Thursday, August 30, 2007

Strange Martian feature not a 'bottomless' cave after all

A new image reveals a wall on this dark feature, suggesting it is a pit at least 78 metres deep (Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona)


An extremely dark feature on Mars is probably just a pit – not the entrance to a deep cavern that future astronauts could call home, a new image reveals.

The 150- by 157-metre feature was first noticed in an image taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on 5 May 2007 using a camera called the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE).

Viewed from directly overhead, the dark spot showed no evidence of walls or a floor, leading some HiRISE scientists to suspect it was the opening to a cavern. The new image, however, suggests the feature is just a vertical shaft cutting into the surface. Taken on 8 August from a different angle, the image reveals a wall on the feature's eastern side.

thanks to Shaun Saunders for the post

Tor to podcast from this years's WorldCon

From SFSignal's blog I hear that TOR books will have a podcast from the worldcon in Japan.

Marking the first time that Worldcon has ever taken place in Japan, Tor publisher Tom Doherty and senior editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden will podcast directly from the convention. This international podcasting event will kick off Tor's new podcasting program, which will continue with regularly scheduled podcasts beginning September 12th.

Here is a link to the Tor preview podcast LINK

Sci-fi films are as dead as Westerns, says Ridley Scott

Ridley Scott was the director of two of the most critically acclaimed science fiction films, now he believes that the genre is so tired and unoriginal that it may be dead. At the Venice Film Festival for a special screening of his seminal noir thriller Blade Runner, Scott said that science fiction films were going the way the Western once had. “There’s nothing original. We’ve seen it all before. Been there. Done it,” he said. Asked to pick out examples, he said: “All of them. Yes, all of them.” The flashy effects of recent block-busters, such as The Matrix, Independence Day and The War of the Worlds, may sell tickets, but director Scott believes that none can beat Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 sci-fi epic 2001: A Space Odyssey. Scott said “There is an over reliance on special effects as well as weak storylines,”

Click HERE for the complete TimesOnline story

Dr. Wernher von Braun was at Roswell during ufo crash

Now this is certainly interesting....not sure of the implications but it certainly is weird.

IN an World Exclusive article, Clark C. McClelland in The Canadian, states that Von Braun was present and examined the Roswell New Mexico site that was purported to be the crash site of a UFO. The article is quite long so I won't chop it up here, but it is worth a read. check it out
click here.

Thanks to Shaun Saunders for the post

Luke Skywalker's lightsaber gets shuttle flight

The original lightsaber wielded by Mark 'Luke Skywalker' Hamill will be delivered to NASA for launch in late October aboard shuttle Discovery, a flight that will mark the 30th anniversary of the 1977 release of the movie classic "Star Wars." The lightsaber will be delivered today to Houston Hobby Airport, which is located about 30 minutes north of NASA's Johnson Space Center. The lightsaber will be transported to Space Center Houston -- the visitor complex on NASA Road One near the main gate to JSC -- where it will be on display through Labor Day. Then it will be shipped to Kennedy Space Center and stowed in the orbiter Discovery's middeck during the shuttle's 13-day round trip to the International Space Station.

Thanks to Shaun A. Saunders for the post

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Nimoy sings......(watch at your own risk!)

This has got to be the weirdest music video I have ever seen.... Nimoy sings about of all things, Bilbo Baggins.... oh and its ummm well, watch and see....

Sony runs Walkman off sugar-based bio battery

Sony, one of the world's largest battery makers, said it had succeeded in creating a battery that produces electricity by breaking down sugar. The bio cell, which measures 39 millimeters cubed, delivers 50mW (milliWatts). The bio cell has sugar-digesting enzymes at the anode that extract electrons and hydrogen ions from the glucose. The hydrogen ions pass through a membrane separator to the cathode where they absorb oxygen from the air to produce water as a byproduct. The electrons flow around the circuit outside the device producing the electricity needed to power it.

Thanks to
Xnewsman for the post

Monday, August 27, 2007

'Waving' cancer goodbye!

