The apartment flooded in the last big hurricane—which was itself a scandalous indictment of municipal failure.
All these reasons must be why the rent for this admittedly spacious but foreboding apartment is so cheap. Somehow the moving truck got waylaid and the place is pretty barren, an odd lounge chair and a couch, boxes piled up unopened, a couple of folding tables and chairs for the holiday dinner on paper plates.
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To get from floor to floor, the wheelchair must go out the door on one level, into the hallway to the elevator, and then in the door on the other level. She blurts out some incomprehensible mutterings from time to time, although she perks up and joins the familiar traditional blessing. She worked for years in a New York sweatshop. His wise grandmother not clear on which side set him up with a trust fund which will only start kicking in at the age of 40, so it appears that after these rocky first years in the relationship, he and Brigid will soon be OK financially.
The set itself, looking like a dollhouse or perhaps a two-story monkey cage at the zoo, lends us the same perspective on these unique but familiar people. Karam, the playwright, is himself Lebanese-American.
Deirdre has ably served for decades as the manager of a small company in Scranton, but complains that at least a couple of younger hot-shot bosses in their twenties have come along who earn four times her take. She is a goodhearted, sentimental, almost childlike Catholic, who volunteers for a refugee community.
She brings a small statue of the Virgin Mary as a house present, knowing full well it will be put in a drawer by her unobservant daughter. Erik has been for almost forty years on the maintenance staff of St.
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Their lives are falling apart in front of them. Family affections and connections still are meaningful, however. Perhaps the Blakes chose to spend Thanksgiving with their daughters as a kind of family pow-wow, although the conclusion is ambiguous at best.
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Erik admits to having restless night sweats and strange dreams, and Rich, the future therapist, manages to eke some of these out of him. Rich suggests that perhaps next time, if the dream recurs, he stay in the tunnel and figure out a solution. That advice comes into play in the final scene.
American insecurity and anxiety are on full display. One misstep, one patch of illness, can spell The End. In a more centrally planned economy, maybe Brigid could be offered work writing music for community theatre and gain some valuable experience. The system chews people up, much like the loud bone-crushing commercial compactor in the building that goes off periodically in the play.
The Humans is too sophisticated a work of art to be obviously prescriptive.
Still, leaving the theatre, what are audiences supposed to think? As soon as one is interested in the simulation and analysis of humanoid motion, one major scientific and technical difficulty lies in the non permanent contact between the feet and the ground and more generally between the humanoid and its environment.
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The numerical analysis of non permanent contact is still an open problem from the point of view of theory and even more from the point of view of software availability. Indeed, rare are the mechanical simulation software available today, either academic or commercial, that can be considered to propose correct and efficient solutions in situations of non permanent contact.
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This is one major focus of the HuMAnS toolbox. Then, numerical tools for the analysis of the stability of humanoid motion, for generating postures, trajectories and control laws need to rely on state of the art analytical models of both the humanoid figures and the different tasks that need to be realized. The lack of such open modular analysis tools motivated us in developing the HuMAnS software, a toolbox specifically designed for Humanoid Motion Analysis and Simulation which appears to be unique so far.
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