Monday, March 31, 2014

Future Flight (1987)

Today on Far Future Horizons we present Future Flight (1987) hosted by the late Christopher Reeve of Superman fame.

This documentary addresses ten of the greatest possible air and space adventures of the coming century from the perspective of 1987. Using state-of-the-art special effects and historic footage, the program shows how yesterday's science fiction can become tomorrow's science fact.

Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vnci's Flying Machine

Today on  Far Future Horizons  we explore the life and work of one of the greatest minds in history - Leonardo da Vinci.

Leonardo was the quintessential and prototypical Renaissance man and represents the epitome of the rebirth and explosive revival of intellectual and artistic achievement of this period in Florentine Italy. This was a resurgence of creativity that would spread to the rest of Europe and influence the future course of human history. Leonardo was an artist, scientist, engineer, visionary and a well accomplished polymath who straddled the worlds of both science and art. His work and creativity still fascinates us today.

The Last Extinction

Today on Far Future Horizons we present another exciting episode of the acclaimed PBS science documentary series NOVA - Last Extinction.

Fifteen thousand years ago, North America was like the Serengeti on steroids, with mega-creatures roaming a continent teeming with incredible wildlife. But then suddenly, in a blip of geologic time, between fifteen and thirty five magnificent large types of animals went extinct.

In this television exclusive, NOVA joins forces with prominent scientists to test a startling hypothesis that may finally explain these sudden and widespread extinctions—that a comet broke apart in the atmosphere and devastated North America twelve thousand nine hundred years ago.

Atlantis - The Lost Continent

Today on Far Future Horizons we present a fascinating documentary which offers a historical overview of the Western World’s enduring love affair with the legend of Atlantis.

Why has the legend of a city under the sea so captivated the imaginations of the generations of people who have searched for Atlantis? Did Atlantis really exist and if so where?

1421: The Year When China Nearly Discovered America and the World

History tells us that the America continent was discovered by Christopher Columbus on October 12, 1492. But, a nascent naval power had the ability to discover and colonize this new world some seventy years before.

The year 1421 could have been a pivotal year in world history and would make a magnificent point of divergence in many an alternate history novel. 1421 could have been the year when Ming dynasty China could have set into motion a series of events that would have led the Chinese to discovery the Americas some seventy years before Christopher Columbus, circumnavigate the globe and transform Imperial China from merely a regional power into a major naval superpower of global extent on which the Sun would never have set. Instead China chose to abrogate its appointment with destiny and retreated into a long period of isolationism. The conquest of the world and control of the oceans were left to the countries of a Europe just awaking from a long period of intellectual slumber. Eventually the new emerging maritime powers of Europe found their way to the shores of the Dragon’s lair and were in due course to carve the carcass of this impotent giant between themselves.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

How to Build A Human Heart

Today on Far Future Horizons we look at the future of medicine and the wonderful possibilities of regenerative medicine – the growing of replacement organs and body parts.

Using human cell technology, scientists are imagining a time when we can customize the human body and grow limbs like tomatoes.  Having famously cloned a sheep, the next frontier is the human body.  Cloning is not the target market. Rather, the demand comes from those who are already living wanting to regenerate their body parts.

The Great Martian War

Today on Far Future Horizons we present the History Channel’s mock alternate history Sci-Fi documentary - The Great Martian War.

History meets science-fiction in the Canadian original film The Great Martian War. A unique allegorical tale of the horror of battle, The Great Martian War spectacularly re-imagines the years 1913-17, with humankind fighting a catastrophic war against a savage race of extraterrestrial invaders.

On its 100th anniversary, The Great Martian War tells the story of the catastrophic events and unimaginable horrors of 1913-17, when Humankind was pitted against a savage Alien invasion.

With powerful and detailed First World War parallels The Great Martian War fuses sci-fi fantasy with factual History  to explore the real-world tragedies and unique horror of World War One.

The Destruction of Sodom and Gommorah

Today on Far Future Horizons we explore one of the greatest mysteries of the Bible the - Destruction of Sodom and Gommorah.

