Monday, August 30, 2010

Hand in liquid nitrogen with no ill effects!

From Popular Science via IO9 comes a video that is very interesting to watch. I had heard of being able to dip your hand in liquid nitrogen and be protected by the evaporation around your hand for a few moments. This is the first time I have actually seen it done. Still wouldn't do it though!
Also at the IO9 link are some links to sites that describes the effect that protects the person's hand called the Leidenfrost Effect. Check out the video and the science link in the IO9 article, I didn't even know the effect had a name! huh!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Colin Davies' brings us up to speed on new works!

Colin wants to let his readers know that he will again be gracing our podcast very soon indeed! The new five part series (another Pestworld story!) that has already been sent to CrystalWizard at Cyber Studios Online and we will premiere them as soon as they are ready. Just to give you a Colin p. Davies fix, here is a list of his newest releases. Look for them!

I have a few new stories appearing soon:

  • Henry Jumps a Shark (Bewildering Stories, September), my take on where reality TV may go.
  • The Booby-Trapped Boy (M Brane SF, September), set on Mars and in the same 'universe' as The Certainty Principle, Good and Faithful Servant and Dolls.
  • Stippleback (Jupiter Magazine, Autumn), one of my few alien stories.
  • Land of Fire and Ashes (Abyss and Apex, 2011), a man tormented by fire.
  • Talking of Dolls, this is about to reappear in The Immersion Book of SF (Imminently)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

T-Shirts for the World of Tomorrow!

If you're into science fiction (and aren't we all?) then you gotta love these shirts!

From the site:
The Retropolis Transit Authority welcomes you to its streamlined, ultra-retro-modern collection of apparel for the World of Tomorrow! Our shirts are colorful, high quality tees...

Click here to find a shirt that's just too cool for words.

Outer Space - Lady Ga Ga's Pokerface parody

Xnewsman just brought this to my attention! Very funny stuff. Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Review: Requiem from the Darkness (100 stories)

For the past several weeks, the SyFy channel has been running "Requiem from the Darkness" also known as "100 Stories) as part of its' Monday night anime block.

Requiem is about a young writer in feudal japan, wants to write a book of 100 ghost stories. To do this, he must travel across Japan in search of in search of myths and legends that are the basis of many of the stories he has read.

In his travels, the writer comes in contact with three very strange individuals. Every time he is joined by or is traveling with this group, odd and strange things take place. During the story arc he discovers that they may not be entirely human and in fact might not even belong to the real world. The three it seems is tasked with finding the root of many of these strange occurrences and send those responsible "to the other world".

The series is one season with a 13 episode story arc.

I watched the whole series and I have to say it is one of the best anime series I have seen. The plot line is good, the artwork is above average if a bit minimalistic and the English dub seems to be dead on. Even though not science fiction, the series is a must for anime fans. This series and other longer episodes are available at outlets like amazon.

Here is the Wiki link

Book Video Trailer: A New Birth Of Freedom: The Visitor

Into science fiction? Like Alternative history and time travel? Looking for something new to read? Boy have I got a book for you!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Review: No Ordinary Family pilot

I just got a chance to watch the pilot of ABC's new show No Ordinary Family staring of all people Michael Chiklis of The Shield and Julie Benz.

The premise is the average American family of four, so dysfunctional its difficult to see where the family really starts and stops. Two disconnected adults and two self adsorbed teens. The mother is an over achieving research scientist, the dad is a failed artist now police sketch artist, the teens, a boy failing in school and a girl failing in relationships.

The dad in an effort to reconnect the family takes everyone on a junket to Brazil where their plane crashes in a jungle river. That's when the weirdness starts. We basically have a Fantastic Four & X-Men mash-up. I won't bore with the details, you've seen all the powers before, nothing nrew here...could have and shout have winds up to be isn't and ain't happening.

