Science Fiction Brewed Fresh Daily

How is the Weather Up There?

Most of the 300 extrasolar planets so far discovered are too distant to discern much about them, but we can infer temperature changes on a few of them by looking at the way their brightness varies. Some of the weather is officially described as “weird,” with unusually high nighttime temperatures suggesting an unknown heat-transport mechanism from one side of the planet to the other.

Researchers at the University of Arizona think that they may have created a model that explains the unexpected temperature variations, involving super-fast jet streams.

These planets, incidentally, are known as “Hot Jupiters,” which strikes me as an excellent name for a porn star. Because I have the sense of humor of a 12-year-old boy.

Anyway. Link

Posted in Space October 21st, 2008 by Chip
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Star Trek Meets 80s TV

What is it about Star Trek that makes it so ripe for parody?

YouTube user Huckbone mated the original series with The A Team to produce this:

And then followed it up with a Love Boat/TNG remix:

This makes me awfully happy.

Posted in Humor October 20th, 2008 by Chip
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How to Cook an Alien

Remember what I’ve said before, about Websites that make you go, “Wait…what?” Here’s another one.

Greys are, naturally grey in colour, though they are as tall as blues. It is thought that they come from a colder planet than the blues. Their meat is generally tougher than blues, and also higher in cholesterol. Good for mincing for hamburger meat, although a wine based marinade will allow you to prepare a good stew or casserole. As their meat is tougher than Blues, more cooking time is needed.

A famous recipe, first tried after Roswell, in 1947, was a Sage and Onion stuffing, which is said to have brought out some delicate flavours in the meat.

The site includes tips on catching and skinning your alien, plus lots of recipes for making sure you use that last bit of leftover Reptiloid.

Link (via The Presurfer)

Posted in Ephemera October 17th, 2008 by Chip
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A Brief History of the 21st Century

Esquire has predicted the next 100 years for us. A few of these sound rather uncomfortably plausible.

JUNE 11, 2041: In a matter of weeks, the entire Internet is replaced by “news blow,” a granular microbe that allows information to be snorted, injected, or smoked. Data can now be synthesized into a water-soluble powder and absorbed directly into the cranial bloodstream, providing users with an instantaneous visual portrait of whatever information they are interested in consuming. (Sadly, this tends to be slow-motion images of minor celebrities going to the bathroom.) Now irrelevant, an ocean of Web pioneers lament the evolution. “What about the craft?” they ask no one in particular. “What about the inherent human pleasure of moving one’s mouse across a hyperlink, not knowing what a simple click might teach you? Whatever happened to ironic thirty-word capsule reviews about marginally popular TV shows? Have we lost this forever?” “You just don’t get new media,” respond the news-blowers. “You just don’t get it.”

Link (via The Presurfer)

Posted in Ephemera October 16th, 2008 by Chip
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Even Lamer Than Princess Python

The International Society of Supervillains blog (whose authors include King Oblivion, Ph.D., MW’s Head on a Robot Body, and Doktor Maxwell von Puppykicker the Third) have plumbed the depths of comics fandom to bring you the very worst supervillains of all time.

Ten-Eyed Man

History:
Philip Reardon, a Vietnam vet who was partially blinded when he got hit with some grenade shrapnel, went totally blind one night when he accidentally mistook Batman for a warehouse robber. The warehouse blew up after his fight with Batman, burning his retinas. Afterward, a scientist somehow re-attached his optic nerves to the tips of his fingers.
M.O.
The shrapnel must have also damaged Mr. Reardon’s brain, because he thinks it’s a good idea to go after Batman, who he blames for blinding him, under the moniker Ten-Eyed Man while wearing a costume calling attention to the fact that he can only see through his fingers. As a result, Batman, being the world’s greatest detective, deduces that he can simply throw something at the Ten-Eyed Man, shout “Catch!,” blind the guy, and win.

You have to wonder what kind of substances were being ingested to conceive of a couple of these.

