The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics By James Kakalios (Gotham)
Professor and professed nerd Kakalios explains the quantum world through science fiction characters like Buck Rogers and Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen, who “gained independent control over his quantum mechanical wave function” to teleport and change his size. Some of the examples are a stretch, but Kakalios unites sci-fi fans and the scientists behind quantum theory in their shared ability to believe what once seemed impossible.
—Elise Marton & Andrew Moseman
Imagine Science Film Festival New York City
Contrary to what certain Hollywood blockbusters or soporific college lecturers would have you believe, great stories and accurate science are not nemeses. That’s what scientist and filmmaker Alexis Gambis believed when he founded this annual festival in 2008.
The audience agrees: Last year’s extravaganza garnered hundreds of submissions from scientists and non-scientists alike, and drew 5,000 spectators to screenings at area bars, universities, museums, and cinemas. The 2010 edition (sponsored in part by DISCOVER) will present 40 new narrative, documentary, and animated films, as well as a feature-length showcase. The winners of the scientific merit and people’s choice awards take home cash prizes. Runs October 15 through 22
Star Ruler Blind Mind Studios
If you long to reach your Machiavellian potential on a galactic scale, look no further than the dirty politics and complex economies of this multiplayer-capable PC game. Astronomical size and detail define Star Ruler. You control a galaxy of 150 star systems, complete with gas giants, nebulas, asteroid belts, and Earth-like worlds. But it’s not all stargazing. If diplomacy falters, you might find yourself commanding fleets of ships against alien evildoers intent on galactic domination.