Xenophilia (True Strange Stuff)

Blog of the real Xenophilius Lovegood, a slightly mad scientist

Archive for the ‘Science Fiction’ Category

Street-legal replica of the Batmobile (Tumbler) on sale for $1m

Posted by Anonymous on March 4, 2014

A street-legal replica of the Batmobile, used in the Batman trilogy starring Christian Bale, has gone on sale for $1m (£597,000).

The copy of the Caped Crusader’s crime-fighting machine, the Tumbler, is being sold by Florida-based J and S World Wide Holdings, according to a listing on the James Edition luxury marketplace website.

The replica two-seater has an automatic transmission and comes with five driver-assist cameras, Bluetooth technology, CD and DVD player, iPod integration and GPS technology, according to the seller’s description.

“We have built this insane vehicle to be street legal however please understand that this is not a daily driver!” the listing says.

The car, however, does not come complete with its film counterpart’s arsenal of weaponry.

The latest and most militaristic version of the Batmobile first appeared in director Christopher Nolan’s 2005 Batman Begins.

The Batmobile has undergone several changes since custom car designer George Barris was credited with building the first model for the 1960s Batman TV series.

Barris’ version sold for $4.2m (£2.6m) at auction in January last year.

http://news.sky.com/story/1219130/roadworthy-batmobile-goes-on-sale-for-1m

http://www.chickslovethecar.com/images/tumbler/prancinghorse.jpg

This concept vehicle features an LS1 motor with a custom built frame, chassis and drive line. It has an automatic transmission, dually rear end featuring FOUR 44″ super swamper tires with custom rims! It has a custom cut windows, seating for two, 5 driver assist cameras, Double den stereo with blue tooth, CD/DVD, Ipod integration for all of your entertainment needs. This vehicle also features GPS Navigation worldwide as well as a custom interior. It is a limited edition of only 5 worldwide!  …
I wish this Batmobile was as fast as a Hennessey Venom GT. The Venom GT can reach 265 mph in 2 miles. Absurd speed. Here’s another video: from 0 to 200 mph in 15.2 seconds. Here’s the ride along with a Venom GT reaching 270 mph.

Posted in Art, Science Fiction, Technology, Travel | Leave a Comment »

Mars has no alien life, just rocks

Posted by Anonymous on February 27, 2014

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There are many strange rocks on Mars. Some may look unusual and this causes some excitement among conspiracy theorists, but settle down, it’s just rocks.

Posted in Aliens, Science Fiction, Space | Leave a Comment »

Hong Kong jails man for blackmailing Transformers crew

Posted by Anonymous on February 26, 2014

20140226-135424.jpgA Hong Kong court sentenced Mak Chi-shing to two years in jail. His brother was jailed for six weeks for assaulting a police officer.

The men ran a shop near where the crew were filming in October. They refused to close the shop and Mr Mak demanded $13,000 (£8,000) from the crew.

A scuffle then broke out, and film director Michael Bay was injured.

The court heard that the film crew had approached Mak Chi-shing, and his older brother Mak Chi-hang, on 16 October, offering $130 (£80) as compensation for filming on the road where they worked.

However, the next day, the brothers played loud music and attempted to disrupt the filming.

Mak Chi-shing demanded $13,000 from the crew, and a scuffle broke out. The two brothers were then arrested by police.

Mr Bay received injuries to the right side of his face, but declined to seek treatment and continued filming.

On Wednesday, Hong Kong’s District Court found Mak Chi-shing guilty of blackmail, and also of assaulting a police officer.

Mak Chi-hang was also found guilty of assaulting a police officer.

Judge Josiah Lam said the case had “affected the reputation of Hong Kong as an international city”.

“[The negative publicity] could affect foreigners deciding whether to travel to or work in Hong Kong,” he said.

The fourth instalment of the Transformers franchise starring Mark Wahlberg and Nicola Peltz is scheduled for public release in June 2014. …

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-26349783

Posted in Art, Crime, Science Fiction, Strange, Travel | Leave a Comment »

Giant Dragon Skull on Beach is Advertisement

Posted by Anonymous on July 25, 2013

blinkbox – The Making of the Dragon Skull – YouTube.

