Monday, February 11, 2008

Snow Worms and Robots

Today the wind is furiously whipping the snow around and the temperature should be measured in Kelvin, and my kids (7, 9, and 11) got it in their minds to get in their sleeping bags and crawl around the back yard like giant blue snow worms. This might seem like bizarre behavior on their part, and letting them do so might seem like bizarre behavior on mine. The thing is, besides the fact that they were relatively safe and warm, I really understood the compulsion. [Note to Child Protective Services: They were safe and warm at all times.]

Kids have a heightened sense of that state of mind we call “cozy.” To feel cozy, you must not only be safe and comfortable, but peril, or at least discomfort, must be nearby to provide a contrast. A cabin with a crackling fire is coziest when a howling wind drives cold rain against the window panes. So, I watched them inch and roll around in the squeaky-cold snow, and even glom up the slide ladder and slip down the other side. Too bad there’s not an extra sleeping bag…

The Leslie and Robby Show

Today is Leslie Nielson’s birthday – he’s 82. I first saw him in his hilarious Naked Gun/Airplane roles, as a sophomoric and oblivious nitwit, a part that can be really funny only if the actor has some natural gravitas.

Back near the beginning of his long career, Nielson starred as the (not funny) Commander Adams in Forbidden Planet (1956), a movie that makes almost everyone’s list of top sci-fi movies. This and The Day the Earth Stood Still are 1950’s sci-fi in a nutshell, and both are still entertaining and thought-provoking.

Forbidden Planet also featured the first appearance of Robby the Robot, a sophisticated prop used so often that he (rightfully) has his own actor page on IMDB. After Forbidden Planet, Robby (occupied by various actors) made guest appearances on a couple dozen TV shows, including The Twilight Zone, Lost in Space, Wonder Woman, and even Mork and Mindy.

Robby vs. The Robot from Lost in Space: Danger Will Robinson is right, fool.

Links of Interest



tofu-powered art-chick said...

I think you should submit this story and photo to the people who do the "You should live here" ads.

Andrew said...

That is awesome. They're lucky to have such cool parents.