Ten better crazy ass facts about space

29.09.13

 

 

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1. A fast spaceship could take you to the future

Lightspeed travel causes time dilation, in which time passes more slowly for the traveller than for the universe outside. Therefore, a lightspeed voyage of several months could see many years pass at home, effectively sending the traveller into the future.

 

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2. Jupiter may be a failed star

Jupiter has the right combination of elements to be a star, but it lacks the mass (even though you could easily fit 1,300 Earths inside it). If it had attracted a little more mass when it formed, we would probably live in a binary star system (like Tatooine) and be dead from the massive amounts of radiation.

 

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3. We once received a signal that could have been from aliens (it also could have been from something else)

The WOW signal was a radio signal recorded in 1977 at a deep space radio observatory. It was a strong signal that lasted for just over a minute and was never repeated. There has been much speculation over the years as to what it actually was, as it doesn’t match any known natural emission, and its origin is still a mystery.

 

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4. The Voyager 1 spacecraft is about to leave the solar system

It may already have, although it’s not like there’s a line in space that it has to cross. Interstellar space is meant to begin where the influence of the sun ends.

 

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5. Everything on Earth is doomed

Yup, in about 4 or 5 billion years, the sun will swell up to a gigantic size and burn the planet to a cinder.

 

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6. It was easier to travel to the moon in 1969 than it was to fake the moon landing

As this great video points out, film technology was not yet at a stage where it could fake a continuous broadcast like the moon landing.

 

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7. The moon is a chunk of the Earth

The moon is a piece of debris left over from a massive collision between Earth and another planet-sized object in the early formation of the solar system.

 

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8. It’s entirely possible that there are many intelligent life forms in the universe, but we may never even know that they exist

Due to the vast distances between stars, the massive age of the universe and the fact that our technologically inclined society evolved relatively quickly, it’s entirely possible that civilisations have risen and fallen many times over, very far away, before we came along.

 

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9. Saturn will have no rings in the future

In another 50 million years or so, Saturn’s rings will either be absorbed by the planet, or flung off into space.

 

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10. Life may evolve on Titan

Titan, one of Saturn’s moons, has many of the things that one needs to create basic life, but it’s extremely cold. However, it will warm up in the future when the sun expands and could become hospitable to some form of life then.

publicado por Andreia Torres às 00:07

O Regresso dos Deuses – Rebelião (Editorial Presença)

28.09.13
 

Calédra, antiga rainha dos aurabranos, é acordada após um sono de décadas, qual Merlin destinado a ressurgir no momento de maior necessidade. Mas aqui começa também o calvário desta personagem: as expectativas de um mundo pesam sobre esta guerreira singular, mas ainda desorientada perante a nova era. A reacção não poderia deixar de ser intempestiva; de vontade férrea, aceita a sua responsabilidade, mas nos seus próprios termos.

   Crescentemente, Calédra torna-se um “buraco-negro” que condiciona amigos e inimigos. Para além disso, é esta a personagem que marca todo o livro, e é ela que o carrega do princípio ao fim. Dona de uma personalidade indomável, revelando-se muitas vezes prepotente, arbitrária, ou apenas moralmente alheada, Calédra demonstra uma aposta de Pedro Ventura em criar uma protagonista em tudo diferente do molde já batido da comum fantasia épica.
Aliás, também o arco de história, que engloba mais do que este livro, deixa, principalmente na figura dos endeusados Holkan e da sua relação com Calédra, pistas que remetem esse mesmo registo de fantasia épica para um suspeito véu colocado sobre a nossa percepção da realidade.

Toda a narrativa está bem construída (para um volume que funciona como introdução a uma obra mais vasta), mas assenta fortemente na aceitação do leitor em se tornar em mais um dos seguidores indefectíveis de Calédra. Sem essa “submissão”, que o autor consegue lograr pelo arrojo com que impõe a protagonista, imagino que a leitura seja dificultada. Com uma escrita adulta, e um enredo que muito se aproxima de um espírito quase shakespeariano, Pedro Ventura faz poucas concessões ao facilitismo, ocupando uma posição na actual literatura fantástica nacional que, apesar de não esvaziada de executantes, era urgente reforçar.

   A linguagem utilizada poderá revelar-se outro ponto de ruptura. Assumidamente grandíloquo, poderá para alguns leitores ser insuportavelmente pomposa. Verdadeiramente, o nível de tolerância é marcado pela imersão que o leitor ser permitirá ter na história. E esta limitação inicial acaba por ser uma mais-valia para o seguimento da leitura; quer quando existem alguns episódios cuja exposição está menos conseguida, quer quando as atitudes das personagens dificultam a manutenção de empatia ou identificação do leitor com as mesmas. Mas para quem lá chegar, a leitura já se terá tornado compulsiva.

