Ada Film Needs Your Support!

Here’s something I’m sure we’d all like to see– an Ada Lovelace documentary! In order to afford the visual effects necessary for the action-packed Salamander People sequence (addendum: JOKE), the filmmakers are undertaking a spot of the old fund-raising, for which your help is needed– no, they don’t need you to throw cash at them, they need you to get large foundations to throw cash at them!

Rosemarie needs letters of support from people who have been influenced in some way by Ada and who are willing to help publicise the film, be a part of the interactive website, perhaps show the film, or contribute in any other way.

Rosemarie says, “I need letters from people stating how important a film like Ada is and how they through their networks can help to publicize the film. It would be great if the women have organizations they work or belong to. If they are software developers or computer experts, this would be great. It would be best if they were Americans, as the NSF (National Science Foundation) is American.”

I’m informed that the National Science Foundation also likes letterhead, so if you have letterhead, even better.  Personally the last time I put a letter on actual paper might have been around 5 years ago.. I have designed special 2dgoggles letterhead for this purpose, and possibly will find some sealing wax while I’m at it.

Due to my appalling negligence, you have one week to get this in the mail.. they need the letters for the end of October. Get the details here! Get crackin’!

There’s a lot of great reasons to get this film made; I of course am in it for the VFX action sequences.  Someday when I’m feeling more angst-ridden I’ll share the Tragic Tale of why I didn’t pursue math and science, and thus wound up as a vile cartoonist useless to Society;  a lack of what is termed ‘role models’ was a big part of it.  I think if I’d known there was a such a thing as a mathematician who galloped around on her own freakin’ stallion I may have weathered my difficulties more gracefully.  Anyways, another  reason I’m jonesing for this film is because one of their consultants is Joan Baum, who wrote easily my favorite of all the Lovelace biographies, The Calculating Passion of Ada Byron –sadly out of print, I suppose because there’s less scandal, more math; to it I owe the ENCHANTING information that one of Ada’s tutors, William Frend, once wrote a play ridiculing the concept of imaginary numbers, starring his future son-in-law and also tutor to Ada, Augustus de Morgan.  This little book gets fifty million additional points for having as one of its consultants Martin Gardner, who turns 95 today, WHOO!!!  I’ve suddenly realized that my own literary style of footnoting was probably born from dozens of readings of The Annotated Alice… I’ll prevent myself with difficulty from turning this already lengthy post into an Ode To Martin Gardener..

Speaking of angst… have decided the comic needs more of that, because Lovelace did not have superpowers; rather, she was driven by inner demons, LIKE BATMAN.  So, starting in on doodles from the upcoming “The Organist”:



  1. sydney on October 25, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    DG Lewis– ah, the perils of biography.. HOW CAN WE EVER KNOW THE TRUTH??!

    Tealin– aw, I dug those chicks.. anyways, feel free to drop them a line, there’s no similar body here.

    ubi– thank god, I’ve been worried sick.. ‘what if SHE takes it as hint to write a letter? Everything will be ruined!!’

    RoseRed- aw, thanks.. who knows I may have invented a fearsome weapon so maybe it’s all to the good

    Douglas– yeah, the organ grinder thing is funny right up until that point, where it becomes horrible.

    Ceridwen and Max– yes indeed, THAT de Morgan.. he wrote a fascinating letter to Ada’s mother (he was a family friend, not a paid tutor)regarding the notes on the engine – I’ve put it up (with a few footnotes) here: -De Morgan on Lovelace.
    Studying math to Ada’s level was extremely unusual for a woman of the time, because it was commonly believed– even by Mary Sommerville! that it physically damaged their bodies, particularly the womb. It was most obliging of Ada to contract uterine cancer. D:

  2. DG Lewis on October 23, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    Ah, but do you KNOW that Lovelace did not have super powers? Or that she just hid them VERY, VERY WELL?

  3. Tealin on October 23, 2009 at 2:14 am

    Has anyone contacted Women in Animation yet? I generally try to avoid them (hisss!) but I might reach out for a noble cause…

  4. ubiquitouspitt on October 22, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    These people making this movie would surely be dissuaded if ever written a letter of support by someone such as myself. So I will stay silent to help the cause.

    OO!! So you’ve decided to do the Organist XD So excited…

  5. RoseRed on October 22, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    I strongly beg to differ that what you do is not worth a penny. Your work is insightful, interesting, intelligent and jolly good fun! With a little more experience you could become as widely read as Donna Barr here in the U.S. For more info her, a snapshot of her work and a passionate rant about how artists need to value themselves more click here

    There are many mathmaticians in the world but very few artists who can make math exciting and fun to a math hater such as myself. Looking forward to future breathless installments!

  6. Max Battcher on October 22, 2009 at 12:42 am

    I too am surprised and astounded by the De Morgan connection. Although I realize I shouldn’t be, Mathematics has always been a small, tightly-connected world.

    Also, now I wonder if anything of that play ever survived. I call for reenactments! Although it probably wasn’t anything of very much value (imaginary numbers are our friends now), it still would be extremely nerdy fun to find a script of such a mathematical propaganda play.

  7. Douglas on October 22, 2009 at 12:34 am

    … a suggestion on a reference for your “Organist” character?

    I may just be showing my age, but some many years ago Vincent Price did a movie ( actually, a series of movies, I think ) about a mad organist… “Dr. Phibes” ( “… Rhymes with “Vibes” “). So, maybe, some kind of a mutant cloned cross between the Price character, E.Power Biggs, and Virgil Fox, perhaps?

    Yes… I read that bit about Babbage, in his deathbed with the unstoppable organ-grinders right outside his window… what a way to go.

  8. Ceridwen on October 21, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    De Morgan? OMG, De Morgan! The author of
    NOT (P OR Q) = (NOT P) AND (NOT Q)
    NOT (P AND Q) = (NOT P) OR (NOT Q)
    That’s as close as I’ll ever get to real math – all that abstract philosophy called “logic.” Our Ada moved in wider circles than I imagined!

  9. John on October 21, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    Wait. Wasn’t the entire point of the exercise to ignore the all too real angst of their lives? Well, may all their angst be really, really funny angst, at least. More insane flamboyance than angst, basically.

    Hm. Now, do I have letterhead around here…?

    (Y’know, first comment a few posts in a row. I hope it’s just scheduling coincidence and my RSS feed isn’t cyberstalking you.)