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Posts by Maia Brown-Jackson

  1. James Cameron Working With Steven Charles Gould to Pen Four Avatar Novels

    It's almost like he thinks the ground-breaking 3D effects weren't the main reason we were all so obsessed.

    The universe of one of the most visually stunning movies in the past few years will now be relegated to our mind's eye: James Cameron-- who hasn't yet finished the screenplay the three Avatar sequels-- is now working with science fiction writer Steven Charles Gould to write four stand-alone novels set in the Avatar universe.

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  2. Facebook Junkies, Worry Not: New Pavlov Poke Shocks You If You Use Facebook Too Much

    This is... actually not a terrible idea.

    If you've ever wondered what PhD candidates at MIT do in their spare time, wonder no more. It's actually about what you would expect: they make "proactive art/design projects" to administer non-lethal shocks to their bodies when they spend too much time on one application. Or rig systems to have strangers call and yell at them.

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  3. Meet Zephyr: The Windsailing Rover NASA May Use to Explore Venus

    Rollerskating rovers to be considered for runs on Saturn's rings.

    Because Venus, ranging from 24 to 162 million miles from Earth, is as close as any of us really want to get to a nightmarish hellscape, I suppose it makes sense that we haven't yet figured out a way to explore its surface. But that may soon change: NASA is considering sending a rover to the surface of the planet by making that rover a windsailer.

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  4. Adorable and Endangered Lion Cub Born in France

    In the French zoo, the pretty (I'm sure) French zoo, the lion sleeps tonight. Come on, everybody!

    One of the really terrible things we as a species have done is cause other species, both majestic and adorable, to become endangered and sometimes extinct. But now that we're trying to right that wrong, here's our latest little victory: an Asiatic lion cub was born in a zoo in Besancon one week ago.

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  5. Ghost Shark Now Has a Twitter Account; Also We Think It Likes Us

    We would also like to hear from Sharktopus, Crocosaurus, Piranhaconda.

    Because this is the day I write about ghost sharks three separate times, here is our latest update in the ongoing saga: the ghost shark (of the SyFy movie, not that other one from down under) has a twitter account. In his own words: Just a misunderstood supernatural marine creature looking for a little understanding. And revenge.

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  6. Lovely Google Doodle in Honor of Claude Debussy, Kind Youtuber Made a Video

    “Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.”

    Whatever faults Google may have, winning the heart of the internet via distractions is not one of them, with easter eggs for gay pride, the first snowfall-- and today's home page is a gorgeous animation set to Claude Debussy's "Claire de Lune" in honor of what would be his 151st birthday.

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  7. There’s Already a Ghost Shark 2 Trailer Online, Somehow Not Related to Ghost Shark

    Its makers have said, "Sometimes it’s important for a film to grab you by the balls and punch you in the face repeatedly."

    The original trailer was a joke. But in a cautionary tale of interneting, a few terrible, terrible people took notice and thus Ghost Shark 2: Urban Jaws was created for real, though they didn't actually make (I swear, I couldn't make this up) Ghost Shark 1: Port Massacre. It's the "1" that makes it art.

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  8. We Fail at the Prime Directive: Humans Could Be Causing Animals to Develop Larger Brains

    So... we're about on par with Kirk, then.

    It's no secret that quite often, humans seriously mess things up, on scales both large (like all that the-environment-is-going-to-hell-and-it's-our-fault stuff) and small (like causing bacteria to become antibiotic-resistant). But occasionally it we may help other species: a new study finds we might be the reason animals are evolving larger brains.

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  9. White House Doing a “We the Geeks” Google Hangout Tomorrow

    Despite Obama being the one to get hard-core nerds all in a tizzy by confusing Star Trek and Star Wars last March.

    With politicians making noise over American graduates moving to other countries, the White House is using this issue as a jumping off point for comprehensive immigration reform and aiming to attract "geeks" from around the world to immigrate here. Thus they are hosting a Google+ Hangout on "Making the U.S. a Geek Magnet" tomorrow at noon, EDT.

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  10. Ghost Shark Sneak Peek Leaves Us With Even More Questions About Ghosts, Sharks

    You're not even trying anymore, are you Syfy?

    Movies this summer seem to be chosen using madlibs. Specifically, shark-themed madlibs, because after Sharknado, the Megalodon "documentary," and the shark that ate another shark, TV execs have decided the world just isn't terrified enough of going in the ocean. The latest? Ghost Shark-- and if you can't wait until tonight, here is a sneak peek.