   Apresentando-se como um (re)início ambicioso, e deixando no final das suas páginas a promessa de maiores revelações num volume vindouro,Regresso dos Deuses – Rebelião marca, em boa hora, a “descoberta” de Pedro Ventura pelo grande público. Estão de parabéns o autor e a editora, por esta honrosa adição à colecção Via Láctea."

 

 

 

 

 

Diferente. Ambicioso. Eloquente, O Regresso dos Deuses – Rebelião é o tipo de livro que qualquer aficionado por fantasia épica deveria experimentar. Lá por ser português não é motivo para se passar ao lado ou para se julgar sinónimo de pouca qualidade, muito pelo contrário. Tratando-se de uma obra nacional, é de enfatizar a importância para o reportório português que obras deste carácter têm. Caso a sinopse lhe tenha surtido interesse, aventure-se; caso não, aventure-se de igual forma. Valerá a pena. 


Pedacinho Literário

 


http://www.presenca.pt/livro/ficcao-e-literatura/romance-fantastico/o-regresso-dos-deuses/?UDSID=%A7%A7%A7%A700111021132540001324554752%A7%A7%A7%A7
publicado por sá morais às 14:37

Ebook da 2ª edição de Goor - A Crónica de Feaglar agora apenas por 3,50€!!

28.09.13

Ebook da 2ª edição de Goor - A Crónica de Feaglar agora apenas por 3,50€!!

 

 

Clique no LINK

 

Confere na lista os dispositivos em que podes ler este ebook:

 

 

 

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publicado por sá morais às 10:39

Ten lessons modern science fiction films can learn from 2001: A Space Odyssey

26.09.13

Being a fairly hardcore space nerd it’s my opinion that 2001: A Space Odyssey is the greatest science fiction film ever made. With good science fiction movies rather thin on the ground, I thought I’d look at the lessons2001 can teach modern filmmakers about how to make a great sci-fi film.

 

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1. It doesn’t need to be an action movie

Sure, explosions can be fun to watch, as can mech-suit battles. But it’s always disappointing when a promising plot devolves into a generic action movie.

 

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2. There are visionary sci-fi authors everywhere. Use them

Arthur C. Clarke’s short story ‘The Sentinal’ was the jumping off point for 2001, Clarke worked with Kubrick on the screenplay and wrote an accompanying novel at the same time. Clarke had brilliant ideas about what contact with alien life would be like, and what the future of computers would be. Kubrick took these concepts and wrapped them up in his unique vision. There are so many great authors in the science fiction genre these days that it’s almost criminal how under-utilised they are in science fiction cinema.

 

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3. Special effects aren’t the most exciting part of the movie

George Lucas once said that ‘special effects are a tool’ (many years later he became a special effects tool himself). While the look of the film has to be right, it shouldn’t be the sole reason for the film’s existence. Space effects can be very cheap and easy, and there are some model shots from 2001 that hold up to this day.

 

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4. Think about what our future may be like, don’t just make stuff up

One of the strengths of 2001 was that Kubrick and Clarke thought about and researched the future, rather than just imagining a new society. They thought about what the space program would look like and what life in a space-faring society would resemble. And sure, they may have been off by quite a few years, but their predictions about what a manned mission to Jupiter would look like could still come true.

 

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5. Accurate space scenes are more thrilling than inaccurate space scenes

The scene where Dave Bowman tries to rescue Frank Poole takes places in darkness and silence, and is still 100 times more thrilling than the opening space battle of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.

 

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6. Aliens don’t need to be evil

Too often in Hollywood movies, we meet aliens with a similar desire for resources that we have, and a similar military structure, and war ensues. Or the aliens are horrific monsters that just want to kill everything. But surely a race of beings that have mastered interstellar travel are interested in more than just mining and warfare?

 

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7. In fact, aliens don’t even need to be understandable

They are aliens, so why can’t their motivations be just as alien as their appearance?

 

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8. The audience doesn’t need everything spelled out for them

2001 has one of the greatest endings of any film, an ending that is still talked about and debated almost half a century after it was initially released. While there is a clearer version of what happened in the 2001novel, the film is hugely ambiguous and leaves it up to the audience to interpret.

 

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9. Space is beautiful 

The opening moment of 2001 is an image of the sun rising over the Earth rising over the Moon. It’s silent, slow, and reveals the beauty and majesty of the universe around us.

