Friday, May 30, 2008


Google Earth can now be used from a browser if you don't want to download and run the full program. Just install a plug-in.

An uncontacted tribe in the Amazon has just been photographed. I wonder what they thought of the airplane (at least there was no Coke bottle thrown out the window).

io9 lists 10 books that they believe are redefining hard SF. There are some good books on the list.

Sci Fi Wire
has more information on JJ Abram's new show Fringe.

DVR for tonight:
530 Sarah Jane Adventures (season finale)
6pm Doctor Who
7pm Battlestar Galactica

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Not too long ago, I mentioned that Neil Gaiman and JK Rowling were among 13 authors writing short stories on postcards that would be auctioned for charity and then displayed on the Waterstones website and published in book form. Today it was revealed that JK Rowling's story is a Harry Potter prequel. You will be able to read the stories online on June 11th.

If you wanted to check out Shadow Unit by Emma Bull, Elizabeth Bear and others, but didn't because the season wasn't complete, then your wait is now over. The season finale is a serialized novel that is being released in sections between now and Saturday. (Source: SF Signal)

Amazon is going to launch a streaming video program in the next few weeks to complement their Unbox program to download rental videos.

DVR for tonight:
9pm Lost (2-hour season finale)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Sony has made an agreement with cable companies to make TVs that won't need cable boxes for digital interactive TV (you wouldn't need a cable box even for premium or pay-per-view programming). I'm sure other TV manufacturers will follow. (Sources: PC Magazine and SFGate)

DVR for tonight:
10pm Men in Trees

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


The picture on the left is the Phoenix Mars lander with its parachute open, descending to Mars. The photo was captured by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. You can find more info on the landing at and a perfect comment about the photo at the Bad Astronomy blog.

RIP Sydney Pollack. The director of Tootsie and many other films died of cancer at the age of 73.

The dvd for 3rd season Supernatural will include the digital versions of every episode for viewing on portable media players. I hope this is a trend that more studios will follow.

In honor of Indy 4 (a sequel that many believed would never be filmed), Rotten Tomatoes is listing the 20 sequels they are still waiting for, along with the chances they'll actually be made.

DVR for tonight:
8pm Andromeda Strain (A&E)

Friday, May 23, 2008


RIP Robert Aspirin. The writer of the Myth Adventures and Phule's Company books (among others) died suddenly at home yesterday according to his website. He'll be missed.

Phil Foglio did 2 pages of Good Omens as a comic book. They are currently viewable at his Girl Genius website, and will be auctioned off for Alzheimer's Research on June 3rd.

NBC's new show Crusoe just got more interesting to me. They cast Sam Neill and Sean Bean.

There is nothing on TV tonight.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Xconomy shows the next generation OLPC laptop, which is more like a 2-screen e-book reader and should be available for $75 in 2 years.

Zap2It recommends Essential SciFi movies, most of which I agree with, even though they leave a lot out (be sure to read the comment thread for some of the most obvious overlooked films).

Rumors are that the SciFi Channel may be planning 3 sequel TV movies for Battlestar Galactica once it ends.

Steven Moffat has been officially named the new showrunner for Doctor Who.

Netflix has unveiled their box for downloaded rentals.

DVRs for the next few days (since I may not be online):
Tues 9pm Reaper
Weds 10pm CSI:NY
Thurs 9pm Grey's Anatomy

Monday, May 19, 2008


Solar cells covered in microscopic nanowire hairs could greatly improve the efficiency of photovoltaic panels.

Neil Gaiman mentioned today that he wrote a short story on a postcard as part of an auction for charity. He and 12 other authors (including JK Rowling) will have their cards auctioned on June 10th, and the next day the stories will be available for everyone to read at Waterstones. The stories will also eventually be published along with 3 contest winners from the general public (2 adults and 1 child).

Researchers have discovered that some plants can change the weather.

A new vaccine is now available for people over 60 who have had chicken pox. It should prevent them from developing shingles.

SciFi Wire has an article about cast changes in the upcoming season of Stargate Atlantis. Robert Picardo (Woolsey) and Jewel Staite (Dr. Keller) move from recurring to regular cast. Paul McGillion (Dr. Beckett) will be back for 5 episodes. Contrary to some earlier reports, Dr. Weir won't make an appearance, and this may be the final season for Ronon.

There's a rumor that the CW is considering picking up Moonlight. This is just a chance, but I'll watch for details and let you know what happens.

SF Signal has reviewed all the Hugo short fiction nominees. Have you read them yet? Do you agree with them? Just a reminder that we have until July 7th to read all these and vote.

SF Universe has longer descriptions of Fringe and Dollhouse (the new genre shows coming from Fox) if you are curious. io9 also has a trailer for Dollhouse.

Do you want to see a preview for the new US version of Life on Mars? From this it looks like a pretty straight translation. Hard to tell if it will be good or bad, but I'll give it a shot.

DVRs for tonight:
5pm Greek
8pm Big Bang Theory & Bones (season finales)
830 How I Met Your Mother (season finale)
9pm 2.5 Men & House (season finales)

Friday, May 16, 2008


Interview with Joss Whedon about Dollhouse and an upcoming online short film starring Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion called "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog".

Fox announced their fall and midseason schedules yesterday. That makes the preliminary schedule grid complete if you want to check it out at FutonCritic. The crowded timeslots are Monday and Wednesday at 8pm and Thursday at 9pm.

Fox explains the scheduling decisions for new shows Fringe and Dollhouse.

