A Conversation for 'Contact' - the Film

The real physicist

Post 1

nihil obstat

This movie is based upon quite a few real characters. The blind physicist is Dr D. Kent Cullers, whom I knew as a fellow HAM (amateur radio operator) when he was still studying astrophysics at University of California at Berkeley (1975-ish).

I have a URL pointing to him at my personal space if you are interested in finding out more about him. He has a very dry sense of humor: when they were making the film he apparently auditioned for the part of himself, but, as he put it, 'They decided I was not qualified to play myself.' However, the fellow who did play the part seems to have spent some time with Kent, for he adopted a number of Kent's recognizable mannerisms.

Kent has been involved with SETI practically his whole life.


The real physicist

Post 2

nihil obstat

Well I see the Thought Police at BBC are diligently removing URLs in spite of the house rules seeming to indicate that you can put one in 'My Space'. Just do a Google search on Kent Cullers and you will not be disappointed.


The real physicist

Post 3

Xanatic

So you´re an astrophysicist. Cool. I hope to end up as one one day. I was thinking about trying to get into a university near London. Do you know of any you would recommend for physics?


The real physicist

Post 4

nihil obstat

Sorry, I am not an astrophysicist. Kent Cullers, the prototype for the one in 'Contact' is. My connection with him was via amateur radio; we belonged to the same radio relay (repeater) club.


The real physicist

Post 5

Xanatic

Oh, that´s too bad. What are you then, if you don´t mind me asking? And I don´t accept "homo sapiens" as an answer smiley - smiley


The real physicist

Post 6

Galaxy Babe - eclectic editor

That's very interesting, thanks a lot.
I read the book, but I much preferred the film.
I knew there was a "real-life" Ellie.
I'm crunching seti units on my pc screensaver. In fact, I have the settings set to "always run" even though my pc is not fast enoughsmiley - biggrin
I've done 310 units, but only been credited with 181 under my own name at seti Researchers because the last bloke I lived with thought it was a good idea for us to combine our totals under his own email address. Then when he moved out, he took the lot.
If I remember correctly, the [email protected] project was only supposed to last for 2 years. It must be that now! Do either of you know whether it's going to continue?


The real physicist

Post 7

Xanatic

Well, it´s been a mayor success. So there´s no reason to stop it. But I think they could update the look of the screen saver. For example make it so that it did the calculations while showing other screen savers.

There´s also a real life Ellie? Is there somewhere a list of all these people?


The real physicist

Post 8

Galaxy Babe - eclectic editor

I saw a programme, on seti, I think it was on the Discovery channel.
The woman who was being interviewed was introduced as the scientist upon whom the character of Dr.Ellie Arroway was modelled.
I didn't tape it though.smiley - sadface


The real physicist

Post 9

Xanatic

Those SETI people must really have a lot of patience. I think it should be done, but I would never be able to do it myself. Knowing that the odds of ever finding anything are so small. They don´t even know what frequencies to look at.


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