Does Sharknado 2 fall into my definition of Sci-fi?

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Sharknado 2

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3062074/

Following my new rating system I give Sharknado 2, 2 buckets of popcorn and 2 bottles of wine.

(0 Bucket of Popcorn – Great; too busy to eat! – 3 Buckets terrible – nothing else to do)

(0 Bottles of Wine – Great; too exciting to drink. 3 Bottles – nothing else to do)

 

I couldn’t, in all good conscience, talk about which movies help define my Sci-Fi perspective without talking about Sharknado 2.

Yes, to some it could be considered Sci-Fi and to others, it falls ‘into another category.’

To me it falls ‘into another category’. Even though I enjoyed the movie, it is too commercial and too self-deprecating to fall neatly into the Sci-Fi genre.

After seeing Sharknado 1, and enjoying it, I looked forward (a little) for Sharknado 2. I found the first one by accident before it became a cult explosion. My wife and I immediately knew there would be a 2 and sure enough there was. Hollywood would never miss the chance to make money of a crazy story line.

This movie didn’t fall within my definition of Sci-Fi because it didn’t try to be Sci-Fi. Its only purpose was to carry the silly story one step further and entertain us with a crazy movie. Sci-Fi in my world has a message, aside from just creating a quick knock-off to make money. Good Sci-Fi takes some element of human nature, science and fiction and shows us something different. To me Sharknado 2 didn’t fit this bill.

I did enjoy it and I’m amazed how a small bomb will break down a tornado. Amazing….

Ray Jay Perreault

https://rayjayperreault.wordpress.com

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How movies define Sci-Fi

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How movies define Sci-Fi

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_of_the_Lepus

Over the holiday break I was fortunate to see two pieces of Sci-Fi which I feel helps to define the genre.

The first piece is the classic “To Serve Man” from the Twilight Zone series. It is one of those subtle stories that has aliens and the ending sneaks up on the viewer. It is truly a classic and anyone who enjoys Sci-Fi or writes Sci-Fi has to watch this episode and of course the remainder of the Twilight Zone and Outer Limits series.

The other piece I saw was a classic also. I must admit though I’m not sure what the word ‘classic’ means in this case. This piece is “Night of the Lepus”. You may wonder why I’m referencing this movie, but after you see it and you stop laughing I think you’ll realize how it helps to define Sci-Fi.

The movie is horrible, it has bad acting, bad directing, and lastly the special effects are out of the local grammar school. But, still there is something about it that helps me, in my mind, to understand why I like Sci-Fi.

The beauty of Sci-Fi is that is has room for this type of entertainment. The movie provides entertainment and is best viewed after the second bottle of wine. The ending is imaginative although totally against the laws of physics but that is why it has a cult following.

Maybe I’ll start a Sci-Fi movie rating system. Instead of the “Thumbs up/Thumbs down” rating by Siskel and Ebert, I’ll have 1-3 buckets of popcorn, 0 being poor Sci-Fi, 3 being great Sci-Fi. Then I’ll have 1-3 bottles of wine; 0 fantastic (too excited to imbibe) and 3 would too bad not to drink.

Obviously I’ll have to work on this system a little; maybe another bottle of wine will help.

Ray Jay Perreault

https://rayjayperreault.wordpress.com

Answers to Fermi’s Paradox

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11 of the Weirdest Solutions to the Fermi Paradox

http://io9.com/11-of-the-weirdest-solutions-to-the-fermi-paradox-456850746

Here is an interesting addition to the discussion on Fermi’s paradox. These are all logical reasons why the paradox might not be valid, but I have my own opinions.

One major one missed, in my opinion, is social entropy. Social entropy is the natural energy level of society to decay over time. You can see examples of it in the Roman Empire and in some large corporations. Over time societies decay because of a couple of factors. One is span of control. One government can’t control an infinite number of individuals. The larger the number, the weaker the influence. Extrapolate that over billions of individuals, a large number of planets or great distances and the society loses its focus and wonders.

The giant advanced populations that are discussed, I think, reach a practical limit and once reached they decay. Who would care about some leader who is light years away and whose life is totally different? Once the point of decay is reached, technology loses much of its impact and meeting the needs of daily life dominate.

Another item, I think they miss, is the assumption that all creatures explore. Exploration might be a characteristic for only us. We are the product of an evolution where survival of the fittest dominates. Without alpha predators to force evolution a species can remain very happy in its biological niche. There are many examples of this; sharks haven’t changed in 10 of millions of years. They were the alpha predator and had no need to change or explore.

In my recent book Gemini, I described a naive society that never had alpha predators and when faced with a survival situation they didn’t know how to react. They were happy in their world and didn’t feel a need to explore. They had what they needed and there wasn’t any pressure to expand.

