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Transformative Science Fiction Movies

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

A friend and I were talking over beers the other night, and discussing the handful of movies that had transformed the experience of going to the cinema. They contain unique elements not seen before, and influence everything that comes after. Some of the transformation is simply in the realm of special effects, but some of […]

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Probably 1/5 Sun-Like Stars Have Earth-Like Planets in Habitable Zone

Monday, November 4th, 2013

A couple of years ago, following the initial Kepler data release, I thought the numbers indicated it was at least 1/100, and likely much higher. Better statistics/analysis seem to indicate a number like 1/5: “What this means is, when you look up at the thousands of stars in the night sky, the nearest sun-like star […]

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50 Years of Science, Science Fiction, and Speculation

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

This week, the great science fiction writer Frederick Pohl died. If you haven’t read Gateway, that would be a great book to start with. He was nearly 50 years older than me. The changes he saw growing up and into his 40s, and then the additional 50 years, was just astounding. This week, I also […]

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The Geek Test: What’s Your Score?

Friday, August 30th, 2013

When I went to college at Rice University, I became aware of a 100 point “Purity Test” designed to determine how pure you were. Of course in college, the goal was to not be all that pure, but not to have so low a score you were embarrassed. Similarly, there has been discussions about “fake […]

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Last Hours for our Launch Pad Fundraiser!

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

It’s over at RocketHub. There are a lot of great incentives in the form of ebooks and signed hardbacks from Launch Pad alumni like Vonda McIntyre, Jeffrey Carver, Jody Lynn Nye, Jerry Oltion, Linda Nagata, and many others. We’re going to fall short of the total goal, but still hope to raise at least $2000, […]

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Sunday Starlinks

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

Headed up to the local observatory for the next few nights observing, overseeing some summer students working on a project.  Should be fun! Let’s start with a more specific, updated version of the Drake equation.  I like how this highlights recent advances in our understanding and observational abilities. Buzz Aldrin pushing for Mars colonization.  I’d […]

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Starship Century Symposium Videos

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

The Starship Century Symposium was an event last month that I really wanted to attend, but lacked the money and time to go.  A number of my friends were there, on the science and science fiction sides both, and it just looked really fun.  One of the nicer things about living in the 21st century […]

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Sunday Starlinks

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

Let’s fight the local internet and see how this goes… An article about the Kepler’s Dozen anthology I’m in. More than just last week’s press release. Is the world improving despite our grouchy dogmas? David Brin is on the right track here, and I concur. Also an interesting bit about METI. On budget-conscious aliens… An […]

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It was the best of times (and space)…it was the worst of times (and space)…

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

There was a really great documentary on the History Channel tonight called Star Trek: Secrets of the Universe.  I’m sure it’ll be on another half dozen times this week.  There’s a lot of my friends, acquaintances, and colleagues on the show (e.g. David Brin, Alex Filippenko, Geoff Marcy, and others).  Now, it covers a lot […]

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Sunday Starlinks

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

Alan Alda wants scientists to cut out the jargon.  It’s hard, I know, because the jargon expresses the ideas succinctly and accurately, which every day language fails to do simultaneously.  But if it’s an issue of being understood by the general public, we have to try. There appears to be more than 20,000 people who […]

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Sunday Starlinks

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

Over at Amazing Stories, I wrote about ten science fiction movies that are really fantasy. Also there, Steve Davidson rants a bit, appropriately in my opinion, about the proliferation of non-science fiction science fiction. Centauri Dreams on robotic replicators. Following up on yesterday’s Joe Barton quote, here’s more of his deep thoughts. Another follow-up.  Michael […]

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Sunday Starlinks

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

I have some thoughts on Alien Parameter Space over at Amazing Stories. A nice, clear summary about arguments why you may never upload your mind into a computer.  Some are not big obstacles in my opinion, although others might be. Where no search engine has gone before.  Google aims for Star Trek. Phil Plait’s take […]

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