スター・ウォーズ35周年 どのようにタイムはこの驚異的な映画を伝えたのか

Star Wars Turns 35: How TIME Covered the Film Phenomenon
( TIME )

Kids, you might not believe this, but… a long time ago (35 years), in
a galaxy not far away (in fact, right on Planet Earth), almost nobody
knew what Star Wars was. And few of the Hollywood insiders who had
heard of this science-fantasy project thought it would soar. Hatched by
George Lucas after a life’s immersion in comic books, cheesy movies
serials and Greek epics, Star Wars had no stars, no sex and, the
cognoscenti thought, no chance of becoming a hit; two studios turned
the project down before Alan Ladd, Jr., of 20th Century-Fox said yes.

Outside the movie business, though, Lucas’s vision had one big early
supporter: TIME magazine. In an article intended for the cover of the
May 30, 1977, issue, TIME writer Gerald Clarke proclaimed Star Wars “a
grand and glorious film that may well be the smash hit of 1977, and
certainly is the best movie of the year so far. … The result is a
remarkable confection: a subliminal history of the movies, wrapped in a
riveting tale of suspense and adventure, ornamented with some of the
most ingenious special effects ever contrived for film.”

In May 1977, though, the choice of a PG-rated fantasy as the cover
subject for the premier newsmagazine must have seemed a risk. The
signature films of that super-serious movie decade had been anguished,
acidulous exposes of an America torn apart by corruption in the police
(Serpico), municipal politics (Chinatown) and the White House itself
(All the President’s Men). Hollywood moguls were proud to be making
grownup films for adult audiences -- the same demographic as TIME’s
readers. Who would care about a movie with light sabers and princesses
in distress and chases that looked like those new things the kids
loved, videogames?

Yet that first Star Wars story presciently sensed a shift in the
cultural barometer: that moviegoers were tiring of urban cynicism and
ready for an enthralling, childlike distraction. The movie, Clarke
wrote, is “aimed at kids -- the kid in everybody,” and Lucas seconded
that notion. “The word for this movie is fun,” he said. “My main
reason for making it was to give young people an honest, wholesome
fantasy life, the kind my generation had. We had westerns, pirate
movies, all kinds of great things. Now they have The Six Million Dollar
Man and Kojak. Where are the romance, the adventure, and the fun that
used to be in practically every movie made?” In 2012, the icon status
of Lee Majors and Telly Savalas has long since dimmed, while Luke
Skywalker and Han Solo, and DarthVader too, live in the minds of kids
everywhere -- the kids in everybody, for whom most movies of the past
few decades have been made.


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罰当たりな十代向け小説 毒づく登場人物はとかく格好良くて

Profanity in Teen Novels: Characters Who Curse Are Often the Most
( TIME )

In a recent analysis of best-selling teen novels, researchers from
Brigham Young University report that young readers encounter about
seven instances of profanity per hour -- and those characters with the
dirtiest mouths are often the richest, most popular and best-looking.
As with so many things, surmise the researchers, parents are probably
in the dark about the trash their kids are reading.

Brigham Young University professor Sarah Coyne and her colleagues
analyzed profanity use in 40 teen novels on the New York Times’
best-seller list of children’s books published in 2008. All the books
reviewed targeted children age 9 or older.

The researchers defined profanity as any language considered obscene,
offensive, taboo or vulgar by the American public. They categorized
profanities into five groups:

1. The Seven Dirty Words: Words the Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) considers unspeakable for broadcast television.

2. Sexual Words: Words describing body parts or sexual behavior in a
coarse way.

3. Excretory Words: Words that have direct or literal reference to
human waste.

4. Strong Others: Words defined as strong based on their level of
offensiveness or “taboo-ness.”

5. Mild Others: Words that are mild based on their level of
offensiveness or “taboo-ness.”

While profanity in TV, movies and video games has been studied at
length, Coyne is one of the first to look at its prevalence in books.
What’s especially concerning is that unlike other forms of media,
there are no content warnings or ratings on teen novels.

“We hold books to a higher standard compared to other forms of
media,” says Coyne. “There is not a lot of research on books in this
regard, but the amount of profanities was truly eye-opening for me.”

“Books are harder to monitor,” says Coyne. “I recommend parents talk
to their kids about teen novels as they would any other media form.”

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Losing Your Religion? Analytic Thinking Weakens Religious Belief
( TIME )

Most of the world’s population believes in God, or gods, but alongside
them there are also hundreds of millions of nonbelievers. What makes
one a believer or not?

Religious faith is likely a complex phenomenon, shaped by multiple
aspects of psychology and culture, say the authors of a new study. But
the researchers, Ara Norenzayan and Will Gervais of the University of
British Columbia in Canada, showed in a series of clever studies that
at least one factor consistently appears to decrease the strength of
people’s religious belief: analytic thinking.