The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is mentioned in chapters eighteen and nineteen of the book of Genesis. Can new discoveries in geology, archaeology, astronomy and climatology provide clues to what may actually have happened?

Saturday, March 29, 2014

City Under The Sea

It gives us great pleasure to finally post on Far Future Horizons, in its entirety, an episode of the acclaimed documentary series Naked Science titled “City Under the Sea” which premiered Thursday, November 11, 2010 on the National Geographic Channel. This documentary featured our good friend and mentor Dennis Chamberland and the Atlantica Expeditions, First Undersea Colony Project.

Death Stars and Gamma Ray Bursts

Today on Far Future Horizons we explore a very real cosmic danger and a devastating Extinction Level Event  (E.L.E.) facing us from the depths of space that could potentially wipe out humanity and our entire biosphere. Namely, Death Stars and the Gamma Ray Bursts associated with them.

Gamma ray bursts are the most luminous electromagnetic events in the universe since the Big Bang.

They are flashes of gamma rays emanating from seemingly random places in deep space at random times. The duration of a gamma-ray burst is typically a few seconds, but can range from a few milliseconds to several minutes, and the initial burst is usually followed by a longer-lived "afterglow" emitting at longer wavelengths (X-ray, ultraviolet, optical, infrared, and radio). Gamma-ray bursts are detected by orbiting satellites about two to three times per week, but the number of GRBs that could be observed from Earth is about three times this and is currently limited by the efficiency of the instruments.

Lincoln's Secret Weapon

Battle of the USS Monitor and CSS Virginia (Merrimack)

Today on Far Future Horizons we present an episode from the acclaimed PBS series NOVA that tells the story of a naval battle fought during the American Civil War that was to change the face of naval warfare forever.

The Battle of Hampton Roads, often referred to as either the Battle of the Monitor and Merrimack (or Merrimac) or the Battle of Ironclads, was the most noted and arguably most important naval battle of the American Civil War from the standpoint of the development of navies. It was fought over two days, March 8th –9th, 1862, in Hampton Roads, a roadstead in Virginia where the Elizabeth and Nansemond Rivers meet the James River just before it enters Chesapeake Bay. The battle was a part of the effort of the Confederacy to break the Union blockade, which had cut off Virginia's largest cities, Norfolk and Richmond, from international trade.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Black Holes - The Ultimate Abyss

Today on Far Future Horizons with the help of astronomers, astrophysicists and computer animators we are going to embark on an odyssey into the ultimate gravitational abyss of the Cosmos - the black hole, in which matter is crushed into a pinpoint of infinite density and smallness and from which not even light can escape.

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Today on Far Future Horizons we are proud to present a docudrama starring Michael Gambon (as John Harrison)  and Jeremy Irons (as Rupert Gould) based on Dava Sobel's best selling book – Longitude.   

In the early 18th century, John Harrison struggles to build a practical marine chronometer for determining longitude (east/west position) at sea. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Building a Flying Saucer

How does one go about building a real bonafide flying saucer? Is such a feat possible when so many other professional and amateur engineers have failed? An article I stumbled upon recently has inspired me to look at what scientists and engineers have to say about actually building this fascinating futuristic technology. 

Hitler's Stealth Fighter

Replica of Hitler's Stealth Fighter

Today on Far Future Horizons we trace the technological pedigree of the modern day Stealth fighter to the final months of the Second World War.

In the final months of World War II, American troops discovered a top-secret facility in Germany with an advanced batwing-shaped jet fighter. If Nazi engineers had had more time, would this jet have ultimately changed the outcome of the war?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Garrett P. Serviss’ The Einstein Theory of Relativity

Today on Far Future Horizons we are proud to present a 1923 silent animated motion picture based on Garrett P. Serviss’ popularization of Albert Einstein’s theories of relativity - The Einstein Theory of Relativity published in 1923.

The Einstein Theory of Relativity is a 20 minute silent black and white animated film. It was produced in 1923 by the Fleischer Studios, best known for their Betty Boop cartoons.

A Still from the film The Einstein Theory of Relativity

This film was produced in collaboration with popular science journalist and science fiction author Garrett P. Serviss to accompany his book on the same topic. 

