It s Alive

Author: Michael LaBarbera
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022609488X
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The B-movie monster—be it gap-toothed gorilla, ripped-from-time dinosaur, overstretched arachnid, or another outrageous anthropomorphic fantasy—has thrilled moviegoers for decades, and firmly sunk its claws into popular culture. In It’s Alive!, Michael LaBarbera delves into the science behind these characters’ construction, from the biology surrounding tyrannosaurid postures in Jurassic Park and King Kong to the questionable physics employed by The Incredible Shrinking Man. Accompanied by a treasure trove of images from old movie posters and stills, and ranging from the 1930s to such recent films as The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the latest installments of the Alien franchise, It’s Alive! cleverly uses science to remind us that the best parts of moviemaking might indeed be magic–for all creatures, great and small.

RKO Radio Pictures Horror Science Fiction and Fantasy Films 1929 1956

Author: Michael R. Pitts
Publisher: McFarland
ISBN: 1476616833
Format: PDF, Kindle
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King Kong and The Thing from Another World are among the most popular horror and science fiction films of all time and both were made by RKO Radio Pictures. Between 1929 and 1956, RKO released more than 140 genre features, including The Most Dangerous Game, The Phantom of Crestwood, Before Dawn, The Monkey's Paw, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, You'll Find Out, The Spiral Staircase, The Enchanted Cottage, It's a Wonderful Life, Captive Women and Killers from Space. RKO is remembered for its series of psychological horror movies produced by Val Lewton, including Cat People, I Walked with a Zombie, The Seventh Victim and The Body Snatcher. The studio also produced films in the adventure, comedy, fantasy, mystery and western genres. They released many Walt Disney classics--Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia, Pinocchio, Cinderella, Peter Pan--as well as several "Tarzan" features. This volume covers these movies in detail with critical and historical analysis, in-depth plot synopsis and numerous contemporary reviews.

Chasing Science at Sea

Author: Ellen Prager
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226678717
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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To the average office-dweller, marine scientists seem to have the good life: cruising at sea for weeks at a time, swimming in warm coastal waters, living in tropical paradises. But ocean scientists who go to sea will tell you that it is no vacation. Creature comforts are few and the obstacles seemingly insurmountable, yet an abundance of wonder and discovery still awaits those who take to the ocean. Chasing Science at Sea immerses readers in the world of those who regularly go to sea—aquanauts living underwater, marine biologists seeking unseen life in the deep ocean, and the tall-ship captains at the helm, among others—and tells the fascinating tale of what life—and science—is like at the mercy of Mother Nature. With passion and wit, well-known marine scientist Ellen Prager shares her stories as well as those of her colleagues, revealing that in the field ingenuity and a good sense of humor are as essential as water, sunblock, and GPS. Serendipity is invaluable, and while collecting data is the goal, sometimes just getting back to shore means success. But despite the physical hardship and emotional duress that come with the work, optimism and adventure prompt a particularly hardy species of scientist to return again and again to the sea. Filled with firsthand accounts of the challenges and triumphs of dealing with the extreme forces of nature and the unpredictable world of the ocean, Chasing Science at Sea is a unique glimpse below the water line at what it is like and why it is important to study, explore, and spend time in one of our planet’s most fascinating and foreign environments.

Night of the Living Dead

Author: John A. Russo
Publisher: Commonwealth Publications Incorporated
ISBN: 9781551975061
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The dearly departed have risen and are thirsty for human flesh and blood, and when night falls they embark on a murderous and bloody rampage to satisfy their decaying bodies and quench their evil souls. Reprint.

On Knowing The Natural Sciences

Author: Richard P. McKeon
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226560274
Format: PDF, ePub
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Well before the current age of discourse, deconstruction, and multiculturalism, Richard McKeon propounded a philosophy of pluralism showing how "facts" and "values" are dependent on diverse ways of reading texts. This book is a transcription of an entire course, including both lectures and student discussions, taught by McKeon. As such, it provides an exciting introduction to McKeon's conception of pluralism, a central aspect of neo-Pragmatism, while demonstrating how pluralism works in a classroom setting. In his lectures, McKeon outlines the entire history of Western thinking on the sciences. Treating the central concepts of motion, space, time, and cause, he traces modern intellectual debates back to the ancient Greeks, notably Plato, Aristotle, Democritus, and the Sophists. As he brings the story of Western science up to the twentieth century, he uses his fabled semantic schema (reproduced here for the first time) to uncover new ideas and observations about cosmology, mechanics, dynamics, and other aspects of physical science. Illustrating the broad historical sweep of the lectures are a series of discussions which give detail to the course's intellectual framework. These discussions of Plato, Aristotle, Galileo, Newton, and Maxwell are perhaps the first published rendition of a philosopher in literal dialogue with his students. Led by McKeon's pointed questioning, the discussions reveal the difficulties and possibilities of learning to engage in serious intellectual communication.