CBS news reports that a promising new inovation may allow doctors to 'wave' certain cancers away using nothing more than radio frequency waves. John Kanzius, A former radio and TV engineer and one-time station owner, , believes radio waves could somehow be harnessed to destroy cancer, without drugs or invasive surgery. Kanzius' treatments would involve a patient being injected with tiny metal nano-particles, which would be carried through the bloodstream by a targeting molecule and attach only to cancerous cells. The patient would then be exposed to an energy field created by radio waves, and feel nothing, while the nano-particles would generate enough heat to destroy their cancerous host cell.

Lab experiments using nano particles and cancer analogs have demostrated that the basic concept is sound, however targeting cancer cells will be the biggest challenge.

Kanzius' invention has caught the attention of Dr. Steven Curley, a surgical oncologist and cancer researcher at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. "This has the most fascinating potential I've seen in anything in my twenty years of cancer research," Curley stated in an interview.

Thanks to Cathy for the post

Jupiter increases risk of comet strike on Earth

Contrary to prevailing wisdom, Jupiter does not protect Earth from comet strikes. In fact, Earth would suffer fewer impacts without the influence of Jupiter's gravity.

A 1994 study showed that replacing Jupiter with a much smaller planet like Uranus or Neptune would lead to 1000 times as many long-period comets hitting Earth. This led to speculation that complex life would have a hard time developing in solar systems without a Jupiter-like planet because of more intense bombardment by comets.

But a new study shows that if there were no planet at all in Jupiter's orbit, Earth would actually be safer from impacts.

The contradictory results arise because Jupiter affects comets in two different, competing ways. Its gravity helps pull comets into the inner solar system, where they have a chance of hitting Earth, but can also clear away Earth-threatening comets by ejecting them from the solar system altogether, via a gravitational slingshot effect.

Thanks to Shaun for the post

Actor Robert Symonds Dies

From SFScope

Actor Robert (Barry) Symonds died of prostate cancer on 23 August 2007. Born on 1 December 1926, he was both a stage and film actor.

His genre film roles include parts in: Mandroid (1993), C.H.U.D. II—Bud the Chud (1989), Rumpelstiltskin (1987), The Ice Pirates (1984), Superstition (1982), Demon, Demon (1975), and The Exorcist (1973).

His genre television appearances include episodes of: Alias (2006), Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1996), Quantum Leap (1991), Beauty and the Beast (1987), Knight Rider (1984), The Six Million Dollar Man (1974, 1978), Future Cop (1977), and Wide World Mystery (1975).

Robert J. Sawyer wins China's Galaxy Award for Most Popular Foreign Author

SFScope reports that Canadian author Robert J. Sawyer won China's top science-fiction award, the Galaxy Award, in the category "Most Popular Foreign Author of the Year." The award, voted on by Chinese readers, was presented at the Chengdu International Science Fiction and Fantasy Festival on 26 August.

photo from SFScope

Infinity + to cease operations after 10 years

Jason from SF Signals writes

After 10 years, Infinity Plus, the science fiction website started by Keith Brooke (and later co-edited with Nick Gevers and then Paul Barnett) is calling it quits. Infinity Plus was publishing free online fiction before it was in vogue. The website is also a great resource for insightful reviews and commentary.

Here is a link to Keith Brooke's parting words *Keith Brooke link*

Space-time Distorts Near Neutron Stars As Einstein Predicted

Using European and Japanese/NASA X-ray satellites, astronomers have seen Einstein’s predicted distortion of space-time around three neutron stars, and in doing so they have pioneered a groundbreaking technique for determining the properties of these ultra-dense objects. Neutron stars contain the most dense observable matter in the universe. They cram more than a sun’s worth of material into a city-sized sphere, meaning a few cups of neutron-star stuff would outweigh Mount Everest. Astronomers use these collapsed stars as natural laboratories to study how tightly matter can be crammed under the most extreme pressures that nature can offer. Astronomers studied a spectral line from hot iron atoms that are whirling around in a disk just beyond the neutron star’s surface at 40 percent the speed of light. They found that the iron line is broadened asymmetrically by the gas’s extreme velocity, which smears and distorts the line because of the Doppler effect and beaming effects predicted by Einstein’s special theory of relativity. The warping of space-time by the neutron star’s powerful gravity, an effect of Einstein’s general theory of relativity, shifts the neutron star’s iron line to longer wavelengths.

