Gravity lens Archive May 23 - June 20
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Monday, June 20
Kelly Young of New Scientist tells us about the possibility of antimatter harvesters.

David Ng of McSweeney's gives us An Open Letter to the Human Resources Department of the Superfriends, while Andrew Golden gives us An Episode of Star Trek Tediously Written for an Audience Entirely Composed of Remote Amazon Tribesmen.

A team of scientists at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University Bonn Seminary of European Ethnology invite you to tell them about any symptoms of Star Trek Fandom you might be experiencing. Who knows? Maybe they'll find a cure...

And, because I like narrowly-focused organizations: The Lawn Institute.

Sunday, June 19
And Alex Lifeson declares war...

Incoming Signals links to the excellent TV Tropes Wiki, which indexes commonly used television plots as well as more esoteric fare like narrative devices and meta-concepts.

Margaret Atwood tells us why we need science fiction. Thanks Margaret.
And does anyone want to field Jennifer Brummett's Top 10 questions I have about comic books?

Comment Board regular Mark Vadnais points to this seven-minute John Cleese commercial for the Institute for Backup Trauma.

Friday, June 17
Okay, we've got yet another news story about time travel and its potential paradoxes.

Thursday, June 16
I almost forgot, Astronomy Picture of the Day is ten years old today.

The SciFi Webguide links to Unfilmable, a guide to upcoming H.P. Lovecraft films, both professional and fan-made. Among the goodies is a trailer for a parody film called Enter the Dagon.

Incoming Signals links to this fairly accurate James Bond Film Flow Chart. There's also one for Bond Film Opening Sequences.

Wednesday, June 15
Last weekend we went to the excellent diner exhibit at Providence's Culinary Museum. I've since learned that there plans for an American Diner Museum in the same city.
Here's the museum's glossary of diner slang.

The headline reads "Robot runs amok at hospital."

I just spent far too much time entertaining my inner math-geek at Derek's Virtual Slide Rule Gallery, and now you will too.

Tuesday, June 14
Space News: Wired informs us that today astronaut John Phillips will testify to a House subcommittee. He will do so from aboard the International Space Station. tells us about renewed interest in missions to the outer planets.
Astrobiology reports on some chefs' search to make "well-flavored food, made with only a few ingredients that could be grown on Mars."

Monday, June 13
In one of the more interesting space stories, astronauts will take a surplus spacesuit stuffed with radio equipment and throw it out an airlock.

Friday, June 10
A few moments silence, please, for UFO stars Ed Bishop and Michael Billington
Check out this gallery of Straker's house.

The always-excellent ERNAC informs us of research to investigate links between Ancient Greeks and modern science fiction.

It's official: Nerds Make Better Lovers!

Thursday, June 9
At first it was thought that a Dalek had been stolen. Today we learn it's been kidnapped. "Staff found the plunger arm and a ransom note on a doorstep. "

Michael Goldfarb of the Weekly Standard asks "Are kinetic-energy weapons the future of space warfare?" Future? I wasn't aware space warfare had a present. But apparently other folks think it's inevitable. Hell, there's a news site called Spacewar.
A company called Global Security even has a Space Warfare Center.
And here's Atomic Rocket's excellent feature of retro space war.

Who Wants to Be a Zombie?

Wednesday, June 8
Starting tomorrow the University of Melbourne is hosting Holy Men in Tights, a four day superhero conference. Here's the program of scheduled panels and talks. They are also having a fancy dress ball.

The news story about Japanese robotic ballroom dance partner is currently making the rounds on the blogosphere. It's a little bit creepy looking. Couldn't they at least tart her up, like RealDoll?
They again, Data danced, didn't he?

Tuesday, June 7
Star has a 2-part video interview with D.C. Fontana about the making of the animated Trek series. And because y'all are perverts, here's some Lt. M'Ress slash fiction.

Monster Zero informs us that Gamera will return in 2006. Since that site tends to be fickle with most browsers, here's more at the Shrine of Gamera.
And speaking of turtles, there's a CGI Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie planned.
Alas, no word of plans to being back Touché Turtle...

Monday, June 6
New Scientist tells us of plans for the first computer simulation of the entire human brain, right down to the molecular level.

Sunday, June 5
Entertainment writer Kevin Maher of the Times Online has posted a negative review of Sin City, and, by extension, comic book fans. "So relentless is the leering softcore depiction of prostitutes, dancers and slatternly lowlifes, that the movie unwittingly reveals the frank and masturbatory hatred of women that is fundamental to any understanding of the comic-book geek," he says, "What these men represent, with their giddy encyclopaedic knowledge of comic lore, their tired eyes, and soft, unthreatening, roly-poly demeanours, is the cosy comfortable face of a jaded industry that’s male-dominated and entirely hostile to women, from the initial moment of production (action “heroines” with enormous breasts and great boots) right through to the final point of sale."
He also provides us with his definition of "fantasy babes."
Assorted responses from the industry and fans here, here, and here.

Saturday, June 4
We live in a bad movie. The Japanese plan to drill into the Earth's mantle. Scientists are breeding test tube sharks. Someone's built a robot slug that goes up your ass.

Antiquark links to some stunning test animations (big ol' Quicktimes) for a proposed movie adaptation of Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds.

Friday, June 3
Science Stuff: Geekpress links to these Ladies Home Journal future predictions from 1900.
BBC observes the 50th anniversary of both the Atomic Clock and the Russian Cosmodrome.
Amanda MacMillan of Popular Science looks at plans to broadcast want ads into space.
Jodie Sinnema of the Edmonton Journal heralds the coming of molecular transistors.
Tim Radford of The Guardian reports on a cube universe built in a computer. invite you to rate your favorite space movies. Yeah, most of 'em suck.

Thursday, June 2
The Scripps National Spelling Bee finals are today. Play along at home or work with round-by-round coverage. And the winning word is "appoggiatura."
And fuck SportsPickle for their dig at the Bee. What the fuck qualifies as "sports satire" anyway?

Wednesday, June 1
It is June.
The God of the Month is Herakles. The Molecule of the Month is Dichlorodifluoromethane.

The Mondolithic Image of the Week is the stunning planet Cybele.

Tuesday, May 31
Wil McCarthy at Sci Fi Weekly makes a compelling case for reducing the Moon by 60%.

Popular Science looks at five emerging future technologies, including the bionic eye and the smart home.

Monday, May 30
Scientific American informs us that researchers have located the part of the brain that comprehends metaphors. Here's a neat Wikipedia entry on metaphors.

In the future, cyborgs will be controlled by cockroaches, fuel cells will be powered by blood, and your cell phone will be replaced by a nano-cluster.

From Eye of the Goof, James Spader tells us that William Shatner smells "pungent sort of gamey, sort of a venison or a lamb sausage... and a little bit of rosemary with a touch of ranch dressing" in bed. Earlier this month, Shat had a new genus of personality disorder named after him. I think it's time to retake the Should I Stalk William Shatner test.

Friday, May 27
Assorted Items: 7-Up is giving away a trip into space.
Edna De Vore of previews National Geographic's Extraterrestrial.
Geekpress points us to the Phallic Logo Awards.

Thursday, May 26
UGO has a nice feature on the Coolest Gadgets in Fantasy Entertainment. As with all their features, it's good, but has glaring omissions. Yes, there are entries for classic gadgeteers like Batman and James Bond, but where is the Mother Box? Or The Doctor's Sonic Screwdriver? Why are there none of Jim West's toys, like the sleeve gun? For that matter, how can they list Get Smart, but not Man From U.N.C.L.E.? And where's Dick Tracy, Professor Farnsworth, and Pinky & The Brain?
For more gadget fun go to the CIA's Spy-Fi Archives.
Meanwhile at Retrocrush the countdown of the Top 100 Coolest Pop Culture Vehicles continues with Fantastic Voyage's Proteus.

Wednesday, May 25
May 25 has been declared Towel Day, and many are participating. More here. Buy the shirt.

New Scientist looks at the robots of the future.

Tuesday, May 24
A moment of silence, please, for Thurl Ravenscroft. Excellent site about him here.

Rick Johnston's Lying in the Gutters column returns to Comic Book Resources with a look at the news that Alan Moore is pulling all future League of Extraordinary Gentlemen volumes from DC.

Warren Ellis hips us to the Magazine Publishers of America's neat Flash site featuring magazine covers of the 22nd century. There are galleries for covers and ads.

The Mondolithic Image of the Week is this cool cover for Interzone magazine.

Monday. May 23
Assorted Items:
Paul Rincon of BBC Science tells us wormholes may not be useful for time-travel.
Emily Singer of New Scientist looks at research into the nature of sarcasm.
And if you need more evidence that we live in the future, please note the existence of the Contagious Media Showdown, a competition to produce the most viral website.

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