Thursday, November 30, 2006

Jericho season ending episode

Well Jericho fans, I guess you all know now that the show is going on hiatus until early next year. As you would think, popular shows like Jericho going on such a hiatus would end the season with a cliff hanger worthy of keeping your interest until new shows arrive. So what is the cliff hanger for Jericho? Oh it's got to be more info on why it would seem China is dropping food to Jericho or the bad boy militia men back for more....or....nope...literally an email from some mystery men saying “See You Soon!” Yeah it was a bit creepy but all I did was laugh. Yeah it was that lame. Roger and a group of refugees come walking back into town.....That could have been climatic, but it was like an afterthought. Hawkins still getting messages from his mystery people is strange enough but for the rest of the season ender we could have been watching an episode of Gunsmoke....Grey's wanna be mayor antics lead me to think we were going to see a lynching. And that foolishness of Bonnie seeking out the bad boy element... give me a break. The only surprise from this one hour snooze was Dale walking out of the light to shoot Mitchell for stabbing Gracie....Didn't make up for this episode being a real ho hum snoozer. I will be real surprised if Jericho gets back half of its audience in February.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Heroes coming to BBC Two next year

From the TVSQUAD blog: You know that a series has become a hit in America when British TV starts clamoring for it. But its especially interesting when the stuffy, government-run BBC picks up a show. So, to US fans, the news that Heroes will start airing on BBC Two in 2007 is a bit of a surprise; this seemed like a show that was more suitable for one of the independent channels over there, like ITV.

Top Ten Lies Robot Builders Tell Themselves.

From the Suicide Bots blog.... its about Robot building, but any of us that have done electronics know these ! lol

10) I won’t need any spares.
9) The voltage difference shouldn’t cause any problems.
8) This is gonna be easy!
7) It will work fine the first time.
6) I don’t need to wear gloves.
5) Buying this new tool will SAVE me money
4) It will hold fine as it is.
3) I should do this the right way, but I can save five minutes if I…
2) I don’t need to test it before the show.

and the number one lie that robot builders tell themselves:

1) It’ll only take 15 minutes!

Heroes review for episode 11/27/06

You know this episode could have been run as the”answer” episode. There were many more answers this week than last. Though if your like me, there were fleeting impressions of the first Star Trek episodes mix up with Heroes this week. Ok, before you glaze over, let me explain myself. The first “true” episode of Star Trek didn't get air time until well into mid season. Reason? It was too long and confusing or so thought the powers that be. Oh and Tab Hunter had the bad timing to kick off.....So Roddenbery recut the original into the 2 part “the Cage”. Well how does this apply to Heroes? Well just look at what we learn and tell me that this show should have been the original first episode? Am I right? So lets take a closer look. Heroes this week was a “prequel” or maybe a sideways episode. The premise is the Hiro jumps back to save the waitress but jumps too far, 6 months too far to be exact, right to when people's “powers” really began to manifest. We find Mohinder's father not only working but finding and contacting a perspective. Unfortunately he contacts the soon to be Syler (the name of a watch we find out) who it seems can do what Peter can do and that's to “copy” a person's ability but Syler takes it a gruesome step further and kills off the competition. Definitely a “there can be only one” mentality here. We see Nathan fly out of a car just before an accident. ( one it seems that paralyzed his wife) Matt, starting to hear voices in his head ( though, if you ask me those clips were the most confusing because the writers never made it clear if that was what was happening or was he having relationship angst, and and excuse me... the doughnut thing with him and Eden....excuse me?) Claire cutting her hand rather badly and discovering it healed shortly there after and in the middle of this we have hapless Hiro desperately trying to save the waitress only to accidentally jumping out at the critical moment and shows up back in present day at the chafe with the chilling realization that time isn't as easy to manage as once thought. Claire's father is still an enigma. It seems even at this early date, he was well aware of people with abilities and has openly recruited the “brain drainer” and works to have Eden come on as well. One more curious note...when Eden tries to use her “voice” on him he retorts, “ You have never come across someone that could say NO to you before Eden, now you have.” Does he have “abilities”? Can you see how this would have been a great first episode? Yeah maybe it tells too much. Oh one thing that was made eminently clear this week was the fact that next weeks episode is the last until some time in January....supposed to be a good one...but then, NBC has made that promise in the past...

Monday, November 27, 2006

NASA Pessimistic About Finding Mars Space Probe

NASA's best efforts to find a missing Mars space probe have failed, scientists said as they began to lose hope for the 10-year-old planet-mapping workhorse. After more than two weeks of silence from the Mars Global Surveyor, NASA will make other tries to locate it, but scientists were pessimistic. The $154 million surveyor, which was supposed to last only two years but continued sending data for almost a decade, is the oldest of six different active space probes on or circling the red planet. Now NASA will try an even less likely search effort. Engineers will send a signal to the silent spacecraft, asking it to turn on a beacon on one of the two Mars rovers below. If the rover beacon turns on, NASA could figure out where the lost Mars Surveyor is.

