MIAMI (AP) — Forget the dystopian future of science fiction stories, where Skynet endoskeletons stomp on dry human bones or people slumbering in fluid-filled pods serve as living batteries. Electronic music producer and DJ Steve Aoki imagines a future where humans live in harmony with technology, and he’s sharing that vision in a new comic book series called “Neon Future.” Although science fiction narratives commonly depict cybernetic machines turning on their human masters, as in “The Terminator” or “The Matrix,” Aoki doesn’t buy it. “A general plot is that technology is destroying humanity,” Aoki said. “The robots are going to make us their slaves, or the human species is going to be exterminated by technology. But in this case, we are going to become augmented. ... We use technology for the good. It’s a different kind of story.” ″Neon Future “I believe that technology will merge with … [Read more...] about Neon Future: DJ Steve Aoki’s comic book sees techno-optimism
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Everybody loves to dive into a pile of books that spin out an epic, immersive storyline. There’s nothing more satisfying than a trilogy or series with deep worldbuilding. But some book series could stand to be a bit shorter—and maybe also fewer books. Earlier today, we had an essay from Kim Stanley Robinson about the experience of taking his acclaimed Science in the Capital trilogy and condensing it to a single book volume—cutting out 300 pages in the process. But which book trilogy or series would you love to see the same thing happen to? Advertisement Please include a book cover, book trailer, or other piece of artwork for your chosen book. And please mention the title, the name of the author and why there might just be too much of a good thing there. Thanks! Top image: Sort of the obvious candidate, The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. For all its many delights, this series is legendary for, shall we say, its extreme fecundity. Charlie Jane Anders is … [Read more...] about Which Epic Book Series Would Benefit From Being Shortened and Combined?
The American Southwest has been decimated by drought. Nevada and Arizona skirmish over dwindling shares of the Colorado River, while California watches, deciding if it should just take the whole river all for itself. But when water is more valuable than gold, alliances shift like sand, and the only truth in the desert is that someone will have to bleed if anyone hopes to drink.Although the above might read like a slightly dramatic spin on the Western U.S. drought crisis, this scenario—at least for now—is imaginary. It’s the teaser for Paolo Bacigalupi’s new novel The Water Knife, another recent addition to the rapidly growing canon of climate fiction. Often called “cli-fi,” the genre, in short, explores the potential, drastic consequences of climate change.It’s not an entirely new concept—Jules Verne played with the idea in a few of his novels in the 1880s—but the theme of man-made change doesn’t appear in literature until … [Read more...] about Climate Fiction: Can Books Save the Planet?
Congress today overwhelmingly passed the 2016 spending bill. The House of Representatives this morning voted 316 to 113, with a majority of Republicans and nearly all Democrats favoring the $1.1 trillion package for all federal agencies. The Senate concurred a few hours later with a vote of 65 to 33. President Barack Obama is expected to sign it into law later today. Early on 16 December, congressional leaders released the text of an omnibus spending bill that will fund all federal agencies for the rest of the 2016 fiscal year. We’ve taken a look at how individual agencies fared under the bill (see bullets below). Science has also compiled a table showing the budgets of key research agencies and programs. 2016 spending bill gives NIH $2 billion raise, largest in 12 years At long last, Congress to make R&D tax credit permanent White-nose bat study funded FDA gets 5% bump and ban on gene editing NASA science budget rises 6.6% NOAA research rises 4% in new budget … [Read more...] about Updated: Budget agreement boosts U.S. science
HINSDALE, IL — The Hinsdale Township High School District last week approved changes to its science curriculum that critics say would reduce offerings for students. But district officials said they wanted to align the courses at Central and South high schools. Under the new plan, students would take physics as freshmen, chemistry as sophomores and biology as juniors. Each of those classes would include earth science concepts. In its plan, the school district says it not only seeks to align offerings, but also to increase student exposure to core sciences and enroll them in more than the required two years of science. Many colleges suggest three years of science. Opponents said the curriculum's goal of alignment meant removing classes from Central. "Do you really think Central is given preferential treatment? If so, we should offer what's preferred to everyone," a woman told the board last week during public input. The district, she said, should add classes, instead of taking … [Read more...] about Hinsdale Science Changes Draw Protests