Thursday, January 24, 2008

blinded by the light

G. returned from a long weekend in the Midwest and decided to work his way through the first three Star Wars movies. The first three episodes being IV – VI and not episodes I – III; you know, the 1977 – 1983 movies. Nevermind.

X purchased a new clock a few weeks ago: I dubbed it the Death Star; I think its actual name is the “progression wake up clock”. It’s a strange conflation of happenings because I hadn’t thought of the Death Star for many years, all of a sudden it’s everywhere. The clock illuminates and birds start chirping about twenty minutes before the time of awakening – a gentle, lea-like morning choral event to enhance my hatred of early roustings. Over the last few weeks I’ve spent my mornings trying to discern whether in my dreams I can pinpoint the songs of various British songbirds before awaking and donning my frock: is that a yellow-rumped Warbler? A chestnut-collared Longspur? or, Belinda Evans? Sometimes it’s best to simply look away when the mailman delivers the stock to our door each and every day. Yesterday we got some oil burning wall lanterns delivered. I’m keeping an eye out for a headless horseman jumping the hedges or Pa Ingalls returning from town with the seed.

Back to the Death Star – the real fictional one, not the clock. The nom de guerre seems to lack a certain something. I would think that if commanding officer Grand Moff Tarkin and Palpatine were sitting around working on the Galactic Empire budget and defense spending plan they could have come up with something better than Death Star (I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t even be classified as a star…). Most weapon systems carry titles that either imply power or meekly hide the real idea: Fat Boy, Cobra, Apache, or Fighting Falcon. Maybe Tarkin and Palpatine had their kids visiting the committee room that day ("take your future villain to work day") while all were reviewing the blueprints and one of their third-graders came up with Death Star. I bet if we did a little more research we’d find that one of them might have a cat named Spotty at home. This is all apropos of nothing but an alarm clock. In case your wondering, these are apparently the specs for the Death Star(s) – I have no idea who entered this on Wikipedia but I am amazed at the inane detail, 52,276 gunners?:

The first Death Star has a crew of 265,675, as well as 52,276 gunners, 607,360 troops, 30,984 stormtroopers, 42,782 ship support staff, and 180,216 pilots and support crew.Its hangars contain assault shuttles, blastboats, Strike cruisers, land vehicles, support ships, and 7,293 TIE fighters. It is also protected by 10,000 turbolaser batteries, 2,600 ion cannons, and at least 768 tractor beam projectors. Various sources state the first Death Star has a diameter between 120 and 160 kilometers. There is a broader range of figures for the second Death Star's diameter, ranging from 160 to 900 kilometers.


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