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Comment Influence from 2001 (Score 1) 276

Having been inspired up by some of the hard science in Babylon 5, I can't help but think back now and wonder about the similarities to the movie and book 2001: A Space Odyssey. Examples I've noticed include rotation-based artificial gravity, inertia-realistic spaceflight, and the design of Earth spaceships. Did 2001 (book and/or movie) have a significant inspiration on you during the creation and production of Babylon 5?

Thanks for B5, and all your other works!

Comment Babylon 5 Influence (Score 1) 276

First off, I want to say thank you for your work on Babylon 5! It was one of my favorite TV programs growing up, and it definitely helped influence my getting into the sciences as a profession. I always saw that show as a good example of "hard" science fiction, versus other programs at the time. I never saw rotation-made artificial gravity on Star Trek!

Babylon 5 had some pretty intense story arcs, especially apparent in seasons 3 and 4, so it required a lot of forethought and planning prior to production. What influence has this sort of "arc planning" had on your more recent projects, and in what way do you see the influence of Babylon 5's level of writing on scfi-fi programs in the near future?

Thanks for having an interview with Slashdot!

Comment Relation to Ida? (Score 5, Interesting) 25

This is very interesting - I just finished reading The Link by Colin Tudge, et al (You can get it here. I definitely recommend reading it if you are even vaguely interested in paleontology). In it, they discuss Ida, a specimen found in Germany's Messel pit, which is believed to be closely related to the first common ancestor between anthropoids (Old & New World apes, hominids) and other simians (lemurs, tarsiers, etc). If the claim made in the article is true, the discovered species would be contemporary with our ancestor living after Ida but before hominids separated from apes. A really great find! I wonder what a comparison between Ida and this new species will reveal. Mind you, that may never happen, since Ida is a very complete fossil and all they found here were teeth and fragments.

Submission + - IBM Research Creates World's Smallest Movie

eternaldoctorwho writes: The Register reports on scientists at IBM Research creating a movie on the smallest scale ever. Moving atoms around one-by-one, the movie "A Boy and His Atom" consists of 242 frames and lasts under 100 seconds. The company is researching atomic scale storage, and has released the movie as "a fun way to share the atomic-scale world while opening up a dialogue with students and others on the new frontiers of math and science." The jury is still out on whether IMDB will list the short film or not.

Comment True Science Fiction (Score 2) 215

Babylon 5 was great on many levels, but I enjoyed the most for its well-thought-out story and as an example of true science fiction. It contained many elements that were based much more in fact than in fantasy, something that was rare for its time, and even more rare today. What research and/or advisers did you have to go on when writing/producing for the show? What do you foresee for the future of science fiction television (or streaming or online) content in terms of using real-world science?

And thank you again for Babylon 5. :)

Comment Thanks! (Score 2) 208

Dr. Horner, you have inspired me to engage in the sciences ever since I was a little kid. Although I didn't go into the field of paleontology, I did study computer science and became a software developer for an education company. In my field, we are always trying to find ways to engage kids in the STEM fields to help develop the next generation of engineers, programmers, biologists, and even paleontologists. In your opinion, how do you see the future of your field within the next generation of scientists, and what steps should we take to help kids become more interested in the sciences?

Comment Easy (Score 1) 405

I chose to be digested over 1000 years. That's what I never quite understood about the Sarlac (sp?) in Star Wars: how would it ever take 1000 years to do anything biological? Wouldn't my body decompose naturally long before even one century passed? How slow must an organism's metabolism be to take that long to digest food?

Sounds like I either get to live for close to 1000 years, or my remains last for 1000 years (which is much much longer than normal on this planet - kind of like leaving a monument).

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