“Religion is such a big force in the world,” says Norenzayan, an
associate professor of psychology. “Hardly a day goes by without
allegiances made to God, but we know very little about it. We are
trying to fill this gap in our knowledge.”

In one study, the researchers correlated participants’ performance on
a test of analytic thinking with measures of their religious belief.
The thinking task included three problems requiring participants to
analytically override their initial intuition. For example, one
question asked: “A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs
$1 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?” The immediate,
intuitive response is 10 cents. Those who take the time to figure out
the right answer (5 cents) are judged to be more analytical, and these
people tended to score lower on the measures of religious belief.

There are surely many factors at play here, but the researchers say
their results suggest that one’s style of thought may be a crucial
contributor to religious belief. Intuitive thinkers are more likely to
be religious; analytical types, less so. “One explanation for belief
is that it is based on a number of intuitions we have about the world
around us. People don’t necessarily come to belief because they reason
into it. Intuition helps us,” says Norenzayan.

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Why Up to 90% of Asian Schoolchildren Are Nearsighted
( TIME )

Scientists say an epidemic of myopia, or nearsightedness, is sweeping
through Asian children, and is likely due to students’ spending too
much time indoors studying and not enough time outside in the sunlight.

It has long been thought that nearsightedness is mostly a hereditary
problem, but researchers led by Ian Morgan of Australian National
University say the data suggest that environment has a lot more to do
with it.

Reporting in the journal Lancet, the authors note that up to 90% of
young adults in major East Asian countries, including China, Taiwan,
Japan, Singapore and South Korea, are nearsighted. The overall rate of
myopia in the U.K., by contrast, is about 20% to 30%.

Particularly concerning is that about 10% to 20% of Asian
schoolchildren suffer from high myopia, which puts them at higher risk
of more serious vision problems, including blindness, in adulthood.
Morgan says the culprit is the massive pressure on Asian children to
succeed in school, which leads to too many hours hunched over books
indoors and not nearly enough exposure to natural sunlight. Indeed,
East Asian countries with high myopia rates are those that dominate
international rankings of educational performance, the study notes.

Myopia, which causes people to see clearly things that are near but not
those that are at a distance, is the result of elongation of the
eyeball, which leads to misalignment of light on the retina. Instead of
landing on the retina at the back of the eye, incoming light converges
at a point in front of the retina, leading to blurry images at a
distance. Animal studies show that during early development, if the eye
is not allowed to regulate its size to the proper length, then myopia
can occur.

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わが妹、わが代役 ガンとの戦いの後にもらった究極の母の日の贈り物

My Sister, My Surrogate: After Battling Cancer, One Woman Receives the
Ultimate Mother’s Day Gift
( TIME )

This is a Mother’s Day story, but it is really about sisters, about
how it took two of them to make one of them a mother. It is a story
about cancer and the shadow it cast over the lives of these women,
since Melissa Brown was 2 and her sister, Jessica, was a baby. It’s a
story, in part, about death. But ultimately, it’s about life -- two
new lives, to be exact -- and the unexpected roads that women sometimes
travel to motherhood.

Melissa, an attorney, and Jessica, a jeweler, grew up in Cape May,
N.J., sharing clothes and secrets. They’re best friends who talk on
the phone every day. When Melissa got engaged, Jessica was the first to
know. Melissa had just finished law school; her fiance, Steve Mohler,
was working as a software engineer for Lockheed Martin. It had been
five years since they met at the Lobster House in Cape May -- she had
waited tables, he’d bused them -- and they were planning a June 15,
2008, wedding, one year from the day Steve popped the question.

There were other things Melissa, now 30, and Jessica, 27, shared: the
specter of cancer, for one. Their mother, Gail, was diagnosed with
breast cancer in 1984 at the age of 30, when the girls were too young
to understand what it must have been like for her to undergo treatment,
including a bilateral mastectomy, as the parent of a baby and a
toddler. Her treatment -- from her initial Stage 3 diagnosis until
scans showed no signs of disease -- lasted three years. Melissa, who
was 5 by that time, remembers going to doctor’s appointments with her
mother. After the doctor finished injecting saline into her mother’s
breast-tissue expanders, readying them for implants, she’d use the
syringe to squirt water at Melissa and Jessica.

Gail was always open with her girls about the need to do breast
self-exams; after all, she’d found her cancer herself in the months
after Jessica’s birth. As soon as her daughters developed breasts --
it may have been around age 12 but certainly by age 13 -- Gail taught
them how to creep their fingers in spiraling circles around their
breasts, searching for anything that didn’t belong.

In early 2006, Gail discovered another lump. In a very rare occurrence
after both breasts had been removed, the cancer had returned. Chemo
cleared it up. But in Nov. 2007, it resurfaced. It would be Gail’s
third time fighting the disease, but she wasn’t feeling defeated. “I
did not let cancer prevent me from seeing my girls grow up,” she told
Melissa and Jessica. “I will not let it prevent me from watching you
both get married. I want to see grandchildren.”

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