Archive July 29 - August 17 2004
Gravity Lens Main Page
Tuesday, August 17
Cartoonist Peter Bagge has done a sizable strip for Reason about pretentiousness, contempt for craft, and other dominant attitudes in the modern art scene.

With just over two weeks to go, the blog for Boston's Noreascon 4 tells us the con is now running radio spots. Here's an audio file.

Future Tech: Patrick Bailey looks at the realistic future of nanotech at Better Humans.
Popular Science has posted a big feature on The Future of the Car. It features a neat piece by artist (and regular Lens reader) Kenn Brown of Mondolithic.
The funniest thing I've seen in a while is this 3.48MB MPEG video of an all-out mechanical melee from the Robo One Robot Combat competition in Japan last week.

Monday, August 16
The Travel Channel website has posted the Marvel Superheroes' Guide to New York City.

This week's trope: Motorcycles. Not just the bikes in movies like Terminator and The Matrix either. Ghost Rider has a nice ride, as does Judge Dredd and Kaneda from Akira. Can't forget the Batcycle, or the lightcycles from Tron. I'd like to forget Street Hawk and the awful flying bikes from Galactica 1980. My favorite toy bikes were the Spawn Nitroriders. Also gotta mention the very real Dodge Tomahawk. And, as much as it pains me to mention it, the sci-fi bike in that Shania Twain video was pretty sweet.

Tony Long, the copy chief of Wired informs us that the words "internet" and "web" will no longer be capitalized.

Sunday, August 15
The cross-franchise fight fallout continues as Defective Yeti gives us the office pool match-ups for the Cinematic Supervillain Showdown.  (via Incoming Signals, who warms me wee Scottish heart by linking to this wonderful index of movies featuring bagpipes)

My friend David (pronounced Dah-veed. He's French, dontcha know) has begun a cross country trek on his new motorcycle. He is blogging the whole thing. He is also looking for places to stay along the way.
Other Road Trippers: Jack Kerouac, Kwai Chang Caine, David Grey, Dr Richard Kimble, Shadow, Charles Kuralt, David Banner, and Jeremiah.

Friday, August 13
Future Tech: Indestructible Nanotechnological Metal Rubber Smart Skin.

Something Awful's Photoshop Phriday features a selection of remixed pages from Watchmen with the dialog altered.

Comic Book Resources talks to Neil Gaiman about a number of film projects in the works.

Thursday, August 12
Scientists are one step closer to holodeck technology.

Barbarella has been voted the "sexiest sci-fi babe" ever. I'd like to know why is the Borg Queen not on the top ten list? Or Wilma Deering? Or Princess Irulan?

Ronald Bailey of Reason tells what went on at this past weekend's Transvision '04.

Wednesday, August 11
Here's a story informing us that the world will soon be subjected to a Ronnie James Dio action figure.

Wow, it's only Wednesday and already five of my favorite weblogs have linked to items on my humble little site. Boys, we should think about consolidating.
Speaking of blogs, Tom McMahon points us to this gallery of vintage hood ornaments while Futurismic links to this Christian Science Monitor article about the future of space law.

Assorted Items: John Joseph Adams of Locus gives us a primer on audiobooks.
Science Daily tells us the Japanese tested a solar sail Monday.
Christopher Bahn of MSNBC invites us to the Sci-Fi Monster Super Death Cage Match.
Newsarama talks to J. Michael Straczynski and company about their relaunch of Dr Strange.
And San Francisco is getting its own Godzilla Festival.

Tuesday, August 10
Space Stuff: Don't forget the Perseid Meteor Shower peaks over the next two days.
Leonard David of discusses the possibilities of microbes on Mars.
Mark Waldron of Astrobiology looks at quantum entanglement and deep space propulsion.
New Scientist tells us that SETI scientist Frank Drake believes our decreasing dependence on radio may make it tough for ETs to find us.
This argument doesn't address that post-singularity Type II Kardashev civilizations might use an alternate communication/exploration method, like Von Neumann probes or some engineered form of panspermia. As George Dvorsky pointed out earlier this year, our galaxy could have been colonized nine million times over by now.
There also exists the possibility of cultures beyond the Kardashev scale.
Now my brain hurts.
Your homework is to read Terry Bisson's short-short story They're Made out of Meat. has posted a sweet gallery of the two-foot tall Terminator "Cinemaquettes" coming soon from Toynami.

