Monday, January 25, 2016

A distance far away

In a distance far away
Lies the end of our dreams
As we approach it seems farther away

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Eunoia - its Greek to me

I'm not sure why the Ministry of Education chose the word "Eunoia" for the name of the name college.

According to

eunoia (yoo-NOH-ee-ah) — It comes from a Greek word meaning "well mind" or "beautiful thinking." It is also a rarely used medical term referring to a state of normal mental health. In rhetoric, eunoia is the goodwill a speaker cultivates between himself and his audience, a condition of receptivity. In book eight of Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle uses the term to refer to the kind and benevolent feelings of goodwill a spouse has which form the basis for the ethical foundation of human life (from Wikipedia). 
This word is the shortest world in the english language that contains all 5 vowels. It means beautiful thinking, or as a medical term it means a healthy mind. I first found it in Aristotle's Nichomechean Ethics in book 8. Nichomechean ethics was written as a guide to Aristotle's son as to how to achieve a happy life, the good life. Book 8 focusses on friendship and eunoia is one of the bases needed for a trusting friendship between husband and wife. I think it's a beautiful sounding word, with a beautiful meaning and story.

Frankly they might as well have chosen Oxford, Cambridge Or Harvard. I suspect the Singaporean parents would have been delighted by those three other choices.

I'm still not sure why a Greek name was chosen - its not as if the govt appreciates the finer points of ancient Greek life - like debate or democracy very much.

I think a better choice would have been "Trinity" - a name that some of the school kids were advocating. That seemed more fitting since three schools were joining together for this effort.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Marcia Lucas - Star Wars - from

One of the great mysteries of the Star Wars film series - is why the Prequels were not as good as the original Trilogy. 

The original trilogy had a better written story, better pacing, superior camera angles - I'm sure you can think of more.

The reason why the Original Trilogy was so brilliant was that Lucas had an extremely talented group of individuals behind him. Read the book by Dale Pollock's "Skywalking" and you'll find a host of other artists that helped craft Lucas' vision into an Epic.

Among that host - was George Lucas' ex-wife Marcia Lucas.

"In Tribute to Marcia Lucas Biographer Dale Pollock once wrote that Marcia was George Lucas' "secret weapon." Most people are aware that George Lucas was once married, and probably some are aware that his wife worked in the film industry herself and edited all of George's early films before their 1983 divorce. But few are aware of the implications that her presence brought, and the transformations her departure allowed. She was, in many ways, more than just the supportive wife--she was a partner as well. "Not a fifty percent partner," as she herself admits, but nonetheless an important one, and the only person that Lucas could totally confide in back then. Today, she has been practically erased from the history books at Lucasfilm."

She was able to challenge her husband and ameliorate or change his bad ideas.

After the divorce Lucas was so bitter - that he added back the scenes she and her team had deleted from the original theatrical release in 1977. I think the 1995 re-release of Star Wars - with ridiculous add ons like the "infamous Greedo shoots first" scene - speaks volumes of Lucas' failings as a story writer and fim maker - and should have served as a warning to fans that the Prequels would have issues.

This was how the original scene was shot. Its important because it shows what sort of character Han Solo is - a hard nosed smuggler - a cut throat - someone who had to be persuaded with a lot of cash to go rescue a Princess he had never met. He was no clean cut hero.

That's why his decision to come back and save the day in the Death Star battle is so powerful.

Having Solo shoot last also does not explain why he shot at an unarmed Darth Vader. He's no white knight John Wayne caricature. 

IMHO if Marcia Lucas and the rest of the original Star Wars team -  including Ainsworth, the designer of the Storm Trooper helmet (that Lucas sued) - the Prequels could have been as great as the original Trilogy.