Friday, August 31, 2007


The Halloween Season begins soonish. When do you think it begins? After Labor Day? First day of October? Let me know. Whatever the case, Rob Zombie's Halloween hits theaters today. I'm hoping to see it. Are you?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Hackers Take Down the Most Wired Country in Europe


The minister of defense checked the Web page again — still nothing. He stared at the error message: For some reason, the site for Estonia's leading newspaper, the Postimees, wasn't responding. Jaak Aaviksoo attempted to pull up the sites of a couple of other papers. They were all down. The former director of the University of Tartu Institute of Experimental Physics and Technology d been the Estonian defense minister for only four weeks. He hadn't even changed the art on the walls.

An aide rushed in with a report. It wasn't just the newspapers. The leading bank was under siege. Government communications were going down. An enemy had invaded and was assaulting dozens of targets.

Outside, everything was quiet. The border guards had reported no incursions, and Estonian airspace had not been violated. The aide explained what was going on: They were under attack by a rogue computer network.

It is known as a botnet, and it had slipped into the country through its least protected border — the Internet. Ministers of defense develop strategies to combat the threat of missile attacks, naval bombardment, air raids, and tank advances. But a digital invasion? Estonia is a member of both NATO and the European Union. Should Aaviksoo invoke NATO Article 5, which states that an assault on one allied country obligates the alliance to attack the aggressor?


Saturday, August 25, 2007

Friday, August 24, 2007

Women Dig Cavemen

Here's this week's post. Enjoy!

Jeanna Bryner
LiveScience Staff Writer Thu Aug 23, 12:35 PM ET

Guys with bulldog-like faces have been chick magnets throughout human evolutionary history.

A recent study of the skulls of human ancestors and modern humans finds that women, and thereby, evolution, selected for males with relatively short upper faces. The region between the brow and the upper-lip is scrunched proportionately to the overall size of their heads.

Among the men who fit the bill: Will Smith and Brad Pitt.

In a past study, researchers found a similar facial pattern in chimpanzees, with males having relatively shorter and broader faces compared with females, controlling for body size.

Men with "mini mugs" might have been most attractive to the opposite sex and thus most likely to attract mates for reproduction, passing along the striking features to the next generation and so forth, said lead study author Eleanor Weston, a paleontologist at the Natural History Museum in London.

"The evolution of facial appearance is central to understanding what makes men and women attractive to each other," Weston said. "We have found the distance between the lip and brow was probably immensely important to what made us attractive in the past, as it does now."

Whereas past studies have suggested facial symmetry and facial masculinity play roles in this game of desire, none have provided evidence of an evolutionary shaping of male and female faces.

"I think it's a very nice approach," said Randy Thornhill, an evolutionary psychologist at the University of New Mexico, referring to the study. Though not involved in it, Thornhill agrees with the finding that certain facial features evolved due to sexual selection.

Facial coordinates

The researchers calculated certain facial coordinates on 68 males and 53 female skulls from a contemporary native southern Africa population ranging in age from infant to 30 years old. Measurements included distances between the point between the eye brows and upper lip and from cheekbone to cheekbone.

Weston and her colleagues also examined facial data from fossil hominin skulls dating back to 2.6 million years ago, unearthed in Kenyan deposits as part of the Koobi Fora Research Project IV. These skulls represented five species: Homo erectus, Homo ergaster, Paranthropus boisei, Australopithecus africanus and Paranthropus robustus. These facial coordinates were then compared with the contemporary coordinates.

In spite of their bulkier bodies (about 15 percent more massive than women's bodies), and similarly broader faces, men have upper faces similar in height to women's faces, the scientists found. But compared with the rest of the head, a guy's mid-face is compressed. The differences held throughout human history.

A simple ratio of upper face length to broadness could serve as a proxy for facial attractiveness, the scientists say in a report on their research published in the online journal PLoS ONE.

Masculine appeal

The scientists are not certain why today's distinctive male face and its proportions evolved.

"A shorter upper face does serve to exaggerate the size of other face features such as the flare of the cheeks and the size of the jaw, but this might not be why it developed," Weston told LiveScience. "Rather the shorter [and] broader the male face the more ‘masculine’ and the less ‘feminine'—based on biological face changes that take place during growth and development—the individual becomes," she said.

Also, this facial development was accompanied by a shrinking of guys' canine teeth, so men appeared less threatening to competitors, yet attractive to mates.

While the scientists who authored the current study examined skulls and did not specifically study how modern faces fit the findings, the Natural History Museum press officers applied Weston's findings to a "quick and dirty" survey of photos of celebrities.

They came up with a list of stars with masculine faces, listing them from most to least masculine according to facial dimensions: Will Smith, Peter Andre, Justin Timberlake, Thierry Henry, Brad Pitt, David Beckham, Johnny Depp and Kanye West.

Visit for more daily news, views and scientific inquiry with an original, provocative point of view.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Monday, August 20, 2007

BONUS POST! Free Serials!

Hey folks,

I've stumbled across this site more than once. They've taken old skool serials and other media that have fallen into public domain and placed them on their site for you to enjoy them for free. Yes, absolutely free! Right now they have Dick Tracy, Flash Gordon and Radar Men from the Moon under serials. They have other things you can check out, too. Below is a collected preview of what they have to offer. Why not give them a peep?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

BONUS POST! The Last House on the Left

Some fun old skool 70s horror.

