Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I didn't want to talk about this...

But I gotta talk about this. I have a problem. My problem is with the term science fiction.
An article came out on io9 today talking about how Battlestar Galactica should not be called science fiction, rather social fiction. The key reason being that it was really about society, as opposed to science.
Excuse me , but WHAT THE FUCK.
This is the problem I have with the term science fiction. It is such a loaded and subjective term.

To be honest I couldn't give a fuck whether BSG is science, social, or speculative fiction. The problem I have is that people seem to think that science fiction deals with science.

Here's what I'm thinking. Science fiction doesn't often have much to do with science.

If things termed "science fiction" really had to do with science, Star Wars would be called Spiritual Fiction. there's no science in Star Wars.
There, I said it.
There's no science in Star Wars. If you took away the ships and alien worlds, you'd have a war movie that's about people coming to terms with their family, and their spirituality. Let it sink in a minute before you throw up.

BSG? The original was a riff on Exodus. The current version? Yeah, I'd call it "societal fiction" if we're holding it up to the standards in question.
Buck Rogers? Nothing to do with science. It's just an imaginative setting to do a story about alienation within one's own world.
Blade Runner? very little to do with science. More a morality play about staring into the abyss. One could even argue that it is reactionary to the exploratory nature of science.
Jurassic Park? Science? Oh, barely. More an ethical dilemma regarding technology than science by far.
2001: a Space Odyssey? A little science, but really, come on. It's yet another morality play about the dangers of science
Alien/Aliens/More Aliens? It's a fucking bug hunt.
Terminator? Please. So rife with paradox, science implodes on contact with Terminator plotlines.

So what about Star Trek? Arguably the most "science-y" science fiction series in popular history?
Backdrop. One big fucking backdrop. There's very little science to speak of. Star Trek capitalizes on scientific notions to be sure, but employing scientific rationale within the stories? How often is it logic, deductive reasoning, or experimentation that solves the problems in Star Trek? Someone please make a list of the star trek episodes where science either saves the day, or comes out on top? If that were the case, wouldn't Spock be the main protagonist of Star Trek? And Data, for TNG?
One could argue that every time someone re-routes the sub-space manifold to send the ionic waves back towards the mysterious power source, thus sealing the rift in the space time continuum, and rescue the stranded crew, science is being employed. But is that science being employed, or merely technology?
Honestly, if you set that same story in present day, it's pretty much a matter of someone giving traditional tools alternative functions. Thinking outside the box, I guess. I suppose one could call that scientific. I guess. Maybe. Possibly.

So you might be wondering just what does ol' GP consider science fiction? What is canon to him?
You really want to know?
I'm not thrilled about saying this, but to me, Contact is one of the closest approximations of Science Fiction film I can think of. Let's do a quick examination of the story. A scientist, along with some other scientists discover a signal. the signal is determined to actually be information in the form of schematics. These scientists build the machine the schematics describe, and test it out. the first test fails, due to human error. the second test is apparently a success and the scientist conducting the experiment is thrilled, but upon conclusion of the experiment, there is no proof, and thus the scientist is labeled a nutjob by her peers. However, in the very end, it appears they may be some empirical evidence after all.
Please understand that I love what we all call "science fiction". I just would like what I say to mean what I'm thinking of when I say it.
I don't have an answer to my question. I'm not trying to one up anything here. I wish I had solution to my problem, but Unrealistic Setting Fiction and Improbable Technology Fiction both sound like ass.

Please argue, discuss, list your ideas of what you believe true "Science Fiction" to be.

p.s.- I wanted to say something about Dune, but I was too tired to try and summarize it.

My parents are awesome.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Eventually he will learn to post it on POT as well, but here is the

Originally uploaded by beeeye

cover from beeeye. I know this one has a personal resonance for Mister Pony as he thought he actually was Doctor Strange for a year and a half after college.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Hey, while we're at it...

Anyone be interested in doing covers of Vintage Paperbacks??
I just think some of these covers scream for a tribute.

here's another pool of book cover images, these are specifically sci-fi.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Shrift: Lost In a Moment

There's been a bunch of posts on the web of late with people putting their cameras on sushi conveyor belts. As far as I can see, this here is the first. Wheatley was later working on Lost in a Moment by Shrift (whom I adore), and put the two together:

lost in a moment from dennis wheatley on Vimeo.


Originally uploaded by beeeye

Yet another epic cover from Beeeye. Can we get this guy a seat on POT, Pony?

Hulk aaaarghhh!

Everything make hulk angry!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Fire breathing robot horse!

It breathes fire!. There's also a really pissy fancy-looking one and some little ones.

BSG meets the U.N.

Ronald D. Moore, Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell and David Eick gathered to discuss the direct correlation between Battlestar Galactica and the present day work at the United Nations. Whoopi "Guinan" Goldberg moderated the entire panel...

