Friday, October 10, 2014

Soap Box - There's a Storm Coming

To the readers worrying about me and other WoL related ideas currently gathering dust, do not worry, and do not fret. Okay, some of you may be fretting for different reasons, but I'll explain two sides of the story, and chances are you are really familiar with them. One is happening globally and at home, and the other a significant blow to Epcot, depending on how you interact with it.

So let's start with the lesser significant blow to Epcot. Many visitors from mid-1988 recall the World Showcase thrill ride Maelstrom - a tale of Norwegian trolls and spooks, along a whirlwind tour of what makes Norway, well, Norway, with mystical awe. For some reason, Wonders of Life would be home to Body Wars, the second thrill ride in Epcot (but the first ever in Future World), but in comparison, Maelstrom outlasted Body Wars, 25 odd years to 17 respectively. After the confirmation of the Kingdom of Ariendelle given full reign to represent and take care of the Norway pavilion, the ride now said farewell and attracted scores of people, to be the last to pass through this adventure. Never mind the scores of people looking forward to new developments from the beloved ice-princess sisterly duo, bigger circles had the opportunity to deliver an emotional farewell to an Epcot classic, where Wonders of Life sadly never did.

And now, to sadder, distraught and frightened news on a disease outbreak. Yes, outbreak, one topic which could have been brought further to attention by Wonders of Life. Since around August and September, the infamous Ebola outbreak has held Central and West Africa in crisis, with hundreds facing infection, and tragically dying so soon. Even now, there is word that after volunteering to care for the infected and assisting in healthcare matters, little by little, some volunteers managed to get infected too. I know some of you readers are frightened by the news of another outbreak setting foot in your country, but specialised disease control procedures will hopefully be effective enough to isolate the disease.

Which brings me to some thoughts... had the Miniaturised Exploration Technologies lab been around to see the outbreak, chances are Dr. Cynthia Lair would have broadcast a speech mourning the tragic losses and championing those who are risking their lives in fighting the disease. In the worst cases, Body Wars would have closed out of respect (but sadly meaning that even MET is not even immune to such infectious diseases either), and probably in memoriam to those suffering and far gone.

Our soul.

But there is another bright light, especially with word of a vaccine and prevention plan to curb the spread of Ebola, and if feasible, even eradicate it. Had Frontiers remained open along with the pavilion, that would mean a greater insight in isolating, weakening and eradicating infectious diseases before they strongly wreak havoc around this planet.

It is a somber realisation in the coming wake of the Wonders of Life memorial anniversary of 25 years, but that doesn't mean the blog has reached its end. Not with loose ends and unfinished chapters and so little bubbles of discussion willing to expand and spread the word. No, Wonders of Life Eterna is not nearing its end in the wake of the storm, but will forever salute those who are weathering it, and urging others to stay safe, and study, gather, learn a lot. A lot.

And don't forget, Halloween is not very far away, but only time will tell how WOL4EVA could try to mark the occasion.

At ease, readers. If you have any words or thoughts, please discuss and I'll catch up shortly.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Soap Box - MH17, 7/17/97 - 7/17/14.

Federation Square, 7/24/14. The flags at half mast correspond to the nationalities of the passengers who perished in the plane crash.
While this blog is not the centre of very sad news, we are all too soon touched by the news of the downing of flight MH17, and the many related issues connected to the flight. As of the date of this photo (taken from the 16th floor of a building miles from Federation Square, Melbourne), people are fixated on the many news and issues, tempers and tears shared in the midst of the crash. As observed, many countries and organisations have lowered their flags at half mast out of tribute to the many people killed in the flight, and memorial services for the victims were held.

With regards to Wonders of Life Eterna, and its focus on the incident, the news of the 298 passengers killed were due to attend the AIDS 2014 conference in Melbourne (current reporting city for Wonders of Life Eterna) is not just a tragic blow to the health community, but also the whole world. Add to the 1.6 million people who have died from AIDS-related complications in 2012 to date (UNAID, 2014) and we now know how important a health issue has become escalated for the following reasons

  • To quell the HIV epidemic through education - safe sexual practices is one area of focus.
  • To improve recovery and resilience in the lives of those living with AIDS
  • To build and deliver awareness of medical innovations against HIV and AIDS
  • To pay tribute to those who have died of AIDS, year by year.

All eyes are now on Melbourne as the conference is running underway, discussing solutions and tackling issues of the disease and loosening its grip on society. With regards to Epcot Center, had the Wonders of Life pavilion been operational, nurtured and updated (instead of left to ruin in New Years' 2007) to see the event, it would have closed out of respect, and remained closed until mourning day. As blogmaster, I remember the last time Epcot had responded in tribute to a recent traumatic event, where cast members of the Norway pavilion in World Showcase have presented a temporary shrine in tribute to those killed in the Oslo bombing and Utoya shootings on July 22nd 2011.

