Saturday, October 30, 2010

Nasa Apollo 11 Moon Landing Restored Videos

Remember a few weeks ago I talked about the discovery of some video from Apollo 11 that even in its state of deterioration, had some images of the first moon walks that were far superior than NASA archives? Well here they are!

Complete Daily Galaxy article

Friday, October 29, 2010

Monster Neutron Star Discovered

The neutron star is on of the weirder characters in the cast of players making up the universe. A structure whos' very matter masses millions of tons per cubic centimeter. Its' very nature so extreme as to be more science fiction than science. Created during the collapse of an equally spectacular event a star's last hurrah - a super-nova. Most super-nova events are thought to end in the creation of a black hole. But if the mass is just short of what is needed then the collapse stops at that strange quasi matter of a neutron star.

In a neutron star there are no protons and no electrons. All the space is crushed out of the atoms pushing the neutrons and electrons together making neutrons. A whole star's worth of neutrons. But the creation of the neutron star is a knife edge balancing act. Most have masses that are equal to 1.3 to an upper limit of 1 and a half solar masses all compressed into sphere probably no larger than 20 miles across. At least that was what was thought to be the limits until just recently.

Astronomers using the National Science Foundation's Green Bank Telescope, have discovered a neutron star of 2 solar masses. This discovery means that a great deal of what was thought to be understood about neutron stars has to be rethought or abandoned completely as well as having implications of science's understanding of all matter at extremely high densities and many details of nuclear physics.

Read complete article from The Daily Galaxy here

John De Lancie Performs Poe's THE RAVEN

Star Trek TNG fans take heed! John De Lancie, Star Trek's infamous Q takes on Edgar Allen Poe and read The Raven. Does he struggle? Believe me no. He doff the prose like a familiar cloak and reads it with relish. Not to be viewed in a dark room I dare say. Quantum Mechanix released this wonderful video Enjoy!

Youtube link

Astronomers estimate billions of Earth size planets

That's right I said billions. This from an article Dan brought me from the Washington Post (via the BDN) This bold number was based on an estimate by astronomers from the University of California at Berkeley, viewing a small section of sky over a four year period. The scientist posited that the number of smaller planets in a given area far outstrip that of big gas giants etc. Also the premise is that there is a strong likely-hood that at least a quarter of G class stars will have Earth size planets. In the absolutely staggering number of planets in the universe (present estimate is 5 with 22 zeros after it) a few billion of them being Earth class mass is still a small number, but still several magnitudes higher than previously thought.

That Earth mass planets are all but common may well play out when NASA's Kepler Mission begins operating early in 2011. Scientists in that project will be searching for Earth sized and possibly habitable planets.

Wiki on Kepler Mission

Thursday, October 28, 2010

"Buckyballs" Molecules Discovered in Another Galaxy

Dan just brought this to my attention. It seems that NASA astronomers using the Spitzer Space Telescope have discovered molecules dubbed Buckyballs throughout our galaxy. They are being discovered at such a rate that scientists are now saying that buckyballs are much more common and abundant in the universe than initially thought.

Much more common is the understatement of the hour. According to an article in, that the oddly configured carbon atom has been found by researchers :
  • throughout our Milky Way galaxy, in the space between stars and around three dying stars. They also detected the molecules around a fourth dying star in a nearby galaxy in staggering quantities — equivalent in mass to about 15 Earth moons
  • The miniature spheres were first discovered in a lab on Earth 25 years ago, but it wasn't until last July that Spitzer provided the first confirmed proof of their existence in space. At that time, scientists weren't sure if they had been lucky to find a rare supply, or if perhaps the cosmic balls were all around.
This discovery may prove to be very important as planetary nebulae that contain "buckyballs" also show many other chemical telltales that are considered important to life.

click here for more info at

Review: Repomen


Directed by Miguel Sapochnik

Produced by Scott Stuber

Screenplay by Eric Garcia, Garrett Lerner

Starring Jude Law, Forest Whitaker, Liev Schreiber, Alice Braga, Carice van Houten, Chandler Canterbury, RZA

Yep, since I saw the trailers, I thought, well, interesting subject, so I added it to my rental queue and it arrived in due course.