But the series has some potential. It's not over the top or campy...but then neither was the tv version of the Hulk. I will give it a watch and with only one show to base it on... a reserved thumbs up. Series premieres Tuesday September 28 8|7c

No Ordinary Family abc page

The Electric Universe

The four forces of physics: 
Two of these four forces act in the atomic core. One of them UNIFIES and holds matter together in the core (e.g. via fusion), the other force SEPARATES parts of the atomic core. It produces the radioactivity of e.g. uranium and thorium (table). The other two forces of these four forces act in the infinite space. One of them - gravity - UNIFIES and holds matter together e.g. it forms stars from huge clouds. It holds together stars, solar systems, binary stars, galaxies, clusters. The other force - the electric force - SEPARATES matter of celestial bodies and repulses winds, loops, flares and light years-long jets. The electrically ejected matter is formed to filaments via pinch effect.

Electric Universe - Psytrance music

No video but a very cool graphic with exceptionally cool space music.

Promising Alternative Power - PEE!

IO9 is so good at finding such promising articles! Case in point?

A new company, named appropriately enough - Youtricity, is making the case for fuel cells as an answer to power hungry (urp....) areas. However the standard fuel cell often uses platinum in its' membrane and so is expensive, plus they often use fuels that are explosive and dangerous to handle, like hydrogen or methanol gas.

Now the company Carbamide Power System has developed a system that uses far less expensive materials in manufacture and a much safer fuel. Urine - that's right good ole h2 flow. Well to be honest the system in fact uses urea, which is a component of human and animal urine. Now urea is mass produced already as an industrial fertilizer, so initially the system could run on that, but the manufacture states that urine can be used just as easily and the output is electricity and clean drinking water...( drinking water? uhhhhh no...that's a little too first hand for me...I want a couple more steps in the process)

But knowing that in some areas the major pollutant is urine, if there was an economic incentive to collect and recycle the fluid sounds like a good idea. But I am just thinking out loud so to speak.

Here is the IO9 article

Hayao Miyazaki's early post-apocalyptic film "Nausicaä"

IO9 points us towards a film, ground breaking for it's time and still wildly influential in film making today. IO9 blog point out that Hayao Miyazaki's 1984 film Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind Can now be viewed free online.

Hayao Miyazak created movies like Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, (I can not suggest strongly enough that Spirited Away is a MUST SEE) Nausica is one of his earliest efforts and is absolutely brilliant. The Manga influenced anime film concerns Earth a 1000 years in the future after a bio-tech war that caused a eco-disaster. Human civilization has been destroyed, small human settlements survive, widely separated from each other by a toxic environment flora and fauna that seemed bent on destroying what is left of humanity.

Here is the Wiki article and the complete IO9 article Here is the movie link

Valley of the Wind review

The first thing I want to say about this movie is that it isn't the New World Pictures 1980 edit of the original film. From what I have read, the film that was released in 1980 was a heavily edited to the point that many of the narrative and plot elements were lost or reduced. The links I have on the blog are for the 2005 re-dubbed and uncut release. I think this is an important distinction to make because the two different edits for all intents make two substantially different films. The 2005 release is how director / writer Myazaki intended.

So what did I think of what many are calling Myazaki's life's work? For it's time it must have been considered ground breaking and considering the main message of the film – way ahead of its time.

The film has a pretty heavy handed environmental theme. With the advent of global warming, it is fairly well accepted that man has played a major role in unbalancing the environment. But for a early 80s movie to champion the idea is a neat hat trick. That being said, the environmental message of the film is pervasive. Hardly a moment passes without some reference to the main thread of the movie which escalates towards the end of the film into an outright harangue on the evils of man and the beauty of the animals (who up until a few moment ago were hell bent on making every human within reach as dead as possible)

I really loved the look and feel of the movie. What we would recognize today as steam-punk, represents the level of tech of the human world. You get the feeling that everything is kind of a one off hand built feel. The flora and fauna reminded me strongly of Fantastic Planet, both elements were enthralling to watch.

However the price you have to pay for those captivating moments is mounting environmental body blows culminating in a soliloquy from the blind woman Obaba who tearfully recants her hate and fear of the Ohmu (gigantic armored caterpillar like insects who until a few moments ago were killing anything that moved) because she didn't realize how “beautiful” they were.

