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Star Wars and government IT... discuss

In the May 2 issue, we did FlipSide -- the back page of the magazine -- on Star Wars sites. And in that, I noted that Star Wars doesn't have all that much to do with the government, but science-fictions movies do show off all sorts of cool technologies. Science fiction, after all, often becomes the basis for science fact. The communicators in the original "Star Trek" were amazing in the 1960s, but they are not all that much unlike our cell phones today.

So now that I have established my excuse to blog about Star Wars...

I will be among the foolish who see the newest film at a midnight showing. And this comes after months -- years -- of saying that I wouldn't see the third movie at all because the "first" and "second" -- or "fourth" and "fifth," depending on how you count -- were so bad.

I'm sure feds know that sometimes working for the government must feel like running the Empire. This is part of a post from a Darth Vader blog -- yes, you read that right -- that perhaps some of you will relate to:
The day began with a tedious set of inter-departmental meetings debriefing the operational tests we have conducted on this battle-station's systems over the past few days. Moff Jerjerrod was extremely pleased with himself, and took up an entire hour with a self-indulgent, morale-boosting lake of verbal diarrhea about surpassing our own benchmarks by honing our core competencies, or some such similar malarkey. "The operational efficiencies of this Death Star will serve as a template for all Death Stars to come!" he preened to scattered applause.

As the WashingtonPost.com's Star Wars blogger said the Darth Blog is "either a. tangible proof that this person has nothing better to do, or b. a work of genius. You make the call." Tough call, but, of course, I read it.

Other Star Wars items -- so I can get it out of my system...
For those here in the Washington, D.C. area, did you know there is a Darth Vader gargoyle... technically a grotesque, apparently... on the Washington National Cathedral. This is a PDF from the Cathedral telling you exactly how you can find it. And here is a photo of it.

The Cathedral's Web site tells you why it is there -- as they were finishing the building, they held a contest hold for children to design decorative sculpture for the Cathedral.
Word of the competition was spread nationwide through National Geographic World Magazine. The third-place winner was Christopher Rader, with his drawing of that fearful villain, Darth Vader. The fierce head was sculpted by Jay Hall Carpenter, carved by Patrick J. Plunkett and placed high upon the northwest tower of the Cathedral.


Finally, the links from that May 2 issue, in case you missed them:
There is a Star Wars wiki - a community developed encyclopedia. And even a Star Wars quote wiki. And if you are a Star Trek fan - there is also a wiki for you!

In Japan, one can buy a Land Walker, similar to the Imperial Walkers in Star Wars.

If you have ever wondered about the size of those ships - how does the U.S.S. Enterprise compare to the Millennium Falcon, for example - skip over to Jeff Russell's Starship Dimensions Web site. "This site is only intended to compare the actual physical dimensions of the starships herein, and makes no claims as to any other aspect of these ships (firepower, speed, etc)," the site says.

Finally, one can even find out what Star Wars character you most resemble. The site uses a standard personality psychology test to tell you which traits you have in common with characters from the Star Wars movies.

Posted by Christopher Dorobek on May 18, 2005 at 12:14 PM


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