Posted in Archaeology, Art, Science Fiction, Strange | Leave a Comment »

California man defrauds state, loses Star Wars collection

Posted by Anonymous on July 13, 2013

The force is no longer with Eric Hodgson, a California man who gave up a collection of Star Wars memorabilia worth more than $10,000 in a plea deal to charges that he defrauded a state agency out of nearly $1.9 million.

Hodgson was charged in April with 22 counts of grand theft after the California Department of Transportation hired him to publish advertisements for construction contracts in local newspapers. “He instead used the money to pay off a mortgage, make purchases of toys and comics, and pay for exotic trips for him and his company staff,” State Attorney General Kamala Harris’ office said in a statement.

Hodgson, 43, pleaded guilty on Thursday to defrauding the agency and has agreed to forfeit his Star Wars collection. He must also forfeit two residences, two cars and retirement accounts as part of the plea deal and faces a nine-year prison sentence.

Nick Pacilio, a spokesman for Harris, said on Friday that among the forfeited items now slated for auction is a rubber statue of Yoda, approximately three feet tall, complete with robe and wispy hair. …

Vía Reuters: Oddly Enough http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/oddlyEnoughNews/~3/XBU8PDM4UOc/story01.htm

He should obviously stop listening to advice from that crazy Yoda statue. Who bought the cursed Yoda?

Posted in Crime, Science Fiction, Strange | Leave a Comment »

Warp speed may actually be possible + Star Trek: Into Darkness Review + The Captains Close Up by Shatner

Posted by Anonymous on May 21, 2013

.. Decades after the original “Star Trek” show had gone off the air, pioneering physicist and avowed Trek fan Miguel Alcubierre argued that maybe a warp drive is possible after all. It just wouldn’t work quite the way “Star Trek” thought it did.

Things with mass can’t move faster than the speed of light. But what if, instead of the ship moving through space, the space was moving around the ship?

Space doesn’t have mass. And we know that it’s flexible: space has been expanding at a measurable rate ever since the Big Bang. We know this from observing the light of distant stars — over time, the wavelength of the stars’ light as it reaches Earth is lengthened in a process called “redshifting.” According to the Doppler effect, this means that the source of the wavelength is moving farther away from the observer — i.e. Earth.

So we know from observing redshifted light that the fabric of space is movable. [See also: What to Wear on a 100-Year Starship Voyage]

Alcubierre used this knowledge to exploit a loophole in the “universal speed limit.” In his theory, the ship never goes faster than the speed of light — instead, space in front of the ship is contracted while space behind it is expanded, allowing the ship to travel distances in less time than light would take. The ship itself remains in what Alcubierre termed a “warp bubble” and, within that bubble, never goes faster than the speed of light.

Since Alcubierre published his paper “The Warp Drive: Hyper-fast travel within general relativity” in 1994, many physicists and science fiction writers have played with his theory —including “Star Trek” itself. [See also: Top 10 Star Trek Technologies]

Alcubierre’s warp drive theory was retroactively incorporated into the “Star Trek” mythos by the 1990s TV series “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

In a way, then, “Star Trek” created its own little grandfather paradox: Though ultimately its theory of faster-than-light travel was heavily flawed, the series established a vocabulary of light-speed travel that Alcubierre eventually formalized in his own warp drive theories.

The Alcubierre warp drive is still theoretical for now. “The truth is that the best ideas sound crazy at first. And then there comes a time when we can’t imagine a world without them.” That’s a statement from the 100 Year Starship organization, a think tank devoted to making Earth what “Star Trek” would call a “warp-capable civilization” within a century.

The first step toward a functional warp drive is to prove that a “warp bubble” is even possible, and that it can be artificially created.

That’s exactly what physicist Harold “Sonny” White and a team of researchers at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Texas are doing right now.

According to Alcubierre’s theory, one could create a warp bubble by applying negative energy, or energy created in a vacuum. This process relies on the Casimir effect, which states that a vacuum is not actually a void; instead, a vacuum is actually full of fluctuating electromagnetic waves. Distorting these waves creates negative energy, which possibly distorts space-time, creating a warp bubble.

To see if space-time distortion has occurred in a lab experiment, the researchers shine two highly targeted lasers: one through the site of the vacuum and one through regular space. The researchers will then compare the two beams, and if the wavelength of the one going through the vacuum is lengthened, i.e. redshifted, in any way, they’ll know that it passed through a warp bubble. …

via Warp speed, Scotty? It may actually be possible… – Science.

