Spoiler warning for Magic Mike XXL (2015) and Homer’s Odyssey. Please proceed accordingly!

It took me two viewings to realize that Magic Mike XXL (2015) is the best reinterpretation of Homer’s Odyssey currently in existence. After some deep thinking and additional rewatches, I feel prepared to explain why. Magic Mike XXL excels in aligning itself with the Odyssey, not just in terms of its storytelling structure but in its themes and ambitions. …

Revisiting geology’s most notoriously bad movie

Spoiler warning for the 2003 movie The Core. Please proceed accordingly!

The Core (2003) is notorious within the geoscience community for being one of the few big-budget movies to use geology and geophysics as its core conceit, and then cramming in more scientific inaccuracies into its 135-minute runtime than any of us thought possible. I’ve attended more than a few viewing parties for The Core, all of which involved competitions to see who can spot the most inaccuracies (as an intern at the Lunar and Planetary Institute I actually won, with 43 independent errors!). That said, this piece will not…

Using Hayao Miyazaki’s ‘Castle in the Sky’ to deconstruct a modern American myth

Spoiler warning for Studio Ghibli’s 1986 film Castle in the Sky. Please proceed accordingly!

For all that it’s a fun caper of a movie, filled with daring escapes, piles of treasure, and a literal floating palace, Castle in the Sky has always sat heavily on my mind. Like many Studio Ghibli films, it leaves viewers with a hefty blend of hope and melancholy. …

Past Is Prologue

An analysis of astronauts, the French revolution, and the future of space exploration

As part of the near-constant onslaught of new things releasing everywhere all the time, Disney+ recently released a new adaptation of The Right Stuff, Tom Wolfe’s seminal 1979 saga about the Mercury Seven and the sociopolitical context that buoyed them to greatness. The Right Stuff was originally adapted into a three-hour film epic in 1983 that remains widely regarded as one of the best Space Race-era movies ever made. The folks at Disney+ seem to have felt that, once again, it’s time to revisit an unquestionable American triumph — the beginning of victory in the Space Race.

My ‘Before Sunrise’-style love story with a planet that no longer exists

All images in this piece were published by the New Horizons team.

Has there ever been a place you knew you just had to get to? Maybe you saw it in a movie or on a postcard taped to someone’s fridge; maybe it came to life for you in the pages of a book. All that mattered was the sudden intensity with which you knew: I have to go. I have to see that world for myself. I have to stand there, staring up at buildings or forest leaves or the great open sky….

For my dad, that place was…

On its face, Magic Mike (2012) is a gender-bent take on the classic trope of the sex worker with a heart of gold, whose aspirations and talents extend far beyond their day job (see Flashdance and Pretty Woman for more traditional examples). Like Alex Owens and Vivian Ward before him, Michael “Magic Mike” Lane (Channing Tatum) is a seasoned performer at Xquisite, a strip club in Tampa, FL who dreams of leaving stripping behind and opening a custom furniture business. Unlike many previous iterations of this trope, however, Magic Mike is rooted in star Channing Tatum’s real-life experiences as a…

“Feminists have to insist on a better account of the world…Feminists have stakes in a successor science… that offers a more adequate, richer, better account of a world, in order to live in it…” Dr. Donna Haraway, “Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective”

A while back, I started reading books about women in science, since they’ve started popping up as a sort of sub-genre in nonfiction over the last decade. I started doing so out of a desire to learn from historical accounts of other women scientists and to maybe feel less alone…

An Introduction.

The concept of a “moon base,” of helmet-clad people venturing across the lunar surface from their shining steel homes, has occupied the American consciousness since the dawn of the space age, as both an object of fantasy and a very real possibility. Humans living semi-permanently on the Moon has persisted as staple of the science fiction genre in film, literature, and beyond since 1953’s Project Moonbase. It’s popped up in classics across the decades from Robert Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress in 1966 to Andy Weir’s 2017 novel Artemis. …

“We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours.” President Jimmy Carter, Voyager’s Golden Record

An Introduction

“We meet in an hour of change and challenge… in a decade of hope and fear…” After growing up in South Texas and an undergraduate education spent in the shadow of the stadium where the speech was given, I can recite John F. Kennedy’s “We Choose to go to the Moon” speech from memory.

I’ve heard it countless times, in classrooms and dorm rooms alike. From a young age, we were taught to think of Kennedy’s speech as a turning point…

If I’m ever asked to recommend a book to someone, that book is The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet. I’ve been giving it to friends and family alike in the four years since I first read it, because it completely transformed my vision of what science fiction could be. Becky Chambers blew my brain wide open with a story about a messy, compassionate, loving spaceship crew. However, it can be hard to get people to buy into a whole new science fiction universe, especially one they’ve never heard of. I’ve kept trying to find ways to explain to…

Adeene Denton

Planetary scientist | PhD candidat | Inclusive feminist | Earth + space science historian | Aspiring astronaut | Pop culture opinionator | Dance-maker [she/her]

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