Vol. 2.47 | 12.20.19

Read time: 3 minutes
Vadar/Kenobi Showdown Redux

With yesterday’s opening of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, we are now at the end of a 42-year cultural journey with the Skywalker saga. When the first installment of the series — Episode IV: A New Hope — was released in 1977, the special effects employed to bring George Lucas’ space opera to life were cutting edge. One scene that really hasn’t held up well over time is the dramatic final confrontation between Obi-Wan Kenobi and his former friend and student, Darth Vadar. The problem isn’t the special effects: the light sabers used in the duel are still visually impressive. It’s the fight itself that is … well, lame

Does that look like a duel between two veteran masters of light saber combat who have a long, twisted, emotional history together?

Now, check out this scene reimagined by YouTube user FXitinPost

The Inevitability of the Laws of Physics

Because who doesn’t want to read about quantum mechanics on a Friday before Christmas? Based upon the work of the smartest theoretical physicists doing the math of quantum particles and their “spin” factors, it appears the laws of physics as we know them are the only way they could possibly work. Pretty amazing to the think about.

Our Incredible, Fragile Brain

If the sight of a “fresh brain” post-autopsy will make you queasy, then don’t click on that link. But, it’s hard to see just how malleable and easily damaged the tissue of the brain is without thinking about the emerging science around concussions and CTE.

How Exercise Helps Your Brain

It has been known for some time now that moderate to vigorous exercise produces positive benefits for the brain and new neuron development. What hasn’t been clear is why. Understand the mechanics behind the connection between physical exercise and brain health, and a more focused approach to exercise can be developed. Evolutionary biologists have a 2-part theory as to why one leads to the other, leading to this insight: aerobic exercise that also features something cognitively challenging is key.

Ring Theory and the Storytelling of Star Wars

There may have been more to George Lucas’ construction of his much-derided Star Wars prequel trilogy. Wheels within wheels, my friends. Here’s hoping the last installment is up to the challenge of bringing balance to the Force/closing out this saga. We here at 5×5 HQ will find out tomorrow. 🙂