The Thoughts of a Frumpy Professor

............................................ ............................................ A blog devoted to the ramblings of a small town, middle aged college professor as he experiences life and all its strange variances.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Movie & More

We went to see "Oppenheimer" yesterday.  It was an excellent film.  The acting was exceptional, and the character portrayals were very strong.  Having a modicum of a background in physics (from several courses in my undergraduate years) and having read fairly extensively about the development of the atomic bomb and nuclear energy generally.... there were not really any new insights from the film for me.... but it was very interesting viewing for a three hour film.  A few portrayals were especially noteworthy to me:

Cillian Murphy - a heretofore unknown actor to me.... was extremely strong and believable as Oppenheimer.  

Robert Downey Jr. - I was rather shocked to see he was in the film (in the credits) as I did not recognize him at all.  He was exceptionally strong in his portrayal of Naval Officer, Lewis Strauss.  His portrayal was so strong, I purposefully wanted to know the name of the actor who portrayed Strauss when watching the credits.  I was flummoxed to see it was Downey.  

Matt Damon - even though I easily recognized him, his portrayal of General Leslie Groves..... had tremendous depth and strength.  

Kenneth Branagh - even though he looked nothing like him..... Branagu did a very nice job of portraying Neils Bohr, the chemist.  I talk about Neils Bohr in my physiology course and have several photos of him in my lecture

Emily Blunt - also surprised me (my not recognizing her) in her portrayal of Oppenheimer's wife, Kitty.  

One exceptionally fun aspect of the film was that there where MANY, MANY pipe smokers in the film!  It reminded  me of how it was in the good-old-days!  The actors did not always have a particularly convincing portrayal of their pipe smoking (an expert notices these things 😉  )..... but it was still pleasant to see.

+ + + 

  • Yesterday, I ran 10.5 miles (~17 km) in amazingly thick, dense fog. I could not see more than perhaps 25 feet ( ~7-8 m) in front of me because it was so thick.  Because of the heaviness of the fog, I traversed fully on the trail during this run and had only three instances where I had to briefly cross across a street intersection.    The fog was so thick, that I startled a few animals along the way..... two deer that I ended up being ~20 feet from and a beautiful Blue Heron that did not fly off until I was roughly ~20 feet from it.  The numerous bunnies, the beaver and the lone turkey I also ran past did not pay me any mind at all, which also was a bit unusual.  Perhaps the fog was affecting their acuity?  
  • This morning, the air quality index was again poor due to the Canadian Wildfires, so I hoofed inside at the track.  I had gotten well ahead of my weekly miles from the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday runs, that today I only ran 7 miles (~11 km) and tomorrow I only have to run 6 miles (10 km) to reach my weekly goal.  
  • I splurged on a refill cup of coffee this morning ($1) at the U Starbucks and asked for a shot of sugar free vanilla to be added to alter the flavor a bit.  I then poured it over a giant cup of crushed ice as is my typical pattern (I dislike hot beverages).   The U Starbucks willingly also gives me a full glass of ice (gratis) if I bring in my own container (I use an extra large fountain drink container).  I had not had a refill coffee in a few months.... and it was even longer since I had a flavor shot added to it.   The vanilla flavor was beautiful, and it reminded me so very much of a particular vanilla tinctured burley leaf I love.  
  • There are MANY different types of vanilla tinctured pipe tobaccos.  Each has their own nuances when compared to each other.  But the one that is a strong favorite of mine and was the one that I was reminded of by the Starbucks coffee was the vanilla burley blend from the beautiful pipe shop ~45 minutes from here.  I have a pouch of that here in my office desk drawer, so I have filled the bowl of a pretty clean pipe here in my office with that gently fragrant leaf... in much the same way I did with the Three Star Blue last Saturday.  It is a comforting bit of flavor as I work.  I do have thoughts of igniting the bowlful, but I believe I will resist and then replace the beautiful leaf back into the pouch when I leave for the day.  
  • More work with Research Board documents today.  They are tiring and meticulous beasts to write.  
  • I should so some reading for the "Think Tank" group I am going to be a part of this Fall regarding AI (and ChatGPT).  I need to get more fully up-to-snuff on the full range of these things so that I can be helpful in the group.  I am just not sure if today is the day.  
  • I am also writing a grant related to the endocrine properties of the bisphenols at the moment.  I should write more here about this critical but under-examined situation.  But, not today.  
  • I am looking forward to swimming at the end of the day with my wife.
  • I am also looking forward to eating out tonight with my wife.  There is a stir-fry place where we are going that will allow us to choose our own vegetables, meats, and spices before stir frying them.  My wife likes the more "traditional" spices of Chinese-typical cuisine.  But for me, I am delighted that they have a variety of Indian spices available as well, and I make a HUGE plate of vegetables only.... usually...  onions, carrots, mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli, bell peppers, water chestnuts,  cabbage, and basically any other odds-and-ends vegetation they may have that I can pile onto my plate without the mountain of vegetables toppling, and I saturate it heavily with all sorts of Indian spices.... and the best part of all..... the stir-fry chefs who take my MASSIVE plate of spiced vegetation.... will willingly NOT add any oil to my food if I make known that request Prior to them starting to cook my food.  This place also has a bar where they allow folks to select various "sushi" type items.  My favorite that I hope to have tonight.... they usually have them... are the fresh (not fried) Spring Rolls.     


Blogger Margaret said...

I too was impressed by Oppenheimer and particularly by Cillian Murphy and Robert Downey Jr. (whom I also didn't recognize). Matt Damon always reminds me of Matt Damon so it's difficult to separate the character from the actor, but I did enjoy his performance. As a non-scientist I was completely intrigued by their process of developing the bomb and how the various disciplines had to be interwoven. I too prefer Indian spices and love veggies. I'm not much of a meat eater!

Thursday, 10 August, 2023  
Blogger Liz Hinds said...

I did a stir fry tonight. A bit of a mish mash and not my most successful.
I think we will wait to see Oppenheimer when it is streamed. I love Cillian Murphy but I fear it may be a bit depressing.

Monday, 14 August, 2023  

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