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2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)


2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)


Fellow Kubrickians: You talk the talk! Do you walk the walk?

[At the last meetup, everyone contributed a little bit towards towards the project described below; the following is an further email appeal sent out to our membership yesterday.]

On behalf of all Kubrick fans, the attendees at our last Meetup collectively contributed $25 to Matthew Modine’s “Full Metal Jacket Diary” Audio Diary, thus becoming the Kickstarter project’s 200th “backer”.  Here is the project page.

What do we get for 25 dollars, for all of us?  Everything?  Everything we want?  Yes, everything: an advanced digital download of the FMJ Audio book, photo booklet PDF, AND the 4-disc FMJ Audiobook with the hardcopy photobooklet, AND a limited edition 5x5-inch mini-print of Modine’s famous photo, “Kubrick’s Director’s Chair”, signed by Modine.   (Possibly the best single Kubrick photo ever taken by anyone other than Kubrick himself!)

We will be sharing all these things amongst ourselves — each of our 95 members will get to keep them for one month, and within eight years everyone will have had a turn.

But just now, I received an urgent message from Adam Rackoff, the project’s producer, fellow Kubrickian, and fellow NYC-er!  Currently (at the time of this writing) the project is funded at $11,269, it is in its last weekend, and there are just six more days to reach the $12,000 goal, and to ensure that the project happens.  

[Note:  the project met its goal late last night! So now we are hoping for the “stretch goal” of $15K, because, as the Kickstarter page says:

Keep pledging! The more we raise, the more CDs we can produce. And extra funds will allow us to update our website and run a successful social media and marketing campaign for the audiobook’s release. Thanks everyone! 

As an aside, immediately after I sent this out, I realized I had accidentally left the ”reply-to” address set to the group mailing list, very bad because it means any replies get spammed to the whole group, then somebody says stop sending me these e’s and THAT gets spammed too.  So I disabled the group mailing list until the heat dies down!]

One way to ensure this, and perhaps even meet one of the “stretch” goals,  is if all current backers raise their pledge by just $12.

Because Kubrick, “Full Metal Jacket”, AND Matthew Modine as Private Joker have raised my own quality of life by a factor of twelve thousand times $12, I have no qualms about personally adding in that amount to our collective contribution.

HOWEVER — you are ALL Kubrickians! You all pack the gear to serve in our beloved Corps!  Let’s ALL jump on the team and come on in for the big win!

If every single one of us were to SEPARATELY and INDIVIDUALLY pledge $1, $5, $15, $25, whatever we can afford, not ONLY would we each get some or all of the stuff above for OURSELVES alone…

PLUS have the supreme satisfaction that we, as Kubrickians, helped make this project happen, but ALSO…

If you each mention, as part of your pledge, that you are doing this in the name of the Stanley Kubrick Meetup, you will be bringing in a LARGE amount of very good publicity to our group.

Adam (@FMJDiary) will favorite your tweet and become your follower; and there is a darn good chance that Matthew Modine will favorite it too!  Here’s what that looks like:

This year we want to double our Membership — if we can do this, we will finally become the bottomless bag of Chex Party Mix that we all know this group can be!

We have a million “friends in Kubrick” living in NYC, who just don’t know about the 94 of us living here on the little Meetup dandelion.  Now is the time to make our voices heard!

[Then I threw in the whole ending of Dr. Seuss’s “Horton Hears A Who”, which I’ll just include a bit of here:]

The time for all Whos who have blood that is red to come to the aid of their country!” he said. “We’ve GOT to make noises in greater amounts! So, open your mouth, lad! For every voice counts!”  Thus he spoke as he climbed.

When they got to the top, the lad cleared his throat and he shouted out, “Yopp!” And that Yopp… That one small extra Yopp put it over! Finally, at last! From that speck on that clover their voices were heard! They rang out clear and clean.


It took me practically all day to write that, a day when, as always, I am behind on a work project deadline.  

But Adam, when he retweeted about SKM’s contribution to the Kickstarter, gave the link to our group, and I started to think of it as a way of publicizing the group through a different channels — we need more channels!  We need more members, and from them, more “regulars”, and from them, more “organizers”.

