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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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What You Need to Know to Survive a Zombie Disease

It's going to take more than washing your hands to save you from the zombie diease.If you stay up late at night worrying about the impending zombie apocalypse, you will be happy to hear the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a blog post outlining exactly what you need to do to keep yourself (and your family) safe from the undead. But while the CDC provides great tips for preparing for an emergency of epidemic proportions, if you want to survive the zombies, you will also need to arm yourself with knowledge of infectious diseases and how they spread.

The Chemical Formula: Successfully Combining Chemistry, Science, and the Media

It’s hard to know what some 500 chemists were expecting when they filed into a ballroom for an event called Hollywood Chemistry this past March 27, at the big annual meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in Anaheim, California. What they got may have been a surprise: a 2-hour session that indeed covered some traditional chemistry, but mainly presented more drama, special effects, and laughs than the standard ACS scientific session, while making important points about chemistry and science in the media.

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.

Film in 2011: Robots, Aliens, Heroes and Everything Else You Could Ever Want

In 2011, aliens will invade, robots will battle for the moon, and superheroes will save us. No, we aren’t predicting the end of the world. We’re talking movies! The silver screen in 2011 will be buzzing with science-fiction plots and comic book heroes.

Girls Just Want to Have Sums: Mathematically-Gifted Women in Television/Film

Girls just want to have sums. Or is it fun? Actually, why can’t it be both? Stereotypes plague math – difficult, boring - and girls who love math – they don’t exist. But several female television and film characters are defying both stereotypes.

Tony Stark's Science

If you're one of the millions of people who flocked to the cinema this weekend to see Iron Man 2, you're no doubt wondering how much of the plot is based in fact, and how much is pure science fiction.

The Technology Behind 'Minority Report'

Audiences flocked to to the futuristic thriller Minority Report when it debuted in 2002, impressed not just with thefilm noir mystery, but also the visually stunning futuristic world depicted onscreen. So naturally there was a packed house at the Hammer Museum on April 22 to hear a talk called "Beautiful Tools" by artist/scientist John Underkoffler of Oblong Industries -- part of a series of lectures sponsored by 5D on the future of immersive design. Underkoffler (who is an advisory board member of the Science & Entertainment Exchange) consulted on Minority Report, and drew on some of his own groundbreaking research at MIT while doing so. (He's also consulted on The Hulk, Aeon Flux, Stranger Than Fiction, and Iron Man.)

Even Superheroes Need Their Science

This past weekend, the Science and Entertainment Exchange headed to San Diego for the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Our session was a panel discussion entitled "Watching the Watchmen and Cheering the Heroes: The Science of Superheroes," bringing together two physicists, a biologist, a film screenwriter, and two TV writers.

Creating a Conversation Through 'Creation"

A brand new film, Creation, opens in theaters this Friday, January 22nd, in major cities across the country (New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, and Washington DC) and will certainly stir pundits on both sides of the creation "debate" in the US. The film, starring Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connolly, follows the story of Charles Darwin and is based on the book by Randal Keynes, Darwin’s great-great-grandson.

"Rift" Sets Its Hero Adrift

Just when you thought the world was safe from universe-destroying black holes, comes a nifty short film from L Studio called Rift that explores just such a scenario. It's described as "a surreal interpretation of Pandora's Box about a scientist whose failed experiment results in the formation of a black hole that alters time and space, creating a chaotic Twilight-Zonesque nightmare."

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