The proselytizing quite frankly put me off. I generally enjoyed the film, but have never warmed up to heavy handed message movies. You however might be different and the film may indeed be perfect for you. For me, at the end, I was flinching and twitching.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Blade Runner Revisited

An experimental film in tribute to Ridley Scott's legendary film “Blade Runner” (1982) by François Vautier.

This film was made as a unique picture with a resolution of 60.000 x 60.000 pixels (3.6 gigapixels) It was made with 167,819 frames from 'Blade Runner'.

Vautier says to make the filme he, extracted the 167,819 frames from 'Blade Runner' then assembled all these images to obtain one gigantic square of approximately 60,000 pixels on a side or 3.5 gigapixels. The he placed a virtual camera above this big picture. So what you see is like an illusion, because contrary to appearances there is only one image. It is in fact the relative movement of the virtual camera flying over this massive image which creates the illusion of animation.

BLADE RUNNER revisited >3.6 gigapixels from françois vautier on Vimeo.

Original Vimeo Article

Thursday, August 19, 2010

'Star Wars' Fans Feel the Need for Real Hyperspeed

Die-hard "Star Wars" fans have visited the imaginary worlds of Hoth and Tatooine countless times in the sci-fi films, and now they want NASA's help to do some real intergalactic exploring.
At the Star Wars Celebration V convention in Florida over the weekend, "Star Wars" filmmakers and fans asked NASA representatives to develop a hyperdrive that can transport astronauts through space at light speed. And to make it snappy.
After all, in the "Star Wars" universe, the technology was developed a long time ago, in a galaxy far away.

For the full story, click here!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Eureka go for a fifth!

ABOUT blog report that even though Eureka is only a few episodes into its' fourth season, The SyFy channel has decided to renew it for another season, based on how well the show is doing.

The number are in fact, very good. Since the fourth season started in July, each episode has averaged 3 million viewers each week.

Black Hole Creation Theory In Question

Tim Sayell sends in an article from Yahoo News about a new theory that is shaking the foundation of stellar mechanics and the formation of "Black Hole" in particular.

Present wisdom has it that black holes are formed when extremely massive stars reach the end of their lives and collapse in on themselves creating super dense objects with gravity so strong that not even light can escape.

However a cluster of extremely large bright stars (some a thousand times the diameter of our sun) was discovered in the earth 60s.
  • ... in a cluster of stars known as Westerlund 1, located 16,000 light years away in the constellation of Ara, the Altar.

In amongst these massive stars was a very rare magnetar.
  • (a magnetar is) a particular kind of neutron star, formed from the explosion of a supernova, that can exert a magnetic field a million, billion times strong than Earth's.
A neutron star is like an abortive black hole. This phenomenon is also produced from a very massive star and much like the stars that produce a black hole, they end their life cycle by collapsing in on themselves. However they are not massive enough to collapse all the way to a black hole but stop at a state just as strange. When these stars collapse they create gravitational and magnetic fields so strong that atoms can no longer maintain their normal separation of electrons and proton which which crash together forming a neutron.

It is commonly held that when a star of about 10 to 25 solar masses collapses it will form a neutron star, above 25 and the collapse will not stop but continue to create the ultra dense black hole. Now here is where the really weird stuff comes in. The star that had to collapse to form the magnetar in the Westerlund 1 cluster had to have been 40 solar masses.

For those of you on the ball you have to be thinking that something isn't adding up. Somehow the star that eventually formed the Westerlund 1 magnetar had to loose almost 50% of its' mass shortly before it collapsed.

Read the rest of the Yahoo News article here

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Do WHAT? Ray Bradbury?

Like I have said before, there aren't many videos or stories that I have reservations on posting. Well I just came across a music video on YouTube by Rachel Bloom. It has reasonable production value and the music is well performed and recorded. Plus it has a strong science fiction to speak. Mz Bloom's song professes a rather strong attraction to one of the giants of science fiction, Ray Bradbury. In the video you will find the musical version of "lets get to know each other better"

It's quite funny, but I really can not in good conscience post anything more than the youtube link here.

The beat is infectious and the production funny. Enjoy.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Space Net to clean up Space Junk

Remember we talked about the space balloons that would send space junk burning up in the atmosphere? Well it got people thinking and here is DARPA's answer to the thousands of pieces of space junk in orbit.....a space net!

