Friday, August 24, 2012

Blade Runner (The Movie)

Blade Runner is one of our favorite movies -- and has been rated by some as one of the best science fiction movies of all-time.  Blade Runner was recently on the Sci Fi channel -- and it reminded us of some interesting facts about the movie.

Blade Runner is much more than your typical science fiction movie.  Based on the book, "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" -- it is a story about humanity and life -- of science & technology -- and the future of mankind.

There are interesting facts about the movie:

  • The movie is based on the book, by one of the greatest sci-fi authors of all time, Philip K. Dick.  Dick also wrote stories that eventually led to movies such as Total Recall and Minority Report.
  • Casting for Blade Runner was a long process, with many actors considered for the role of Deckard, before Harrison Ford was ultimately chosen.  On the other hand, the chose of Rutger Hauer for Roy Batty was made almost instantaneously by director Ridley Scott.  
  • Hauer's portrayal of Batty was regarded by Philip K. Dick as, "the perfect Batty—cold, Aryan, flawless..." 
Over the years, there has been much talk about different variations of the movie, including:
  • Voiceovers: many debate whether the voiceovers were necessary.  Some feel that it made the deep messages of the movie easier to understand.  Others, including Harrison Ford, argue that it ruins the movie...
  • Director's cut: there are various versions of the movie -- including the original, a director's cut (that includes a unicorn dream sequence), and broadcast versions that reduce violence and nudity.  
There has also been talk about whether or not Deckard himself is a replicant.  Here is a great article on this topic, based on various versions of the screenplay.  

For more on the movie, check out:

There are great messages and quotes from the movie:
  •  "The candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long..."
  • Message: about the importance of every moment; and that we should enjoy these moments.
  • On technology and humanity: that we should try to stay human -- and avoid the cold and impersonal path that technology can lead us...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Water Bears: These are Real, Microscopic, Beings!

Water bear (Paramacrobiotus craterlaki). Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM).

In 2007, a little known creature called a tardigrade became the first animal to survive exposure to space.
It prevailed over sub-zero temperatures, unrelenting solar winds and an oxygen-deprived space vacuum.
Its mission: to help scientists understand more about how this so-called "hardiest animal on Earth" can survive for short periods off it.
Tardigrades join other microscopic organisms selected to be part of a project into extreme survival.

Read more here:

Monday, August 6, 2012

NASA lands on Mars Again!

Check out the videos of NASA's Rover named "Curiosity" -- successfully landing on Mars to start two years of research in search of ingredients for life, such as water, energy, and carbon.  Some good animated videos of the expected landing....

Here's the direct YouTube link:

Another good link: