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The Gravity of Technical Writing

A few days ago I found myself sitting in a cinema, wearing ridiculous 3D glasses over my regular specs, getting ready to see Gravity.

I'd heard that the film is excellent, but I wasn't prepared for the amazing special effects, breathtaking scenery, and riveting story.

George Clooney and Sandra Bullock were very believable in their roles, and the 3D effects mercilessly drew me in to each scene.

I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but something odd came to mind as I was sitting there, gripping the arm-rests of my chair, trying to catch my breath: internationally recognized symbols in space station documentation is really handy. The character could not read the text, but had no trouble deciphering the diagrams.

As the credits rolled and the cinema slowly emptied, I suddenly realized that I really need a break. Anyone who can watch a movie as heart-stopping as Gravity and think of nothing else but Technical Writing issues probably spends too much time at work.


One further thought: In Star Trek, during a battle, shields could go down, warp drive could go off-line, weapons could be disabled, there could be a major hull breach on decks 6 through 9, and they could lose life support. 

The one thing that never, ever, ever goes down is the system that generates artificial gravity. The warp core could be venting plasma and the ship could be about to blow, but you never see stuff floating around. 

Therefore, I strongly suggest that they get the engineer who designed the gravity system to also design the rest of the ship.


  1. Sorry. But I don't believe that as you watched Sandra in her underwear floating around in zero Gs you were only thinking about technical writing. :)


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