Archive June 12 - July 10 2006
Gravity Lens Main Page

Monday, July 10
At The Space Review, Jeff Foust examines steps needed to keep space tourists healthy, while Michael Huang looks at the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement. gives us a feature on the Top 10 Star Mysteries.

SciFi Tech links to this story about the very Syd Mead-looking Sea Orbiter (which looks a bit like a Minbari ship) complete with a neat cutaway view. It looks like it would fit nicely with the buildings of The Venus Project.
While we're on the water, here's the Transportation Futuristics gallery of maritime vessels, and Tales of Future Past's section on Underwater World.

Friday, July 7
PhysOrg asks the question: What do Racquel Welch and quantum physics have in common?

It's a busy weekend for El Jefe. I'll be mainlining my yearly fix of Readercon, The Upper Crust are playing in Cambridge, and if I have time I may hit the Modern Masters show at MFA or swing by for the end of the Objectivist Summer Conference. I also have to pick up Porcupine Tree tickets. And somewhere in there I want to watch the season finale of Doctor Who. My brain should be a slightly luminous pile of jelly when I get back.

Thursday, July 6
Coudal links to this site which chronicles one woman's passion to turn her home into a Space: 1999 set.

Cory Doctorow has a column up at Locus titled "Science Fiction is the Only Literature People Care Enough About to Steal on the Internet."

CNN cheers us up by telling us that some scientists believe that the future will be worse than our darkest nightmares, with technology eliminating all life.

At The Space Review, Bob Clarebrough makes the argument that space programs need more failures, while Dwayne A. Day looks at an Air Force launch pad cursed by indians.
Meanwhile, reports that the Shuttle in orbit apparently has birdshit on it.

Wednesday, July 5
The Talking Urinal Cake has arrived. Ah, science.

I'm curious if anyone else out there has a "Look! I Have a Meat Beard!" billboard in their town. Apparently it's a Cartoon Network promotion.

Tuesday, July 4
Here's a nice Eye of the Goof entry about the oft-overlooked fact that the film Conquest of Space dealt with the controversy that space exploration might be blasphemous.

We live in a time when:
You can buy a magnetic floating bed that looks like a monolith for $1.7 million.
The technology exists to graft human flesh with metal.
Home automation is being marketed to the middle class.

Monday, July 3
The headline reads "Robot to play lead in Love Story 2050."

Saturday, July 1
It is July.
The God of the Month is Kadesh: Goddess of Sacred Sex.
The Molecule of the Month is Tamiflu.

Not only is there going to be a Robot Museum in Japan, but they plan on using the same Photoshop font I used on the last Holiday Card.

Friday, June 30
The headline reads: "King Tut's Glass Beatle Came from Outer Space." (via The Nonist) tells us that, while the Shuttle is returning to space on Saturday, the first commercial launch from the New Mexico Spaceport will be taking place on August 14.

Thursday, June 29
The headline reads: "Device records smells to play back later."

Andrew Parton of the Cradle of Aviation Museum writes in Newsday that science fiction's sense of wonder is needed to inspire future space exploration.
Meanwhile, James Pinkerton at Tech Central Station says we might need a space ark, or at least "develop a robust spacefaring capacity." (via The Speculist)

Wednesday, June 28
Author David Brin examines some other "intelligent design" theories at Skeptic.

Steven Grant at Comic Book Resources looks at the lack of direction in current comics.

Tuesday, June 27
Ker Than of tells us that detecting mini black holes might confirm the existence of a fifth dimension. MSNBC has a neat little animation of how subatomic particles might access such a place.
The fifth dimension, as you know, is known as Zrfff by Mxyzptlk. It is also a kingdom ruled by Zemu, a realm of photonic lifeforms, a pop group, and the name of a Byrds album.
Here's a downloadable 5D magic cube applet.
And just cuz I think it's neat, here's the 4D being that fought Hypernaut.

Some of my favorite science fiction idea websites that have had recent updates: Spacebloom: A Field Guide to Cosmic Xflora, Galactic Geographic, Orion's Arm, the Hamilton Institute of Exopaleontology, the Arcbuilder Universe, the Metabarons, Faction Paradox, and the Larry Niven site N-Space,

Monday, June 26
BBC Science informs us Earth now has a giant gravitational wave detector working fulltime.

Wil McCarthy of SciFi Weekly tests the physics of Superman.

Robotics: The Toronto Star looks at Japan's love affair with robots.
The Scotsman shows us the ultimate piece of technology: the robotic bagpiper.
iTNews tells of some Italian developers who want robots to create their own language.

Friday, June 23
Daniel Akst of Metropolis magazine introduces us to Gilles Tréhin, an artist who has spent over twenty years drawing the imaginary city of Urville. Here's the website, complete with geography, history, and a lot of drawings.
Here's more from the Kirchner Society.
And the obligatory list of fictional cities from Wikipedia.

Thursday, June 22
SF Author Robert J. Sawyer agrees with Stephen Hawking's recent assertion that mankind needs to leave the planet. Others, not so much.

Here's an overview of some steps religious groups are taking to bring about the apocalypse.

Remember: it's not a bug, it's a feature.

The Speculist is putting his foot down (and rightly so!) until he gets some eyes on Time Highway, a future prediction site. There are many catagories, and they are viewable by likelihood and goodness. You can also add your own.

Wednesday, June 21
Assorted Items: Your Linux Wrist PC has arrived.
Red Orbit tells us that noise you hear is the sound of space fizzing above our heads.
Or it could be the Switchblade, an unmanned, supersonic, shapeshifting bomber.
SciFi Tech shows us a neat CD/MP3 Grammophone with a mini-bar in it.

Tuesday, June 20
Retrocrush gives us an excellent history of pirates in pop culture, although it omits a few science fiction entries like the Starjammers, Malcolm Reynolds, or the Ice Pirates.
Here's the Wikipedia entry for Fictional Pirates, and one for Space Pirates.

Monday, June 19
Jeff Foust at The Space Review looks at discussion over the value of space.

Scott Edelman of SciFi Weekly points to the narrow views of Hollywood types intent on Erasing the Smell of Science Fiction.

Dial B for Blog recalls the time Superman teamed up with Jerry Lewis.

Sunday, June 18
Engadget informs us of a guide to robot ethics soon to see print.

Friday, June 16
Assorted Items: The Pravda headline reads: "Terrible mutations may turn humans into plants or animals."
The Mondolithic Image of the Week is a New Scientist cover featuring a future-sexy city.
SciFi Tech shows us the awesome Kenguru, a car for the disabled.

Bjorn Carey of tells us that on Mars, only people really close to you can hear you scream.

Thursday, June 15
Stephen Hawking says humans must go into space to survive.
UPDATE: He also says Pope John Paul II told scientists not to study the origin of the universe.

Wednesday, June 14
Steven Grant at Comic Book Resources talks about new comic artists who are unfamiliar with the work of past masters.

Monday, June 12
A moment of silence, please, for artist Tim Hildebrandt.

I'm on vacation this week, and will be in and out on some short summer jaunts, so posting may be thin.

The Economist has posted an article on the possible need for real Laws of Robotics. It's an interesting piece. Unfortunately it uses a still from the hideous I, Robot movie to illustrate its point. Via Geekpress.
And don't forget, the RoboCup Games are happening this week.

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