“Alan Bean Plus Four”
A warm-hearted short story about a moonshot. By Tom Hanks.
A warm-hearted short story about a moonshot. By Tom Hanks.
Elon Musk talks engineering, the Fermi paradox, and getting your ass to Mars.
This is a great summation of the origins of Science Hack Day from Ariel.
All the marvellous hacks from Science Hack Day San Francisco being demoed at the end of the event.
Mine is the first one up, five minutes in.
What a fantastic collection of creators!
A lovely hack from Science Hack Day San Francisco: get an idea of the size of CERN’s Large Hadron Collider by seeing it superimposed over your town.
It’s impossible to predict the creations that will spring forth when people gather in the spirit of participation, collaboration, and benign anarchy at the next Science Hack Day, but the results are certain to be inspired, and inspiring.
How the printing press led to the microscope, and chlorination transformed women’s fashion—Steven Johnson channels James Burke.
Beautiful visualisations of science and nature.
Made with love by a designer with a molecular biology degree.
This is basically porn for me.
Bernal spheres, Stanford tori, and O’Neill cylinders, oh my!
I’m not quite sure why this is funny, but I am quite sure that it is.
I remember reading Gia Milinovich’s reports from the set of the in-production Danny Boyle sci-fi film called Sunshine back in 2005. Then the film came out, exceeded my expectations, and became one of my all-time favourites.
Now the website—which was deleted by Fox—has been lovingly recreated by Gia. (And it’s responsive now.)
A nice bit of interactive citizen science storytelling from Google.
Note: if you have Adblock Plus installed, this won’t load at all. Funny that.
This year’s collection of twelve sci-fi stories from Technology Review features three dConstruct speakers: Lauren Beukes, Cory Doctorow, and Warren Ellis.
Photos from the first Science Hack Day in China which just wrapped up.
Design fiction from a NASA scientist.
This is quite exciting: the Endnote project is sponsoring Science Hack Day globally—not just an individual event.
A short sci-fi film from director Wanuri Kahiu set in the aftermath of a worldwide water war.
Alan Kay’s written remarks to a Joint Hearing of the Science Committee and the Economic and Educational and Opportunites Committee in October 1995.
Steven Johnson’s new television series will be shown on BBC in a few months time. Looks like it’s going to be good Burkian fun.
Documenting depictions of dystopian futures and tracking which ideas are turning out to be predictions.
A free PDF download from NASA on all things SETI, specifically the challenges of interspecies interstellar communication.
The campaign to restore out-of-print pulp sci-fi books in electronic formats.
Craig recounts the time we visited the LHCb at CERN. It’s a lovely bit of writing. I wish it were on his own website.
Eileen Gunn writes in the Smithsonian magazine on the influence of science fiction.
Science fiction, at its best, engenders the sort of flexible thinking that not only inspires us, but compels us to consider the myriad potential consequences of our actions.
I finally got around to reading Red Men by Matthew De Abaitua recently. It’s like Nick Harkaway crossed with Jeff Noon.
Here’s hoping that this short film will be developed into a full-length feature.
I can’t wait to see this documentary on the monumental work at CERN.
A lovely visualisation that combines two of my loves: space, and the correct use of the subjunctive.
I did some consulting with the Wellcome Trust on this new magazine-like project, and it’s great to see it go live—excellent stories of science, all published under a Creative Commons licence.
This fun-looking short film—funded by Brighton’s Lighthouse Arts—is screening at the Duke Of York’s Cinema on Saturday, March 1st followed by a panel discussion with the director and science-comedienne Helen Keen.
Okay, this might just be my new favourite blog:
This site is dedicated to all aspects of movie and TV typography and iconography as it appears in Sci-Fi and fantasy movies.
The first post is all about 2001, and the writing is just the right shade of fun.
I’m already looking forward to future posts. (See what I did there?)
A great series of articles on the sci-fi films of the ’60s and ’70s:
The Laser Age examines a rich period in the history of science-fiction filmmaking that began in the late 1960s and faded away by the mid 1980s.
…all wrapped up in a nice responsive design too.
This nifty place in Brighton is just down the street from me:
Our classes allow kids to get creative with exciting, cutting-edge technology and software.
A profile of Brian Aldiss in The Guardian.
I still can’t quite believe I managed to get him for last year’s Brighton SF.
