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    Lost on Arrakis, or Claremont, CA

driftingcloud's Achievements


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  1. I'm wondering if the "Na-Baron" title used by Frank Herbert is a fabricated title, or if the prefix "Na-" has some meaning in some contemporary earth language. I always understood the meaning in the text, but I never knew if it was a real thing or if he invented it. I read it as "Almost Baron" and I was going to use it in an email I was writing but in a different context, "almost professor" but wasn't sure if I would actually be writing something that was part of the English language. Anyone know more?
  2. Hey...when did we get these badges (which I assume are related to # of posts)? I'm a Sandwalker, huh?
  3. Regarding other films where most of an actor's face is covered, the prime current example is <i>The Dark Knight</i>. After the hype of the performances by Heath Ledger and Gary Oldman has waned, go back and look closely at this film and watch carefully how HARD Christian Bale tries to act with just his mouth and teeth. He simply can't do it. And I venture to say most actors couldn't do it. Having that mask on, and the black makeup around his eye sockets so his eyes almost all disappear, you see how much of an impossibility acting with limited facial exposure on film can be. Granted, there are stylized forms of performance, in particular mask work in live performance, that succeed without the face, but that's not what's happening on this screen. And <i>Dune</i> would suffer the same fate as Christian Bale's struggle of a performance if a director were to take the book too literally.
  4. hahahaha! So true! As Vanguard says, taking a book and its reality and translating it to a visual medium with actors requires some sort of adjustments, in particular the stillsuit masks. The face is one of the most expressive parts of the human body, and to cover it up with full stillsuit masks for 75% or more of a movie is just a bad idea visually. It's like saying you can make a TV show in color but you can only use two of the three color channels, Red, Blue or Green. Who's going to want to do something like that?
  5. I have a copy of the game too. It was produced by Avalon Hill, and should be easily available on Ebay if you want a copy. I wouldn't expect a "mint" condition like in the video, but in order to play the game you'd have to punch out the pieces anyway, immediately devaluing the game. There's a couple on Ebay right now for between $50-100. I have tons of board games like this that I never play anymore both for lack of players and for lack of time to play.
  6. I have an album on vinyl of a German pressing (on CTI Records, 1977) called "Dune" by a David Matthews (assuming this isn't the same Dave Matthews of the Dave Matthews Band). The first side is all Dune inspired, the second side includes "Space Oddity", "Silent Running", "Princess Leia's Theme", and "Main Theme from Star Wars". I haven't listened to it in a long time, but I don't remember being very impressed with it. Just listening to it again. It's elevator music. I almost typed "bad elevator music", but this might actually be "good" elevator music, if such a thing existed. But that still wouldn't be speaking to highly of it. Oh, and it has 70s synthesizers and guitars.
  7. As an affirmation, it could be simply stated to create a reality. The more you say something, the more truth it carries, the more real it becomes.
  8. I don't have any scientific references, but my impression is that habitable planets could have a significant range in size, depending on how close to their sun they are, and what kind of star they have, how old it is as well. So, assuming all habitable planets to be the size of Earth might be the error here. I never noticed any issues with Frank Herbert's books, but what you describe is woefully apparent in the five prequels I've read. Whole planet economies are summed up in one principal export. Planets have only one kind of terrain (islands, forests, Caladan's water-richness, etc.) There's no acknowledgment of a larger world of variable biomes. I think a planet like Arrakis, with its single desert landscape, would be a rarity in the universe.
  9. I suspect one of the reasons the series works so well and why many people respond so positively to the sixth book is that Frank was still discovering new things about the world he created. He didn't just write the first book and then stick within his tightly sculpted frame. His world adapted, evovled, and grew, as did his socio-political ideologies, and they clearly reveal themselves particularly in how the Bene Gesserit/Honored Matre conflict gets resolved. He is maturing as a person and his world is doing the same in parallel.
  10. I thought that after Leto, the tracelines of genetics didn't matter. Leto had other memory that was in his bloodline but also beyond his bloodline. As Sheeana is a descendent of Siona (Am I remembering all this correctly, crossing so many books?) she has some of Leto's connection to the other memory of everyone.
