Doctor Who: Mark of the Rani

“The Mark of the Rani” was the first episode in which the Sixth Doctor traveled back into a famous period in Earth’s past – in this case, the time of the Luddite movement and its opposition to technology that threatened to eliminate human jobs. This setting provides the symbolic background for discussions between three timelords [Read More...]

Digital Analysis of Mandaic Manuscripts

My collaborator on the Mandaean Book of John translation project, Charles G. Häberl of Rutgers University, is scheduled to present on “Digital Analysis of Mandaic Manuscripts” at the workshop “Ancient Religion, Modern Technology” to be held February 13-14 at Brown University. Some of the other presentations also look fascinating, covering topics from Syriac linguistics to ancient [Read More...]

The Future of the Impressive Personal Library

HT Marc Cortez [Read more...]

Doctor Who: The War Machines (and the computer that knew the Doctor’s name)

The episode of Doctor Who, “The War Machines,” may seem to explore familiar terrain to viewers today. But keep in mind that this episode was written and aired not only decades before Skynet and the Terminator films, but also years before the movie Colossus: The Forbin Project was released. And so the Doctor Who episode [Read More...]

Torchwood: Reset

This episode seems like the ultimate LOST/Doctor Who/Torchwood crossover. Martha Jones teams up with Torchwood to take on…Charles Widmore (actually, Professor Copley, played by Alan Dale). The similarity would have been there even if the same actor who played Widmore on LOST had not had the role he did in this episode. We still find [Read More...]

Droids with Feelings (or is it Existential Angst?)

I’ve actually written some serious treatments of whether machines can ever be people, including in my chapter in Religion and Science Fiction. The series of posters that IO9 highlighted today about droids suffering from what they described as “low self esteem” actually seem to me to depict them doing more than that, reflecting on very [Read More...]

New Technology for Dealing with Slow Walkers

This video from Japan shows the latest in cutting-edge, innovative technology, designed to allow fast walkers to circumvent slower ones. You know you’ve wanted to be able to do this. So what is it? A jetpack? Levitating surfboard? Watch and see! Apparently these are already available in some stores in the English-speaking world. HT Jonathan [Read More...]