Category Archives: Science and Documentaries

The Genesis Of Science Fiction In Films

23 Sep 2011

Most people have no idea how science fiction was started in film. The genre itself is one that has been considered for a long time to be something that the serious filmmaker or those of higher taste could not take seriously. A great example of that is the way the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences treats the genre in general. Although if you really take a look at the history of science fiction. It has shown when a film or series was taking seriously or to precise was given serious thought when made, major contributions to society were made. One obvious example that comes to mind is the Star Trek communicator . Look at our cell phones today especially the flip style cell phone that started in the late 90’s (Motorola’s StarTAC, created in 1996) or the iPads, flat screen TV’s etc…. You think that any other of those genres could entice or stimulate the imaginations of so many to come up with such devices. To me that in itself puts this genre ahead of any other. That is why it was fascinating for me to go back to the grass roots of the industry to see where it all began and take a look at the first 20 odd years that these films were made.

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A design that has 2001 Space Odyssey and Star Trek in mind

16 Sep 2011

Atlanta's a13 an interior design and architecture firm designed a futuristic office space for marketing agency the SuperGroup that is straight out of 2001 A Space Odyssey and Star Trek. The main corridor is based on the corridor from Space Odyssey that include the famous monolith at the end of it. Of Course this one has the SuperGroups logo on it. The doors to conference rooms were based of the door designs from Star Trek. The furniture is clearly a future based concept that slants towards the office shown in Space Odyssey among other Sci Fi renditions of futuristic societies. Clearly the design is meant to stimulate imagination , creativity and to give inspiration to think of the box a bit. So much better then the drab office cubicles of most office spaces. I would love just once to visit there just to experience first hand something like that or have employment in a building that has those working conditions.

Photos and source from core77

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NASA new images of landing areas for Apollo

07 Sep 2011

The Apollo missions were a moment in history that caused our imaginations and creativity to burst forth and show the positive side of humanity. It gave rise to many dreams and spurred on creative juices that gave us new toys (technology) that we use every day like the cell phone , iPads , computers etc..... And in many ways gave us a sense of the skys were not the limit that we as humans could do anything when we worked together. And as a nation we proved that we had the right stuff. Many people looked at those missions and wondered . What if ? Are we alone ? How big is the Universe really ? How limited is our knowledge of life and beyond ? Some of those that asked those questions and more became scientist, some became philosophers, and others used those questions to fill the pages of books and create films of wonder.
40 years later after those historic missions were revisited when the NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) took snapshots that were the sharpest images yet of the Apollo 12, 14 and 17 landing sites. Captured are foot prints in the moon soil left behind from Astronauts , vehicles , and scientific experiments that were left behind. Since there is no wind on the surface of the moon the imprints are just as they were when they were when the Astronauts stepped on the lunar surface. Makes you wish that they had continued with the moon missions and had set up bases there instead of these low orbit missions. All be it they are as important to further the understanding of how life in space for humanity can be sustained. The thrill of the final frontier should of always be part of the human experience .
If you go to NASA web page of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter / NASA Spacecraft Images Offer Sharper Views of Apollo Landing Sites there is some pretty cool photos along with a interactive image swipe that lets you compare images taken from 2009 of the same area to the ones just recently taken. You can see the difference in resolution and in the detail. As mentioned in the article the pictures do not exactly line up because of lighting and position but are close enough to get the point across. Look at the screen shot below to for an example. On the left of the dividing line you can see the LRO images compared with the right side which are impressive but not as clear as the LRO's. A good example are the moon buggy tracks . You can see them foggy but the screen shot bellow that one with the split view shows the full clarity of the images taken.

"The new low-altitude Narrow Angle Camera images sharpen our view of the moon's surface," said Arizona State University researcher Mark Robinson, principal investigator for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC). "A great example is the sharpness of the rover tracks at the Apollo 17 site. In previous images the rover tracks were visible, but now they are sharp parallel lines on the surface."

Here is a short video that is on youtube of the images captured by the LRO.

I echo the sentiment of Jim Green, director of the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington when he said "These images remind us of our fantastic Apollo history and beckon us to continue to move forward in exploration of our solar system. " I really hope that this renews our interest in space and that it becomes once again more then the imaginations that are caught on film or in the pages of a book . I hope it does become fact .

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Star Trek Live at Kennedy Space Center

13 Apr 2010

Coming in June to NASA's Kennedy Space Center from Mad Science Productions is a show that is out of this world. Star Trek Live will be an interactive live show that will thrill audience and dazzle them with superb effects.