At one point the discussion lit a fire under the Admiral, and the talk of human rights turned personal for Edward James Olmos. The "Old Man" launched into a passionate speech about casting off the idea of race as a cultural determinant, and said we were one race, the human race. His voice echoed throughout the chamber growing louder until - I kid you not - he was yelling, "So Say We All," and the crowd answered right back.

Via io9

Mortality, now compatible with Mac or PC!

I was originally going to post something a bit more upbeat/funny today, but last night a weird sort of "tragedy" occurred. One of my first "friends" from Flickr.com committed virtual suicide, removing his photostream and taking off his profile, thus removing himself from the 'Stream. He also removed his Facebook profile, (which though I understand the desire to do so,) both shocked and saddened me. In the hours since, he decided to leave his photostream, so atleast people can still look at his awesome LEGO creations, but the whole effect is definitely jarring. Even more so, being that he manifested to return his images to the 'Stream, but ceased to be an active participant.

Whatever the reasons in real life that compelled him to do so, I hope he is well and that perhaps I'll see him be active again.

Recently I read about companies that are starting up that notify online friends when someone dies in real life. In the event of a sudden death, it's fair to assume that people may be left in the dark regarding their online friend's situation.
I guess in the case of our society, where online culture is grown beyond infancy to a point where people are now living part of their entire life online, this is becoming an issue. I have personally witnessed an online ""funeral", or celebration of the deceased, and I have also witnessed virtual deaths like I did last night, where someone basically erases their online existence. In my case, being part of the Flickr community, and part of a ten million+ population online gaming community, it's not unexpected for these events to occur.
A lot of the time, the avatars remain, whereas the gamer moves on, suspending their account while they do whatever else it is that they do.

I was (maybe making the mistake of) discussing this event with Mrs. Panic, who is outwardly disturbed by the idea of an online community, (despite the fact that her husband has been participating in such communities for four+ years now). She was so disturbed by the idea of people capitalizing on real life death in the online gaming world, that she had to walk away saying "Lalalala I can't hear you It's a game! I hate this crap! It's all beeps and whistles to me!" While I thought her reaction charming in its Luddite fervor, I had to note the gravity of the weirdness. My dad is terrified of the culture of technology becoming so out of touch with real life society (or as China Mieville refers to it; "The Quick"), that trends such as the online death notification companies are just the tip of the iceberg. I myself am fascinated by the whole culture on online-ness. I love watching documentaries about chinese gold farms, and reading articles about advances in law due to events in the gaming community. I haven't done all that much online living myself, but what I have experienced has definitely been life changing, and has made me aware of some parts of my personality I wasn't too excited to discover. For instance, I do subscribe to the concept of online addiction, and can claim to have been addicted to a game. Game culture has also changed my personality in several small but noticeable ways, such as speech patterns and levels of attention and patience.

I don't really know why it is I'm bringing this up with you all here at POT. Your thoughts/opinions, I guess. I know that for some of us here (me, Fugu, Litcube?, ) Online personas are more than just our Pieces of Thingscodenames, and taken somewhat seriously, but I'd be interested to know what others think about this? I know Mister Pony treats his online persona as something of a character in and of itself. that is interesting to me, as while my experience was not quite as disconnected, I often wished it could have been.

I'd like to see what you all think about the idea of online persona, and its ramifications in the "real world". There's either a lot here to discuss, or possibly nothing. I throw myself at the mercy of the court.

Marvel MMO

One Redditor's concept of a Marvel MMO. Via F.o.P.o.T. John Rover.

Vending Machine Sign

Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre, 3 Jan 2009.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Disney Patterns

As loath as I am to post directly from the Curated Internet, there's this, and it's a little mind-blowing:


Originally uploaded by beeeye

Another awesome cover by beeeye! Enjoy!

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Here's a little flash game--good in that it will only take up 15 minutes or so of your time instead of 15 hours.

Social media

This Facebook status update from one of my old junior high school friends captures a major part of the craze for Twitter posts and Facebook status updates:

"twitter is the new karaoke, in love with the sound of one's own voice. excuse me while I fascinate myself."

And this, from a college classmate, has to be one of the most unintentionally hilarious updates I've seen so far:

"X.Y. is going to her monthly 'eyelash extention' appointment, then to her pelvis excercise class tonight followed by a light dinner at home."

Think of all the things we're learning about people that we otherwise would probably never know.

See what you're missing, Fugu. You obviously need to sign up now.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Akira 1

As I'm not much of a drawrer:


Originally uploaded by beeeye

Friend of Galspanic, Beeeye (boyfriend of Riye Izumi for those in the know) posts his cover of Avengers # 83 on his flickr stream.
I think it quite dandy, and compels me to continue slowly finishing my covers.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hospital Sign

Please Do Not Take Toilet Paper out The Toilet for your Home use it's not nice? Thank You
Guy's Hospital, 19 Feb 2009.

