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The Late Movies: Ray Bradbury, Interviewed

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Today we learned that we had lost Ray Bradbury. Tonight, let's listen to the author speak about his life and career. If you watch nothing else in this list, scroll down and pick one of the short clips from 1968 -- they're all terrific.

On Books, Literacy, and Fahrenheit 451

Bradbury interviewed in a short film for the National Endowment for the Arts. This is all about the library.

Sample quote: "We should learn from history about the destruction of books. When I was 15 years old, Hitler burned books in the streets of Berlin." Also: "That's the great thing about our country: we are a democracy of readers. And we should keep it that way."

On Writing, Rejection, Death, and Persistence

"Slowly, one by one, you sell short stories, and even one sale in a year is enough to keep your spirits up." Check out the short around 1:40, when you get to see what's inside Bradbury's kitchen: Coors!

"Day at Night" Interview

James Day interviews Bradbury at length on public television circa 1975. Just wonderful. Sample quote: "You must never think at the typewriter; you must feel. Your intellect is buried in that feeling anyway."

Bradbury's Office, 1968

He has thirty years of Prince Valiant comic strips (!) in his office. You may also want some context on this interview -- it was part of a longer CBC program, though I have not found the entire program online.

The Illustrated Man Movie Adaptation, 1968

"We need artists, we need people like myself, who take hold of a piece of reality and say, 'This is what it is.' We've saved up a tension for tears. So I, as a writer, come along and try to help you to cry at the right time."

Life, Love, Work, and Books, 1968

"The man who cannot laugh freely is a sick man."

Waukegan Public Library Interview

Filmed towards the end of Bradbury's life, this interview shows the author discussing childhood in his hometown of Waukegan, Illinois. Discussed: the movies, the carnival, becoming a writer, the local library, malls, and literacy. This looks like it's extra material from the same shoot as the first video above.

Sample quote: "I ran down the hill, toward the lake, toward the carnival. What was I doing? I didn't realize: I was running away from death, wasn't I? I was running towards life."

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Animals
Watch a Rogue Pet Dog Interrupt a Russian News Anchor on Air
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Last week, a Russian news broadcast briefly went to the dogs after its host was startled by a surprise co-anchor: a friendly black canine that wandered on set, announced its presence with a loud bark, and climbed onto her desk.

 

As TODAY reports, Mir24 TV anchor Ilona Linarte went off script for a few minutes, telling viewers "I've got a dog here. What is this dog doing in the studio?" After the initial shock wore off, she gave her furry guest a tepid welcome, patting its head as she gently pushed it off the desk. ("I actually prefer cats,'' Linarte remarked. "I'm a cat lady.")

Linarte’s query was answered when the TV station announced that the dog had accompanied another show’s guest on set, and somehow got loose. That said, rogue animals have a proud tradition of crashing live news broadcasts around the world, so we’re assuming this won’t be the last time a news anchor is upstaged by an adorable guest star (some of which have better hair than them).

[h/t TODAY]

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Falcon Heavy and Dragon. Image credit: SpaceX via Wikimedia Commons // CC0 1.0
SpaceX Is Sending Two Private Citizens Around the Moon
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Falcon Heavy and Dragon. Image credit: SpaceX via Wikimedia Commons // CC0 1.0

Two members of the public are set to take an historic trip around the Moon, according to an announcement from SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. As The Verge reports, the anonymous private citizens have already placed substantial deposits on the commercial space flight.

The private spacecraft company SpaceX revealed on Monday that the Falcon Heavy rocket will be launching with its Crew Dragon spacecraft in late 2018. The mission will consist of a circumnavigation of the Moon, passing over the body’s surface before traveling farther into space and returning to Earth. In total, the trip will cover 300,000 to 400,000 miles and take a week to complete.

A noteworthy part of the plan is the human cargo that will be on board. Instead of professional astronauts, the craft will carry two paying customers into space. The passengers, who’ve yet to be named, will both need to pass several fitness tests before they're permitted to make the journey. According to The Verge, Musk said the customers are “very serious” and that the cost of the trip is “comparable” to that of a crewed mission to the International Space Station. The goal for SpaceX is to eventually send one or two commercial flights into space each year, which could account for 10 to 20 percent of the company’s earnings.

[h/t The Verge]

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