Audience members join Starfleet Academy only to be unexpectedly whisked into an adventure steeped in the grand tradition of Star Trek. STAR TREK LIVE combines cutting-edge special effects, unmatched audience interaction, cool science and on-screen appearances from Captain Kirk and Spock themselves to create an exhilarating and unforgettable theatrical experience.

Eager to learn from Starfleet's best and brightest, our cadets assemble, anxious to prepare for their first day at the Academy. As we are introduced to the Academy, the Earth itself comes under attack from a renegade Romulan, leaving the fate of the future itself in the hands of our cadets. Our cadets will have to quickly learn the intricacies of living and working in space, modern space travel and the latest in communication and technology as they draw on the achievements of science in the 21st century. It will require all our knowledge, ingenuity, logic and an exploration of science to discover what is happening and how to set things right before it's too late!

Official Announcement

STAR TREK LIVE BLASTS OFF AT KENNEDY SPACE CENTER THIS SUMMER CBS Consumer Products and Mad Science Productions Will Debut an Interactive Live Stage Show Based on Iconic Sci-Fi Franchise at Center of America's Space Program
NEW YORK - April 12, 2010 - STAR TREK LIVE, a new interactive stage show from CBS Consumer Products and Mad Science Productions, will make its worldwide debut at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on June 11, 2010.

Based on the popular science-fiction franchise, the show takes audiences on an exhilarating 30-minute journey offering an unforgettable live theatrical experience for fans of all ages. The show combines fun special effects, audience interaction and an exploration of real space-age technology.

Produced by Mad Science Productions, under a license from CBS Consumer Products, STAR TREK LIVE introduces a world of discovery by combining science with entertainment to teach and encourage scientific literacy. In the show, the audience portrays new Starfleet cadets assembled for the first day at the Starfleet Academy led by its best and brightest. The new cadets will have to learn quickly the intricacies of living and working in space, modern space travel and the latest in communication and technology.

"STAR TREK LIVE could not have found a better home for its world debut," said Mad Science Productions Managing Director and STAR TREK LIVE Producer Leonard Lipes. "Based on the storyline and the fiction-to-reality show concept, both NASA and the Visitor Complex were clearly our first choice of partners for this co-branding opportunity allowing visitors to follow in the footsteps of Star Trek's iconic characters, to boldly go where no one has gone before."

"The Kennedy Space Center has captured the world's attention and fed its imagination for the farthest reaches of outer space, and for that reason alone we can't think of a better destination to launch STAR TREK LIVE," said Liz Kalodner, Executive Vice President and General Manager of CBS Consumer Products. "This show offers all the excitement, ingenuity and of course, logic, that Star Trek fans have come to expect with an added bonus of learning something along the way."

"Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is a must-see for anyone who has ever been intrigued by space exploration - and Star Trek fans are clearly within that demographic," said Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Chief Operating Officer Bill Moore. "STAR TREK LIVE is a perfect companion to the other family-friendly activities and interactive programs we offer at Kennedy Space Center leaving visitors with a new-found understanding of the history and evolution of the U.S. space program."

Located just 45 minutes east of Orlando, Fla., Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex annually hosts more than 1.5 million guests from around the world. STAR TREK LIVE will be presented five times a day at the facility's 300-seat Astronaut Encounter Theater. The show will be open daily and is included with regular admission to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

Since 1997, Mad Science® Productions has specialized in the development, production, and distribution of spectacular stage shows for theme/amusement parks, performing arts centers and more across North America. With STAR TREK LIVE, Mad Science Productions will continue to engage and attract large family audiences with multi-sensory experiences, interactive audience involvement, and high-quality educational outreach materials.

For more information about the live action show, call Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex at 321-449-4400 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com or www.madscience.org/stageshows.

TM © 2010 CBS Studios Inc. STAR TREK and related marks are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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What sci fi movies are next for 3D

04 Feb 2010

After reading similar articles in SCI FI Wire and Trekmovie.com it became apparent that Avatars 3D production may be in reality the next wave of movie goers entertainment.  The format of having the film in both 3D and 2D seemed to be a huge success. Whether this is a fad or it is something that will be tangible part of the movie experience in the next couple of years only box office sale will tell.  It would be logical to assume that it is here to stay. Especially that big companies like Sony are investing in both 3D TV's and a network just for 3d programming. Also now that movies like  Clash of the Titans and the 2 remaining Harry Potter movies will all have that format as is evident in their press release which I first read in the Sci Fi  Wire article and confirmed when I googled it to see where it led to. And boy were there tons of articles . Just follow that title link below.

WARNER BROS. PICTURES AND LEGENDARY PICTURES TO RELEASE “CLASH OF THE TITANS” IN 3D WORLDWIDE ON APRIL 2, 2010

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