DVRs for tonight:
5pm Sarah Jane Adventures
6pm Doctor Who
7pm Battlestar Galactica
8pm Ghost Whisperer (season finale)
9pm Moonlight (final episode)
10pm Numb3rs (season finale)

Thursday, May 15, 2008


TV Guide has an interview with Scrubs showrunner Bill Lawrence about the move to ABC.

DVRs for tonight:
8pm My Name is Earl
9pm CSI, Supernatural & Grey's Anatomy

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


CBS has announced their fall schedule. No big surprises, just where they slotted in the new shows. If you want to see the schedule grid, go here. If you want to see a scorecard of cancellations and renewals, go here. Both of these will be updated again tomorrow when Fox announces their schedule.

List Universe today has the Top 10 Fantasy Adventure Movies. I actually agree with a large percentage of these (if not necessarily the order).

DVR for tonight:
10pm CSI:NY

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Stephen Hawking is traveling to South Africa to find brilliant minds. Technology leaders and scientists have backed a plan to provide centers for advanced math and physics so that students can be found, taught, and utilize their talents without having to leave the country first.

Business Week has a review of Microsoft's Worldwide Telescope, which is available to the public today. It pulls together 12 terabytes of data, astronomy research from the web, and updated photos from multiple telescopes (including Hubble). They say the user interface is easier to use than the similar Google Sky.

The Von Trapp villa from Sound of Music will become a hotel this summer.

The Weinsteins plan to make a live-action (muppets will still be there) Fraggle Rock movie.

CW announced their fall schedule. Supernatural will remain on Thursday nights. Reaper will come back midseason. They don't have anything else I'm planning to watch.

Despite all the buzz that it was fairly secure, Moonlight was canceled today. CBS did renew all their comedies, and they picked up 3 somewhat genre-related pilots (Eleventh Hour, The Ex List, and The Mentalist). Their full schedule will be announced tomorrow.

ABC has announced their fall schedule. Life on Mars will follow Grey's Anatomy on Thursday nights. Pushing Daisies & Private Practice remain unchanged on Wednesdays. Lost & Scrubs won't join until midseason. No other new shows we care about, but the cancellation of Men in Trees is official. Sources: Zap2It and FutonCritic. According to FutonCritic, they still have 17 pilots under consideration for midseason.

DVRs for tonight:
9pm Reaper
10pm Women's Murder Club (series finale - it was canceled yesterday)

Monday, May 12, 2008


NASA is opening up more to private industry to help them with planned missions on limited budgets.

Google is taking votes on a "Doodle for Google" school art contest. Google asked K-12 kids across the country to doodle a Google logo for "What if...?" and the results are pretty good.

CO2 waste from paper production may soon be recycled into a component for making paper.

The Washington Post has an article on a proposed bipartisan health plan that could be "budget neutral" within a few years.

Airship Ventures will be launching zeppelin rides from Moffett Field starting this fall.

There will be a transatlantic sailing race this October between 7 robotic sailing ships.

Night Shade Books has a 50% coupon available for all in-stock titles.

Peter Fonda and Billy Campbell have joined the cast of SciFi's new pilot movie, Revolution.

Frances Fisher will have an 8-episode arc on Eureka next season.

Eric Stoltz has joined the cast of Caprica.

DVRs for tonight:
5pm Greek
8pm Bones & Big Bang Theory
830 How I Met Your Mother
9pm House & 2.5 Men
10pm Medium

Sunday, May 11, 2008


New Amsterdam has been canceled. I should have expected it from Fox, but the ratings were actually pretty decent.

Jericho will have a Complete Series dvd that has a bonus disk not included with season 1 or 2 sets.

Daily Bits lists 17 free graphic novels available online (and one of them is Sandman).

Private sector space programs just reached a milestone: the first prototype space station module from Bigelow Aerospace has just completed 10,000 orbits of the Earth. It has been operating successfully for nearly 2 years. They plan to assemble a manned station in about 3 years.

If you prefer audio versions to text, Michael Swanwick's Hugo nominated short story "A Small Room in Koboldtown" is now available as a podcast.

Friday, May 9, 2008

5-9-08 Couch Potato Corner

Sorry if this post is a bit long. I'm going to be trying to catch up with a week of news.

Private Practice will be changing showrunners. Marti Noxon is leaving for "other projects" and Jon Cowan and Robert Rovner (most recently from Bionic Woman) will be taking over. I hope it manages to keep the charm it had under Marti Noxon.

SciFi has announced casting for the Battlestar Galactica prequel Caprica and the 2-hour pilot Warehouse 13. Esai Morales (most recently from Jericho) will play Joseph Adama in Caprica, father of Admiral William Adama from BSG. Paula Malcomson will play the female lead on Caprica. Eddie McClintock and Joanne Kelly will star in Warehouse 13.

Although the US version of Life on Mars is likely to show up on the ABC lineup this fall, it may do it without David E. Kelley. After pushing the show for 2 years, he is considering dropping out (although he would still have some participation since he personally owns the rights).

Bruce Boxleitner will be joining Heroes next season as a recurring character.

Men in Trees has been canceled. This was not entirely unexpected by the producers, so they shot an alternate ending for the final episode airing this summer.

Darth Mojo, a visual effects artist on Babylon 5 for the first 3 seasons, is sharing photos from his archives on his blog. This first post shows the construction of the central corridor.

Fox has finally released the final 2 episodes of Drive for downloading ad-free.

DVRs for tonight:
5pm Sarah Jane Adventures
6pm Doctor Who
7pm Battlestar Galactica
8pm Ghost Whisperer
9pm Moonlight
10pm Numb3rs