Science Fiction Brewed Fresh Daily

ST:TMP (The Pon Farr Edition)

In the Coffee-Out-the-Nose Department comes this gem from Darth Mojo.

So one day, we were all standing around the Digital Beta machine, fast forwarding through Star Trek: The Motion Picture, looking for effects shots to take notes. When we got to the V’ger sequence, it was especially noticeable on fast-search just how many shots there were of people looking shocked and amazed. “It looks like they’re watching a porno movie,” I blurted out. Everyone laughed, then looked upwards as if in thought for a moment, then back to me. “You know, you’re going to have to do it,” said Daren.

(Audio NSWF)

Full story here. (via SF Signal)

Posted in Humor May 30th, 2008 by Chip

That’s It…

…we have officially reached the Bottom of the Barrel. There is no place left to go. Stick a fork in Hollywood, it is done.

They’re remaking Plan 9 from Outer Space.

The company behind this sacrilege abomination retelling is Darkstone Entertainment, a production company which can be termed “low budget” only by engaging in riotous understatement. (Their site’s press kit mentions the fact that actors work for credit only and are not compensated.)

I’m not sure if they’re trying to be hip and ironic or if they just don’t understand that the whole point of Plan 9 is its inadvertent awfulness. Trying to deliberately recreate the badness is futile, and Ed Wood is liable to claw his way out of an unquiet grave in protest.


(Hat tip to minbar)

Posted in Movies & TV May 29th, 2008 by Chip
1 comment

How to Teach Chemistry

This video was produced by The Marie Curie Actions, apparently as an ad encouraging students to explore careers in science. I think this type of thing would have made high school chemistry way more interesting.

(via Friendly Atheist)

Posted in Ephemera May 28th, 2008 by Chip
1 comment

“Software is Already Policy”

Wired’s Threat Level blog has a report on a panel at the Computers, Freedom and Privacy conference in CT last week which explored how computers are setting social policy.

Despite the crude heuristics available in current software, there’s an unsettling trend in the government toward letting computers make decisions that used to be handled by humans. One panelist commented on a public benefits computer system that was incorrectly denying Medicaid to eligible applicants by pointing out that the government officials in charge of the system just assumed that it was working properly. As she said, “Humans trust computers. And the programmers didn’t check for legal compliance; they checked for bugs.”

It’s a little creepy, seeing how computers that really aren’t up to the task are in charge of deciding your fate. And given the UK’s recent proposal to create a massive database that would hold “details of every phone call, e-mail and time spent on the internet by the public” for a year, the chance for innocent people to be ensnared by buggy software reaches simply hilarious proportions.

This is beginning to look pretty plausible.

Posted in Computers & Internet May 27th, 2008 by Chip
Comments Off on “Software is Already Policy”

It’s Like Y2K, But with Volcanoes

Filmmaker Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, Godzilla, The Patriot) is taking on the Mayan prediction about the end of the world with his new movie 2012, due out in June 2009.

The Mayan “long count” calendar ends in 2012, and some nutballs New Age theorists believe that this signals a global cataclysm. The movie apparently begins with the world getting a good CGI smackdown, so I’m not actually sure how the rest of the film plans to top that.

John Cusack is in negotiations to play an academic researcher who “opens a portal into a parallel universe and makes contact with his double” in order to prevent the apocalypse. Which seems plausible enough; ever since the Y2K thing, “Opening a Portal into a Parallel Universe and Making Contact with Your Double” is a graduate-level course at most universities.

Link (via Forever Geek)

Posted in Movies & TV May 26th, 2008 by Chip
Comments Off on It’s Like Y2K, But with Volcanoes

RIP Robert Aspirin

On May 22, 2008, Bob passed away quietly in his home in New Orleans, LA. He had been in good spirits and working on several new projects, and was set to be the Guest of Honor at a major science fiction convention that very weekend. He is survived by his mother, his sister, his daughter and his son, and his cat, Princess, not to mention countless friends and fans and numerous legendary fictional characters.

Link (via BoingBoing)

Posted in Books & Authors May 23rd, 2008 by Chip
Comments Off on RIP Robert Aspirin

Dollhouse Sneak Peek

Fox has posted a couple of previews for Joss Whedon’s new series Dollhouse, which we’ve mentioned previously.

(hat tip to Big Dumb Object)

Writer/producer Tim Minear (Angel, Wonderfalls, Firefly, Drive) and writer Steven S. DeKnight (Smallville, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel) have also agreed to be involved with the series, so this should have quite a Buffy/Firefly vibe to it.

Posted in Movies & TV May 23rd, 2008 by Chip
Comments Off on Dollhouse Sneak Peek

I’d Sooner Kiss a Wookiee….

SW Wedding

UK couple Bramwell Brightey and Tamsyn Lofts have each seen Star Wars upwards of 500 times, so it was only natural that they should have intensive therapy a Star Wars-themed wedding.

He dressed as Han Solo, she wore Leia’s princess dress (rather than the gold bikini, which would have been even more awesome), and all of their guests dressed as characters from the series.

The wedding cake was specially designed to look like Yoda, and instead of a first dance the couple had a lightsaber dual at the reception.

My favorite part is that they chose 05/04/08 as their wedding date so their invitations could read, “May the 4th be with you.”


Link (via Big Dumb Object)

Posted in Ephemera May 22nd, 2008 by Chip


Proving once and for all that Hollywood has completely given up on new ideas, another remake of Buck Rogers has just been announced. Nu Image/Millenium, the group behind the revival of Rambo (and, it’s rumored, Conan the Barbarian) is producing.

In his original 1928 incarnation, Buck was a U.S. military pilot who fell into a 500-year coma after being exposed to a mysterious gas. He was upgraded to cryogenically-suspended astronaut for the 1980s TV version. No word on his profession or how he gets to the 25th Century this time ’round.

This would be a good time to buy stock in spandex.

Link (via SF Signal)

Posted in Movies & TV May 21st, 2008 by Chip
1 comment

I Doubt Vint Cerf Predicted This

Japanese stone-processing company Ishinokoe has begun offering tombstones featuring QR Codes, bar codes that can be read by cell phones and linked to Web addresses.

Scanning the code will allow visitors to view images of the deceased, watch video greetings from the chief mourner at the funeral, and browse the guest book. They can also add their own entries to the book using their cell phones.

My favorite quote from the article is from Ishinokoe president Yoshitsugu Fukazawa: “If my grandfather who started the company could see this, he’d probably be really surprised.” I believe that’s what they call an understatement.

I can see an entire industry springing up around this, not only creating elaborate multimedia presentations for the deceased but assuring them of perpetual server space, which sounds rather Pharaonic if you think about it.

I can also see disgruntled heirs auctioning off the bar codes to porn sites.

Link (via BoingBoing)

Posted in Computers & Internet May 20th, 2008 by Chip
1 comment