August 5, 2009

Kubrick’s monolith on Mars

Posted in Astronomy, Cosmology, Evolution, Mars Mission, Mystery, Nature, Science, Science Fiction, Space, Universe at 10:58 am by deadlikeme

Monolith-2001

Lunar Explorer Italia has recently published a photo of what seems to resemble a monolith on Mars. It was taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter last July.

And according to Buzz Aldrin there is also a monolith on Mars’ moon Phobos.

Was there once intelligent life on Mars or are these monoliths just natural rocks and boulders, like the infamous human face photographed by the Viking 1 probe in 1976?

marsface

Read the Dailymail.co.uk article for more information.

March 16, 2009

Prosthetic USB finger

Posted in Fun, Life, Science, Science Fiction, Technology at 4:37 pm by deadlikeme

usb-finger

Software developer Jerry Jalava lost part of his ring finger in a motorcycle accident. But instead of replacing it with a regular prosthetic finger he decided to enhance it with a USB flash drive.

read more about it on his blog.

for more pictures visit his Flickr account.

January 24, 2009

May the “Force” be with you… for $90!

Posted in Science, Science Fiction, Star Wars, Technology at 6:50 pm by deadlikeme

forcetrainer

This fall toymaker Uncle Milton will let you test your Jedi abilities with “The Force Trainer”.

A wireless headset (that can “read” your mind via EEG) lets you manipulate the height of a ball in a clear cylinder with your mind.

Anyone remember the scene from Back To The Future: Part II  where Marty McFly shows two kids (one of them Elijah “Frodo” Wood) in the 80’s Cafe how to play a videogame? After Marty shows them there is an electronic gun involved Kid#1 says:  “You mean you have to use your hands?”

USA Today article

 

August 11, 2008

If I can’t be beautiful, I want to be invisible

Posted in Science, Science Fiction, Technology tagged at 7:29 pm by deadlikeme

Invisibility

This quote by Chuck Palahniuk might soon be possible. A team of Scientists led by Xiang Zhang at the UC Berkeley managed to render small objects invisible with the use of so called metamaterials.

The magic word here is negative refraction. In nature there are only materials with a positive refractive index. Until now 3D-metamaterials with negative refraction have only been reported for microwaves.

This week Nature and Science are publishing two articles about metamaterials that work in the near-infrared and visible light range.

Of course we are still far away from a cloaking device á la STAR TREK, but the future comes only one day at a time.

BBC article

January 22, 2008

Bigfoot on Mars?

Posted in Astrophysics, Mars Mission, Mystery, Science, Science Fiction, Space, Universe at 3:35 pm by deadlikeme

marsalien.jpg

An old snapshot taken by Mars Rover Spirit seems to contain a mysterious figure walking downhill. Take a look at the picture and judge for yourself if it’s really an alien or just an odd rock formation.

check the dailymail.co.uk article for more and a higher resolution image of the above.

EDIT: I tracked down the original NASA image, you can watch it here (Resolution: 12756 x 3487, Size: 5.6MB); the “formation” is indeed visible on the lower left side, so at least it’s not a Photoshop fake

November 2, 2007

Super Mouse created in lab: Superhero or Supervillain?

Posted in Animals, Biology, Comics, Evolution, Genetics, Nature, Science, Science Fiction, Technology at 8:13 pm by deadlikeme

supermouse.jpgThese mice are super fast, super fit, super long living and super sexy. But they also seem to be super aggresive.

Richard Hanson and his team of researchers at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland conducted a standard genetic modification to a single metabolism gene to study the biochemistry at play in metabolism. To their own surprise they created a breed of super mice.

They can run non-stop for five hours at a speed of 20 metres per minute. They are 10 times more active than ordinary mice. They do eat twice as much though, but without getting fat. They also live longer, have more sex and can breed well into old age. But one downside is, they are very aggressive.

The first super mouse was created four years ago by injecting a highly active form of a gene for an enzyme called Phosphonenolpyruvate Carboxykinase (PEPCK-C) into a mouse embryo. The results of the studies are puplished in the current issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

By the way, the gene that got manipulated in the mice is also present in humans. Super athlets, super soldiers… super villains? Que sera sera, the future’s not ours to see.

Read more at The Independant

June 1, 2007

Homeland Security calls upon Sci-fi writers

Posted in Life, Media, Politics, Science, Science Fiction, Society, Technology at 8:04 am by deadlikeme

sci-fi.jpgThe group is called SIGMA and was put together 15 years ago. Now, the Homeland Security Department is calling on the group for help.

Homeland Security invited SIGMA to attend a conference on Science and Technology last week. SIGMA‘s motto is “Science Fiction in the National Interest.” To join the group, you have to have at least one Ph.D or medical degree.

Christopher Kelly, spokesman for Homeland Security’s Science and Technology division: “We need to look everywhere for ideas, and science-fiction writers clearly inform the debate.

Read the STL Today and USA Today articles for more.

On why they offer their ideas to the government, Ringworld author Larry Niven:

“To save civilization. We do it in fiction. Why wouldn’t we want to do it in fact?”