Wednesday, March 19, 2008

ARTHUR C. CLARKE 1917-2008

Arthur C. Clarke, acclaimed writer of over 100 books on space science and the future, and famous for creating the concept of communication satellites long before they became a reality, has passed away at his home in Sri Lanka. Clarke's name is probably most associated (at least with the baby boomers) with the 1968 movie version of "2001" which he collaborated on with Stanley Kubrick. I wonder how many people back in the late 60s dropped acid and went to the matinee of that one! Even pseudo-hippies like me (who were too chicken to actually do acid) could go and watch that famous part near the end (what a light show that was!) and get what I'm told was a pretty good simulation of a trip.

Well, I like to think of old Arthur up there busily finding answers to all the mysteries that escaped him here on Planet Earth. We wish him well on the next leg of the journey.

Here's a short vid of the movie opening, with the signature music by Richard Strauss, "Also Sprach Zarathustra." Strauss created that title in homage to Nietzsche's famous philosophical treatise by the same name (sometimes called "Thus Spake/Spoke Zarathustra")

And here's the music in context in the movie. It's full of other memorable images, including the apes who, after millennia, finally "get it" (with a little help from that friendly monolith) about using tools. Enjoy the trip (pun intended) down memory lane.

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