200+ sci-fi spaceships in one mind-blowing size comparison chart

Lauren says:

In one chart, "German graphic artist Dirk Loechel has assembled virtually every spaceship known (over 200) including vessels from video games including Halo, TV shows dating back to Galaxy Quest, and CGI animated fare such as Wall-E."

Check out the image at Loechel's Deviant Art page

Pixar boss Steve Jobs hated one thing about The Incredibles

At Cult of Mac, Sarah Lai Stirland offers an amusing anecdote from Pixar Director Mark Andrews, who got to tell Steve Jobs off.
Mark Andrews, a writer, director and storyboard artist at Pixar, recounted that Jobs would often drop in to participate in production postmortems. It was at the company’s screening of “The Incredibles,” about a family of superheroes living undercover in the suburbs, where he first met Apple’s late co-founder. Andrews worked on the project as its story supervisor. “He was sitting next to me and he said: ‘I just got one thing, John and Brad,’[the film's producer and writer/director] They said: ‘Sure, what is it Steve?’ He said: ‘Those stupid-ass, George Lucas-reject Star Wars space ships in “The Incredibles” are asinine!’” Andrews said. “And I designed ‘em, and I turned around and I said: ‘Excuse me, Steve, those are MY George Lucas-reject fuckin’ asinine space ships!’

Warp 0: Why warp drive technologies might never happen

Theoretical cosmologist Richard Easther has an interesting essay on the theoretical physics of warp drive technologies and why — despite the fact that they could work quite reasonably alongside relativity — they still might not ever make it to reality.

Space shuttle left astronauts vulnerable to Reaver attacks

It's been a good week for pedantry. In a guest blog post at Scientific American, Kyle Hill discusses the durability of spaceship windows — both in the real world, and in Joss Whedon's movie Serenity. Spaceship windows have to be incredibly tough, because even tiny chips of paint become dangerous projectiles in space. But how would they stand up to frontal attack by a spear? Physics has the answers.

What's up with NASA's warp drive spaceship?

Here's the best way I can sum up this story: Yes, some NASA scientists are working on a design for a warp drive. No, that doesn't mean warp drives are real.

Warp drives — as a purely theoretical thing and/or science-fiction plot device — involve manipulating space-time to allow a spaceship to go faster than the speed of light. It's basically loophole that would allow you to get around those pesky laws of physics. Swiss bank account:taxes::Warp drives:speed of light. You get the picture.

Harold White of NASA’s Johnson Space Center is currently leading an effort to design a warp drive space ship. But, as Amy Teitel explains in a story for Vice's Motherboard, the fact that this is happening does not necessarily mean a real working warp drive is possible. It's more about the fact that NASA is partly in the business of letting really smart people try things that are kind of crazy and unlikely, if they can back up the idea with a reasonably plausible hypothesis. Speculative research is a thing that happens.

The problem is that breaking the light barrier isn’t at all like breaking the sound barrier. The sound barrier–properly, the aerodynamic effects of pressure waves interacting with a body as it approaches the speed of sound–was broken with a cleverly engineered aircraft and an at-the-time state of the art rocket engine.

Bell’s X-1 was, importantly, a physical aircraft made of matter, not made of sound. But the atoms and molecules that make up all matter are connected by electromagnetic fields, and that’s the same stuff that light is made of. So when it comes to breaking the light barrier, it’s like breaking through light with light (sort of… ask Brian Greene). As NASA poses the question, “How can an object travel faster than that which links its atoms?” It’s a very different matter.

Another issue special relativity brings up is the light speed barrier. Moving takes energy, and the faster you move the more energy you use. So, theoretically, to move at the cosmic speed limit of light you need an infinite amount of energy. That’s a distinct barrier if there ever was one.

Read the rest of the story at Vice's Motherboard