The Higgs, The Guardians of the Galaxy, and Real Life DRAGONS

The past couple of weeks have been incredibly hectic for me, so I apologize for not posting something new earlier. But let’s recap what’s happened lately, shall we?

First, the physicists at CERN confirmed the existence of the Higgs Boson, (aka The God Particle). A lot of people will argue that the discovery makes no real difference. I am not one of those people. The announcement of the discovery was long anticipated and with it, our understanding of the world is more complete. You know what that leads to? More high-tech gadgets for you and me! If you’re unsure about what the Higgs is, then watch this:

Second, this past week was one of the biggest in the comic world with the San Diego Comic-Con in full swing. I’ve never been to the convention, but it is definitely on my bucket-list. Aside from the Game of Thrones panel, (which could have been better), the most interesting showcase this year had to be from Marvel. The comic book giant confirmed that a Guardians of the Galaxy movie will arrive in 2014. For anyone who doesn’t know, Guardians of the Galaxy is like Avengers in space. IN SPACE, PEOPLE! Given that it shares themes with my own book, The Dark Matter Chronicles, I am terribly excited for this to come out. Like, a kid who has eaten 3 pixie sticks and then washed it all down with a jug of kool-aid excited.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Marvel

And last but not least, I’ve recently learned that scientists in Indonesia discovered what appears to be a tiny dragon. That’s right. Tiny dragon. There is no confirmation on whether or not it breathes fire, guards wizarding banks, or answers to a Khaleesi. If we’re being realistic though, it’s actually a species of gliding lizard. But screw reality! I’m counting on evolution to be awesome and turn them into the badasses they are in books and movies. Sooner rather than later please. Thanks science!

Are We One Step Closer to A.I.?

This video has been circulating the interwebs for a couple of weeks now and is really catching people’s attention now though it was posted over a year ago. A brilliant team at Aldebaran Robotics has created a sophisticated set of robots that can be programmed to perform various tasks, including dancing to Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

They do a a pretty good job, don’t you think? Their movements are surprisingly fluid. These robots can’t think for themselves or act of their own will, (if they could, we’d have viable replacements for pop stars), but they do seem to be a physical improvement on Honda’s Asimo.  And, while we tend to focus on  intelligence when we think of computers/robots in science fiction and how they might overtake us, there’s something to be said about whether or not they have the physical ability to do so. The simple of act of walking and being able to move around with ease does give us an advantage.

So until we reach the point where cylons– the human-like A.I. from Battlestar Galactica— rule over us, I say we embrace the technology. I personally would like a Nao robot, (the ones in the video above), as a pet. That way when do they take over, I’m on good terms with at least one of them.

3D Printers: When Fiction Becomes Reality and Mixes With Awesome

Science fiction TV shows, movies, and books have always dangled futuristic technology in front of us, teasing us the way one teases squirrels by eating delicious handfuls of walnuts in front of them while laughing maniacally, (and accidentally choking because that’s what happens when you eat and laugh at the same time). We’ve all been there, am I right? Wait…what do you mean no?

Anyways…one of the futuristic technologies we often see in fiction are replicators or machines that can create something out of nothing. If you’ve heard of 3D printers, then you know that we’re close to making that fictional dream a reality.

These printers do exactly what the name suggest: they let you print out 3-dimensional objects, complete with moving parts and colors — objects that are just as good as they would be if we manufactured them. You could print out a guitar and play it just like a normal guitar. Want a toy dinosaur? Why not print one in chocolate? Or how about a car?

Don’t believe me? Here’s the proof:

Other than the fact that it is an incredible technology that will change everything, (EVERYTHING!), why am I writing about 3D printers? Because they’ll play a role in the 2nd book of the The Dark Matter Chronicles, but probably not how you think…

I’m not going to give anything away, but this technology has a use that will have a profound impact on us; something that’s about 20-50 years out. And I plan to use it in a way I don’t think anyone else has thought of yet. Am I being a tease? Yes. Am I also laughing about it? Of course. Now, if only I could get my hands on a ridiculously fluffy cat, a secret lair, and a 3D printer to complete my evil-genius persona, then I could really show those squirrels…

These 3D printers cannot get here fast enough.