Mass Extinction Changed Ecology of Earth's Oceans

The earth experienced its biggest mass extinction about 250 million years ago, an event that wiped out an estimated 95% of marine species and 70% of land species. New research shows that this mass extinction did more than eliminate species: it fundamentally changed the basic ecology of the world's oceans. Ecologically simple marine communities were largely displaced by complex communities - higher-metabolism, mobile organisms (such as snails, clams and crabs) that actually go out and find their own food and the decreased diversity of older groups of low-metabolism, stationary organisms (such as lamp shells and sea lilies) that filter nutrients from the water.

Do humans explode in the vacuum of space?

From the Damn Interesting blog we read : In scores of science fiction stories, hapless adventurers find themselves introduced to the vacuum of space without proper protection. There is often screams and gasps as the increasingly bloated humans writhe and spasm. Their exposed veins and eyeballs soon bulge. The ill-fated adventurers rapidly swell like over-inflated balloons, ultimately bursting in a gruesome spray of blood. As is true with many subjects, this representation in popular culture does not reflect the reality of exposure to outer space.

Click the title for a more realistic discussion of the effects of exposure to space vacuum.

Why we're probably living in The Matrix

The simulation argument puts forward the view that we are almost definitely living in a computer simulation. By looking at the origins of life, the pace of evolution of technology and various thought experiments, this article argues that we're not real and that we're living inside The Matrix.

Click the title for this mind bending argument!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Teen creates nuclear fusion reactor in parents' basement

Thiago Olson, a 17-year-old from outside Detroit, went and built himself a nuclear fusion reactor in his parents' basement. It took him over 1,000 hours. The setup involves a vacuum chamber that gets filled with deuterium gas which then gets zapped with 40,000 volts of electricity. What results is a small amount of nuclear fusion.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Daybreak 11-22-06

Ok, I thought last week's Daybreak was confusing? Wow by comparison, last week was a Dick and Jane book. I started watching Daybreak right from the first shot and never, and I mean never got my feet under me again for the whole hour. You have to give the writers credit. That many twists and turns in a show with that few cast members. One thing that I am getting annoyed with real quick is Diggs' character always saying tomorrow. I will see your tomorrow, I will do it tomorrow. Yeah we get it, you mean today but its your tomorrow...sheeeeesh. This week we find that the IAD dirt bag is somehow involved with some of the lowlifes, but curiously when Harper confronts them on two different “days” they don't seem to be aware of the time loop. Curiously neither did the shadow man in the gravel pit. So this mystery is adding levels upon levels. There are more than just one shadowy organization bent on Harper's demise. I said last week that I didn't think that Daybreak could keep up the frenetic pace but it certainly did a good job this week. Though I am seeing a tenancy to rerun the same scene over and over with only slight changes. I KNOW! Its a show about a day in a time loop so things are happening over and over again...I know!!! But last week we knew something about what happened before and the slight changes that Harper did, drastically changed the outcome. His week its a different word or a different movement and oh horrors one time Harper's girlfriend's x doesn't stay over and the next he does. But you know, even if it was mostly chaotic and confusing the one hint that I wanted Harper to get to was the package in his mail and he did. He doesn't understand but at least we know what is in the mysterious package. Oh and I did like the way he blew off the downstairs neighbor with the leak... so, ok, they threw a lot at us this week, lets hope they can tie a few of these different “events” together so we can start making sense out of whats going on.

Jericho for 11-22-06

This episode of Jericho was something akin to waiting in the dentist's office and hearing the drill do it's worst in the next room. I knew something was going to happen, the wait was killing me and in the end what finally happened was well, confusing. This week Russian Migs and bombers fly over Jericho and drop...ummm food and fliers from China!? What's the first thing that happens? Well yeah after the almost riots and fights the mayor puts all the food off limits because it might be contaminated. The rational used? Well you remember the indians and how they were wiped out with infected blankets?...oh no wait, I have just started with we get the prerequisite amounts or arguments and fights ending with the food being off limits for fear of poison or worse. Then they discover that the parachutes have RFID chips and are American in design. Am I the only one to see Rube Goldberg in this? There were fighters and bombers people! Why do through all the trouble of poison when you had a bomber right there to do the job for you! No the food appears to be some part of an elaborate misdirection. So that was the high points. The rest of the show was 90210 mixed with Days of our lives. The pregnant wife that is jilted for a barmaid but won't tell she is pregnant because she doesn't want him back just for the baby. The son who won't be coming home for the holidays because he is keeping time with another woman. The bickering couple brought together by life's harshness find themselves inexplicably in I have to go on? I know CBS is trying to cater to a wide audience but this schizophrenic plot is going to alienate more people than it attracts.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Heroes 11-20-06