 

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10. Science fiction stories can take a long time to unfold – that’s where the awe kicks in

2001 takes place at the ‘Dawn of Man’ and concludes with an idea about the next phase of evolution. The time span from the discovery of the monolith on the Moon to the conclusion of the Jupiter mission is years. Space is big, and evolution is slow. There’s no magic chamber that speeds things up, no warp drive that makes the distances in space seem negligible. And the result is that you get a sense of the age of the universe, what it means to grow as a species, and just how isolated astronauts can be when things go wrong.

So here’s hoping that Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity and Christopher Nolan’sInterstellar can live up the 2001 legacy.

 

in Momentum

 

publicado por Andreia Torres às 00:03

Giant Underwater Pyramid Found Near Azores Island Associated With Atlantis, Portuguese Navy Investigating

25.09.13

Researchers have discovered an underwater pyramid 60 meters high and 8000 meters square base near the Bank De João de Castro, between the islands of Terceira and São Miguel.
 

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Video here

 

The structure was identified by the sailor Diocleciano Smith based on bathymetry readings. The author does not believe that the pyramid is of natural origin.

 

The Government says that the matter is already being investigated with the support of the Portuguese Navy.


The Regional Secretary of Education  Luiz Fagundes Duarte believes that, taking into account the location one should not treat it as human work.


Terceira, also referred to as the “Ilha Lilás” (the “lilac” or “violet” island), is an island in the Azores archipelago, in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean. It is one of the larger islands of the archipelago, with a population of 56,000 inhabitants in an area of approximately 396.75 km². It is the location of the historical capital of the archipelago, the Azores’ oldest city and UNESCO Heritage Site (Angra do Heroísmo), the seat of the judicial system (Supreme Court), main base of the Azores Air Zone Command (Commando da Zona Aérea dos Açores) Base Aérea nº 4 and to a United States Air Force detachment.

 

Historically, there has been uncertainty in the date and the discoverer associated with the islands of the Azores. Nautical charts before the “official” discovery identified islands in the Atlantic Ocean as far back as 1325, when a chart by Angelino Dalorto identified “Bracile” west of Ireland, and later one by Angelino Dulcert which identifies the Canaries, and Madeira, along with mysterious islands denominated as “Capraria” (whom some historians suggest were São Miguel and Santa Maria).

 

Legends also persisted of Atlantis, Sete Cidades (Kingdoms of the Seven Cities), the Terras of São Brandão, the Ilhas Aofortunadas (The Fortunate Islands), the Ilha da Brasil (the Island of Brasil), Antília, the Ilhas Azuis (Blue Islands), the Terra dos Bacalhaus (Land of Codfish), and charts appeared between 1351 and 1439 of several groupings of islands with various names. The first association between the modern island of Terceira and these stories, was that of the island of Brasil; it first appears as Insula de Brasil in the Venetian map of Andrea Bianco (1436), attached to one of the larger islands of a group of islands in the Atlantic. 

 

publicado por sá morais às 21:19

Descoberta pirâmide subaquática entre a Terceira e S.Miguel

25.09.13
O Instituto Hidrográfico da Marinha Portuguesa está a analisar os dados que estão na origem da descoberta de uma "pirâmide" subaquática, com 60 metros de altura e oito mil metros quadrados de base, entre as ilhas de São Miguel e Terceira, nos Açores.

De acordo com o comandante da Zona Marítima dos Açores, contra-almirante Fernando Pires da Cunha, a descoberta de um praticante de pesca desportiva perto do Banco D. João de Castro carece de "análise" para avaliar a sua "autenticidade".

Fernando Pires da Cunha recordou ao SOL que a carta do mar dos Açores foi actualizada há dois anos e que, nesta altura, "não foi identificada qualquer estutura" com as características que Diocleciano Silva, veterinário de profissão, diz ter encontrado.

"Na altura procuramos sondas que pudessem constituir perigo para a navegação e não encontramos nada. Fizemos uma carta bastante extensiva e, julgamos nós, completa. Ainda assim, estamos analisar os dados", garantiu o comandante.

Ainda de acordo com Fernando Pires da Cunha, o Instituto Hidrográfico está a aguardar informações acerca do equipamento que fez a leitura batimétrica a partir do GPS instalado no barco de Diocleciano Silva e outros dados que o próprio diz ter.

