Sep 182007

Femtrooper
I just recently stumbled upon an interesting site of a girl that loves to make costumes and dress up in them. Quite a few of them are from Sci-Fi, such as The Matrix and my favorite, Star Wars. The Femtrooper costume is probably the geekiest of them all. The stereotypical male costume of the Stormtrooper is ingeniously modified to fit a woman. Of course I don’t know how exposing your stomach would hold up in a firefight against rebels, but it looks good! I wonder what Star Wars would have been like had there been Femtroopers? We might never know except in fan films. There are lots of other pictures on the SithVixen site, check them out.

Posted by Stettin
Sep 172007

I ran across an article discussing the top 20 Starship Captains in Science Fiction. This was an interesting article for me because I haven’t seen quite a few of the shows the author was taking the captains from. Of course Star Wars and Start Trek are heavily represented.

In science fiction, the archetypal hero is the starship captain – doughty scientist-explorers setting off across the uncharted reaches of the cosmos in search of new life, new civilizations. You know the drill.

Check out the full article at the original site.

Posted by Stettin
Sep 142007

In a completely off topic transition from Sci-Fi, I felt compelled to share this following telephone answering machine message. My wife sent me a quick IM telling me I needed to call this # (I don’t list it here) and “just listen to it.” Apparently this lady is quite eccentric, which I can’t do any justice by trying to describe her. She starts off by reading off a menu with food on it then digresses into song, then wishes everyone safe travels. That sounds normal enough, right?

Here’s The Lunch Lady telephone message. If you like the Lunch Lady, you can visit her official site, The Lunch Lady Fan Club.

Posted by Stettin
Sep 132007

Titled “Blue Harvest”, this season premier will be a spoof of Star Wars, my favorite movie series. I normally do reviews after the fact, but I wanted to give everyone an heads-up to check it out when it arrives on Sunday Sept 23, at 9/8c. I can’t wait to see it, and will review it in a follow up post. Check out the movie poster.

Family Guy - Blue Harvest

There is a preview of the first 10 minutes out on YouTube, but it is a poor quality Cam version, I’d suggest just waiting until it comes out and watch the whole thing on TV. If you didn’t already know, Family Guy has made many references to Star Wars in the past. As far as I know this is the first episode dedicated to Star Wars. Essentially it will cover Episode IV: A New Hope. Check out the following 9 scenes out on YouTube as a warm-up. These aren’t all of them though. –update– The video is no longer available, probably thanks to a Fox take down notice.

–update–
I’ve finally made time to write out my review for this episode, check it out under my TV section or the direct link here.

Posted by Stettin
Sep 072007

Everyone knows (or should!) that Honda has tipped their hat to Isaac Asimov by naming their robot line Asimo. For those that have been living in caves for the past 50 years, he inadvertently invented the word ‘robotics’ in his story Runaround. He assumed it already was a word, but he is attributed for the first use of it in a publication. I remember seeing a YouTube video of these little robots a few years ago which caught my eye. This commercial tries to show the ‘human’ side of robots. I highly doubt that all of the actions in the commercial were autonomous, but I can’t see why it won’t be possible in the near future. Considering I am just a few days away from finishing my huge book project in Asimov’s Robot &amp Foundation Universe I was pleasantly surprised to stumble across this.

A quick look to related videos on YouTube showcased a technical demo of some new abilities in the new Asimo robot version. I’m very impressed to see the progress that has been made. Many of the tasks they show are fairly simple, but I think if they can make the robots use power efficiently they will be useful. It’s amazing that probably within 100 years of Asimov’s robot stories there might be a working model similar to his creations. Of course we are a bit behind robot production, since US Robotics and Mechanical Men had positronic robots in production in the 1990s.

Of course there are several videos of failed demonstrations with the Asimo prototypes taking spills while trying to do something as simple as walking up and down stairs. I’m confident that Honda will work out the bugs with the programming and balancing servos sooner or later. I know I will be keeping an eye on development in robotics.

-edit-
Wow, looks like I’ve had quite a few hits from StumbleUpon. Hopefully I can get some interesting feedback with this nice spike in visitors.

So, do any of you think that Robots can or will ever become self aware? If so, how soon do you think it could happen given the rapid development of technology? Would humans revolt and ban such machines? Asimov covers that last question in his science fiction, which is one of my favorite themes. Are there any authors you might recommend that focus on human/robot relations?
-edit-

Posted by Stettin
Sep 052007

Foundation's Edge book cover

In the order of publishing, Foundation’s Edge represents a return by Asimov to the Foundation novels dating back to 1950. This was the novel in which he officially linked the Robot Novels, Empire Novels, and Foundation Novels together into one universe. I believe it was this choice that helped him to win the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1983. I liked Foundation’s Edge, but I prefer Foundation and Empire’s “The Mule” or Second Foundation’s “Search by the Foundation” to this book. Actually, while researching the Hugo Award for this novel I found out that according to Wikipedia, The Mule (1946) [part 2 of Foundation and Empire] received one of only three “Retro Hugo” awards.

As with most of the other Foundation novels, Foundation’s Edge follows the events of the Foundation (oddly not usually referred to as the First Foundation) and the Second Foundation. The Foundation plot line follows Golan Trevize, a councilman on Terminus, the capital of the Foundation Federation. A Seldon crisis has just passed involving a dispute over whether or not to move the capital of the Foundation Federation to a world closer to the center of the galaxy. Seldon appeared in the time vault and described what had taken place with eerie accuracy. How could Seldon have predicted with such accuracy almost 500 years into the future especially when The Mule had wreaked such havoc to the Plan? Continue reading »

Posted by Stettin

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