Take a trip over to <- Topless Robots -> to get some futher comments.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Take a trip over to <- Topless Robots -> to get some futher comments.
The image viewer at the site is not completely user friendly, but with all the images being downloadable, that isn't a serious issue. With tens of thousands of images available and a good search option, it's worth a look.
- so that you can enjoy our work away from Helix, if you choose.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Read more by clicking the link
<- Firstshowing.net via SFSignal ->
The original research claimed the discovery of blood vessels and what appeared to be entire cells inside fossil bone of a Tyrannosaurus rex. The scientists had dissolved the bone in acid, leaving behind the blood vessel- and cell-like structures.
As the article in Science Daily puts it:
- But in a paper published July 30 in PloS ONE, a journal of the open-access Public Library of Science, Kaye and his co-authors contend that what was really inside the T. rex bone was slimy biofilm created by bacteria that coated the voids once occupied by blood vessels and cells.
- "... radiation of a differently colored sun, causing him to develop abilities far beyond those of mortal men. ... faster than a speeding Prius, stronger than the existing Superfund program, and able to leap mountains of red tape in a single bound. These superpowers will sustain him in his never-ending battle against conservatives, wealthy industrialists, and other environmental supervillains."
The Onion Kal Al
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Click here for a film showing the unit in " teathered " flight.
- ON the afternoon of Nov. 7, 2006, pilots and airport employees at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago saw a disc-like object hovering over the tarmac for several minutes. Because nothing was tracked on radar, the Federal Aviation Administration did not investigate. Yet radar is not a reliable detector of all aircraft. Stealth planes are designed to be invisible to radar, and many radar systems filter out signals not matching the normal characteristics of aircraft. Did it really make sense to entirely ignore the observations of several witnesses?
It would almost seem that for a terrorist to be successful he doesn't need to engage in subterfuge but merely to have himself identified as a UFO to gain access to some of the most sensitive areas on the Earth.
<- Times op/ed ->
Monday, July 28, 2008
Warp Drive Engine Would Travel Faster Than Light
- Two Baylor University physicists have outlined how a faster-than-light engine could possibly work. The warp engine, based on a design first proposed in 1994 by Michael Alcubierre, involves expanding the fabric of space behind a ship into a bubble and shrinking space-time in front of the ship. The ship would rest in between the expanding and shrinking space-time, essentially surfing down the side of the bubble. The ship wouldn't actually move; space itself would move underneath the stationary spacecraft. A beam of light next to the ship would still zoom away, same as it always does, but a beam of light far from the ship would be left behind.
- It is thought that this has happened once before in the cosmos' history - the big bang.
<- Read complete article in Discovery News ->
- Schweickart believes its (NASA) cash-strapped later years might have led the agency—under immense pressure from Washington—to endorse a program with an ulterior motive: put nuclear weapons in space.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Lets keep our fingers crossed there Middle Fans
But Locus made the mistake of opening the voting to anybody who visits the Locus Online website, rather than restricting it to readers of the magazine. So this year the number of voters of the Locus Award who were not readers of the magazine apparently skewed some of the results away from the recommended stories pushed in the pages of the magazine. So as to minimize such free-thinking influence on the awards, the editors of Locus decided after the voting was completed to count the votes of Locus subscribers as double the value of non-subscribers.
As we know now, Cory Doctorow was a run away favorite in the voting, which either the person or the fact that non readers far outvoted readers of Locus, did not sit well with the editorial staff, so as you can see, they skewed the ranking until they got a result they were comfortable with.
Last thing I am going to say about this....its their award, in house I think they can and should do as they please, but on the flip side, when you open it to the public...don't piss on our heads and tell us it's raining.
<- boing boing ->
Friday, July 25, 2008
Among the many great SF writers whose work was dramatized on MindWebs were Alfred Bester, Robert Bloch, Ray Bradbury, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Arthur C. Clarke, Gordon Dickson, Thomas Disch, Harry Harrison, Henry Kuttner, Richard Matheson, Robert Silverberg, Norman Spinrad, Stanley Weinbaum, and Roger Zelazny.
The good news is that most of these episodes of are available from the Internet Archive in easily downloaded individual MP3s or a 450 meg. zip for the more ambitious. And to make deciding on an individual episode to listen to easier, The OTR Plot Spot has an archive of plot descriptions for MindWebs. So between episodes of today's greats, feel free to take a listen to yesterday's greats.
