Archive for the sci-fi Category

Escape Velocity: Pan African Space Station Returns

Posted in art & music, race, sci-fi with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2010 by Sunshine Superboy

Pan African Space Station blueprint

Coming Back Atcha! The radio stylings of the Pan African Space Station, which first blasted off last year, achieved escape velocity on September 12th, 2010. mbuso_panafrican

The Pan African Space Station (PASS) a 30-day music intervention on the internet and in venues across greater Cape Town is back from September 12 – October 12, 2010. Listen live to PASS radio, a unique freeform radio station featuring themed shows, live performances and readings, sound art, interviews and much more.

pan african space station events

From September 28 – October 2, PASS III plays host to genre-busting music outfits from global Africa dedicated to exploring new musical territory. Catch Doctor Philip Tabane & Malombo, the Kyle Sheperd Trio, Brice Wassy, Imperial Tiger Orchestra, G&D (Georgia Anne Muldrow & Declaime), Johnny Cradle, the Thandiswa Mazwai Trio, Theo Parrish, Mbuso T and his Maf &so Soundsystem, Studio Kabako‘s More more more… Future and more. PASS events Cape Town

Stop reading. Go listen.
Sunshine Superboy

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Know When to Fold ‘Em- Nevada Primary Tie Settled With Card Game

Posted in humor, politics, sci-fi with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 23, 2010 by Sunshine Superboy

Gorram tied election! The Nevada Primary a few weeks back kinda reminds me of these guys:

Speak good or ill if you wish about speculative fiction and the spirit of the wild west. Thing is, this actually happened:

CARSON CITY, Nev. — The 10 of clubs wasn’t quite good enough.

That’s what Carl Moore Sr. drew Thursday in the tiebreaker between two rural Nevada county commission candidates who sought the Republican nomination in the June 8 primary.

Nye County Commissioner Andrew “Butch” Borasky, who survived a recall last year and is seeking a second term, drew a queen of clubs to advance to the November general election. The drawing took place in a courtroom in Pahrump, 60 miles west of Las Vegas.

Both tied with 381 votes in the primary. They remained tied after two recounts. State law calls for candidates to draw lots to get a winner when an election is deadlocked. It can be cutting cards, throwing dice, drawing straws or flipping a coin.

Before the big moment, Borasky and Moore agreed on procedure, down to the color of the deck that Clerk Sandra Merlino used – red. Merlino then shuffled the cards seven times and fanned their fate out on a table. “We decided on high card,” Borasky told The Associated Press in a telephone interview afterward. “There was no disagreement between us. We shook hands before and after.”

Borasky will face Libertarian candidate Sandra Darby in November.

Sunshine Superboy

please relish every moment of this:

(whats up with the gambling muppet randomly dying???)

Men on Mars: “Try Not to Go Crazy,” All-Male-Crew sealed away for 18 months of isolation

Posted in feminism, humor, sci-fi, science, video with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 22, 2010 by Sunshine Superboy

this sounds like the set up to a really bad joke:

One Chinese man, one Frenchman, one Italian and three Russians will spend the next 520 days in a 550-cubic-meter (19,400-cubic-foot) mock spaceship at a Moscow research institute to test how they cope with 18 months of isolation.


But its for real. The story goes something like this:

Last month, the six men were locked away from the outside world for the next one-and-a-half years, in an unprecedented simulation of a manned mission to Mars.

[apparently, they are taking this “manned mission” business to heart, and no women were invited??]

Dressed in blue overalls, the six gave the thumbs-up sign and grinned before the camera flashes as loved ones gave them an emotional send-off, some jokingly wishing them happy New Year already for 2011. “See you in 520 days!” shouted Russian participant Sukhrob Kamolov, just before a scientist sealed shut the heavy iron door of the facility at around 1000 GMT.

Like in a proper Mars mission, the crew will have to live on food rations akin to those used by real astronauts and their only outside communication will be by email, with a delay of up to 40 minutes. The hatch will only re-open when the experiment ends or if one of the all-male team pulls out — in which case he will be deemed dead and his ‘body’ pushed out to space.

