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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"There's a hole in the world. Feels like we ought to have known."
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March 14 2011

Dr. Michio Kaku talks about Firefly's "Bushwhacked". As seen on the Science Channel. There's a recap of the episode at

My husband was a student of his. I've met him at anti-war and anti-nuke rallies. I love that he's doing "Firefly" intros and "The Science of Sci-Fi."
I'd added a link to an EW recap.
Presumably that's just a preamble and his actual bits will be longer ?

Brevity aside though, couple of mistakes surely ? We don't see interstellar travel on 'Firefly' (it's all one solar system) and we don't know (as far as i'm aware) that they use anti-matter engines. Serenity's engine is described as a "fusion engine" IIRC and according to Loni Peristere the "Firefly boost" is more like a Project Orion style of propulsion (basically, you drop a nuke out the back and ride the blast). There's no indication that they're gathering, manufacturing or containing anti-matter (and given the energy levels involved, you have to wonder if it's the sort of thing the Alliance would allow independents to wander around with anyway).

Still, I suppose like a lot of these "Science of X" things the X is just an excuse to talk about some (perhaps barely related) science. It's still a bit of added value.
Saje, our little engineering minds are a thinkin'!
Dr. Kaku also talked about warp drives, a term that I don't believe is ever used in Serenifly, which makes me wonder whether he actually watched the series before preparing his comments.
Actually, warp drive is a workable mention, we just can't figure out the energy of yet.

Be patient, we're working on it.
For "The science of Science Fiction", it's ok to talk about FTL technology. But for the Sereniverse specifically? No. It's Canon: No FTL ships in the 'Verse.

Saje, our little engineering minds are a thinkin'!



@Saje Interstellar travelling was implied...
Good point about the anti-matter. I don't recall a mention of this either.

But all in all: this made me SMILE... :-)))
True enough, it's implied because they have to get from Earth-that-was to their current (pretty improbable) solar system in the first place but talking about interstellar travel (and anti-matter engines) over images of Serenity doing her thing gave an incorrect impression IMO. Course, at a pinch you might get away with calling normal travel within the 'verse solar system interstellar since there's more than one star in it ;).

It's great that the show's airing again and I really like the idea of examining the science of the show but it'd be nice if it actually was the science of the show being examined rather than just whatever Dr Kaku feels like talking about (fusion engines sound pretty interesting by themselves for instance, there's no need to make stuff up to feature since the show's got plenty of plausible - and less so - science to talk about).

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