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Category archives for Entertainment

The bad science of World War Z

World War Z was on the Netflix last night, so I made the mistake of watching it. It was terrible. Spoilers abound, so stop here if you care.

Will Smith must be stopped

He has a new movie coming out this summer, After Earth. It looks awful, but then, that’s what I’ve come to expect from Will Smith’s Sci-Fi outings. Jebus. Anyone remember that abomination, I, Robot? How about I Am Legend? I steer clear of these movies with a high concept and a big name star, because…

The best thing I’ve read today

I know it’s early, but I expect it to be the best thing for a few days yet. David Byrne writes about his love affair with sound, and I came away from it feeling like I’d both learned something new and that it fit well with other ideas I already had — it was a…

The wages of pseudoscience

I completely missed the disgraceful hokum the Animal Planet channel aired last week, Mermaids: The Body Found, a completely fictional pseudodocumentary dressed up as reality that claims mermaids exist. You can watch it now, though, until Animal Planet takes it down. It’s genuinely awful. Total nonsense, gussied up with more nonsense: would you believe it…

Why, Charlie Brown, Why?

Mondays are my long, long days — this is the day I get to spend 3 hours talking to students in small groups about cancer (they’re young and invincible, so so far it hasn’t been as depressing as I feared.) And they teach me stuff! Among the things I learned today is that there was…

Flu poll

I saw the movie Contagion last night — it’s good, but chilling. You are at the mercy of viruses that are evolving far faster than we are, and our lives depend on the luck of our genetics, the random permutations of recombination in pathogens, a bit on our efforts in hygiene and social practices, and…

They autotuned Morgan Freeman!

(Also on FtB)

Chutzpah!

Some people are planning to make a sequel, another 13 part series, to Carl Sagan’s Cosmos. This may be a greater heresy than giving Star Trek a reboot with a time-travel movie, or turning Star Wars into Jar Jar Binks land, but there is one glimmer of sunshine: it’s going to star Neil deGrasse Tyson.…

Stephen Hawking explains the universe

I shall have to turn on my television Sunday evening (7 or 8pm, depending on where in the US you are). Stephen Hawking will be on the Discovery Channel to answer the question, “Is There a Creator?” — I’m pretty sure he’s going to answer “no.” He also tersely answers a few questions online. Q:…

Game of Drones

Over the course of the last few weeks, I have dragged myself through George R. R. Martin’s latest, A Dance with Dragons, the fifth book in his Game of Thrones series. I’m done. No more. I’m not reading any of his books any more. It’s terrible. Martin has taken the concept of the pot-boiler to…