Como zona vulcânica, não está afastada a possibilidade de a "pirâmide" ser apenas uma elevação no terreno e não um vestígio da Atlântida perdida, como defendeu Diocleciano Silva, de acordo com notícia avançada pela RTP-Açores.

publicado por sá morais às 21:02

The School Revolution: A New Answer for Our Broken Education System

23.09.13

 

 

 

Twelve-term Texas Congressman, Presidential candidate, and #1 New York Times bestselling author Ron Paul returns with a highly provocative treatise about how we need to fundamentally change the way we think about America's broken education system in order to fix it.

Whether or not you have children, you know that education is vital to the prosperity and future of our society. Yet our current system simply doesn't work. Parents feel increasingly powerless, and nearly half of Americans give our schools a grade of "C". Now, in his new book, Ron Paul attacks the problem head-on and provides a focused solution that centers on strong support for home schooling and the application of free market principles to the American education system. Examining the history of education in this country, Dr. Paul identifies where we've gone wrong, what we can do about it, and how we can change the way we think about education in order to provide a brighter future for Americans.



Whether or not you have children, you know that education is vital to the prosperity and future of our society. Yet our current system simply doesn't work. Parents feel increasingly powerless, and nearly half of Americans give our schools a grade of "C". Now, in his new book, Ron Paul attacks the problem head-on and provides a focused solution that centers on strong support for home schooling and the application of free market principles to the American education system. Examining the history of education in this country, Dr. Paul identifies where we've gone wrong, what we can do about it, and how we can change the way we think about education in order to provide a brighter future for Americans.

publicado por Andreia Torres às 21:50

The Dao of Capital: Austrian Investing in a Distorted World

23.09.13



“This is a magnificent, scintillating book that I will read over and over again. Every page is eye-opening, with numerous areas for testing and profits in every chapter. Here’s an unqualified, total, heartfelt recommendation, which coming from me is a rarity, and possibly unique.”
Victor Niederhoffer, Author of The Education of a Speculator


The Dao of Capital is an impressive work. Spitznagel’s approach is refreshing—scholarly without being tedious. What a broad look at economic history it provides!”
Byron Wien, Vice Chairman, Blackstone Advisory Partners LP




As today's preeminent doomsday investor Mark Spitznagel describes his Daoist androundabout investment approach, “one gains by losing and loses by gaining.” This isAustrian Investing, an archetypal, counterintuitive, and proven approach, gleaned from the 150-year-old Austrian School of economics, that is both timeless and exceedingly timely.

In The Dao of Capital, hedge fund manager and tail-hedging pioneer Mark Spitznagel—with one of the top returns on capital of the financial crisis, as well as over a career—takes us on a gripping, circuitous journey from the Chicago trading pits, over the coniferous boreal forests and canonical strategists from Warring States China to Napoleonic Europe to burgeoning industrial America, to the great economic thinkers of late 19th century Austria. We arrive at his central investment methodology of Austrian Investing, where victory comes not from waging the immediate decisive battle, but rather from the roundabout approach of seeking the intermediate positional advantage (what he calls shi), of aiming at the indirect means rather than directly at the ends. The monumental challenge is in seeing time differently, in a whole new intertemporaldimension, one that is so contrary to our wiring.

Spitznagel is the first to condense the theories of Ludwig von Mises and his Austrian School of economics into a cohesive and—as Spitznagel has shown—highly effective investment methodology. From identifying the monetary distortions and non-randomness of stock market routs (Spitznagel's bread and butter) to scorned highly-productive assets, in Ron Paul's words from the foreword, Spitznagel “brings Austrian economics from the ivory tower to the investment portfolio.”

The Dao of Capital provides a rare and accessible look through the lens of one of today's great investors to discover a profound harmony with the market process—a harmony that is so essential today.

publicado por Andreia Torres às 17:59

4 Things Science Fiction Needs to Bring Back

22.09.13
By  August 17, 2012 665,313 views

It's tempting to look around at today's literary scene, with its Twilight and its Fifty Shades of Grey, and wonder if we shouldn't just flush the whole goddamn concept of written language down the toilet -- maybe start again with some sort of hybrid colorwheel/odor system for communicating thoughts. Strangely, the one genre thriving in the swamp of modern literature seems to be science fiction. It's kind of appropriate, actually: All of our crazy high technology has made publishing and distributing books about crazy high technology much more approachable and widespread than ever. But even the best works could stand to learn a little something from the past, so here are a few things that I miss about old science fiction, and would like to see come back.

Note: You know I'm probably going to whore the newest and final episode of my science fiction serial novel, Rx - Episode 3: Industry, up in this piece, right? This is something we authors must do. The price we pay for creative integrity is every single shred of our basic human dignity. Please, do not hate me, for it is pity you should truly feel. Pity for the sad creature that does stuff like this: If you want to check it out, the first episode is free on Amazon until midnight Pacific on August 17! And the complete collected edition of all three episodes is available now for only $4.99! Some scientists* have gone on public record as stating that Rx: A Tale of Electronegativity is the only certain cure for erectile dysfunction!

