When “Across the Universe” was transmitted into deep space in 2008, NASA hoped the song’s journey across the universe would bring contact with other beings. The famous Beatles’ tune may have been the first one sent to the aliens, but it’s not the only piece of music influenced by them: musicians from Beethoven to Ella Fitzgerald to Radiohead have all produced acoustic renderings of extraterrestrials. So here’s a sample of what the soundtrack to Mark Brake’s Alien Life Imagined might sound like.
Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” as it’s commonly called, has been touted as a great boon to humanity and at the same time, condemned as a great danger. As usual, the reality lies somewhere in between. Fracking is a process of cracking rock formations (mainly shale) with high pressure water mixed with chemicals to release natural [...]
Mark Brake, the author of Alien Life Imagined, on writing, Darwinian Martians, and his sci-fi bookshelf.
Rachel E. is a book publicist who moonlights as an astronomy enthusiast. When I was five years old and every other girl in my kindergarten class wanted to grow up to be a princess, an actress, or a figure skater (it was a Winter Olympics year), I wanted to be an astronomer. And after an entire [...]
Tuesday was Charles Darwin’s 204th birthday and I was like, hey, I know about that guy! I’ve never been the kind of person who is especially interested in anything science-related. I mean, my interest basically extends to making manatee habitat dioramas out of shoe boxes in fourth grade and half-heartedly looking at the stars through a telescope with my dad in the backyard. So it was a shock to basically everyone I’ve ever met when I announced that I’d be taking an island biogeography course in the Bahamas in my junior year of college. They said things like, “Marie, you realize this is science right?” and “You just want to go on a vacation” and “A shark is going to eat you when you go snorkeling” and “Hiking is so not your thing.” You know, totally supportive.