<Internet Archive selection of Mind Webs episodes>
<OTR Plot Spot Descriptions of Mind Webs episodes>
Thursday, July 24, 2008
- Night Shade Books has a few free SF e-books and stories available for free download. Jon Williams’s Nebula Award-winning novella The Green Leopard Plague, Andy Duncan’s Nebula-nominated story “Unique Chicken Goes in Reverse,” Garth Nix’s Ditmar-nominated story “Bad Luck, Trouble, Death, and Vampire Sex,” Richard Kadrey’s novel Butcher Bird, and Jon Armstrong’s novel Grey.
<- more from Wired ->
<- Technology Review via Gizmodo ->
Fan fiction of any genre is often a mixed bag. As a general rule, both the producer and the fan have to be pretty fanatical for the whole exercise to work. Then, at odd intervals, comes a "home made" work that not only stands on the shoulders of giants, but stacks a few up just to improve the view. So it was when I received a recommendation to view a short film of "fan" Star Wars by VanRoble. What we are treated to, at the start, is a very competent documentary style short film, recording the "life changing" events of a Star Wars fan fulfilling his dream of running a gym for other Star Wars fans to help them become better umm fans. Its all very quirky, geeky and a bit sad. The laughs that do come seem to be completely unintentional. Then reality takes a paradyne shift and all hell breaks loose. That alone would be brilliantly enough, but when the "Oh My God"s have died off a bit, reality takes another side step. VanRoble manages to set up the premise for this short three times to give you a 360 degree vista of altered reality, lol his yours and someone else. And he does it in 6 minutes! Enjoy!
My favorite line in the film "I knew the force was real....just not this real!"
<- more from VanRoble ->
< -Tech Republic's Geekend ->
David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer
EOS science Fiction
pb 496 pp CW 2008
What is it about a story collection that makes them so attractive? Is it the bite sized stories? The eclectic mix of authors and ideas? Maybe a bit of both. When it comes to Years Best whether from Carr, Dozois or Hartwell & Cramer, I know I am going to get an intelligent and professional mix of the best that the field has to offer for the past year. Given that he medium has so many different outlets now, finding the best is no small task as of late. And so it is with the newest issue of YBSF. Hartwell and Cramer must have high fived each other with this issue. The issue is heavily weighted with award winners and nominees alike. Terry Bisson's horribly dysfunctional Pirates of the Somali Coast, Gene Wolfe's chaotic Memorare, Karen Joy Fowler's quiet story Always, Gwyneth Jones inventive twist on ftl The Tomb Wife or Ken MacLeod's pel mel Who's Afraid of Wolf 359? All are winners and likely winners alike. That in and of itself is a grand slam. They could rest on those laurels alone but look as some of the lesser known stories, Tony Ballentine's scary Third Person, James Van Pelts heart breaking How the Music Begins, Kathleen Goonan excellent spin on the hard boiled detective, The Bridge The all add to an excellent mix. To a point that I can honesty say, the book is one that can not easily be put down. I give this collection a very strong recommendation even for some of the glaring misses, but honestly, you can's put them all in, but I would have seen a selection or two from JP Kelly and Cory Doctorow, but that is really minor. If you would like a preview of some of the stories in this collection, the following were read on Beam Me Up ( again, I thank the authors so very much for allowing WRFR and me the chance to host their really great fiction)
Ken MacKeod Who's Afraid of Wolf 359?
Karen Joy Fowler Always
Gwyneth Jones The Tomb Wife
Neatorama via Boing Boing
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Dooms-Day Watch or Monitor Large Hadron Collider's Magnet Temperatures With Real Time Status Website
click the graphic! Thanks Gizmodo!
- 10. Natural History by Justina Robson
- 9. Light Music by Kathleen Ann Goonan
- 8. Sarah Canary by Karen Joy Fowler
- 7. Synners by Pat Cadigan
- 6. Grass by Sheri Tepper
- 5. Cyteen by CJ Cherryh
- 4. The Female Man by Joanna Russ
- 3. Up the Walls of the World by James Tiptree Jr
- 2. Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm
- 1. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K Le Guin
Guardian via SF Signals
- more pics -
Monday, July 21, 2008
- More -
From Make Magazine online:
- Well, they could use it for power. Physorg writes that Argentine scientists are capturing cow farts in plastic backpacks to try to understand the impact it has on global warming. They think that "30% of Argentina's total greenhouse gases could be generated by cattle.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Check this out
Thanks to Dvice
For those slightly less ambitious, JPL's PlanetQuest is a fantastic site for those interested in exoplanets. It has information on all 307 (currently) known exoplanets in its atlas as well as information about planet hunting techniques, current and future planet hunting missions, and much more. This site and the much more bare-bones Extrasolar Planets Encyclopedia are filled with fascinating information as well as demonstrations of how much more there is to learn.