In my opinion societies may not feel the pressure to explore the entire universe and if they did they might find limits on their breath and depth which they can’t deal with. Assuming some race of aliens will dominate all of existence is like assuming that crabgrass in your lawn, which you have fought for years, will take over the world.

Ray Jay Perreault

https://rayjayperreault.wordpress.com

Warp 6 here we come!

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How To Find Faster-Than-Light Particles

#IAN1 #Scifi #Sci-fi

http://www.iflscience.com/physics/do-neutrinos-have-imaginary-mass

Wow am I brilliant ;>). I wrote a blog late in November which talked about how everything in nature is balanced and I surmised that if we have a curve describing how mass increases as you add energy and approach the speed of light then we must have another particle where mass decreases and it loses energy beyond the speed of light. Well here it is and now I have a possible explanation for FTL (Faster than light travel) in my next book.

My brilliance aside, this is very interesting and their discussion about how these particles have imaginary mass is also interesting. The article also noted that squaring an imaginary mass will yield a negative mass. If you notice negative mass is required for the Alcubierre Drive which is another theoretical method for FTL which is being investigated by NASA.

We’re getting closer, Warp 6 here we come.

Ray Jay Perreault

https://rayjayperreault.wordpress.com

Science Fiction Body Swapping

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Science Fiction Body Swapping

http://www.livescience.com/49139-virtual-body-swapping-battles-bias.html?cmpid=558760

When I saw this article I thought of some great science fiction stories. Someone tell me if these have been written.

One civilization works out an agreement with another to swap bodies. Their intellect and personality is traded from one body to another and they learn about each other. The story could get interesting as they get involved in the activities of the alien culture or theirs within our culture.

A variation on this theme is a forceful invasion and an alien robot or device forcibly trades a human with an alien on another world. They invade us by taking over our bodies and sending us to a foreign planet perhaps dying from some catastrophe or super nova.

Or, to continue the invasion theme, we make friends with an alien species and they offer to trade with us for vacations and eventually we find they are pulling the ‘To Serve Man’ trick on us. (For those of you who didn’t see the To Serve Man episode of Twilight Zone – you’ve got to check it out.).

Seems that this story line has some legs; someone go with it.

Ray Jay Perreault

https://rayjayperreault.wordpress.com

 

Take a dump SO you can go to work.

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Take a dump SO you can go to work.

Here is a great article about the energy potential of human waste. Read it the next time you’re on the throne and maybe put it in your next Sci-Fi story.

http://www.livescience.com/48918-beyond-the-poo-bus-the-many-uses-of-human-waste.html?cmpid=558621

I never realized how energy packed human waste is. For example I didn’t know that if a person collects all of their urine for a year, they’ll have enough fertilizer to grown all of the grain they need to eat. I guess you can that a closed cycle.

This has been done for centuries in different parts of the world. In China it’s a major part of the energy production in the rural areas. Apparently they have toilets made to separate the key ingredients.

The solid waste we produce is just as productive. Storing it and letting our little bacteria friends work on it turns it into great fertilizer also. While it decomposes it creates bio-methane which is better than natural methane. It burns cleaner and produces the same amount of energy.

The article talks about a bus that runs on bio-methane. So the time spent on the toilet can be productive and it will help you get to work.

I think this material would be great in future human sci-fi. This type of waste management along with a water allotment where people are given a certain amount of water per year and they have to decide on spending 70 gallons for one avocado, or 50 gallons for a walnut is worth it. A fully closed society where 100 percent is recycled. Maybe I’ll put this on my list of stories to write.

 

Ray Jay Perreault

https://rayjayperreault.wordpress.com

Will we create the Aliens we meet?

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#IAN1 #SciFi

http://www.popsci.com

In the points of interest of the January 2015 Popular Science there was an interesting article.

The article talked about NASA’s efforts to cleanse space vehicles. It spoke in detail about how the Curiosity Rover was cleaned prior to launch. They cooked it to 230 Degrees F. Then prior to launch they swabbed the vehicle and found 54,000 organisms from 377 bacterial strains.

Wow, that is scary.

The article went on to describe how in other tests they have put acid on the bacteria, hit them with ultraviolet light, scrubbed them with lye and dehydration. Much of the bacteria laughed at some of the attempts to kill them.

There was bacteria called Gracilibactilas that eats the salts in rocket fuel and which occurs naturally on Mars. It actually might eat the soil of Mars.

So what will happen in the future, will we visit the oceans of Europa and then come back 100 years from now and find it overrun with stuff we left? By then it will likely have mutated and maybe it will be pissed off. Will we ultimately be invaded by an aggressive life form that we deposited?

Food for thought, but be careful it might contain bacteria.

Ray Jay Perreault

https://rayjayperreault.wordpress.com