Screenwriter Danny Rubin says that he came up with the idea for the classic comedy "Groundhog Day" while
thinking about the idea of immortality—and, specifically, how a person might change over time if they were immortal. "I was curious about whether one
was enough for somebody," he says. "There are some people, those
development type men who can’t really outlive their - out grow their
adolescence and I thought, well, maybe one lifetime isn’t enough. Maybe
you need more."
The hard part, however, was getting his script made into a movie. In his Big Think interview, Rubin says that he met with maybe 50 studio executives about his screenplay, and was told time and time again: "I loved Groundhog Day. Of course, we can’t make it." Finally, Columbia Pictures and director Harold Ramis took the film on, bringing Bill Murray and Andie McDowell on board. Despite getting a few tepid reviews at first, "Groundhog Day" won Rubin a number of screenwriting awards, and soon became a cult classic.
Rubin attributes the film's success, on some level, to the universality of its theme. "The movie shows that it is the repetition of days itself which pushes us forward in our own maturation as we start to encounter the same things over and over again," says Rubin. "And so, there's an element of truth to the fact that we are repeating the same day over and over again. But, I think the biggest thing that affects people is the fact that Phil is presented with the exact same day and the very first time he’s presented with it, it’s probably the worst day of his life. And, by the end of the movie, we see that it’s the exact same day but somehow this is probably the best day of his life."
Rubin, who teaches screenwriting at Harvard, spoke as well about what it takes to write a good screenplay, saying that the hardest part of writing has to do with being original. "Screenwriting is an art form, but it’s also a craft," says Rubin. "It’s both of those things. It’s a commercial art and both of those things you need to be good at. If you just know the craft and you don’t have any sense of the art, that means you don’t have anything to say and you don’t have an interesting way to say it. If it’s all art and no craft, then you’ve got these great ideas, but you aren’t able to articulate them in a way that makes it all work out as a good blueprint for building a great movie. So, I definitely think there's a great deal of artistry involved. I’ve never seen a good screenplay that was nothing but craft." He also talks about the importance of structure in screenwriting, and says that novice screenwriters most often get tripped up by relying too much on dialogue.
Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."
- Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
- Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
- Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.
- The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
- Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
- Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
We explore the history of blood types and how they are classified to find out what makes the Rh-null type important to science and dangerous for those who live with it.
- Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null.
- Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
- It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.
An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.
- Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
- The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
- The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
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