Science Fiction Brewed Fresh Daily

It’s Called epMotion

epMotion

Shadow asked me just the other night if boy bands weren’t illegal. Sadly no: They’re being used to sell scientific equipment. Eppendorf is hawking its new pipette machine with a music video of a boy-band group singing a boy-band love song about how your social life will improve greatly if you let a machine handle your pipetting needs.

Pipetting all those well-plates, baby, sends your thumbs into overdrive
And spending long nights in the lab makes it hard for your love to thrive

What you need is automation, girl, something easy as 1 2 3
So put down that pipette, honey, I got something that will set you free

And it’s called epMotion (whisper: ‘cause you deserve something really great)
Girl you need epMotion (whisper: yeah girl it’s time to automate)
It’s got to be epMotion (whisper: no more pipetting late at night)
Only for you epMotion (whisper: girl this time we got it right)

DNA
RNA
Proteins
Cell Cultures
Less reagents
Faster workflow
Saves you money
Well, well, well

And it’s called epMotion (whisper: ‘cause you deserve something really great)
Girl you need epMotion (whisper: yeah girl it’s time to automate)
It’s got to be epMotion (whisper: no more pipetting late at night)
Only for you epMotion (whisper: girl this time we got it right)

Link (via BoingBoing)

Posted in Ephemera, Science July 31st, 2008 by Chip
Comments Off on It’s Called epMotion

Controversial SF

A recent SF Signal Mind Meld asked authors which science fiction/fantasy novels they consider to be the most controversial. Their answers fishtail all over the genre, although it goes without saying that Heinlein features prominently.

I’m also amused at Claude Lalumière’s choice. At first I thought he was kidding. Dude. Lighten up.

Link

Posted in Books & Authors July 30th, 2008 by Chip
1 comment

Made in Eureka

The Sci Fi Channel series Eureka, which follows life in a small town of genius inventors, returns for a second season tonight. Sci Fi created a bunch of fake “infomercials” to advertise the show when it first premiered, and they’ve been updated for the new season.

There are apparently more at the Made in Eureka site, but it’s all evil Flash so proceed at your own risk.

(Hat tip to Izzy)

Posted in Humor, Movies & TV July 29th, 2008 by Chip
Comments Off on Made in Eureka

Fueling the Conspiracy Fire

It’s been fairly well-covered in the blogosphere, so by now you’ve probably heard that one of the Apollo 14 astronauts professes insider knowledge of “real” alien visitations. He claims that the same government that couldn’t keep an affair with an intern secret has somehow managed to cover up 60 years’ worth of UFO activity.

The UFOMystic has a few questions aimed at determining the veracity of the claim, although the blogger’s own speculation made my eyes roll so far back in my head that I sprained one:

What if this is just a huge cover for a push by U.S. authorities to play the “we are talking to the aliens” card (with a poker face aiding the bluff) due to sagging influence around the world?

That’s totally the way to get people to respect you: Claim that you’re in regular contact with aliens.

Posthuman Blues is a bit more skeptical, and The Daily Grail says this is actually old news.

I’m pretty skeptical myself. Aside from being an Occam’s Razor kind of gal where UFOs are concerned, I’d like to know why Dr. Mitchell has decided to go public with what would presumably be one of the most closely-guarded government secrets of all time.

The fact that he’s a former astronaut and “government insider” means that his claims have got UFO enthusiasts in a lather. Even if he comes back now and says, “Um, just kidding,” conspiracy theorists will take that to mean that he was pressured into recanting.

What’s your take on the subject?

Update: via BoingBoing, Discovery Space has another interview with Dr. Mitchell regarding his claims.

Posted in Space July 28th, 2008 by Chip
4 comments

Russian/European Manned Spaceship Unveiled

Spaceship DesignThe first official image of a reusable Russian/European manned spacecraft has been released. It will replace Russia’s current Soyuz vehicle and will allow Europe to participate in crew transportation.

The ship will carry six crew into low-Earth orbit and four on missions to the Moon, which rivals the US Ares/Orion system. The new design includes thrusters which will let the craft make a soft landing when it returns to Earth.