Newly-wed mission captain Alexei Sitev must now endure a long separation from his wife, just weeks after the two married. “I am already missing him. I’m crying right now,” added Irene Urbina, sister of Italian-Colombian volunteer Diego Urbina, who said he was motivated by his passion for space.

Controversially, no women have been selected for the experiment, called Mars 500. [oh, I guess someone noticed that…]

Long days in the module in the Russian Institute for Biomedical Problems (IBMP) will be divided into eight hours each of sleep, work and leisure. With books, language-study guides and 3-D videos games on board, Urbina said: “I don’t think we’ll get bored.” Also in ebullient mood, Frenchman Romain Charles said he has brought a guitar “to annoy” crewmates.

Three of the team will briefly quit the mothership for a special module meant to imitate a Mars landing craft, while two will take mock spacewalks in a sand-filled bunker, donning 3-D specs to help induce the surface feel of the Red Planet.

Wang Yue, 27, a candidate astronaut of China’s space program, told reporters before entering the capsule: “It is just a simulation. It is not a matter of life and death.” The idea is to exactly mimic the timescale of a Mars mission — 250 days for the trip to Mars, 30 days on the surface and 240 days for the return journey, totaling 520 days.


“You cannot simulate everything. That is obvious,” said Christer Fuglesang, head of science at the directorate for human spaceflight for the European Space Agency, a co-organizer of the project with the IBMP. “The scare factor cannot be simulated… that they might not come back.”

The crew also conspicuously lacks women, meaning possible sexual-tension that could arise from a mixed-gender crew will not be examined. [oh, so its really a crew of all-straight, all-male scientists locked away for a year and a half? this should be fun…]

Yury Karash, a Russian space policy expert, said the choice of an all-male crew would allow the team to focus on their duties and avoid unwitting competing for the attentions of female crew member. “It is better for the crew to be same-sex,” he said on Russian television. “No one has abolished the basic instinct yet.” [“which we know to be trans-cultural heterosexuality, of course”, he was about to add, but thought better of it for fear of being perceived as trying to overcompensate for maybe not being as straight as everyone decided he was]

Sistas in Space?!


[when asked why the same-sex crew was not chosen as a team of six women, they simultaneously shrugged and remained silent till the Italian man quipped: “wait… seriously?”]

Unlike a real spaceflight, mission participants will not be subjected to debilitation effects of weightlessness and ionizing radiation. A real flight to Mars will not come before 20 to 25 years, ESA head Martin Zell estimated, but added such a mission was “absolutely realistic.”

“The question is when and who?” Zell said.

[the answer, of course was “men, smart men from rich countries, men who don’t have babies”…]

Mars Aint the Kinda Place to Raise a Kid,
Sunshine Superboy

Pan-African Space Station

Posted in anthropology, art & music, race, sci-fi with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2009 by Sunshine Superboy

There Are Other Worlds Out There They Never Told You About…

pass-facebook-copy_2 For a few more weeks, you can jam out to the sounds of streaming Pan African Space Station Radio. Check it outs!!!

The Pan African Space Station (PASS) is a 30-day music intervention from September 12 – October 12, on radio and the internet, as well as venues across greater Cape Town. It is an opportunity for Capetonians and visitors to engage up-close with the rich and complex web of creative expression which binds Africans across the globe.
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PASS is also an exploration of and an intervention into spatial and cultural ghettos in the city and how to link them physically (through the music venues) and conceptually (on radio and the internet). Now in its second year, PASS continues its cross-cultural and cyber-spatial exploration, bringing together diverse pan-African sounds from ancient grooves to future hip-hop.3947868049_85771440e7_m

SPACE I

PASS radio, a unique freeform radio station, is back with 30 days of cutting edge music streamed live online. The station features themed shows, live performances and readings, debates, sound art, speeches, interviews and much more.
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In the build-up to the festival, throughout September, the daily radio programme includes a free, live performance at PASS studios on Long Street. These live sessions run between 7-9pm and are curated by guest musicians, DJs and artists, including world-renowned, Montreal based groove archaeologist DJ Andy Williams.3955517532_89ffe7d89b
Other highlights on this year’s broadcast programme include Songs for Biko, a 24-hour praise party for Steve Biko on 12 Sept (Biko Day) and Songs for Bheki, a musical tribute to the late philosopher and musician Bheki Mseleku, which closes the live music component on October 4.