Well this this episode of Heroes, we were enticed with the possibilities of answers. Did we get any? Nope – nada, if anything I am a bit more confused. Hiro is still missing, except for the enigmatic Polaroid on the bulletin board. Claire's father continues to be a difficult person to figure out. He continues to strong arm the painter Isaac into painting. The sole motivation seems to be to save Claire from being brutalized by the same shadowy killer that took the back of the waitress' head off. We are privy however to a little break in the ranks when one of Claire's father's “toys” Eden openly revolts when ordered to drug Isaac again to get him to paint. But practically the next scene we have her and the “mind wiper” playing well together to take down the “shadow man”. You know, that bothers me too. Here we have been set up to think that there is a true and present danger to Claire at the very least and here we are show Eden saying when the killer show up in the woods....”sleep” and as he wobbles the “wiper” puts some sort of Vulcan nerve pinch on him and he is out like a light. Sheeeeeeeesh! The writers and special effects people at NBC/Heroes need to watch a couple of episodes of Fox's Mutant X. As campy as that show was, when it came time to “git bizzy” you could just about hear “Lets get ready to rumble!” This was lame. Ok, Heroes is suppose to be more thoughtful and noir, but it came across as an after thought. Yeah we see Claire get seriously pummeled and some shelves flung about, but I thought this was just a warm up....nope. “Shadow Man” looks to have ALL the powers and I was thinking there is going to be some whoopin goin on, next week I think. Though for teasers, we see Hiro pop into the diner in the past and blithely say “I am here to save your life” I don't think he has ANY idea just how far back he went. The Heroes site on NBC says 6 months – before their powers were known..- uh...wrong.... Mohinder's father was doing research and “found” them long before. But it should be interesting how this plays out. Also “dark Niki” has bought an ubber rifle and “goes hunting” and we are left with DL in the cross hairs.... Peter is arrested despite his brother's best efforts to keep him out of trouble. Ok, Nathan cares about his brother. So he doesn't want him hurt. Does he have to be so slimy about it?! Yeah I get the idea, Nathan is interested in Nathan and getting what Nathan wants, but this scene came across as more Snidely Whiplash than a self serving politician. But if the writers intentions were to dislike Nathan Pertrelli and question his motives no matter what he does, well then they have succeeded at least in that. I think Matt is a much more interesting part of the show, lol put him on more would be my suggestion. Anyway, this episode was more about misdirection than clearing up loose ends. We will be waiting at the very least until next week to find out if this “save” was the one to save the world.

Boston Legal's Star Trek connections

TvSqaud blog has assembled a rather odd collection of facts. In this installment they unearth some interesting connections between the star trek universe and Boston Legal, here are a few hints -
Captain Kirk - well uh duh but there is more....

Odo the rubbery faced shapeshifter from DS9
Quark the Ferengi bar owner on DS9
Neelix on Star Trek: Voyage the Talaxian and starship's cook
Seven of Nine On Star Trek: Voyager part-Borg crewmate

Click the title link to read more

Battlestar Galactia Moves To Sundays

SCIFIWIRE reports that: SCI FI Channel's award-winning series Battlestar Galactica will move to a new timeslot starting Jan. 21, 2007: Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT, following the premiere of the new original series The Dresden Files at 9 p.m. .

Battlestar Galactica: Character Profiles

From Julia Houston,
Your Guide to Sci-Fi / Fantasy.

Here are the major plot and background points for the main characters of the best show currently on TV, Battlestar Galactica, airing Friday nights on the Sci-Fi Channel. If you aren't watching, this should help you get started.

words from Kathryn Gossow

In show # 26 we were extremely honored to run a short story from author Kathryn Gossow called the Applicant. The story is quick and very Twilight Zone in feel. I recorded her story with my own equipment and used my voice with filters. Even - Well anyway- what a treat to have her write back! This was the email I just received from her. Thank you so much Kathryn! I hope we can work together again in the future.

I know it seems like ancient history, but thank you for reading my story on your show. You did a good job. It is weird to hear it in your accents, as I only hear it in my head!
Thanks again

. Her website is <> and blog at <> This author resides in the Antipodes

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Zachary Quinto signs on with the Heroes cast

From this week's Entertainment Weekly: Zachary Quinto has been cast as the mysterious Sylar who will show his face and speak a line on the November 27th episode.

Sylar up until this point has been a mysterious shadowy person who is being tracked by the FBI for a string of very grisly murders. In the last Heroes episode we see that the murders are not as random as the FBI would have us think. Sylar is methodically eliminating anyone that has any special abilities in a manner that may be efficient but also extremely gruesome. Also there are subtle hints that Sylar himself may have the very same "abilities" that he is eliminating, leading one to suppose that he may not be a rogue but more an assassin.

FilmCritics's list of the top 10 sf movie Spaceships

From the blog SF Signals we have: FilmCritic's Top 10 Movie Spaceships

FilmCritic lists The Top 10 Movie Spaceships

  1. Millennium Falcon (Star Wars series)
  2. U.S.S. Enterprise (various versions) (Star Trek series)
  3. Nostromo (Alien)
  4. Heart of Gold (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)
  5. Apollo 13 (Apollo 13)
  6. Discovery One (2001: A Space Odyssey)
  7. Klingon Bird of Prey (Star Trek series)
  8. Mothership (Independence Day)
  9. Gunstar (The Last Starfighter)
  10. The Thunder Road (Explorers)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

George Takei joins cast of Heroes

George Takei, Star Trek's Captain Sulu, will be playing Hiro Nakamura's father on NBC's Heroes. You can expect Hiro's father to be showing up stateside to bring his super son back to Japan. If you've been watching the series, you know that won't go over too well considering that Hiro is on a mission to save New York City from imploding in five weeks.

