Monday, January 16, 2012

Fringe

Fringe  is probably my current favorite TV show.  It is in the vein of several other great sci-fi shows like Star Trek, Babylon-5, X-Files, Firefly and Battlestar Galactica. In terms of quality of course. All these shows share great writing and a big deal of imagination. They depict imaginary worlds or realities that make us believe in them so much that we lose the idea they're fiction products.

John Noble as "Denethor"
Fringe, has a premise, they will explain everything even though, they might use fringe science explanations. In fact, I really love when they have these paranormal activities episodes like when one of the characters returned from the dead using something called "soul magnets" or when Walter Bishop prays in a church, or when William Bell  mentions God's will as a limit for scientific exploration. On the other hand, they discuss several traditional concepts from science fiction like parallel worlds, multiple universes, chaos theory, butterfly effects, androids, artificial intelligence with a bunch of modern cyberpunk concepts. Excellent acting, specially Anna Torv and super specially John Noble. You probably saw him on "Lord of The Rings"  films. He has played the regent Denethor, you might recall, but his Walter Bishop is a fine rendition of all kinds of crazy scientists we know.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Dennis Ritchie


Dennis Ritchie: Source Wikipedia
With the transition of Dennis Ritchie we lost one of our greatest genius. Unlike what many think, C was not simply a derivation from B and BPCL, these were actually interpreted languages. With the advent of C, Unix evolved and all the applications written for it evolved somehow.

And thus...

Networking evolved, compilers evolved, embedded systems evolved. C and C++ are two of the greatest mankind's achievements because they allowed a huge number of technological discoveries to be made.

When I was young, I told my father that I hated to study biology. My father, like always, rather synthetic, wise and smart replied: "You eat biology son". Well, not literally, my parents are: a retired Pharmacology PHD ( my father ) and a retired Milk Biologist PHD ( my mother ). My father wanted to tell me that what put food in our house was essentially biology research.

If my kids ever complain about C, I'd respond with a quote from my father, just replacing biology for C in my father's quote.

Hey Dennis, thanks for C and UNIX dude, when you were among us you rocked the earth, close to you, guys like Steve Jobs were regular men.