An artist depicts a disk of hot gas whipping around a neutron star. The gas in the inner part of the disk whirls around the neutron star at about 40 percent the speed of light, so fast that it experiences effects predicted by Einstein's theories of relativity. Superheated iron atoms in this region emit X-rays at a characteristic wavelength, but the spectral feature is highly distorted by the relativistic effects. (Credit: NASA/Dana Berry)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sanctuary episodes available online

Back in February I posted a story about a Canadian based, Internet only science fiction program called Sanctuary. The show will star SG-1's Amanda Tapping. The show centers around creatures that cannot be explained by science. Tapping plays the role of Dr. Helen Magnus who is cursed with immortality after her dealings with these creatures.

Well, I just found the site and if the show is anything like the promo, this is going to kick ass!

There are several episodes available and its pay as you go. Each episode is 1.99 or 2.99 for HD episodes.


Have you heard about Galaxiki? Well neither had I until a short while ago. But if your into Sci-fi and story telling, this might just be the place for you!

Here is what Galaxiki says about itself:

Galaxiki is a web 2.0 community website for Science Fiction lovers and creative people.

It's a virtual galaxy with stars, planets and moons that can be edited in a wiki-like manner.

You can write your own stories in your solar system and / or visit other users solar systems and read their stories.

Solar systems and stories are located in one single galaxy, which represents a complete fictional online world created and maintained by its community.

Click on the article title or here for more information

Klingons Crossing the Delaware!

This is so cool! Here is a Link to a reinterpretation by illustrator Leo Lingas of the classic painting "Washington Crossing the Delaware" by Emmanuel Leutze.

Its called Klingons Crossing the Delaware. Thanks Boing Boing blog for the tip! lol.

Click the graphic for a larger picture or click the article title to go to the original site.

Gaping hole found in universe

A giant hole in the Universe is devoid of galaxies, stars and even lacks dark matter, astronomers said on Thursday. The void is nearly a billion light-years across and astronomers have no idea why it is there. Lawrence Rudnick writing in the Astrophysical Journal, with colleagues Shea Brown and Liliya Williams said they were examining a cold spot , and found the giant hole. "What we've found is not normal, based on either observational studies or on computer simulations of the large-scale evolution of the Universe," Williams said in a statement. The astronomers said the region even appeared to lack dark matter, which cannot be seen directly but is usually detected by measuring gravitational forces.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Night of the Living (micro) Dead

Multi-million year old mini-Corpsicles are coming alive again! Researchers believe they have isolated eight million year old bacteria from core samples taken within Antarctic glacial ice--and have revived them!

Frederik Pohl was the first to use the term corpsicle in his 1969 novel The Age of the Pussyfoot. The term--considered rather offensive by cryogenics supporters--combines 'corpse' with 'popsicle' a popular flavored ice treat, to describe human beings cryonically frozen in hopes that future human beings will be able to thaw them and bring them back to life. "Corpsicle" has since been used by other writers, including Robert Heinlein, Greg Bear, L. M. Bujold, Larry Niven and others.

The organisms that researcher Kay Bidle of Rutgers University revived are single-celled, (hence 'mini-corpsicles') In vitro, they reproduce slowly (about 1/10th the speed of younger microbes) due apparently to aeons of ionizing radiation whacking their genes. Our planet's melting icecaps are releasing enormous quantities of these and other species of ancient microbes back into circulation. But don't worry, they say, these are marine microbes, and not virulent toward land animals. Read New Scientist article

Wait a minute....most life on earth ARE marine organisms, and, were a certain thawed strain to prove lethal to certain marine algae (those producing most of the oxygen that we LAND animals breathe) we might be gasping not with wonder but with desperation.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Vibrations on the Sun may 'shake' the Earth