And remember: Rob Zombie's Halloween comes out August 31st!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Giving Shout-Outs

Hey folks,

Serials will be coming soon, or so I hope. I've been very busy editing stories and working on the website. The serials are just sitting on the back burner for now. They're on their way.

For today's weekly post I bring to you some shout-outs and links to favorite sites and people, all with an old skool sci-fi flair. Let me know what you think and be sure to check them out. Enjoy.





Monday, August 13, 2007

Sunday, August 12, 2007

BONUS POST! Science Fiction TV Intros

Here's a bunch of intros from classic TV shows.


Saturday, August 11, 2007

BONUS POST! Space Hotel

BARCELONA (Reuters) - "Galactic Suite," the first hotel planned in space, expects to open for business in 2012 and would allow guests to travel around the world in 80 minutes.

Its Barcelona-based architects say the space hotel will be the most expensive in the galaxy, costing $4 million for a three-day stay.

During that time guests would see the sun rise 15 times a day and use Velcro suits to crawl around their pod rooms by sticking themselves to the walls like Spiderman.

Company director Xavier Claramunt says the three-bedroom boutique hotel's joined up pod structure, which makes it look like a model of molecules, was dictated by the fact that each pod room had to fit inside a rocket to be taken into space.

"It's the bathrooms in zero gravity that are the biggest challenge," says Claramunt. "How to accommodate the more intimate activities of the guests is not easy."

But they may have solved the issue of how to take a shower in weightlessness -- the guests will enter a spa room in which bubbles of water will float around.

When guests are not admiring the view from their portholes they will take part in scientific experiments on space travel.

Galactic Suite began as a hobby for former aerospace engineer Claramunt, until a space enthusiast decided to make the science fiction fantasy a reality by fronting most of the $3 billion needed to build the hotel.

An American company intent on colonizing Mars, which sees Galaxy Suite as a first step, has since come on board, and private investors from Japan, the United States and the United Arab Emirates are in talks.


If Claramunt is secretive about the identity of his generous backer, he is more forthcoming about the custom he can expect.

"We have calculated that there are 40,000 people in the world who could afford to stay at the hotel. Whether they will want to spend money on going into space, we just don't know."

Four million dollars might be a lot to spend on a holiday, but those in the nascent space tourism industry say hoteliers have been slow on the uptake because no one thought the cost of space travel would come down as quickly as it has.

Galactic Suite said the price included not only three nights in space. Guests also get eight weeks of intensive training at a James Bond-style space camp on a tropical island.

"There is fear associated with going into space," said Claramunt. "That's why the shuttle rocket will remain fixed to the space hotel for the duration of the guests' stay, so they know they can get home again."

In an era of concern over climate change, Galaxy Suite have no plans so far to offset the pollution implications of sending a rocket to carry just six guests at a time into space.

"But," says Claramunt, "I'm hopeful that the impact of seeing the earth from a distance will stimulate the guests' urge to value and protect our planet."


Friday, August 10, 2007

Zombies, Robots and Conan... What More Could You Ask For?

Here's this week's post. It's a three-fer. The social robot video is from a Nova ScienceNOW episode on PBS. The Conan video is from an up-coming game for the next-gen consoles called Conan (please note: this is NOT the MMO Age of Conan). The last video is the official E3 trailer for Resident Evil 5 which debuted last month. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

BONUS POST! Bubblegum Crisis

One of my favorite anime series.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

BONUS POST! A Gentleman's Duel

I'm afraid the full version was taken down, perhaps by Blur Studios. That's fine. here's the trailer for it.

Monday, August 6, 2007

BONUS POST: Warhammer 40,000

The intro to one of my favorite games on PC. This is Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War

Anyone got any cool mods?

Friday, August 3, 2007

Masters of Science Fiction

It's Friday! Here's this week's post:

Be sure to check out the new summer series Masters of Science Fiction premiering Saturday August 4th on ABC.

From Wikipedia (linked here): "Masters of Science Fiction is an American television series from the creators of Masters of Horror for the ABC network. The show is set to debut on August 4, 2007 with new episodes airing every Saturday at 10PM.[1] Six episodes have so far been produced.

As the show comes from the creators of Masters of Horror, the show will follow a similar format. It follows an anthology format, with each one-hour episode featuring one short film. The show will also differ from MoH in a few ways. For instance, where MoH episodes feature new stories from known horror directors, MoSF features adaptations of known science fiction stories. Also, as MoSF will be broadcast on network television, the show will not feature the extreme levels of violence, nudity, and profanity that MoH does. Finally, MoH does not feature any sort of host, but MoSF will feature Stephen Hawking."

Here is the IMDb profile.

And the official site.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

And So Begins Something New...

Hey folks,

Welcome to the new Atomic Swan Serials. Herein you will find my usual rants, raves or general nerdiness, but you will also find the main focus of this newly revamped blog to be serialized speculative fiction.

My intention is to post every Friday with the occasional random post in between whenever the mood strikes me or if I find some oddment in the news concerning science and/or science fiction and monsters. If I somehow find myself not currently working on any serial I will still post every Friday some video or music or thought of the moment in relation to science fiction, horror, monsters or speculative fiction.

As luck would have it, I am currently not working on any serials. But we need to kick this thing off with something. Enjoy the video.

~ charles

P.S.: Please let me know if you like the new look and direction of this blog. Even if you don't like some aspect of it, please let me know. Every little bit helps.

~ charles