Ok, so this might not be a science fiction article per se, but it's definitely an interesting prose on the creative dilemmas the modern fiction writer faces. When our methods of social connection and communication alter in the ways it has over the past few years, do all of the good writin' tricks become null and void?


Check out the article here!




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Starbuck by `diablo2003 on deviantART

Artist's Comments
I'm attending the Star Wars Fan Days this weekend October 20-21( [link] ) as a guest artist and I wanted to do something for the show. There's a lot of artwork out there most as posters, lithographs or prints so I wanted to do something different. While watching The original Star wars I realized that talk of money is thrown around quite a lot but you never actually see it (other than Han flipping the bartender a coin after shooting Greedo). I thought it would be cool to design a piece of Imperial currency as I saw it. I designed it mostly after American money but used some European influences as well. Hope you dig!

-Mark

Myspace: myspace.com/markbrooksart

Star Wars and all characters are copyright Lucasfilm



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Image from the new Star Trek movie




Distribution credit to Dan Portnoy



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Happy 22nd Pi-Day! (0)

1:31 PM by , under ,

For more information on Pi Day, visit the official Pi Day Website.

For more entertainment on π Day, click here!

Originally posted on the Read Write Lab:

Today is Pi Day; the day the first three digits of Pi, 3.14, match the calendar date, March 14, and this year it's official according to Congress, which last week voted 391-10 to designate today as National Pi Day in an attempt to raise the profile of science and math in education.

The first Pi Day celebrations were held at the San Francisco Exploratorium when the now retired Larry Shaw decided the day was worth commemorating. Since then, the annual geek celebration has grown and is now held across the United States at universities, museums and even some folks' homes.

So what is Pi?

It's a mathematical constant representing the ratio of any circle's circumference to its diameter. It's also an irrational number, with an infinite number of decimal places and can't be written as a ratio of two whole numbers. According to Physics Central, supercomputers have been able to compute Pi out to over 1.3 trillion decimal places without seeing a pattern emerge.

dinasaur_pi_mar_09.jpg

Image Credit: Qwantz

For the hardcore, the Joy of Pi has listed the first ten thousand digits for you to peruse, or if you're particularly keen, why not try to take the crown from Japan's Akari Haraguchi, the current record holder for being able to recite the first 100,000 digits of Pi from memory.

An interesting coincidence; today also happens to be Albert Einstein's birthday.



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Danica:

So Kepler-


Melanie:

Who's Kepler?

Danica:

Well, he's a... ok, no, I'm
talking about
the satellite.
You know the one they
launch-
ed yesterday that's supposed
to
head toward the sun?

Matt:
Yea, so that it can orbit
the sun and
take pictures
of the other side and
get
more complete images of
the universe.


Melanie:

So we can see the stuff
on other side of the sun?

Can't we do that... like,
once year? Every year?


Matt & Danica:
Oh yea...



And so I set out to find a sufficient response to Melanie's query. For those of you living under a rock (or in the process of indoctrination to all things nerdy - particularly the particulars of all things outer space), the Kepler Mission launched last Friday, March 6th, sending a powerful telescope able to "detect the dimming of a porch light as somebody passes in front" on Earth from its position trailing the planet.

"Kepler is a critical component in NASA's broader efforts to ultimately find and study planets where Earth-like conditions may be present," said Jon Morse, the Astrophysics Division director at NASA Headquarters in Washington.1

What makes Kepler so different from other telescopes we have floating in space (i.e. the Hubble)? The Kepler mission is not designed to gather broad data regarding the construction of our universe or even the details on what is within our own solar system. It is for the specific purpose of taking a census of the stars within our scope of viewing in order to determine whether or not habitable planets are a frequent occurrence in our universe.

The Kepler "telescope" is actually an instrument called a photometer. The ability to see someone walk in front of a porch light is mundane compared to the minuscule light differentiations the Kepler photometer is capable of detecting. The Kepler watches one area of space populated by a hundred thousand stars or so for a period of time; it is watching for the very slight decrease in the intensity of light from stars similar to our own Sun. This would indicate the passing of a planet in front of its star.

Finding stars similar to our own is the first step in finding planets similar to our own. The next, not possible with the Kepler, is finding orbiting bodies attached to those stars. When those planets are found, NASA will then need to determine the position of the planets relative to their stars to find out if they occupy the "Habitable Zone." If they do, they also need to support an atmosphere, have an iron core to create a magnetosphere, show signs of liquid water to facilitate carbon based life, and have a moon to stabilize the axis. NASA is not simply looking for a twin to Earth, these are simply prerequisites for habitable planets. It is true that some of these necessities can be bypassed if their purpose is served by other factors, but ultimately, the stipulations for the sustaining of liquid H2O are a difficult combination to achieve (or even speculate).

In the past year, a planet possibly fitting some of the innumerable requirements was found in a three-planet system orbiting Gliese 581.

As per Melanie's query regarding the "unique" orbit of Kepler... I have yet to find an answer. But if you ask me, I think John Morse just wanted to see if a photometer will really catch him walking in front of his porch light.



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Star Trek Cartoon (0)

10:55 PM by , under

Star Trek Characters - by Malachi Ward
(thumbnail below)

Click on the image to see the whole the image



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