According to the Gizmodo article:
  • The Electrodynamic Debris Eliminator, or EDDE, would be a spacecraft with 200 nets attached to it, allowing it to gather up any errant satellites. It could then either send them into the South Pacific, angle them to burn up on reentry or even recycle the materials right there in space for use in constructing future space stations or satellites.
Recycling...there is a rich one....wana guess who put a goodly amount of that junk up there? Oh and ok, I got a come NASA all of a sudden has to be the free garbage man here? aaaaaaaanyway, test flight are set for 2013 and if all goes well deployment by 2017.


How Patrick Stewart would never be Enterprise's captain

Shocking enough statement for you? Or confusing? Well I really wanted to peak your interest in what some of us have guessed in part, that Sir Patrick was not all that comfortable with his role as J.L. Picard.

In a recent article on, Stewart said about his casting as captain:
  • Why would they cast a middle-aged bald English Shakespearean actor in this iconic role as captain of the Enterprise? It made no sense. But I guess Gene Roddenberry had some sort of instinct for it...
Nothing, in fact, could have been further from the truth. ST-TNG producer Robert Justman had heard Stewart doing a reading of Shakespeare and instantly knew that this was the man to helm the next Enterprise. However after speaking with Stewart, Roddenberry was very much NOT in favor of using him. In fact he is quoted as saying "I won't have him". Justman knew that the more he pushed the more Gene would dig in his heels. Instead he waited until Roddenberry had seen all the other prospects (Gene was looking for a masculine Frenchman with a full head of hair) finally capitulated.

But it makes you think. On person sure it was insane and the other totally against the casting and still we have one of the most iconic captains of all the Star Trek captains.

Read complete article here

Thursday, August 12, 2010

HALKa trailer! Bangladeshi movie craziness!

It's the Incredible Halka! This weirdness is enough to make even Bollywood look tame! And its so so GREEN!

New Asteroids found in Neptune's Orbital "Dead Zones"

Here is some space trivia that I have always found fascinating. Every planet / sun combination has a few "weird" places in their orbits. These areas are for all intents gravity free zones. These places quite literally are gravity balanced places where the gravity attraction of the sun and the planet are canceled out. What is fascinating is there are not just one but five for every planet orbiting around the sun (and of course if there are moons, those too play into even more neutral areas) They exist several degrees ahead and behind the planet, 180 degrees or on the exact opposite side of the sun, between the sun and the planet and finally at a point out side the orbit of the planet where the planet and sun's gravity cancel each other out. These areas are called Lagrangian points or L points for short. The most studied are L4 just ahead of a planet and L5 behind, because they are the most stable.1 (L1 is between the planet and the sun, L2 is at the point outside the orbit with the sun & planet balancing and L3 is at 180 degrees)

L4 &5 ten to gather the most junk, but up to this point L4 & 5 points of Neptune's orbit have been very difficult to study as they are so very far away and Neptune's L5 is on direct line of sight with the bright center of our galaxy.

Scientist's have been persistent and with the recent blocking of the light from the galaxy center being blocked by dust have discovered a bonanza of large objects in Neptune's L5. These "Trojan" asteroids are about 100 kilometers in size and that there are about 150 Trojans of similar size. These Lagrangian points as so stable that these objects were most likely captured during the formation of our solar system.

What makes this discovery particularly noteworthy is best described by the article on IO9
  • (the Trojan objects were likely captured)...before planets were brought onto a single orbital plane and Neptune itself revolved around the Sun in an orbit similar to that of the asteroids today. As the planets eventually locked into their current orbits, the asteroids were "frozen" in place at the points, but their eccentric orbits remained as evidence of a more chaotic time in the history of the solar system.
Now that is what I call cool stuff. Because up to this time I had assumed that there had always been a single orbital plane and the planets just cleaned up around them......Now we find that not only did some of the planets orbit off the plane but may have had non keplerian orbits to boot! Good stuff!

read complete IO9 article here

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Pioneer One Episode 1

Here's the first episode of a neat webseries called Pioneer One. What is seriously neat about this project is that was entirely crowdfunded. What’s more this first installment only cost the price of a fairly good used car - or $6,000!

