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February 03, 2014 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-02-03

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7A - Monday, February 3, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

7A - Monday, February 3, 2014 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Science, culture
collide in 'Cowboy'

The relationship in 'Her'
didn't seem foreign to me

Cowboys and
Astronomy? Color
me interested!
ByKATHLEEN DAVIS
DailyArts Writer
Somewhere deep in the Wild
West, a cowboy unleashes
his wisdom
about the The Cowboy
night skies
- which he's Astronomer
learned over Feb.8 and
many years Feb.9
of living in
the open air Saturdaysand
- to a group Sunday at 2p.m.
of eager lis- Museunof Natural
teners. History Planetarium
He trans- $5 per person
ports his
audience to a
world of Native American star
tales and sprawling galaxies,
combining the two seamlessly.

From now until March 30,
UM's Planetarium will be
showing "The Cowboy Astron-
omer," a full-dome experience
that combines Western folklore
with astronomy education.
Planetarium Manager Matt
Linke said he is eager to bring
the show to audiences around
Ann Arbor.
"It's a very different and
all-encompassing look at the
concept of astronomy and the
nighttime sky with the scien-
tific, the mythological and the
cultural," Linke said.
Originally created in the
early 1990s, the show has
been beautifully reformat-
ted to mesh with more recent
Planetarium technology. The
37-minute film features narra-
tion by Baxter Black, an Ameri-
can cowboy and poet, as well as
a radio and television personal-
ity.
UM's Planetarium is located
inside the Museum of Natural

History and prides itself on
being the source of astronomy
information for the commu-
nity.
Most Planetarium shows
include a "star talk" by Linke
or another expert, which edu-
cates the audience about what
planets and constellations are
present in the current night
sky, and how to identify them.
Although the Planetarium is
located on campus, it's open to
the community and caters to a
large audience outside the uni-
versity.
"I wanted to do (The Cow-
boy Astronomer) because it's a
neat blend of topics for my dif-
ferent audiences," Linke said.
"At the same time the funding
was available to do it."
Linke added that the show
will be back after the closing
date.
"It'll come back in the future,
and groups that'll want to see it
can request it," Linke said.

When I was home for
Christmas this year, some-
thing was missing. Well,
someone rather. While the
rest of my family gathered
for the
holidays, --
my dad was
over 7,000
miles away
in Dubai,
where he
currently
lives. It
didn't feel
like he was KAYA
completely UPADHYAYA
absent,
though.
As I ate a bowl of cereal and
my mom hurried around the
kitchen, my dad's face glowed
from the screen of a Mac
desktop perched at the end
of the counter. He wore his
crooked reading glasses and
a t-shirt from his latest race.
This was all part of my mom's
new daily routine, which I
adopted for the few weeks I
was home for break: Skyping
with my father every morn-
ing when we woke up (when
he was getting ready for bed)
and every evening when we
were about to go to bed (when
he was waking up).
When my mom first told
me she has done this pretty
much every day since he left
for Dubai this past summer, I
couldn't believe her. My dad
is famously a man of very few
words. I have some friends
who still haven't heard him
speak. What on earth could
they possibly talk about over
the Internet every day, twice
a day?
They talk about the big
things, my mom's decision
to close her business and
work for a new company, my
grandparents' health, the
looming financial prepara-
tions for my sister's immi-
nent first year of college. But
they talk about little things,
too. Seemingly meaningless
things.
Or, sometimes they don't
talk at all, as was the case
that morning when I ate my
cereal. The conversation
had lulled, and my dad sat
silently in his hotel room in
downtown Dubai. But we
didn't end the Skype call. We
went about our mornings. I
crunched on my cereal. My
dad started rifling through
papers. And honestly, it felt
like he was right there with
us, like we were all existing
in our home together as we
would on any regular morn-
ing.
It's not the first time my
dad has lived far away for
long periods of time. He's
a Colonel in the U.S. Army
Reserves, and military orders
have taken him to Iraq,
Afghanistan, Thailand, Ger-
many, Bosnia ... all over the
world. But this time feels
different. This time, I've
talked to my dad more than
I could for any of his other
deployments, because Google

