Oophorectomy is the surgical removal of the ovaries of a female animal. In the case of non-human animals, this is also called spaying. It is a form of sterilization.

The removal of the ovaries together with the Fallopian tubes is called salpingo-oophorectomy. Oophorectomy and salpingo-oophorectomy are not common forms of birth control in humans; more usual is tubal ligation, in which the Fallopian tubes are blocked but the ovaries remain intact.

In humans, oophorectomy is most usually performed together with a hysterectomy - the removal of the uterus. Its use in a hysterectomy when there are no other health problems is somewhat controversial.

In animals, spaying involves an invasive removal of the ovaries, but rarely has major complications; the superstition that it causes weight gain is not based on fact. Spaying is especially important for certain animals that require the ovum to be released at a certain interval (called estrus or "heat"), such as cats and dogs. If the cell is not released during these animal's heat, it can cause severe medical problems that can be averted by spaying or partnering the animal with a male.

Oophorectomy is sometimes referred to as castration, but that term is most often used to mean the removal of a male animal's testicles.

See also

2001: A Space Odyssey

A movie poster from the original release of 2001
A movie poster from the original release of 2001

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) is an immensely popular and influential science fiction film and book; the film directed by Stanley Kubrick and the book written by Arthur C. Clarke. The story is based in part on various short stories by Clarke, most notably "The Sentinel" (1951). Kubrick and Clarke collaborated on the screenplay, from which Kubrick created the movie and Clarke wrote the novel. For an elaboration of their collaborative work on this project, see The Lost Worlds of 2001, Arthur C. Clarke, Signet., 1972.

The film is notable for combining episodes contrasting high levels of scientific and technical realism with transcendental mysticism. As Arthur C. Clarke wrote in 1972, "Quite early in the game I went around saying, not very loudly, 'M-G-M doesn't know this yet, but they're paying for the first $10,000,000 religious movie.'" This film won the Academy Award for Visual Effects in 1968.



Spoiler warning: Plot or ending details follow.

NOTE: Due to the fact that the film conveys almost all ideas visually and ambiguously, it can be interpreted in many ways. The following synopsis is merely one interpretation.

In the background to the story in the book, an ancient and unseen alien race uses a mechanism with the appearance of a large black monolith to investigate worlds all across the galaxy and, if possible, to encourage the development of intelligent life (the monoliths are perhaps Von Neumann probes, although the segment explaining this was cut from the film). The film shows one such monolith appearing briefly in ancient Africa, three million B.C., where it influences a group of our hominid ancestors, causing them to learn how to use weapons.

The film then leaps millennia (via one of the most startling jump cuts ever conceived) to the year 2001, showing humans travelling to Clavius base on the Moon and investigating a magnetic anomaly in the Tycho crater, dubbed TMA-1 (Tycho Magnetic Anomaly #1). When excavations there uncover a second monolith and expose it to sunlight, it emits a powerful signal toward the outer solar system. As Kubrick told interviewer Joseph Gelmis, "you have a second artifact buried deep on the lunar surface and programmed to signal word of man's first baby steps into the universe -- a kind of cosmic burglar alarm." The movie then focuses on a subsequent manned mission to the Lagrange point between Jupiter and its moon Io to investigate the signal's receiver.

(The book version instead details a trip to Iapetus—a moon of Saturn—by way of Jupiter, using an interplanetary navigation technique known as a gravitational slingshot). According to Clarke, in the foreword to the 30th anniversary edition of 2001, this destination was removed from the movie version because Kubrick felt the special effects created to depict Saturn and its rings were not realistic enough. Special effects supervisor Douglas Trumbull eventually re-used much of his early designs for Saturn in his 1972 film Silent Running.

The ship is manned by a crew of astronauts and an on-board computer called HAL 9000, which sees through several distinctive wide-angle cameras located around the spacecraft and emits a human-like voice, having been designed to function in similar way to the human brain. The scientists sent to investigate the signal's receiver have been placed in suspended animation, and the live crew—unlike Mission Control, HAL, and the sleeping scientists—are unaware of the discovery of the Tycho monolith or the nature of their mission.

