Thursday, December 2, 2010

Third Eye Surveillance

As I know some of us are writing papers on Little Brother, I thought I would share this rather creepy article.

A New York professor installs a camera in the back of his head to take photos 24/7 as a means of expression for an art exhibit. However, the University is making him wear a cover over the lens while he's teaching and on campus to protect the privacy of its students.

I thought it was 1. creepy, and 2. interesting considering the different surveillance issues we've discussed throughout class after reading Little Brother.

The link to the article (with video) is in the title. Enjoy?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A trip through time

Since we are watching Doctor Who I thought this would be the perfect time to share with you all another one of my internet finds. This is an article in which Stephen Hawking describes why, though time travel to the past is likely impossible, we may one day be able to leap into the future. A bit long, but a pretty good read if you don't get scared off by all the physics-talk. And I mean, this is one of the best physicists in the world telling us that time travel is possible. How cool is that?

And as the semester draws to a close, there is one more link I have that you sci-fi fans may be interested in: The world's first cyborg. This little robot is controlled entirely by a rats brain via bluetooth. One step closer to the Naked Brains!

Star Wars versus Star Trek

While browsing reddit, I stumbled upon the image above, which got me to thinking about the various levels of completeness in conceptualization of science fiction worlds. Many, if not all, of the stories that we read for the class had a very firm grasp over the universe that the author was attempting to create. In contrast, many of the more popular elements of science fiction are not as fully realized. Aside from the obvious comparison drawn between Star Wars and Star Trek in the picture, what other competing depictions that exhibit this dichotomy can you think of?

NASA Press Conference

The title link is to a news item about a press conference that NASA is giving tomorrow to talk about new findings in astrobiology. In other words, non-Earth lifeforms. Seems like something that all science-fiction fans should keep their eyes on.

Sin in Boneshaker

As we noted in class, I have moved from Marxist interpretation to Christian interpretation for my next paper. Specifically I am looking at the function of the blight in Boneshaker specifically as an allegory for mortal sin. I appreciated the suggestions in class and if anyone has any additional thoughts, I would like to hear them.

The End is Nigh!

Yes, it's sad but true... the semester is coming to an end. I have to say that I'm going to really miss our weekly meetings. They've been a lot of fun, and I'm really looking forward to our final, Doctor Who-filled session. I'm still hard at work on my paper, as I know most of you are. For this final blog post, I decided to post one last article that I found interesting as I was just messing around on the internet. This one, inspired by the upcoming movie, "Cowboys & Aliens," makes an interesting case that Sci Fi may be this era's Western. There are a few fun points that the author makes, as well as a few things that make Sci Fi better, so it's worth a look if your interested or even just bored, as was the case with me. The link is in the title!
Finally, relating to the Walking Dead, I just wanted to add that I've been reading the graphic novels (I'm currently on the 5th collection of... 13 so far, I think), and they are pretty intense. If you like the show and haven't read them, I highly recommend them. The show has already taken quite a few liberties, and the plot is quickly becoming its own entity, but honestly, I kinda like that, because it allows me to basically enjoy two separate stories as I watch one and read the other.

Alternative energy

Well I think I've got my topic all lined up, just need to write. I'm going to concentrate on Windup Girl and the use of kinetic energy storage, and the utter lack of any other power source. I also want to look at zero-point energy and what it is and would it actually work as described in River of Gods. And just for fun I think I might actually look at how energy is produced in Howard Tayler's Schlock Mercenary, but my main focus is probably going to be the Windup Girl.


Hey, everyone! I hope you all had as good a Thanksgiving as me (I spent much of it at my Gran's house watching the Patriots game all over Detroit). Anyway, when I got back to Tuscaloosa, I decided to clear out a few things from my television "to watch" list, and one of them was Misfits. It's a sci-fi heavy show from England about a group of juvenile offenders who gain powers after being struck by lightning. I will warn that the language is pretty rough, so if swear words offend you, don't watch! I really liked it, and since there are only ~10 episodes, you can knock out the whole series so far in a few days. I linked the trailer in the title.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Final Post?

Seriously guys, why didn't anyone remind me to post something last week? Very disappointed. It's ok, I was in a tryptochoma anyhow. I'm shocked that this semester is nearly finished, and now have to find something to discuss on this blog. Excited about Dr. Who tomorrow, and look forward to finally saying I've seen more than one episode.
For those of you still watching "The Walking Dead" I've attached a link to the title of this blog. The link takes you to an interview with Norman Reedus, the crossbow wielding zombie killer. In the interview he takes a side on the Zombie vs. Vampire debate we discussed earlier. Although he doesn't go into great detail it's still awesome to find someone on the outside debating the same things we do.
Well, my papers about finished, and the Four Lokos is trying to kick in, so it's best I get off here and get back to the paper.

Fear Itself

While writing my paper I have come across a question that I hope you fine folks can help me with. My paper aims to argue that Marcus in Little Brother is actually a terrorist and I have found ample evidence to support this. However, I wonder if you personally would still consider someone a terrorist if their actions were terrorist like in nature, but this was not their original intent.
For example, Marcus only wants to prove that the Department of Homeland Security is flawed and immoral. He attempts to achieve this, however, through a series of pranks that are ultimately more harmful then anticipated. Since very few people are actually aware of his purpose, they become afraid of what is happening and link his actions to terrorism. So his original intent is misunderstood and has unforeseen consequences. Does that mean he should still be considered a terrorist?

Doctor Who-itis

As I'm sure none of you remember, I'm writing on the butterfly effects of time travel as seen in particular episodes of Doctor Who. In preparation for this paper writing I of course had to re-watch these episodes (along with several other episodes)! My fiance is here visiting at the moment and he is a know Who-Hater. It's been troublesome. So I threatened him with sleeping on the couch and he eventually caved and started watching it with me. Now he's hooked! I'm totally glad I got that Netflix subscription and that they stream Doctor Who.

Anyway... the point of this is to let you guys know that Doctor Who-itis is out there and its contagious. Prepare to be infected tomorrow!

Monday, November 29, 2010

The walls closing in

Hey everyone. Sorry its been so long since I last posted. Modern science (you know, things like the internet) are still science fiction in places like my grandmother's house where I spent thanksgiving. But enough of that, on to business:

My paper will be focusing on suffocation and claustrophobia in Boneshaker. I'll be looking at how these features work as plot devices in this story, but one other thing I am potentially interested in doing is comparing these themes across other texts. Andy had suggested "The Yellow Wallpaper" as one other story featuring this sense of suffocation and smothering quite prominently, but I was wondering if anyone else had any other suggestions. I'd also welcome any insights on how you think these things play into Boneshaker itself. I'm sure there are plenty of things I haven't thought of, so please throw them out if you've got them. I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving (despite Bama losing), and best of luck on the papers. Thanks!