The premise? Well the first few lines of the movie encapsulate the plot more than any drawn out review. The lead character played by Jude Law in a voice over says....If you can't make payments on your house, the bank repossess es it. If you can't make the payments on your car, the finance company will reposes it. If you can't make payments on your liver, well that's where I come in.

Jude Law and Forest Whitaker play war buddies who find themselves in the body parts repossession business. It is soon apparent that both enjoy their work to the point of being psychopaths. Where Law's character might finesse his repossessions a bit, Whitaker's character has a fascination with big knives which he uses to brutal efficiency.

All is going along swimmingly until Remey (Law's character) has a repossession go very wrong and finds himself in the exact same place as the people he has been repossessing. His life begins to fall apart when his wife leaves, he can no longer do his job and soon will be the victim of the very people he recently worked alongside of.

There are some twists and turns and reversals that even M. Night would be proud of. So I will not "ruin" the ending for you just in case there is some wild chance you might want to watch Repo.

But The first real observation on this film is that you must be able to suspend disbelief to believe that the movie at least on some level is real and could happen. I can say with great honesty that I spent the whole movie thinking "this could never happen. In a society where a hangnail will be enough for a mal-practice case, you're trying to convince me that in a few years the very same people will turn a blind eye to wholesale slaughter to maintain the corporate status-quo?

Ok, - I can not bring myself to think that an abandoned tenement full of corpses sans a few artificial organs will garner no reaction what so ever? Our society has become litigious to a point that even friends and near relatives will instigate some sort of suit just on general principal!

That is about as far as I can take this review. I can't give you an overall on the movie /blu-ray because once this piece of filth left my player it will not return. Too strong? Then let me warn you.... watch the theatrical release in hopes that the gore is moderated some what. Because what I saw was certainly one of the most disgusting examples of science fiction movie making. Believe me when I say that this movie is nothing more that a slasher film with a few science fiction trappings. Oh and some of them are quite clever (I thought the wall paper was very inventive.)

I have seen Law make some mind twisting movies with some characters that are very unsavory to say the least. And Whitaker as well, has played people you love to hate. But this gore filled hack and slash makes me wonder if it was just a payday.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Time Traveler in a Chaplin Movie?

Don't you love things that screw with your head? Especially when someone shows you something that clearly can not be. And here is a fine example. Film-maker George Clarke, in the short video here, presents us with several frames from Charlie Chaplin's The Circus. Clarke makes a very argument for what we see in these frames. Of course what he says we are seeing clearly can not exsist. Check it out. Just on the merits of "Now that is just plain weird" it is worth viewing. What do you think is going on?


Monday, October 25, 2010

SyFy Greenlights Another BSG Prequel

Yep you read that right. According to an article in the IO9 blog:
  • Syfy will air Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome in late 2011 or early 2012. The two-hour TV movie, which could serve as the pilot for another ongoing series, will focus on young William "Husker" Adama as a Viper pilot
Also check out lots of juicy details on the TV Squad blog

Weaver's Screen Test for Ripley!

Check out the screen test that Sigourney Weaver did for her Alien character Ripley. This is a screen test? She nails it so close that I found myself thinking, I don't remember this part exactly! IO9 reports that the clip is part of the Alien anthology box set, out Oct. 26th.

Ben Kenobi, Private Jed-Eye

Kenobi as a private dick - that and pretty princesses too!

Thanks to IO9 for this find!

Live Feed Of Next Mars Rover Assembly

Friday, October 22, 2010

Comment: Is the Human Race Going Extinct? WTF!

Nope, not science fiction but so damn bizarre that it could be!

Dan brings in an article is so bizarre that one has to wonder if Homo-Sapiens as a race have reached their evolutionary pinnacle at some point in the distant past and are now, due to some sort of damage to it's genetic blue-print, about to go extinct.

What you ask could have set me off? Well to be honest, it was probably one of the most bizarre articles I have read in some time.

Here is how it goes. Police in Costa Mesa California received a call about a car partially blocking a driveway. Oh and did I mention that said vehicle reeked?

It seems a California woman befriended a homeless woman and let her sleep in her car discovered that said homeless person died rather unexpectedly. Not knowing where to go for advice, our good Samaritan drove around for months with nothing but a box of baking soda , for odor control (if it works in a fridge why not for a decomposing corpse in a hot car?). However when officers arrived on scene, the stench was quite noticeable. This led them to investigate further where they found a leg poking from under a blanket. Under the blanket they found the partially mummified remains ( about 30 pounds of skin and bones....and no I refuse to go there). No signs of foul (nope still ain't going there) play were discovered however. Police are investigating the driver however. (oh hell yes! at least one question.....what the hell is wrong with you!?)

