Monday, April 28, 2008

Look at those cavemen go

I've survived two days back at work after vacation, and I'm still in good spirits. Whew! Yesterday I saw two very fine graffiti trains, had a cup of delicious tea (Sweet Coconut Thai Chai, with milk), and watched a movie called The Man From Earth. At first it felt a little like a stage play, because it's basically about people sitting and talking, but it ended up being quite absorbing.

A group of professors get together to send off a departing colleague, who decides to take a chance and tell them the truth about himself, that he's a 14,000-year-old caveman who, due to some quirk in his physiognomy, never died. At first it seems like a thought experiment, but when he sticks to his story, some of his friends get angry, while others (especially Tony Todd and the guy who played Dr. Phlox on ... Enterprise, was it?) get into the spirit of it and start puzzling it out fairly seriously.

Eventually it goes into all kinds of territory: memory, how we experience time, the history of the species, and religion (he boils Christianity down to "a guy met the Buddha and liked what he heard," which, I have to admit, made me chuckle).

Afterwards, we watched some of the extras, and the guy who wrote it also wrote both the "Mirror, Mirror" episode of the original Star Trek, as well as the original story of that Twilight Zone episode where the kid sends people to the cornfield. I think I squealed out loud. Obviously, somebody had to have written the "Mirror, Mirror" episode, but I never thought about how it was a real person. If I'd met him when he was alive, I'd have gushed like a groupie.

Fortunately, I'm sure that somewhere, at some other time, some other nerd did the honors for me.

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