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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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Smashing the Stereotypes

There is a scene that takes place at a math tournament in the 2004 film Mean Girls wherein each team must pick the weakest member from the other team to compete in a tie-breaking “sudden death” round. The boys on one team don’t even need to mull it over: they automatically pick the token female on the opposing team – because everyone knows girls aren’t as good as boys at math. Right?

Comic-Con 2009: Science As a Double-Edged Sword

It's that summery time of year, when the sun is shining, vacations are pending, and over 125,000 science fiction fans are gathering in San Diego for the annual Comic-Con extravaganza. The Science and Entertainment Exchange will be there, too: we are partnering with Discover magazine on a Thursday evening panel, July 22, from 6 to 7 PM, on the science behind science fiction.

The Science of Storytelling

Everyone loves a gripping story, and anything involving family secrets seems to have particular power. The Star Warsseries was hugely popular not just for its eye-popping special effects and epic mythology, but also for its tangled familial relationships. Darth Vader is Luke's father? Leia is his sister? It's positively Dickensian in its intricate genealogical scope.

Model Transformers

Variety and oi9 have both posted articles in the last few days about the unique relationship between the film Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and the U.S. Armed Forces.

Ah Yes, We Remember It Well...

Gosh, it seems like only yesterday that the Science and Entertainment Exchange officially launched with an exclusive, invitation-only symposium at the Creative Artists Agency. But it was actually last November when over 300 writers, directors, producers, production designers, and executives, along with scientists, engineers and health professionals, convened to hear about the latest cutting-edge research in rare and infectious diseases, climate change, cosmology and astronomy, genomics, brain and mind (neuroscience), and robotics/artificial intelligence.

Goodnight Moon

Last week saw the release of the science fiction/thriller, Moon, starring Sam Rockwell as an astronaut named Sam Bell, who is wrapping up a three-year stint at a mining base on the moon operated by the fictional Lunar Industries. His only companion is a robot named Gerty (voiced by Kevin Spacey), whose facial "expressions" consist of emoticons displayed on a screen. Three weeks before he is scheduled to return home to his wife and three-year-old daughter, Sam discovers that everything at his cozy lunar base is not what it appears to be. Or is the isolation finally messing with his sanity?

Poetry in Motion

What do Happy Feet, Polar Express, the Lord of the Ringstrilogy, Beowulf, and The Strange Case of Benjamin Button have in common? They are all films that employ the latest advances in motion capture technology -- or rather, what was cutting-edge in motion capture back in 2007, when those films were first being made. Scientists continue to come up with breakthrough technologies to make Hollywood's special effects even more magically convincing.

The Science of the Hangover

Ah, the hangover. Most of us have had one of these at one time or another after sucking down one too many at a bar or party. But what is this miserable reminder of the dangers of excess and what might we do (besides the most obvious solution: easing up on the sauce) to avoid this unfortunate consequence? With The Hangover’s strong showing at the box office over the weekend, we thought it might be an interesting to look at the science of the hangover.

Where Have All The Good Bees Gone

In November of 2007, Jerry Seinfeld lent his multitude of talents to Bee Movie, in which he played a young bee, wanting more in his life than the dull drone of the hive. Striking out on his own, his spunky character had a series of misadventures including an unlikely relationship with Renee Zellweger. As it turns out, in the real world, worker bees are leaving their homesteads in America at an alarming rate.

Going Up!

Pixar's new movie, UP, raked in a healthy $68 million in ticket sales over the weekend, and seems poised to be another hit for the Oscar-winning animation studio. It's the tale of an elderly curmudgeon named Carl Frederikson (voiced by Ed Asner) who decides to get away from it all via a unique mechanism: he strings an enormous bunch of helium-filled balloons to his house, lifting it high into the air.

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