Roundup of May 2020 Posts

Breaking News, Roundup of May 2020 PostsIt’s hard to think of things to say right now. So much is going on in the country that it seems frivolous to be talking about anything else. But I can’t spend my entire day in Breaking News mode, with yet more violence, outrage and fear coming at me from every news source.

Some good news gets tucked in there here and there but, boy, is it hard to find. SpaceX sent two NASA astronauts up to the International Space Station in a great display of private / pubic cooperation. That means we no longer have to rely on—or pay exorbitant fees to—the Russian government to transport our astronauts. In addition, SpaceX returned the booster safely to earth, thus saving a lot of money, instead of dumping them in the ocean as NASA did with its Big Dumb Booster program.

No Science Fiction Movie Report

Cosmos, science fiction, movie, radio astronomyTherefore, I turn elsewhere. Normally, by this time I would be writing my regular bi-annual report on the science fiction movies released in the first half of 2020. The pandemic closed all movie theaters, however, and many films remain unreleased, waiting for the country to open up again.

We did see two science fiction movies on TV recently, though.

Cosmos: Four men in a car loaded with a lot of expensive radio-astronomy equipment and a strange signal. That’s it. But the script is excellent, there’s good dynamic tension and a CGI-free ending. It was a sleeper with no advance publicity but we enjoyed it a lot.

The Vast of Night: This one got all the publicity and the online recommendations, including a 91% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, but we found it disappointing. The uneven pacing starts with a tedious beginning goes on far too long and ends with an abrupt, unsatisfying sort of conclusion. What RT calls “period trappings” we found intrusive and a diversion.

Roundup of May 2020 Posts

Brewer Fountain, Boston Common,

Courtesy of Massachusetts Convention and Tourism Bureau

Through it all, Susanne and I kept writing about our lives, our concerns, our experiences, and the safety valves we use to keep the stress and tension at bay. I kept up my series of posts on Boston, its architecture, history, and winding streets, even though I couldn’t get into the city to take my own photos. I had to rely on the internet.

Here’s the monthly roundup of May 2020 posts:

Boston and History


Food and Cooking

Health and Safety

Lifestyle and Culture

Movies and TV



In Conclusion

The warm weather has returned, flowers are blooming and the country is opening up in places where demonstrations and para-military police haven’t locked it down. Will Covid-19 continue to decline or will the massive street protests spread it further? We’ll know better in two weeks.

In the meantime, stay safe and stay healthy.

Summer Floral Border, Roundup of May 2020 Posts

This entry was posted in Boston, Food and Cooking, Health & Safety, History, Lifestyle & Culture, Movies, Science Fiction, Spiritual, Susanne Skinner, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , by Aline Kaplan. Bookmark the permalink.

About Aline Kaplan

Aline Kaplan is a published author, a blogger, and a tour guide in Boston. She formerly had a career as a high-tech marketing and communications director. Aline writes and edits The Next Phase Blog, a social commentary blog that appears multiple times a week at She has published over 1,000 posts on a variety of subjects, from Boston history to science fiction movies, astronomical events to art museums. Under the name Aline Boucher Kaplan, she has had two science fiction novels (Khyren and World Spirits) published by Baen Books. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies published in the United States, Ireland, and Australia. Aline’s articles have also appeared on the Atlas Obscura website. She has been an active member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America since 1988 and is a long-term member of the Spacecrafts science/fantasy writers’ group. As a tour guide, Aline leads architectural and historical walking tours of the city for Boston By Foot, ghost tours for Haunted Boston and historical bus tours of the city. She lectures on Boston history and has appeared in the Boston Globe, as well as on TV for Chronicle, an award-winning television program that broadcasts stories of New England. As a lecturer, Aline has spoken at Brandeis and Tufts universities for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. She has also addressed as service organizations and local meetings. She is a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston and lives in Hudson, MA.

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