June 2017

The novel “Project Jupiter”, also known as “The Lights in the Sky are Stars”, by Fredric Brown was published for the first time in 1953.

Max Andrews has a past as an astronaut past but had to fall back on a rocket mechanics years earlier after losing a leg in an accident. Space remains his passion but there are doubts about the continuation of the American space program. In spite of this, Ellen Gallagher is running for a seat in the Senate supporting a mission to Jupiter.

When he discovers Ellen Gallagher’s program, Max Andrews decides to contact her to offer his help in exchange for a place in the mission to Jupiter’s organization. He understands little about politics but is very competent in rocket science and is ready to adapt to the new situation to get a place in the Project Jupiter at all costs.

Kawingasaurus Skull (Image courtesy Michael Laaß / Verlag Wiley-VCH)

An article published in the “Journal of Morphology” describes a research on the skull anatomy of Kawingasaurus fossilis, a therapsid that lived just over 250 million years ago. Paleontologist Michael Laaß of the Institute of General Zoology at the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) and Dr. Anders Kaestner of the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland examined a skull of this animal noting a structure similar to the neocortex, the most recent part of mammals’ brain.

Doctor Who - Vengeance on Varos

“Vengeance on Varos” is an adventure of the twentysecond season of “Doctor Who” classic series, which aired in 1985. It follows “Attack of the Cybermen” and it’s a two parts adventure written by Philip Martin and directed by Ron Jones.

The Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker) is trying to repair the Tardis, which halted in deep space. He realizes that it needs Zeiton-7, a very rare mineral found only on the planet Varos. Using an emergency patch, the Doctor manages to move the Tardis to carry Peri (Nicola Bryant) to Varos and proceed with a proper repair.

The planet Varos used to host a prison that over time turned into a strange democracy. The Governor’s proposals go under a mandatory vote for all citizens and television programs are about torture and executions. Zeiton-7 is purchased by the Galatron Mining Corporation and its representative Sil thinks that the Doctor has come to conclude a new deal for another mining company.

The poster for the documentary Tomorrow

The documentary “Tomorrow” (“Demain”), directed by Cyril Dion and Mélanie Laurent, was released in 2015. It won the César Award as the Best Documentary.

“Tomorrow” is divided into five chapters: agriculture, energy, economy, democracy and education. This means that it addresses not only the challenges directly affecting the environment and sustainability but also everything around it and regulates human beings’ lives in civil society. From this point of view, it tires to offer a fairly complete view of what’s waiting for us in the coming decades and how our society could evolve.

Cats buried in a 6000 year old pit in Hierakonpolis, Egypt (Photo courtesy Hierakonpolis Expedition. All rights reserved)

An article published in the journal “Nature Ecology & Evolution” describes a genetic research on wild and domestic, ancient and modern cats. A team of researchers from the Belgian University of Leuven and the Belgian Royal Institute of Natural Sciences led by the paleogeneticist Claudio Ottoni analyzed the DNA of over 200 cats found in archaeological sites in the Near East, Africa and Europe with an age between 100 and 9,000 years to conclude that they were domesticated in two main waves in the Near East and Egypt.