Blog Tags

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

science news

Subscribe to science news

The Nose Knows: An Electronic Nose

Dog noses are more sensitive to many chemicals than human noses are.Readers of this blog already know how fiction can inspire real science and we’ve got another example to show you today: the electronic nose. Ray Bradbury’s science fiction classic Fahrenheit 451 features the concept, as does the 1994 children’s film Richie Rich

In Richie Rich, Professor Keenbeam (who heads the research and development department for the Richs’ company) invents all sorts of technology, including an electronic nose that resembles a hairdryer with a pig’s nose on the front. It sounds strange but it becomes essential to the plot – it saves Richie’s parents from explosives hidden on their airplane. (Richie also uses it to detect what’s in his birthday presents.)

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.

2010 PRISM Awards Recap

The annual PRISM Awards are given out by the Entertainment Industries Council to honor the creative community for accurate portrayals of substance abuse and mental health in entertainment. The list of supporters for this program and awards ceremony span over many of the top names in Washington and Hollywood and the event has been celebrating entertainment's ability to educate through art for the past fourteen years.

The Awards, held this year on April 22nd at the Beverly Hills Hotel, truly highlight film and television's ability to get it right and to teach. Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi summed it up nicely when she praised, "[the PRISM awards recognize] imperative topics to explore creatively, and [the Entertainment Industries Council] have truly helped raise the consciousness of the American people."

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon

Back in the 1990s, it was all the rage to play a game dubbed "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon." It all started when three college students in Pennsylvania were watching the actor's performance in The Air Up There, and started competing to name all the movies in which Bacon had appeared, and other actors who performed with him. They realized that it takes remarkably few indirect relationships to tie Bacon to just about any actor in Hollywood -- 2.95 steps on average, to be exact.