Documented by a CM from the Norway Pavilion; image found on an archived website (http://web.archive.org/web/20130109095407/http://norwaypavilion.com/2011/07/)

I can imagine a small shrine in memory of those the passengers who perished on the flight - families, young couples, students, businessmen, friends, doctors and important leaders - starting their holidays or going home from them, going to work or attending wonderful events - the six delegates and activists destined in the AIDS 2014 conference, many internationally known, would have been honoured.

So on behalf of Wonders of Life Eterna, breaking the writer's block in the midst of a saddening current event, we deliver condolences and support to grieving families and populations of the horrific crash; we also hold a minutes silence to remember those who have died of AIDS - famous and civilian - as we gain resilience to not only combat the disease through education and innovation, but in tribute to the six who were lost too soon.

Signed, the blogmaster, due to update soon.

:')


References:

UNAID, 2014. Fact sheet. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.unaids.org/en/resources/campaigns/globalreport2013/factsheet/. [Accessed 24 July 2014].

Thursday, July 10, 2014

WE INTERRUPT THIS BLOG TO BRING YOU: Soccer Fever

Greetings, yet again, followers. It's a long time between posts, and yes, it's probably because of all the football fever gripping the world yet again this year. The World Cup in Brazil has finally reached centre stage for the Grand Final, but why oh why am I writing on this blog? Let me explain further.

Epcot Center has just taken advantage of the Odyssey restaurant and showplace space (it was formerly a counter service eatery operating at the park's early years, and definitely before Wonders of Life showed up in 1989), to take advantage of the tournament game showings. Of course, there appears to be no hope in having the opportunity to reintroduce the crowds to Buzzy and the road map to the human brain, or let alone anything health and life related in particular. Sigh.

But alas, I'm very happy, despite being practically thousands of miles away, to allow others to take advantage of the once-in-a-lifetime presence should you want to be in Epcot for the World Cup Grand Final. And the first destination would be to show up on social media. While you may be occupied with the game progress, chances are you may be clouded with memories, and would want to spark the conversation of the pavilion's past somehow. Person-to-person conversations can work too. If you are stuck, try hashtags #WondersOfLife or perhaps even say hi to #wol4eva if you would like to interact or send a message!

If you appear clouded in nostalgia, yet a little bored with the goal drought, how about a social networking game? Simple, with the little hashtag #WOLCup where you can happily discuss how Wonders of Life would have hosted the worldwide soccer tournament (or any sporting tournament) if it were still with us today. You can be frank, or imaginative, or even go crazy if you like.

Or maybe you can happily dress the part (as long as it complies with park regulations, so no fancy stuff here). Perhaps a tshirt playing mention of the pavilion and its attractions (try searching online) could be interesting to wear, and can spark some interesting conversations, particularly with previous visitors of the pavilion and other CMs. Maybe smuggle the famous WOL insignia and pin it conspicuously if you are brave enough to be patriotic about a pavilion gone by. I don't know – go crazy.

I hope everyone has a wonderful soccer season, and I am very happy to hear your ways of sharing your creative ways of keeping the pavilion's memories alive.

And now returning to normal transmission in three, two...

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Bet You Didn't Know... What's in a Logo?

Welcome back, readers, and my apologies for the inevitably long delay. While the blog focused on the many thoughts and hypotheses on the Wonders of Life pavilion's possible revival strategies that could prove useful, this however carved a new path academically for me. Being involved in graphic design study, you may remember some of my previous posts in Operation Imagineer involving a little brainstorming in this area, and demonstrates the importance of how it all fits in developing a better Wonders of Life in the near future. On the subject of which, let us fancy a think about this cute little graphic that is the pavilion insignia...


It looks rather simple enough to the eye, but ask anyone who has been to EPCOT in its early prime in the 80s would have noticed: the insignias used in the Future World pavilions are a little more geometrically different compared to what the Wonders of Life had for a logo. Of course, like all the other insignias before, the Wonders of Life insignia has a story, and some collective theories.

Monday, March 31, 2014

April Fools Day of the Year, 2014


Documentation from an undisclosed source has advised members of the council that the Wonders of Life pavilion will take a different way to advertise its future attractions in an unconventional manner. Believe it or not, as focusing on healthy living isn't well received by guests as it used to, the pavilion will focus its efforts on focusing on the morbid aspects of life. However tasteless as it sounds, it will much rather demonstrate the most uncanny (and unbearably stupid) ways to lose life.

One spokesperson quoted he happened to have viewed a viral video which explained just that, and noticed just how surprisingly successful the theme of "epic fail expiration" could be used to refresh new life on an aging pavilion on life and health. Perhaps in today's day and age, to embrace how not to "expire" could help others learn how to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Despite being all stitches and giggles, one example he cites, would be to retrofit Cranium Command with beer goggles, in which Trousedale would be forced to pilot a drunk, from night out to hangover, as penalty for his possible misdeeds in training.

There will be details after the cut as provided...