Philosophy of Pseudoscience

Author: Massimo Pigliucci
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022605182X
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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What sets the practice of rigorously tested, sound science apart from pseudoscience? In this volume, the contributors seek to answer this question, known to philosophers of science as “the demarcation problem.” This issue has a long history in philosophy, stretching as far back as the early twentieth century and the work of Karl Popper. But by the late 1980s, scholars in the field began to treat the demarcation problem as impossible to solve and futile to ponder. However, the essays that Massimo Pigliucci and Maarten Boudry have assembled in this volume make a rousing case for the unequivocal importance of reflecting on the separation between pseudoscience and sound science. Moreover, the demarcation problem is not a purely theoretical dilemma of mere academic interest: it affects parents’ decisions to vaccinate children and governments’ willingness to adopt policies that prevent climate change. Pseudoscience often mimics science, using the superficial language and trappings of actual scientific research to seem more respectable. Even a well-informed public can be taken in by such questionable theories dressed up as science. Pseudoscientific beliefs compete with sound science on the health pages of newspapers for media coverage and in laboratories for research funding. Now more than ever the ability to separate genuine scientific findings from spurious ones is vital, and The Philosophy of Pseudoscience provides ground for philosophers, sociologists, historians, and laypeople to make decisions about what science is or isn’t.

Mesmerists Monsters and Machines

Author: Martin Willis
Publisher: Kent State University Press
ISBN: 9780873388573
Format: PDF, ePub
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"Mesmerists, Monsters, and Machines interrogates the cultural implications of scientific development as articulated, challenged, and reformulated by science fiction. Each chapter demonstrates that both science and fiction were vital parts of a culture of imaginative and empirical practices that were continually reacting to, arguing with, and influencing one another throughout the nineteenth century. In a narrative that cites classic science fiction texts, Willis establishes a timeline for the reader so that the cultural significance of science fiction is understood and its complexity and relevance to the nineteenth century is demonstrated." "Those interested in nineteenth-century history and literature, cultural studies, the history of science, and science fiction will welcome this addition to the scholarship."--BOOK JACKET.

I Am Legend

Author: Richard Matheson
Publisher: NY Books
ISBN:
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Robert Neville has witnessed the end of the world. The entire population has been obliterated by a vampire virus. Somehow, Neville survived. He must now struggle to make sense of everything that has happened and learn to protect himself against the vampires who hunt him constantly. He must, because perhaps there is nothing else human left. I Am Legend was a major influence in horror and brought a whole new thematic concept to apocalyptic literature. Several humanistic and emotional themes in this book blend the horror genre with traditional fiction: we see Neville as an emotional person, and observe as he suffers bouts of depression, dips into alcoholism and picks up his strength again to fight the vampiric bacteria that has infected (and killed off) most of humankind. Neville soon meets a woman, Ruth, (after three years alone), who seems to be uninfected and a lone survivor. The two become close and he learns from Ruth that the infected have learned to fight the disease...

Nonsense on Stilts

Author: Massimo Pigliucci
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226667871
Format: PDF, ePub
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Recent polls suggest that fewer than 40 percent of Americans believe in Darwin’s theory of evolution, despite it being one of science’s best-established findings. More and more parents are refusing to vaccinate their children for fear it causes autism, though this link can been consistently disproved. And about 40 percent of Americans believe that the threat of global warming is exaggerated, despite near consensus in the scientific community that manmade climate change is real. Why do people believe bunk? And what causes them to embrace such pseudoscientific beliefs and practices? Noted skeptic Massimo Pigliucci sets out to separate the fact from the fantasy in this entertaining exploration of the nature of science, the borderlands of fringe science, and—borrowing a famous phrase from philosopher Jeremy Bentham—the nonsense on stilts. Presenting case studies on a number of controversial topics, Pigliucci cuts through the ambiguity surrounding science to look more closely at how science is conducted, how it is disseminated, how it is interpreted, and what it means to our society. The result is in many ways a “taxonomy of bunk” that explores the intersection of science and culture at large. No one—not the public intellectuals in the culture wars between defenders and detractors of science nor the believers of pseudoscience themselves—is spared Pigliucci’s incisive analysis. In the end, Nonsense on Stilts is a timely reminder of the need to maintain a line between expertise and assumption. Broad in scope and implication, it is also ultimately a captivating guide for the intelligent citizen who wishes to make up her own mind while navigating the perilous debates that will affect the future of our planet.

Shambling Towards Hiroshima

Author: James Morrow
Publisher: Tachyon Publications
ISBN: 1616960469
Format: PDF, Docs
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2010 Sturgeon Award winner Nebula and Hugo Award nominee It is the early summer of 1945, and war reigns in the Pacific Rim with no end in sight. Back in the States, Hollywood B-movie star Syms Thorley lives in a very different world, starring as the Frankenstein-like Corpuscula and Kha-Ton-Ra, the living mummy. But the U.S. Navy has a new role waiting for Thorley, the role of a lifetime that he could never have imagined. The top secret Knickerbocker Project is putting the finishing touches on the ultimate biological weapon: a breed of gigantic, fire-breathing, mutant iguanas engineered to stomp and burn cities on the Japanese mainland. The Navy calls upon Thorley to don a rubber suit and become the merciless Gorgantis and to star in a live drama that simulates the destruction of a miniature Japanese metropolis. If the demonstration succeeds, the Japanese will surrender, and many thousands of lives will be spared; if it fails, the horrible mutant lizards will be unleashed. One thing is certain: Syms Thorley must now give the most terrifyingly convincing performance of his life. In the dual traditions of Godzilla as a playful monster and a symbol of the dawn of the nuclear era, Shambling Towards Hiroshima unexpectedly blends the destruction of World War II with the halcyon pleasure of monster movies.