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  11. Decomissioned NASA Craft Brought Back For One Last Job: Like Taken But With Asteroids

    You know, if WISE were our father and asteroids wanted to sell us as sex slaves.

    NASA spacecraft Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) has in the past discovered and characterized thousands of asteroids before being put in "hibernation," which is a fairly terrifying euphemism. But next month it's coming back for one last mission: identifying potentially dangerous asteroids, that will then be... "relocated."

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  12. 10 Books You Should Read If You’re Interested in The Age of Ice

    Because why limit yourself to one book if you could buy eleven?

    As those insurance commercials keep telling me, more is better. So if you're excited for The Age of Ice, why not be excited for ten other new books, too? Other than The Brothers Karamazov and Doctor Zhivago, of course. With that in mind, we've compiled a list of books those intrigued by Sidorova's work will likely enjoy.

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  13. Grad Student Being Paid to Photograph Rare Red Lightning, Has Coolest Job Ever

    It's like Storm Chasers, but for science!

    Okay, so maybe Iron Man beats lightning photographer so far as jobs go, but I maintain that Jason Ahrns, along with other scientists, is probably having a fairly awesome summer. Their sponsored project? Fly in a Gulfstream V in search of rare, red lightning.

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  14. Robot Barista Makes Custom Coffee Using the Cloud

    Today: Making elitist, wannabe artiste-slash-baristas obsolete. Tomorrow, removing ALL the human interactions.

    The Briggo robot makes coffee via app. You specifying how you want the milk steamed, any flavor shots (for people who are too silly to appreciate the taste of coffee alone), and kind of sweetener. Then it tells you the exact pickup time. Something that automatically figures out my coffee while I'm still half-asleep? Um, yes please!

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  15. That Is Too Much Dreadlock, About 19 Feet Too Much

    If you wondered what Tangled would look like if Rapunzel had dreadlocks, here's a serious possibility.

    There are some pretty strange Guinness World Records out there. Longest underwater kiss, largest gathering of people dressed like Gandhi, most spoons on a human body-- and longest dreadlocks. Asha Zulu Mandela holds the last with 19'6" dreads (55' individual strands) that seem to be a little bit messing up her life.

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  16. New Study Confirms (My) Upper East Side School Is the Saddest Place in NYC

    And suddenly attending a college whose motto is "The place where fun goes to die" seems all the more appropriate.

    Stuyvesant, Horace Mann, my own Upper East Side brick prison (Hunter College High School)-- all breeding grounds of dead-eyed, ofttimes socially awkward graduates who sometimes like to argue about whose school was hardest. While we may disagree about that unto death, a new study reports: Hunter is the saddest.

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  17. Okkervil River Makes Video Game In Anticipation of Their Next LP

    Guys, this is cool and innovative and nostalgic and all that, but just release your LP.

    "I should get off the computer and go outside." It's not just the way most of my mornings start -- it's also the opening of the new browser video game The Silver Gymnasium, written by Okkervill River frontman Will Sheff in anticipation of the band's upcoming LP of the same name, which is set to drop on September 3.

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  18. Auroras, Including the Northern Lights, Now Available in a Jar

    Okay, Europe, what other century-old brilliant ideas are you hiding?

    Because we as a species seem unable to appreciate beautiful things without automatically musing about the price tag, scientists at NASA have recently followed Europe in bottling auroras, both of the famous Northern Lights and several extraterrestrial ones. As there are about a dozen in existence, you can't have one of your own quite yet, though.

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  19. Ray Bradbury Started a Zine, Because Of Course He Did, and It’s Available Online

    And he called it "FuFa" for short, because of no reasons that are worth anything.

    The author of The Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit 451 started a zine shortly after high school, an act which is now commonly met with derision, but was actually pretty popular for science fiction enthusiasts back in the day. It's called Futuria Fantasia (really), and you can find all four issues free on Project Gutenberg.

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  20. Largest Gun Bust in NYC History Because Of Rapper’s Instagram

    What more would you expect from the poet who wrote: I wake up music I think money I smoke weed I shit when it come to gear and I sleep tats .......I am me I'm sorry world if u don't agree ......neno

    While Sherlock Holmes may have Moriarty, and Superman Lex Luthor, and we're all thrilled to watch their never-ending battles, it's kind of comforting when real life criminals are too stupid to do much damage before going balls-up in some truly glorious ways. Case in point: the largest gun bust in NYC history happened because of Instagram.

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