District 9: A Look Ahead at the Not-too-distant Past

Dr. Don Donderi, a retired associate professor in the Department of Psychology, reviews this year’s sleeper hit, District 9. A research psychologist who has published many experimental and theoretical papers in the areas of visual perception, memory, and psychological measurement, Dr. Donderi has studied the UFO phenomenon since 1966.

Image from "District 9"

District 9 is an action-packed drama whose theme is man’s inhumanity to aliens. It features a hidden vial of precious liquid, shoot-ups, explosions, car crashes, a giant spacecraft, antiaircraft missiles, a wicked multinational corporation, a transformer-like battle robot, arthropod-like aliens, and one of the human characters undergoes a Jekyll-and-Hyde physical transmutation. District 9 is staged with an integrated South African cast (the everyman hero is an Afrikaner, his second-in-command a black South African), and it is set largely in a shantytown bordering downtown Johannesburg. The formula is part documentary and part TV commentary and the rest is you-are-there realism; particularly the shoot-em-up part with sweaty, bearded, bald, bad mercenaries firing out of helicopters and armored cars, kicking down doors and fighting Nigerian gangsters, the giant transformer battle robot and the aliens all at the same time. Who could ask for anything more? (more…)

When first the College Rolls receive his name

math-150pxGuest post by Vincent Larochelle, B.Sc. 2009, First Class Honours in Mathematics, Minor Concentration in Classics, Rhodes Scholar.
I’m a mathematician, not a blogger: the formalism of first sentences is quite tedious: I should be interesting you in what is to follow at the moment, and yet the techniques by which I may hope to do so are forever inaccessible to me. Young enthusiast I was when I first walked McGill’s campus, and so remain as I depart it with a freshly earned Bachelor’s degree. Yet, methinks I must have done not all quite wrong, for lo and behold! I was privileged with the Dean’s embrace at graduation. Let then this be the retrace of my first timid yet determined footsteps in the Faculty of Science here at McGill, not so much in the hope of autobiographical exploit, but rather to embrace the tempting Novelty of blogging. (more…)

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