On the outbound trip, after discussing apparent anomalies in the ship's mission with the ship's captain, David Bowman, HAL reports an unverifiable error in the ship's antenna control system. Two of the members discuss the possibility that HAL might be malfunctioning and should therefore have his higher brain functions disabled. HAL discovers their plans, and because of contradictions in his mission plans and directives, decides to eliminate all the humans on board. Kubrick explained, "In the specific case of HAL, he had an acute emotional crisis because he could not accept evidence of his own fallibility... Such a machine could eventually become as incomprehensible as a human being, and could, of course, have a nervous breakdown -- as HAL did in the film."

To do this, he attempts to work around several safety measures in the ship, but Bowman manages to outwit him. These events gave rise to the catch phrase "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that", when HAL refuses to allow Bowman back into the ship.

A video recording then informs Bowman of the truth about the mission, whereupon he proceeds to complete it in one of the most memorable film conclusions ever. In a special-effects-laden sequence he travels through a stargate to meet the creators of the monoliths. Kubrick explained, "When the surviving astronaut, Bowman, ultimately reaches Jupiter, this artifact sweeps him into a force field or star gate that hurls him on a journey through inner and outer space and finally transports him to another part of the galaxy, where he's placed in a human zoo approximating a hospital terrestrial environment drawn out of his own dreams and imagination. In a timeless state, his life passes from middle age to senescence to death." The creators are never seen directly: Bowman arrives into a hotel room, which has since become a science fiction cliche for situations where a vastly powerful being must construct a benign environment for a human. He undergoes a transcendence, ending the story as a "star child" with some of the godlike powers of the monolith creators. According to Kubrick, "He is reborn, an enhanced being, a star child, an angel, a superman, if you like, and returns to earth prepared for the next leap forward of man's evolutionary destiny." However, many choose to interpret the imagery towards the end of the film as ambiguous and metaphoric, ignoring the literal account in Clarke's novelization.

Historical background

While the film's supposed estimate for our technical progress was, with the benefit of hindsight, overly optimistic (though in many cases through lack of political will rather than any technical reason), Kubrick's intense desire for technological accuracy was unprecedented for a science fiction film, especially since the Moon based scenes were filmed before the 1969 Moon landing of Apollo 11.

The film is legendary for the depth and scale of its pre-production research and Kubrick even devised a customised filing system to deal with the vast amounts of information collected. He consulted widely with NASA, with aircraft companies, computer companies and many other research and development groups. Moreover, the film's profound themes about the past, present and potential future of humanity still resonate powerfully today.

The film and Arthur C. Clarke novel of the same name share an interesting developmental history, with the book being modified by Clarke based on some of the film's daily rushes, with feedback in both directions.

Music and dialogue


Music plays a crucial part in 2001, and not only because of the relatively sparse dialogue. From very early on in production, Kubrick decided that he wanted the film to be a primarily non-verbal experience, one that did not rely on the traditional techniques of narrative cinema, and in which music would play a vital role in evoking particular moods. In many respects, 2001 harks back to the central power that music had in the era of silent film.

The film is remarkable for its innovative use of classical music taken from existing commercial records. Up to that time, major feature films were typically accompanied by elaborate film scores and/or songs written especially for them by professional composers. But although Kubrick started out by commissioning an original orchestral score, he later abandoned this, opting instead for pre-recorded tracks sourced from existing recordings, becoming one of the first major movie directors to do so, and beginning a trend that has now become commonplace.

In an interview with Michel Ciment Kubrick explained:

"However good our best film composers may be, they are not a Beethoven, a Mozart or a Brahms. Why use music which is less good when there is such a multitude of great orchestral music available from the past and from our own time? When you are editing a film, it's very helpful to be able to try out different pieces of music to see how they work with the scene...Well, with a little more care and thought, these temporary tracks can become the final score."

2001 uses works by three classical composers. It features music by Aram Khachaturian (from the Gayaneh ballet suite) and famously used Johann Strauss II's best known waltz, "On The Beautiful Blue Danube", during the spectacular space-station rendezvous and lunar landing sequences. 2001 is especially remembered for its use of the opening from Richard Strauss's Also sprach Zarathustra ("Thus spoke Zarathustra"), which has become inextricably associated with the film and its imagery and themes. The film's soundtrack also did much to introduce the modern classical composer György Ligeti to a wider public, using extracts from his Requiem, Atmospheres, Lux Aeterna and (in an altered form) Aventures.