Look for George to show in episodes in January.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Drug Doubles Endurance, Study Says

A report today in a leading journal about a drug that doubles the physical endurance of mice running on treadmills. An ordinary lab mouse will run about one kilometer — five-eights of a mile — on a treadmill before collapsing from exhaustion. But mice given resveratrol, a minor component of red wine and other foods, run twice as far. Resveratrol has also been reported to extend the lifespan of mice.

They also have a reduced heart rate and energy-charged muscles, just as trained athletes do, according to an article published online in Cell by Johan Auwerx and his colleagues at the Institute of Genetics and Molecular and Cellular Biology in Illkirch, France.

He and his colleagues said the same mechanism seems likely to operate in humans, based on their analysis, in a group of Finnish subjects, of the gene that is influenced by the drug.

“Resveratrol makes you look like a trained athlete without the training,” Dr. Auwerx (pronounced OH-wer-ix”) said in an interview.

Chandra Discovers source of Cosmic Rays

New clues about the origins of cosmic rays, mysterious high-energy particles that bombard the Earth, have been revealed using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. An extraordinarily detailed image of the remains of an exploded star provides crucial insight into the generation of cosmic rays.

For the first time, astronomers have recorded the acceleration of cosmic ray electrons in a supernova remnant that shows that the electrons are being accelerated at close to the theoretically maximum rate. This provides compelling evidence that supernova remnants are key sites for producing cosmic ray particles.

The findings were created from an image of Cassiopeia A, a 325-year-old remnant produced by the explosive death of a massive star.

The Thing remake

SF SIGNALS reports: Strike Entertainment and Universal Pictures will remake John Carpenter's SF horror movie The Thing, with Battlestar Galactica executive producer Ronald D. Moore writing the script, Variety reported. The 1982 original dealt with a shapeshifting creature from outer space that terrorizes researchers at an Antarctic station. That film in turn was a remake of the 1951 classic SF movie The Thing From Another World, which was adapted from the 1938 short story "Who Goes There?" by legendary SF author John W. Campbell Jr.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Day Break ABC's midseason LOST replacement

First off is Day Break science fiction? hummmm Time is screwed up and now police officer Harper is caught in an apparent time loop. Sounds like good sci-fi to me! Wow, when I first heard about Day break .from an ABC blurb that said Day Break was ground hog day with a bit of die hard mixed in. I thought “ Oh yeah fat chance!” But by the third time Harper wakes up into the same day, I was seriously hook. And talk about bringing out the big guns! - car chases, fights, falls, beatings, interrogations, car crashes, thugs, hoodlums, murders, shootouts you name it.. And just who isn't involved!! ABC aims to keep you interested enough to tune in again next week. Can they keep this pell-mell pace up? I doubt it, but I sure will watch next week. click the title to go straight to this weeks episode player online. Some of the notables in the cast are Tayne Diggs plays Harper on the run - wanted for murder that he is being framed for. Diggs as you remember played in Basic, opposite Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta. Adam Baldwin plays Chad Shelten an IAD officer hell bent on getting Harper and may or may not be involved with the shadowy group that is framing Harper. Baldwin has appeared in projects that include HBO's acclaimed miniseries From the Earth to the Moon and is known to the sci-fi world audiences for his starring role on Firefly, recurring roles on The X-Files, Angel and The Visitor, and guest starring roles on Stargate SG-1 and the new The Outer Limits. He followed up his Firefly character once again in Joss Whedon's motion picture, Serenity. Victoria Pratt plays Harper's police partner Andrea Battle. You might remember Pratt from her stint on Fox networks Mutant X where she played Shalimar Fox.

Awesome Robot Music Video

'Cos I'm a Robot. . .
Scent of a Robot!

This delightful thing is the work of rapper Pete Miser and the video was produced by UV Phactory. Really well done, and they don’t even seem to be a huge multimedia conglomerate. W00t.

James Patrick Kelly Returns to Podcasting

The Blog SFSIGNALS reports : James Patrick Kelly is back from a summer vacation and has started podcasting again. A new feature of his Free Reads podcast is to read his On The Net columns from Asimov's Science Fiction starting with On The Net: FTL.

Miller Talks Sin City 2

Frank Miller, who wrote and co-directed Sin City based on his graphic novels of the same name, told SCI FI Wire that he plans to co-direct the upcoming sequel, Sin City 2, with Robert Rodriguez, despite rumors to the contrary.

"There are a number of short stories and a brand-new story that I'm just developing right now featuring Nancy Callahan [Jessica Alba] and her reaction to the death of John Hartigan [played in the first film by Bruce Willis, who likely won't appear in the sequel]," Miller added. Sin City 2 is tentatively slated for production and release in 2007.

