February 12th, 2012
Heavier on the science fiction than the science this week.
Last week I gave Obama some love for promoting science via a White House science fair. This week, I’m disappointed by his cuts to space exploration. Is there a way to cut the space visionary out of Newt Gingrich and graft it onto Obama? What would that look like?
The politics of Star Trek. Apparently they’re conservative. Except for the liberal stuff, like internationalism, breaking racial barriers, getting rid of money, etc. You know, I think any decent artwork can be interpreted a number of ways, but there’s also a clear worldview being expressed by the Star Trek franchise. It ain’t generally conservative.
Shifting from Trek to Wars, we’ve got the 3D release of episode one going on, and a whole bunch of articles. A lot of the articles don’t make any sense. For instance, why the prequels are better than the original trilogy. Hard to believe that that writer actually watched the movies I watched, because the prequels suck ass pretty hard, meesa can tell you (as can this article). Here’s another article about Jar Jar Binks that I don’t buy either. That character was about a million times worse than Wesley Crusher. George Lucas had some talent once upon a time, or maybe it was just him being part of a collaborative team that brought out his genius and corrected his weaknesses. I don’t care that much any more. Lucas though is continuing to try to revise history the same way he revises his movies.
The Science Fiction Effect. Basically…cool stuff going on in the world of science gets popularized by science fiction, ergo, science fiction is an important way to disseminate science. Hmmm, sounds like something I might write in a proposal.
I follow cryptozoology at some level. There are definitely previously unknown animals recently discovered, and more to come. I didn’t realize that people had reported seeing Woolly Mammoths in Siberia (with pics!). I’m afraid photographic evidence isn’t enough, however, and while it looked good to me at first glance, I do see the “bear with fish” being plausible as well. Stupid poor photos…
Kevin J. Anderson writing a novel to go with the new Rush album. At first I thought it was a cool idea, but then I worried about the album being much better than the novel, or vice versa, and the stigma of the gimmick marginalizing both. Let’s see how the experiment goes.
Time-lapse video of the VLA in New Mexico. Pretty cool.
Ten Writing “Rules” We Wish Science Fiction Writers Would Break. The issue of women writing hard sf comes up and links to an old post here. I guess the article is just a reminder that there are no true rules to writing. If it works, it works. The rules that exist are guidelines to what usually works, but a clever enough writer can break them. And the women writing hard sf thing…they’re underrepresented, but certainly many can and do.
Another io9.com article. This one on the experts who put the science in science fiction movies. Wish they did it better, or were allowed to do so, being fair. Too many directors prefer something cool and ridiculous to something less cool but realistic, and too many audiences lack a good enough science education to make them pay for it. Happily there are exceptions:
Most scientists are willing to advise not only because it allows them to be gate- keepers of their disciplines, but because they want to be portrayed accurately on-screen. “It’s rare that you have a relatable character,” says Sheril Kirshenbaum, a research associate at the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy at the University of Texas at Austin. That’s why James Cameron created Avatar‘s xenobotanist, Grace. “Scientists are usually shown as geeks or losers or evil,” he says. “I wanted to celebrate the mind and the passion of a scientist.”
Expert says intelligent aliens probably wouldn’t visit Earth. Well, that’s like his opinion, man. Seems like I have credentials as good as his and I think they’d come for the humans, but stay for the LOLcats.
Hellboy, the summer camp. Seriously! Got to love it.
And finally, something completely different…Hulk splash!
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