Science in the movies

"What movie do you think does something admirable (not necessarily accurate) regarding science?" Seed magazine, which hosts a lot of science bloggers, asked them all this question, with bonus points if the selected movie is "any good generally". I am not sure for how long how long this link of all the answering blogs will be good, as Seed changes the question each week, but here are some selections:

Cognitive Daily (Dave and Greta Munger)’s answer: "Jurassic Park is a great action movie, where the excitement never stops, and Dark Star is a hilarious (if sometimes a bit boring) sendup of pre-1974 science fiction."

Mike the Mad Biologist votes for three: Apollo 13, From the Earth to the Moon#15 (which apparently is a NASA training film) and GATTACA.

Blog around the Clock votes for Jimmy Neutron.

Aetiology goes for Real Genius.

Evolving Thoughts nominates the TV film of the play Copenhagen by Michael Frayn.

The World’s Fair asks "My God, can it be that No One has mentioned Star Wars yet!?"

What’s your suggestion? Mine would be Close Encounters of the Third Kind, because it conveys the sense of the wonder of science to a greater degree than any film I’ve seen. Though it is not about "real science" to the slightest degree, apart from the obsessional aspects which could apply to any venture (remember that mountain Richard Dreyfus builds in his living room, which is the "last straw" for his wife?). It is a very slow movie. But I liked it. I also liked "The Day after Tomorrow" for portraying scientists as "the good guys" – rather refreshing.

State of the blogosphere, cont.

State of the blogosphere, August 2006. As David Sifry’s report of this name was published 3 months ago, it is now obsolete on blog timescales, so he’s updated it (see link). Lots of figures, graphs and comments. Here’s the bottom line:

  • Technorati is now tracking over 50 Million Blogs. (Maxine adds: the vast majority of which are spam)*
  • The Blogosphere is over 100 times bigger than it was just 3 years ago.
  • Today, the blogosphere is doubling in size every 200 days, or about once every 6 and a half months.
  • From January 2004 until July 2006, the number of blogs that Technorati tracks has continued to double every 5-7 months.
  • About 175,000 new weblogs were created each day, which means that on average, there are more than 2 blogs created each second of each day.
  • About 8% of new blogs get past Technorati’s filters, even if it is only for a few hours or days.
  • About 70% of the pings Technorati receives are from known spam sources, but we drop them before we have to send out a spider to go and index the splog.
  • Total posting volume of the blogosphere continues to rise, showing about 1.6 Million postings per day, or about 18.6 posts per second.
  • This is about double the volume of about a year ago.
  • The most prevalent times for English-language posting is between the hours of 10AM and 2PM Pacific time, with an additional spike at around 5PM Pacific time .
  • *From "Geeking with Greg" (Linden): "Technorati reported 19.6M weblogs in Oct 2005, but the dominant feed reader, Bloglines, reported that only 1.4M of those weblogs have any subscribers on Bloglines and a mere 37k have twenty or more subscribers. This seems to suggest that over 95% of weblogs, possibly over 99%, are not of general interest. The quality of the long tail of weblogs may be much worse than previously described."

    Lies, blogs and homework

    I haven’t kept up to date with Problogger recently (Darren, who is now a Proparent), so several interesting posts from his blog have accumulated.

    Maintaining a blog/life balance has to be a good one. As Darren says, "It’s very easy to allow blogging to overtake one’s life – the computer just sits there in the corner of your home tempting you to come have a look at what’s happening on your blog." Blogaholics can go to the link for advice, not just from Darren but also from 22 (to date) commenters to the post. I was actually planning an evening off blogging tonight as both girls are out at sleepovers. On the way home from work I thought that I’d restrain myself from booting up the computer and watch a DVD. But I can’t believe it, the football season seems to have started already, and Malcolm is watching a Liverpool game (his team, together with Carlisle United). So here I am, but don’t call me obsessed;-)

    Well, as Debra and I know, you can never have too many blogs, so here is a good post: Launching a blog: what type of posts are best? Short posts or long posts? Doesn’t really matter, says Darren after weighing up the pros and cons, so long as you "establish credibility and a grasp of your topic."

    What’s the biggest lie about blogging? Darren links to a post on which you can add your answers to this question. Someone called Jeremy has made a list of 40 lies, some of which are

    13. It’s impossible to make money blogging.
    22. Competitors will steal your ideas.
    23. You need to be able to write to blog.
    32. Too many people are already blogging; you can’t cut through the noise.
    36. Bloggers are good looking, funny, and are the life of any party.

    Here are "How to ask for an interview for your blog", and "10 tips on how to be interviewed for bloggers".

    Finally, "Building a blog community by setting homework for readers."

    Great set of posts, Darren, many thanks.

    Polygon 9 August

    Polygon puzzle
    Using the given letters no more than once, make as many words as possible of three or more letters, always including the central letter. Capitalised words, plurals, conjugated verbs (past tense etc), adverbs ending in LY, comparatives and superlatives are disallowed.

    How you rate: 13 words, average; 18, good; 22, very good; 27, excellent.

    Click here for rules and tips on how to play Polygon

    Source: the Times

    Answers on the continuation page.

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