Time

Category archives for Time

What Distance Is

What is distance? There’s the distance between people, who subconsciously space themselves apart, providing a reliable visual matrix of intimacy. It’s no coincidence we use the word “close” to describe our most intimate relationships: to whisper and caress, we draw near to one another, less than six inches apart. For chatter amongst personal friends, the…

I Want To Live In A Bathysphere

Is poetry a driving force of Oceanography? Read Rimbaud! – Phillipe Diolé   I’ve written many times, although not recently, about the ocean. When I first began Universe in 2005, it was practically a ship’s log: meandering pieces on narwhal tusks, the accidental poetics of my hero, Rachel Carson, and adolescent screeds on the perils…

In 1977, NASA sent a pair of unmanned probes named Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 into space. Among the infrared spectrometers and radio receivers included on each probe were identical copies of the same non-scientific object: the Voyager Golden Record. Sheathed in a protective aluminum jacket, the Record is a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk containing…

The Shadow Biosphere

Let’s define alien. Definition number one: unfamiliar. By that description alone, a good 99% of life on this planet is alien. Breathing water, living nestled in thermal vents, stalking prey on the veldt, growing out of the Earth and eating sunlight, without eyes, without legs, with extra legs, color-blind, carapaced, marsupial, with exoskeletons, with jelly…

The Evolution of Life in 60 Seconds

The Evolution of Life in 60 Seconds is an experiment in scale: by condensing 4.6 billion years of history into a minute, the video serves as a self-contained timepiece. Like a specialized clock, it gives a sense of perspective. Every event – from the formation of the Earth, to the Cambrian Explosion, to the evolution of mice…

Stepping Into Hyperspace

I made this compilation of so-called “hyperspace” scenes from science-fiction movies last year with my friend, the artist and businessman Mike Merrill. Although the film was initially meant to be a catalog of these scenes, the finished product has an ambient, meditative effect that speaks to the power of the very idea of the hyperspace.…

New Futures

I never cease to wonder about the vast amount of futures we have in store. While there is only one past, albeit an eternally contested and subjective one, the future is manifold and unfuckwithable. Recent pulpy science fiction binges and forays into blockbuster cinematic media have proven this indubitably; After all, maybe the main reason…

Interview: Thomas A. Day

Welcome to the second in an ongoing series of Interviews with authors of Science Fiction. I’m lucky to have had a chance, recently, to review Portland local Thomas A. Day’s A Grey Moon Over China, a totally postapocalyptic epic that takes the ongoing cultural fear of an energy crisis to a particularly dark and alienating…