The Raving Atheist goes to town on how journalists are reporting on the religious beliefs of the Presidential candidates over at The Revealer. Amen, brother.

Monday, August 9
A moment of silence for Fay Wray.

The Cartoonist links to this great Lego replica of The Village from The Prisoner.

Recommended Readin': Sci Fi Weekly interviews author Brian Aldiss.
Bruce Sterling chimes in on the war on cyberterror at Wired.
Shannon Klie of Better Humans looks ahead to the first genetically modified Olympics.
Christopher Bahn of MSNBC tests how prepared we are for Alien Vs. Predator.
Quint at AIn't It Cool News tells us that the Horror Channel needs our help.

137 Holiday Shopping Days Left: Check out the horrific book grimoires as well as the other freaky products available at Zachary Malice & Co. Meanwhile William is taking pre-orders for authentic pieces of V'Ger.

Ah, Women: Revisiting a few favorites here, like this page devoted Women in Spacesuits and the pulp cover galleries of Babes in Space. Here's a list of female dominated societies in science fiction from Imagined Sexual Futures. And we can't forget the Shrine to Barbarella, the Ladies of Star Trek, and this strangely compelling site that transforms celebrities into Orion Slave Women.

Saturday, August 7
Science Fiction Blogospherics: Memepool points to the insistent Bring Back
SF Signal sends us to this Flash animation hip-hop history of science fiction.
Check out Exclamation Mark's glorious vintage ray-gun link-fest.

The Brick Testament, which adapts Bible passages in the form of Legos, gives us useful tips on fashion, what not to eat, and male genital injury.

James Patrick Kelly's latest column at Asimov's is about the subject of time travel, and has a link to The Time Travel Fund. The premise is that you invest a small amount of money, and in some distant future when time travel is possible your descendants use the astronomical interest on that money to come back and retrieve you.

Friday, August 6
I like my SF big and visionary. I'm a sucker for stuff like Peter Hamilton's Night's Dawn and David Brin's Uplift books. Amongst my regular stops on the web are such broad future canvases as Karl Kofoed's Galactic Geographic. Places in the Galaxy, The Hamilton Institute of Exopaleontology, Big Ideas, Grand Visions, The Arcbuilder Universe, and my favorite, Orion's Arm, which projects what a transhumanist civilized galaxy might be like.

Comics Continuum previews tomorrow's adaptation of Alan Moore's For The Man Who Has Everything on Justice League Unlimited.

The Eternal Golden Braid points to this funny SF geek commentary comic from Dork Tower about movie adaptations.

Until today I was unaware that there was a Klingon translation of the Book of Mormon.

Thursday, August 5
Cinescape informs us that a new Flash Gordon movie is in the works.
Few characters have had such a hit-and-miss history as the seminal Alex Raymond space hero. The old serials were visionary, while the Sam Jones movie was just crap. The Filmation cartoon really caught the spirit of the original story, unlike the awful 1990's slacker update. Flash also fought alongside Mandrake and The Phantom in Defenders of the Earth. Here's Tony LoBue's excellent fan site, the history of Flash at the Holloway Pages, the Flash Gordon Comic Book Index, a gallery of Flash Gordon artists, the Ming the Merciless Visual Gallery, the Flash and Ming mini-bust set, and the obligatory bobblehead.
And we cannot forget Flesh Gordon...

Assorted Items: New episodes of Penn & Teller's Bullshit! start tonight on Showtime.
Retrocrush forces us to relive the brightly-colored horror of the 1978 Sears Catalog.
Tom McMahon shows where we can help lobby for a Rod Serling postage stamp.
Metafilter links to the very cool downloadable Electric Astrolabe.

More science fiction technology news this week as John Giles of Nature tells us about human hibernation research while Tony Smith of The Register reports on self-repairing, self-optimizing computer processors.

Wednesday, August 4
Recommended Readin': At Salon David Brin looks forward to a surveillance society.
Robert J. Sawyer anticipates the year 2014 at Backbone.
Ronald Bailey of Reason examines the morality of immortality research.

The BBC reports that the Daleks are returning.