Now I know this isn't the norm, People are still as a general rule fine, but when things like this happen you have to at least ask yourself if something is badly broken and humanity is doomed.

Article in BDN/AP

Moon Contains Huge Amounts of Water

Last year's LCROSS mission was launched to determine whether water exists at the moon's poles did show that the moon does indeed contain water, but later research shows how far off NASA was in how much there was!

The plume kicked up by the rocket, slamming into the Cabeus crater, contained a startling forty one gallons of water, almost twice what was originally suggested.

From the Yahoo article:
  • NASA Ames Research Center (scientists) calculates there could be 1 billion gallons of water in the crater that was hit — enough to fill 1,500 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Of course the scientist's enthusiasm is metered by the knowledge that there are no plans to return to the moon in the foreseeable future.

Yahoo article from sent in by Tim Sayell here

Thursday, October 21, 2010

RIP: Bob Guccione

Any fan of the defunct but much loved OMNI magazine will take this news as a body blow. Magazine founder Bob Guccione has died of cancer Wednesday in a Plano, Texas hospital.

Boing Boing blog writes:
Of course those that think they know what they are talking about will call to less vaunted projects, but if one is to be judged by the influence you had on a genre, then Guccione deserves his 15 minutes in the sun.

Wikipedia entry here Boing Boing article here

News From Bull Spec Online Magazine

David Steffen (What makes you Tick BMU issue 206) wrote a few days ago to let me know that his story Turning Back the Clock was now available at Bull Spec,online magazine in issue #3. (I checked out the issue. Excellent fiction!)

Editor/Publisher Samuel Montgomery-Blinn writes that
  • 1. issue #3 is out! Katherine Sparrow and Lavie Tidhar!
  • 2. issue #4 is coming! Nick Mamatas and David Tallerman!
  • 3. Upcoming stories from Tim Pratt, Erin Hoffman, ...
Sounds REAL interesting! Check out Bull Spec ( here )

Hubble Finds The Oldest Galaxy So Far

Tim Sayell send in a great article concerning a recent discovery by astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope.

Studying a NASA photograph, released earlier this year, European astronomers have uncovered a galaxy 13.1 billion years old. That makes the universe just shy of 600 million years old when it was a separate entity. It is quite literally the earliest and most distant galaxy seen so far. It is so old in fact that the astronomers do not even think it exists in it observed form any longer. It was most likely swept up by younger and much larger galaxies.

What makes this discovery equally important is the age of the galaxy in the image. Astronomers put it at apx. 100 million years. They can say that with a fair amount of certainty because of the lack of heavy metals and an abundance of massive blue giant stars. The age is important in that at the time this old galaxy was first formed, the universe was itself only 100 million or so years old. Astronomers feel that they are very close to discovering objects from the creation of the universe.

complete article in Yahoo News

Stephen Fry Kinetic Typography - Language

Ahhh, science fiction it ain't. But I just love to hear this man speak. So, sit back and enjoy as Stephen Fry lambastes the language police. Oh and the graphics be fun to.

Mad Magazine's Star Trek rip Star Blecch

Here is a link to the cartoon network's animated Mad Magazine. Nope, not posting cartoons well some... anyway you have got to see their rip on the latest Star Trek movie called "Star Blecch" It's a wonderfully funny lampoon of just about everyone. Star Blecch starts just after the credits and runs the first ten minutes or so. Enjoy

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Leonardo DiCaprio producing a new Twilight Zone series,

Now here is something I thought I never would read. IO9 reports that there is a new Twilight Zone series in the wings.... and producing it is none other than Leonardo DiCaprio! The series writer is none other than Joseph Rothenberg who is still working on a new remake of Colossus: The Forbin Project. From what I read Will Smith is set to star in Forbin, and Ron Howard will direct.