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and
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and

gout allows my mom in lights on for a week after the
inia, sister in Norway first time I saw "Scream." She
me in Michigan to video knows I can't spell "Hayden
with each other all at the Panettiere" without Googling
e time. And I have Skype it. She knows E.T. is one of
iMessage and Facetime my worst fears. Here's the
s on my phone. And my catch: I've never met LaToya
finally figured out Face- in person. We "met" on tum-
k chat. blr in 2010, and became fast
'hen my friends and I Internet friends. The group
Spike Jonze's "Her" a of girls I went to Comic Con
weeks ago, many of them with this year? We all met on
ked out deploring our the Internet four years ago.
chment to technology. For My writing partner, Aly? The
m, the thought of a man inspiring, funny woman who
ng in love with an operat- I hope to one day take Holly-
system was a nightmarish, wood by storm with? We met
too-distant future. on Tumbr, too.
or me, "Her" wasn't a That's why the relation-
ionary tale of technologi- ship in "Her" didn't seem
doomsday. Jonze's script that foreign to me. For one,
cynical about the ways Jonze has constructed a very
ens take over our lives, believable, familiar depic-
does it romanticize or tion of love and relation-
ify the wonders of tech- ships. For most of the film,
gy. It belongs somewhere Theodore and Samantha's
ie middle, like me. courtship resembles that of
ull disclosure: I'm basi- a modern-day long-distance
y a poster child for every relationship. Long distance
'York Times article about friendships aren't all that
plugged-in millenials. different. Yes, my Internet
ver go anywhere with- friendships are different from
my iPhone (and when I my "real life" friendships,
dentally don't, I reach but not on an emotional level.
empty space for it out of I care about them and they
inct, out of habit). I have care about me. I ask them for
any apps that every time advice and complain to them
nt a new one, I have to about upcoming exams. I
te an old one. I have a can't physically cry on their
long history with social shoulders, but I can cry with
ia and Internet communi- them over Skype.
starting with my tenure I get what my friend is say-
he WB message boards ing about presence. When a
'). Even now, as I write bunch of friends are together
column, I have a Chrome at dinner and everyone's on
open to Facebook, their phones, it looks like
re I'm chatting with my no one is connecting, like
idma about soap operas, everyone is lost in the glow-
another tab for Twitter, ing world of iOS 7. Technol-
re I'm checking Chelsea ogy isn't necessarily driving
'tti's tweets. I just texted us apart. A several-year-long
hia and Emily and Akshay study led by Rutgers profes-
Kendall. sor Keith Hampton showed
that our smartphones are
actually making us more con-
nected. Plugged-in people
Yeah, I'm could recognize three times
as many of their neighbors
plugged jflW as unwired people could.
When older, buttoned-down
columnists write heated
denunciations of my gen-
he post-"Her" conversa- eration's addiction to their
with my friends turned iPhones, they over-romanti-
one about presence. cize the past. "Back in your
friend lamented the toll day," people weren't on their
rtphones take on pres- phones all the time, because
. She echoed the words the technology simply didn't
ur professor: "Why can't exist.
ple just enjoy being pres- I can sit at a bar with my
with the people they're friends and also "be with"
ently with? Why do they my dad in Dubai through
ays have to be texting the Facebook mobile, my sister
ple who aren't there?" in Norway through Snap-
or me, it's a really big deal chat and Aly in Los Angeles
I can text the people who through iMessage. Screens
't there. With my family don't make us more anti-
ad across three differ- social or disconnected; they
continents right now, just change the ways we connect.
wing that I can reach all So yeah, I love my iPhone
iem pretty much whenev- with the kind of attachment
want and almost always many think should only be
ree isn't just comforting; reserved for other humans.
powerful. But my iPhone keeps me close
nd then there's my friend to those other humans. Even
oya. LaToya is my close when they're over 7,000 miles
nd, the only person I away.

cc.