Actual Headlines: Prosecutors Drop Case Against Druid.
Physicists Discover Dramatic Difference In Behavior Of Matter Versus Antimatter.
Forbidden Science: What can studies of pornography, prostitutes, and seedy truck stops contribute to society?

Currently Going Around the Blogosphere: This Publisher's Ring story about a guy who  underwent facial modification to join the ranks of those who look like aliens. This has all the makings of a hoax.

Boing Boing linked to this art exhibit of fictional technology from Germany. I personally like the notebook computer disguised as a pizza box and the cell phone taser. Fictional technology is nothing new. Here's a primer of Science Fiction Space Technology Terms. The site Technovelgy indexes hardware from science fiction books, and can be searched alphabetically or by author. Other more specialized franchise-specific sites include The Journal of Applied Treknology, Star Wars Technical Commentaries, the Babylon 5 Tech Manual, and the Stargate Tech Center. I'd like to find a site of Reed Richards' inventions.

Tuesday, August 3
Just like the set-up of so many SF stories, the Army has begun constructing a super- computer to run its simulations. Nope, no way this could go wrong...

At City Journal Michael Knox Beran mourns the loss of memorization skills.

I forget where I saw it, but yesterday somebody linked to this awesome site about the history of the monowheel, with great pictures of one-wheeled vehicles, including a tank design.
On the subject of mono, here's the monorail page from the Transportation Futuristics online exhibit that been making the rounds.
And here's a site that sells monocles.

The Map Room links to this great site of Mythical Geography in Antique Maps.

In keeping with my Things You'll Find in Comics here's some things you'll find in movies: math, juggling, bad physics, the Middle Ages, game theory, dermatology, bagpipes, a game of darts, the Tudors, unconscious women, people being whipped, and Aerosmith.

Monday, August 2
One of my favorite serials back in the glory days of Heavy Metal was John Findley's horror-comedy-western Tex Arcana. I was happy to discover that it is now online in its entirety.

UGO Comics has unveiled its new version of the Hero Machine superhero generator.

Around the Blogosphere: SciFi Webguide links to the page of futurist Dr. Tomorrow.
Exclamation Mark shows us the minature goodness at Lunar Models Online.
Reality Carnival found this Wikipedia entry on various catagories of demons.

Sunday, August 1
It is August. The God of the Month is Vulcan. The Molecule of the Month is Trimethylamine.

Artist Dave Dorman interviews the Alien and the Predator at Newsarama.

Saturday, July 31
In The Telegraph author Matt Ridley remembers Francis Crick's unwavering passion for science, while James Randi examines some of the strange beliefs of medical students among other subjects in his weekly column.
Also, Gregory Mone asks, in the wake of technological advancement "Is Science Fiction About to go Blind?"

Friday, July 30
Recommended Readin': Michael Shermer of Scientific American explains how events with million-to-one odds happen 295 times a day in America. (via Geekpress)
Dr. Ken Ford talks to Space Daily about the future of artificial intelligence.
Norman Lebrecht of Scena makes the claim that the Walkman destroyed music.
New Scientist reports on a new artificial heart design that uses a turbine instead of a pump, resulting in no pulse!

Today is System Administrator Appreciation Day!
A while back I wrote a very short microfictional homage to my computer guru. Feel free to distribute at will.

Thursday, July 29
A moment of silence, please, for Francis Crick.

What would Jesus do? And while we're asking questions, what would Buddha do? What would Satan do? What would Cthulhu do? What would Judas do? What would Walt do? What would Kirk do? What would Spock do? What would Data do? What would Yoda do? What would Chewbacca do? What would Superman do? What would Batman do? What would Sherlock do? What would The Fonz do? What would Buffy do? What would James Bond do? What would Tony Soprano do? What would Neo do? What would Xena do? What would Homer do? What would Gandhi do? What would Dewey do? What would Plato do? What would Newton do? What would Jake do? What would Betty do? What would Steve Jobs do? What would Elvis do? What would Devo do? What would Led Zeppelin do? What would KISS do? What would Geddy do? What would Don & Walt do? What would Machiavelli do? What would Caligula do? What would FDR do? What would Brian Boitano do? What would John Galt do in this context?
In Google-trolling the research for this post I found this list of what various deities would do, as well this one of assorted science fiction characters.

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