The first episode concerns a downed spacecraft that crashes in Edmonton Canada and in the
process spreads radiation from Montana to the crash site. The craft and the occupant are straight out of the cold war and what the scientists that study the craft and pilot uncover is nothing short of unbelievable.

This series comes from fertile talents of writer Josh Bernhard and director Bracey Smith.

Here's the official description of Pioneer One:
An object in the sky spreads radiation over North America. Fearing terrorism, U.S. Homeland Security agents are dispatched to investigate and contain the damage. What they discover will have implications for the entire world.

They have reached 27K of their projected 30K, they have a donation page here or you can go to the main page

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Abandoned /Towers Magazine Is Changing.

Abandoned /Towers Magazine print issues are changing is the word I get from Cyberwizard Productions.

The release states:
  • Effective immediately, the print schedule is changing from three times a year to once a year.
  • The Nov. 2010 issue of Abandoned Towers Print will be the last of the 3x per year issues. Going forward the yearly print issue will be released each summer and be fairly thick, packed with plenty of high quality written content, exceptional artwork and various surprises.
  • Anyone who is subscribed to our print issues lose nothing, since we sell number of issues subscriptions....
  • Also effective immediately we will no longer be selling subscriptions to the print issues.
A variety of reasons are at play here but the most pressing is the workforce at Abandoned Towers is finding themselves spread way to thin.

For more info and to check out the new site go to

Review: Hot Tub Time Machine

Review: Hot Tub Time Machine
Directed by Steve Pink
Produced by Matt Moore, John Cusack, Grace Loh, John Morris
Written by Josh Heald, Jarrad Paul, Sean Anders
Starring John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, Chevy Chase, Crispin Glover, Lizzy Caplan, Lyndsy Fonseca

Have you ever watched a movie that you later would be embarrassed to admit that you saw? No I am not talking about you alone at night with a Ron the Hedgehog porno classic but I am talking about a film that I feel like I need to shower after watching.

And what you say can be so nasty? Hot Tub Time Machine. John Cusack’s career is in the toilet and he wants us to join him in swallowing this turd.

Lets talk about this steamer for a sec. Four loser friends in a drunken attempt to recapture their “golden” years of the long past 80 (80s?! when were they ever the good ole days?! That's your first hint that this is going to be an ankle grabber) shuffle off to a wretched ski resort and find a moldering long unused hot tub outside their suite. Said tub mysteriously starts operating and much drinking a vomiting ensue. Our lackluster losers sober up in the 80s where the malfing tub has deposited them. And now for the next hour we are pummeled by every four letter word in their arsenal, drugs, nudity and more drinking oh and fighting..... I think someone says butterfly effect a couple of times but the rest is a sloppy chaotic mess all but incomprehensible. Ah but in the end Chevy Chase does a couple of walk ons as a hapless hot tub mystic, and saves the day and everything works out in the end. Mostly.

What can I say. I admit it I watched this travesty in cellulose. If anyone in this film had ANY career before this one, its gone now. Oh and the blu-ray? NOTHING. NO EFFORT was made. No extras, no commentary, no deleted scenes. NADA so goose eggs for the disk and I rate the movie maybe a 3, 4 if I want to admit that I laughed at the consequences of a football bet and a squirrel (yep, good for you! Impossibly black and Gary Coleman’s forearm in a single movie scene it seems will make me laugh) Other wise this movie is a complete waste of time. Drop the disk and back away and we will never speak of this again...ok? Good.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Ben Browder to Star in SF Webisode Series

And speaking of webisodes:

According to the Science Fiction Buzz blog, Ben Browder, of Star Gate and Farscape,
  • is starring and executive producing a webisode series based on John E. Stith's "Naught for Hire" novella from ANALOG, July 1990.
You can get more info at the project's website and the article says that there is a Facebook and twitter feed. Said twitters are:
  • fake headlines from the comically dysfunctional future that our hero Nick Naught inhabits.
I really enjoy watching Browder work (especially off Claudia Black or Wayne Pygram) so this might just be something worth checking out.