Serviss was the author of Edison's Conquest of Mars (1898), written on commission from The Boston Post as a sequel to "Fighters from Mars", an un-authorized and heavily altered version of H. G. Wells’ War of the Worlds.

Edison's Conquest of Mars (1898)

Monday, March 24, 2014

E = mc2: A Biography of the World's Most Famous Equation

Albert Einstein's name will forever be linked with the famous equation E=mc2 equating mass with energy. It is perhaps one of the most quoted and widely seen physics equations in the public domain.

Yet contained in this short and concise equation is the heritage and ultimate destiny of our species. This equation expresses succinctly the process by which all the matter found in stars, planets, galaxies and people came into being. This equation expresses the very essence of cosmic history in a very brief and yet poetic phrase. For contained in this equation is the very essence of cosmic history and how in the span of fourteen billion years energy evolved into matter and matter evolved into life and consciousness. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Coming Solar Storm

It was recently reported in the news that our planet had a close call with a  Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) in 2012 and narrowly escaped another Carrington Event that could have badly damaged electrical grids and disabled satellites in space.

A 2013 study estimated that a solar storm like the Carrington Event could take a $2.6 trillion bite out of the current global economy.

Today on Far Future Horizons we explore the dangers posed by a sudden devastating electromagnetic pulse (EMP) emanating from the Sun or a deliberate attack from a rogue nation with two very informative video features – the Discovery Channel’s “The Perfect Disaster - Solar Storm” and the National Geographic Channel’s documentary series “Explorer - Electronic Armageddon”.

The Perfect Solar Storm (The Carrington Event)
The Sun has bathed our planet with its eternal light and warmth for some 4.6 billion years and has provided life on earth with the energy to go about its terrestrial business. But, every now and then the Sun shows its full fury in the form of Solar Flares and Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs).

A Solar flare is a sudden eruption of hydrogen gas on the surface of the sun, usually associated with sunspots and accompanied by a burst of ultraviolet radiation that is often followed by a magnetic disturbance.

A Coronal Mass ejection is an ejection of material from the solar corona. The ejected material is a plasma consisting primarily of electrons and protons (in addition to small quantities of heavier elements such as helium, oxygen, and iron), plus the entrained coronal magnetic field.
If these two events occur together you have the makings for the perfect solar storm. Just such a thing happened on September 1, 1859 and is widely known in astronomers as the Carrington Event.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Heron of Alexandria

Today on Far Future Horizons we present another exciting episode of the History Channel’s acclaimed documentary series “Ancient Discoveries” which focuses on one of the greatest engineers, inventors and Roboticists of antiquity – Heron of Alexandria.

Heron of Alexandria was a Greek mathematician and engineer who was lived and worked in his native city of Alexandria. He is considered the greatest experimenter of antiquity and his work is representative of the Hellenistic scientific tradition.

Heron published a well recognized description of a steam-powered device called an aeolipile (hence sometimes called a "Heron engine"). Among his most famous inventions was a wind wheel (or windmill), constituting the earliest instance of harnessing of wind energy. Heron was also a pioneer in early robotics and automation

Some of his ideas were derived from the works of Tesibius (the inventor of the first mechanical clock).

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Universe ~ Science Fiction Science Fact

Today on Far Future Horizons we explore the very limits of science and the possible. Many of the technologies we take for granted today, such as space travel, transcontinental passenger aircraft, submarines and almost instantaneous global communication, once existed in the realm of speculative fiction. How many of the technologies which exist only in the realm of our best loved Sci-Fi television series will eventually become the reality of tomorrow?

The world of tomorrow is quickly becoming the futuristic world of today. While you may not be "beaming" to your next appointment, researchers are preparing for the first tests of a transporter. And while scientists have long mocked Hollywood's visions of warp speed a new generation of physicists continue to rewrite the fundamental rules of the universe. Is there a way around the cosmic speed limit – the speed of light?

Did Aliens Build The Pyramids?

Today on Far Future Horizons we journey back in time to answer the question - Did Aliens Build the Pyramids?