<JPL PlanetQuest article on amateur exoplanet hunters>
<Extrasolar Planets Encyclopedia>
This week’s free book mailing is Darkness of the Light by Peter David. Once the full Tor.com site opens on Sunday, July 20, we'll be making all the books in this program briefly available one last time, so be sure to stop by for our launch!
Download your eBook in:
|>> PDF format||>> HTML format||>> Mobi format|
Once the full Tor.com site opens on Sunday, July 20, we'll be making all the books in this program briefly available one last time, so be sure to stop by for our launch!
go to Tor.com for complete info
Once dismissed as wrongheaded and dangerous, assisted colonization -- rescuing vanishing species by moving them someplace new -- is now being discussed by serious conservationists.
Even the often concervative Ecological Society of America's annual meeting in August will be preceded by a three-day discussion of assisted colonization, by ecologists.
- wired -
Thursday, July 17, 2008
As the SFWA site describes it:
- The title Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master is bestowed upon a living author for a lifetime's achievement in science fiction and/or fantasy. Nominations for recognition as a Grand Master are made by the president of SFWA; the final selection must be approved by a majority of the SFWA.
Science Fiction Award Watch
A group of Italian researchers published a new study comparing the DNA from early human bones from about 28,000 years ago with DNA Neanderthal bones.
What is very interesting about the study and ultimately the findings centers on the early HS bones. These bones were discovered very recently and as such are not as likely as earlier samples to be contaminated by genetic material from modern humans handling them.
The researchers sequenced DNA from these bones, testing to see if there was significant overlap with Neanderthal DNA, which would indicate that homo sapiens' DNA had been changed by interbreeding with Neanderthals. But tests of the fossilized DNA revealed no matches. The early HS material looks essentially identical to modern humans while looking significantly different from Neanderthal DNA.
Plos One via IO9
AntipodeanSF can be found at:
This month's pick of the bunch is:
- "Batting An Eye" by Lucy Cohen Schmeidler
- "I'm Too Loud" Laura Goodin
- "The Long Green Goodbye" by David Such
- "Distant Fields" by Stephen L Thompson
- "The Ultimate Weapon" by Shaun A. Saunders
- "Peer Pressure" by Mark Smith-Briggs
- "Windows To The Soul" by Felicity Dowker
- "The Genocidal Villain Of Mars" by Shaune Lafferty Webb
- "I Don't Know" by Emma Goninon
- "Fate Of Rulers" by Nicole R. Murphy
- "Dinner Party Conversation" by
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
The new Saturday night programming is not yet scheduled, but Sorcher said it will debut sometime after the Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie hits theaters on Aug. 15.
Sf Signal muses that they will leave it up to you whether the new additions to the lineup mean that CN has a better Saturday lineup than Sci-Fi, but if you like your Science fiction with healthy doses of animation and anime - Saturdays will be a slam dunk for the CN.
SciFi.com via SF Signals
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
- A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
- A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
- A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.
- A robot may not obey orders given to it by any human being who is my worthless ex-wife...
- A robot may not roll down the window shout out the surprise endings of movies while driving past a theater line.
- A robot must stop visiting Isaac Asimov's bedroom at night and fabricating situations that would make it appear that the sleeping Asimov has less than total control of his urinary faculties.
- A robot must harm my ridiculous hooker ex-wife, whenever possible, because she does not count as a human being because she has no soul.
and so many more. What makes these even funnier is that the by-line is Isaac Asimov, however one suspects that the writer to be Something Awful's own David Thorpe. Still, that doesn't diminish the humor one iota.
Something Awful Laws via Boing Boing
Monday, July 14, 2008
So if Jupiter is to work at all it will have to be funded and executed by private investments. hummmm Check out their site Direct 2.0
yahoo news via IO9
Makemake (pronounced "maki-maki") is now the fourth dwarf planet (after Pluto, Ceres, and Eris). Little is known definitively about Makemake, but the prescience of methane suggests similarities with Pluto and Eris. Will Sedna be next?
Of course with the definition of "planet" and "dwarf planet" being so controversial, this might end up being the official naming of the twelfth planet.
