Science Fiction Roundup: Weird Science Edition

Hello everyone. Tis I, Erik the Reddest back on rotation and ready to go. I read a lot of science articles for research (and because I actually do find this stuff interesting), and I am constantly amazed by emergent technologies. However, sometimes I am not only awed, but totally weirded out by what I read. Quite a few strange stories have come around recently, so I thought I’d share them with you for my first post of the month to give you some inspiration for your writing.

Apparently Fish Do Have Thoughts, Just Really Simple Ones.

Fish Thought scanOh Japan. Not only does your culture consistently bewilder us Westerners, but your scientists get in on the fun too. Apparently, at the Japanese National Institute of Genetics, this means asking the question: do fish think? Well the answer, surprisingly, is yes. Not about much, mind you. Just things like “That looks good to eat.” The purpose of this research was to begin developing methods of mapping neural activity, but the whole idea for the project still brings a smile to my face.

Source: 33rd Square

Welcome to My Giggly Nightmare

Also coming out of Japan (no surprises there) is a recent project in creating realistic facial expressions for robots with the hope that they will someday be able to interact with humans on an emotional level. “Diego-san” is modeled to look and act like a one year old boy and has 27 moving parts in his face to create expressions. You tell me: creepy or adorable? I’m going with creepy.

Source: Singularity Blog

Clearly the Term “Microscope” is No Longer Good Adequate

I would have thought it was impossible to do this, but apparently IBM‘s new microscope afm hexabenzocoronene molecule imagetechnique (“Micro” seems the wrong prefix) has captured an image of a hexabenzocoronen molecule at 100x the resolution of an atom, officially confirming its shape and organization to be the same as its theoretical models. It was news to me that they could even get an image of an atom at all, but that was achieved in 2009, believe it or not. To the right is an image of the HBC molecule. Oh the world we live in…

Source: 33rd Square

Doctors Give Vet New Arms (Not Cyborg Ones)

arm transplant diagram

Speaking of things I thought were impossible, doctors recently performed an incredible feat of surgery, giving 26 year old Sergeant Brennan Marrocco two new (human) arms. I honestly thought that giving someone replacement limbs would either have to be done by cloning spare parts,or else advanced prosthetic limbs would be used. I was amazed to hear that this surgery was not only attempted, but successful. Just look at that diagram they had to connect bone, muscle, arteries, even individual nerves to make this work. Truly incredible.

Source: Singularity Blog

At Least We Don’t Have to Worry About A Strong Iranian Airforce

I thought I’d end on a humorous note, at a dictator’s expense. As much saber-rattling as Iran is known to do, they’re still (thankfully) lacking in the technology to pull off their threats for the most part. While that could quickly change if they obtain a nuclear weapon as they are keen to do by most analysts’ opinions, at the moment at least it’s clear they have no idea how to build a proper stealth bomber. Mere weeks after their triumphant space launch of a rhesus monkey into orbit that certainly didn’t die in the vacuum of space, Iran proudly displayed this little piece of engineering:

iranplane iran hoax stealth bomber Qaher-313

This is the Qaher-313. For those of you (like me) who don’t have an aerospace engineering degree, head to the linked gallery at the source and enjoy the slide-by-slide take down of exactly how ridiculous this is. It may look kind of cool at first glance, but it’s likely this is a poorly executed hoax (like the monkey) that the Iranian brass just don’t realize is embarrassingly inadequate to fool the 1st world’s educated public. A few things to note are the Mason-jar glass cockpit, the shiny plastic, and copy-cat wing designs that probably don’t actually let it fly, if it even has an engine. Check out the last few slides to see a few actual stealth bombers to get a comparison.

Source: Ars Technica

Well, that’s all for now. Lots of things to write about now, eh? Good! Now what weirded you out more, or just made you laugh? Let me know in the comments below!

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About erikthereddest

I'm a Masters student in English, and I love technology and Science Fiction. I am refining and enhancing my (admittedly novice) writing talents under the sage advice of my friends here at Lantern Hollow Press, and with the great many books I am reading from the best authors I can find.

Posted on February 6, 2013, in Erik Marsh, Inspiration, Lantern Hollow Press Authors, Science Fantasy, Science Fiction, Science Fiction Roundup, Technology, Writing Hints and Helps and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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