Sep 262010
 

I love the results we are starting to get from Exo planet searches. There are planets out there, so far larger than anything we have in our solar system but getting closer all the time.

Now astronomers at NASA Goddard have created a simulation of how our solar system  with video of how our own system might look to alien astronomers looking for planets much like we do.

They show that at least one planet in our solar system shows up by it’s effect on the Kuiper Belt (a belt of dust and small bodies including Pluto beyond Neptune).

Another result of the simulation is that the researchers can take the forming of the belt back in time to see how it looked like when it was only a a few millions of years old. Patterns we already have on records for younger stars appear which I assume tells us something about how planets form and might get us a better model to predict where we can find smaller planets?

Source: Physics Buzz

Feb 192010
 

 There are some great bloggers out there, here are some of them.

io9: Brain-Controlled Devices Work Eerily Well 

Annalee Newitz is writing about how well adapted our brains seems to be wired for computer control. They even grow stronger by it!

Three decades ago, William Gibson’s Neuromancer showed us a future where people “jack into” computers by plugging wires into their brains. Today a new study shows that our brains may be perfectly adapted for Gibson’s world.

It’s almost as if our brains are hardwired to control computer devices. A group of physicists, engineers, physiologists, and neurosurgeons at University of Washington discovered that brains hooked up to computers quickly adapt, and even grow stronger. For the study, published yesterday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers tested what happened to people who learned to harness the electrical signals in their brains to control a computer cursor.

io9: Stargate’s Latest Alien Characters Revealed: A Villain And A Rebel

I can’t wait until Stargate Universe get back in April, and it seems like we will have interesting adds to the cast. Love it!

We’re eagerly waiting to find out more about the Lucian Alliance on Stargate Universe, since they were the bandits that forced the Destiny crew to flee in the first place. And new casting pages reveal a villain and a rebel.

We uncovered two new character sides for the first episode of the show’s second season. As we learned a while a go with SGU, their casting sides aren’t always 100% guaranteed to be the final script for the episode, and are often changed around to protect plot lines. But there are still some clues in each script.

The Speculative Scotsman: The Speculative Spotlight: An Interview With Alex Bell

At long last, it gives me great pleasure introduce you to The Speculative Spotlight, a semi-regular interview feature that with a little luck, you’ll be seeing a great deal more of here on the blog. It’s been an age in the offing, and I’ve already lined up several incredibly exciting candidates for future installments – but let’s not get ahead of ourselves so soon!

Without any further burbling, then, let’s all gather round and make an effort to keep any whispering to hushed tones while The Speculative Spotlight shines on… Alex Bell.

Geek Twins: Low Space Transmissions Ending SETI’s Mission

Really interesting article that can help with explaining we can’t hear anyone out there.

One of the problems with accurately predicting technology of the future is that it doesn’t exist yet. Obviously. So the tendency is to extrapolate based on existing technology. That’s why sci-fi movies and TV shows in the fifties imagined home computers in the year 2000 as being massive refrigerator-sized boxes. Nobody could imagine that computers could one day be made small enough to fit into a cell phone.

Something similar happened when the SETI project was established. It seemed a simple enough project; Earth generated radio signals with powerful ground-based transmitters that reached into deep space. The theory was that every society similar or more advanced than Earth’s would send out similar radio signals. All we needed to do is scan for those radio signals and we’d find proof of extraterrestrial life.

NextRead: Green Review: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)

This book just arrived here, I am really looking forward to read it, so is my son.

Where to start the world building, the myth, the main character, the voice? This has got to be one of the strongest debuts I’ve read for a while.

I tend to lower my expectations and criticisms when reading a debut. It’s generally unfair to pour those kind of things over a novice it only leads to disappointment and frustration but from the from page I was captivated.

See also: A Dribble of Ink: Interview | N.K. Jemisin, author of ‘The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms’

Walker of Worlds: Cover Art | Veteran by Gavin Smith (Gollancz)

He inspired me to order it too, so I am waiting too.

Here we go, the final cover for Veteran by Gavin Smith, coming out in June from Gollancz. Compared to the earlier one that has been about on the internet, I think this is ultimately a better and nicer cover. It’s simple and will appeal to more than just the hardcore sci-fi fans that the other would have. Here’s a sci-fi debut that I have high hopes for this year.