What do dropped mobile phone calls, mysterious signals in undersea communications cables, and tiny tremors on the Earth have in common? They are all caused by vibrations on the Sun, according to one team of scientists. Churning motions inside the Sun produce various kinds of waves, similar to the rise and fall of waves on the surface of the ocean. These waves have periods of several minutes to several hours. In the mid-1990s, a team of Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, scientists reported seeing fluctuations in the solar wind with periods in the same range. The researchers suggested that the solar vibrations were somehow imprinting onto the solar wind to produce the regular fluctuations. Now, Thomson's team says it has evidence that these modes not only travel through space in the solar wind, but also influence natural phenomena and human technologies on Earth.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Possible Closest Neutron Star To Earth Found

From ScienceDaily:

Using NASA's Swift satellite, McGill University and Penn State University astronomers have identified an object that is likely one of the closest neutron stars to Earth -- and possibly the closest. The object, located in the constellation Ursa Minor, is nicknamed Calvera, If confirmed, it would be only the eighth known "isolated neutron star" -- meaning a neutron star that does not have an associated supernova remnant, binary companion, or radio pulsations. What also makes this discovery unusual is that the object is not associated with any optical counterpart down to a very faint magnitude. According to Robert Rutledge of McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, (who originally called attention to the source) there are no widely accepted alternate theories for objects like Calvera that are bright in X-rays and faint in visible light. Exactly which type of neutron star it is, however, remains a mystery. As Rutledge says, "Either Calvera is an unusual example of a known type of neutron star, or it is some new type of neutron star, the first of its kind." If the observations are correct, Calvera is 250 to 1,000 light-years away and being this close close to Earth, it is a promising target for many types of research.

Make an edible robot hand!

From make blog I found a video on how to make a robot hand out of all things cheese and veggies!
No, it doesn't just look like a robot really works!

Click on the article title or here to watch the video.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Eureka & SG1 may have some faces in common

From SyFy Portal

It seems the cast of SG-1 has already started branching out. Amanda Tapping (Samantha Carter)
has moved over to Startgate Atlantis and others are taking on roles on some of the networks other programming. Michael Shanks, who played archaeologist Daniel Jackson for 10 years on the series, is set to enter the small town of “Eureka” as is his wife Lexa Doig. Doig, who is most known to genre fans as Rommie from “Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda,” as well as a recurring role on "SG-1" in the ninth and 10th seasons, will enter the series for a single episode, “Maneater,” playing a biologist who deals with sexual harassment cases for Global Dynamics. A week after her appearance on the series, her husband Shanks will take on the role of a suave artistic genius who discovers that one of his metal sculptures has been transformed into solid gold. The episode, “All That Glitters,” is set to air Sept. 25.

Eureka &

From SyFy Portal

It seems the cast of SG-1 has already started branching out. Amanda Tapping (Samantha Carter)
has moved over to Startgate Atlantis and others are taking on roles on some of the networks other programming. Michael Shanks, who played archaeologist Daniel Jackson for 10 years on the series, is set to enter the small town of “Eureka” as is his wife Lexa Doig. Doig, who is most known to genre fans as Rommie from “Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda,” as well as a recurring role on "SG-1" in the ninth and 10th seasons, will enter the series for a single episode, “Maneater,” playing a biologist who deals with sexual harassment cases for Global Dynamics. A week after her appearance on the series, her husband Shanks will take on the role of a suave artistic genius who discovers that one of his metal sculptures has been transformed into solid gold. The episode, “All That Glitters,” is set to air Sept. 25.

Nichelle Nichols Confirms ’Heroes’ Role

From SYFY portal blog:

"Star Trek" legend Nichelle Nichols, who played Lt. Uhura in the original series, has shared what kind of role she'll be playing on the series, and it looks like it will involve Noah Gray-Cabey's character of Micah. It's a role similar level to that of her former Trek co-star George Takei who was an integral character during the first season as Kaito Nakamura, the CEO of a massive Japanese corporation as well as the father of hero-in-training Hiro Nakamura. And just like Takei, Nichols will have a fraternal relationship with one of the heroes…namely Micah Sanders.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

New Shaun A. Saunders Story

Our regular science news contributor Shaun A. Saunders has a new story in the newest issue of Antipodean Science Fiction. Tis called "What Else but War?" Those of you that have listened to Beam Me Up for a bit will recognize the name and type of fiction. This is "flash" fiction which Shaun has mastered and wields with great skill. Click the article title or click HERE to go directly to the story. Oh and if you think of it, I am sure Shaun wouldn't mind you voting on your favorite as well.

