Thursday, November 26, 2009

Clash of the Titans VS. Clash of the Titans

Apparently some genius was sitting at a conference table with Hollywood bigwigs and suggested they remake a film that would have sucked had it not been for the stop-motion effects. The gimmick? "Only this time, we make it WITHOUT stop-motion effects!" At which point the producers probably slapped each other on the back for work well done and proceeded to blow each other.

Now look at these two trailers (the first of which is a fan edit) and tell me which one you'd rather see. Be honest.

Okay, so if it weren't for the typical music, the remake's trailer doesn't look that bad, but I'd be a little more receptive if it were directed by Peter Jackson or Guillermo del Toro. Also, this Sam Worthington guy... I don't know about him. So far he has yet to make a picture I actually saw. (I'm holding out on watching a movie of his until the first reviews of Avatar come out. Then again, I don't know why; critics loved Titanic, which was far too slick and all together insignificant to take seriously for most of the people I know who watched it. Hell, I even thought Waterworld was a better movie.)

If you want to check out the original trailer for the original film, you can check it out here.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Science Fiction * Science Fact (YouTube Gem)

Here's two things most people today don't give a shit about: PBS and science fiction. Their loss, though, right?

It's a discussion (or "live initial communications experiment") hosted by G. Harry Stine, who is known for popularizing model rocketry. Guests include authors John Stith, Charles Sheffield, Ben Bova, and Jesco von Puttkamer, as well as Arthur C. Clarke from his Sri Lanka home, via satellite. Stine boasts that there are also seventy-four people connected to the discussion via a very early incarnation of Internet and, "that number is growing by the minute." Stine isn't really cut out to be a host, but he does a pretty good job of it after he works out the initial kinks.

Here's the first part:

This video is awesome on so many different levels.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Technology That Stares At Goats

A 60 Minutes segment on real mind reading. I mentioned this in a post a while back, but now a link exists (via h+ Magazine) to the actual video.

From the last post I mentioned this in:
A few nights ago, 60 Minutes had a piece (I only caught the last minute or so) about a machine that can essentially give you an MRI from afar. Supposedly, they just aim this thing at your head and the users get a snapshot of your brain activity. The possibilities are endless, but they're mainly talking about putting them in airports to catch terrorists. Of course, such practices are wholly interpretive and far from being scientific, but that hasn't ever stopped shitheads from using lie detectors, handwriting analysis, and Freudian psychology in supposedly professional settings.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Space Warfare: The Inevitable Frontier

You want to knock out a satellite? Just get a projectile of some kind and aim it at your target. All it takes is a nudge. Bad news for the militaries of the world, as many of them rely extensively on the intelligence gathered from satellites, other than the military that has the resources to pull it off.

And what happens when a nuclear warhead is detonated in the vacuum of space? There is no mushroom cloud—no atmosphere and no gravity means the explosion expands equally in every direction and covers a much larger area with radiation than the same explosion would in a conventional environment. My source also states that a nuke of "average" size (whatever that is) would cripple or destroy every satellite for a fifty mile radius. That's nothing compared to what a space-exploded nuke does to the surface of the earth: an electromagnetic wave will power down electronics for miles.

All this and more was discussed in an episode of The Universe on The History Channel.

Other topics covered:

What will dogfights look like in space? Answer: nothing like they look like on earth, which means that space operas like Star Wars have it all wrong. Unless your fighter ship is a shuttle that enters and exits planetary atmospheres, why would it even need wings? One expert suggests the perfect shape for space fighter would be a cube capable of switching its focus within a three-hundred and sixty degree field at the drop of a hat. Evasive maneuvers wouldn't be long and sweeping; they'd be sudden and jerky.

And when will we get laser pistols? Certainly not any time in our lifetimes.

Further reading:
Space Warfare: High Tech War of the Future Generation

Also see:

Freespace 2
A space combat simulator that has been kept alive and continually updated thanks to modders. After getting the original copy for a measly $6, search for information regarding "Freespace 2 Open." Very fun, even several years after it's initial release.