Cleaning up space junk with balloons

Here is an interesting article that I came across on the Dvice blog. Balloons could be used to help clean up orbital space junk.

According to the article, the balloon based device is called G.O.L.D. for Gossamer Orbit Lowering Device and is the brain child of Dr. Kristen Gates.

From the article:
  • "GOLD" — is sent up to orbit in a box no larger than a suitcase, and then it's fastened to a piece of space junk, (which then) inflates .... (lowering whatever it is attached to) into the atmosphere, where the piece of debris will burn up. The balloon's size amplifies the amount of drag acting on the space junk already, which slowly decays an object's orbit. The added plus is that a GOLD is very inexpensive to manufacture.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

WTF!: Centrifugal Childbirth?!!

You ever come across an article that for about a half second seems reasonable, but then you find yourself HUH? WTF?! Well here is one of those moments, for me at least.

Using a centrifuge to aide in childbirth. Wait! It gets better! Someone thought this one through. I guess in the same way you would "think through" running over old ladies....1 get in car 2 start car 3 & 4 drive around and look for old ladies and so on...

So.... from the article....
  • Seen here is an unusual example of excess G's being harnessed for the good. The patent holders, George B. and Charlotte Blonsky, contend that the centrifuge could be a boon to "more civilized women," who, they surmise, often lack the muscle strength needed to easily push out a baby.
Does there seem to be an over abundance of restraints? Yeah, there has got to be a moment, shortly before spin up, that said civilized woman would have a moment of clarity and consider her options. Oh and the numbers! Documentation, I bet, is several inches thick.

Oh and you have to love what the article calls an elasticized "pocket-shaped newborn net"
Is that like the net that catches a plane when it misses the restraining cables? It would also explain where the doctor or midwife (baseball catcher) would be positioned....

It has got to be an example of just not thinking this through. I mean we are not just talking about a baby I right in wondering about a placenta under high G acceleration? I mean, do we even want to go there?

It's little tidbits like this that makes one certain that at some point that you have stepped over to an alternative universe....huh?

Boing Boing article centrifuge patent

Up & Inception trailer mashup called *sic* Upception

From the pages of Gizmodo via Kim Komando comes a very clever mashup of the sci fi thriller Inception and the animated family movie Up. In this "Trailer" called with tongue firmly in cheek, Upception, are graphics that all originated from "Up" but the voices and sound track are from the trailer for "Inception". The end product is a well timed and brilliantly edited fake trailer that if you didn't know any better, could be taken for the real deal. Great fun and very funny in retrospect!

Review: Ark

I am fast finding the "webisode" platform a very interesting in innovative way to present a series or even what on TV would be called a single one hour episode. Instead of one long episode of an hour or longer, each web episode is instead a short bite sized offering. Instead of that single hour you may in fact have nine or more episodes ranging anywhere for 3 minutes to upwards of 10 minutes. SyFy's Sanctuary started this way on the web - with 4 to 6 per hour, giving the fan little morsels at each visit. The beauty of this is that if you don't have enough time for a half to full hour, you can break it up and watch snippets during breaks or what have you. Plus if you want more, you simply keep watching other episodes in the series or better yet instead of once a week, you have a piece every day of the week.
So for me, the first was Sanctuary, a couple other less well hyped, then Woke Up Dead and more recently is a really good web-isodic program called ARK on

Here is the snipit that Hulu provides for the program:
  • Two strangers plucked from different decades find themselves lost on a massive spaceship deep in space. With no information about where they are or how they got there, they must work together to figure out a way home.
At present there are 9 episodes that add up to about a regular 1 hour program sans adds (hulu of course has ads, but they are short and not intrusive)

Like Santuary I will bet that ARK is dependant on green screen, but even so there has been effort to provide an environment much like say SyFy's Stargate Universe's ancient mysterious ship. So far, with 9 shorts down, we have a mix of SG Universe and Riverworld. There are hints that the "ARK" is ancient and carrying a precious cargo.

It is worth checking out and if you don't like it, well what, you're down 10 minutes or less? The ninth doesn't wrap much up, so maybe there is a bunch of other webisodes in the wings.