For more - check out [Deadline]

" The Black Hole " a short film

Here is a funny short from Photoplay Films called "The Black Hole". Nope, no Disney here, just an office dork who thinks he has found the answer to everything he needs, courtesy of his photo-copier!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Review: The Best of Kim Stanley Robinson

Review The Best of Kim Stanley Robinson
Edited by Jonathan Strahan
Night Shade Books
389pp HC

The first recommendation I could make about this collection is that if you are not all that familiar with Mr. Robinson's works then this volume is for you. Editor Strahan is noting if not an excellent technician and in light of this collection has proved that he will accept nothing but the best and it shows many times over in this Best Of.... Night Shade, Strahan and of course KS Robinson should all be pleased with the project.

Right from the first story, you know you're in for a reading treat.

"Venice Drowned" is a near future tale of life in an all but drowned Venice brought on by steadily rising sea levels many of the other low laying town have already succumbed, but the inhabitants of Venice, living off the bones of the towns already dead, refuse to give up.

And that is just the beginning! Alternate histories of the long past and the not so distant past. How about a mind warping tale of a bent reality where everyone is dreaming and awake at the same time? I loved the story "The Translator" just because it's something everyone thinks just once. Is the translator really saying what was said or embellishing or flat out lying?! What if his efforts could stop a war? Its a funny and fascinating story at the same time.

Robinson will often flip ideas on their heads. Like what would the last days be like if instead of global warming, we enter a new ice age? Some of the tales are short focus like a night spent on a mountain top in a raging blizzard. Its clear that Robinson has spent a great deal of time in areas as pristine as possible. It colors so many of his stories.

Overall I really enjoyed the book. My only observation because it really isn't a complaint is that maybe the collection could have been shorter because it really seemed to loose steam towards the last quarter. The last part of the book is a bit chaotic almost as if to fill up the last few pages. It clearly came to a point when I really didn't want to read anymore. That might be completely different for other readers. I just feel that the collection could have done without the last 78 pages or so.

That being said however, this book will not be a waste of your time. It shows Robinson in a good light, showcasing a great talent and a wry sense of humor. I would recommend checking this one out.

Review: Dead Like Me: Life After Death

Dead Like Me: Life After Death
tv show credits

Created by Bryan Fuller

Starring Ellen Muth - Laura Harris - Callum Blue - Jasmine Guy - Cynthia Stevenson - Mandy Patinkin

Narrated by Ellen Muth

movie show credits

Directed by Stephen Herek

Written by John Masius & Stephen Godchaux

Starring Ellen Muth - Callum Blue - Sarah Wynter - Jasmine Guy - Britt McKillip - Christine Willes - Cynthia Stevenson - Henry Ian Cusick

Release date(s) February 17, 2009 Running time 87 minutes

In keeping with the season I thought I would step outside the genre a bit and review a macabre comedy tv series and it's follow on movie Dead Like Me

I really didn't take a great deal of interest in the TV run of Dead Like Me. It originally showed on Showtime and since I did not have reliable access I didn't really get into Dead Like Me until it hit Hulu. by then I caught both seasons.

If you are not familiar with DLM, you should let me give you a 2 cent tour. It seems that death is handled by two classes of beings. Reapers which once were living people but now they are tasked with collecting the soul of the about to be departed. The actual death however is arranged by strange almost reptilian beings called gravelings. The main character is Georgia Lass (Ellen Muth) who in life was killed by a toilet seat falling from a defunct orbiting habitat. Her soul is collected by Rube (played by Mandy Patinkin) to join a group of other "Reapers" ( Callum Blue, Jasmine Guy and late comer Laura Harris) who are dispatched daily by Rube to "Reap" the newly departed's souls.

Even though the subject matter is somewhat macabre it is often handled in an offhand comedic fashion that soon grows on you. Patinkin is always good in whatever project he is involved with and you soon find that for the most part the rest of the odd characters become familiar and endearing.

Ellen Muth also does the narration which often added insight into no only what Georgia was all about but often encapsulated the show in a short closing monologue.

After watching two seasons worth of episodes, I was excited to see that a movie had been made of the show, but better yet it picks up where the show left off because you are at this point more than slightly disappointed that the show, even though they did their best to leave the show at the end of season two without too many loose ends, it was still great to be able to step back into the world of the Reapers.

And that is all you can really say about the straight to DVD - if you liked the show and want more....get the movie. Patinkin is no longer at the helm and that is left hanging (maybe hoping for another movie mayhaps?) and the crew is joined by Cusick who seems to be dealing from the bottom of the deck and all points in between. One big surprise is returning cast member Britt McKillip. Britt played Reggie in the tv series but in the intervening time she has grown from a petulant preteen into a beautiful young woman and honed her acting to a fine point. The change was so dramatic that had trouble at first believing that it was the same person. But she falls back into her "Reggie" persona quite easily and you never doubt for a second after that. The character Daisy was retained by was filled by Sarah Wynter which in my mind never really carried it off no matter what people say about how good an actress she is. That's all good and fine, she just didn't "Get" Daisy Adair.

But that wobble aside, the DVD was very enjoyable. I really liked the directors comments on the film. (I will often go right back and watch the same movie with the director's comments on so I can to get a feel for what the director intended) Director Stephen Herek was joined by Ellen Muth and their off the cuff repartee was funny and informative. There is another short extra on how the returning actors feel about rejoining the show. But other than that, the extras really are non existent.

The DVD is just a long tv episode, but if you liked the tv show (watch it on HULU first if you haven't yet) you will love the dvd. For just hitting the mark and enjoyment and discounting that there really isn't anything in special effects that wasn't in the show originally...I would say this is an 8 if you liked the show and don't bother because you will get lost if you didn't see Dead Like Me on tv or HULU first)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

New Tech Finds Undiscovered Extra-Solar Planets

From Science Daily I read that scientist /astronomers have developed new equipment and methods of detecting exo-planets that heretofore were hidden by the glare of the parent star.

From the article:
  • Using new optics technology developed at the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory, astronomers has obtained images of a planet on a much closer orbit around its parent star than any other extrasolar planet previously found.
Installed on a telescope, atop Paranal Mountain in Chile, the new technology enables astronomers to confirm the existence of a planet about seven to 10 times the mass of Jupiter, around its parent star, Beta Pictoris, 63 light years away. The system cosists of a small, patterned piece of glass. The device blocks out the starlight in a very defined way, allowing planets to show up that were previously drowned out by the star's glare.

Up to this point most extra-solar planets were discovered by the slight gravitational wobble a planet induces in its parent star, very few of them have been directly observed. This new device will not only confirm the existence of suspected planets but also uncover many more and ones much closer to their sun.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Asteroid collision or .........?

STSI reports that Hubble has captured the first snapshots of a "suspected asteroid collision". The images show a bizarre X-shaped object at the head of a comet-like trail of material.

Excuse me, but this is clearly  a Borg Cube that has been savaged by bushwhacking Federation and Klingon vessels.
Picture source: Space Telescope Science Institute

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dollhouse Remains Music Video

Here is an interesting video. It stars Fran Kanz (a.k.a. Topher) and Dollhouse scriptwriter Maurissa Tancharoen, who also played the Active Kilo. The premise is a man orders quite literally a mail order bride or maybe companion. This short music video is for the song "Remains" from the episode "Epitaph One." of Dollhouse - though in truth it is not about "actives" at all. Think instead of "The Lonely" episode 7 of the Twilight Zone - that is the vibe I get to some extent.

IO9 post

Comment: Is Warehouse 13 a Friday the 13th Reboot?

How many of you are watching SyFy's Warehouse 13? Well the first piece of good news is that it will be back again for another season. If you are a fan, like I am, that is indeed good news.

However I did come across a strange co-incidence (hopefully it's just a co-incidence) Last night as I was watching some of SyFy's older programming. Let me set the stage first though. I thought the plot devices that Warehouse 13 was using were inventive and unique. I mean, finding items from history that have developed or were created for the specific purpose strange and often dangerous powers that often lead whoever is using them to outright ruin.

As unique as I thought Warehouse 13 was, I was floored by a program that could have been Warehouse 13 in an earlier incarnation! Let me describe this show before naming it. The series was based around this "shop" which had much more storage space than is apparent. A group of dissimilar people working at this shop are tasked with identifying and recovering objects that have strange and often dangerous powers. These objects often were owned by infamous or downright evil entities throughout history. Sounds almost exactly like Warehouse 13 does it not? The show in fact was Friday the 13th (13...hummmmm wiki says that it's working title was The 14th Hour but they changed it to draw in Friday the 13th fans) the series. I used to watch it often, but just never made the connection, but seeing the two almost back to back, the similarities are it would appear, uncanny!

It's almost like they did a reboot of FT13th but instead of a curiosity shop that could almost be a warehouse, why not just Warehouse ummm 13. They are way to much alike for it to be a simple similar Warehouse.

If you get a chance to see them back to back, check it out! Am I right or what?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Spaceman a short film from director Jono Schaferkotter

Here is a short film I found on SF Signal's blog called Spaceman. In one reality this short could be about how a captain's infatuation with his ship leaves his lieutenant pining for the planet they left behind. But in another a man's obsession tragically effect his relationship with a woman who loves him for who he is, but is he able to look past his mania to see the truth? Directed by Jono Schaferkotter, Spaceman stars Hamid Nayini and Jennifer Allcott in this heartbreaking short.

Spaceman . the movie from Jono Schaferkotter on Vimeo.

Thanks to SF Signal for the original post

Vimeo link

Friday, October 08, 2010

Sintel - animation short

Here is Sintel. Before you watch, I have to explain. This short was created as a "proof of concept" project was, as explained in the IO9 article I first saw this short on, initiated by the Blender Foundation as a means to further improve and validate the free/open source 3D creation suite Blender.

For something that for all intents is a "Demo" it is surely to be received as a stunning success. The fantasy tale tell of a lone woman in search of her lost dragon. It is both cute and tragic in the few short minutes it plays, I am certain that the effort will capture your imagination if not your heart.

SY FY reups Haven for second season

Blastr reports that the SyFy channel has given it's rookie show Haven a second season. SyFy's independent production studio Entertainment One (eOne), has said that the 13-episode season will commence production in Spring 2011 with a possible Summer 2011 premiere.

complete Blastr article

Thursday, October 07, 2010

NASA might explore Mars with robotic plane

The mainstay of Mars exploration, up to this point, has been rovers and satellites. NASA wants to change that paradigm with the addition of ultra hight speed robotic rocket planes. Where the rovers only explore a few miles the plane will cover 1,000 miles, in two hours of flight time. That's right, where the latest rover to Mars lasted years longer than anticipated, the rocket plane dubbed ARES (or the Aerial Regional-Scale Environmental Surveyor), total mission time will be 2 hours, at which time the fuel for the engine will run out. Stranger still is the fact that ARES will never "land" on Mars at all, during the mission. Dvice blog quotes the Popular Science article on the purposed mission:

Popular Science:
Enveloped in an aeroshell similar to the ones that deployed the rovers, ARES would detach from a carrier craft about 12 hours from the Martian surface. At about 20 miles up, the aeroshell would open, ARES would extend its folded wings and tail, and the rockets would fire.....
This maneuver simplifies launching the plane. Instead of landing on the surface and taking off again the plane will simply be deployed high in the Mars atmosphere.

But ARES?! why is NASA so stuck on this label?!

Wikipedia article

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Apollo 13 on stage?!

Now here is something I thought I would never see! From the Boing Boing blog is a shot "Trailer" for an interactive stage play that turns a whole theater into Apollo mission control for the infamous mission 13. It is being held in Nelson, New Zealand, during the Nelson Arts Festival.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Ig Nobel Awards for 2010

Boing Boing informs us that the 2010 Ig Nobel Awards are out for 2010! According to Wikipedia for those not in the know -
  • The Ig Nobel Prizes are an American parody of the Nobel Prizes and are given each year in early October for ten achievements that "first make people laugh, and then make them think." Organized by the scientific humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research....
So, what are some of the awards?

The medicine prize goes to psychologists Simon Rietveld and Ilja van Beest at the University of Amsterdam for discovering that breathing difficulties brought on by asthma can be alleviated by repeated roller coaster rides.

Engineering prize goes to Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse and others at the Institute of Zoology in London developed a way to collect fluids ejected from whales' blowholes by attaching petri dishes to the underside of small, remote-controlled helicopters and hovering them overhead.

Transportation prize to Mark Fricker and Dan Bebber at Oxford University, used slime mold to model an effective railway network. In the experiment, cities were represented by oat-meal that were linked to one another as the slime mold grew.

Biology prize goes to Gareth Jones who's description of the sexual antics of the short-nosed fruit bat. The research showed that females who performed oral sex on their mates copulated for longer.