Jericho 11/16/06

Well shut my mouth for calling Jericho a soap opera with bombs. Last two shows have put a stop to that sentiment. This Wednesday’s offering was one of the best shows to date. Last week as you know the brothers went off to get meds for their dad the mayor. Well this week the Mercs follow them to Jericho for a standoff on the connecting bridge. Jake has gone against his brother’s and father’s wishes and has rigged the bridge with explosives ala the federal building blast of a few years back. (what’s the deal with red necks and fuel oil bombs? Is this something they practice at?) Anyway the climax of this weeks show was the stand off on the bridge. Jake has a laser dot on his chest and a mysterious dot appears on the chest of the head merc. When the camera spins around whom do we see? Yep you guessed it. Jake and Hawkins have some history with this bandit/merc it would seem. Lets see, they both can make bombs on the fly, have access and are familiar with high powered firearms in a sniper capacity and have dealt with mercenaries in the past….You can tell CBS is loading up for a season ender the 29. They certainly have my interest now. Don’t get me wrong.. the majority of the show is still a soap with candles, but the action sequences are more than making up for the snooze elements.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Baen Books Free to Disabled Readers

Baen Books (, a publisher of science fiction, will provide its books to fans who are blind, paralysed, or dyslexic, or are amputees, in electronic form free of charge, effective immediately.

Baen Books is making this offer in recognition of Veterans Day, and all our disabled military veterans. Many Baen authors are veterans themselves, using a military setting as the setting of their tales. Right now convalescing vets might welcome an exciting, fast-action tale to pass the time.

Jim Baen, founder of Baen Books, who passed on June 28, 2006, decided to "provide each challenged reader with a permanent pass" to the regular e-publication of Baen’s new books. His successor, publisher Toni Weisskopf, is implementing his idea with this program.

For more information, click the story title link.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Babylon 5: The Lost Tales begins production

TV Squad blog reports: Warner Home Video officially announced the start of production on the new straight to DVD Babylon 5 movie. Originally it was reported to include three new stories written by B5 creator J. Michael Straczynski. In this post at jmsnews he mentions three half hour stories plus bonus material for the new DVD. Now that production has begun, it appears that one of the three stories will be cut. Cinema Blend has a rundown of Straczynski's latest postings on the subject. Apparently the Garibaldi story was the most complicated one to make, so it has been postponed for a possible later release.

Dolphins taught to sing Batman theme

Cory Doctorow writes in his Boing Boing blog: Scientists at the Living Seas in Walt Disney World's Epcot Center have taught dolphins to sing the theme from the original Batman show. No word on whether Warners will sue for copyright or trademark infringement

Click the title hot-link to go to the complete story

Monday, November 13, 2006

Heroes for 11/13/06

Wow what's the deal with Claire's father? Up until now he has been some kind of black ops government scary kind of guy and then this week he is begging Isaac to help him save his daughter from being killed...(yeah I know, she is supposed to be unkillable) Well seems that there is this killer with “powers” that is killing people with abilities. We have only seen this mystery killer in shadows, but his methods sure aren't. Let me back up a bit...Remember that I have said before, I don't think the “heroes” are alone. Last week we find out that there is a “firestarter”. This week an unassuming roadside waitress has gained the ability to remember anything she sees or hears. She doesn't get to enjoy it though...Shadowman takes the back of her head off. Hiro is sure he can save her by going back a day to keep her from coming to work....He says he will be back by the count of 5 but by the end of the show he hadn't show up...well an old photo is now on the bulletin board of him and the waitress at a birthday is missing, radioactive man escapes but not before he and Matt find out that they both have had some sort of procedure done on them, Mohinder had a “special” sister years before who died mysteriously – confused? Don't feel like your all alone, Heroes writers opened the taps this week after last weeks snooze and we wound up with more plot loose strings than ever. But hey, I am jazzed again with what happened this week. Yeah, Heroes got legs again.

Friday, November 10, 2006

RIP: Jack Williamson

SF Grand Master Jack Williamson, born 1908, died Friday 11/10/06 at his home in Portales, New Mexico, at the age of 98. His first published story was "The Metal Man" in Amazing Stories in 1928, the beginning of a writing career that spanned nine decades. His work ranged from early space opera series The Legion of Space (beginning 1934), werewolf SF/fantasy Darker Than You Think (1940), thoughtful SF classic The Humanoids (1948), Golden Age antimatter tale Seetee Ship (1951 as by Will Stewart), and time travel series Legion of Time (1952). Later works included Hugo and Nebula Award winning novella "The Ultimate Earth" (2000) and its novel expansion Terraforming Earth (2001), winner of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award.

