Friday, May 31, 2013


1998  QE2

*  Special thanks to "Google Images", "" and NASA.

by Felicity Blaze Noodleman

If you are one of the readers who has been with the Noodleman Group for a while now you may have noticed we travel the web far and wide compiling information from a number of sources to validate our topic for the week.  You could say these sources are a part of the Noodleman Group along with you our readers.  We are like a box of fine assorted chocolates for your intellectual enjoyment.  Well; this week is no different!  We are doing our usual thing, writing what we want.  This week we are examining some of the summer movies.

With the summer movie season now in full swing we have a wide selection of new entertainment to choose from at the box office of our favorite theaters.  Of special note this year are the remakes rolling out of the studios for the summer of 2013.  This phenomenon is nothing new for Hollywood.  It would almost be impossible to count all the titles that have been remade over the years and that is not counting all of the sequels made to what are called a “Franchise” such as the “Star Wars” films or the “Batman” series.  Action heroes almost always have a continuation to the original film!  

Motion picture remakes are almost as old as the movies themselves.  Studios love proven winners and any story which has done well in the past is prime fodder for a new treatment and is a studio executives dream for a “Blockbuster” at the box office.  I mean think about it:  why should the studio take a chance on a new unknown property when they have a “Golden Goose” sitting in the vaults?

Based on the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, this drama focuses on mysterious man of wealth Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his love for the beautiful -- and married -- Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan). Baz Luhrmann directs the film in 3D, with Isla Fisher,Tobey Maguire, and Joel Edgerton rounding out the starring cast.

This years two remakes,  “The Great Gatsby” and “Oz, The Great and Powerful” are sure to do well at the box office.  Movie titles don’t come much better than these.  Both titles have been remade a number of times and always have been a hit.  Both were popular novels in their day and made the transition to the big screen to delight every generation of their day.  Casting always fills the gap and the story bridges the gap into a new and younger audience.

When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he's hit the jackpot--fame and fortune are his for the taking--that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone's been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity--and even a bit of wizardry--Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz but into a better man as well.

“The Wizard of Oz” was published in 1900 by L. Frank Baum.  It was a popular children’s book and has endured Thur the years.  Baum went on to write two sequels of the fantasy land of OZ. The 1939 motion picture production was a big budget production, $2,000,000, for the MGM studios and was produced in the new “Technicolor” process.  Since the 1939 primer the film has more than earned back the original investment.   

Both of these films were so great that even the older versions are still very entertaining even today, especially “The Wizard of Oz” (1939).  It has been going strong every since its original release staring Judy Garland and has made the transition to release on television and video.  This film was one of the first titles available on DVD when that medium was making its debut! Now also consider this:  The film had been remade three times prior to the 1939 “Wizard”.   In 1910, again in 1925 and then again in 1933. 

Leonardo DiCaprio stars in the remake of “Gatsby” but in my opinion pales in comparison to Robert Redford.  Redford was and still is an exceptionally good looking man – if not one of the most handsome looking actors of all time.  I can recall only one actor who comes even close to his charming pulchritudinous and robust appearance and that would be the legendary Clark Gable.  Sorry Leo, maybe next time!

Marvel's 'Iron Man 3' pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy's hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Stephanie Szostak, James Badge Dale with Jon Favreau and Ben Kingsley, Marvel's 'Iron Man 3' is directed by Shane Black from a screenplay by Drew Pearce & Shane Black and is based on Marvel's iconic Super Hero Iron Man, who first appeared on the pages of "Tales of Suspense" (#39) in 1963 and had his solo comic book debut with "The Invincible Iron Man" (#1) in May of 1968.

