why does it feel different, depending on what we are doing? And what do we do with time saved as a result of taking a fast train, plane, etc.? The answer to the latter question it seems is that we work more. However, being on strike, as I have today over the erosion of pay in the higher education sector in the UK, frees up time – after first doing the picket line duties – to go to the cinema for the first time in what may be two years.

Spoiler alert!

Was it worth it? No.

Gravity, directed by Alfonso Cuarón, according to the Guardian’s three reviewers, Xan Brooks, the ever unreliable Peter Bradshaw and Catherine Shoad, is amazing. Sandra Bullock stars as the sole survivor of a disastrous US mission on the space shuttle after the Russians detonate a satellite that generates considerable debris that destroys the shuttle, the International Space Station and a mysterious Chinese craft that we did not know existed. All are in the same unfortunate orbit around the Earth.

George Clooney’s character makes an unexpected – though not real – return to the capsule in order to stop Gravityher suffocating herself out of sheer desperation. There is a lot going wrong and the Earth seems a long long way away. Bullock’s character comes back to life after a word with God – seemingly never needed before – and memories of her lost child.

I could go on. Others intelligently have: http://thepoliticsofexperience.net/tpoehome/?p=143

At least I did not squeeze this film into my normal free time. Had I done, I would have felt cheated. And lunch beforehand was most agreeable. Such is the nature of industrial action.

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