ALIEN – A commercial space vessel receives a distress call, and encounters an alien life form, that is killing them one by one. The 1979 classic which spawned a franchise was written by Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett; directed by Ridley Scott and starred Sigourney Weaver.
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THE WRITE EMOTION – A writer has done a good job when the reader feels a certain type of way after finishing a piece of fiction. It’s easy to say, but not so easy to do, because the potential pitfalls are many. Here’s some examples. Tell the reader how your character feels. Nope, because a writer should show, not tell. Use short cuts to commonly used emotions. Bad idea, because clichés are to be avoided. Go big with over the top emotions. Yeah, no. Because melodrama should be saved for soap operas, not your writing. What to do instead, you might ask? A lot of this depends on your character’s point of view. If you’re writing first person or third person limited, you’re only allowed to pluck thoughts directly out of your main character’s head. Here are some examples of show, don’t tell. A character in trouble creates tension, because without tension, there is no plot. Reveal character’s physical movements; such as beats, facial expressions and physical actions. Use pacing, foreshadowing, action and suspense effectively. Narrative summary skips parts that drag but are necessary. This places greater emphasis on character’s emotional state when compared to plot driven story elements. Writing characters that transform emotionally allows readers to identify with them, which in turn creates compelling fiction.
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Evolution of Computing – The punch card machine read holes pierced in paper. The Turing machine, more of a concept than a machine, is the logical basis for modern computing. The ENIAC could be reprogrammed, its panels were switched around to perform functions. The teletype was the precursor to the modem as we know it today. Mainframe computers referred to the large cabinets that housed the units used by companies and universities. Vacuum tubes were replaced by transistors, eventually leading to microprocessors. The Arpanet–precursor to the internet– began with 4 connected computers, transmitting digital packets. The Altair 8800 microcomputer caused a sensation when it appeared on the cover of Popular Electronics. The following year Apple I came onto the hobbyist market. It worked using a keyboard and TV. The Apple Lisa, with an early mouse and GUI (graphical user interface), was too expensive and didn’t sell well. The IBM PC, Commodore 64 and Macintosh followed each other in rapid succession. Windows 1.0 and the Mac OS appeared about the same time. Photoshop brought images the same way HTML brought text to web pages. Did you know that there were only 26 web sites in 1992? Laptops, tablets, smart phones and e-readers are making computers smaller and smaller. I wonder, what will be next in the evolution of computing?
The Passion of the Christ – This isn’t a horror film in the truest sense of the word. Yet, the crucifixion of Christ is a saga of the supernatural. To some it’s the gospel truth, while to others, it’s myth and superstition. Angels, the devil, death, the son of God and his resurrection are elements of this gory tale. When the movie was originally released, critics said the violence detracted from the message. I don’t think a story about the aftermath of a crucifixion could be portrayed any other way. In order to be reborn, you have to die first.