A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…
Back to the past of the future.
Klaatu barada nikto.
If you feel like Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar is building towards something, you know, other than the actual movie release, you’re not alone. Starting last week we got a new poster every day, and you know how this week kicked off? With yet another new poster, that’s how. At least this one is a different shape than all the others, taking the form of a banner instead of your traditional vertical one sheet. Way to mix it up you guys. Maybe they’re working up to a new trailer or behind the scenes look, but until then, if something like that ever does materialize, we’ll have to content ourselves with this, and it ain’t too bad.
What little we know about the plot of Interstellar revolves around global climate change progressing to a point in the near future where the Earth won’t be able to sustain life for much longer. As a result, the entire planet is a kind of Great Depression-esque dust bowl, and a crew of astronauts, including Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway, must take to the stars and venture through a newly discovered wormhole, on a search for a new planet for us to colonize and settle on. That’s where the catchy slogans like, “The end of the world will not be the end of us,” come into play.
Most of us learned about photosynthesis way back in grade school science, but in case you were absent that day, or busy etching your initials into the side of your desk, photosynthesis is plants’ process of turning sunlight (and water and air) into energy. It’s pretty much the most amazing and important thing plants do, and of course, those of us who enjoy breathing certainly appreciate the conversion of carbon dioxide into oxygen. Now it seems as though humans can do more than appreciate this process—according to a new study published in Nature, humans may be able to speed up photosynthesis.
The study, led by a Cornell University scientist, revolves around a protein enzyme called Rubisco. Rubisco’s job is to convert carbon dioxide into sugar, and comprises roughly half of all proteins contained in leaves—there may even be more Rubisco around than any other protein on the planet. But that’s because it is actually not that great at its job. It’s not very efficient, and it performs the conversion slowly and in relatively small quantities. So, just like with anything else that lacks efficiency, the question scientists raised in the study was how to boost it.
If the amount of news that we’ve heard about Star Trek 3 in recent days days is any indication, movement on the third part in the rebooted franchise is beginning in earnest. Among other things, we’ve heard that the cameras could begin rolling within the next few months (one potential start date is February 15, 2015), that the script is finished, and that the action will pick up in the middle of the Enterprise’s five-year mission (finally). The latest bit we’ve heard is that Star Trek 3 could, if all parties are amicable to such an occurrence, reunite two characters from the original series.
Regardless of your feelings on the revamped >Star Trek (we know there are a great many of you who would like to travel back and reset the timeline so they never happened), you have to give J.J. Abrams and company at least a little bit of credit for bringing back Spock, and not just Spock, the character, but Leonard Nimoy himself. When he shows up in the first movie, that is, admittedly, a pretty fantastic reveal. And if this report is correct, the script for Star Trek 3 could see Nimoy’s Spock come together with William Shatner’s Captain Kirk. And wouldn’t that be something to see?
Summer series like Outlander and Under the Dome are nearing their end, meaning it’s time to find something else to populate your DVR queue. Thankfully there’s plenty to chose from this week, so you should be able to find plenty of excuses to vegetate in front of your TV screen, regardless of your tastes.
Craving some comic-book action on the small screen? You’ve got Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returning to ABC and hopefully not squandering the goodwill it earned at the end of an uneven first season. More of a DC kind of person? Don’t worry, you won’t have to wait for the premieres of Arrow and Flash to get your fix. You can check out a pre-Batman Gotham in, well, Gotham. The pilot isn’t bad, but it seems like a concept that doesn’t have the legs to sustain itself in the long run. We shall see.
Fox’s Sleepy Hollow was a surprise hit last season, and while it isn’t science fiction, it does involve time travel, and it’s had our goodwill ever since that scene where Ichabod consoles an Onstar operator. If you prefer artificial intelligence to headless horsemen, CBS’ Person of Interest has improved hugely since its first season, and it’s back for another round Tuesday night.
News about J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII seems to come in waves. We won’t hear anything for a bit, then every day for a week there are rumors and set photos and reports and concept art. Some of it has come from unlikely sources, but this latest tidbit comes from perhaps the most unlikely yet, James Bond. Or at least from a James Bond, in this case Roger Moore.
There’s nothing super SPOILER-y in this, but if you’re sensitive to such things, you may want to steer clear.