Link (via Posthuman Blues)

Posted in News, Space July 25th, 2008 by Chip
Comments Off on Russian/European Manned Spaceship Unveiled

Time Travel Vacation Posters

PosterWe’ve mentioned the Echo Park Time Travel Mart previously. For a limited time, they’re offering five gorgeous travel posters advertising vacations in time.

826LA and the Echo Park Time Travel Mart are proud to premiere a collection of five original travel posters by Los Angeles based artist Amy Martin. Each poster advertises a vacation destination in the far past or distant future, transforming the predictable aesthetic of the travel poster with ironic sloganeering such as “Life is Bigger in Pangaea” and “Enjoy Tokyo 2.0” coupled with clean, retro graphic design.

All proceeds to go 826LA, a nonprofit dedicated to teaching kids ages 6-18 creative writing and to helping teachers inspire their students to write.

They’re available online at the 826LA store or at or at the Echo Park Time Travel Mart–which I had no idea was an actual store instead of a clever mockup–at 1714 W. Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles. They’re $19.99 apiece or $89.99 for the whole set.

I love the vintage look of these posters and the whimsy inherent in the whole idea. If I had a place to hang it I might pick up one myself.

(via io9)

Posted in Ephemera July 24th, 2008 by Chip
Comments Off on Time Travel Vacation Posters

Earth as Alien World

Moon TransitNASA’s Deep Impact spacecraft has shot footage of the moon transiting Earth as seen from 31 million miles away. Scientists are using the video to develop techniques to study alien worlds.

“Making a video of Earth from so far away helps the search for other life-bearing planets in the Universe by giving insights into how a distant, Earth-like alien world would appear to us,” said University of Maryland astronomer Michael A’Hearn, principal investigator for the Deep Impact extended mission, called EPOXI.

They hasten to point out that any alien civilization would need much more advanced technology in order to see Earth as clearly. I question why they felt the need to point that out.

Anyway, neat.

Link (via Slice of SciFi)

Posted in Space July 23rd, 2008 by Chip
Comments Off on Earth as Alien World

Must-Read British SF

Given Shadow’s reading list over the past couple of years, I would have thought that science fiction was moving in a strongly Brit-ward direction. However, It Doesn’t Have to be Right… feels that literary SF is still very Americocentric and is combating that by listing 20 British SF novels that everyone should read.

In addition to being written by British authors, the stories he’s chosen take place either in the UK or in futures where nations don’t exist any more. Not all are current–H.G. Wells and George Orwell make the list–but the more recent authors are solid choices.

Link (via SF Signal)

Posted in Books & Authors July 22nd, 2008 by Chip
Comments Off on Must-Read British SF

I’d Vote for Him

The 3000

Sean Tevis is a geekly geek in Kansas who’s sick of his troglodytic state representative. He’s running to replace him, and is looking to raise some money to help with his campaign. Specifically, he’s trying to raise $8.34 from 3,000 people. To promote his cause, he’s created an awesome xkcd-tribute cartoon series entitled, “It’s Like A Flamewar with a Forum Troll, but with an Eventual Winner.”

No state rep in Kansas history has ever had more than 644 donors, but he’s already quadrupled that number.

Welcome to the future of politics.

Link (via BoingBoing)

Posted in Computers & Internet, Humor July 21st, 2008 by Chip
Comments Off on I’d Vote for Him

Okay, It’s Funny.

As you’ve probably seen, well, everywhere by now, Joss Whedon (Buffy, Firefly) is experimenting with a new way of getting quality entertainment to his audience. He’s posting three short episodes of a super-villain musical comedy drama…thingie online, for free.

However! These episodes will only be available for a short time. Parts I and II have already been posted. Part III will go up on Saturday, July 19. Then they all go away at midnight on Sunday, July 20. Whereupon they will be made available for download for a nominal fee, and eventually they’ll all be available on DVD with mad extras. (See his Master Plan for details.)

I’ve been seeing references to this all over the blogosphere, but just got around to watching it yesterday. Drop what you’re doing and go watch this thing. Then go buy the DVD. Go right now!

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog

Posted in Computers & Internet, Humor July 18th, 2008 by Chip
Comments Off on Okay, It’s Funny.