Jericho episode review for 11/8/06

Jerico review

This Wednesday we picked up at where Jake and Eric are on their way to a nearby hospital to retrieve medicine for Jake's father. When they arrive at their destination, no one is to be found on the streets, or in the parking lot of the hospital. When all of a sudden, gunfire explodes from the building and the two men run. Jake suggests that the gunfire is from the top floor. They enter the building where they hear a man, from the top floor, asking them to put down their weapons or else. Once they gain the mans trust they meet the only doctor alive in the facility, and the shooter, who was an assassin in the war in Iraq. The shooter is protecting the building from other government troops trying to take over the building. Jake and Eric retrieve the medicine, and return to Jericho, where they administer it to mr. Green and the episode ends there.

posted by Courtney Cole

20 Craziest Scientific researches

From the web blog To Much Spare Time comes a list of 20 unusual research papers.... here is a sample - click the title for more....

Acute Management of the Zipper-Entrapped Penis
Fragmentation of Rods by Cascading Cracks: Why Spaghetti Does Not Break in Half
Impact of Wet Underwear on Thermoregulatory Responses
Rectal Foreign Bodies
The Relationship Among Height, Penile Length, and Foot Size

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Jericho will take ten-week hiatus after November 29

In an effort to ward off possible ratings downturn, CBS has plans to institute a radical plan to foster viewer interest. According to the blog "TV Squad" CBS knows what it has with Jericho; a hit drama . But it also knows the risks having such a hit show brings with it; it's not a very rerunable show, and airing too many repeats in a row might kill the show's momentum. So CBS has decided to go the route that ABC did with Lost (and NBC wanted to do with ER until the show's ratings went up) and will put the show on a ten-week hiatus after it's "fall season" finale on November 29. New episodes will come back in February.

The Door Through Space now on Gutenburg

The Door Through Space by Marion Zimmer Bradley is now available at Gutenburg. Here is a short blurb of the book.

Wolf: a deadly world under a cold red sun, old when Terrans were learning to walk upright. Only one Terran agent knew Wolf well enough to pass undetected; but he had ruined his usefulness long ago. And yet only this scarred and bitter man could discover the secret of The Door Through Space...

Jim Baen's Top 10 Sci-Fi books

As we all know by now, Jim Baen inovative publisher of Baen Books died June 11th of this year. Shortly before his death he spoke with author David Drake about a project that Amazon asked him to do, which was to create a list of his top 10 science fiction books. Here is Jim's list, click the title link to go to the full article:

  1. Foundation by Isaac Asimov
  2. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
  3. A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller
  4. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
  5. Dune by Frank Herbert
  6. Lest Darkness Fall by L. Sprague deCamp
  7. Against the Fall of Night by Arthur C. Clarke
  8. Citizen of the Galaxy by Robert A. Heinlein
  9. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
  10. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain

possible show -The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Julia Houston, at the About Sci-Fi / Fantasy blog reports

  • no airtime dates yet, but Fox has cast Lena Headey as Sarah Connor in the pilot project from Warner Bros, The Sarah Connor Chronicles. As the title suggests, it's the continuing adventures of Sarah and John in LA's present-day.
Yeah that's the Terminator Sarah Connor if you were wondering......

Hunters of Dune -review- by Syldra LaPorte

“Hunters of Dune”

I just concluded reading “Hunters of Dune” by Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson. This has been tooted as the final book in the series…. It is not. It ends on a cliff high up. In other words a cliff-Hanger. On the cover of the book it states “The Grand Climax to Brian Herbert’s Dune Saga begins” yes it begins but does not finish. That comes in a book, unpublished as yet, titled “Sandworms of Dune”. Another book titled, “Paul of Dune” is said to follow. I am truly looking forward to them.

Every book of this series I have read has been good reading. I have read the entire series from “House Atreide’s ” to this latest one “Hunters of Dune”. This one, “Hunters of Dune” is different than all the others I have read. The pace appears to change from place to place in the book. This is probably because Brian Herbert was working
from material his father had secreted in two bank vaults that no one had known existed. When Brian opened them he found two computer discs containing the notes and other material Frank Herbert had prepared for the writing of this book. That is perhaps the reason the pace changes in places as I find that Frank Herbert’s original books… starting with “Dune” are all slower paced than Brian’s Books. I think there is a greater depth to Frank Herbert’s books than there is to Brian Herbert’s books. Any way… I have enjoyed all…. 11 (I think… off the top of my head) of them.

“Hunter’s of Dune” starts where “Charterhouse: Dune” left off. “Hunter’s…..” does bring all the major people in the entire series together. It helps to have read the entire series to understand Who the Oracle Of Time really is…. And other comments made and other parts of the book. We have a rebirth of Paul Atreides, Jessica, Leto II, and the evil Baron Harkonnen, just to name a few. Even Serena Butler is mentioned. Other major evil beings reappear
also. But I won’t mention who in case someone intends to read the book. It is well worth reading. After reading all the books, it is like revisiting old friends. Only I wish that my favorite Vorian Atreides had been mentioned….. Perhaps he will be a future book.

Brian has stated that these three books I have mentioned are not the last of the Dune books . “Hunters…. And Sandworms “ are only the climax to the series.

