A Short History of the Twentieth Century, or, When You Wish Upon A Star July 20, 2014 A Short History of the Twentieth Century, or, When You Wish Upon A Star Kathleen Ann Goonan A rocket story. The Angelus Guns July 16, 2014 The Angelus Guns Max Gladstone There's a war in heaven, outside of time. Sleep Walking Now and Then July 9, 2014 Sleep Walking Now and Then Richard Bowes A tragedy in three acts. The Devil in the Details July 2, 2014 The Devil in the Details Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald A Peter Crossman adventure.
From The Blog
July 18, 2014
Summer 2014 Anime Preview: In the Name of the Moon!
Kelly Quinn
July 16, 2014
Picturing Dragons
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July 15, 2014
Who Should Play The Magicians?
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July 14, 2014
A Long Overdue Nod to SciFi and Fantasy’s Best Librarians
Stubby the Rocket
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For Love or Money (And If You Do It Right, BOTH): Choosing a Career in Art
Greg Ruth
Showing posts tagged: Science click to see more stuff tagged with Science
Thu
Jan 2 2014 3:00pm

Resistance is Futile: Scientific American Explores How the Internet is Changing Your Brain

Until recently, humans have relied on each other to distribute and share memory, in a world where the human brain was the pinnacle of data storage. But the Internet has radically and rapidly changed our relationship with this transactive memory system. In the December issue of Scientific American, Daniel M. Wegner and Adrian F. Ward explore the phenomenon in “How Google is Changing Your Brain.”

“Human! We used to be exactly like them. Flawed. Weak. Organic. But we evolved to include the synthetic. Now we use both to attain perfection. Your goal should be the same as ours.”

–Borg Queen, Star Trek: First Contact

For those of us who recall the shadowy time before the rise of the Internet and Google, if you had a question, you were promptly sent to the dictionary, encyclopedia, or library (up hill, in the snow, both ways) to try to find the answer. Today, a question barely has time to cross our minds before we are tapping away on our phones or computers to Google the answer. When a proper noun becomes a verb, you know something big has happened.

[Watch your future’s end.]

Wed
Jan 1 2014 2:00pm

Ten Scientific Non-Fiction Books to Fire Up Your Imaginations

We are smack in the middle of a holiday week, and you know what holiday weeks mean: reading giant fat books that we don’t usually have time for! We here at Tor.com love giant fat books, so we took to Twitter to ask you about some of your favorite scientific non-fiction, and you came back with a wonderful variety of suggestions. I’ve collected ten of them here, and I would love it if you pepper the comment thread with even more! There’s nothing quite like charging into a new year armed with giant fat erudition.

[Read more, and then read more!]

Mon
Dec 30 2013 9:00am

These New-Fangled Books Will Doom Us All!

Bad For You techno panic timeline Kevin C. Pyle Scott CunninghamBehold the techno-panic timeline!

In Bad For You, coming on January 7th from Henry Holt, authors Kevin C. Pyle and Scott Cunningham expose the long-standing campaign against fun for what it really is: a bunch of anxious adults grasping at straws, ignoring scientific data, and blindly yearning for the good old days that never were.

In this handy graphic, they point out the repeated panics we’ve had over new technology, from the printing press to books to telephones and everything in between and around. It turns out we’re really super into blaming new things for existing problems!

If only we could invent some kind of device that would impart information from previous years and eras, as a way to...read history...in hopes of not, um, not...

No, wait, it’ll come to us....

[The techno-panic timeline]

Tue
Dec 17 2013 9:00am

Morning Roundup: Neil Gaiman Completes His Transformation Into Charles Dickens

Neil Gaiman Charles Dickens

As part of the New York Public Library’s months-long celebration of Charles Dickens a project was undertaken to transform legendary Victorian author Neil Gaiman into legendary Victorian author Charles Dickens. As evidenced on Gaiman’s Tumblr, that metamorphosis was completed this past weekend during a reading of “A Christmas Carol” where, upon finishing, the newly made Dickens wandered outside and remarked upon the towering fortresses of glass, the marvelous contraptions whizzing about, and whatever a “Chipotle” is.