And as I have mentioned in the recent past, Shaun has a new book out containing his short fiction called "Navigating in the New World" I have had the pleasure of reading a few of the stories in the book here on Beam Me Up, plus I have read the book and enjoyed it greatly. The book is well worth checking out.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Painkiller gone, Neon sees some light

According to the SF Signals blog

Painkiller Jane got the ax from the Sci-Fi Channel. No real big surprise there. I could complain and say that they didn't even give a warning on this one but I knew something was up last week when "Flash" ran (I know, not punny....but your giving me way to much credit) in the same slot.
But this is supposed to be the replacement? I fell asleep half way through. The new Flash Gordon is a loser that lives in his mother's basement! The show is a horrible remake of a witless remake or a corny serial that was so badly done it used stock footage of older sf films! Wonder how many hits off the bong it took to make this show seem entertaining?

Still no word about The Dresden Files. I suspect that it has gone down for the third time. No body is talking so I recon the corpse is starting to stink.

Meanwhile....... The anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion is back in the news. For those of you that are not in the know.....NGE is the story of mankind's struggle against invading alien entities called Angels. Well the series ended rather abruptly and I always wondered what had happened. Well SF Signals got word that GAINAX, the studio that produced NGE was announcing its Rebuild of Evangelion. SF Signals didn't have much but the Wikipedia states that "Rebuild of Evangelion" would be released in Japanese theaters September 1, 2007 in Japanese theaters. GAINAX's official website confirmed that "Rebuild of Evangelion" will consist of four movies. The first three movies will be an alternate retelling of the TV series (including many new scenes, settings, backgrounds, characters), and the fourth movie will be a completely new conclusion to the story; the series is intended to be much more understandable and accessible to non-fans than the original TV series and movies. Now that sounds interesting. I remember the series that played on Cartoon Network was entertaining but confusing in places. I haven't seen anything about the CN showing any of these movies...might mean I will have to start haunting the video stores in the near future!

Gemini to start production soon

Rosario Dawson is set to produce and star in The Gemini Division, a live-action/motion-capture animation online SF series. Partnered with Electric Farm Entertainment, they will produce 100 three-minute episodes, which will star Dawson as a New York cop who is investigating the bizarre murder of her husband and who uncovers a global conspiracy involving the creation of simulated life forms that have assimilated with the unsuspecting public.

'Lunar Ark' Proposed

Wow, does this bring a 70s science fiction movie to mind or what!!!!! name that film!!!
From via the fine folks at Boing boing: David Pescovitz writes:

Researchers at the International Space University (ISU) in France propose that NASA's planned lunar base should also include a "biological and historical archive" of human civilization. The idea is that this "ark" would preserve humanity's history if the Earth is destroyed by an asteroid or comet. From National Geographic.

Give up? What movie am I talking about?

Drum roll please

Silent Running

Bruce Dern + Huey, Dewey and Louie

Blows Against the Empire (book discussion )

From the New Yorker Adam Gopnik writes about Blows against the Empire a book that looks into the phenomena that was Phillip K. Dick. Here is an excerpt.

Of all American writers, none have got the genre-hack-to-hidden-genius treatment quite so fully as Philip K. Dick, the California-raised and based science-fiction writer who, beginning in the nineteen-fifties, wrote thirty-six speed-fuelled novels, went crazy in the early seventies, and died in 1982, only fifty-three. His reputation has risen through the two parallel operations that genre writers get when they get big. First, he has become a prime inspiration for the movies, becoming for contemporary science-fiction and fantasy movies what Raymond Chandler was for film noir: at least eight feature films, including “Total Recall,” “Minority Report,” “A Scanner Darkly,” and, most memorably, Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner,”

