Tag Archives: artificial gravity

Visit to the Museum of the Bible in Washington DC

I visited the Museum of the Bible today.  It’s near the Federal Center Metro stop in SW Washington, about ½ mile from the Capitol

Video 1

Video 2    I talk about the “Washington Revelations” ride, while standing in the cyclorama showing Jerusalem. The motion of the stand in the 4D theater produced some artificial gravity effects (like in my Ephiphany screenplay) from multiple directions at once.  But I suppose you can get the same thing in an amusement park from a modern roller coaster.  (Those rides weren’t running during the winter in Christmastown, Dec. 19 post.)   I don’t like to ride upside down, but in the spring I can go to Largo MD and do it.  I guess I need to try to make sure my ideas in my “rama” environment in the screenplay are valid.

I’ve covered some of the “short films” on a legacy Blogger link.

I wanted to mention a couple of highlights.  First, the cafeteria on the top floor offered ethnic meals from the Middle East.  The material in the museum had a pretty good balance between Old and New Testaments, and Judaism was well covered.  There was no mention anywhere of sexual orientation or gender roles, except in the context that families in the ancient world generally had to be pretty cohesive to function.  Families often built their own homes.

At several places the museum mentions the idea of “ritual purity“, whereby in the ancient world people washed themselves with fresh spring water after handling dead biologic materials.

There is some very good material on the social significance of the introduction of the printing press in the 1400s.

(Posted: Thursday. Dec. 21, 2017 ay 8:30 PM EST)

Arthur C. Clarke’s “Childhood’s End” and (especially) “Rendezvous with Rama”


Two particular science fiction novels by Arthur C. Clarke need to be noted on this blog.

Childhood’s End” (1953), will soon be aired as a 6-hour, 3 part series on the SyFy Channel starting Dec. 14, 2015 (link).   I read the novel in 1969, while in the Army at Ft. Eustis.  I recall the arrival of the Overllords, the leader Karellen (who was depicted as looking like an eagle but capable of looking human), and the period of peace and prosperity for Earth (as the Cold War with the Soviet Union was getting going more after Eisenhower took office).  Then a gifted star child is born, and, as I recall, his charisma spreads to other kids, who finally become a group-mind, leading to a ritualistic apocalypse on the final page.

I did watch the series and reviewed it here.

Rendezvous with Rama” (1972) is relevant to my own “Do Ask,, Do Tell: Epiphany” screenwriting project.  There has long been a film project involving Morgan Freeman which Wikipedia describes as being in “development hell”.  It would be possible to imagine crowdfunding, given the popularity of the novel.

The story starts in 2077, when an asteroid hit causes huge casualties and damage on Earth, coming close to permanent extinction.  60 years later, in 2037, Earth has set up better early warning systems, and sends out a space party to examine the approaching craft, which turns out to be a 50-km-long cylinder, rotating to create artificial gravity on the inside surface, and with interesting landscapes and cities inside, divided into two “hemi-cylinders” by a “cylindrical sea”.

There is a scene where an astronaut jumps off a cliff in this world.  My understanding is that artificial gravity requires contact with the inner surface to work, so that the actual surface presses on you and creates “weight” from your mass;  there is no “field” to pull on you without contact (that requires mass, which “Star Trek” gets around with super dense (like neutron-star material) gravity plates underneath).

In my own screenplay, there is a an alien “angels'” space station on Titan, which has 1/7 Earth’s gravity, so the “ashram” (with the “abductees”, so to speak) is built on the inside of a Rama cylinder that sits perpendicular to the surface.  (Of, if NASA has seen it, they just won’t tell us!) But the pull of Titan would still distort the sense of gravity, producing a sense of tilting, and could pull a person (at a velocity of the square root of 1/7 Earth’s) toward a “wall” if he jumped off the group, so people would need magnetic shoes until they got used to the environment.  I’ve wondered how you could really jog inside a rotating space station depending on centrifugal effects for gravity.

(Published: Friday, Dec. 4, 2015, at 1:30 PM EST)