Let's bone.
Implausible Labor
Day' a labor to watch

By CARLY KEYES
DailyArts Writer
When Frank Chambers (Josh
Brolin, "Gangster Squad")
escapes from prison and forces
a chronically
depressed
single moth-
er, AdeleL
Wheeler Labor Day
(Kate Win- Quality16
slet, "Movie and Rave
43"), and her
grew-up- Paramount
way-too-fast
son, Henry
(Gattlin Griffith, "Under the
Bed") to give him a ride, it
becomes an unexpected "Labor
Day" weekend, where bending
the rules fosters a mending of
emotions.
Based on a novel of the same
name by Joyce Maynard, direc-
tor Jason Reitman ("Young
Adult") also adapts the story
for the screen in this effort,
but despite his able direction
and the talented performance,
the story itself is just too unbe-
lievable and unconventional
to have any shot at all of being
taken seriously in a dramatic
interpretation.
Adele and Henry first meet
Frank when they come into
town for their monthly trip to
the grocery store. Adele doesn't
get out much, and later we
learn why. When Frank ran-
domly appears and asks them
for a ride, Adele objects, but as
soon as he places his hands sug-
gestively around Henry's neck,
she caves and does as he wish-
es. No gun. No serious threat.

No sib
Even
depres
yell "I
public
threat
ofc
in the
wants
neveri
ly wis
Give a
stay a:
fall w
the trs
the fir
it turn
day w
runnir
logisti
stay in
maybe
the bo
pretty
S
mO
But
becaus
hours
around
ing A
the je
has tr
scary
cemen
interes

gn of imminent danger. dad-like persona for Henry.
someone with severe When we learn that Adele's
ssion has the ability to depression derives from an
Help!" in the middle of a impossibly tragic history of
place when her child is trying to get pregnant with her
ened. former husband - a series of
course, when Frank gets miscarriages and then a still-
car, he no longer just born daughter - it's easy to
a ride (Clearly, Adele understand why she might cling
read Henry that infinite- to the first man in years who's
e children's book "If You shown her kindness. And with-
Mouse a Cookie"), but to out his dad in his life, playing
t their house until night- surrogate man of the house for
hen he can make a run for years, it's even easier to grasp
ain tracks and try to hop why Henry would welcome
st one out of there. Then, the attention of a middle-aged
s out that due to the holi- guy who fails for his mom and
eekend the trains aren't authentically wants to teach
ng. It's simply a lame him how to hit a baseball, but
cal excuse for him to this brings me to possibly the
the picture longer, and largest flaw of the narrative.
that's how it happens in A majority of the moments
'ok, but if so, then that's meant to warm us up to Frank's
lame, too. character and root for him
occur ... outside. But, isn't
Frank a hotly pursued fugi-
tive on the run in a small town?
Script, not Wouldn't it be suspicious if this
seriously wanted man were to
strong cast be constantly outside fixing
things around the house and
o blame for playing baseball with a noto-
. , .riously depressed woman and
lVie' failures. her young boy? It was impos-
sible for me to enjoy these
moments; My brain was too
busy staring at the gaping plot
it becomes a moot point, holes in Reitman's script.
se in the course of 36 In a well-written film, the
of fixing a few things audience naturally sympa-
d the house and teach- thizes with characters who
dele and Henry about struggle to get what they want,
sys of cooking, Frank but in "Labor Day," these strug-
ansformed from a gruff, gles are just too pathetic and
escaped convict and now extreme, and it makes for an
ted himself as a new love unfamiliar scenario too riddled
t for Adele and a new with holes to relate to.

TI
tion
into
One
smai
ence
of oi
peoi
ent N
curr
alwa
peol
Ft
that
aren
spre
ent
kno'
of th
er I
for f
it's I
A:
LaT(
frier
will
abou
LaT(

ingly admit knows more
it television than me.
oya knows I slept with my

Upadhyaya is Skyping
with her dad. To join in,

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Expires: February 7, 2014
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