Science Fiction Brewed Fresh Daily

Super Emo Friends

SpideyIsn’t Spidey cute? Artist J Salvador has created a whole collection of adorably angsty little superheroes with a host of personal problems.

You can see the entire set here. He has a few prints of individual “heroes” available for purchase in his Etsy shop, but they’re selling out fast.

Not anticipating the high demand he’s received, the artist promised that the prints would be limited-edition runs of just 20 each. Some of the comments at his site don’t hold out a lot of hope for posters or T-shirts either, so we may have to just admire them from afar. That’s a pity, because I want to take the Green Goblin home and snuggle him.

(Cross-posted at The Art of Darkness))

Posted in Humor November 30th, 2009 by Chip
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“Be a Martian:” Crowdsourcing Data Analysis

Following the theory that humans will happily grind through boring tasks for the chance to win virtual “prizes,” NASA has teamed with Microsoft to create the Be a Martian program. (It’s unfortunate that Microsoft Silverlight is required for anything on the site to work, but whatever.)

Users play “games” that require them to sift through the hundreds of thousands of photos of Mars that have been sent back by rovers and orbiters, helping to classify them and giving researchers a leg up on understanding the data that’s been collected. In return, they earn points that go toward badges. They ought to slap a “John Carter” theme on the games and go after the WoW demographic.

There are articles about the program here and here, and if you have a compatible browser you can visit the Be a Martian site and help count craters. Whee.

(via 80beats)

Posted in Space November 27th, 2009 by Chip
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A Humanist Thanksgiving Proclamation

When I became convinced that the universe is natural-that all the ghosts and gods are myths, there entered into my brain, into my soul, into every drop of my blood, the sense, the feeling, the joy of freedom.
The walls of my prison crumbled and fell, the dungeon was flooded with light and all the bolts and bars and manacles became dust. I was no longer a servant, a serf or a slave. There was for me no master in all the world-not even infinite space.

I was free-free to think, to express my thoughts-free to live my own ideal-free to live for myself and those I loved-free to use all my faculties, all my senses, free to spread imagination’s wings-free to investigate, to guess and dream and hope-free to judge and determine for myself-free to reject all ignorant and cruel creeds, all the “inspired” books that savages have produced, and all the barbarous legends of the past-free from popes and priests, free from all the “called” and “set apart”-free from sanctified mistakes and “holy” lies-free from the winged monsters of the night-free from devils, ghosts and gods.

For the first time I was free. There were no prohibited places in all the realms of thought-no air, no space, where fancy could not spread her painted wings-no claims for my limbs-no lashes for my back-no fires for my flesh-no following another’s steps-no need to bow, or cringe, or crawl, or utter lying words. I was free. I stood erect and fearlessly, joyously, faced all worlds.

And then my heart was filled with gratitude, with thankfulness, and went out in love to all the heroes, the thinkers, who gave their lives for the liberty of hand and brain-for the freedom of labor and thought-to those who fell on the fierce fields of war, to those who died in dungeons bound with chains-to those who proudly mounted scaffold’s stairs-to those by fire consumed-to all the wise, the good, the brave of every land, whose thoughts and deeds have given freedom to the sons and daughters of men and women. And then I vowed to grasp the torch that they have held, and hold it high, that light may conquer darkness still.

— Robert Green Ingersoll

Posted in Science November 26th, 2009 by Chip
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Urban Legend ER

Posted in Humor November 25th, 2009 by Chip
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Link Dump

Child Development Lab – Awesome concept for a nursery.

Tauntaun Groom’s Cake – With little sculpted entrails!

How to Steam Up Your Old Goth Wardrobe – Article by steampunk/horror author Cherie Priest about moving from goth to steampunk.

Cell Size and Scale – Neat scalable image illustrating the relative size of things from a coffee bean down to a single carbon atom.

Chemical Shifts and Coupling Constants for Silicon-29 – Another item on Amazon that has highly entertaining reviews.

Two new science blogs: Tomorrow’s Table (how science shapes the food we eat) and Evolution for Everyone (the ways that evolution interacts with religion and society)

Barbarella and Other Ladies in Space – A roundup from Dark Roasted Blend

Here, Have a Millenium Falcon Full of Yodas… – Somebody please explain this to me.