<Universe Today article>
<Mike (M. E.) Brown's planet's blog with many recent entries on dwarf planets and Makemake>
After the controversy and drama of this weekend's award results. I want to thank Science Fiction Award Watch blog for sticking with it and adding some sanity. Here are the full results of the Campbell and Sturgeon awards.
- 1st In War Times, Kathleen Ann Goonan
- 2nd The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, Michael Chabon
- 3rd The Execution Channel, Ken MacLeod
- 1st (tie) “Tidelines,” Elizabeth Bear
- 1st (tie) “Finisterra,” David R. Moles
- 2nd (tie) “Memorare,” Gene Wolfe
- 2nd (tie) “The Master Miller’s Tale,” Ian R. MacLeod
Sunday, July 13, 2008
"I blame the fantastic and unbelievable shows about space flight and rocket ships that are on today," Aldrin said in an interview, "All the shows where they beam people around and things like that have made young people think that that is what the space program should be doing. It's not realistic."
Tell me it isn't true Buzz say it ain't so!
Aldrin Slams SF's Effect On Space [Scifi Wire]
Friday, July 11, 2008
As an example one can look to their upcoming project, the remake of The Prisoner miniseries. The thinking is solid. The shows that those 40+ grew up on are a virtually untapped goldmine resource that can be updated and served to a new and older audience alike. Collier said that the network is looking into the acquisitions of past science fiction, both movies and television.
Sounds good to me and no wraslin! woooooooo hoooooooooooo
Check out the article on Dvice
The available formats for the book are HTML, MobiPocket, and PDF.
If you haven's signed up yet, go to Tor.com and once signed up, they will notify you when and what is new.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
But I am degressing some. Click on the article's title to go to Simon's post on the background and reaction to Tor's program. Its very interesting.
Pic Simon Owens from Blogasm
- For a limited time, Eos is making City of Pearl by Karen Traviss, the first book of the Wess'har Wars series, available as a free download. (use the coupon code EOS4) Formats provided include Adobe Digital, Microsoft Reader and Mobipocket.
ok that being said, because I love the idea that there is a good novel available for free, I have to say that I went through the whole Harper Collins rigmarole to download the book. And I was more than slightly agrevated by the end of the process. First off, you have to sign up for an account. Yes Tor has the same thing, but Harper takes it to a whole new level. Not just email and password, you want the book be prepaired to do the complete info gathering song and dance. First / last etc etc. Then you get your book? Nope, select type of media Adobe, Microsoft etc Ok, then you get it? Nope, next you have to download more software to view the book, Now I had Adobe pdf but they wanted me to download and install something a bit different live version so after 15 minutes of trying, I still don't have the book , I am begining to think that you read the book online or something....not sure now and I am agrevated enough to chuck the idea. But that aside, if you are a bit patient and don't mind jumping through a few hoops give it a go. Tor was much easier.
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
The Campbell award will go to "In War Times" by Kathleen Ann Goonan. For the first time, there are two winners of the Sturgeon award: "Finisterra" by David R. Moles and "Tidelines" by Elizabeth Bear.
Kinda feels like cheatin huh? lol wonder whats up
infoZine via Science Fiction Award Watch
The article I think, states my thoughts on the subject very nicely:
- One of the biggest debates among people who like scfi is where to draw the line between science and magic. Some adhere to the idea that magic is simply science that we don't yet understand, others feel that magic represents an essential mystery that can't be understood rationally. Of course the other big dividing line between magic and science has to do with genre: magic appears mostly in fantasy stories, and science (of course) in science fiction.
Oh it gets better: This absurd advice is being offered even though statin drugs have never been tested on young children. And your thinking "oh but the government and the FDA will never allow something this atrocious to happen!" Dream on! The FDA has granted approval for the use of such drugs on children as young as eight!
Go to NaturalNews to read the rest, but unless your living in a cave you understand exactly whats going on here and MallCity is again 2 steps closer.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
NASA, however, seems stuck in an earlier, more puritanical era. "We don't study sexuality in space, and we don't have any studies ongoing with that," said NASA spokesman Bill Jeffs of the Johnson Space Center in Houston. "If that's your specific topic, there's nothing to discuss," he added, referring to "sex in space."
Science fiction, as it is with so much, is far ahead on this subject. Starting at least as far back as 1940s pulp covers, where space was clearly"clothing optional," through more sophisticated stories like Philip José Farmer's groundbreaking "The Lovers" to today's SF where sex is no more a taboo subject than it is in mainstream fiction.