*Scientists may not be actual scientists or have ever said anything of the sort.

#4. The Optimism

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Neal Stephenson -- who once wrote a book about a virtual-reality bushido master/pizza delivery man named Hiro Protagonist, but has since devoted his entire writing career to meta-history at the expense of all the world's forests -- has publicly bemoaned the rather dismal nature of modern science fiction. And he's absolutely right: Sci-fi used to be about how awesome and wonderful the future could be; it used to be about big, stupid, bright, shiny ideas that could never happen -- until they did.

The idea is that kids grew up reading about amazing stuff in science fiction, and then devoted their lives to science so they could one day make fiction a reality. That theory holds that we only have cellphones today because some kid watched Star Trek and couldn't bear to live in a world without Communicators anymore. Since his only options were "suicide" or "science," and he never learned to tie a proper noose, he went to college -- and that's why you can shoot birds at farm animals at red lights today.


And it only costs the safety and lives of your fellow drivers!

But even if that's true, I don't think the theory means that the sci-fi of yesteryear was all Fluffiness Augmenters and Snuggle Rays: When people talk about classic science fiction, they often refer to Orwell, Bradbury, Dick and Huxley -- all of whom wrote brutal, merciless dystopian fiction. And there's a reason for that: The negative stuff tends to stick with you, because as sad as it is, a slap in the face is more memorable than a good hug. But even if you're writing a miserably dystopian piece of fiction -- even if you're writing a post-apocalyptic piece about a clone army of Mao Zedongs piloting a squadron of Rape-Bots into an orphanage -- there's a way to do it that doesn't place the blame on technology.

Our most optimistic mainstream science fiction is doubtlessly Star Trek, but look at that universe: You can't walk ten steps without tripping over a cruel intergalactic Godcube. It's as full of strife, conflict and action as any dystopia -- it's just that science isn't at fault in that world. Science is usually the solution, or at the very least, it's neutrally awesome. You blast that arrogant Godcube with your phasers; or you reverse the shit out of that Q's polarity; or you beam your crew out of that Klingon prison, replacing each member with an armed photon torpedo, so that when those filthy aliens get to hell, they can tell the bumpy-headed devil that Science sent them.

#3. Exploring the Future of Mankind, Instead of Navel-Gazing at Private Drama

I've said it before: One of the main advantages that science fiction has over other genres is its ability to use a ridiculous, far-flung future scenario to take an unflinching look at the present. Great sci-fi isn't about a person; it's about people. Often that means the plot is a little flat or some of the characters are a bit archetypal -- but that's OK. When you're trying to pack a dense and interesting setting, a cutting societal metaphor and some compelling science all together into a single story, Sprint Laserkick's hurt emotions are the first sheep to be culled. For example: I could not, to this day, name a single character from a Philip K. Dick novel apart from Deckard -- and I only remember him because he was Harrison Ford at his Harrison Fordiest.


OK, maybe second Fordiest.

That's not a knock on Dick: I love Dick (and no, I am not ashamed). It's just that character didn't matter in the slightest to Philip K. Dick -- the guy spent his career slamming amphetamines in a shack while trying to dodge a giant mechanical head spying on him from the clouds, and still managed to knock out compelling science fiction novels at the rate of one a week. (If you're not familiar with Philip K. Dick, I'm not being random; every single word of that biography was absolutely true. Go read his books.) Dick didn't have time to painstakingly chronicle Maurice ManintheHighCastle's emotions -- because every minute he spent writing about Walter WeCanBuildYou's fatherly abandonment issues was a minute the sky-head got closer, and the only thing that drove it away was plot twists. The dude had his priorities.


#1. Stop the Sky-Head. #2. Meth. #3. Literature.

Don't get me wrong. Character-driven sci-fi pieces have their place, and they often make for the best stories, but sometimes they also lose what's great about science fiction: the ability to take a look at what we're all doing right now, as a species, through the harsh and objective lens of Martian robots. I'm not saying it's impossible to work a compelling and complete character into a forward-thinking sci-fi book. I'm just saying that lately a lot of authors seem to be dipping their Serious Chocolate in my Goofy Sci-Fi Peanut Butter. Sure, that shit is delicious together, but sometimes a man doesn't feel like a Reese's -- maybe he wanted to use that peanut butter to make a sandwich or something, and now there are little crumbs of solemnity all up in there. Not cool.

