Topic: Science Fiction



Brazil: retro-futurism, Steampunk and much more

Brazil is a 1985 science fiction, black comedy film directed by Terry Gilliam and it is a variation of George Orwell’s 1984. When I selected the movies I wanted to bring with me during this trip, Brazil came out in evidence I had to take it. I love the “retro-futurism” a la Jean-Pierre Jeunet, with a hint of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. Here is what Roger Ebert wrote about the movie: The movie is very hard to follow. I have seen it twice, and am still not sure exactly who all the characters are, or how they fit. Perhaps it is not supposed to be clear; perhaps the movie’s air of confusion is part of its paranoid vision. There are individual moments that create sharp images (shock troops drilling through a ceiling, De Niro wrestling with the almost obscene wiring and tubing inside a wall, the movie’s obsession with bizarre duct work), but there seems to be no sure hand at the controls. The best scene in the movie is one of the simplest, as Sam moves into half an office and finds himself engaged in a tug-of-war over his desk with the man through the wall. I was reminded of…



‘Fahrenheit 451’ author Ray Bradbury dead

Ray Douglas Bradbury was an American fantasy, horror, science fiction, and mystery writer and he died in Los Angeles, California, on June 5, 2012, at the age of 91. Bradbury’s bio on his official site introduces him very well: Ray Bradbury is one of those rare individuals whose writing has changed the way people think. His more than five hundred published works — short stories, novels, plays, screenplays, television scripts, and verse — exemplify the American imagination at its most creative. Once read, his words are never forgotten. His best-known and most beloved books, THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES, THE ILLUSTRATED MAN, FAHRENHEIT 451 and SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES, are masterworks that readers carry with them over a lifetime. His timeless, constant appeal to audiences young and old has proven him to be one of the truly classic authors of the 20th Century — and the 21st.  On Mashable, Chris Taylor wrote a great piece about Bradbury and Fahrenheit 451: The most important thing to know about Fahrenheit 451 is that it is explicitly not about government censorship. (Bradbury was so firm on this point he once walked out of a UCLA class when his students tried to insist it was…



One day, we will use a neutrinophone, like in Star Trek

This is the kind of news I like. If you thought your new mobile phone was the best ever made, you’re wrong. What about a phone using neutrinos? What about a neutrinophone? Jeff Nelson is the Cornelia B. Talbot Term Distinguished Associate Professor of Physics at William & Mary and in this article, he explains that the neutrinophone demonstration was a side project stemming from neutrino research at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. About the neutrinos: Neutrinos are mysterious subatomic particles emitted in unimaginable numbers by nuclear reactions. Despite their high numbers, scientists are just now learning about the characteristics of neutrinos. William & Mary’s physicists are involved in several large multinational collaborations aimed at learning about the properties of neutrinos. In addition to MINERvA and the other Fermilab experiments, William & Mary researchers are involved in other neutrino investigations, most notably the Daya Bay initiative in China. How it works: The beam of neutrinos  travels through hundreds of meters of rock on the way to the MINERvA detector, which Nelson explains is designed to study neutrino interactions in detail. For communication over the neutrinophone, the physicists used a simple 1-0 binary code. “If you saw neutrinos, it was a zero;…









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