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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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So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

Maybe you have not noticed but there are quite a few talking animals in television and film. From a talking parrot (Paulie) to talking bees (Bee Movie), and beyond, there are conversational critters everywhere. What’s with humans’ fascination with talking animals? Who knows, but if the Cetacean Hearing and Telemetry (CHAT) project has any success, we humans will soon be experiencing two-way communication with one of the most intelligent mammals on Earth: dolphins.

Annoyed? Blame Your Brain

Hey, wanna hear the most annoying sound in the world? Harry and Lloyd from Dumb & Dumber are clueless about almost everything around them – except a surprising expertise in how to be annoying. Lloyd’s “most annoying sound in the world” hits all the right, aggravating notes; it’s unpleasant, distracting, difficult to ignore, and you do not know when it will stop – it’s pure obnoxiousness. How could it not be annoying?

Roaring to Be Heard: Conservation in Film

In March, a new film hits theaters. It’s a courageous tale of a single mother, forced out of her home and fighting for survival. No, it’s not a little-known indie film or a critics’ darling. In fact, the main characters in the film don’t even speak – well, unless you count roaring as speaking. That’s right; the films’ “actors” are cats, lions to be exact.

The Last Lions, released by National Geographic Movies, follows the journey of lioness Ma di Tau (“Mother of Lions”) as she struggles to survive and care for her cubs after she loses her mate and is cast out by a rival pride. It’s a dramatic and suspenseful story – a story with the aspiration to raise awareness of the declining lion population (from 450,000 to 20,000 during the last 50 years) and to increase support for conservation.

The Kiss

Eyes meet as both characters move in. After an hour of longing, flirting, fighting, and reconciliation—of which you’ve spent the last 20 minutes on the edge of your seat—it happens…. That out-of-the-ballpark, incredibly satisfying, perfect first kiss. Fireworks ensue.

It’s the stuff of movie magic, the moment we’re always waiting for, and the climax of every great love story. Even when we know it’s coming, we still feel exhilarated watching two characters we care about finally lock lips. And fortunately, the feelings associated are not a cinematic special effect or the result of mood lighting set to a romantic score. When there’s real chemistry involved, the right kiss can be even more spectacular than the movies portray, thanks to a cocktail of hormones and neurotransmitters that course through our brains and bodies as a result.

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.

Claw of Newt

One of the more compelling X-Men is Logan, a.k.a., Wolverine -- so much a fan favorite that he merited his own "origins" story earlier this year with Wolverine.

The Zombies Are Coming!

Zombies are all the rage these days, what with the bestselling Pride and Prejudice and Zombies; the pending release of Zombieland;and news that Max Brook's sci-fi classic, World War Z, is bound for the silver screen. But maybe it's time to call a halt to this never-ending battle with the Undead. Can't humans and zombies learn to get along and co-exist in harmony? According to a new paper by a group of Canadian epidemiologists -- no way, no how.

Dances with Dolphins

Fans of the old TV series Flipper might not know about Ric O'Barry, a one-time dolphin trainer who trained the two female bottlenose dolphins featured on that show. But that could change with the release this weekend of The Cove, a hard-hitting documentary O'Barry made with former National Geographic photographer Louie Psihoyas about the "dolphinarium" market -- the worldwide trade in captive dolphins.

Professor Zombie

In the last decade, there has been a resurgence in mainstream Hollywood of zombie projects.

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.