Thanks to Nelson for the post

New experiments demostrate possiblility of FTL

Two German physicists claim to have forced light to overcome its own speed limit using the strange phenomenon known as "quantum tunnelling". Exceeding the speed of light, approximately 300,000km per second, is supposed to be completely impossible. According to Einstein's special theory of relativity, it would take an infinite amount of energy to accelerate an object through the light barrier. The scientists set up an experiment in which microwave photons appeared to travel "instantaneously" between two prisms forming the halves of a cube placed a metre apart. When the prisms were placed together, photons fired at one edge passed straight through them, as expected. After they were moved apart, most of the photons reflected off the first prism they encountered and were picked up by a detector. But a few photons appeared to "tunnel" through the gap separating them as if the prisms were still held together. Although these photons had travelled a longer distance, they arrived at their detector at exactly the same time as the reflected photons. In effect, they seemed to have travelled faster than light.

Thanks to Shaun A. Saunders for the post

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Seven warning signs of bogus science

warning-general-2.gif From the Geekend, Jay Garmon writes this caustic little piece. I was laughing until I really started to think about it.... And he is right. If you use this as an outline, then you can see that quite a few of the "new" discoveries are pretty much humbug. But it still is funny.

In an age where we still have to convince people that the Apollo landings actually happened and that perpetual motion devices don’t actually exist, it’s handy to have these Seven Warning Signs of Bogus Science around to help the logically disinclined ferret out the charlatans among us:

  1. The discoverer pitches the claim directly to the media.
  2. The discoverer says that a powerful establishment is trying to suppress his or her work.
  3. The scientific effect involved is always at the very limit of detection.
  4. Evidence for a discovery is anecdotal.
  5. The discoverer says a belief is credible because it has endured for centuries.
  6. The discoverer has worked in isolation.
  7. The discoverer must propose new laws of nature to explain an observation.

Commercial space station to launch before 2010

The world's first privately financed space station could be launched before 2010.

Based in Las Vegas, Nevada, Bigelow Aerospace has successfully placed two inflatable spacecraft, called Genesis I and Genesis II, in Earth orbit. The company had planned to orbit a third spacecraft called Galaxy in 2008 before lofting its Sundancer space station, able to support a crew of three, into orbit in 2010. But a statement by founder Robert Bigelow that was posted on the company's website says rising launch costs have pushed the company to forego the launch of Galaxy and bring forward Sundancer's launch.

The company had previously said it planned to launch Sundancer in 2010. Although Bigelow has not given a new date for launch, the statement says the schedule change means private space habitats "could be arriving much earlier than any of us had previously anticipated".

The announcement came three days after reports that another company called Galactic Suite intends to put a three-bedroom space hotel in orbit by 2012.

Thanks to Shaun Saunders for the post

Sunday, August 12, 2007

pixar's "Uplifted" short

This is some of the funniest animation I have seen in a while. Click on the title or here to view the short. You won't be disappointed.


China Enacting a High-Tech Plan to Track People

It looks like AT&T is gearing up for more than just selling the American public out to the NSA.
Check this out! I found the link on Boing Boing. This stuff just isn't going to go away. What do you think Shaun?

Starting this month in a port neighborhood and then spreading across Shenzhen, a city of 12.4 million people, residency cards fitted with powerful computer chips programmed by the same company will be issued to most citizens.

Data on the chip will include not just the citizen’s name and address but also work history, educational background, religion, ethnicity, police record, medical insurance status and landlord’s phone number. Even personal reproductive history will be included, for enforcement of China’s controversial “one child” policy. Plans are being studied to add credit histories, subway travel payments and small purchases charged to the card.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Space Hotel opening by 2012

BARCELONA (Reuters) - "Galactic Suite", the first hotel planned in space, expects to open for business in 2012 and would allow guests to travel around the world in 80 minutes. Its Barcelona-based architects say the space hotel will be the most expensive in the galaxy, costing $4 million for a three-day stay. During that time guests would see the sun rise 15 times a day and use Velcro suits to crawl around their pod rooms by sticking themselves to the walls like Spiderman.

Thanks to Shaun A. Saunders for the post

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Time Travel could just be possible.....