 

#2. Some Good Ol' Fashioned Mindfuckery

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Twist endings and plot gimmicks are something I've personally bemoaned before, even -- and especially -- within the genre of science fiction. But that's when the writers shoehorn them in there for no particular reason, or base the entire work on the existence of the twist. If there's no merit to your book beyond the shocking revelation that your protagonist is his own murderer, then you're just a literary M. Night Shyamalan and that makes your book, like, Mark Wahlberg or something.

Nobody wants to write a Mark Wahlberg, friend.

But if it's done well, and carefully, the end of a good science fiction book can wrap up a plot logically, make whatever important point it's trying to make, and still lay your mind gently down by the fire for some philosophical bonin'.


"Baby, I'm going to expand your concept of space-time so hard, your grandma will walk funny tomorrow."

I mean, that's why any author gets into the business: to screw their readers in their sweet, bootylicious brains. I can't spoil my own book, and hell, it's highly possible (even probable) that I'm closer to the Happening Axis than the Foundation Axis on the great Graph of Literature, but in the finale I at least try to put the moves on your brain. Maybe do that yawning arm thing and try to grab some of your brain's side-boob -- you know, just the classy, subtle stuff.

I know that, as a rule, it would be pretty stupid if every science fiction plot tried to blow your mind or include some shocking twist, but so few even make the attempt anymore. Did our science fiction writers just give up on messing with their readers? That's awful. Somewhere, The Last Question is crying a solitary, disappointed tear. Because a good mindhump every once in a while can function like the hook in a pop song: It's the thing that gets the rest of the work stuck in your head, and eventually forces you to drop everything else and analyze it -- if only to get "Hey Mickey you're so fine you're so fine you blow my mind hey Mickey you're so fine you're so fi-" to stop playing on infinite loop before you eat a plasma grenade.

#1. The Sense of Fun

It seems like a little of the sense of fun has gone out of modern sci-fi in the name of more plausible futurism. Sure, we're getting the most uncanny and believable future worlds yet, thanks to our increasing familiarity with the real technology around us, but it comes at the cost of absolutely ludicrous premises, lusty green women and ray guns that transform flesh into delicious Jell-O brand pudding. There used to be a secret kind of understanding between science fiction writers and their fans that, as soon as the reader picked up a sci-fi book, they were going to violently curb-stomp their sense of disbelief into a pile of bloody goo. And, in return, the authors would inundate their forebrains with fantastical alien breasts that go on rollicking high adventures throughout space and time.


Last time on The Adventures of Maxine Mammary, Bouncing Battlebreasts ...

Golden Age science fiction was like your drunken ex-roommate from college: For the most part, you outgrew the guy and matured into a functional adult, but every once in a while he'd come to crash on your couch and, instead of chastising his life choices, you'd stuff some bail money in your sock and go out to shotgun beers from a flabbergasted policeman's riot helmet with him. Maturity is a wonderful thing, but sometimes you just need to toss adulthood in the dumpster and go punch a guy in a Little Caesar costume. Obviously, we still get a few sci-fi books that acknowledge the importance of fun -- Altered Carbon wanted to know what happens when you use people like floppy disks, so it threw plausible science right out of the car and never slowed down to see if it survived the fall. Ready Player One idly wondered what would happen if reality was World of Warcraft, and Redshirts didn't even bother with worldbuilding -- it straight up set itself in Star Trek, and then mercilessly ripped the whole thing apart from the inside like a literary facehugger, asking neither permission nor consent, and giving neither quarter nor fucks along the way.

As for me, my own book stars a murderous Abraham Lincoln, a punk girl with acid spit and an entire society based around getting high on time travel. If you can throw out the rules harder than that, then congratulations: You're a hit anime show.

The relative success of books like these says that there's still an audience willing to follow the most ridiculous premise you can slap on a space opera, just as long as you remember that having fun is fun. This is fiction! And science! Both of those things have proven time and again that they can do literally whatever the hell they want. And if either of them are any good, they also both have lasers, so what are you going to do to stop them, tough guy?

Yes, you get the occasional misstep: John Carter tried this tack, then super-jumped up its own asshole and disappeared from the box office forever -- but that was mostly because the studios titled it like an accountant's driver's license and marketed it exclusively in the DMZ. Seriousness absolutely has a place in science fiction, but it can't dominate: If you don't take off your lab coat every once in a while and rescue a three-breasted Ladyborg from the clutches of the evil Spidereans, you're never going to get invited to the Chrono-orgy.

