This weekend saw the play Breaking the Code

I saw the play Breaking The Code which is about Alan Turing. It was well performed at the Bus Barn Stage in Los Altos. This is a small theater group which I had not previously attended. The performance was good, with well done sets and very fine acting. One downside is that the performance deserved a larger audience.

Since Turing and the basic information about his life and death are well known it is hard to say if someone not already familiar with the basics would follow the play easily. The play runs at Bus Barn Theater until May 2 and I recommend it.

Seeing the play is yet another reminder of the stupidity surrounding the arrest and prosecution of Alan Turing. In addition to his brilliant work in mathematics and computation Turing was turning his talents to biology. We will never know the extent to which Turing could have contributed to science if he had been allowed to live his live without persecution. It is very likely that he could have contributed to biological knowledge and thus aided in reducing human illness and suffering.


A small movie review of Shall We Kiss?

The movie "Shall We Kiss?" (Un Baiser S'il Vous Plait) is a French romantic comedy. It was better than I expected. The characters had enough substance that movie did not seem limp and the characters did not do too many stupid things. I have not seen many French romantic comedies however when I think about the general category the image of silly people doing stupid things always comes to mind. This movie was different; the number of "that is just stupid" moments was greatly reduced. The movie had some predictable moments but these were actually handled very well.

This movie is structured as a man and a women having dinner after an accidental meeting. The man suggests a good night kiss and the woman declines and starts to tell a story to explain why the kiss is not a good idea even though she wants it. During the course of the movie the man also tells a small story. This works much better than it sounds.

The ending of the movie was well done and meshed well with the rest of the movie. It did not seem gimmicky or trite. I could think of a different ending which would have worked as well however the ending chosen was good.

I recommend this movie even if you are not a French romantic comedy fan.


Monsters vs. Aliens 3D

My friend Nancy and I went to see the movie Monsters vs. Aliens in 3D. We had a great time and enjoyed the movie. The movie was actually better than I expected It was well paced and the movie did not have parts where it dragged. The characterization was good and meshed will with the plot and story. The 3D worked very well; this is not the old red and blue 3D but a different technology that gives a reasonably good experience. The 3D glasses were comfortable enough that after a while you forgot you were wearing them and the 3D effect worked well. I had previously seen the movie Coraline with the same 3D technology and I think it is going to be successful particularly for animation.

My recommendation is to see Monsters vs. Aliens in 3D.


Contact Conference

Friday, Saturday and Sunday I attended the Contact Conference. It was a fine and interesting conference covering a range of topics from space travel and issues on about going to Mars to the interesting biology in caves. The conference was video taped and I have been told that the video will be going up on the web. Since it will be online soon and I am a bit tired I will not do a detailed description.

I did some volunteer work at the conference helping with the snack and beverage table and opening Champagne and wine during the Saturday night party. As far as I could tell everyone had a great time. I know I did.