Review: Ark

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Short Film: Transcendent City

Here is a short film that I first found on IO9 called: The Transcendent City. I's a short film by Bartlett School of Architecture graduate Richard Hardy about an artificial intelligence network that coexists with its ecosystem.

THE TRANSCENDENT CITY from Richard Hardy on Vimeo.

Could Quantum Computers Break Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principal?

Here is an article, from IO9, that is bound to fry a couple of neurons. Have you heard of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principal? Simply put, it is possible to chart a particle's position or speed but never both. Have you ever wondered "why is that"? Well believe me, person's with more degrees in one place than I have ever seen, wrestle with it daily. Here is part of the problem.

Physicist Paul Diracone describes the problem thus: One of the very, very few ways to measure a particle's position is to hit it with a photon and then chart where the photon lands on a detector. That gives you the particle's position, yes, but it's also fundamentally changed its velocity, and the only way to learn that would consequently alter its position.

Has that weeeeeee little pain started just behind your eyes yet?

The thing is that Heisenberg really meant to say that you can not measure both "with any degree of accuracy" and this is where quantum computers might shine. At least that is what
five physicists from Germany, Switzerland, and Canada hope.

Prepare to fry synapses! From the article:
  • Key to quantum computers are qubits, the individual units of quantum memory. A particle would need to be entangled with a quantum memory large enough to hold all its possible states and degrees of freedom. Then, the particle would be separated and one of its features measured. If, say, its position was measured, then the researcher would tell the keeper of the quantum memory to measure its velocity.
Can you just hear Hugo Farnsworth going yeuuuuuuuuuuhwhaaaaaaaaaaaa?

This is what they hope for:
  • Because the uncertainty principle wouldn't extend from the particle to the memory, it wouldn't prevent the keeper from measuring this second figure, allowing for exact.....
  • ...would fundamentally alter our understanding of quantum mechanics and particle physics.
complete IO9 article

Monday, August 02, 2010

Antipodean SF issue 146 is online!

Antipodean editor Ion sends us a note to let us know that our favorite online flash fiction magazine is online and available! Here is the stories in this months issue.

Switch By Jamie Richter

Second Hand By Pavelle Wesser

Starry Eyed Trio: Herschel By David Kernot

The Previously Unknown Kingdom Of The North Saxons By Wes Parish

iWorld By Robert N. Stephenson

Right Of Way By Shaun A. Saunders

Boogie Fear By Lynda Young

A Civil Servant's Diary By Susan Partridge

Reflections Of A Doctor By Cameron R. D. Laird

Bad Form By J. S. Breukelaar

I have read them all and as usual the editing is suburb and the stories fine! Here is the link to issue 146

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Review: Mush shi anime series

Mush shi
Tv Series - 26 episodes
Plus available on dvd + blu-ray
Anime series and Live Action film

The story line concerns mystical creatures called Mushi which are described as beings in touch with the supernatural or having supernatural power. Most humans can't see Mushi and are oblivious to their existence, but there are a few who possess the ability to see and interact with Mushi.

In Mushi, one person who can see and interact with the Mushi is a person called Ginko and is the main character of the series. He employs himself as a Mushi master, traveling from place to place to research Mushi and aid people suffering from problems caused by them. The series is an episodic anthology in which the only common elements among episodes are Ginko and the various types of Mushi. There is no over-arching plotline. The movie however attempts to bring an arc to the story line so the references to the series plots have a distinct time line running through them, where the animated series often jumps to the past to explain the finer points of what Ginko is feeling or doing.

Through both the movie and the series we learn that Ginko has lost his memory of early childhood. In the movie this is explained early on where the series gives you bits and pieces to explain and expand on what is happening.

Mushi is quiet and introspective. The movie adds in a bit more drama but for the most part emulates the look and feel of the series. Each episode is often ended in a quiet voice over with melancholy music that gives the viewer a wistful feel that is sadly lost in the movie which is tried to capture in the last moments, but really doesn't work.

Both venues work well. You can watch the movie and find yourself enchanted by the slow pacing and quiet nature, where in the series you find those same qualities plus the episodic nature of the series as well as the closing thoughts and impressions of each episode.

In truth I would suggest watching the anime episodes first.