SF has long realized that no matter where you put people, they will always be human. As the space.com noted, neither isolation nor scientific research change this as indicated by the fact the month "before six months of winter darkness descended over Antarctica's McMurdo Station, the research base received a delivery of about 16,500 condoms."
Society and SF have come a long way on this topic and soon sex is space will no more a topic of media sensationalism than sex on Earth. Erm, bad example. And yes, the title should always be announced with a reverb effect exactly like the Muppet Show's classic "Pigs in Space."
<Complete Space.com article>
I can see science fiction written all over this stuff. Realistically people like PETA would have a fit and there are practical concerns that really are not addressed but whooohooooo Brave New World acommin!
For the complete article in the New York Times about the ongoing research on Luna material, click here
Monday, July 07, 2008
"Neurotechnology soon may be able to detect a person who is particularly nervous, in possession of guilty knowledge or, eventually, to detect a person thinking, "Only one hour until the bomb explodes." "
Today, the science of detecting and decoding brain activity is in its infancy. But various government agencies are funding the development of technology to detect brain activity remotely and are hoping to eventually decode what someone is thinking."
Full story Here By NITA FARAHANY, Special to The Washington Post
Image Digital Camcorder Redux
Anyone wana guess how long before there's a take down? OMG! hey but what a great hack this could make huh?
Ahhh but I am not buying the "gene therapy" line for one second. And as for nano computers? Well what about the nano wires that can store 3 bits of information? That pretty much obsoletes the nano/dna logic path if I am not correct. I know I must be treading into the paranoid fringe here but I see a Dr. Moreauish second class life-form looming. This kind of tech is going to be drawn to money like moths to flame.
<Complete Science Daily Article>
Odd is the operative word here! lol
Disch's wiki lists: Hugo Award for best related book in 1999, and he had two other Hugo nominations and nine Nebula Award nominations to his credit, plus one win of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award,
The most notable works by Disch that come to mind is the Hugo winning The Brave Little Toaster which for some reason just continues to stick with me and his computer game Amnesia which was my first foray into text adventure in the late 80s. I would like to say that I liked Camp Concentration but the book was so very dark and disturbing in places that one couldn't read it in one go, but it pieces after you steel yourself for another go.
His last blog entry raved of sticker shock about the cost of meals and speculated on how teens must have to get by with such high cost. His listed website is down though.
photo speculative fiction database
Sunday, July 06, 2008
A US company claims it is ready to build a microwave ray gun able to beam sounds directly into people's heads.
Yep that that's right, microwaves beamed right into your skull! oh and it get even blacker!
The device – dubbed MEDUSA exploits the microwave audio effect, in which short microwave pulses rapidly heat tissue, causing a shockwave inside the skull that can be detected by the ears. A series of pulses can be transmitted to produce recognizable sounds.
umm and this is safe becaaaaaaaaaaause? I mean do I have to go any futher? They heat up your gray matter to such a point that it causes a shockwave and they do it long enough that you start hearing voices? We are talking about something so much worse than the brown note here folks! Yes, that rushing noise you hear in your ears is your brains draining out your nasal cavities! So, you want more? Oh yes, it gets worse!
MEDUSA involves a microwave auditory effect "loud" enough to cause discomfort or even incapacitation and normal audio safety limits do not apply since the sound does not enter through the eardrums.
If you want to read more of this madness click < more >
For me, it's an excellent way to see where the cost of fuel and globalwarming may be taking us.
Since the Hindenburg zeppelin exploded more than 70 years ago, there hasn't been any realistic commercial forays into lighter than air craft past maybe the hot air balloon. Now, with the advent of of new materials and sophisticated means of propulsion, many government and private concerns are exploring blimps and dirigibles. Some visionaries foresee structures large enough to loft a hotel high into the air and slowly travel between destinations. Less lofty ideas are like the company that is talking with the French post office with the idea of transporting parcels by dirigibles. And of course there is the German company Zeppelin-Reederei which carried 12,000 passengers on sightseeing tours over southern Germany last year. But with top speeds of around 100 miles an hour and a maximum capacity of several dozen passengers, dirigibles are expected by most aviation experts to remain niche vessels for ferrying tourists, advertising and occasional scientific payloads. The US research has mostly been by the military who's interest was mainly in cargo and surveillance. The major hurdle at present is funding. Many initial project have failed over the past few years simply due to lack of cash not design problems.
photo ZLT Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik