Science is the poetry of Nature.







Contributing Authors
Posts tagged "scifi"
  • ERIC WESTERVELT, HOST:
  • If you went to the movie theater this weekend, you might've caught the latest Scarlett Johansson action movie called "Lucy." It's about a woman who develops superpowers by harnessing the full potential of her brain.
  • (SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "LUCY")
  • SCARLETT JOHANSSON: I'm able to do things I've never done before. I feel everything and I can control the elements around me.
  • UNIDENTIFIED MAN: That's amazing.
  • WESTERVELT: You've probably heard this idea before. Most people only use 10% of their brains. The other 90% of the basically dormant. Well, in the movie "Lucy," Morgan Freeman gives us this what-if scenario?
  • (SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "LUCY")
  • MORGAN FREEMAN: What if there was a way of accessing 100% of our brain? What might we be capable of?
  • DAVID EAGLEMAN: We would be capable of exactly what we're doing now, which is to say, we do use a hundred percent of our brain.
  • WESTERVELT: That is David Eagleman.
  • EAGLEMAN: I'm a neuroscientist at Baylor College of Medicine.
  • WESTERVELT: And he says, basically, all of us are like Lucy. We use all of our brains, all of time.
  • EAGLEMAN: Even when you're just sitting around doing nothing your brain is screaming with activity all the time, around the clock; even when you're asleep it's screaming with activity.
  • WESTERVELT: In other words, this is a total myth. Very wrong, but still very popular. Take this clip from an Ellen DeGeneres stand-up special.
  • (SOUNDBITE OF STAND-UP SPECIAL)
  • ELLEN DEGENERES: It's true, they say we use ten percent of our brain. Ten percent of our brain. And I think, imagine what we could accomplish if we used the other 60 percent? Do you know what I'm saying?
  • AUDIENCE: (LAUGHTER).
  • (SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "TOMMY BOY")
  • DAVID SPADE: Let's say the average person uses ten percent of their brain.
  • WESTERVELT: It's even in the movie "Tommy Boy."
  • (SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "TOMMY BOY")
  • SPADE: How much do you use? One and a half percent. The rest is clogged with malted hops and bong residue.
  • WESTERVELT: Ariana Anderson is a researcher at UCLA. She looks at brain scans all day long. And she says, if someone were actually using just ten percent of their brain capacity...
  • ARIANA ANDERSON: Well, they would probably be declared brain-dead.
  • WESTERVELT: Sorry, "Tommy Boy." No one knows exactly where this myth came from but it's been around since at least the early 1900's. So why is this wrong idea still so popular?
  • ANDERSON: Probably gives us some sort of hope that if we are doing things we shouldn't do, such as watching too much TV, alcohol abuse, well, it might be damaging our brain but it's probably damaging the 90 percent that we don't use. And that's not true. Whenever you're doing something that damages your brain, it's damaging something that's being used, and it's going to leave some sort of deficit behind.
  • EAGLEMAN: For a long time I've wondered, why is this such a sticky myth?
  • WESTERVELT: Again, David Eagleman.
  • EAGLEMAN: And I think it's because it gives us a sense that there's something there to be unlocked, that we could be so much better than we could. And really, this has the same appeal as any fairytale or superhero story. I mean, it's the neural equivalent to Peter Parker becoming Spiderman.
  • WESTERVELT: In other words, it's an idea that belongs in Hollywood.
captain o’ the scinerds ship reporting and suited for duty!

captain o’ the scinerds ship reporting and suited for duty!

Look to the stars, like our ancestors did. There are habitable worlds within reach.
Jor-El (via kenobi-wan-obi)
We think of immigration in simplistic terms but really immigration sometimes is hard to get your mind around. How do you describe someone waking up in the morning in a house that has no electricity, no running water, they don’t have any television, they only speak one language, the only people they’ve ever met are Dominicans, and by that evening being in the center of New York city. Having cable, lights, electricity, Chinese guy upstairs, right next door a Korean person, downstairs somebody from Uruguay, folks on the television talking about all sorts of crazy stuff. I mean sure, realism might try to approach that. But in my mind when I was a kid, when I read about time travel, time travel felt like a much more honest description to me of what that meant. Being transported from Santo Domingo 74’ to New York and New Jersey in 74’. That was far more honest to the experience than anything I could have written realistically. And for a young mind [at the age of 6] it’s an extraordinary leap. And I think science fiction, I think fantasy.. the genres do a wonderful job of describing many parts of our society that realism doesn’t do a great job of describing.

unionlosangeles:

another Syd Mead vision… future farmers

(via afro-dominicano)

candidscience:

A little science goes a long way in the movies.  

Consider some of the monsters that resulted from SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS gone awry:

1. “Island of Lost Souls” (1932): A scientist conducts genetic experiments on a remote island. http://www.criterion.com/films/27861-island-of-lost-souls

2. “The Mutations” (1974): a geneticist combines the DNA of humans and plants. http://horrorpedia.com/

3.  ”The Fly” (1986, adapted from the 1958 film): a physicist experiments with teleportation, accidentally transporting himself and a fly in the same telepod. http://www.qagoma.qld.gov.au/

4.  ”Jurassic Park” (1993): Genetically engineered dinosaurs made for an exhibition get out of control. http://wangguandong1.wordpress.com/

5. “Deep Blue Sea” (1999):  Sharks are genetically manipulated in hopes of finding a cure for Alzheimer’s, resulting in ‘super-smart’ sharks.  http://www.listal.com/list/30-greatest-modern-monster-movies

6.  ”Frankenfish” (2004): Genetically engineered Chinese Snakehead fish turn to killing humans.  http://www.screenjunkies.com/

7.  ”Splice” (2009):  Genetic engineers combine the DNA of different animals and humans in an effort to aid in medical sciences.  http://fandangogroovers.wordpress.com/2010/07/26/

8.  ”Rise of the Planet of the Apes” (2011): a scientist testing a drug to cure Alzheimer’s, gives the drug to chimpanzees, increasing their intelligence and more.  http://blockbusterwallpapers.com/

See, as humans harvested a dependence on the Internet or “World Wide Web”, so did their technologies. Because whatever the humans created, was almost always an expression of themselves however positive or negative the results may have been. Prior to the internet, thousands upon thousands of inhumane or social injustices were carried out unheard and thus, no meaningful retributions were carried out to prevent more of the same. Most of the tyrants who roamed prior to the Interweb of connectivity could use and abuse his or her power without much restraints, without much voice of reason from the public as they partook in hysteria, fear, and pleasures over truth. This repeating pattern in human history slowly but surely came to a halt once the ordinary citizens of the planet acquired the methods to connect with one another on the digital web and tell their stories, hardships and dreams to soon realize their differences were petty…

For a time, it was good, but this was the perception the greater population of humans had over most technologies despite how redundant or dangerously excessive their uses later became. There came a point where humans wouldn’t give up the wonderful commodity of easy and effortlessly acquiring information or entertainment, so much so, that they began to favor it over other methods the brain was always capable of handling. A new recipe for disaster had been created, and had they never noticed it as such.. the humans would have stayed on Earth with all their commodities and distractions and perished along with the rest of life on it.

Thus entered the age of the psychonauts, scientific explorers of the mind. A small movement turned revolution that would lead the rest of humanity into an age of scientific enlightenment that would soon take the young civilization.. to the stars.

Awaken: The Story of 27 — Chapter 1 “Once Upon an Era..” (via ikenbot)

ikenbot:

Awaken: The Story of 27/ Issue #1 of my comic book is underway, got the story down, time to get on this, it’ll be 15 issues with 7 volumes (told by hand picked artists/friends I know). mine being vol. 1 (each containing 15 issues telling their own stories set in the same Universe/Multiverse - off the start, it gets into the concept of multiverses all scifi based on real science + quantum mechanics + future of artificial intelligence, prosthetics and robotics combined/ fusion energy and beyond / our red giant sun / a mars-like earth - colonizing different sectors of the universe, all told through the eyes of a cyborg and a helpbot ; the last known extension of the human race/ and a lot of key issues going on today reflected on to the story in a timeline were things were handled more logically and reasonably) — so look out for this one when it comes out in a couple of months we’ll sell it online and distribute an animated short previewing the first pages of the introduction of the story. See how it says “and tell my story” on my page? well, this is my story. I’d appreciate it if you listened to it, although it starts gloomy, it has a hopeful message.[support the starving artists pls!]

If you’re ever around Alpha Centuari and have access to the LHO (Library of Humanity Outpost), do me a favor and try the History Reconstruction Facility, Earth years: 1950-2012 and when the simulation starts up tell a human simulation from the 21st century that Television and its contents, the misuse of the internet and mobile devices like the smartphone was making them unoriginal, emotionally wrecked and harming their capacity to concentrate, learn new things and exercise more areas of the brain and watch as they reassure themselves and perhaps, most likely, you, that their habits are in good nature. Sure enough, these habits were indeed of good nature. But not to nature itself and certainly not for humanity. It was in good nature for establishments like corporations, the media, politicians, and many organizations that benefits from a stupefied civilization turned designated product consumers. Why would this be of importance to a traveler of the stars such as the person this file now belongs to? Because it was in their comfort of imaginary commodities based on faulty technologies that arouse from faulty aspirations that glued the humans to the Earth like tumors and cancers did to them long ago.
Awaken: The Story of 27 - Chapter 1 “Once Upon An Era..” (via ikenbot)

star-spangledpanties:

I just want to say that this is why minority representation in the media matters. Mae Jemison was inspired to become an astronaut after watching Nichelle Nichols as Uhura on Star Trek. 

(via afro-dominicano)

rcruzniemiec:

Space, the Final Frontier

Fantastic structures floating in space housed utopian communities according to these conceptual art works from the 1970s commissioned by NASA Ames Research Center. Nostalgic images of the future, long ago superseded by the bleak images of movies like “Blade Runner”.

[via]

(via afro-dominicano)

ulaulaman:

Carnival of Space #276

Image: Atomic Pulse Rocket

This is the Atomic Pulse Rocket, a pot-bellied spaceship nearly the size of the Empire State Building, propelled by a series of atomic blasts. The enormous rocket (weighing 75,000 tons fully loaded) is designed to leave Earth with a thrust of 100,000 tons. Altogether a thousand atomic blasts—each equal to 1,000 tons of TNT—are fired from a low velocity gun into a heavy steel rocket engine at a rate of one per second until the vehicle leaves Earth’s atmosphere. Then steam and vaporized steel from the combustion chamber maintain the thrust. Inside the rocket, living quarters are situated in the rim of a pressurized wheel-like cabin which revolves to provide artificial gravity. Tubular hydroponic “gardens” along the rim produce oxygen and high-protein food.

(via afro-dominicano)

ikenbot:

Telepresence Today: How You Can Live By Remote Control

Telepresence technology offers people a physical presence thousands of miles away, often allowing them to move around and manipulate things, for example via a robot. It’s already changing warfare and medicine, and as the technology becomes ever more immersive, it promises to challenge the law and transform how we interact with one another.

From top to bottom, left to right

A) Long before Skype, one of the first telepresence systems in the workplace was at the US labs of Xerox-PARC in the 1980s. Via cameras and video screens, workers in Palo Alto and Portland were wired up so that they could converse face-to-face in their office or communal areas. (Image: PARC, A Xerox Company)

B) The military has adopted telepresence in a big way. It is now routinely used to control drones for surveillance and air attacks from hundreds of miles away… (Image: Rex Features)

C) …while telepresence also saves lives by keeping soldiers out of harm’s way. The Packbot, for example, permits bomb-defusing from a distance. (Image: iRobot)

D) In less hostile environments, surgeons use telepresence to control robotic arms, for example in prostate operations. This photo shows one of the most impressive instances, when surgeons in New York used the technology to remove the gall bladder of a woman in Strasbourg, France. (Image: Dung Vo Trung/Sygma/Corbis)

E) In the past few years, mobile telepresence bots such as the Anybot, Double and VGo (pictured) have entered the mass market. One use they’ve found so far is to allow children to attend school remotely. (Image: VGo Communications)

F) The telepresence robots being developed in labs – such as this one being controlled at University College London by a person in Spain – suggest the technology will become ever more immersive. Eventually these surrogates will feed back a sense of touch to their controllers, and could be operated by thought alone.(Image: courtesy of David Swapp)