Jimmy McBride – Artist who renders images from space as quilts.

Top 278 Star Wars Lines Improved By Replacing A Word With “Pants” – “I find your lack of pants disturbing.”

42 Essential 3rd Act Twists – “Petard Hoist,” “Reverse McGuffin” and many more.

Wi-Fi Dowsing Rod – MAKE article on building a “dowsing rod” that finds Wi-Fi signals.

Eureka Miniatures – All kinds of weird little lead miniatures, featuring things like “Anarchist Nanny with bomb and pram” and “Racing raptor and jockey.”

Large Plush Squid Hat – It’s…just what it says it is. (Hat tip to Adamandia)

Miskatonic University Prop Set – Propnomicon does all kinds of amazing Lovecraft-themed props. This set includes a Miskatonic U. embroidered patch, lapel pin, field journal, and a period postcard of the school’s Orne Library. (Hat tip to ceejay)

Posted in Ephemera November 24th, 2009 by Chip
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Interstitial Arts Auction

Auction ImageThe Interstitial Arts Foundation is releasing its second collection of Interfictions and is running an auction of jewelry and art inspired by stories in the two collections.

The full press release is below. You can see the current piece being auctioned here and the full schedule here. The auction runs through December 1.

Interfictions 2, the second anthology of new “interstitial” fiction
from the Interstitial Arts Foundation, will be released by Small Beer
Press on November 3rd, 2009. The anthology, edited by acclaimed
authors Delia Sherman and Christopher Barzak, further explores the
interstices of genre and form, drawing ever-changing maps of what
literary art can be.

In honor of their first Interfictions anthology, the IAF held a
jewelry auction in the summer of 2007: each piece was inspired by
stories within that pioneering collection, which critics hailed as
“odd, deep, delightful…”. Now, in 2009, the Interstitial Arts
Foundation is crossing their own previously-erected borders and has
opened the auction up to all manner of portable art.

A wide array of artists – dollmakers, painters, jewelry-crafters,
knitters, and more – were invited to create pieces inspired by the
border-crossing works in the first and second Interfictions
anthologies. Through the alchemy of word and imagination and raw
materials they have created over 30 stunning pieces, ranging from an
evocatively alien sculpture by Jane Washburn (inspired by Theodora
Goss’ “Child-Empress of Mars”), an eloquent necklace by SToNZ
(inspired by “Valentines” by Shira Lipkin), complex and exquisite
handmade art books from Wendy Ellertson and Erzebet Yellowboy (of
Papaveria Press), Kate Schaefer’s hat that can be both worn and read,
and many other intriguing pieces that are themselves works of
interstitial art: illustration and handcraft, fine art and
. . . all and none of the above.

The online Interfictions Auction is set to begin on November 1st and
will run through early December. All of these pieces make excellent
holiday gifts. Opening bids will range from $10 – $50, though of
course the value of many is much higher. All proceeds go toward
supporting the Interstitial Arts Foundation and its projects.

To learn more about the auction and see previews of the available
art, please visit

About the Interstitial Arts Foundation:
The IAF is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the study,
support, and promotion of interstitial art: literature, music, visual
and performance art found in the interstices, the places between
categories and genres – art that crosses borders.

For more information about the auction and the IAF or to request
interviews with IAF members and auction artists, please contact:

Mary Kay Kare
IAFAuctions Press Relations

Posted in Computers & Internet November 23rd, 2009 by Chip
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Para Abnormal

Para Abnormal

I think what I like best about Para Abnormal is Dave Lowe’s ability to say so much with so little. I can totally see a “The Empire Shall Rise Again” sentiment simmering in the losing side.

Posted in Humor November 20th, 2009 by Chip
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This is Why…

…there are no horror movies starring physicists.

Partially Clips

See the rest of the strip (and highly entertaining punchline) at Partially Clips.

Posted in Humor November 19th, 2009 by Chip
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I’ve Wondered About This Myself

Abstruse Goose

Full strip at Abstruse Goose.

(Yes, this does appear to be turning into a comic theme week, why do you ask?)

Posted in Humor November 18th, 2009 by Chip
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Click over to xkcd for the rest of the strip (and mouseover Easter egg).

Posted in Humor November 17th, 2009 by Chip
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