 





publicado por Andreia Torres às 23:01

O grande son(h)o da ficção científica

21.09.13

    

 

 Algumas coisas sempre me provocaram estranheza no famoso artigo de Eduarda Sousa, "O grande sono da ficção científica" - outras nem por isso. O parágrafo que me cria mais irritação na garganta é este:

   "Existem discussões e especulações sobre a morte da FC. Na Internet, os argumentos são muitos, desde o rápido avanço da ciência que a FC não acompanha, até à constatação de que já vivemos num cenário de FC, o que torna o género obsoleto ou redundante."

 

     

 

     A FC só vive de tecnologia? É esse o seu "miolo"? Não creio. Mas vamos por aí, já que é ideia "mainstream": 

    Pensar que, na actualidade, estamos a viver um auge tecnológico e científico (e que isso limita a FC) é uma ideia tão alarve como viver no século XIX e pensar o mesmo - e aposto que havia quem o pensasse. De uma vez por todas: o nosso presente de "maravilhosas e insuperáveis concretizações" será apenas mais um tosco degrau no olhar do futuro. Se isso não acontecer é mau sinal, pois a humanidade terá estagando ou regredido - algo que, de qualquer das maneiras, será transitório, tal como a Idade das Trevas o foi...

    "Já vivemos num cenário de FC"? A sério? Em que país vivem? Em que mundo? E a tecnologia já deixou K.O. a imaginação humana? Então esperem pela Zira e pelo Dr. Zaius porque a nossa "missão" terminou. "Já vivemos"... Eu só pensaria assim se tivesse nascido no Século XII (por exemplo) e caísse abruptamente na actualidade. Mas não sou uma personagem do famoso filme de Jean-Marie Poiré nem tenho a maquineta imaginada por Wells para ir ao futuro. 

   "Já vivemos"... São os telemóveis que vos levam a pensar isso? A internet? Deixem que vos diga que este presente deixa muito a desejar em relação às expectativas que tinha no passado. Muitas! E não sou o único a pensar assim...

 

   Vamos lá a ver...

  A menos que ocorra uma mudança no paradigma cultural da maioria dos portugueses (que tarda mas chegará, digo eu, que sou um optimista e dado a saltos de fé...), em que o educandário reside em programa telivisivos como o "Somos Portugal", novelas e "Casas dos Segredos", etc, a FC será sempre uma expressão minoritária. Há aqui uma imcompatibilidade - desculpem a dicotomia, como terão de me desculpar por ser, a espaços, eufémico, mas é esta a minha visão da realidade. 

  Os valores dessa minoria leitora de FC serão variáveis (quase sempre devido a influências exteriores) mas não estará a dormir, em coma, nem morrerá. Existirão sempre milhões a dizer que o "Big Brother" é (apenas) uma ruminância televisiva e uns milhares a responder que é um personagem fictício de uma obra literária. Serão apenas centenas? Que sejam dez! Todavia, acredito na evolução e julgo que o regresso em força da FC acontecerá num mundo menos preocupado com o açaime economicista. Morrer? A FC morre no dia em a humanidade desaparecer. Até lá, aguentem com ela! 


"Fiction is not the bread of life, nor the wine of life, nor for long the satisfactory thou of life, but it hunger mingles with these hungers and is still there when the others are sated. Man dreams before he eats, after he thirsts, and in order to sleep. Fiction has deep roots, and will not disappear with a change of tools, fashions, or even planets. It provides that link in the chain of awareness that relates man to the urmensch of his subconscious. Fiction was there in the dark of the cave, at the beginning, and it will be there in the ruins at the end, oral, chiseled, or computed. It will, because we can´t help it."


Wright Morris

publicado por sá morais às 22:18

Happy 35th Anniversary BATTLESTAR GALACTICA

21.09.13

"Fleeing from the Cylon tyranny, the last battlestar, Galactica, leads a rag-tag fugitive fleet on a lonely quest: a shining planet, known as... Earth." On this date in 1978, the three-hour world premiere of Glen A. Larson's Battlestar Galactica aired on ABC, and like most of you, I was sitting on the living room floor about three feet from the TV, enjoying every minute of it. Happy 35th anniversary to the epic series that refuses to fade away!

in Space1970
publicado por sá morais às 11:29

"About fiction: reverent reflections on the nature of fiction with irreverent observations on writers, readers & other abuses", de Wright Morris

21.09.13

"The seamy side of life is so well documented we need look nowhere else but to the novel for it, and where life departs from such convincing fiction it seems unreal. Writers who are by nature optimistic and sanguine often have a hard time convincing skeptical readers that the top side of life is as real as the bottom."

