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Science of TRON

Listen to audio from the "Science of TRON" panel, featuring director Joe Kosinski, producer Sean Bailey, and science consultants Sean Carroll & John Dick. Learn More

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The (Shrimp) Eyes Have It

Wondering what the next Big Thing might be in terms of DVD/Blu-Ray technology? The secret might lie with the lowly mantis shrimp.

Just Imagine

For those who missed the 2009 Imagine Science Film Festival in New York, one of many highlights was the screening of documentary shorts: not the dry, didactic educational films typically shown in the classroom, but truly creative endeavors that showcase science in innovative ways.

End of the World

Master of Disaster Roland Emmerich has another blockbuster on his hands with 2012, if weekend box office returns are any indication. The film's premise derives from a popular doomsday prediction centered on the Mayan calendar. It lasts 5126, at which point the calendar abruptly stops at December 21, 2012. For whatever reason, the Mayans didn't bother to count any further, leading some folks to conclude this denotes the End of the World As We Know. It makes for great entertainment, but what's the science behind all this?

Emily at the Edge of Chaos

Comedy and theoretical physics aren't two things you'd normally think would go well together, but for humorist/writer Emily Levine, it's like combining chocolate and peanut butter. After writing for such TV series as Designing Women and Dangerous Minds, Levine worked for two years at Disney.

That's where she first became interested in esoteric things like chaos theory and quantum mechanics, but according to her official bio, she "found no studio executives, let alone Mickey and Goofy, willing and/or able to discuss these issues."

Goats in the Machine

The new film, The Men Who Stare at Goats, is based on the book by Jon Ronson detailing a weird military research project involving psychic warriors, LSD, astral projection and the like. But while the movie might be fiction -- and highly amusing fiction at that, thanks to stellar performances by the cast -- there really is a historical record of both the Army and the CIA experimenting with LSD and other hallucinogens as possible "incapacitating chemical agents."

When Galaxies Collide

In a fantastic example of entertainment lending its services to science, actress (Buffy, Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog) and Webseries creator (The Guild) Felicia Day stars in this new PSA from Spitzer Science Center, correcting some of the misconceptions about new findings on colliding galaxies from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

Science of the Living Dead

This week The Science & Entertainment Exchange hosted a screening and panel discussion of George Romero's latest zombie film, Survival of the Dead at The Director's Guild of America. (See photo on right, from left to right) Author Max Brooks (World War ZThe Zombie Survival Guide) moderated the evening.

If There Were No Science Consultants...

Watching the latest episode of House last night, we were struck by the impressive use of medical terminology throughout. It reminded us of just how hard writers and their staff on such shows work to bring plausibility to their fictional world. Sure, people love to joke about the constant parade of obscure, rare diseases encountered by House and his cohorts, and how the disease of the week never seems to be lupus, but the writers have certainly done their homework.

If you're wondering what House, Grey's Anatomy, Mercy, orTrauma would be like without that army of staffers and science consultants, check out this hilarious sketch by British comedy duo Mitchell and Webb:

Sizzle Me This

What might happen to an idealistic marine biologist after he decides to leave the Ivory Tower? If you're Randy Olson, you become an independent filmmaker. First, you make a splash with a short music video about the sex life of barnacles. Then you take on intelligent design and the failure of the scientific community to make their counter-arguments about evolution convincingly to the public with a quirky documentary called Flock of Dodos.

Imagine That

Fans of science and film who'll be in New York City over the next couple of weeks should check out the second annual Imagine Science Film Festival, from October 15 through October 23. The festival will screen some 50 films from nine different countries at such venues as Tribeca Cinemas, New York all of Science, CUNY Graduate Center and The New School.

The over-arching message is "science is for everyone," according to festival founder Alexis Gambis, who has a PhD in genetics and molecular biology from Rockefeller University, and has just enrolled as a film student at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. "There is a definite need to create a dialogue between scientists and the public," he says. "The [festival] provides a creative platform for scientists to share their inspiration with the public in relatable and engaging ways."

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