I did recently see Star Trek: Into Darkness (or as I call it, the Different Wrath of a Different Khan) the day it came out, but I’ve been holding off on writing my review. As a long time fan of the series, I’m a bit embarrassed to say that, well, truth be told, I enjoyed Iron Man 3 more.

After plenty of thought, I’ve boiled it down to three things. First, a major element missing from this latest Star Trek was a Captain with a wry sense of humor.  This Kirk still seemed like a too serious boy to me, plenty of the bravado but missing the sense of ease and humor that made Bill Shatner the best Kirk so far. There were some great and moments like Sulu’s bluff, great stunts, great CG and an interesting villain. Second, the rewrites of events from the original series just didn’t seem right. They were at times out of character for the characters. Spock yelling “Khaaaaaaan,” for example, was totally illogical.  This was fun and funny for long time fans, but was something you’d expect from a Saturday Night Live spoof rather than an addition to the Trek Legacy. It was playful fun, sure, but it took me out of the story and made me focus on the producers/writers rather than keeping me engaged in an enjoyable story. Third, the pace was off somehow. I can’t put my finger on it, but the ride from wild action to peaceful relief was just not enjoyable.

Anyway, speaking of different Trek captains, check this out:

EPIX has announced the premiere of William Shatner’s new Star Trek themed mini-series, The Captains Close Up on May 16th.  The premiere is part of EPIX’ “Trekkie Fest,” an entire night of programming related to Paramount’s latest Star Trek Into Darkness, opening on May 16th.  Also screening on EPIX will be Shatner’s feature documentary on the world of Star Trek fandom; William Shatner’s Get a Life.

The Captains Close Up is a five-episode miniseries, directed by and featuring William Shatner.  Each episode focuses on one of the Captains of Star Trek:Sir Patrick Stewart, Scott Bakula, Kate Mulgrew, Avery Brooks and of course, William Shatner, himself.  Chris Pine, the newest Enterprise Captain, turns the tables to interview the original Captain of the Enterprise, William Shatner, and the two “Captain James T. Kirks” compare notes about love, life and family.

William Shatner speaks with each of the Captains of the Starship USS Enterprise for an up close interview of their life after Star Trek.  Each half-hour is an intimate portrayal of these talented actors and includes interviews from the biggest names in the world of Star Trek including; Jonathan Frakes, Walter Koenig, Michael Dorn, Rene Auberjonois, Rick Berman, Brannon Braga, Robert Beltran, Ron Moore, Terry Farrell, Nana Visitor and Ira Steven Behr, to name a few.

The Captains Close Up miniseries is the 9th production with William Shatner from 455 Films and Love Lake Productions in association with Le Big Boss Productions. Shatner also serves as producer, along with Kevin Layne and David Zappone.  Joseph Kornbrodt and Helene Layne serve as associate producers.  Premium network EPIX is owned by Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM.

Posted in Science Fiction, Space, Technology, Travel | 3 Comments »

The Hobbit ring that may have inspired Tolkien put on show

Posted by Anonymous on April 5, 2013

The ring that may have inspired Tolkien's Hobbit booksThe ‘cursed’ Roman ring that may have inspired Tolkien’s Hobbit books.

… A new exhibition opening today at The Vyne, now owned by the National Trust, raises the intriguing possibility that the Roman ring in the case, and the ring of power in JRR Tolkien’s book The Hobbit, and in his Lord of the Rings trilogy, are one and the same.

As Dave Green, the property manager, explains, there’s more to the story than the ring – an iron-age site with ancient mine workings known as “the Dwarf’s Hill”, a curse on the thief who stole the ring, and a strong link to Tolkien himself.

Tolkien was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford before he found fame as an author, with the publication of The Hobbit in 1937, and the first of the Rings trilogy in 1954. He certainly knew the story of the curse and the ring, and was researching the subject two years before he began work on The Hobbit.

The ring was in the collection of the Chute family – which for generations was interested in politics, collecting, and antiquarian research – for centuries before the house came to the National Trust in the 1930s.

“I was looking for the ring to show a visitor, and I walked right past the case with it – that’s when I decided we really had to make more of this amazing thing,” Green said. As well as the exhibition room, created with the help of the Tolkien Trust, the house now has a dwarf trail for children and a new playground with circular tunnels and green hillocks recalling Bilbo’s home, Bag End.

The ring was probably found in 1785 by a farmer ploughing a few miles away within the walls of Silchester, one of the most enigmatic Roman sites in the country – a town which flourished before the Roman invasion, was abandoned by the 7th century and was never reoccupied.

There are no details of exactly when it was found, but historians assume the farmer sold it to the history loving wealthy family at The Vyne. It was a strikingly odd object, 12g of gold so large that it would only fit on a gloved thumb, ornamented with a peculiar spiky head wearing a diadem, and a Latin inscription reading: “Senicianus live well in God”.

A few decades later and 100 miles away, more of the story turned up: at Lydney in Gloucestershire, a Roman site known locally as the Dwarf’s Hill, a tablet with an inscribed curse was found. A Roman called Silvianus informs the god Nodens that his ring has been stolen. He knows the villain responsible, and he wants the god to sort them out: “Among those who bear the name of Senicianus to none grant health until he bring back the ring to the temple of Nodens.”

Lydney was re-excavated by the maverick archaeologist Sir Mortimer Wheeler, who called in Tolkien in 1929 to advise on the odd name of the god – and also spotted the connection between the name on the curse and the Chute family’s peculiar ring. It seems that Senicianus only got as far as Silchester before he lost his booty.

Dr Lynn Forest-Hill of the Tolkien Society said Tolkien’s source was usually assumed to be literary sources, including the Niebelung legends. “It is, then, particularly fascinating to see the physical evidence of the Vyne ring, with its links to Tolkien through the inscription associating it with a curse.”

The ring is now on display with a first edition of The Hobbit and a copy of the curse – visitors are invited to vote on whether they are looking at the original of Bilbo’s ring. …

via The Hobbit ring that may have inspired Tolkien put on show | Books | The Guardian.

Posted in Archaeology, Science Fiction | Leave a Comment »

NASA meets Star Trek fans

Posted by Anonymous on March 30, 2013

http://www.themarysue.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/StarTrekNASA1.jpgBefore you watch Star Trek Into Darkness in theaters this May, you may see some scenes from space that weren’t made in Hollywood.

In just six days, a space industry lobbying group has successfully raised enough money on Indiegogo to get a 30-second ad trailer about NASA played on the silver screen. The trailer will be played before the latest Star Trek movie starts on 59 screens in major U.S. cities.

The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), which represents 350 U.S. aerospace and defense companies, has beat its $33,000 Indiegogo campaign goal and will create a 30-second spot about the nation’s space program from a longer “We are the Explorers” video about NASA.

The association said its wants to raise awareness of what the American space industry can do in the next era of space exploration:

When the Space Shuttle landed for the last time, many Americans thought NASA was closed for good. Nothing could be further from the truth. Right now, men and women from the space program are designing and building next generation space vehicles to go to new destinations in space, farther than we’ve ever gone before.

With 33 days left to go in the AIA’s Indiegogo campaign — which is not officially endorsed by NASA — the trade association is shooting for the stars: It’s now hoping to raise $94,000 so it can get the NASA trailer out to 750 screens across the nation. Funding had reached almost $33,900 by Saturday afternoon. …

As part of the U.S.’s budget sequester that went into effect March 1, funding will be cut from NASA. Though NASA’s estimated budget for fiscal 2013 is $17.7 billion, it accounts for only a tiny percentage of the overall federal budget.

Star Trek Into Darkness opens in U.S. theaters on May 17.

Posted in Science Fiction, Space | 2 Comments »

After Earth (trailer)

Posted by Anonymous on March 22, 2013

Posted in - Video, Science Fiction | 1 Comment »

Happy Patrick Stewart’s Day

Posted by Anonymous on March 17, 2013

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To be honest, even though I’m part Irish, I’ve never understood St. Patrick’s Day. From now on, I’ve decided to celebrate Sir Patrick Stewart’s day on that day instead. He’s a much better role model. I’ll watch a few of his films, X-men or something, and eat some organic popcorn. Rock out.

Posted in Humor, Religion, Science Fiction | 1 Comment »

 
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