So, to all of you Kubrick fans reading this — if you make a pledge of at least $15 to this Kickstarter campaign before it closes in five days, and you mention both doing that and this blog on YOUR Tumblr, and let me know about it — I am going to add in this additional premium to your pledge:

The first time we get twelve attendees at a Meetup, I will take pictures of all of us with our mugs raised in a toast to you, collect everyone’s autographs, and from that, create a signed 6”x9” postcard on Fuji Pearl paper with Lustre coating, captioned “Wish You Were Here At The SKM Meetup”.  And send it to you.  

And also I will buy you a beer if you come to NYC and join us at The Ginger Man.


How long can a human live unprotected in space?

We’ve all seen it happen in science fiction films. The expendable character is outside the space ship, or trapped in the air-lock. The space suit is damaged, or the helmet is removed. His friends frantically bang on the glass as we get a nice close-up of his face as it blows up like a balloon. And then… well it depends on the film. Sometimes he freezes solid and shatters like glass, other times he explodes in a messy shower of frozen flesh. Is this realistic?

The question arose out of a discussion of the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. When Dave Bowman has to get back into Discovery after being locked out by HAL9000 we see him take a deep breath in the pod’s airlock, open the door, and get expelled into Discovery’s pod bay. There’s much frantic bashing about as he bounces off the walls and claws himself to the manual override switch so that he can close the bay and restore atmospheric pressure. The entire scene is filmed in absolute silence, until the air is turned on. He’s exhausted by his ordeal, but otherwise unharmed.

But shouldn’t there be some dramatic effects? After all, we know from very simple experiments that water boils at room temperature in a vacuum, and we’ve all seen balloons and other objects explode when the pressure outside is too far below the pressure inside. Well, there’s two ways to deal with this. First, we can discuss the theory, as explained in this excellent piece extracted from a NASA article:

If you don’t try to hold your breath, exposure to space for half a minute or so is unlikely to produce permanent injury. Holding your breath is likely to damage your lungs, something scuba divers have to watch out for when ascending, and you’ll have eardrum trouble if your Eustachian tubes are badly plugged up, but theory predicts - and animal experiments confirm - that otherwise, exposure to vacuum causes no immediate injury. You do not explode. Your blood does not boil. You do not freeze. You do not instantly lose consciousness.

Various minor problems (sunburn, possibly “the bends”, certainly some [mild, reversible, painless] swelling of skin and underlying tissue) start after ten seconds or so. At some point you lose consciousness from lack of oxygen. Injuries accumulate. After perhaps one or two minutes, you’re dying. The limits are not really known.

You do not explode and your blood does not boil because of the containing effect of your skin and circulatory system. You do not instantly freeze because, although the space environment is typically very cold, heat does not transfer away from a body quickly. Loss of consciousness occurs only after the body has depleted the supply of oxygen in the blood. If your skin is exposed to direct sunlight without any protection from its intense ultraviolet radiation, you can get a very bad sunburn.

Alternatively, we can look at the case in 1965 when Jim le Blanc was trying out a space suit in a vacuum chamber. The suit developed a leak, and lost pressure. He remained conscious for 14 seconds before passing out, which is about the time it takes for blood to move from the lungs to the brain; his brain was suddenly cut off from oxygen. His last conscious sensation was of the saliva boiling on his tongue and it seems safe to assume that his tears would have bubbled away from his eyes as well. The test team immediately opened the valves and it took about 15 seconds for air pressure to be restored. Jim recovered fully before the team doctor was able to reach him. Here’s a brief video about the event, based on documentary footage:

The video does get one thing wrong though, when it claims that no astronaut has ever suffered catastrophic de-pressurisation. In 1979 the soviet Soyuz 11 mission, on its way home from the first ever successful docking with a space station, suffered de-pressurisation while preparing for re-entry. All three crew-members were killed. So while the effects of exposure to vacuum are nowhere near as dramatic and exciting as portrayed in popular film, they remain very serious and dangerous.


(via tarzan1941)

2001: A Space Odyssey poster by Ashraf Omar on Behance.net

2001 A Space Odyssey poster by Neil Pitman on Behance.net

2001: A Space Odyssey videogame concept by Jason Nowak.


The monolith has spoken.

My brother asked his date to prom with a monolith. Excuse me, I’m having a proud big sibling moment.


2001: A Space Odyssey (MGM, 1968). Poster artwork by Robert T. McCall. (via Heritage Auctions


By Massimo Carnevale (http://sketchesnatched.blogspot.it)