  11. well, there's the issue of a positive feedback loop. The big boom happens at both ends of the laser. The target shield goes boom and the lasgun (and operator) goes boom. Only suicide fanatics would do something like that. Why there aren't more people committed to suicide, I don't know. Maybe it wasn't worth it if you destroyed the city/planet/equipment you hoped to gain by the attack. Dune, for example, was notoriously bad on equipment. So if the Harkonnens wiped out the Atreides by lasgun attack to Arakeen shields, they lose a major city and the equipment housed there. That would be bad for business if they were intending to get back into spice production. And that is the most critical element, right? The spice must flow? Everyone is addicted to it for their extra long lives. If I remember correctly, the Butlerian Jihad book got this fact a little wrong with Holtzmann and his discovery of the same. The shield blew up but the lasgun operator did not.
  12. I disagree with Dante. She is still a member, just not in good/great favor. She is warned "For the father, nothing." But as any Bene Gesserit knows, non-involvement in politics is best. They have higher priorities, that of their breeding program. Politics are fleeting and irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. I'm sure Jessica also lives under the false assumption that her Duke is more cunning than to be snared in a trap. She is blinded by love, and that is one of the rules of the Bene Gesserit, not to be blinded by love. This is what happens. The error is to assume that another culture (i.e. The Bene Gesserit) would have morals that we value today, in our culture or cultures. In fact, they have an entirely different world view with different foci of priorities. They would sacrifice one of their own in order to make their long-term presence stable. Plus, if they were to help Paul and Jessica too directly, then the two of them would not be able to resolve the conflict with their own abilities, which is something the Bene Gesserit feel is much more valuable and honorable. Let them find their way out. If they are "saved" they will be weakened. They cannot have a weak Kwizatz Haderach. That would be unacceptable. Better to lose it altogether than to have a weakened one. And yes, as Dante says, there is a hidden message by Fenring's wife in the room with all the plants. Did this scene end up in the Smithee version? Or was it in the Mini-series? The message says explicitly that there is a traitor but does not name him. Jessica's flaw is that she would never suspect Yueh because he is conditioned to be loyal. That's the purpose of having an insider. Yueh made certain they would be in where they needed to be. As Dante says, and also it shows Yueh is not entirely lost. He knows that there is a small chance that Paul and Jessica will escape their death sentence (in fact Yueh is the one who arranges to have them taken to the desert, it's his idea.) He needed to hand Leto to the Baron in order to a) get his Wanna back and b) ensure that he could attack the Baron when he discovered the truth, which he surely suspected all along. This is a prime example of Herbert's "Plans within plans" that the prequels never come close to achieving. (Sorry for the blatant dig on them here.) Yueh is working along 3 or 4 fronts simultaneously. He is the traitor, he is trying to get his wife back, he his plotting to kill the Baron, he is saving the boy. Brilliant and wonderfully complex, just the way humans are. I suspect Jessica is more upset that she didn't figure it out sooner, as she noticed that Yueh was hiding something. She's kicking herself as much as anything. She believed that Yueh's Suk contitioning was infallible, and she should have known better. Her mistake. Again, it's that wonderfully complex layering of emotions that Herbert does so well: She is angry at herself, angry at Yueh for being a traitor, feeling the loss of her husband and the reality of it, and somewhere grateful that Yueh has given them this opportunity. People never experience emotions singly, but in odd combinations like this. But how does it surface? Maybe the "upset" aspect dominates. But all those other factors are there too.
  13. I've read Chapter House at least a hlaf-dozen times or more, and it was always pretty clear that Daniel and Marty were some sort of rogue, independent, evolved face dancers. I could see by some great stretch of the imagination that face dancers were in fact evolutions or partial-evolutions of the machines from the Jihad, but there is no evidence of that really in the 6 Dune books. The 6 actually imply that everyone in them has developed ogranic means of doing what machines may have done so long ago. Face Dancers were an organic evolution, or mutation, or intentional experimental product of years of breeding humans by the Tleilaxu, just like the Kwizatz Haderach was for the Bene Gesserit.
  14. Well, the main difference is that the first one is in PAL format and will only play on multi-zone dvd players in the US, and then they will still not play on US televisions (which are NTSC format). You'd need to send the image to a data or video projector, which usually are PAL compatible. The second in NTSC format and has only recently been released in the US. There is a German version of the same movies with many extras in German that are not going to be on the US edition. But, it's PAL format too. You can check it out at amazon.de and search for the Dune Perfect Edition. Comes in a metal cases which go inside of a book-sized and designed package, and it even include's Toto's soundtrack. It also looks like they do have different special features, the two you mentioned.
  15. That's an excellently-fun diversion for this Saturday. And the line "the latest in Ottoman technology" is just brilliant! I'm ready to hop aboard this Spacing Guild flight immediately.
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