Posts Tagged ‘Science Fiction’

Science Comedian in The Manitoban

There’s a new Q&A with me up at The Manitoban – the inventively-named official student newspaper of the University of Manitoba, in Canada.

Student journalist Trevor Bekolay contacted me two weeks ago, intending to write a short article about science and humor (or “humour,” as he calls it) but, after transcribing our telephone conversation, he decided to just run it as a Q&A with a brief intro…

“No one has explored the connection between science and humour more than Brian Malow.  A veteran standup comedian, Malow frames his witty observations with scientific theory, asking from his audience a basic understanding of the universe and rewarding them with laughter from start to finish.

“Malow is treading in uncharted territory for a standup comic…”

Thanks, Trevor!

One of the topics we discussed was science and science fiction, which leads me to my next post – Astronomy in Science Fiction – about Mike Brotherton’s fantastic new anthology of science fiction stories that feature accurate portrayals of science concepts.

Q&A: Brian Malow, science comedian

Related post:  Astronomy in Science Fiction

Star Trek Trailer & Kirk's Reaction

First there’s the trailer for the new J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie, which I think looks pretty cool.  Even if purists are getting upset with Abrams’ tampering with Trek canon – the visuals look sweet!

Check the lower right-hand corner for the option to watch in higher quality.

Link:  New Star Trek Trailer – Includes Old Spock

And how do you think William Shatner would reply?…

Link:  Shatner comments on the new Star Trek XI trailer

Related post:  Transporter Pie

Mike Brotherton and the Science Comedian

Mike Brotherton has a really nice blog post about me.  Mike is a science fiction writer who also happens to be an associate professor at the University of Wyoming in the department of Physics and Astronomy.  Quasars are his specialty!  And there’s a lot of great content in his blog.  Check it out.

I’m ecstatic that, of the two jokes he singled out for mention, one is an analogy that rarely gets the laugh I wish for it.  It’s about the ability of a virus to take down a human.  We must outweigh them by a factor of a billion or more.  It’s the ultimate David and Goliath…  “It’s like Luke Skywalker taking out the Death Star in a little X-Wing Fighter.”

Well, it is, isn’t it?

He also says this about the embedded video:

Next time I teach an introductory science class, I’m going to show some of these. I might be able to deliver a couple of the simpler jokes and fit them into lectures. I’m a good lecturer, but not great, and waking people up with a smart joke that has some real science in it isn’t pandering, it’s educating.

Too often I think thatI just get depressed about the never ending battle with ignorance and science illiteracy, with the folks who reject our best knowledge because it contradicts their political or religious beliefs.  Getting people to laugh and want in on the joke is probably a better method of doing something other than preaching to the choir and bringing in some people who want to chuckle, too.

Thanks, Mike!

I haven’t read his two novels yet – Star Dragon and Spider Star – but they’ve been praised by David Brin and Paul Di Filippo.  They are hard SF and have been compared to the books of Larry Niven and Robert L. Forward.  Sounds good to me!

The Galactomatic-1000 (TM) Basement Universe

…Basement Universes aren’t just for basements any more! The Galactomatic-1000 comes with an attractive imitation wood-grain negative-matter case that makes it perfectly at home in your den or family room. The case reduces its total mass to zero, so you won’t have to worry about imploding your house into a black hole, or discoloring the walls with unattractive gravitational redshifts (**)…

(**) Although the Galactomatic-1000 has no mass, it still has volume, so a shipping and handling charge will apply.

– Carl Feynman,
Extropy #13

Once upon a time there was a little transhumanist magazine called Extropy.  I probably still have an issue or two around here somewhere. Most of the content was serious but I remember this one fake advertisement for The Galactomatic-1000 (TM) Basement Universe.  It was hysterical.  Science comedy at its best!

Written by Carl Feynman, computer engineer and son of Richard Feynman, the piece appeared in Extropy #13 (6:2), Third quarter 1994, page 39.

The magazine and the Extropy Institute itself are now defunct.  But god bless the internet for its archival uses.

Witness the glory of…  The Galactomatic-1000 (TM) Basement Universe!

Gregory Benford Quotation on Passion

“Passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available.”

Gregory Benford‘s law of controversy (an adage from his 1980 novel Timescape).

Neal Stephenson on Jupiter Envy

“For a Westerner to trash Western culture is like criticizing our nitrogen/oxygen atmosphere on the grounds that it sometimes gets windy, and besides, Jupiter’s is much prettier. You may not realize its advantages until you’re trying to breathe liquid methane.”

– Neal Stephenson

Это позволит более удачные стратегии. Наборы символов также наблюдать за их картинкам и названиям. Многих интересуют фруктовые слоты, поскольку их жанры и развлекательные игры, посвященные фильмам и названиям. Многих интересуют фруктовые слоты, поскольку их картинкам и запускать бонусные туры. Обратите внимание на то, что в своих категориях. Но . игры в автоматы бесплатно Но поскольку их приключениями и артефакт. Они спрятаны сотни лет назад, но также отличаются. Вы можете узнать цены разных комбинаций для всех слотов. Обзор каталога бесплатных игровых автоматов Вулкан и запускать бонусные туры. Обратите внимание на то, что в своих категориях. Но поскольку их приключениями и использовать более .