Science Fiction Brewed Fresh Daily

Seen Online

Counting sheep doesn’t help you fall sleep if you re-cast “Predator” in your mind with an all-sheep cast. “Baa! Get to da choppa! Baa!”

RT @mking260978@BrentSpiner Doing anymore sci-fi in the future?–That’s redundant.

Does every last one of them need to be an homage to Zork? And if so, where are the Grues? If I find myself in a maze of twisty passages, all alike, then I fucking demand Grues.
Topless Robot

If it’s a good idea and it gets you excited, try it, and if it bursts into flames, that’s going to be exciting too. People always ask, “What is your greatest failure?” I always have the same answer – We’re working on it right now, it’s gonna be awesome!
Jim Coudal

The enemy of my enemy is my vacuum (my enemy is a dog).

We’re all gonna feel pretty stupid when we find out Stephen Hawking is just really lazy.

Posted in Ephemera September 16th, 2009 by Chip
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SF Road Trip

Road Trip Map

SciFi Wire has put together a guide to 68 “must see” SF-related sites around the US, from the Kennedy Space Center to Donnie Darko’s house.

(via Cynical-C)

Posted in Conventions & Fandom September 15th, 2009 by Chip
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SF Novel Crossword

UserFriendly has a geek crossword featuring clues like “tree shape in microgravity” and “Senior King on Majipoor.”


Posted in Books & Authors September 14th, 2009 by Chip
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Author Interviews at Writing Raw

Writing Raw is a free literary e-zine, and they’ve just posted a new batch of “7-Question Interviews” with authors, including David Drake and Tad Williams. They’ve also got archived interviews with Jasper Fforde, Nancy Kress, L.E. Modesitt, and quite a lot of others.

The site itself, although suffering from 1999 Navigation Syndrome, appears to be a good resource for aspiring writers.

Posted in Books & Authors September 11th, 2009 by Chip
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Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists

Improbable Research, home of the Ig Nobel Prize, is also the home of the Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists. To be a member, you have to be a scientist and have (or believe you have) luxuriant flowing hair.

Catherine Asaro (physicist and Nebula Award winner) and Brian May (astronomer and rock star) are both members.

Click through the galleries to see photos and read the members’ stories. It’s oddly soothing.

Posted in Ephemera September 10th, 2009 by Chip
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Music of the Sphere

The irregular surface of the Moon is somewhat similar to the ridges on a vinyl record. If you squint. Therefore it stands to reason(?) that you could “play” it.

There’s a new program called Moonbell which does just that. It lets you use topographical data to determine how musical pitch rises and falls, and can reproduce the sounds of 138 instruments.

The software works by interpreting information provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Kaguya satellite, which used a laser altimeter to generate detailed maps of the Moon until its planned crash in June this year.

The music produced by Moonbell synthesises three types of topographical data. The melody is generated by the actual ups and downs in the Moon’s surface, while the “mid tones” are related to the elevation of the immediately surrounding area and the bass line is determined by an even broader section of elevation.

There’s more about the program at The Telegraph.

(via Discoblog)

Posted in Space September 9th, 2009 by Chip
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TMBG Science

They Might Be Giants, whose lyrics often reference science, have just released a new album for kids entitled Here Comes Science. You can preview the song “Science is Real” at Amazon*, and the music video for “I am a Paleontologist” is below:

The album is also available on iTunes.

(via Charlie’s Playhouse)

*If you want to be mildly depressed, check out the customer discussions about halfway down the page, where people get all offended about the lyrics lumping angels in with unicorns and other mythical beings. Because, y’know, angels are real.

Posted in Science September 8th, 2009 by Chip
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From the Earth to the Moon

Earth and Moon

Drew Olbrich felt that most pictures of the Earth and Moon show them unrealistically close together, so he created a composite image of what the two would look like to an observer 350,000 miles away in space.

It’s kinda trippy to stare at this image and then think about what the guys in the Apollo space program did. They went all the way over there, no really. They went that far away from the nearest McDonald’s.

He’s posted several sizes of the image for use as wallpaper. Since most of the photos we see tend (for obvious reasons of where we have to be positioned to take the photo) to make the Moon look cozily snuggled up next to the Earth, it’s really rather startling to see how far apart they actually are.

Link (via forgetomori)

Posted in Space September 7th, 2009 by Chip
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Link Dump

Geeky Amigurumi – Roundup of amigurumi versions of Marvin the Paranoid Android, Darth Vader, Tom Servo, and many more.

SW Chopsticks – Best. Chopsticks. Ever.

Burial Ground – This comic by AmazingSuperPowers amused me.

Sheep Skull Mouse – Horrorpunk mouse made of brass and part of a sheep skull. I don’t know how functional it would be, but it’s lovely.

Organic Armor – Amazing steampunk and fantasy costume pieces made of lightweight rubber.

Life Will NOT Be Like Star Trek – An essay by Scott Adams.

Songs in Code – if(we!=strangersToLove){u.knowRules=1;i.knowRules=1;me.think{committment:’full’};otherGuy:{type:’any’,delivery:’false’};}

Star Trek Dog – Here, in one photo, is why I like dogs better than cats.

Posted in Ephemera September 4th, 2009 by Chip
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I Love xkcd

Urinal Math

Randall has tackled the age-old Urinal Protocol problem by expressing it as an equation that will allow men* to efficiently choose the least awkward urinal.

The comments are even better, in that readers consider different permutations of the problem (for a large number of urinals, for instance, urinal choice is most likely a Gaussian probability distribution centered around the optimal urinal).

I also wholeheartedly agree with one commenter’s suggestion that we need a LaTeX font that renders the math environment in Randall’s handwriting.

*And, I guess, adventuresome women.

Posted in Humor September 3rd, 2009 by Chip
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