Categories
Issue 13 Science (of) Fiction

From Obliviate to Neuralyzers – erasing and modifying memories

“Hermione! The tea is ready, darling!”

“Coming, mum!”

In the next frame we can see Hermione, portrayed by Emma Watson in the movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, coming down the stairs behind her parents’ back, pointing her magic wand towards them and saying the word Obliviate. I am guessing every Harry Potter fan reading this just experienced shivers down their spine, but for those who are not familiar with this book series and the movies that followed, Hermione just erased all memories of her from her parents’ minds.

Categories
Issue 12 Science (of) Fiction

Why are “rational” characters cold, arrogant jerks – and can we do better?


Sparks are flying everywhere. The ship is shaking from a barrage of enemy fire.

“If my calculations are correct, there is a 0.0243% chance of that plan succeeding!”, the rational character exclaims.

“Never tell me the odds!”, says the charismatic leader. The plan succeeds.

Similar situations happen episode after episode, improbable plans succeeding one after another, and the rational character never seems to think:

“Huh. I am really bad at estimating probabilities.”

Categories
Issue 11 Science (of) Fiction

Star Wars and the Fo(u)rce

When you hear the name Star Wars, (possibly) the most popular saga in history, one of the first things that may come to mind is The Force. For those, however, who are guilty of not having seen the saga, The Force is an energy field created by all life that connects everything in the universe. Cool, right? What if I told you that there is actually a theory for our universe which states that all the known forces can be explained away with only four fundamental ones? The Standard Model is going to surprise you!