We’ve set some traps with brandy and fresh sausages but have yet to capture the newly made gadabout. Please, if you encounter Dickens in the New York streets, approach him slowly so as not to make him realize that he is entirely apocryphal.

Your Morning Roundup has a very brief look at Game of Thrones season 4. Go forth!

[Read more]

Fri
Dec 13 2013 9:00am

Morning Roundup: The Jurassic Park Prequel is Going to be Adorable!

Whether you love or hate dinosaurs, it is imperative that parents instill in their children a proper respect for these terrible thunder lizards at an early age. Because then you get adorable pictures like this!

Your Morning Roundup is facing the truth about Luke Skywalker’s non-existent teaching credentials, canceling Charles Stross’ next book, and pretending it saw The Hobbit.

[Read more]

Wed
Dec 11 2013 9:00am

Morning Roundup: Itty Bitty Orphan Black is Cloning its Way into our Hearts

Itty Bitty Orphan Black by Lady-Adventuress

Pre-school ain’t easy. Helena’s always scarfing down everyone’s food, Delphine’s being a goody two-shoes tattle tale, and Cosima is just straight up delinquent. And all of them are each other! What’s Principal Leekie to do?!? You’ll just have to read this brilliant Itty Bitty Orphan Black Tumblr by Lady-Adventuress to find out.

Your Morning Roundup is upstaging Neil Gaiman with a cat, piling the hurt onto Jonathan Frakes, and replacing dragons with Thomas the Tank Engine.

[Read more]

Fri
Dec 6 2013 9:00am

Morning Roundup: Dragons Never Give Up Their Swag Without a Fight

Via the karen-gillan tumblr, we present to you: the real plot of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug! This movie marquee pretty much nails the subtext of the book, since Smaug is not left with much swagger after he’s bested by a tiny, basically defenseless halfling....

Morning Roundup features: mind control cats! Robot death! And news about the Terminator remake, a follow-up to Legion, and a heartwarming glimpse of an Amazing Spider-Man 2 villain.

[Also, some more thoughts on the women of Marvel!]

Sat
Nov 9 2013 12:00pm

Carl Sagan Lived His Life Believing Science Belonged to All of Us

Carl SaganIt’s difficult to put into words the kind of impact Carl Sagan has had on fans of genre fiction. The combination of his enthusiasm for science education, his patience, and his outreach made him the unique man that we honor today, and if I wrote non-stop for a year I doubt I would be able to find a way to encapsulate that.

Which is when it occurred to me that I didn’t need to do that. At the 2013 New York Comic Con I was lucky enough to get to sit in on the panel for Cosmos and heard Sagan’s wife Ann Druyan and host Neil deGrasse Tyson speak of the man they loved, the man who set the example for what they were trying to accomplish. What they spoke was deeply thoughtful and brazenly passionate, and I’d like to share that with you now.

[“...he believed that science belonged to all of us...”]

Thu
Oct 24 2013 2:00pm

The Worm Turns: Parasite by Mira Grant

Parasite Mira Grant The other side of Seanan McGuire—author of the ongoing affairs of faerie misfit October Daye—Mira Grant got off to a great start with the Newsflesh books. The first of the three, Feed, was ostensibly about bloggers during the zombie apocalypse, and whilst it won none, it was nominated for any number of awards, including the Hugo. I enjoyed it an awful lot.

Feed, however, felt complete to me, so when Deadline was released the next year, I didn’t know quite what to make of it. I read it regardless, and found it... fine. Entertaining enough, but not notably so, not innovative in way its predecessor was, and certainly not necessary. In the end, my nonplussedness was such that I never bothered with Blackout beyond the first few chapters: though it bears saying that the Best Novel nominations kept on coming, for book two of Newsflesh and the conclusion, overall, the series seemed to me to define diminishing returns.

