Saturday, March 1, 2014
The latest supernova to be observed with modern instruments doesn't quite fit with earlier theories. But that makes it like the last supernova astronomers were able to observe. While the differences these two supernovae seem to have from earlier observations and theories might cause astrophysicists to come up with new ideas on the processes taking place so far it doesn't seem that they will cause any changes in the usefulness of Type 1A supernovae in determining large distances in our observations of the universe.
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Seeing this article on the return of Heroes as the mini-series Heroes Reborn with its mention of other shows the writer would like to see given the same treatment reminded me of wondering if The Time Tunnel could be remade as something enjoyable. I loved that show as a kid. Really can't watch it now.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
The Verge has a very nice article about the successor to Hubble, the James Webb. It's got nice details on the construction of the scope and why it's highly anticipated by scientists who found that Hubble couldn't quite get all the information they'd hoped it would provide because the light from parts of the universe they'd hoped to observe with Hubble has red-shifted to the point of being outside its detectable spectrum. Given the images we've gotten from Hubble there ought to be some beautiful and surprising images coming once it's been launched in 2018.
Monday, January 6, 2014
A hat tip to Bob Eggleton, an amazingly talented artist whose Facebook post brought this to my attention. A video on YouTube on SothebysTV is entitled "Glenn Brown's Monumental Sci-Fi Fantasy Work". But the original work is one by Chris Foss done for the cover of a 1986 edition of one of Isaac Asimov's early novels, The Stars Like Dust. This is not the only piece by Brown that is basically a copy of some other artist's work as this BBC article shows he borrowed from another SF book cover illustration for a piece that was put up for a British art award, the Turner Prize. That piece is almost identical to one done by Anthony Robert for a 1974 edition of Double Star, a Robert Heinlein novel first serialized in 1956. Given that he sold the piece "inspired" by Chris Foss for 3.5 million pounds, wouldn't you think that something stinks about that deal? But I found references on artnet.com for several other pieces he's copied from Foss. And you thought that display art of cut up cows and similar things was the only thing strange about modern fine art. The SothebysTV Video http://youtu.be/b_-8v3TxPWg The Chris Foss piece If the fine art world is interested in science fiction inspired art why not go straight to the originals like this one by the aforementioned Bob Eggleton? I actually bought the original of this piece from Bob the month it appeared as a cover of Analog Science Fiction magazine. Cross posted at The Moderate Voice
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
While it is true that there is no way to know when or if treatments for the diseases associated with aging will come any time soon from this research at Harvard Medical School it seems that it would hold some promise because it does reveal some of the most basic causes of them.
Saturday, December 14, 2013
Upworthy shares an interview that Carl Sagan did on Charlie Rose where Sagan analyzes the problem with scientific illiteracy in a world that is shaped by science and technology. It was recorded 17 years ago and if anything the situation that worried Sagan back then has just gotten worse. I constantly see people expressing opinions as fact that show they understand absolutely nothing about science, scientists and the scientific method. This is extremely worrying in a time of climate change, genetic therapy, genetically modified crops and all of the other issues that depend on people understanding science for policy to be made based on facts instead of prejudices, ignorance and fear. Cross posted at The Moderate Voice
TechCrunch has an article on the trend of non-tech companies buying software startups that are related to their business or can bring a new kind of tech savvy to the company. Reading it I wondered if it might also begin to mean something when it comes to the long established practice of outsourcing software development. Not just sending it overseas but surrendering it to any outside company. I've always thought that for the long term a company would be better off with analysts that could develop a good understanding of the business and have a vested interest in it to do their planning and their relationship with internal IT staff would (Or at least could if they had good management.) be better and produce better software.
The Daily Beast reports on politicians who are making the legalization of marijuana part of their campaigns. I would think that any candidate who is really and truly fiscally responsible should be able to run on that platform because this is the most inane and fiscally irresponsible part of the War on Drugs. The amount of money wasted on prosecuting and incarcerating people who use or even sell marijuana is huge. I just don't buy into the arguments that it is more harmful than alcohol. Even if you could prove that it is marginally more harmful the problem would still be the big fail that is the attempt to handle it through criminalizing it. Cross posted at The Moderate Voice
Friday, October 25, 2013
The movie Green Lantern is running on FX. Lots of people hated it. I didn't hate it but didn't fail to recognize its problems either. I'd still like to see another try at using Green Lantern as a major character and would want to see him in any Justice League movie. One thing I thought they got right was the use of the ring. The catapult catching the ball of energy, the anti-aircraft gun, the big fist hitting Parallax and the emphasis on the importance of willpower all did a pretty good job of reminding me of the comics. It's the sort of thing that would be great to see in a Green Lantern video game. But how would you really give free reign to the imagination of the players? I would like to see a game that came with a key for the player to use a cloud based tool to come up with their own creations for the ring that could then be downloaded to their copy of the game and even shared publicly should the player choose to do so.