Science Fiction Brewed Fresh Daily

NASA – Year in Review, 2010

Part One
Part Two

Both episodes are available as audio or video streams. Let’s think “positive” for the year(s) ahead!

Posted in News, Science, Space December 31st, 2010 by ceejaydp
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Future holds key to quantum physics

via USA Today
Dan Vergano
2010.11.21

If Yogi Berra had pursued a career in quantum physics instead of baseball, you could imagine him saying something like, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

That’s because for a lot of things in quantum physics (and baseball), exactly what happened in the past can be as much of a mystery as the what will happen in the future. The future, though, may be literally telling us what is happening now, according to a real trailblazer in the admittedly spooky world of quantum physics.
FULL STORY

Posted in Science December 31st, 2010 by ceejaydp
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Trivia Thursday

  1. What’s missing from the original US edition of Anthony Burgess’ classic novel A Clockwork Orange?
    A) Any references to drug use
    B) A polemic against Americans
    C) The final chapter
    D) The word “droog”
    E) Any references to Beethoven
  2. Filmed by Hammer in 1967, Quatermass and the Pit involved the discovery of Martian remains in an archaeological dig. What was the title of the American release of this movie?
  3. Winston Smith is the main character of what novel?
  4. Part of the novel Cosmonaut Keep is set on the planet Mingulay, in a complex society of humans, saurs, and…giant squid! Who wrote this obviously O*W*C-friendly book?
  5. In the TV series Max Headroom, which character’s mind was Max generated from?
  6. This author’s characters include an orangutan librarian, an animated piece of luggage, and Death (who really likes cats). Name him.
  7. This gender-bending story by Gwyneth Jones concerns a reporter who is contacted by an apparently female alien. Although they look human, their thought patterns are radically different.
  8. The dominant star traveling culture in many of Ian Banks’ SF books is known as what?
  9. What is written in large, friendly letters on the cover of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?
  10. In Babylon Five, to what religion does Dr. Franklin belong?
    A) Foundationism
    B) Christianity
    C) Mezentianism
    D) Scientology
    E) Buddhism

(Answers below the fold)

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Posted in Ephemera December 30th, 2010 by Chip
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Why Are You Here? A New Theory May Hold the Missing Piece

via The Huffington Post: Living
by Robert Lanza, M.D.
2010.11.12

Why do you happen to be alive on this lush little planet with its warm sun and coconut trees? And at just the right time in the history of the universe? The surface of the molten earth has cooled, but it’s not too cold. And it’s not too hot; the sun hasn’t expanded enough to melt the Earth’s surface with its searing gas yet. Even setting aside the issue of being here and now, the probability of random physical laws and events leading to this point is less than 1 out of 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, equivalent to winning every lottery there ever was.
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Posted in Ephemera, Science December 29th, 2010 by ceejaydp
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Grandma’s Superhero Therapy

via My Modern Met

A few years ago, French photographer Sacha Goldberger found his 91-year-old Hungarian grandmother Frederika feeling lonely and depressed. To cheer her up, he suggested that they shoot a series of outrageous photographs in unusual costumes, poses, and locations. Grandma reluctantly agreed, but once they got rolling, she couldn’t stop smiling.
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Aside from great strength

Aside from great strength, Frederika has an incredible sense of humor...

Posted in Ephemera, Humor December 28th, 2010 by ceejaydp
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6 Eerily Specific Inventions Predicted in Science Fiction

via Cracked

by Colin Murdock

Science fiction is by far the nerdiest of the fictions, and its bread and butter consists of robot uprisings and unexpected time travel consequences. But for every Martian invasion and robocop-related mishap it has warned about, science fiction has made some stunningly accurate premonitions.

We’re not talking about broad predictions, like “thinking machines” or “interplanetary travel.” That stuff’s easy. It’s the weirdly specific prophecies that impress us.

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Posted in Humor, Movies & TV December 27th, 2010 by ceejaydp
1 comment

Happy Holidays!

Yoda

Whatever winter holiday you celebrate, we at the O*W*C hope it’s fabulous.

(From Shoebox Blog)

Posted in Humor December 25th, 2010 by Chip
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Santa Claus risks health by flying all night, sleep experts warn

via Physorg

Santa needs his nap

Santa Claus needs his rest

Every year Santa Claus and his team of elves and reindeers stay awake for days and nights so he can deliver presents to children all over the world for Christmas – but he could be putting his and their health at risk. Sleep experts Professor Franco Cappuccio and Dr. Michelle Miller, from University of Warwick’s Warwick Medical School, discuss the pros and cons of Santa’s ‘all-nighter’.
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Posted in News December 24th, 2010 by ceejaydp
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Trivia Thursday

  1. In Michael Moorcock’s “Behold the Man,” time-traveller Karl Glogauer takes the place of what legendary character?
  2. This Catharine Asaro story of a ballerina and her future stepson’s trials in a virtual reality mansion appeared in the SF collection Christmas Forever. What is its colorful title?
  3. In “The War Beneath the Tree,” sentient toys overthrow their new replacements on Christmas Eve. Who wrote this short work with a rather chilling ending?
  4. What star of Dune (the original movie) starred in a remake of the famous Dickens story A Christmas Carol?
  5. According to “Christmas In The Stars” (The Star Wars Christmas Album), What Can You Get a Wookiee For Christmas (When He Already Owns a Comb)?
  6. In this author’s “The Gifts of the Magistrate,” a humorist obsessed with Mark Twain intends to die when Halley’s Comet appears, just as Twain did. His former lover saves him by knocking the comet out of the Solar system. Name the author, better known for his pun-filled stories about a certain bar.
  7. In the X-Files episode “Christmas Carol,” who does Scully originally suspect is the mother of Emily Sim?
  8. In this author’s “Not a Creature,” a man takes his gun outside on Christmas Eve to find out what is making mysterious sounds near his house.
  9. “Cyber-Claus” is this cyberpunk author’s contribution to Christmas SF. Name this author, perhaps best known for the Sprawl series.
  10. In this 1962 novelette by James White, six children from all over the 1960’s Cold War world use their combined powers to look for Santa Claus and end up by averting World War Three–permanently. Name it.

(Answers below the fold)

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Posted in Ephemera December 23rd, 2010 by Chip
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Stem Cell Rap

via Talking Science

In 2009, Dr. Garlick succeeded in growing three-dimensional tissues from human embryonic stem cells, making him and his team of scientists the first to achieve the pioneering research for the field.
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Posted in Science December 22nd, 2010 by ceejaydp
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