Event Recap: How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Science

Magic flying carpets, how to obliterate your enemy and the ability to see through walls; sound like something from your favorite science fiction movie? What if we told you that all of those things were technically possible? 

According to Neil Gershenfeld, it’s true! All of the aforementioned technologies may be possible in the future, and the future may not be as far off as you may think. 

The Science & Entertainment Exchange hosted an informal evening of science, snacks, and conversation last month, featuring esteemed professor, Neil Gershenfeld. Our gracious hosts, Janet and Jerry Zucker, opened their home to entertainers and science geeks alike, to talk about technology of the future. 

De-extinction: Bringing Back the Dodo?

Science fiction fans and movie-goers might be counting down the days until the 3D re-release of Jurrassic Park hits theaters on April 5th, but scientists and conservationists are now counting the ways that they could make the movie’s premise – in which the DNA of dinosaurs’ blood is preserved in a mosquito fossilized in amber – come to life.

It’s called “de-extinction,” and it already happened for the first time ten years ago. 

When the last bucardo, a subspecies of the Spanish Ibex, died in 2000, it would be natural to believe that this was the end of the species. But thanks to an intrepid group of wildlife veterinarians, the DNA from the last remaining burcado, a female named Celia, had already been preserved. 

Robots, Aliens and Pilot Season, Oh My!

It’s pilot season, that time of the year when first episodes are filmed and TV network executives make crucial decisions as they place bets on which new series are likely to attract large audiences. Of course, the number of new shows that make it past the pilot stage is extremely small. Only a select few will receive a network order for additional episodes. Nevertheless, it’s fun to read about new ideas and see who’s been cast to play lovable, smarmy, smart, dumb -- or just plain evil – on the small screen.

Every year the Exchange takes a look at the Complete Guide to TV Pilots on a quest to discover which of these potential new shows may incorporate science (or maybe even math) in their story-telling.  

Lincoln V. Lincoln

More than 148 years after President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, he continues to make his mark on American society, with this year being no exception. Here at the Science & Entertainment Exchange, we have a particular affinity for good old Abe, and this week our pride swells even more than usual. March 3, 2013 marked the 150th anniversary of the National Academy of Sciences, which was signed into existence by none other, than Abraham Lincoln, himself!

 

In honor of Abraham Lincoln in all forms, both historical and theatrical, we thought we’d bring your attention to a few interesting facts about man, the myth and the legend in the stovepipe hat. Try to guess if we’re being truthful, or if we’re pulling your (possibly wooden) leg! 

Dive Into the Ocean and Learn the Secrets of the Brain

The Exchange played cruise director for a diverse group of entertainers who gathered together in La Jolla, California, to tour the Salk Institute of Biological Studies and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Among their ranks were producers, writers, directors, and educators who came together to learn about the newest and most exciting scientific innovations that southern California has to offer.

The group was split in two after breakfast. Much like a movie where twins are separated at birth, both groups went on similar tours throughout the day, mirroring the other’s experience. While one group toured the Salk Institute, the other half went to explore what lies deep below the ocean surface.

At the Salk Institute, head scientist, Ricardo Gil da Costa, led the group around the expansive and beautiful campus that is perched right on the shoreline. Established in 1959 by Jonas Salk, the Salk Institute boasts an impressive array of scientific innovations. 

Valentine's Day Science Showdown: Gift Edition

February 14, 2013 – We’ve all been there, standing in front of a Valentine’s Day display at the shop on the corner, you can feel a cold sweat coming on. The barrage of pink and red is almost too much for your brain to process! You have to make it out of this situation with the perfect gift for your valentine, and of course, you’ve waited until the last possible second to pick something up. The candy seems too sweet. What happens if they have an aversion to nougat? A giant card, perhaps? You decide against it after picturing yourself lugging it home on the bus, plus, it would be too hard to get it past the front door without detection. 

Science Valentines For Your Sweetie

Valentine’s Day crept up on us out of the bleary February fog and now it’s heart-shaped existence is staring us straight in the face. Whether you’re hitched, betrothed or still searching for your prince, or princess, everyone loves getting a valentine! It’s practically a scientific fact, heavy emphasis on practically.

We’ve scoured the web to find you some of the best valentines to send to your science-loving sweetie! (Or your science-hating frenemy, we won’t judge) Which one will you be sending? 


IronicSans.com

Imagine Science Film Festival: A Marriage of Science and Film

“The most unremarkable of events: Jerome Marrow, Navigator First class, is only days away from a year-long manned mission to Titan. Of course, selection for Jerome was virtually guaranteed at birth.
He is blessed with all the physical and intellectual gifts required for such an arduous undertaking, a genetic quotient second to none. 
No, there is truly nothing remarkable about the progress of Jerome Morrow, except that I am not Jerome Morrow.”
- Gattaca 

The movie Gattaca can easily be classified as one of the best movies to come out of the 1990’s, or at least it can be in the circles we run in. Gattaca pairs an original storyline, a compelling cast of characters and pervasive science themes to create a wonderful marriage of futuristic science principles and entertaining cinema.   

Hollywood: Through The Google Glass

Imagine taking the ultimate leap of faith, jumping out of an airplane with only a parachute to regulate your fall. Now, imagine that your descent could be captured on film, from your exact point of view. 

We'll let you in on a little secret, it’s possible.

Sips and Snacks for a Science-Filled New Year

New Years Eve is the perfect time to surround yourself with family and friends to celebrate the passing of another exciting year! 

2012 has been a wonderful year here at The Exchange, filled with new consults, fantastic events and plenty of new faces. We hope that this past year has been equally as extraordinary for you, and that 2013 will bring you opportunities for growth and prosperity. 

Plus, we all survived the Mayan Apocalypse, so give yourself a pat on the back!

Whether you are ringing in the new year at a festive bash, or plan on curling up on the couch with a furry friend and some snacks, we wanted to give you a few recipes to help you scientifically spice up your evening!

Below, you can find recipes for some delicious science-themed sips, sweets and snacks to spice up your night on December, 31st that will hopefully last you well into 2013. 

To Sip: 

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