Robo-Santa and his Meccano tree, 1960

From vintage ad enthusiast Paul Malon's superb Flickr stream, this 1960 holiday season cover from science fiction magazine Galaxy. He has another one with two aliens sneaking up on Christmas, and a stressed-out interstellar Santa.

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Tiny holiday scenes starring Star Wars advent calendar minifigures

wookie needs a tree. Photo: J5K.

Boing Boing reader J5K of Helsinki, Finland picked up a LEGO 2012 Star Wars Advent Calendar 9509, and has been setting up and photographing cute little holiday scenes with the minifigs. He shared some in the Boing Boing Flickr pool, and you can view them all here.

at-at walker, Star Wars Advent Calendar - Day 10. Photo: J5K.

Aelita, Queen of Mars: Soviet Science Fiction film from 1924

In vintage ad archivist Paul Malon's excellent Flickr stream, I stumbled on this beautiful Soviet film poster for a film titled "Aelita."

A quick Googling revealed that this was for the motion picture Aelita, Queen of Mars, which Wikipedia describes as "a silent film directed by Soviet filmmaker Yakov Protazanov made at the Mezhrabpom-Rus film studio and released in 1924 (...) based on Alexei Tolstoy's novel of the same name."

Some describe it as the USSR's first sci-fi flick. Archive.org has the entire 80-minute film available for online viewing here, though the quality isn't great. It's also on YouTube, and here's part one.

You can also buy it in higher quality on Amazon, and here's their review:

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How to build a trippy meditation chamber, from PopSci 1970 archives

"The Meditator," a personal isolation tank fashioned from 12 pentagons decorated with photo collages. "You may find the sensation akin to that mystical communion with nature that you experience when alone in a forest," according to Popular Science writer Ken Isaacs in November 1970. At popsci.com, they've republished a photo gallery with enough detail that serenity-seeking DIYers in 2012 can once again roll their own.

Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind: Shusei Nagaoka (NSFW '70s sci-fi illustration)

View larger size here. Lovingly scanned and shared in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool by reader v. valenti. Art by Japanese illustrator Shusei Nagaoka, whose sci-fi illustrations were popular during the 1970s and '80s, and graced album covers by ELO, Earth, Wind & Fire, and Deep Purple. There's an awesome little archive of his work here.

Ray Bradbury at NASA JPL, 1971, reading his poem "If Only We Had Taller Been" (video)

[Video Link] A beautiful video from NASA JPL honoring Ray Bradbury, who died Tuesday, June 5 2012 at 91.

Through the years, Ray Bradbury attended several major space mission events at JPL/Caltech. On Nov. 12, 1971, on the eve of Mariner 9 going into orbit at Mars, Bradbury took part in a symposium at Caltech with Arthur C. Clarke, journalist Walter Sullivan, and scientists Carl Sagan and Bruce Murray. In this excerpt, Bradbury reads his poem, "If Only We Had Taller Been."

(Thanks, Stephanie L. Smith)

ISS astronaut, upon seeing inside SpaceX Dragon vehicle first time: "It looks sci-fi."

André Kuipers, a Dutch physician and astronaut with the European Space Agency, was on board the ISS when the SpaceX Dragon vehicle berthed. He took this photograph, and wrote,

Inside of the Dragon module. Beautiful. Spacious, Modern. Blue LEDs. Feels a bit like a sci-fi filmset. Of course it is from Los Angeles.

He wrote more about the historic space milestone here, on his blog.

Last Friday was a special day on my mission. Don and I docked the SpaceX’s cargoship Dragon to the Space Station. Dragon brings new equipment for the crew. On the 31st of May it will return to Earth with supplies from the others and myself. The Dragon mission is the operational highlight of my mission. But it is also a milestone for international spaceflight. This is the first time that a commercial spacecraft has flown to the ISS and docked with the Station. You could say a new era of spaceflight has begun. Soon private companies will take people to and from space.

The Dalek Relaxation Tape (by Peter Serafinowicz)

[Video Link] Created by Peter Serafinowicz.