It states on the books cover…..and I Quote “ ’Hunters of Dune’ and the concluding volume, ’ Sandworms of Dune”, bring together the great story lines and beloved Characters in Frank Herbert’s classic Dune universe, ranging from the time of the Butlerian Jihad to the original Dune series and beyond. Based directly on Frank Herbert’s final outline, which lay hidden in safe-deposit boxes for a decade, these two volumes will finally answer the urgent questions Dune fans’ have been debating for two decades.

Syldra M. Diehl LaPorte

Polaris by Jack McDevitt -review-

Polaris by Jack McDevitt

hardcover 370 pp ACE

The Polaris, on a scientific observation mission, fails to return after informing control that it was preparing to return. Rescue vessels discover the Polaris adrift in space without a crew and no clues as to what happened. Sixty years later, the mystery is still unsolved. Artifacts recovered from the ship are starting to attract interest not only from antiquities dealers and collectors, but mysterious individuals that seem to have no past and no records. As investigators get closer, someone or something is bent on stopping them – at any cost. McDevitt packs a huge amount of plot and character development into a scant 370 pages. He gives us history of his universe, the science that drives it and does it in an interesting and personal manner. Plus characters that you soon learn to identify with even if they are flawed and human. Polaris hooks you quickly with a closed door mystery and then lights the rockets for a pell mell ride to the very last page. Jack McDevitt has given us a true science fiction version of the Flying Dutchman. A true page turner sf/mystery that even Asimov would have enjoyed. Bravo – very strong read recommendation.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Heroes episode 7 for 11/6/06

You have got to hand it to the writers of Heroes. They have played some of their plot cards very close to their chests. That’s got to be hard. The “awesome!” or “oh wow” factor is fading fast as we become more in tune with the major players in the show. However they continue to dole out enough new twists that we still have a very “neat!” thing going on. For example…Micah, Niki’s child seems to be able to control machinery. There may have been earlier instances but the first overt manifestation is when he “calls” home to his mother. Somehow he manipulated the pay phone allowing him to make calls without entering any information…Micah’s father who put the squeeze on Niki last week demonstrates his ability to put his body out of phase with the material world by reaching through a glass window to unlock a car door to rescue a crash victim.

Niki it seems has strong recuperative powers and is back but it seems that her alter is not just “dark Niki” no, much much darker indeed. Stranger still is it seems her son is fully aware that there is “mom” and someone else. The strangest line in the show this week is when Micah calls his mom and gets “dark Niki” and he says “Put Mom on the phone.” Very weird.

Matt Parkman is back to aid the FBI in capturing a “firestarter” and winds up reading the last thoughts of a dying woman. The real card played this week was the dying woman’s husband who it seems can start fires with his mind. I know, hardly original but the big hint here is that the original characters at the start of the show are not the only one with ”powers”.

Micah’s dad is not an anomaly but a hint to even something stranger going on. Instead of being a quirk in biology we seem to have an epidemic of “super powers”. Just how many of them are there out there?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Space Sunshade Might Be Feasible In Global Warming Emergency

For the past year, Roger Angel, a University of Arizona Regents' Professor and one of the world's foremost minds in modern optics, has been looking at ways to cool the Earth in an emergency. He's been studying the practicality of deploying a space sunshade in a global warming crisis, a crisis where it becomes clear that Earth is unmistakably headed for disastrous climate change within a decade or two. The plan would be to launch a constellation of trillions of small free-flying spacecraft a million miles above Earth into an orbit aligned with the sun, called the L-1 orbit. The spacecraft would form a long, cylindrical cloud with a diameter about half that of Earth, and about 10 times longer. About 10 percent of the sunlight passing through the 60,000-mile length of the cloud, pointing lengthwise between the Earth and the sun, would be diverted away from our planet. The effect would be to uniformly reduce sunlight by about 2 percent over the entire planet, enough to balance the heating of a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere.

The Lagrange Points mark positions where the combined gravitational pull of the two large masses provides precisely the centripetal force required to rotate with them. They are analogous to geosynchronous orbits in that they allow an object to be in a "fixed" position in space rather than an orbit in which its relative position changes continuously.

Suzuki unveil fuel cell-powered wheelchair

Suzuki has unveiled a wheelchair powered by fuel cell technology that uses methanol as a fuel source.

Designed to be swift on its wheels, the wheelchair is fairly compact at 1200mm long, 650mm wide, and 1000mm tall. Its tank holds about 4 litres of fuel, which gives it a 25 mile range. Should you run out of methanol while you’re out, a backup battery will give you a little extra boost until you can refuel.

'Silent jet' could ease airport noise

A radically redesigned passenger jet could alleviate a major complaint of people who live near major airports--the deafening sound of planes taking off and landing.

The "silent jet," which from outside an airport would sound about as noisy as a washing machine or other household appliance, would carry 215 passengers and could be in the air by 2030.

Instead of the tube-and-wing model common today, the Silent Jet is a flying wing, evoking current "stealth" military aircraft. It lacks the central vertical stabilizer common at the tail of current passenger jets, instead using a pair of stabilisers at the wingtips.