SPACE II

From October 1 – 4 2009, PASS II plays host to genre-busting music outfits from global Africa dedicated to exploring new musical territory. The line-up features Kora maestro Toumani Diabate; Queen of Ndebele music, guitarist Nothembi Mkhwebane; 9-piece, Chicago-based jazz troubadours Hypnotic Brass Ensemble; Cameroonian funk-master Franck Biyong and his Massak Afroletric Orchestra; Zanzibar’s legendary taarab orchestra and social club, the Culture Musical Club; Ras_G & the Afrikan from his El-Ay, Western Sahara space base; and Ghanaian Pidgin rapper Wanlov the Kubulor.

PASS II also features a series of new collaborations between South African musicians: Barry van Zyl’s southern African sound-rhythm stew, Baboti are joined by jazz vocalist and trombone player Siya Makuzeni; and politically engaged, slamming jazz upstarts uDaba perform with spoken-word author Kgafela oa Magogodi. Some of the continent’s most esteemed selectors, including Dar es Salaam’s DJ Yusuf Mahmoud and Cape Town’s own Fong Kong Bantu Soundsystem are also making appearances. In addition, the festival includes a collaborative, experimental chorale work based on the novella War Chorale by pioneering Chilean writer Fernando Alegria, with composition and direction by jazz guitarist Bheki Khoza.
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The live music component PASS takes place in a series of different venues across greater Cape Town, engaging diverse together audiences and provoking new forms of creative expression and social mobilization that foreground history and memory as well as agency and difference. Audiences will travel from St Georges Cathedral, the Centre for the Book and the Slave Church in the city centre to Guga S’thebe in Langa and All Nations Club in Salt River.

thanks to my Capetonian peops for passing all this info along! You can stay in the loop from afar thru the Pan African Space Station blog!

who no know go know,
Sunshine Superboy

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from Dead Bones to Sunshine

Posted in art & music, sci-fi, science with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 9, 2009 by Sunshine Superboy

yo, fossil fuels are so twentieth century.
suns-600

I’m cross posting some stuff about renewable energy and the dastards on capitol hill who are once again, being suckered into dangerous liasons with the conglomeration of fossil fuel industries that tend to run this planet (into the ground). But while you read this, please treat yourself to a nice blogging soundtrack, since you are so special and sympathetic to the cause. Then consider signing the petition below, whether or not your agnostic about move on and petition politics, cuz I know a lot of us kinda are.

dude:

okay, now that we have that all cued up, here is some scientific/ political news thats buzzing around the webs.

If ever there was an issue that ties to together so many others — national security, terrorism, the environment, the economy, and climate change — alternative, renewable energy is it. So I was pleasantly surprised, in between emails claiming Obama is going to take our guns away and digs at SCOTUS nominee Sonia Sotomayor, when I found this from Moveon.org:

So why on earth is Congress considering an energy bill that: Would 1) weaken current law, repealing President Obama’s authority to crack down on dirty power plants, and 2) doesn’t actually require the creation of new solar or wind power?

Why? Because Big Oil and Coal have teamed up with conservatives in both parties, and they’ve been successful in weakening the bill. … The key thing is that Congress can still strengthen it—if there’s a public outcry. Can you sign this petition … today? Eighty thousand MoveOn members have already signed. We need to double the number of signatures by Wednesday [and] MoveOn members will personally deliver this petition to many congressional offices the next day.

The sun puts out about 400 trillion terawatts and it will last for billions of years. The tiny fraction that earth intercepts in just a few minutes would power every gizmo on the planet for quite a while. And the fossil fuel industry really has nothing to worry about: even with significant investment and a space-race style crash program to develop and implement cheaper, more efficient solar power, it will take years to decades to make a serious dent in traditional energy production. Besides, they’re the ones best positioned to cash in on new energy technology. Apparently, the energy industry still has to be led to water and have their heads forced to the surface for a big drink: please sign the petition here.