Time travel could actually be a possibility for future generations. This might be possible with new research into Einstein’s theory of general relativity, a theory of gravity that shows how time can be warped by the gravitational pull of objects. Quite literally, researchers have said, bend time enough and you can create a loop and the possibility of temporal travel. Prof Amos Ori has set out a theory in the prestigious science journal Physical Review, that rests on a set of mathematical equations describing hypothetical conditions that, if established, could lead to the formation of a time machine, technically known as “closed time-like curves.” In the past, one of the major challenges has been the alleged need for an exotic material with strange properties - what physicists call negative density - to create these time loops. “This is no longer an issue,” suggests professor Ori

Thanks to Shaun A. Saunders for the post

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

This Week's Master of Science Fiction on ABC

The Awakening" (SATURDAY, AUGUST 11), stars Terry O'Quinn and Elisabeth Rohm. Based on the short story by Hollywood Blacklist author Howard Fast ("Spartacus," "Citizen Tom Paine"), the episode opens outside Baghdad, where U.S. soldiers discover a mysterious casualty - one they can't even identify as human. William B. Davis ("The X-Files") guest stars as the President of the United States. Michael Petroni ("Till Human Voices Wake Us") directed from a script he wrote, based on the short story by Howard Fast.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Scientists discover technology that may someday levitate human

Physicists may have solved the mystery of levitation, figuring out how to make objects, and even people, float in midair. How? By countering the Casimir force, that strange phenomenon holding molecules together. Now British physicists are figuring out how to reverse that effect, making objects repel each other, and hope to first use the technique to reduce friction in nano machines, and someday maybe even levitate people. The discovery could ultimately lead to frictionless micro-machines with moving parts that levitate, in principle at least, the same effect could be used to levitate bigger objects too, even a person.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

The Fermi Paradox is Back

I found this article about Fermi's Paradox on the Slashdot blog.

Sentient Developments revisits the Fermi Paradox which is "the contradictory and counter-intuitive observation that we have yet to see any evidence for the existence of Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (ETI) although the size and age of the Universe suggests that many technologically advanced ETI's ought to exist. Sentient Development's blog post on the Fermi Paradox states that a number breakthroughs and have contributed to the Fermi Paradox gaining credence as an unsolved scientific problem.

(1)How we view and understand our galaxy and universe,
(2) Improved understanding of planet formation, composition and habitable zones,
(3) The discovery of extrasolar planets,
(4) Confirmation of the rapid origination of life on Earth
(5) Growing legitimacy of panspermia theories"

So, where is everyone?"

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Doughnut shaped Vacuum Time Machine?

A physicist from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, has come up with what he says are practical solutions to overcome the hindrances that experts have long regarded as stopping us from traveling back in time. But rather than building an actual device, the machine is space-time itself. Time travel research is based on bending space-time so far that the time lines actually warp back on themselves to form a loop. While the possibility of time travel has never been ruled out, scientists have identified a number of physical challenges, such as not enough exotic matter, to create the necessary warp and get the wheels of time to turn back. However this new research path suggests that if the proper initial conditions were achieved, the time machine would evolve on its own without any further intervention.

Thanks to shaun Saunders for the post

Friday, August 03, 2007

US Government developing RFID implant for soldiers


The next time some crazy homeless guy comes up to you saying that the government planted a microchip in his brain, he just might be telling the truth. That's because the US Department of Defense has already started a program to develop a tiny microchip, about the size of a grain of rice, which can monitor soldier's vital signs, giving important information to trauma doctors and other first responders. It can also be used to continuously monitor the condition of people like astronauts, or someone with a chronic condition like diabetes. Human trials are set to begin in as few as five years from now.

MallCity Shaun! f***in MallCity!

Fall Science Fiction TV show update

Geekend blog just passed on the new sci-fi shows that will premiere this fall. They also now have the days and times that these shows will appear on. Check it out!

Chuck [Monday, Sept. 24, 8:00 PM, NBC] High concept: Hapless tech-support geek accidentally gets reams of uber-secret spy data downloaded into his brain, making him the most coveted walking hard drive on the planet.

