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Could You Make a Disease Kill All of the X?

Could you make a disease kill all members of one group or another? In theory, yes.

Could you create a disease that kills all members of one sex? That premise has already been presented in several horror novels. In Frank Herbert’s novel “The White Plague”, it is a virus engineered to kill women and works only in those with two X chromosomes. In the book “Epitaph Road”, it is a genetically engineered virus that kills only men. The virus can only infect cells with Y chromosomes.

Why Brain Uploading and Telepathy Are Impossible

One of the tenets of the Singularity is that we’ll be able to upload our brains to a digital afterlife, escaping the confines of our current bodies. This is also one of the key drivers of the desire to create human-level awareness in AI; it has to be as intelligent, aware, and soulful as us if we’re going to digitize our souls. You even see lesser versions of this, such as the “Black Mirror” episode where a woman underwent surgery to create a digital copy of herself to act as her assistant.

Why Does Nearly Everyone in Scifi Pay in Credits?

Whether you’re reading a near future dystopia or science fiction adventure far in the future and equally far from Earth, odds are that you’re going to read about someone paying in credits. Why?

First, credits are universal. It plays on the word “credit card” and “line of credit”, so everyone knows it represents money or value. You can simply call the alien currency “Alien empire’s credits”. And the human Federation can have their own credits. You don’t have to invent currency names people have to remember. You don’t have to explain its meaning to the reader like gold-pressed latinum in Star Trek. It is simple shorthand that works in any work of fiction. Then you have more grace for inventing new words to refer to places, technologies and people.

The Teens of Star Trek: Jake Sisko Vs. Wesley Crusher

The characters of Jake Sisko in “Deep Space Nine” and Wesley Crusher in “Star Trek: The Next Generation” served similar purposes, but they were different from each other in subtle ways.

Why Magneto Will Always Be a Holocaust Survivor

Magneto can be described as one of the earliest mutants and among the most powerful. His defining characteristics are: controlling magnetic materials, being a Jewish Holocaust survivor, and seeking to gather and protect mutants separate from humanity

His role as the leader of the mutant Resistance, the man who says do not assimilate or submit, live freely and ideally together for your safety is entirely due to Magneto’s experience as a Jewish Holocaust survivor. He’s internalized the horror and oppression, so to speak, and said “Never again!” His personal evolution, so to speak, was to apply that mantra to the emergency mutant “tribe”. As a Jewish man, he might have considered it unnecessary to go help Israel after it survived the wars to wipe it off the map as soon as the nation was founded. And as a mutant who witnessed and survived Nazis experimenting on humans, he may have realized that same strategy was necessary for mutants to live as themselves.

All the Downsides of Artificial Gravity

You don’t notice it in science fiction shows and movies until it’s gone – the artificial gravity, that is. It is reasonable to assume the invention would be widely used, since it would allow people to function normally in space for a lifetime. You could raise children on space stations and space ships with artificial gravity knowing they’d grow up normally instead of ending up twice as tall because they were exposed to Martian gravity.

Yet artificial gravity comes with a number of potential dangers, all of which could be exploited by those with ill intent.

Goliath vs. David

The Estate of Prominent Progressive Harlan Ellison Threatens Legal Action to Squelch Conservative-Libertarian Response to Ellison’s 1967 Taboo-Smashing Anthology DANGEROUS VISIONS

Due to threat of legal action by the Harlan Ellison Estate, award-winning science fiction and horror writer Andrew Fox changed the title of his projected anthology of original science fiction stories addressing today’s taboos from THE NEW DANGEROUS VISIONS to HAZARDOUS IMAGININGS: THE MONDO BOOK OF POLITICALLY INCORRECT SCIENCE FICTION.

Four weeks prior to his launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise $7,000 to buy original stories, Fox contacted the Ellison Estate to seek their input on his projected anthology and reference to the title of Harlan Ellison’s seminal 1967 anthology.  After responding immediately to Fox’s initial message, the Estate did not reply to a more detailed description by Fox of his intended project.  Fox was aware that titles do not fall under copyright law, but he wanted to be considerate of Susan Ellison’s, Harlan Ellison’s widow’s, feelings in the matter and also learn whether the title “Dangerous Visions” had been trademarked.

Not hearing any objections from the Estate, Fox launched his Kickstarter campaign on May 16, 2019.  On May 17, 2019, a representative of The Kilimanjaro Corporation, an arm of the Ellison Estate, contacted Fox and threatened to pursue legal action should Fox persist in using either of the Corporation’s trademarks, “Dangerous Visions” or “Harlan Ellison,” in the Kickstarter campaign.

The Likely Health Checklist for Going to Mars

Argentina set up a “colony” on Antarctica a couple of decades ago in order to solidify their claim to the entire continent and any wealth found there. Antarctica is worse than a cold place – it is isolated by severe weather and some of the harshest seas in the world. If you go there, they expect you to stay there for months if not a full year. Going there can be seen as a trial run for a trip to Mars. We can use Argentina’s colony as a lesson for any Mars mission, as well.

Books You Didn’t Realize Represented the Sapir-Whorf Theory

The Sapir-Whorf theory says that language does not just influence how we think but has an incredible degree of influence. “Native Tongue” and “Babel-17” typically top this list. For example, in “Babel-17” learning a new language makes you smarter but makes you loyal to an enemy faction, as well. In the book “Native Tongue”, a new language is crafted to change minds about the current social system and, more pragmatically, communicate without others knowing what you’re saying. “The Languages of Pao” demonstrates how separate languages keep people apart, each in their linguistic ghetto until a small group crafts a common language. There are other works, though, that represent Sapir-Whorf theory that don’t make the list.

Story Wars: Canadians and the Star Trek vs. Star Wars Battle

Deconstructing Canadian Culture, Part 26: The Trouble of “Story”

Vulcan, Alberta, Canada. Population: 1,917, as per the latest Canadian census (2016). Home to the Tourism and Trek Station and the annual “Vul-Con” Convention.

No, the town was not named after Spock’s home planet, but Vulcan is a pretty clear indicator of Canada’s Trek obsession. The debate may rage elsewhere, but in Canada there is a definite consensus (as there is with so many things): Trek leaves Wars in the space dust.

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