Gravity Posters Are Ready For Their Close-Up

gravity poster clooneyBy the time Alfonso Cuaron’s space thriller Gravity hits theaters, we here at GFR might be a little late getting there, since we’re bogged down by the endless glut of promotional material being released at a fast clip. Now Warner Bros. has released two character posters that don’t really give the characters a lot of room to breathe. And when you’re floating around in outer space with only a limited amount of oxygen, you kind of need all the breathing room you can get.

Sarcasm aside, I like both of these posters quite a bit, specifically because they’re so smashed into the faces of stars George Clooney and Sandra Bullock. It isn’t a design choice that’s used very often, with many films aiming to fit as many familiar and attractive faces as possible on the poster. CLooney and Bullock are both attractive people, but that’s not what these posters are conveying. We are up close and personal with these two astronauts because they are stranded in space, where one mistake will mean nothing will ever be up close and personal again. Let’s take a look at Bullock’s “oh no” face.


Scientists Grow Human Brain In A Petri Dish

Scientists make all kinds of weird stuff in petri dishes and grow things like synthetic meat in their lab — after all, that’s one of the big perks of being a scientist. But this one takes the cake. Or, as the case may be, the brain.

Scientists at the Institute of Molecular Biological in Vienna have used petri dishes to grow a human brain — or rather, something very much like a human brain — out of stem cells.

lab-grown brain tissue

lab-grown brain tissue


Support These Jurassic Park Legos For The Coolest T-Rex You Can Get Your Hands On

lego jurassic parkIt has already been a pretty strong month for the Jurassic Park franchise. The 3D version of the original film was released in China recently, vaulting the film beyond the $1 billion mark. The mega-budget production company Legendary Pictures may step in to co-finance Jurassic Park 4 with Universal, which would surely boost the funding by a ton. And on a somewhat smaller level, digital artist and photographer Sami Mustonen created a Lego Cuusoo campaign to try and get a limited set of Jurassic Park Legos put into production. We probably wouldn’t be telling you about this if it were some rinky-dinky set made by a child with spare time, but Mustonen’s pieces are pretty amazing.

Mustonen said inspiration hit just before Jurassic Park 3D hit theaters, and that he spent the time since then drafting out the proposed set, making sure the models are rendered as close to perfect as possible. [Possible Shocking Momment] No actual bricks were used in the creation of the images you’ll see below. There were made using a Lego Digital Designer, while the real pieces to create an actual piece are supposedly on their way. This whole 3D version instead of a brick version was a branch of the mini-controversy that occurred soon after this project was put up. But we’ll focus on the good stuff at first, and the bad stuff in a minute.


This Wall-Climbing Robot Has A Thing For High Art

vertwalkerWe’re not trying to condone the illegal act of tagging public buildings or anything, but we’re saying if you ever did happen to get into such behavior, you’d have a hard time finding something more handy than Sonice Development’s Vertwalker, a wall-climbing robot programmed to perform the kind of wall art that a man with a just a spray can could only dream of. I do assume underground artist Banksy has Inspector Gadget legs, allowing him to do some of the things he’s done, but he’s like a mythical being at this point. Anybody could potentially own a Vertwalker. Owning a Banksy probably breaks a different sort of law or two.

This electronic artist was created by Berlin designers Julian Adanauer and Christoper Haas, who were inspired by art going vertical, no longer held to a horizontal tether. Essentially, it’s a Roomba equipped with a lip around the bottom of the device that creates a vacuum seal to form, allowing it to travel across walls. What makes it even more successful is the minimal amount of friction that the lip causes.


China Will Land A Probe On The Moon By The End Of 2013

china rocketWhile we here at Giant Freakin’ Robot would never claim to be xenophobic, we admit that a good portion of our news about China has to do with their box office totals and their heinous censorship of movies. But we should have been paying more attention to their ascent in the space race, as they’ve moved past exoplanet hunts and their manned trip to the Chinese space station Tiangong 1. In a press statement, the State Administration of Science, Technology, and Industry for National Defense said they are now finished with their plans and construction of an unmanned rover which they intend to land on the moon by the end of this year. (Cue dramatic theremin note.)

The mission is called Chang’e-3, after a mythological character who resided in a lunar palace. The implications of the name are clear, even though it’ll be years before they’re able to send their own astronauts there. But the point is, they aren’t held back by having a lower budget than NASA, or by getting a later start than the U.S. and Russia in the galactic rush. They’re setting goals and they’re reaching them, which has got to make their citizens proud. Incidentally, they set 2020 as the date for their manned lunar mission.


Did Life Begin On Mars? New Evidence Suggests It Did

moon craterSome people are very particular about where they come from. While I’m an American, and a Louisianan, I prefer to say I come from South Louisiana, as that definition excludes me from the ranks of all the stereotypical North Louisiana morons that are seen on reality shows. It’s a mostly useless description to anyone that doesn’t live here, but it’s a pride thing. However, it’s a moot point if it turns out we all come from Mars, as certain new evidence suggests.

Professor Steven Benner, of the Westheimer Institute of Science and Technology, recently presented this theory at the Goldschmidt Meeting in Florence, Italy. He poses the argument that Earth’s state three billion years ago was lacking the specifics needed to kick start complex organisms, and that it’s likely a meteorite broken off of Mars allowed for life to form in the way it did. Billions of years ago, the Earth was full of carbon-based primordial ooze, which just wasn’t capable of creating RNA (ribonucleic acid), which is thought to be the first form of genetic material to have formed. When heat or light hit the soup, it’s far more likely that instead of life, the only result would have been a goopy tar.