 

pág 37

publicado por sá morais às 11:06

Cientistas encontram vida extraterrestre - Investigadores britânicos da Universidade de Sheffield descobriram microrganismos na estratosfera da Terra que parecem ter vindo do espaço.

21.09.13
Um dos microrganismos que os cientistas da Universidade de Sheffield dizem ser oriundo do espaço.
Um dos microrganismos que os cientistas da Universidade de Sheffield dizem ser oriundo do espaço.
Universidade de Sheffield

Uma equipa de cientistas do Departamento de Biologia Molecular e Biotecnologia da Universidade de Sheffield, no Reino Unido, encontrou uma série de microrganismos na estratosfera da Terra a uma altitude de 27 km, o que significa que podem ter origem extraterrestre.

Na estratosfera - uma camada da atmosfera que fica entre os 10-13 km e os 50 km - existe um autêntico ecossistema constituído por uma grande diversidade de organismos microscópicos, mas os agora encontrados por um balão que foi enviado pela universidade "têm uma dimensão que torna impossível a sua proveniência da Terra a esta altitude", afirma Milton Wainwright, o cientista que liderou a descoberta.

A única exceção conhecida acontece "quando esses microrganismos são transportados por uma erupção vulcânica violenta", mas nenhuma aconteceu nos três anos em que foram recolhidas amostras da estratosfera pelo balão.

Vida chega continuamente à Terra

 

O professor da Universidade de Sheffield acrescenta que "na ausência de um mecanismo através do qual partículas como estas possam ser transportadas para a estratosfera, só podemos concluir que são entidades biológicas provenientes do espaço".

A equipa de investigadores britânica concluiu também que "a vida está a chegar continuamente à Terra vinda do espaço, não está restrita ao nosso planeta e quase de certeza que não foi originada na Terra".

Milton Wainwright argumenta, por isso, que os resultados desta investigação podem ser revolucionários porque, "se a vida está a chegar continuamente do espaço, temos de mudar completamente a nossa visão da biologia e da evolução".

A descoberta da equipa liderada por este investigador foi publicada no Journal of Cosmology, revista que "foi acusada no passado de publicar teorias marginais de credibilidade científica questionável", recorda o conhecido jornal online "Huffington Post".

Em todo o caso, a revista é editada por Rudolf Schild, diretor do programa de telescópios do insuspeito Centro de Astrofísica Harvard-Smithsonian (EUA), e o seu conselho editorial inclui nomes como Roger Penrose, astrofísico da Universidade de Oxford (Reino Unido) e um dos maiores especialistas de cosmologia do mundo.

 

 

Novos testes em Outubro

 

De qualquer maneira, o grupo de Wainwright vai fazer novos testes em outubro às amostras recolhidas pelo balão científico na estratosfera para confirmar os resultados da investigação agora feita.

O professor admite, aliás, que "seja usado o argumento de que pode existir um mecanismo ainda desconhecido de transferência de microrganismos da Terra para a alta estratosfera".   

Entretanto, a NASA revelou que o robô Curiosity não encontrou metano na atmosfera de Marte, o que surpreendeu os cientistas, porque as observações feitas antes por telescópios a partir da Terra e por sondas espaciais criaram expectativas de que pudessem ser encontradas quantidades apreciáveis deste gás.

Como sublinha um artigo publicado na revista Science pela equipa de investigadores que analisou os dados da Curiosity, "a presença de metano na atmosfera marciana é uma assinatura potencial de atividade biológica no presente ou no passado", ou seja, da presença de vida.



In Expresso

publicado por sá morais às 10:59

Red Fire

21.09.13

publicado por sá morais às 10:58

FÓRUM FANTÁSTICO 2013

19.09.13

 

 

De 15 a 17 de Novembro de 2013, o Fórum Fantástico 2013 virá certamente juntar-se às restantes edições realizadas com êxito.

Organizado pela Épica e mantendo a colaboração com a Biblioteca Municipal Orlando Ribeiro, em Telheiras, e com a BLX – Rede Municipal de Bibliotecas de Lisboa, o FF2013 continuará a ser um evento internacional e a mostrar muito do que se faz em Portugal de qualidade no género Fantástico.

Como tem vindo a ser hábito, começamos por lançar a ilustração do cartaz deste ano, novamente da autoria do designer Pedro Marques, num estilo que será reconhecível pela audiência do Fórum Fantástico.

 

(o programa será divulgado aqui, logo que esteja disponível)

publicado por sá morais às 22:18

Parabéns Galáctica!

18.09.13

publicado por sá morais às 22:00

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