But it’s a new dawn, a new day, a new time, and I’m feeling good about the future. Parasite marks the beginning of a brand new duology, and I’m pleased to report that I’ve got my Mira Grant groove back. Indeed, I’ve rarely been so keen to read a sequel, in part because Parasite doesn’t so much stop as pause at a pivotal point, but also because it’s a bloody good book.

[Read More]

Wed
Oct 16 2013 10:00am

These New-Fangled Books Will Doom Us All!

Bad For You techno panic timeline Kevin C. Pyle Scott CunninghamBehold the techno-panic timeline!

In Bad For You, coming on January 7th from Henry Holt, authors Kevin C. Pyle and Scott Cunningham expose the long-standing campaign against fun for what it really is: a bunch of anxious adults grasping at straws, ignoring scientific data, and blindly yearning for the good old days that never were.

In this handy graphic, they point out the repeated panics we’ve had over new technology, from the printing press to books to telephones and everything in between and around. It turns out we’re really super into blaming new things for existing problems!

If only we could invent some kind of device that would impart information from previous years and eras, as a way to...read history...in hopes of not, um, not...

No, wait, it’ll come to us....

[The techno-panic timeline]

Mon
Oct 14 2013 12:30pm

Honor Ada Lovelace Day by Editing Wikipedia!

Ada Lovelace Day

Quick, how many female scientists can you name? Yeah, besides Marie Curie. When Dr. Anne Fausto-Sterling, the Nancy Duke Lewis Professor of Biology at Brown University, was still a student, most of the people she spoke to—even in science departments—couldn’t name very many.

Five years ago, Fausto-Sterling and her former student, Maia Weinstock (now the News Director at BrainPOP) created the Ada Lovelace Edit-a-Thon to focus more attention on women’s involvement in science, right where the scientists of tomorrow will see it—on Wikipedia. Our friends at The Mary Sue highlighted the project, and we’re excited to share it with you! 

[Click below to learn more, and take part.]

Fri
Oct 11 2013 5:00pm

Bill Nye Will Not Rest Until Everyone Loves Science!

Bill-Nye-Studies-Jupiter

Bill Nye has taken his Science Guy-ing to the internet! Nye is hosting a weekly show on the THNKR YouTube channel called “Why with Nye”—the man has a way with a rhyme—designed to teach kids of any age about the wonders of space.

He’ll specifically focus on the Juno mission to Jupiter. The Juno mission involved using Earth’s gravity as a slingshot to project the probe toward Jupiter, in order to study its atmosphere, magnetosphere, and gravity. By studying Jupiter, NASA hopes to better understand the distribution of elements that eventually formed Earth—or they will hope that, as soon as the government resumes functioning and they’re able to budget for hope again.

While the probe experienced a glitch yesterday during the slingshot maneuver, the researchers don’t think that this will affect its trajectory towards Jupiter, and even if something does go wrong, we can trust Nye to use it as a teaching tool. If he can dance to Daft Punk on an unbendable knee, he can do anything.

Sat
Oct 5 2013 8:48am

It’s Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s Birthday! Hear Him Discuss the Most Astounding Fact

It’s Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s birthday and we are celebrating by remembering the connectivity of everything in the universe. Click below to hear him talk about “the most astounding fact”...

[Watch the video]

Wed
Oct 2 2013 5:10pm

“Space Oddity”-Singing Astronaut Chris Hadfield Slowly Turning Into David Bowie

Chris Hadfield, David Bowie, Aladdin Sane, Christopher Wahl

Remember that awesome video of Chris Hadfield singing David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” aboard the International Space Station? You should. It was kind of the best thing ever.

But photographer Christopher Wahl didn’t think his transformation went far enough. When he was asked to do a photoshoot with the returned astronaut, he decided it was time to blend Bowie and Hadfield into one. Check out the transformation in the video below!

[A lad insane...]

