Tag Archives: space

‘The Martian’ Movie is Awesome

I loved the book The Martian, so I’ve been really looking forward to seeing the movie. The teaser trailers made it look like thy would be identical, like Ridley Scott really put thought and attention into getting every detail right and making it just like the book. Plus, NASA was on board!

So I was pretty psyched, and as anyone who reads the book first knows, that can be dangerous. Will the movie manage to live up to your imagination?

I think The Martian does it. It is awesome. That’s the number one takeaway here; it makes Mars missions seem attainable, exciting, and totally awe-inspiring in the deeply Biblical/act-of-God sense.

I mean, look at this promo shot from the movie!

The Martian movie was awesome

from i09

That’s just…gorgeous. It is like a stunning sunset at the Grand Canyon, except the whole set is the Grand Canyon. And I cried when I saw the Grand Canyon, so I’m really saying something here when I say this is just incredible and moving.

Matt Damon (despite all the jokes about our willingness to send him into space and save his life repeatedly) just owned the part. He’s perfect for it. For so much of the movie, he is alone, but it doesn’t feel heavy or hard to watch, the way Moon intentionally did. Just like the book, Watley is light-hearted but determined, and it’s ultimately a story about hope.

The movie makes Mars look cool, makes Matt Damon look cool, makes science look like the amazing problem-solver that it is, and makes humanity in general look pretty good.

I don’t think it was a perfect film. Other fans of the book might notice some glaring omissions—I don’t want to be too detailed for risk of spoilers, but at least two whole crises are cut out completely—but I think it makes sense that they were cut. There just wasn’t enough time for the level of detail afforded by the book, and the book could admittedly get to be a little bit challenging because, well, it turns out surviving alone on an inhospitable planet is hard. But where the movie truly shines over the book is in the ending: it’s far more epic and satisfying–though I do deeply miss that beautiful final paragraph from the last page of the book.

In all, I think the movie is really great, but is best as a companion piece: those who haven’t read the book are missing out on a far richer, more nuanced, experience. But seeing Mars on the big screen is really, really cool!

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Filed under Movie Review, Science

Editing Quick Hit: How Many Spaces Go After A Period?

Spacebar: the Final Frontier

I’ve been saving this image so long; I can’t believe I can finally use this joke.

An unexpected furor popped up among some family friends last month, and because I work as an editor, I was the subject-matter expert (in other words, the controversy swirled around me). And it all started with a 3-year-old online article.

The very important question: How many spaces go after a period ending a sentence?

The question-asker had stumbled upon this article from Slate: Space Invaders: Why You Should Never, Ever Use Two Spaces After A Period.

And it’s full of fightin’ words.

Forget about tolerating differences of opinion: typographically speaking, typing two spaces before the start of a new sentence is absolutely, unequivocally wrong,” Ilene Strizver, who runs a typographic consulting firm The Type Studio, once wrote. “When I see two spaces I shake my head and I go, Aye yay yay,” she told me. “I talk about ‘type crimes’ often, and in terms of what you can do wrong, this one deserves life imprisonment. It’s a pure sign of amateur typography.”


But, yes, the accepted standard is now one space after a period, in all cases. (If you’d like to look it up yourself, it’s in section 6.7 of the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition.)

It came to be with typewriters, which didn’t leave enough visual space between a period and the next letter with just one space. But you probably haven’t touched a typewriter in years, so it’s okay to drop the preference.

I know, it’s likely you learned the habit in school–or maybe just picked it up as a sly way to increase the page count on assigned homework–but you’ll make your editor’s life easier if you slim your manuscript down to just one space after the period. If it’s challenging to unlearn the long-engrained habit, you can also use your search bar in Word to search for two spaces, then use the replace function to replace it with one space (it’ll look like you’re searching for nothing, but this works).

Does it really matter? Not truly. It’s just one of those accepted rules. Consider it like brushing your hair before you leave the house. Sure, you don’t have to, but you’ll look more polished and professional if you do. I don’t care if you put two-three-four! spaces after a period in your personal emails, your journal, your thank-you notes–but when finalizing a manuscript, stick to just one.


Filed under Editing, Publishing, writing