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Roger Ebert passed away yesterday at the age of 70. I’m not sure if there’s ever been a more influential or well-known critic, and I mean critic of anything, not just film. He was the first person to receive a Pulitzer Prize for film criticism, back in 1975, and only 4 other people have received that reward since. He had fought with cancer for 11 years prior to his death, losing a large portion of his jaw and his ability to speak due to surgery complications in 2006.
Writing textbooks has got to be pretty tedious work. So you can hardly blame the writers when they slip in something that seems a little bit… off. My theory is that one of three things happens:
#1. The writer slips something in to see if anybody notices.
Source: Walt Disney Studios
In Edgar Rice Burroughs’ book A Princess of Mars, and in the film adaptation John Carter, out this week, I don’t think it would be a spoiler to say that the story takes a few liberties with science. Turns out Mars isn’t populated by nomadic tribes of green people and the atmosphere is not safe for shirtless men.
My best guess is that I spent around 40 percent of my college education reading books. Another 25 percent was spent writing, another 25 spent in the art studio, and around 8 in classes. I’d mark two percentage points as “Other,” which includes pseudo-educational experiences like seeing pretentious indie films, hanging out at the campus radio station, or getting into a religious conversation with a Rastafarian shop clerk. I’m leaving out the large number of not-particularly educational experiences like re-watching Arrested Development and Chapelle’s Show on DVD for the 50th time, using cafeteria trays as makeshift sleds, and various anecdotes that I probably shouldn’t write down if I ever want to pursue an elected office.