In the early stages of production, Kubrick had actually commissioned a score from noted Hollywood composer Alex North, who had written the stirring score for Spartacus and also worked on Dr Strangelove. But on 2001 Kubrick did much of the filming and editing, using as his guides the classical recordings which eventually became the music track. At some point during the editing process, Kubrick decided to use these 'guide pieces' as the final musical soundtrack, and he abandoned North's score. Unfortunately Kubrick failed to inform North that his music had not been used, and to his great dismay, North did not discover this until he saw the movie at the premiere. North's soundtrack has since been recorded commercially and was released shortly before his death. Similarly, Ligeti was unaware that his music was in the film until alerted by friends. He was at first unhappy about some of the music used, and threatened legal action over Kubrick's use of an electronically 'treated' recording of Aventures in the 'interstellar hotel' scene near the end of the film.


Alongside its use of music, the dialogue in 2001 is another notable feature, although the relative lack of dialogue and conventional narrative cues has baffled many viewers. One of the film's most striking features is that there is no dialogue whatsoever for the first twenty minutes of the film -- the entire narrative of this section is carried by images, actions, sound effects, and two title cards.

Only when the film moves into the postulated 'present' of 2001 do we encounter characters who speak. By the time shooting began, Kubrick had deliberately jettisoned much of the intended dialogue and narration, and what remains is notable for its apparently banal nature -- an announcement about the lost cashmere sweater, the awkwardly polite chit-chat between Floyd and the Russian scientists, or his comments about the sandwiches en route to the monolith site. The exchanges between Poole and Bowman on board the "Discovery" are similarly flat, unemotional and generally lack any major narrative content. Kubrick clearly intended that the subtext of these exchanges -- what is not said, what lies behind them -- should be the real, meaningful content.

Narrative through sound

Kubrick's unique treatment of narrative in 2001 is perhaps best exemplified by the scene in which the HAL-9000 computer murders the three hibernating astronauts while Bowman is outside the ship trying to rescue Poole (who is already dead). The inhuman nature of the murders is conveyed with chilling simpiclity, in a scene that contains only three elements.

When HAL disconnects the life support systems, we see a flashing warning sign, COMPUTER MALFUNCTION, shown full-screen and accompanied only by the sound of a shrill alarm beep; this is intercut with static shots of the hibernating astronauts, encased in their sarcophagus-like pods, and close-up full-screen shots of the life-signs monitor of each astronaut. As the astronauts begin to die, the warning changes to LIFE FUNCTIONS CRITICAL and we see the vital signs on the monitors beginning to level out. Finally, when the three men are dead, there is only silence and the ominously banal flashing sign, LIFE FUNCTIONS TERMINATED. Other than the alarm sound and the constant background hiss of the ship's environmental system, the entire scene is enacted with no dialogue, no music, no physical movement of any kind.

Scientific accuracy

In general, the film is extremely realistic: it was one of the few science fiction films to accurately portray space (a vacuum) as having no sound and to have spaceships producing no sound while traveling through space. Its vision of the 'future' is also frequently accurate: space travel (although incorrectly postulated as being commonplace by 2001) is presented as boring; telephone numbers have a greater number of digits than they had the 1960s; and computers are ubiquitous.

The film's failures of scientic accuracy include the following:

Among the failures to predict future technology are the ship's computer interfaces, with numerous small screens displaying FORTRAN code, instead of screens with multiple 'windows' and graphical user interfaces. In addition, cameras still require 'film' which needs to be processed rather than being digital. On the other hand, HAL's speech, understanding and self-determining abilities exceed the 2001 state of the art by orders of magnitude.


A sequel to the film, titled 2010: The Year We Make Contact was based on Clarke's book 2010: Odyssey Two and was released in 1984. (The book was released in 1982.) However, Kubrick was not involved in the production of this film, which did not have the impact of the original. Arthur C. Clarke went on to write 2061: Odyssey Three (1987) and 3001: The Final Odyssey (1997).

2001: A Space Odyssey is consistently on the Internet Movie Database's list of top 250 films, was #22 on AFI's 100 Years, 100 Movies and #40 on its 100 Years, 100 Thrills, and been deemed "culturally significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.


Pop Culture

On January 1st, 2001, at sunrise, a black monolith was found to be rising above a hillside in the Pacific northwest; it was measured and found to be 1' x 4' x 9'. It disappeared after sunset. News coverage of the event appeared at the time, but almost all of it has since evaporated.

See also

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations by or about

Space Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey | 2010: Odyssey Two | 2061: Odyssey Three | 3001: The Final Odyssey

Last updated: 02-03-2005 02:57:29