This is a wonderful, wonderful round-up by KQED of the most recent Science Hack Day in San Francisco …a truly marvellous event.
Be sure to watch the accompanying video—it brought a tear to my eye.
This gives me a warm fuzzy glow. The Mefites are using Radio Free Earth to find out which stars are receiving the number one hits from their birthdays.
Chloe writes up her experience of the excellent Science Hack Day in San Francisco and describes the hack we built together: Radio Free Earth.
Wonderful photos from Science Hack Day San Francisco, courtesy of Matt B.
Realistically, what happens when you detonate a large metallic satellite (about the the size of the second Death Star) in orbit around an inhabited world (like, say, the forest moon of Endor).
It isn’t pretty.
Michael Chabon muses on The Future, prompted by the Clock of the Long Now.
Iain M.Banks and dConstruct, together at last.
Omni returns with a Bruce Sterling short story that marries alternative history and satire with a dash of digital preservation.
Go ahead, just wait a year, or two years, or maybe five years. Then try to find this, later. There will be no sign of this website, because it’s just made of pixels. No remains of the machine that you read it with, either.
Scenes from a future Sweden.
I’m not sure how I managed to miss this site up until now, but it’s right up my alley: equal parts urban planning, ethnography, and food science.
Molly Crabapple interviews Warren Ellis. Fun and interesting …much like Molly Crabapple and Warren Ellis.
Registration is now open for Science Hack Day San Francisco at the end of September. Hope to see you there.
This is quite remarkable. Now that the Galaxy Zoo project from Zooniverse has successfully classified all its data (already a remarkable achievement), its volunteers are now collaborating on writing a scientific paper.
There’s something going on here. This isn’t just a “cool” or “cute” link—this is the first stirring of something entirely new that is made possible by network technology.
I like this theory!
H.P. Lovecraft meets James Bridle in this great little story commissioned by the Institute For The Future.
Corridors in science fiction films.
I’ve linked to this before, but with the death of Iain M Banks it’s worth re-reading this fascinating insight into The Culture, one of science fictions’s few realistic utopias.
The brief mention here of The Culture’s attitude to death is apt:
Philosophy, again; death is regarded as part of life, and nothing, including the universe, lasts forever. It is seen as bad manners to try and pretend that death is somehow not natural; instead death is seen as giving shape to life.
Francis Spufford—author of the excellent Backroom Boffins—writes a cover story for the New Humanist magazine remembering Iain Banks with the middle initial M firmly to the fore: it was Iain M Banks—and his creation, The Culture—that took the seemingly passé genre of space opera to new heights.
A really nice piece on Robert McCall, who was artist-in-residence at NASA and worked as conceptual artist on Kubrick and Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Zooniverse have done it again. Now you can help in the hunt for sources of gravitational lensing.
It’s informative. It’s fun. It has genuine scientific value.
Sorta sci-fi from Adam.
Consider this a shooting script for one of those concept videos so beloved of the big technology vendors.
Want a Science Hack Day where you live? Make it so!
A truly fascinating and well-written article on how changes are afoot in the worlds of psychology, economics, and just about any other field that has performed tests on American participants and extrapolated the results into universal traits.
Given the data, they concluded that social scientists could not possibly have picked a worse population from which to draw broad generalizations. Researchers had been doing the equivalent of studying penguins while believing that they were learning insights applicable to all birds.
A white paper that looks to sci-fi films as potential prototypes for habitats for humans in space, with an emphasis on dealing with the psychological issues involved.
A magnificent piece of writing from Michael, examining the influence of Sergio Leone on George Lucas.
Now this looks like my kind of event:
A new micro-conference on science, technology, communication and fiction, organised by the Arthur C. Clarke Award.
A damning analysis of the Empire’s military strategy at the battle of Hoth, complete with illustrations. The comments are good too:
Guys, cut Palpatine some slack. He’s still in his first term as Emperor…
A lovely new responsive(ish) website dedicated to science and the environment.
There’s going to be mini Science Hack Day at Lighthouse as part of this month’s Science Festival in Brighton. Come along — it’ll be fun.
I, for one, welcome our slime mould overlords.
The slime mould is being used to explore biological-inspired design, emergence theory, unconventional computing and robot controllers, much of which borders on the world of science fiction.
