So, last week I talked about the documentary about Stephen Hawking, “A Brief History of Time”. This week I have a book review taking an alternative approach to Stephen Hawking’s theories of Black Holes, and how they are wrong. The book in question is The Black Hole War by Leonard Susskind.
Essentially, the plot of the non-fiction book is pretty simple. Stephen Hawking comes up with his theories of how Black Holes work, and how nothing can escape them. Well, sort of – Hawking Radiation is emitted by black holes (that’s one of the ways we can find them), but the amount of radiation emitted is not equal to the amount of material that is captured by the black hole. Thus any “information” captured by the black hole (from light to anything else) is lost. (more…)
I love physics. To be more accurate, I love all the space sciences. This ties in to my enjoyment of science fiction series like Star Trek and Star Wars, and from watching documentary series like Nova on Public Broadcasting as a kid. Plus, like most people, I love underdog stories. So, when I learned about Professor Stephen Hawkings, a physicist from the UK who helped to expand our knowledge of how the universe works in spite of the disease that was slowly destroying him – Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. So, when I learned there was a film based on his book “A Brief History of Time”, where he explained the basics of quantum mechanics to a mass audience. I leaped at the chance to watch it. (more…)
The space program has always fascinated me, particularly because my interest in Science Fiction, particularly through series like Star Trek – which in turn lead me to an interest in the space sciences and some terrestrial sciences as well. So, when I heard about a documentary about the space program that I hadn’t seen before, and one that was coming out from the Criterion Collection, I had to check it out.
Using footage from all the Apollo missions (plus a bit of the Gemini missions), the film depicts the journey from Earth to the Moon, to the explorations of the Lunar surface, to finally the trip back home. All of this is accompanied with interview audio from various astronauts in the Apollo program discussing the program, and what it felt like to go to the moon. (more…)
Most people have heard about the BBC’s excellent documentary series Planet Earth… which I must admit I haven’t seen yet, but I plan to watch in the future. However, first, I’ve decided to review the BBC’s companion documentary for the series – Earth: A Biography. Is the series a worthy companion, while still being able to stand on it’s own for those who haven’t watched Planet Earth, or does it leave something to desired?
The Premise: The documentary follows Iain Stewart, a geologist from the University of Plymouth in England, as he travels the world explaining various concepts on how Earth works – specifically relating to how we got to the earth we have now, from volcanoes and plate tectonics, to ice and the movement of glaciers, to wind and the atmosphere.