Neuroscience explains the prequel backlash?

io9 today links an interesting exploration of Neuroscience and Nostalgia. Included is a bit about why the prequels sparked a wave of Lucas hate:

The reaction can be partly explained by the sense of attack on our previously fond feelings. Watching the new movie automatically calls up memories from the previous series and all the pleasant childhood playtime memories associated with it. But recalling these fond memories in the context of a negative experience begins the process of re-coding, or modifying our old memories. This is an undesirable outcome for nostalgia as it is usually such a pleasant feeling. Naturally there is some resistance and cognitive dissonance when this happens and the brain will try to avoid it like any other unpleasant experience.

So, George Lucas did rape your childhood… From a certain point of view. Ouch.

Alas, it really can’t explain why I spent the late 90’s calling for the head of Kevin J. Anderson… Or does it? We all have our demons, I suppose.

Plus I really doubt that’s clean energy

Most of The Physics of the Death Star is pretty much Greek to me (art degree!) but long story short, the amount of energy the Death Star needs just to blow stuff up:

It’s a solid week of the sun’s entire power output. Dumping it in about a single second, as required to blow up Alderaan, is a very, very impressive feat. Doubly so when you take into account the fact that the binding energy is just enough to dissociate the planet into a diffuse cloud. If you want to actually blow the thing up into pieces flying out at many times escape velocity, you need much more energy.

So how much would it take to move that thing around? Even in zero gravity? How about the lights? Interior gravity? Refreshers? Mouse-droid charging stations? On second thought… I don’t want to know. (via)

The ‘Force trainer’ is not an Onion story

No, USA Today is reporting this one straight, complete with comments from Howard Roffman. The Force Trainer “uses brain waves to allow players to manipulate a sphere.” Naturally.

No, you’re not tapping into some “all-powerful force controlling everything,” as Han Solo said in the movies. But you are reaching out with mind power via one of the first mass-market brain-to-computer products. “It’s been a fantasy everyone has had, using The Force,” says Howard Roffman, president of Lucas Licensing.

…In the Force Trainer, a wireless headset reads your brain activity, in a simplified version of EEG medical tests, and the circuitry translates it to physical action. If you focus well enough, the training sphere, which looks like a ping-pong ball, will rise in the tower.

Call me when they start making the toy lightsabers with real light, okay? (via)