The design allows the plane to remain in the air at slower speeds, which would allow it to cruise in for a landing more quietly. The plane does not use wing flaps, which are common on today's passenger jets and create much of the landing noise.

Wired's Top 20 Sci-Fi Flicks

Wired offers their Top 20 Sci-Fi Flicks ranked using three factors: "a film's power to enthrall and excite (Adrenaline), how well it presents a scenario for the future (Vision), and whether the science behind the fiction holds up (Precision)".
  1. Blade Runner
  2. Gattaca
  3. The Matrix
  4. 2001: A Space Odyssey
  5. Brazil
  6. A Clockwork Orange
  7. Alien
  8. The Boys From Brazil
  9. Jurassic Park
  10. Star Wars
  11. The Road Warrior
  12. Tron
  13. The Terminator
  14. Sleeper
  15. Soylent Green
  16. RoboCop
  17. Planet Of The Apes
  18. The Day The Earth Stood Still
  19. Akira
  20. Barbarella
(wow, Gattaca ahead of 2001 and soylent green? I dont know....pac)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Jericho episode 7

Jericho continues to plod along and this week’s offering was no exception.

The writers have set a deterministic path that doesn’t deviate from any of the tried and true post atomic apocalypse predecessors. The argument could be made that Jericho is about Jericho but after 6 going on 7 weeks now, we know almost exactly what we knew in the first episode about what has really happened, pressingly little (pardon the pun)

The plot is more driven now by character development than the theme of the show. All the main characters are becoming very well rounded, which is not necessarily a bad thing. However at what point do we say that, who had a boyfriend -before, who was married to whom - before, who had a mysterious or criminal past – before….etc. There were several instances in this week’s show where information about this or that person “before” seemed almost silly and certainly didn’t add an iota positive or negative to what is currently the situation in Jericho. I suspect that instead of a mushroom cloud you could have had a class 5 twister touch down and had very much the same show.

The previews of next week however have Jake and his brother off getting medication for their critically ill father in another town that isn’t faring anywhere near as well as Jericho.

I don’t know about you but I am more than ready to see what’s happened to the outside world. Jericho is getting thick at the top with well rounded characters and thin at the bottom with plot development. Time to even the load or Jericho will crash and burn.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Deep Impact probe gets new mission

NASA announced Tuesday that it has accepted a proposal by the University of Maryland, which developed and manages Deep Impact, to send the vehicle on an extended mission to intercept Comet Boethin.

The spacecraft remains healthy so the surviving portion of the Deep Impact space probe that watched as its other half smashed into a comet on July 4 is being sent on a mission to study another comet.

The new mission won't involve a collision. Instead, Deep Impact will pass Boethin in December 2008 so its instruments can examine the comet.


Any of you Monty Python fans? Oh come on! Just between us.... Hey remember that line, often done nude at a pipe organ..... And now for something completely different!....? Oh boy have I found something different....I really thought long and hard about putting this up. Seems my fondness for the weird wins....and so....Now for something completely different...

In Lynchburg VA there resides one of the most unusual churches in the world. Founded in 1977, “The Spock,” as the church is called, is the world’s only church of Star Trek, a religion centered on the popular 1960’s television series Star Trek. “The Spock” promotes beliefs associated with one of the popular characters in the TV series, Mr. Spock, who was from a peace-loving race of aliens known as “Vulcans.”

The ideology of the church is centered on so-called Vulcan philosophy which includes the belief in pure “logic” and which emphasizes a lifestyle devoid of emotion. A huge stained-glass likeness of the church’s namesake is featured in the sanctuary, where churchgoers recite sequences of dialogue from the series and participate in what they call a “Holy Mind Meld.” Many church members wear stick-on pointed ears (mimicking those of the TV character) during services and at other church functions (in one case of excessive dedication to the “faith,” one member attempted to have his ears surgically altered but with disastrous results, requiring extensive corrective surgery). Oh and it gets the title for have been warmed

Heroes: Main Ten Characters' Profiles

From the ABOUT sci-f & fantasy blog

NBC's new Monday night show features a cast of dozens, but let's get started with the main ten people. Here are their vital stats, the connections to the other characters, and their current situation.

Hiro Nakamura, "Bend Time and Space"
Claire Bennet, "Indestructible"
Nathan Petrelli, "Flyer"
Peter Petrelli, "Borrower"
Niki Sanders, "Dark Niki"
D.L. Hawkins, "Walk Through Walls"
Isaac Mendez, "The Pre-Cog"
Mohinder Suresh, "Following Scientist-Father's Legacy"
Matt Parkman, "Mindreader"
Micah Sanders, "Boy Wonder"

Lost Moon Landing Tapes Discovered

"For years 'lost' tapes recording data from the Apollo 11 Moon landing have been stored underneath the seats of Australian physics students. Last week, up to 100 tapes, clearly marked "NASA Manned Space Center", turned up after a search in a dusty basement of a physics lecture hall at Curtin University of Technology in Perth."