Home > Uncategorized > Science derived from media

Science derived from media

I was recently reading my daily articles in the pulse new reader app, and came across an interesting article that reminded me of a Dr. Who episode I saw recently. The article titled “MIT create an artificial leaf that can split water, power fuel cells” talks about how researchers have created a leaf prototype made of silicon solar cells and a cobalt catalyst. It could have the ability to power a fuel cell and in large capacities produce oxygen. In the show Dr. Who, the doctor comes across a space ship that produces oxygen for the residents by containing a large artificial forest. The similarities between these two ideas got me thinking about how scientific ideas evolve from fictional ideas. It makes me wonder if we should be looking into fictional stories to look for interesting ideas for the future. I mean plenty of shows, books, and tv’s have wacky ideas that maybe could evolve into new technologies. Another example besides the leaves could be from the movie Minority Report, with their special interfaces on their monitors. This could be considered the precursor to multi touch that is in use today by Apple and several other mobile device manufacturers. In addition to that several manufacturers are trying to make ultra thin monitors made of glass like the ones they use. I find this an interesting example of how science interacts with media, which is the main theme of our course. What do you guys think? What would be a cool invention that you saw in a recent movie, show, or book.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. October 3, 2011 at 3:57 am

    I’m glad to find a fellow Dr. Who fan on our class blog! Having lived in the U.K. for the past few years, the show was most definitely a staple in my pop-culture diet.

    With regard to your thoughts on the relation between technology and media, I could not agree more. At the end of the day, invention and innovation are nothing more than physical embodiments of the human imagination. It is for this reason that I am so fascinated with science fiction in literature and film. Thanks to the natural progression of technology, many concepts that seemed foreign in decades passed have now been integrated as constituents of day-to-day life.

    When reading Ray Bradbury’s classing Fahrenheit 451 last year, I was intrigued by his description of paper-thin “wall televisions” and microscopic “seashells” designed to play music in the ear. Should Bradbury receive credit for the invention of liquid crystal displays and iPod-style ear-buds? Probably not, but I’m guessing that his imagery inspired someone in the technology industry.

    Even so, for every plausible idea that has ever been proposed with regard to futuristic gadgets, there are an equal number that be considered nothing short of ridiculous. My parents recall that the concept of ‘hovercrafts’ was all the rage in the 1980s. Two decades later, our automobiles remain firmly anchored to the pavement. Laser guns, holograms, and intergalactic battle stations haven’t fared all that much better. I suppose that imagination has its limits!

  2. October 17, 2011 at 2:54 am

    As an aside to this post, I was recently reading wired and came across an article about how the government is testing a new pre crime technology that uses algorithms to indicate mal-intent in a suspect. It takes readings of voice-pitch, body movements, eye movement, breathing patterns and blink rate to determine this. Although it is only in beta testing, the government has no intent to release it at this time. I thought it was funny and connected well because this kind of concept was found in minority report in 2002 and is now found in one of my favorite shows this year “Person of Interest”. I just thought I would share it since it seems relevant. The article can be found at:

    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/10/pre-crime-detection/

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