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Space Elevator Documentary Video a work-in-progress

Long time no post. Certain practical realities interrupted the post stream and I just never got back to posting (or, more precisely, the hours of interviews, research, composition, and editing of words, graphics and HTML that precedes a quality post). Until today that is. Hopefully I can find the rhythm again.

The web site of Chicago media company Bitter Jester Creative (BJC) features several short video elements intended as part of a "(a feature-length documentary) [that] is a work-in-progress" explains BJC Creative Director Nicolas DeGrazia. "We have [been] following the games from 2007-2011 and have over 300 hours of footage going back to 2005."

In the first one Ben Shelef explains concisely how an SE works. I particularly liked the 'character introduction' because it speaks more to the 'why?' of the SE and, well, these people are real characters.

The pieces are variously entitled;

There's an opportunity for film/video interns here. BJC needs help logging the material to prepare it for editing. Anyone who is interested can contact them through their web site.
How Arthur C. Clarke Defined the 20th Century

Kudo's for Clarke continue to pour in;

Published: March 20, 2008- International Herald Tribune

More than anyone else in the 20th century, Arthur C. Clarke, who died Wednesday, had a track record of being proven right.

"I don't know if the Wright brothers realized how quickly aircraft would pay for themselves," Clarke told me a couple of months ago when I visited him in Colombo, Sri Lanka. We were talking about space exploration and his belief that commercial spacecraft would soon become a reality, now that private entrepreneurs are getting involved. Over the next 50 years, he predicted, thousands would travel into orbit - and then, to the Moon and beyond.

Man may not have set foot on the Moon had it not been for Clarke. His 1952 book, "The Exploration of Space," was used by the rocket pioneer Wernher von Braun to convince President John F. Kennedy that it was possible to go to the Moon.

As is widely recognized, Clarke is a colossus of science fiction - the author of "2001: A Space Odyssey," and many other famous works. It is less well-known that Clarke was also one of the 20th century's pre-eminent visionaries. Without him, it's safe to say that there would be no direct TV, no satellite-routed ship-to-shore phone calls, and no global navigation systems. Our weather forecasts would be far less reliable.

We benefit from Clarke's contributions whenever we dress based on the weather forecast or use a GPS device to navigate our way. During World War II, when he was a young officer in the Royal Air Force in Britain, Clarke first thought of geostationary satellites as communications tools. Geostationary satellites are satellites whose orbital periods match the Earth's rotation. In 1945, Clarke proposed that geostationary satellites would be ideal telecommunications relays. They have since revolutionized communications and weather forecasting.

"I'm often asked why I didn't try to patent the idea of communications satellite," he said. "My answer is always, 'A patent is really a license to be sued.' "

"It's definitely my most important contribution," he told me, adding, "And maybe in a generation or so the space elevator will be considered equally important."

The space elevator - basically a huge cable connecting the Earth to space, along which payloads can be launched using electromagnetic vehicles - is another thing that Clarke has championed. He first wrote about it in 1978. Current plans call for a cable about 50,000 kilometers long.

"The chief expense of space travel when you build the space elevator is entertainment and in-flight movies," he joked.

Sir Arthur C. Clarke Dies

The father of the space elevator has passed on with out seeing his creation built. Let's hope some of us will.

The announcement from his web site said;
"Science-fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke, who co-wrote the epic film '2001: A Space Odyssey' and raised the idea of communications satellites in the 1940s, died Wednesday at age 90, an associate confirmed. Clarke died early Wednesday at a hospital in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where he had lived since the 1950s, said Scott Chase, the secretary of the nonprofit Arthur C. Clarke Foundation. 'He had been taken to hospital in what we had hoped was one of the slings and arrows of being 90, but in this case it was his final visit,' Chase said."
Clarke had a rich relationship with Wired Magazine which had this to say;

His writing, both fiction and nonfiction, established Clarke as a visionary. In a paper titled "Extra-Terrestrial Relays: Can Rocket Stations Give Worldwide Radio Coverage?" published in 1945 , Clarke floated the idea of using geosynchronous satellites for communications long before such technology changed our world. As a result, geostationary orbit is now sometimes known as the Clarke orbit.

That's just one of the many innovative concepts Clark is credited with unleashing. From the electrosecretary transcription machine to the space elevator, Clarke laid out his visionary ideas in more than 100 fiction and nonfiction books.

Despite his track record as a futurist, Clarke remained humble about his work when he was interviewed for a 1993 Q&A with Wired magazine.

"I've never predicted the future," Clarke said. "Or hardly ever. I extrapolate. Look, I've written six stories about the end of the Earth; they can't all be true!"

Clarke picked his book The Songs of Distant Earth as his favorite personal writing, saying, "It's got everything in it that I ever wanted to say."

I was privileged to share a publication with him in The Liftport Book

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