Journeyman [Monday, Sept. 24, 10:00 PM, NBC] Preview available here. The concept goes something like this: a San Francisco newspaper reporter gets sent back in time by an unknown power to right wrongs. Sounds familiar, right? The difference is that McKidd is absent from the present for the same amount of time he spends in the past, so if he spends 48 hours in 1987, he misses 48 hours in 2007, which screws up his family life.

New Amsterdam [Tuesday, Sept. 25, 8:00 PM, FOX] Preview available here. John Amsterdam is a NY City homicide detective who just happens to be an immortal from the 17th century who can’t resume aging normally until he finds his one true love.

Reaper [Tuesday, Sept. 25, 9:00 PM, CW] Previews here The basic premise is a teenage Home Depot employee finds out that his parents sold his soul to the Devil for personal gain, and now he’s become a Grim Reaper charged with hunting down souls that have escaped from hell. Think of it as Dogma meets Brimstone, with emphasis on the funny.

Pushing Daisies [Wednesday, Oct. 3, 8:00 PM, ABC] Preview available here. Professional pie-maker Ned has the ability to resurrect the dead, but with some complications. 1) If he ever touches his reanimations a second time, they die again, and can’t be called back.
2) If he keeps his reanimations alive for more that a minute, somebody else nearby has to die to balance the scales.

Bionic Woman [Wednesday, Sept. 26, 9:00 PM, NBC] Preview and commentary here.
this is a flat-out remake of the 1976 series, with Michelle Ryan filling in for Lindsay Wagner.

Flash Gordon [Friday, Aug. 10, 8:00 PM, Sci Fi Channel] Teaser available here. This new Flash won’t bear much resemblance to the old. Flash is now a marathon runner rather than a football star, and Dale Arden is his ex-girlfriend rather than the damsel in distress and a decidedly non-Asian Ming the Merciless.

Moonlight [Friday, Sept. 28, 9:00 PM, CBS] Preview available here. Originally called Twilight but changed when producers though views would expect something "zoneish" So maybe now we might expect "Moonlighingish perhaps?" Moonlight will feature a beneficent vampire who works as a detective to help the innocent. (umm does this sound vaguely familiar to anyone....Forever Knight ring a bell?) CBS has given this show the "dead man walking" slot. I have a feeling this one isn't going to be around long.

The Sarah Connor Chronicles [Sundays, 9:00 PM, FOX no date set yet] Preview available here. Lena Headey (Queen Gorgo from 300) is on board as the title character, and Summer Glau (River from Firefly) is your requisite good-girl protective Terminator, the pair collectively defending John Connor (played by Thomas Dekker, AKA Claire’s friend Zach from Heroes) from wave after wave of deadly cyborgs from the future.

True Blood [Sundays, TBA, HBO] based on the Southern Vampire novel (Dead Until Dark, etc) series by Charlaine Harris and stars Anna Paquin (Rogue from the X-Men movies) as Sookie Stackhouse, a telepathic waitress from Louisiana who suffers through a maudlin series of vampire boyfriends in a world where the bloodsuckers have “come out of the coffin” and entered mainstream society (thanks to a medical blood substitute that frees them from nightstalking humans). No preview or time-slot yet available, but Harris’ Web site has a running collection of press releases and set photos, and the buzz is that this will be a mid-season replacement in early 2008.

Click on the show titles, the article title or here for more info

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Heroes and Stargate Atlantis News

From's sci-fi blog

Stargate Atlantis:

Fans of Stargate Atlantis's Scottish medical officer, Carson Beckett (Paul McGillion), who was killed off in January, plan to rally at ComicCon in San Diego to make sure that producers and network execs know just how outraged they still are. The popular character's death was all the more startling because it came at the end of an idyllic, off-duty episode called "Sunday," the 17th episode of the spin-off's third season. While many agree the episode itself was well-written and beautifully executed, fans worldwide immediately reacted negatively to the finality with which Beckett was written out.

NBC's Heroes:

George Takei discussed his role recently on Sirius's Howard Stern show, where he hinted that Kaito will exhibit some form of light-emitting powers. Takei plays Kaito Nakamura, the father of Masi Oka's Hiro.

Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images.