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Issue 19 Science (of) Fiction

A Beautiful Mind: What is our brain chemistry capable of?

For the longest time I have been deciding what my first article for this blog should be about. Since I’m interested in almost anything that comes into my hands and brain (as every proper science enthusiast 😊), it was not easy to decide on just one topic. But then it came to me. Not too long ago I watched a movie that definitely didn’t leave me apathetic, so I came to the logical conclusion to share it with you. “A Beautiful Mind” is a perfect example of science in everyday life, so I wanted to delve into it more closely and in as much detail as possible. Before I start the analysis of this wonderful movie, I should take a moment and warn you that there are going to be spoilers along the way, so if you want to watch the movie first, I highly recommend you do so.

Categories
Issue 18 Science (of) Fiction

Dune: how sand takes form

“Dune” is a powerful word, and a fitting title for the Frank Herbert book which has been all the rage recently due to its long-awaited new film adaptation being released. Dune is really an entire franchise set in a politically, socially and scientifically intricate universe thousands of years in the future. The eponymous “Dune” is a planet also known as Arrakis, covered in sand and wildly alien creatures, which plays a key role in the Duniverse. In fact, it happens to be where most of the new movie is set. There is something not quite so alien, though, that is related to Dune (the planet and the book) very intimately, but also happens to be one of its rare phenomena you can witness first hand here on Earth, without much of a stretch of imagination. The thing in question would be Dune‘s other namesakes – sand dunes.

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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.

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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!