Gamers, we have a solution for anyone who nags you about the hours you spend glued to your computer or TV screen. Just tell them, “It’s for science!” Okay, maybe that tactic is far-fetched for World of Warcraft or Call of Duty, but if you are playing Foldit, an online game where players compete to build protein structures, you might be legitimately contributing to science.
A new superhero hit comic book stores this September – or at least, a new version of a superhero (with some science added to his backbone.) Meet Michael Holt, a billionaire, brilliant scientist and, oh yes, superhero Mister Terrific.
This past weekend, The Exchange celebrated its three-year anniversary. On November 19, 2008, the program officially launched with a symposium bringing together the science and entertainment communities, and three years later, we are close to 400 consults! To celebrate we are taking a quick look at our in-depth articles on past consultations. (Next year, be on the lookout for Under the Microscope articles on The Avengers and Battleship!)
Let’s talk turkey, science lovers. We’ve already showed you how to incorporate science into Halloween but now it’s time to “science up” Thanksgiving. No, we are not suggesting something along the lines of Schrodinger’s Turkey. Instead, we’ve rounded up ideas on how to cook the big, tasty bird with the help of chemistry!
Whether you are a fan of dark meat or light meat, you have to agree that turkey is delicious – and not easy to cook. How many movies and TV episodes feature a turkey mishap? More than we can count. Think of the turkey burning to a crisp when the Friends gang accidentally locked themselves out of the apartment, or the shuffling of the turkey from oven to oven in 2003’s Pieces of April. The bird is the word, and you can't have it run “afowl.”
Everyone knows Thanksgiving is all about the movies, and this year theaters are offering up three family-friendly films: The Muppets, Arthur Christmas, and Hugo. The Thanksgiving lineup is sure to bring laughs and stunning animation but it also offers moviegoers a little science. The Muppets features the return of Muppet scientists (and CERN employees) Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker, while Arthur Christmas is a high-tech take on Santa Claus (so will we see engineer elves?). But what about Hugo, the Martin Scorsese–directed film about an orphan living in a Paris train station in the 1930s? The 3-D adventure offers a glimpse into some engineering history with the help of an automaton.
Brace yourselves, moviephiles, for the return of some major stars to the big screen next week. That’s right, it’s time to play the music. It’s time to light the lights. It’s time to meet the Muppets on … The Muppets movie! (You try rewriting the theme song to make that work. Not easy.)
Time is money, so the saying goes, but in Andrew Niccol’s latest film In Time, time is money. A bus ride home will cost you 2 hours, a cup of coffee is 4 minutes, and a car could cost you years. Time is the currency, and you are given only a year. In the future, In Time posits, humans stop aging at 25. After that each person receives 365 more days to live, which they watch countdown on a clock glowing bright green on their arm. The poor work each day for more time, dying as the cost of living rises. (As Justin Timberlake’s character remarks, “For one day, I’d like to wake up with more hours on my arm than there are in the day.”) The rich are immortal.
We have heard it time and time again, scientists and engineers everywhere, professing deep love and admiration for science fiction, and in particular, a fondness for Star Wars and Star Trek. In an unofficial (and totally unscientific) polling of The Exchange’s Scientist Spotlight interviewees, Star Wars ranked #1 in stealing the hearts (and creative minds) of scientists. (Star Trek ranked #2, with 2001: A Space Odyssey in the #3 spot.) “What we hear from a lot of the scientists we talk to is that science fiction was part of their inspiration when they were kids,” explained Glen Whitman, an executive story editor for Fringe.
While the weather is turning cooler outside, business is hot at The Exchange! We completed our 350th consult in September, and we are quickly moving toward number 400. As art director François Audouy put it:
"It was a wonderful resource to have access to top scientists provided by The Exchange on Green Lantern. Always a pleasure for me, and Green Lantern was no exception. I hope we can find another opportunity on a future film.
— François Audouy, Art Director, Green Lantern
Thanks to everyone who continues to use our services and of course a HUGE thank you to our volunteer consultants – we could not do it without you!
National Academy of Sciences Awards GameDesk $225,000 Grant to Develop Science Based Interactive Game for Classrooms
As part of its Science & Entertainment Exchange, the National Academy of Sciences today announced that the GameDesk Institute will be awarded $225,000 to develop its Science in Motion project, an "embodied" game that provides a learning experience that actively engages students physically and mentally in difficult science topics.