Monthly Archives: March 2019

Why is Titan Special?

If you are a Sci-fi fan like me, you might be able to recall Vincent hiding his identity for the trip to Saturn’s moon Titan in Gattaca. In Star Trek 2009, Kirk and Spock beam abroad the Romulan ship attacking Earth, while Enterprise hid itself in Titan’s clouds. Or at least you should remember the … Continue reading Why is Titan Special? Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in astro2110, blog5, Class, Solar System, titan | Comments Off on Why is Titan Special?

This is the Way the World Ends

After watching Interstellar for class, one student asked what we thought might have happened to all the animals. We know that the characters in the movie only eat corn, with no meat in their diets. A different student suggested that that was because livestock is one of the least cost and energy-efficient ways to consume […] Continue reading

Posted in apocalypse, climate change, Climate Change and Ecology, eco-disaster, pollution, Science Fiction, The Hunger Games, the lorax, wall-e | Comments Off on This is the Way the World Ends

Free Will vs. Fate

Was it your choice to read this article? A single decision selected from an infinite pool of possibilities, placing you on a course completely dictated by your own conscious power of reason and choice? Or was this just another stepping stone in the endless stream of causality? An inevitable result of each and every event […] Continue reading

Posted in Alternative history, arrival, Chiang, determinism, fatalism, fate, free will, philosophy, Quantum Mechanics, Religion, Slaughterhouse-Five, Steins;Gate, Story of Your Life, Ted Chiang, Ten Sigmas, Time travel | Comments Off on Free Will vs. Fate

Ted Chiang AI Talk Highlights: Singularity?

In his talk last Monday here at Vanderbilt, Ted Chiang joined a panel to talk about the future of Artificial Intelligence. He spoke about what A.I. means for humanity, and contested the possibility of the singularity (a.k.a. the technology explosion that occurs when computers begin programming smarter computers, with those smarter computers programming even smarter […] Continue reading

Posted in AI, Chiang, Fiction, humanities, Procreation, robots, SF, Singularity, Turing Test | Comments Off on Ted Chiang AI Talk Highlights: Singularity?

Marvelous New Picture Book Monday: You are Light

You are Light is set to officially be published on March 26th 2019 by Candlewick Studio. The book is written and illustrated by New York Times best-selling author Aaron Becker. Becker might be best known for his trilogy series Journey with the books Journey, Quest, and Return. The three books in this series are beautifully […] Continue reading

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Free Friday: Heads and Tails

For this Free Friday, I am highlighting a children’s picture book written and illustrated John Canty called Heads and Tails. Rather than being a story with a plot and characters, this picture book is more of an informative picture book in the way the author presents the information. On the second page of each spread, the […] Continue reading

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Traditional Thursday: The Story of Ferdinand

  On this Traditional Thursday, I wanted to spotlight a book from my childhood that I recently rediscovered: The Story of Ferdinand written by Munro Leaf and Illustrated by Robert Lawson. I was recently perusing the Peabody College Library at Vanderbilt University for picture books to read with children. I noticed that the library had […] Continue reading

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Science Fiction: Disrupting the Art World?

Some previous posts on the blog have discussed how culture – art and fashion – are represented in science fiction. But is science fiction ever represented in art? I have two words for you: Meow Wolf. Meow Wolf is an immersive, interactive art experience based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The inaugural exhibition, The House of […] Continue reading

Posted in anarchy, art, commerce, culture, Cyberpunk, Fantasy, Games, Multiverse, robots, Scientists, SF, speculative fiction, Time travel | Comments Off on Science Fiction: Disrupting the Art World?

Winner Wednesday: La Princesa and the Pea

For Winner Wednesday, the book the I chose was called La Princesa and the Pea, written by Susan Middleton Elya and illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal. This book won the Pura Belpré Award in 2018 for its beautiful, Peruvian-inspired illustrations. This book is a play on The Princess and the Pea, a commonly told fairy tale […] Continue reading

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That Poem From Interstellar

“Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Though wise men at their end know dark is right, Because their words had forked no lightning they Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against […] Continue reading

Posted in death, humanities, interstellar, poetry, Relativity, SF, Survival | Comments Off on That Poem From Interstellar