'Atomic Robo' for the win
Find pulp-inspired fun in "Atomic Robo Real Science Adventures #1" from Red 5 Comics.
March 27th, 2012
02:58 PM ET

'Atomic Robo' for the win

Hello again, fellow comic readers!

A butt-kicking robot ventures all over the world, fighting evil scientists, dinosaurs and other robots in this week’s pick, Red 5 Comics' “Atomic Robo Presents Real Science Adventures #1.”

This new anthology presents several smaller self-contained stories and strips about the mechanical hero Atomic Robo. It's written by Brian Clevinger and featuring art from John Broglia, Ryan Colby, Yuko Ota, Chris Houghton, Joshua Ross and Scott Wegener.

The last story in "Real Science Adventures #1" is actually part of a larger story that is also in "Atomic Robo Volume 1 #3" but has themes from most of the other Atomic Robos books, like "Atomic Robo and the Dogs of War," "Atomic Robo and the Shadow From Beyond Time," and "Atomic Robo and the Deadly Art of Science."

I first heard of the book when Evil Hat Produtions announced plans for a table top RPG based on the comic. As a fan of their Dresden Files RPG, I went looking for “Atomic Robo” comic books to see what it was all about. I fell in love!

Also a huge fan of the books, Daniel Dean from Titan Games and Comics in Smyrna, Georgia, said, “I am not the kind of comic fan who sits around hoping and waiting for some TV or film adaptation of their favorite books, but I would tune into an ‘Atomic Robo’ series tomorrow.”

If you’re late to the “Atomic Robo” party, you don't really have to steep yourself in that much background, which is a great aspect about the comic books and hopefully, by extension, the franchise's other platforms. FULL POST

Citizen scientists shape 'destiny of humanity'
With the help of citizen scientists, SETI hopes to make the most of the Allen Telescope Array.
March 27th, 2012
02:51 PM ET

Citizen scientists shape 'destiny of humanity'

In 2009, Jill Tarter wanted to trigger the most meaningful search for extraterrestrial intelligence to date by pulling everyone together to look at the sky. The SETI Institute scientist brought her wish to the 2009 TED Conference. The idea of citizen science gave her hope.

The more eyes and ears she could put on the sky and the signals being received by the Allen Telescope Array - a collection of small satellite dishes together that can simultaneously pick up signals for radio astronomy research - the better chance we have at making new discoveries. Tarter wanted people to analyze the signals the array sends back in real time – something machines can’t do.

“We think humans are able to do something that our machines can’t” Tarter said. “We’re hoping that in these regions of the spectrum, where there are so many signals that we use for our own communication purposes, that humans can perhaps be sensitive to signals buried underneath all of this chatter of our own that might be coming from a distant technology.”

Unlike a machine’s capabilities when sorting through the tangled data, the human eye is good at picking out patterns in “the mess,” Tarter said, and identifying that same mess elsewhere in the sky.

And the more people who actively point to one particular spot in the sky as producing the most interesting frequencies, the telescope will point in that direction. They can help SETI by accessing SETI Live, the citizen science platform, on Science Channel's site. The initiative will continue until the end of the month, with results of SETI's findings to follow after it concludes. FULL POST

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Filed under: Brainiac