All over the world there are giant stone monuments. Almost everyone knows they were created thousands of years ago by ancient man. But could almost everyone be wrong about the pyramids, Aztec Temples, Stonehenge?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Arthur C. Clarke's The Nine Billion Names of God

Our world has completed six orbits about its Sun without the presence of its most creative and visionary thinker - Arthur C. Clarke.

Arthur C Clarke departed our world and went on his own personal and final odyssey into the infinite on March 19th, 2008.

Today on Far Future Horizons we commemorate Clarke’s memory by presenting an audio recording of one of his most chilling short stories - The Nine Billion Names of God.

Arthur C. Clarke’s & Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 - A Space Odyssey

Today on Far Future Horizons we commemorate the memory of the great visionary and Science Fiction Grandmaster Arthur C. Clarke by presenting the greatest science fiction movie of all time - 2001: A Space Odyssey directed by Stanley Kubrick.

3001 The Final Odyssey- Prologue

Today’s blog post is dedicated to the memory of the greatest science fiction visionary of all time Arthur C Clarke who died six years ago today.

Prologue of 3001 The Final Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke, read by Garrick Hagon.

Call them the Firstborn. Though they were not remotely human, they were flesh and blood, and when they looked out across the deeps of space, they felt awe, and wonder— and loneliness. As soon as they possessed the power, they began to seek for fellowship among the stars.

In their explorations, they encountered life in many forms, and watched the workings of evolution on a thousand worlds. They saw how often the first faint sparks of intelligence flickered and died in the cosmic night.

And because, in all the Galaxy, they had found nothing more precious than Mind, they encouraged its dawning everywhere. They became farmers in the fields of stars; they sowed, and sometimes they reaped.

And sometimes, dispassionately, they had to weed.

The great dinosaurs had long since passed away, their morning promise annihilated by a random hammerblow from space, when the survey ship entered the Solar System after a voyage that had already lasted a thousand years. It swept past the frozen outer planets, paused briefly above the deserts of dying Mars, and presently looked down on Earth.

Spread out beneath them, the explorers saw a world swarming with life. For years they studied, collected, catalogued. When they had learned all that they could, they began to modify. They tinkered with the destiny of many species, on land and in the seas. But which of their experiments would bear fruit, they could not know for at least a million years.

They were patient, but they were not yet immortal. There was so much to do in this universe of a hundred billion suns, and other worlds were calling. So they set out once more into the abyss, knowing that they would never come this way again. Nor was there any need: the servants they had left behind would do the rest.

On Earth, the glaciers came and went, while above them the changeless Moon still carried its secret from the stars. With a yet slower rhythm than the polar ice, the tides of civilization ebbed and flowed across the Galaxy. Strange and beautiful and terrible empires rose and fell, and passed on their knowledge to their successors.

And now, out among the stars, evolution was driving towards new goals. The first explorers of Earth had long since come to the limits of flesh and blood; as as soon their machines were better than their bodies, it was time to move. First their brains, and then their thoughts alone, they transferred into shining new homes of metal and gemstone. In these, they roamed the Galaxy. They no longer built spaceships. They were spaceships.

But the age of the Machine-entities swiftly passed. In their ceaseless experimenting, they had learned to store knowledge in the structure of space itself, and to preserve their thoughts for eternity in frozen lattices of light.

Into pure energy, therefore, they presently transformed themselves; and on a thousand worlds, the empty shells they had discarded twitched for a while in a mindless dance of death, then crumbled to dust.

Now they were Lords of the Galaxy, and could rove at will among the stars, or sink like a subtle mist through the very interstices of space. though they were freed at last from the tyranny of matter, they had not wholly forgotten their origin, in the warm slime of a vanished sea. And their marvelous instruments still continued to function, watching over the experiments started so many ages ago.

But no longer were they always obedient to the mandates of their creators; like all material things, they were not immune to the corruption of Time and its patient, unsleeping servant, Entropy.

And sometimes, they discovered and sought goals of their own.

Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End

Today on Far Future Horizons we commemorate the memory of Arthur C. Clarke who passed a way six years ago today by presenting an audio recording of his 1953 science fiction novel Childhood's End narrated by Clarke himself.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Prophets of Science Fiction - Jules Verne

“Anything one man can imagine, other men can make real.” ~  Jules Verne, Around the World in Eighty Days

Today on Far Future Horizons we present another installment of the acclaimed documentary series  Prophets of Science Fiction which focuses on the life and work of Jules Verne.

Prophets of Science Fiction is hosted by Executive Producer Ridley Scott.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Robert H. Goddard ~ Via Cherry Tree To Mars

On the afternoon of October 19, 1899, I climbed a tall cherry tree at the back of [my uncle’s] barn and, armed with a saw and hatchet, started to trim the dead limbs from the tree. It was one of those quiet, colorful afternoons of sheer beauty which we have in October in New England and, as I looked toward the fields to the east, I imagined how wonderful it would be to make some device which had even the possibility of ascending to Mars, and how it would look on a small scale if sent up from the meadow at my feet . . . I was a different boy when I descended the ladder. Life now had a purpose for me. ~ Robert H. Goddard

“It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.” ~ Robert H. Goddard US physicist & pioneer rocket engineer (1882 - 1945)

Robert H. Goddard had just turned seventeen some two weeks before that lazy afternoon on that exquisite New England autumn and when he climbed down from that cherry tree he henceforth dedicated his life to one purpose, the creation of some device that would one day take people to the planet Mars.

Some twenty seven years later on March 16th, 1926, a date just as significant to the history of astronautics as December 17th, 1903 (when the Wright brothers took to the air in the first heavier than air flying machine) is important in the history of aeronautics, Robert H. Goddard created that device when he launched the world’s first liquid fueled rocket.  This rocket, which was dubbed "Nell," rose just 41 feet (12.5 meters) during a 2.5-second flight that ended up in a cabbage field on his aunt’s farm. Yet, that first flight was a small technical step and giant technological leap that would one day take men to the Moon and eventually, sometime in this century, take humans to Mars.

Robert H. Goddard, bundled against the cold New England weather of March 16, 1926, holds the launching frame of his most notable invention — the first liquid rocket.
Robert H. Goddard with one of his rocket's (Hand Tinted Photograph)

Today on Far Future Horizons, we commemorate the eighty-eighth anniversary of the launching of the world’s first liquid fueled rocket by presenting two special video features: the biographical documentary “The Dream That Wouldn't Down” and the fifth episode of Carl Sagan’s acclaimed documentary series Cosmos – “Blues for a Red Planet."

Fantastic Voyage

Today on Far Future Horizons we present the 1966 Sci Fi film classic “Fantastic Voyage” with the all star cast of Stephen Boyd as Grant, Raquel Welch as Cora, Edmond O'Brien as General Carter, Donald Pleasence as Dr. Michaels, Arthur O'Connell as Colonel Donald Reid, William Redfield as Captain Bill Owens and Arthur Kennedy as Dr. Duval.

For those of you who are viewing this film for the very first time you are in for a visual treat. So prepare to be miniaturized to microscopic dimensions as we take a Fantastic Voyage into the inner space of the human body. 

Prophets of Science Fiction - H. G. Wells

Today on Far Future Horizons we present another installment of the acclaimed documentary the Prophets of Science Fiction which focuses on the life and work of H.G. Wells.

Prophets of Science Fiction is hosted by Executive Producer Ridley Scott. 

E.M. Forster's The Machine Stops

Today on Far Future Horizons we present a television adaptation of E.M. Forster’s acclaimed science fiction story short story The Machine Stops, first published in 1909. In this story, Forster expresses his concern about humanity’s excessive dependence on technology.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Prophets of Science Fiction - Mary Shelley

Today on Far Future Horizons we present the first episode of the acclaimed documentary series the Prophets of Science Fiction which highlights the life and work of Mary Shelley.

Mary Shelley set out to create a monster and along the way she created a masterpiece. Executive Producer Ridley Scott presents Prophets of Science Fiction.

The "Science Fiction" of the past has now simply become "Science". And the science of the future was strangely prophesied by a group of visionaries whose dreams once may have deemed them renegades and "mad scientists," have become reality.