'Iron Man 3' is presented by Marvel Studios in association with Paramount Pictures and DMG Entertainment. Marvel Studios' President Kevin Feige is producing and Jon Favreau, Louis D'Esposito, Charles Newirth, Victoria Alonso, Stephen Broussard, Alan Fine, Stan Lee and Dan Mintz are executive producers. The film releases May 3, 2013, and is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

The next two films in the remake mode being offered by Hollywood this summer are "Iron Man 3" and "The Man of Steel".  Now is this ironic or what?.  Iron man is the third installment of the Robert Downey Jr.'s super hero character who needs a special suit to become super human while Man of steel is a new treatment and casting of the DC Action super hero "Superman".  The Iron  Man films have done very well at the box office to become one of the highest grossing films of all time.   Both characters are sure to thrill those of all ages who enjoy (and I think there are quite a few of us) this kind of thrilling entertainment!

Superman flies back onto the big screen in this Warner Bros./Legendary Pictures production directed by Zack Snyder (Watchmen), produced by Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight), and featuring a screenplay by David Goyer (Blade, The Dark Knight). Born on the alien planet of Krypton, Kal-El is sent by his parents to live on planet Earth, where he is given the name Clark by kindly farmer Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner) and his wife, Martha (Diane Lane), who raise him as if he were their own son. As a young boy,Clark displays incredible superpowers that instill him with a profound sense of personal responsibility. Later, the amiable Clark (Henry Cavill) becomes a reporter for the Metropolis newspaper "The Daily Planet," and strikes up a friendship with crackerjack journalist Lois Lane (Amy Adams). But when his new world is attacked by a force that humans are powerless to defend themselves against, Clark assumes the identity of Superman and fights to protect the entire human race. Academy Award-nominated actor Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road, Boardwalk Empire) co-stars as General Zod and Laurence Fishburne steps into the role of "Daily Planet" editor-in-chief Perry White. Russell Crowe and Christopher Meloni co-star.

"Fast and Furious" is returning for the sixth time this summer.  These car chasing, road raging high speed adventure films have excited theater fans for decades and every generation brings a new theme and treatment of the chase film to those who love cars and high speed adventure.

Since Dom (Diesel) and Brian's (Walker) Rio heist toppled a kingpin's empire and left their crew with $100 million, our heroes have scattered across the globe. But their inability to return home and living forever on the lam have left their lives incomplete.

Meanwhile, Hobbs (Johnson) has been tracking an organization of lethally skilled mercenary drivers across 12 countries, whose mastermind (Evans) is aided by a ruthless second-in-command revealed to be the love Dom thought was dead, Letty (Rodriguez). The only way to stop the criminal outfit is to outmatch them at street level, so Hobbs asks Dom to assemble his elite team in London. Payment? Full pardons for all of them so they can return home and make their families whole again.

Now we get down to the above average in the category of  remakes for those of who enjoy science fiction which is both realistic and entertaining.  That's right I'm writing about the Star Trek franchise.  with a new cast and story Trekies or Trekers, which ever you prefer, will have some new fodder to add to their trivia discussions and debates over "who was better - best of all" between the Original cast, the Next Generation cast and now the "Into Darkness" cast.

With "Star Trek Into Darkness" at the top of the box office right now, die-hard Trekkies have only one thing on their minds: What's next?!
J.J. Abrams's revamped take on the space-exploring franchise has introduced Kirk, Spock, and Bones to a whole new generation of viewers -- but with the director's plan to take on a new episode of "Star Wars," where does it leave the brainchild of Gene Roddenberry?
Obviously, we haven't seen the last of "Star Trek," but what form will its next adventure take? Which characters will make their presence felt? And when will we get to see it?
As we boldly step into uncharted new territory, Moviefone asked a panel of leading "Star Trek" experts for their insights into the future of the series. With a little bit of detective work, their theories shed the first light on what will happen next on-screen and off.

One thing is for sure this summer, there will be something for everyone at the movies.  A way to escape the heat, a reason to buy a ticket and take a seat with our favorite soda and theater treat be it popcorn, candy or other goodies and enjoy the presentation.  I'm Felicity and I'll see you at the movies!


