Free ebooks through this weekend (so download your copy now!):
- Weirdfictionreview.com E-Book Freebie: The Kosher Guide to Imaginary Animals | Ann and Jeff VanderMeer | Weird Fiction Review
- Jason Sanford: Free ebook edition of InterGalactic Medicine Show Awards Anthology, Volume I
- The Four-Leaf Clover Gene? - Forbes
With some simple genetic engineering we could all have lucky four-leaf clovers.
- The Neuroscience of Your Brain On Fiction (New York Times)
"The brain, it seems, does not make much of a distinction between reading about an experience and encountering it in real life; in each case, the same neurological regions are stimulated."
So science fiction lets you experience alien worlds without leaving your armchair!
- Watching Harry Potter films enhances creativity in children
Science Daily reports on a study showing that children appear to be more creative after watching a Harry Potter film:
“Magical thinking enables children to create fantastic imaginary worlds, and in this way enhances children’s capacity to view the world and act upon it from multiple perspectives. The results suggested that books and videos about magic might serve to expand children’s imagination and help them to think more creatively.”
- Neuroscience, Fantastika and Cliché: A Few Musings on the Effects of Reading Fiction - SF Signal – A Speculative Fiction Blog
- Babylon 5: Watch Full Episodes on TheWB.com
This is awesome. My only hesitation to watching the old episodes is that I'm afraid they' won't be as entertaining as I remember them.
- Cloning the mentat | Gene Expression | Discover Magazine
Should John von Neumann be the first human cloned?
- Astronauts’ Eyeballs Are Deformed by Long Missions in Space
Perhaps a manned mission to Mars will have to include eyeglasses with it's gear.
- How to grow a biological city of the future (io9)
From io9: A review of Rachel Armstrong's "Living Architecture". Imagine "a future where cities aren't built, but instead grown like plants or baked like bread."
- Picturing Spring: An Equinox Celebration | Tor.com
A fantastic collection of spring paintings, from Botticelli to Miyazaki.
- Spiderman May Not Be a Tarantula After All
From +WIRED: Arachnid specialists disagree on whether tarantulas climb using silk from their feet or another mechanism.
- China Miéville and Monsters: “Unsatisfy me, frustrate me, I beg you.” | Jeff VanderMeer | Weird Fiction Review
An interview with China Mieville on monsters and meaning:
"I think, for example, that when Margaret Atwood invents the “pigoons” for Oryx & Crake, part of the problem with them for me is I think they are primarily a vehicle for considering genetic manipulation, and only distantly secondarily scary pig monsters. I think plenty of monsters get hobbled by their “meaning”."
- Alien Civilizations, Asteroids, and the Fermi Paradox | EDWARD LU
- Alien civilizations in our galaxy may have been destroyed by asteroids, argues +Edward Lu. Could Earth be next?
- Prehistoric proteins: Raising the dead : Nature News & Comment
From the article:
"Thornton is a leader in a movement to do for proteins what the scientists in Jurassic Park did for dinosaurs: bring ancient forms back to life, so that they can be studied in the flesh. “Instead of passively observing things as most evolutionary biologists do, you actively go in and test the hypotheses experimentally,” says Antony Dean, a molecular biologist at the University of Minnesota in St Paul who heads another major group in the field. “His is one of the leading labs, no doubt.”"
- SETI Wants Your Help to Find Aliens | IdeaFeed | Big Think
"New croudsourcing software can be downloaded at setilive.org and used by civilian-scientists who want to help SETI scientists fine-tune algorithms that search for patterns in noise recorded from space."
- Time for a reality check on the technologies of 'The Hunger Games'
Is the genetic engineering and cross-species mashups depicted in the Hunger Games scientifically realistic?
- Evolution Under a Temperamental Sun
The retinal pigments that give us night vision may be an "evolutionary fossil" of microbial life that thrived under the dimmer sun that warmed the Earth 4 billion years ago.
- Do Zombies Poop? An Investigation
The most in-depth analysis I've seen of the zombie digestive system. Maybe more than you want to know.
- Small Rewards: Tiny Frogs and Chameleons Find and Fill a Niche
What controls the evolution of body size?
- Mars for the 'average person' (BBC)
Half a million dollars for a ticket and no amenities when you arrive..,
- ‘Bird Man’ Hoaxster Comes Clean on Dutch Television (Wired)
Floris Kaayk's birdman video was science fiction, rather than reality
- Neuroskeptic: Brain Scanning - Just the Tip of the Iceberg?
You are probably using more of your brain than brain scans may indicate:
"So conventional fMRI experiments may just be showing us the tip of the iceberg of brain activity. In a small study, only the strongest activations pass the statistical threshold to show up as blobs, but that doesn't mean the rest of the brain is inactive. It just means it's less active. The idea that only small parts of the brain are 'involved' in any particular task may be a statistical artefact."
- Meet The Global Winners & Watch Their ZERO-G Flight!
The teenaged winners of the YouTube Spacelab contest have a blast experiencing zero G
- CultureLab: Joe Davis: The mad scientist of MIT? (New Scientist)
Are Joe Davis's biological creations art? science? or something else?
"Apart from art bordering on the perverse, Davis has invented a bacterially-grown radio and a frog-leg powered airplane. He developed supercode, a silent or bio-chemically inert genetic code to embed Greek poetry into the DNA of white-eyed flies and the image of the Milky Way into the ear of a mouse."
- Dung fungus reveal that humans, not climate change, killed Australia’s giant beasts | Not Exactly Rocket Science | Discover Magazine
- Aliens on Planet With Two Suns Need Rhythm : Discovery News
If live evolved under the light of two stars, how would it differ from life on Earth?"Given the awesome power of biological evolution, it's likely life would easily evolve to cope with living with a second star. There may be planet-wide migrations with anticipation of the approaching "super-summer." And there would be a variety of other novel coping mechanisms."
Biology in Science Fiction
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