Wed
Oct 2 2013 10:22am

Marvel is Looking for the Next (Real) Jane Foster!

Thor the Dark World, Jane Foster, Thor, Science!

Are you female, over 14, and in grades 9-12 (or know someone who is)? Do you love science? Are you interested in talking to women involved in STEM—that’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—fields?

If so, you should probably enter this awesome contest coming at you from Marvel.

[Details on the contest!]

Fri
Sep 27 2013 2:00pm
Excerpt

Is There a Correlation Between Banning Books and Bad Science?

Kevin C. Pyle and Scott Cunningham

Bad For You Kevin C. Pyle Scott Cunningham scientific method

In Bad For You, coming on January 7th from Henry Holt, authors Kevin C. Pyle and Scott Cunningham expose the long-standing campaign against fun for what it really is: a bunch of anxious adults grasping at straws, ignoring scientific data, and blindly yearning for the good old days that never were.

Today we’re featuring a section focused on how ignoring the scientific method produced the wayward assumptions that characterize Fredric Wertham’s anti-comics book Seduction of the Innocent, and how that ignorance propels arguments for banning books. (See this map of comic burnings across the U.S. in the 20th century.)

But is there really a correlation between scientific education and supression of literature? Authors Kevin C. Pyle and Scott Cunningham cover that concept, too!

[The scientific method and the supression of literature]

Thu
Sep 26 2013 2:45pm

MIT and Harvard Just Made a Real Lightsaber. So That’s Done.

real lightsabers photonic molecules Harvard-MIT

Cross another dream off the bucket list, because the Harvard-MIT Center for Ultracold Atoms just created a new form of matter that could potentially be used to create real lightsabers. (They report no progress on The Hoverboard Initiative, however, and the clock is ticking...)

Scientists at the lab are reporting that they’ve successfully managed to get two photons to interact with each other and form a “photonic molecule” that acts as if it has mass but maintains the properties of light. Photons as a rule contain no mass and don’t interact with each other, which is why two beams of light pass right through each other. Lightsabers aside, the creation of a “photonic molecule” is actually a Pretty Big Deal.

[The science behind these lightsaber molecules.]

Thu
Sep 5 2013 9:00am

The Celery Stalks at Midnight: Scientific American asks “Are Engineered Foods Evil?”

To GM or not to GM? The genetically modified (GM) argument has been raging for decades, though recently it has gained more mainstream attention as advances in science and the increased clout of biotechnology corporations such as Monsanto and BASF make more bioengineered foods a reality. In the September issue of Scientific American, David H. Freedman, author of Wrong, takes a look at both sides of the GM debate.

[Feed me, see more]

Wed
Sep 4 2013 5:05pm

Bill Nye Will Look Like This on Dancing With the Stars—Everything is Beautiful

Bill Nye the Science Guy, Dancing With the StarsWe are so excited that Bill Nye is going to be on Dancing With the Stars because, seriously, how have they gone this long without properly representing SCIENCE?

And now we’re more excited because of this picture. Because if you’re gonna dance, you gotta do it with some style, and da-yum, the Science Guy looks so dapper it hurts.

Bill? To paraphrase and a beloved brute squad member—we hope you win.

Fri
Aug 23 2013 8:00am

Just Your Friendly Neighborhood Morning Roundup

Liam Brazier is a London-based illustrator and animator who works in a gorgeous style—we’re calling it stained-glass-Deco-Futurism. You can check out his animations on his blog, and stop over at Society 6 to see more superheroes (our other favorite being his rendition of Logan putting his adamantium to good use.) We approve of any artist who names Star Wars as his initial inspiration, and if we might humbly suggest a new subject, how about Jean Grey Descending a Staircase?

Today’s Morning Roundup invites you to join in a discussion about the word “geek,” offers some news about Doctor Who and Hayao Miyazaki, and would like to humbly request that science continue being a thing that happens. Read on, by all means.

[Plus some minifigs confront a LEGO-dragon!]