The Jesus cheeto!

SNL + Hawaii --> ... oh my

A "Saturday Night Live" skit depicting a fictitious hotel on Kaua'i while mocking the visitor industry has incited the ire of Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona Jr. and tourism officials, who claim the piece is offensive and crosses the line at a critical time for the state's biggest industry...

When describing where he lives to a table of tourists: "Want to come visit? It's really easy to get to. Just drive through the shantytown, make a right at the meth lab, and you'll see a 15-year-old girl who got pregnant by an out-of-town businessman, then ask for her brother. That's me."

Visitor industry officials said the skit is tasteless and offensive, coming at a time when Hawai'i's tourism industry is suffering from declining arrivals.


Fuge, check.
Not a Rickroll I swear.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Daredevil #163 POV

Mr. Pony said:
Oh, new idea: Famous covers, from the point of view of someone depicted on that cover.

Daredevil 163- Frank MillerDaredevil 163- Ruby Tenneco (POV)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Ghost Rider #48

Ghostrider #48 by Bob McLeodGhostrider #48 by Ruby Tenneco

This is the one of the first comics I can remember reading. It scared the h--- out of me!

Thursday, March 5, 2009



Breaking the 4th wall

Was just reading this Spiderman comic (part of the Civil War series), and I noticed this page. I have a question for you dudes.
Firstly, read the page. Click on it to get the full size.
Seriously, do that first.
Is the author breaking the 4th wall? Is he addressing a complaint of a reader of a previous issue where there was a continuity error with MJs arm, and doing to directly to the readership? Like, look at the 4th panel. It's as though Parker and Stark are looking at the audience/readership, going "Was that fucking satisfactory asshole?" I have no other explanation for the 4th panel.

I am sorry I am analyzing comics in this detail.
This is the first comic I've read in many many years, and I'm only reading it to for the civil war series (start to finish). If my interpretation is right, how often does this sort of thing happen. Also, there are other continuity errors so far.

Bollywood Kung Fu

Does anyone remember the name of that Kung Fu movie with the blind guy who decapitated everyone with that thing on a chain? They stole that idea for this movie but used a hat instead. I can't find a clip of the scene so am sharing this instead.

Also, this is sort of funny and this too.

Scott Pilgrim Movie

Just read about this yesterday. I believe some of yous are fans of this book? Maybe old news, but cast here.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I'm shocked this wasn't posted yet.

The Next Generation episode 8 - "Fine Art"

Via the Curated Internet. The laughs are totally cheap, but also plentiful. Episode 1 here.

The Pantalaine All-Handmade Couch Dress

The Pantalaine All-Handmade Couch Dress

  • Pantalaine will customize this item to fit you and any loveseat or sofa in your home
  • Two flower Broaches included with each dress - choose from many of our popular designs
  • New dress styles on the floor each season - come visit our store and see for yourself

Galspanic wonders aloud...

"If you were going to write a science fiction novel, what would you have it be about?"

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Bong cat. Or maybe cat bong?

Neb. man who put cat in bong says it calmed cat

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska man says he stuffed his girlfriend's cat into a makeshift bong and filled it with marijuana smoke because he was trying to calm the cat down and it seemed to work previously.
Schomaker says he put the cat in the bong three times over the last week and it made the cat "act like a stoned person."

Monday, March 2, 2009


I watch it for the music. 


Mini asteroid passing right the frick over Hawaii!*

Asteroid passing over Hawaii

From this article in Sky and Telescope about 2009 DD45, a mini asteroid that's passing between our Earth and its Moon:
...the point of closest approach occurs over the Pacific somewhere west of Tahiti, so the most likely viewers are in Australia, Japan, and maybe Hawaii.
It turns out to be happening basically right now (3:44 AM Hawaii time). So if anyone's up, run outside and look for an amazing spectacle*.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Next battle in religion wars?

Could the obsessively religious start attacking science for studying the brain? Orignal article here, though I haven't read it.

Most religions endorse the idea of a soul (or spirit) that is distinct from the physical body. Yet as neuroscience advances, it increasingly seems that all aspects of a person can be explained by the functioning of a material system...as neuroscience begins to reveal the mechanisms underlying personality, love, morality, and spirituality, the idea of a ghost in the machine becomes strained.
Brain imaging indicates that all of these traits have physical correlates in brain function. Furthermore, pharmacologic influences on these traits, as well as the effects of localized stimulation or damage, demonstrate that the brain processes in question are not mere correlates but are the physical bases of these central aspects of our personhood. If these aspects of the person are all features of the machine, why have a ghost at all?

By raising questions like this, it seems likely that neuroscience will pose a far more fundamental challenge than evolutionary biology to many religions. Predictably, then, some theologians and even neuroscientists are resisting the implications of modern cognitive and affective neuroscience.