First radar images of asteroid 1998 QE2 were obtained when the asteroid was about 3.75 million miles (6 million kilometers) from Earth. The small white dot at lower right is the moon, or satellite, orbiting asteroid 1998 QE2. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSSR

PASADENA, Calif. -- A sequence of radar images of asteroid 1998 QE2 was obtained on the evening of May 29, 2013, by NASA scientists using the 230-foot (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, Calif., when the asteroid was about 3.75 million miles (6 million kilometers) from Earth, which is 15.6 lunar distances.
The radar imagery revealed that 1998 QE2 is a binary asteroid. In the near-Earth population, about 16 percent of asteroids that are about 655 feet (200 meters) or larger are binary or triple systems. Radar images suggest that the main body, or primary, is approximately 1.7 miles (2.7 kilometers) in diameter and has a rotation period of less than four hours. Also revealed in the radar imagery of 1998 QE2 are several dark surface features that suggest large concavities. The preliminary estimate for the size of the asteroid's satellite, or moon, is approximately 2,000 feet (600 meters) wide. The radar collage covers a little bit more than two hours.

The radar observations were led by scientist Marina Brozovic of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
The closest approach of the asteroid occurs on May 31 at 1:59 p.m. Pacific (4:59 p.m. Eastern / 20:59 UTC), when the asteroid will get no closer than about 3.6 million miles (5.8 million kilometers), or about 15 times the distance between Earth and the moon. This is the closest approach the asteroid will make to Earth for at least the next two centuries. Asteroid 1998 QE2 was discovered on Aug. 19, 1998, by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) program near Socorro, N.M.

The resolution of these initial images of 1998 QE2 is approximately 250 feet (75 meters) per pixel. Resolution is expected to increase in the coming days as more data become available. Between May 30 and June 9, radar astronomers using NASA's 230-foot-wide (70 meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, Calif., and the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, will perform an extensive campaign of observations on asteroid 1998 QE2. The two telescopes have complementary imaging capabilities that will enable astronomers to learn as much as possible about the asteroid during its brief visit near Earth.

Radar is a powerful technique for studying an asteroid's size, shape, rotation state, surface features and surface roughness, and for improving the calculation of asteroid orbits. Radar measurements of asteroid distances and velocities often enable computation of asteroid orbits much further into the future than if radar observations weren't available.

NASA places a high priority on tracking asteroids and protecting our home planet from them. In fact, the United States has the most robust and productive survey and detection program for discovering near-Earth objects. To date, U.S. assets have discovered more than 98 percent of the known Near-Earth Objects.

In 2012, the Near-Earth Object budget was increased from $6 million to $20 million. Literally dozens of people are involved with some aspect of near-Earth object research across NASA and its centers. Moreover, there are many more people involved in researching and understanding the nature of asteroids and comets, including those objects that come close to Earth, plus those who are trying to find and track them in the first place.

In addition to the resources NASA puts into understanding asteroids, it also partners with other U.S. government agencies, university-based astronomers, and space science institutes across the country that are working to track and better understand these objects, often with grants, interagency transfers and other contracts from NASA.

NASA's Near-Earth Object Program at NASA Headquarters, Washington, manages and funds the search, study, and monitoring of asteroids and comets whose orbits periodically bring them close to Earth. JPL manages the Near-Earth Object Program Office for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

In 2016, NASA will launch a robotic probe to one of the most potentially hazardous of the known Near-Earth Objects. The OSIRIS-REx mission to asteroid (101955) Bennu will be a pathfinder for future spacecraft designed to perform reconnaissance on any newly-discovered threatening objects. Aside from monitoring potential threats, the study of asteroids and comets enables a valuable opportunity to learn more about the origins of our solar system, the source of water on Earth, and even the origin of organic molecules that lead to the development of life.

NASA recently announced development of a first-ever mission to identify, capture and relocate an asteroid for human exploration. Using game-changing technologies this mission would mark an unprecedented technological achievement that raises the bar of what humans can do in space. Capturing and redirecting an asteroid will integrate the best of NASA's science, technology and human exploration capabilities and draw on the innovation of America's brightest scientists and engineers.

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