Science Fiction Brewed Fresh Daily

Trivia Thursday

  1. Who is the first of the 4th Expedition to be killed in Martian Chronicles?
    A) Parkhill
    B) Williams
    C) Biggs
    D) Lustig
    E) Hinkston
  2. In Lost in Space, what was the name of the Robinson’s spaceship?
  3. This writer, primarily known for short stories, wrote the novel Past Master.
  4. Which cartoonist played a cameo role on Babylon 5?
  5. Which two regular Star Trek (TOS) cast members appeared in the unaired pilot episode?
  6. Who is Nigel Walmsley?
  7. What is the planet Haven?
  8. In Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle’s sequel to their 1975 novel, Inferno, titled Escape From Hell, which author does the protagonist save from eternal damnation as a sentient tree in the “Wood of the Suicides?”
  9. Which of the following films is NOT based on a Philip K. Dick short story or novel?
    A) Gattaca
    B) Total Recall
    C) Screamers
    D) Blade Runner
    E) Next
  10. Wunderkind Samuel R. Delany published his first novel, The Jewels of Aptor, at what age?

(Answers below the fold)

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Posted in Ephemera September 30th, 2010 by Chip
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Tik Trek

I…um…yeah.

Posted in Humor September 29th, 2010 by Chip
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Making Future Magic: iPad Light Painting

via Gizmodo:

Making Future Magic: iPad light painting from Dentsu London on Vimeo.

This film explores playful uses for the increasingly ubiquitous ‘glowing rectangles’ that inhabit the world.

We use photographic and animation techniques that were developed to draw moving 3-dimensional typography and objects with an iPad. In dark environments, we play movies on the surface of the iPad that extrude 3-d light forms as they move through the exposure. Multiple exposures with slightly different movies make up the stop-frame animation.

We’ve collected some of the best images from the project and made a book of them you can buy: http://bit.ly/mfmbook

Read more at the Dentsu London blog:
http://www.dentsulondon.com/blog/2010/09/14/light-painting/
and at the BERG blog:
http://berglondon.com/blog/2010/09/14/magic-ipad-light-painting/

Posted in Ephemera September 28th, 2010 by ceejaydp
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Houston, We Have a Trash Problem

Sean Cooper
Wired Magazine, issue 15.05

Outer space is becoming a garbage heap. Some 15,000 pieces of debris, ranging from fingernail-sized paint flecks to 10-ton rocket stages, are hurtling through Earth’s orbit at 5 miles per second — about 10 times as fast as a speeding bullet. And the junk is multiplying, Asteroids-like, as large objects break apart into smaller ones. (China’s recent anti-satellite test has hastened the process.) Scientists warn of an approaching Kessler syndrome: the point at which flotsam from collisions makes future space ventures dangerous. How can we clean up the mess? The trick is to either grab shrapnel or coax it toward the planet, where it will burn up in the atmosphere. Several methods of trash collection have been floated. Some are cleverly low tech; others seem like fodder for the Sci Fi Channel.

FULL STORY

Posted in News, Science, Space September 27th, 2010 by ceejaydp
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Skeptics Discount Science by Casting Doubts on Scientist Expertise

from ars technica, via Dr. Kiki’s Science Hour (ep.64) [show notes]…

Most surveys of the US public indicate that scientists are popular, trusted figures. The same, however, cannot be said about some of their conclusions, as topics like climate change and evolution remain controversial with many segments of the population. A recent Pew survey gives an indication of why: even though the scientific community’s opinion is largely unified on these topics, the public thinks that there is significant dispute among the researchers. A study published by the Journal of Risk Research attempts to explain why this might be the case.

The people behind the new study start by asking a pretty obvious question: “Why do members of the public disagree—sharply and persistently—about facts on which expert scientists largely agree?” (Elsewhere, they refer to the “intense political contestation over empirical issues on which technical experts largely agree.”) In this regard, the numbers from the Pew survey are pretty informative. Ninety-seven percent of the members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science accept the evidence for evolution, but at least 40 percent of the public thinks that major differences remain in scientific opinion on this topic. Clearly, the scientific community isn’t succeeding in making the public aware of its opinion.

According to the new study, this isn’t necessarily the fault of the scientists, though. The authors favor a model, called the cultural cognition of risk, which “refers to the tendency of individuals to form risk perceptions that are congenial to their values.” This wouldn’t apply directly to evolution, but would to climate change: if your cultural values make you less likely to accept the policy implications of our current scientific understanding, then you’ll be less likely to accept the science.

FULL STORY

Posted in Science September 24th, 2010 by ceejaydp
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Trivia Thursday

  1. The aliens in Clarke’s Childhood’s End look like:
    A) Slugs
    B) Devils
    C) People
    D) Fish
    E) Little Green Men
  2. What was Soylent Green?
  3. What is the sequel to The Peace War?
  4. What were Mortimer Dart, Weston, Vaughan, Mark Lebbreau and Hellstrom?
  5. Which of these movies features a walking tree terrorizing a South Seas village?
    A) From Hell It Came
    B) Green Dolphin Street
    C) South Of Pago Pago
    D) The Big Trees
    E) Day Of The Triffids
  6. Who are the Fenachrone?
  7. This movie is based on speculations that the moon landings were faked. Although the film deals with a faked Mars landing, the echoes of the fake lunar rumors reverberate through out the film, giving it added resonance. Name it!
  8. Who wrote the auto-erotic novel Crash?
  9. What nickname did the Minbari give John Sheridan during the Earth-Minbari war?
  10. Who is Chad Mulligan?

(Answers below the fold)

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Posted in Ephemera September 23rd, 2010 by Chip
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Polymer Porn

Polymer

Being a polymer scientist, I can’t look at porn or nudity. So I have to get creative.

See the entire series here.

(Potentially NSFW if your boss is against, um, polyamory.)

Posted in Humor, Science September 22nd, 2010 by Chip
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Seen Online

I cry when I think about all the tap dancers and big-bosomed English Teachers that also must have died on the Death Star.
Beerhaze

Burning a book will never lighten the darkness that is terrifying you. Reading it might.
juskewitch

When Frodo was saved by giant eagles after walking all the way to Mt. Doom, I bet he was all “WE HAVE GIANT EAGLES?!?!?!”
badbanana

We are the last generation that will ever know what it’s like to live without the internet.
Digeratii

Somewhere along the line I switched from the Rebellion to the Empire.
thesulk

If the car behind me honks while waiting for my parking space at the mall, I turn off my car and visibly start a rubik’s cube.
DamienFahey

If I were Buzz Aldrin I would win all arguments by saying, “Good point, but I’ve been to the MOON.” Then I would vanish in a puff of smoke.
scottsimpson

There has never been a villain who wasn’t the hero in their own story, or a hero who wasn’t the villain in somebody else’s.
DeathStarPR

“Here’s your armor. It doesn’t stop anything now, but we’re working on it.” -New Stormtrooper Orientation
badbanana

Posted in Humor September 21st, 2010 by Chip
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Link Dump

The Best SciFi Cartoons – An opinionated roundup.

Ghostbusters Invoice – A prop used in the movie.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year – These are just gorgeous.

Bumper Sticker – Great gaming riffs on the “My Child is an Honor Student” stickers.

Planet Cross-stitch – Free cross-stitch patterns of the planets.

Geeky Wedding Cakes – A roundup.

Comic Book Bumper Stickers – “Vigilantes Do It with a Vengeance.”

Posted in Ephemera September 20th, 2010 by Chip
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Neo Lebowski

The Matrix really ties the room together.

(via BoingBoing)

Posted in Humor September 17th, 2010 by Chip
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