Peace prize was awarded to psychologist Richard Stephens for confirming that swearing relieves pain

Public health prize awarded to Manuel Barbeito at the Industrial Health and Safety Office in Maryland for scientific studies that found microbes cling to beards, making more hirsute men a potential laboratory hazard.

More on these and other awards can be found at the Guardian website here

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Review: INK

INK Review

Directed, Produced and Written by Jamin Winans music score and editing was also done by Jamin Winans
Executive Producer Kiowa K. Winans
Staring Starring Chris Kelly, Quinn Hunchar, Jessica Duffy Jeremy Make

Ink starts with the premise that there is in fact many worlds running side by side with only a different "beat" separating them. The worlds of INK, beside our "waking world" are the world or the warrior/story tellers who bring good dreams at night. Then there is the world of the Incubi, "borg-like" spirits who veil their faces with screens who bring horrible nightmares and traveling through these worlds is a horribly scarred and malformed loner called INK.

The movie starts with the story tellers and Incubi bringing their own versions of people's dream, when INK suddenly appears "abducting" a young girl. The story tellers try to rescue the girl but Ink escapes through a portal which the warriors can not follow him through.

The movie, proper, opens with a very successful stock broker who through a series of life reversals, is watching his whole world collapse. This collapse is shown to us in flash backs as he grows into adult hood but the success has cost him greatly. The flashbacks shows us what it took for him to get where he is and the cost. At the same time the worlds of the story Tellers and Incubi are showing the struggle that is building and through out it all travels INK with his "captive" bent on completing a task while the story tellers try to stop him and inexplicably aide broker while the Incubi fight to stop them.

All the action in all three worlds comes to a head in the final moments of the film.

And I have tried valiantly to explain a very complex movie plot-line without giving too much away. And at the same time try not to emphasize what for the most part comes across as absolute chaos. Are the flashbacks truly "flashbacks"? Which way is time running?! And I could go on. That really may put some of you off. There are two or three realities at play and time may play different.

I loved the concurrent time sequences neither aware of each other and some were aware of both. Yes it can truly play with your head. But in the end the motivations are the most fundamental but it may blow you away as to who finally learns this lesson and you will be just as amazed.

Ink is certainly an interesting independent movie. Technology has come so far that even with a limited budget, the end product still looks and feels professional. Don't be put off by the labels, quite frankly they don't tell you anything.

I have to say that the extras were middle of the road. The format allows for so much more, but then we are still treated to excellent behind the scenes comments and clips. I really think the movie is well made and keeps your interest throughout. You certainly won't feel ripped off by renting or buying the disk. If your interests are sci fi or sci fi / fantasy, this movie will deliver. Good solid 8 for the film. The special effects are a bit chintzy but then, damn clever for what they had to work with. Extras could be an overall 8 so that gives a 16 total or an 8 overall. Your opinion will certainly fall either side of that. Recommendation? Its worth the rent or the buy.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Star Wars: I think I'm a Clone Now

AntipodeanSF online magazine # 148 is online!

Antipodean editor Ion writes to tell us that issue 148 of the online Aussie flash fiction magazine is now available here

I have read most of the stories and so far so good! This month has some great flash fiction. Check it out!

Private Jones By Jack Horne

If I Cry By Kevin J. Phyland

The Sceptic By Francis Conaty

Dangerous Journey By David Scholes

At Point Of Darkness By Jeanie Laherty

Keeping Up Appearances By Shaun A. Saunders

Starry Eyed Trio: The Seven Sisters By David Kernot

Through The Door Another World By Steve Duffy

The Handshake By Owen Roberts

Tinnitus By Cecilia Clark

Friday, October 01, 2010

Wonder Woman to the big screen - you know, the one in your living room...

Tim sends in an article from Yahoo tv that says in effect that Wonder Woman is still destined for the screen, but it seems its the TV screen now. As tim puts it - "Wonder Woman might return to the small screen (apparently the movie written by Joss Whedon has been tanked)" .... hummm harsh Tim....harsh.

But the core of truth here is that after nearly a decade of attempts to launch a big-screen version, Warner Bros. Television is developing a reboot of the DC comic book heroine and the unlikely person tagged to bring it to the screen nearest you is none other than David E. Kelley. Kelly may potentially write and produce the project.

No actress has been singled out as WW but interest has been expressed from actresses ranging from Angelina Jolie to Megan Fox. We shall see it would seem....