I apologize for the obnox tenor of moveon, but you know, clicking a link is the least you can muster, right? Just don’t go donating your hard earned solidarity finances to the President, okay? Nice guy and all but, seriously.

sunshinebig

I’m sharing with you my favorite 2 minutes and forty-five seconds of the movie Sunshine, since its so epically amazing. I won’t give away video of whats actually happening, but I’m obsessed with how well produced so many scenes are, and how the score is grafted on to this intense cinematography and such. Its a nice soundtrack to accompany your contemplation of the sheer intensity of the sun. Like, dude.

and just to round things out, we’ll wrap up with a goofy map of our corner of the cold blackness of space.

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The Solar System is Yrs,
FossilFuel Superboy

Bolden: go where no black has gone before…

Posted in politics, sci-fi, science with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2009 by Sunshine Superboy

Boldly?

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In a high-profile move to cope with his post-Battlestar Galactica depression, Famous All-Powerful Black Guy Barack Obama has appointed this black astronaut to lead the non-cylon races as NASA’s new top gun.

Man, electing a Black President was the best idea we negroes ever had!!!

MILKYWAY: SOLAR SYSTEM: EARTH: WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Saturday named former shuttle commander Charles Bolden to lead NASA at a critical time for the space agency.

The White House has ordered a complete outside review of NASA’s manned space program, including plans to return astronauts to the moon.

Bolden flew in space four times _ twice as shuttle commander _ and once was assistant deputy administrator at NASA headquarters in Washington. The 62-year-old Bolden left NASA in 1994.

If the Senate confirms Bolden, he would be the space agency’s first black administrator and the second astronaut to hold the post.

NASA Administrator

Obama also announced that he was nominating Lori Garver to be NASA’s deputy administrator. Garver was Obama’s NASA transition chief and is a former associate administrator at the agency.

“These talented individuals will help put NASA on course to boldly push the boundaries of science, aeronautics and exploration in the 21st century and ensure the long-term vibrancy of Americas space program,” Obama said in a statement.

White House science adviser John Holdren said in early May that the new panel will look at the design of new spacecraft to replace the space shuttle and go to the moon, as well as consider possible alternatives to the current design.

Also to be studied is the five-year gap between the shuttle’s retirement and the new moon vehicles, with the first new space capsule flying in 2015. During that time, starting in late 2010, NASA would have to rely on the Russians for space travel. The review will look at extending NASA’s use of the multibillion-dollar international space station beyond 2016.

NASA has spent $6.9 billion on its plan to return to the moon, which then-President George W. Bush presented as a response to the 2003 space shuttle Columbia accident.

Asked “why Bolden?” Obama first cracked a pun about how ‘the time had come to Bolden go where no negro had gone before!’ After chuckling to himself, the Black President relented in a matter-of-fact tone “No seriously though…. Out of all of the characters we got to know, human and cylon, there wasn’t a single non-evil black astronaut on all four seasons of BSG. I mean, they did some groundbreaking things with gender, but I just wanted to show those racist script writing motherfrakkers that at the end of the day I’m the Black President of a real world space age nation, and my power, unlike Adama’s or Roslin’s, is like actual.”

So say we all, Mr.President. So say we all…

Sunshine Superboy

*so, everything written in the dark block quote section is like, actual.

Obama Depressed, Distant Since “Battlestar Galactica” Series Finale

Posted in humor, sci-fi with tags , , , , , , , on April 12, 2009 by Sunshine Superboy

obama_adama

Obama told aides he feels “like a cylon without a Resurrection Ship.”

As for me, I just have All Along the Watchtower ingrained in my brain for the next decade or two. So, too many BlackMaps/BSG fans have tugged on my sleeves about sharing this to remain silent much longer. Its pretty frakking awesome for the subset within the subset within the subset of you who follow the show and you know… have like heard of some guy named Barack O’ something.

Or maybe you are just a tad depressed in the post Battlestar lull. Its spring you dastards! Go out and play with bunnies and zombie-jesus!

From L’Onion avec pleasure:

WASHINGTON—According to sources in the White House, President Barack Obama has been uncharacteristically distant and withdrawn ever since last month’s two-hour series finale of Battlestar Galactica.

