You may have missed the news, but this is the 50th anniversary of a cheap, scrappy British science fiction series called Doctor Who. Like a fair number of folk my age, I first stumbled across Doctor Who one Saturday afternoon on PBS, back when PBS was able to air things like Doctor Who, The Avengers, The Prisoner, and it being cultural and all, Benny Hill. Unlike many, however, I seem to be one of the few people who came into the show not during an airing of the iconic Tom Baker years, but rather during the tenure of the man with the velvet smoking jackets and Venusian aikido. The Third Doctor, Jon Pertwee, was my introduction to Doctor Who, and he remains my favorite. Continue reading…
“[T]he Reflectance Transformation Imaging System, which uses a combination of 76 separate photographic lights and computer processing to capture every groove and notch on the surface of the clay tablets.” Dr. Jacob Dahl, director of the Ancient World Research Cluster, and a team of researchers capture images of proto-Elamite to help translate the world’s oldest […]
Kitties with their own cameras. Find out what they’re doing out there.
Astronaut and physicist Sally Ride has died. Dr. Ride was the first American woman in space and flew aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger. Boston.com has an overview of Ride’s life. NASA has an obituary and footage of Ride talking about her experience in space. “Ride left NASA in August 1987 to join the faculty at […]
Knit your own favorite amino acids according to these charts of all 20 at ChemKnits!
“One of the unlovely things that has been happening in Anglophone SF/F … is the resurrection of unapologetic – nay, triumphant – misogyny beyond the already low bar in the genre. The churners of both grittygrotty ‘epic’ fantasy and post/cyberpunk dystopias are trying to pass rape-rife pornkitsch as daring works that swim against the tide […]
A panoramic view of a recently excavated room in the Mayan city of Xúltun. (Thanks, Mike!)
In 1997, the prestigious British medical journal The Lancet published an article, “Clinical findings in three cases of zombification” by Roland Littlewood and Chavannes Douyon. Mo Costandi at NeuroPhilosophy provides cultural context and discusses anthropologist Wade Davis’ work on the ethnobiology of the Haitian zombie. And Patrick D. Hahn writes about a Clairvius Narcisse, provides […]
At a panel discussion, Octavia Butler reveals how she became a writer, watching a movie and thinking, “Jeez, I can write a better story than that!” Butler is interviewed by Charlie Rose in 2000. And a clip of her from a television documentary on science fiction.
Filmmaker Ken Russell has died at the age of 84. The extremely prolific Russell’s films include: Tommy; The Harry Palmer film, Billion Dollar Brain; Women in Love; The Music Lovers; The Devils; Altered States; Crimes of Passion; and Lair of the White Worm. The Guardian has an obituary and Mubi has a collection of articles […]
Take a look at the OB TUBE (observation tube) at McMurdo Station in Antarctica.
Sy Montgomery has a lovely piece up about octopi, intelligence, consciousness and, maybe, friendship. (via @hudsonette)
Astronomers confirm the day and time of Mary Shelley’s “waking dream” that led to the creation of Frankenstein. They do not explain why they thought her account needed to be confirmed. (via Kate Laity)
Gamers decode a protein structure in an amazing display of speedrunning. If you want to play games and help humanity, go to Fold It.
An interactive map of fiber-optic cables running beneath the world’s oceans (and seas). (via etsy)
A thorough and well-illustrated look at Soviet science fiction, from the 1920s through the 1980s. (via SF Signal)
Science studies whether spoilers spoil. Strangely enough, they might not. Even more strangely, they might make the spoiled story more enjoyable.
Please read instructions before operating the Zero Gravity facilities: “The toilet is of the standard zero-gravity type. Depending on requirements, System A and/or System B can be used, details of which are clearly marked in the toilet compartment.”
It’s summer time and instead of beer bottles exploding out of coolers in a shower of refreshing ice, bikini-clad hotties and fireworks as we know it should be, everything is wilting and perhaps even melting. As far as I can tell there are only two possible explanations—Hot Lava Monsters have readjusted the earth’s thermostat to […]
Here’s George Méliès’ 1902 Trip to the Moon/ Le Voyage de la Lune on the anniversary of the 1969 Moon Landing. I’m sure Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin have some stories to tell about the Moon People.
Today on “Romance Fiction, Romance Fact,” Linda Holmes takes apart a recent hand-wringing essay in which Susan Quilliam fears for the sexual health of woman who read romance. “Quilliam discusses a bunch of research, some of which indicates that reading romance novels is correlated with happy relationships, and then heartily editorializes that she nevertheless still […]« go back — keep looking »