Antimatter; Now Coming To You In Non Fiction

Captain Kirk

It was what Captain Kirk used to power the Enterprise from system to system but this fickle substance has eluded scientists for decades, annihilating itself as soon as it came into contact with matter.

Antimatter has today been successfully contained long enough to study its properties. Experiments at CERN have led to the suspension of antimatter for 1000 seconds or 16 minutes. While this breakthrough is quite huge in the physics world don’t be expecting any interstellar travel. Physicists at CERN have said that if they were to annihilate all the antimatter they have ever made it would only be enough to power a light bulb for a few minutes. It’s not all doom and gloom though as scientists will now be able to piece together why matter has become dominant within the universe and maybe even unlock some of its mysteries (i.e. how it came into existence).

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Film It

Considering my hermit-like behaviour these past few weeks you’d probably forgive me for not knowing about the new Star Trek movie that is going to be released next year some time during the American summer… FUCK YES! I say. I just hope to god they don’t butcher the thing, like they have obviously done for the prequel to “The Thing”. I have read both positive and negative thoughts for the upcoming film which is to be expected with such a diverse fan base, but the one underlying anticipation is whether or not the movie will target Trekkies or aim for the general public like it did for the 2009 film. I’m guessing it’ll be the latter, but who cares. It has been so long since anyone had gotten a Trek movie right that it was a refreshing feeling to sit down and watch one that was well written and action-packed. If I have to sacrifice a little fan knowledge for a winning formula then so be it. I just hope Hollywood doesn’t screw it up this time around.

What are your thoughts on the upcoming Star Trek film?

Who do you think will be the villain(s) this time around?

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Read It

Because of upcoming mid-semester exams I’ve been bogged down with a fair bit of study lately, which has not given me much time for anything science-fiction. I’ve corrected this wrong and ordered four classics that I’ve been meaning to read. They’ll be arriving when my exams finish on the 21st of this month. In the meantime I’ll give a quick overview of what I’ve bought.

 

Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children’s Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death (1969)

This is a satirical novel by Kurt Vonnegut about the WWII experiences and time travelling journeys of a soldier named Billy Pilgrim. One of the classics in science-fiction that has been read by many non sci-fi fans the world around. This is considered to be one of Vonnegut’s most influential and popular novels and I’m definitely anticipating this one.

 

Stranger in a Strange Land (1961)

This is a true science-fiction novel by American author Robert A. Heinlein. It tells the story of Valentine Michael Smith, a human who has returned to Earth in early adulthood after being raised by Martians on the planet Mars. The novel explores his interaction with – and the eventual transformation of – earth culture.

 

Darwin’s Radio (1999)

This one comes from the author Greg Bear. In the novel, a new form of endogenous retrovirus has emerged, SHEVA. It controls human evolution by rapidly evolving the next generation while in the womb, leading to speciation. The novel follows several characters as the “plague” is discovered as well as the reaction of the public and government.

 

The Forge of God (1987)

Another novel by Greg Bear this time one about an alien race and Earth’s demise. The Forge of God was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1987, and was also nominated for the Hugo and Locus Awards in 1988. Can’t wait for this one.

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To Start Us Off… The Almighty Thor

Thor's Helmet

With the new Hollywood blockbuster in cinemas I thought I’d chuck in something slightly related but just as cool. Yep, it’s the NGC 2359 nebula better know as “Thor’s Helmet”. It spans 30 light years across and sits 15,000 light years away from us and it just happens to be the most awesome thing out in space, aside from aliens.

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