Link (via Cynical-C)

(Also check out their Superhero Douchebags: Part 1 and Part 2)

Posted in Ephemera October 15th, 2008 by Chip
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Haldeman News

Oooooooh!

From Haldeman’s LiveJournal:

Ridley Scott to make The Forever War
Today’s Variety:

Fox 2000 has acquired rights to Joe Haldeman’s 1974 novel “The Forever War,”
and Ridley Scott is planning to make it into his first science fiction film
since he delivered back-to-back classics with “Blade Runner” and “Alien.”

“Whoop,” Mr. Haldeman is quoted as saying, “de do!”

Seriously, it shows how long these things take. The first word I got from Scott’s
office was last November. I was not supposed to say anything specific until
Scott made a statement.

So he has. And Whoop de do, says me.

Joe

Link

Posted in Books & Authors, Movies & TV October 14th, 2008 by Gandalara
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Redshirts!

It’s the ELO soundtrack that really makes this.

(via SF Signal)

Posted in Humor October 14th, 2008 by Chip
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My Kind of Fossil Fuel

California Polytechnic State University scientist Raul Cano drilled into a 45-million-year-old weevil trapped in ancient amber and extracted more than 2,000 different kinds of microscopic organisms.

One of the things he dug out was ancient yeast, which he managed to reactivate. And now he uses it to brew beer.

The beer has received good reviews at the Russian River Beer Festival and from other reviewers. The Oakland Tribune beer critic, William Brand, says the beer has “a weird spiciness at the finish,” and The Washington Post said the beer was “smooth and spicy.”

Part of that taste comes from the yeast’s unique metabolism. “The ancient yeast is restricted to a narrow band of carbohydrates, unlike more modern yeasts, which can consume just about any kind of sugar,” said Cano.

The beer is currently available only at a couple of breweries in Northern California, although they’re working on nationwide distribution. Next time any of my Californian relatives head up north, I know what souvenir I want them to get me.

Link (via Neatorama)

Posted in Ephemera, Science October 13th, 2008 by Chip
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(Political) Science Fiction

io9 has figured out why Sarah Palin wasn’t a perfect replacement for Hillary Clinton in the minds of voters: Hillary is Star Trek and Sarah is Star Wars.

Sarah Palin is Yoda, Hillary Clinton is Deanna Troi
Sarah is full of wise sayings, even if they often don’t make sense and lack a certain amount of grammar. She seems like harmless and a bit goofy, until she’s under attack — and then she’ll start hopping around like a maniac. Hillary, meanwhile, acts kind of cold and uptight — but she really, really, no really feels your pain. And Hillary stands by her guy, even though he’s overweight and always running off to Risa to hook up with some Trill skank.

McCain makes a passable Emperor Palpatine, too.

Link

Posted in Humor October 10th, 2008 by Chip
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Scientific (Fiction) American

CNET Editor Tom Merritt used the articles in October’s Scientific American as the basis for an SF novel(la) story treatment.

Marlin doesn’t have the genes to be a scientist. He knows that and the academic world he wants to break into very much knows it. While the law prevents them from outwardly discriminating and stopping him from trying, they certainly are far from encouraging. But Marlin won’t give up. He’s hit upon an amazing discovery that he thinks can solidify his position, genetic pre-disposition or no. In his research, he’s determined that the bell curve nature of space-time time could mean that existence bounces back and forth between identical mirror universes. Is the second time really farce? Marlin thinks he can prove it. But he’s been protecting a secret. He’s been using a precision brain helmet to aid his work. The helmet is outlawed altogether in many countries and only legal for medical diagnosis in others. Worse, someone is out to blackmail him and prevent him publishing his findings.

He plans to make this a monthly feature. I hope he does; SciAm usually covers such a diverse range of subject material that it’ll be interesting to see how he shoehorns everything in.

Come to think of it, it’d be fun to do this with other magazines too. Cat Fancy or Guns and Ammo as SF would be particularly entertaining.

Link (Thanks, Ceejay!)

Posted in Books & Authors, Science October 9th, 2008 by Chip
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