Lauren talks about The Shining Girls and the tools she uses to write with.
A well-written white paper on time travel. Alas, it relies a bit too much on semantic nitpickery to offer any real insight.
Brilliant little magnetic cuddly nucleobases from Jun. You get all four bases to combine to your heart’s content: cytosine, guanine, adenine, thymine — take that, Pokémon.
I like this idea of slow journalism: taking seven years to tell a story.
The latest project from Zooniverse is, as you would expect, an extremely enjoyable and useful way to spend your time: classifying animals that have captured in camera trap images.
The opening tutorial is a lesson in how to do “on-boarding” right.
A look at the depiction of computer hardware and peripherals in sci-fi movies over time.
The out-of-copyright books of Olaf Stapledon are available to download from the University of Adelaide. Be sure to grab Starmaker and First And Last Men.
This is a superb talk by Mark Lynas who once spearheaded the anti-GM movement, and who has now completely changed his stance on genetically-modified crops. Why? Science.
You are more likely to get hit by an asteroid than to get hurt by GM food. More to the point, people have died from choosing organic, but no-one has died from eating GM.
Dublin is going to play host to its second Science Hack Day at the start of March. It looks like it’s going to be a fantastic event (again!) but they need sponsors. Do you know of any?
Ostensibly about gaming (and written by Matt Colville who works in the games industry), this blog actually has a lot of interesting observations on sci-fi cinema. I like it.
A fascinating blog documenting the secrecy around nuclear weaponry, past and present, by Alex Wellerstein of the American Institue of Physics.
A nice round-up of the most recent Science Hack Day in San Francisco.
Just a few hours after launch, here’s the first review of Matter complete with some speculation on where it might go.
Oh My Science! It looks like the most recent Science Hack Day in San Francisco was great.
Design Fiction at work, imagining a possible future city.
Peter Saville talks about the enduring appeal of his cover for Unknown Pleasures.
I like to think of all the variations and mashups as not just tributes to Joy Division, but tributes to Jocelyn Bell Burnell too.
This looks like an excellent deal: buy eight sci-fi books for as much money as you think is fair. Lauren Beukes, Paolo Bacigalupi, Cory Doctorow …all good stuff.
A well-executed sci-fi short film on augmented reality and gamification.
I like this skewering of the cult of so-called-neuroscience; the self-help book equivalent of eye-tracking.
This (free!) PDF looks like it could be a nice companion piece to Chris and Nathan’s recent book:
Human-computer interaction in science-fiction movies and television.
It’s a work in progress. You’ll notice a lot of placeholders where the images should be. That’s because the studios are demanding extortionate rates for screenshots.
Nice! A feature on Ariel and her spacehacking ways.
Chris and Nathan’s book is finally out. I’m going to enjoy reading through this.
A really enjoyable interview with Neal Stephenson.
The opening keynote from Warren Ellis for this year’s Improving Reality. I’d like to walk into space with this man.
A Kickstarter project for space elevator research? Oh, hell yes!
The next Science Hack Day in San Francisco will be at the start of November. It would undoubtedly be a great event …but it needs sponsorship.
Do you know anyone who could help out?
Tantek’s adventure in participatory civic governance.
An evening with Lauren Beukes, China Miéville and Patrick Ness in London the week after dConstruct. Sounds like fun!
A terrific little conspiracy theory short story from Charles Stross set at last year’s (very real) 100 Year Starship gathering.
Some of these hacks created at the Science Hack Day in Eindhoven are seriously nuts. That’s “nuts” as in “brilliant”.
In light of the recent death of Ray Bradbury, I think we should all honour his memory by revisiting this song (featuring some future-friendly headgear).
I’ll feed you grapes and Dandelion Wine and we’ll read a little Fahrenheit 69…
A satirical parody of post-singularity existence by Tom Scott inspired by Jim Munroe’s Everyone in Silico and Rudy Rucker’s Postsingular.
Magazine covers created by Tom Southwell for background scenes in Blade Runner.
Oh, dear. Christopher Priest is being a bit of a cock.
Good writer though.
A new publication from New Scientist dedicated to future thinking. The first issue has articles and stories from Bruce Sterling, Margaret Atwood, China Miéville, and Alastair Reynolds.
Well, that’s my reading list sorted then.