“The president seems to be someplace else lately,” said one high-level official, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Yesterday we were all being briefed on the encroachment of Iranian drone planes into Iraq, when he just looked up from the table and blurted out, ‘What am I supposed to watch on Fridays at 10 p.m. now? Numb3rs?'”

“I haven’t seen him this upset since Admiral Adama realized that Earth was actually an uninhabitable wasteland,” the official continued. “Or at least that’s what he told me. I don’t actually watch the show. It’s not really my thing.”

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Obama attempts to console himself with leaked production stills from the upcoming spin-off Caprica.

Since the end of the series, Obama has reportedly brushed off key budgetary decisions, ignored his wife and children, and neglected his daily workouts, claiming that he no longer cares if he lets himself go “just like Lee did before the rescue on New Caprica.”

In addition, sources confirmed that instead of meeting with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Monday, the depressed president sat alone in the Oval Office, scouring Internet message boards for posts by other fans about the series conclusion.

Hoping to cheer himself up, Obama also decided to re-watch the extended director’s cut of “Unfinished Business,” a season three episode he once described as “bringing the Starbuck-Apollo relationship to a head in the best possible way.”

Revisiting the series, however, has only made the president more miserable. After a staffer suggested he bring DVDs of the show along on a recent policy trip to Denver, Obama reportedly muttered under his breath, “What’s the point? It’s over.”

“We were going over his schedule when he sighed and asked if I watched Battlestar,” said a White House secretary, whom Obama used to playfully call “Billy.” “I told him I was planning on it because my sister’s a big fan, but he just stared out the window the whole time.”

“I also noticed he took down his Battlestar Galactica season 4.5 poster,” she added.

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Obama watched the finale just as he had every previous episode, alone in the White House screening room with the volume turned all the way up. Sources said he emerged exhilarated and told several aides that the show’s writers “wrapped things up the best they could, though the very end was a little much.”

The commander in chief also bragged that he “totally called” the fact that “All Along The Watch Tower” would be used as the jump coordinates for the FTL drive.

Despite his initial excitement, by Monday morning the absence of the hour-long Sci-Fi program had begun to affect the president.

“I’m a little concerned,” first lady Michelle Obama was overheard saying at a fundraising event Tuesday. “When Firefly was canceled, he walked around like a zombie for a week, and Serenity was the only thing that snapped him out of it. Last night he said he felt like he had just discovered David Axelrod was one of the Final Five, whatever that means.”

A devoted fan of the original 1978 Battlestar Galactica, Obama was initially hesitant to watch the new series, saying he was upset to learn that hotshot pilot Starbuck would be played by a woman. However, during a particularly slow week in the U.S. Senate, Obama decided to rent the first season from Netflix.

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Aides said Obama “blew through” season one in a weekend, then purchased season 2.0 from a local Best Buy, and, in order to catch up in time for season three, downloaded the majority of season 2.5 from iTunes.

“When we spoke last month, he said season three was his least favorite because some of the episodes with Helo and the Sagittarons—and pretty much anything that involved Cally—were boring and didn’t advance the plot,” Afghan president Hamid Karzai said. “But I told him that when you watch it all on DVD, and you don’t have to wait a whole week for a new show, those peripheral episodes actually add new color to the already established world.”

Added Karzai, “Lately, though, it seems like he’d rather talk about the resurgence of Taliban warlords in Kandahar than the show.”

During an emergency press conference on Wednesday, Obama addressed his recent detachment, as well as various other matters facing the United States.

“Our nation finds itself in uncharted territory in the deep emptiness of space,” Obama announced. “The Old Girl has limited supplies, no allies, and now, no hope. I never said this would be an easy journey. Yet I promise you this: There is a place where there is no war and no economic turmoil. It is where, according to the Sacred Scrolls handed down to us by the Lords of Kobol, the thirteenth tribe traveled over three thousand years ago. That place is called Earth. Not the other Earth. This Earth. It’s complicated. Anyway, I plan to take us there.”

Added Obama, “So say we all! So say we all! So say we all!”

Hi-larious.

The World is Yrs,
Sunshine Superboy

Spoiler Alert! Don’t hit play unless you’ve already seen the last episode or don’t really give a frak: