AT-AT Cat Condo

It takes a certain level of SF fandom to build a cat AT-AT house.  This has been circulating the web for awhile, but it is still fun.  Kudos to the maker.

via Technabob and a half dozen other sites.

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Even Vader has to Pay for Parking

I think we can all agree that Darth Vader would be Lawful Evil.  As such, he has to pay parking tickets too.  I am impressed with his restraint in dealing with the ticketer, especially with two stormtroopers right there to back him up.

Sadly the effect is a bit ruined by the camera person giving Vader a shout-out at the end, but it is still fun.

via Topless Robot

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Documentary on Star Wars Toys

“Plastic Galaxy: The Story of Star Wars Toys” is a documentary that celebrates the action figures, play sets, space ships, and props we grew up with as kids — and still collect today. Through interviews with collectors, historians, former Kenner and Hasbro employees, and others, the film explores their history, influence, and continued impact on pop culture.

Over at Plastic Galaxy Movie.

It is coming to DVD this summer, and looks like it will be interesting.  Of course, a teaser trailer shows very little, but it does bring me back to my childhood enjoyment of Star Wars toys.  Though in my case it mostly consisted of coveting the toys of my friends.

via Topless Robot

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Will We Ever See SF-ish Laser Guns?

Live Science has a brief but interesting discussion of the plausibility and practicality of laser guns, one of the biggest SF tropes.  Short version:  We are likely to see some energy weapons, but they won’t use visible light and they won’t look anything like the light pulses in films like Star Wars. There also won’t be hand-held energy weapons anytime soon.

“For strategic and tactical weapons, you can store energy on planes, boats or Humvees,” said Beason, “but unless a super-source of energy is invented, you may never be able to do it with handheld weapons.”

The reason a visible light beam shows up is that particles along its path scatter photons into the eyes of an observer. (Think of a flashlight beam in fog versus the same beam on a clear night.) “Anytime you can see a beam, that means light is being scattered in some way,” said Beason. That, in turn, means less energy reaching the target.

Though I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it, I can see them existing most often in space where there isn’t an atmosphere to diffuse the light, and where discharging a projectile would have more challenges (no atmospheric oxygen to make a bang and the kickback pushing your ship in the other direction).  It will be quite awhile before we see any of this, if ever.




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Star Wars the Old Republic Will be Free-to-Play This Weekend

For the gamers and Star Wars fans among us, apparently Star Wars: The Old Republic is hosting a “Weekend Pass Free Trial” this weekend.

My life is such that MMO gaming is just not an option anymore (lest my children grow up when I am not looking), but it does look like fun.

via Geekosystem

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Misconceptions about Space Fighters: Angels on a Pin

The often interesting and always a bit pedantic ‘Greatest Misconception’ YouTube series makes some fairly salient points about the concept of space fighters – a staple of SF space operas, especially in film.

I can’t find much to disagree with, though I take some issue with his argument that reaction mass and engine size are more relevant, and small is not equal to fast in space.  Unless you assume unlimited resources, I can always see a place for small, semi-disposable craft, if only because you don’t always need a big ship to do a task or take a particular risk.

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