General Feed

November 22, 2008

When Fact Meets Fiction – Learning Science the Fun Way

iStockphoto / Ugur Evirgen

I don’t normally read science fiction, but Michael Crichton is an entirely different story. I fell in love with his work even before he gained a greater degree of fame with Jurassic Park and its sequels. Right from Andromeda Strain to the Sphere, I’ve enjoyed the way he combines a little bit of fact and a whole lot of fiction to spin a believable yarn about worlds of both the future and the past.

Another author who qualifies for such bouquets in my book is Dan Brown, not for The Da Vinci Code, the famous (notorious) bestseller that caused a ton of controversy, but for its sequel, Angels and Demons, which in book, was a better book than the Code. I particularly took a great deal of interest in the Large Hadron Collider and the way antimatter was explained and used to cause great mayhem and potential destruction. And when I saw the fine print that said that this fact was indeed fact and that fiction had been woven around it, I looked up the project on the Internet and read all I could about it. I admit I was a bit smug when I could tell all my friends that I knew all about this project more than a year ago, and even though they initially thought that I had turned into some kind of science junkie (which I definitely am not), they were surprised to learn that good fiction can have fact as its basis.

Science is a subject that not everyone understands easily; but when it is couched in fiction, when a compelling yarn is woven using the slightest thread of truth, it’s then that people want to learn more and discover more. That’s the best part of books, the fictional kind, because they teach you more than their subject-specific counterparts ever will. Just ask any aficionado of medical and legal mysteries – they’re bound to be familiar with a whole lot of facts, processes and procedures that relate to hospitals and the courtrooms respectively.

And that’s because they don’t consider the process as one of learning, but one of enjoyment. Reading these books are leisure activities for them, while slogging over textbooks is drab, routine work that must be done to achieve good grades. There’s a vast difference in the results achieved when a task is done just for the sake of it and when it’s really enjoyed wholeheartedly. And this delineating line is where fact meets fiction!

This post was contributed by Kelly Kilpatrick, who writes on the subject of web learning versus class learning. She invites your feedback at kellykilpatrick24 at gmail dot com


October 11, 2008

Singularity Summit VIP Pass Contest Results

Congratulations to Faris Naji, the winner of the Nested Universe Singularity Summit 2008 VIP pass giveaway.

The drawing was held by numbering the six entries in order of their arrival. Then, was used in Integer Generator mode to select a number from 1 to 6, 3 being the value that was returned.


September 22, 2008

How to Enter the Nested Universe Singularity Summit 2008 VIP Pass Giveaway Contest

Nested Universe is giving away two VIP passes to the Singularity Summit 2008 on October 25, 2008 in San Jose, California, USA. Click here to enter your name for a chance to win.


September 11, 2008

Win Two VIP Passes to The Singularity Summit 2008!


The Singularity Summit 2008 is a proud sponsor of The Singularity Summit 2008 being held October 25, 2008 at the Montgomery Theater in San Jose, California, USA. This event is an annual event held by the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence that gathers the smartest people around to explore the biggest ideas of our time.


The Prize

To promote free subscriptions to RSS news and email updates, is giving away two (2) VIP passes to this event to one (1) winner. These passes provide exclusive benefits and access to The Singularity Summit 2008 event that are not available to standard ticket holders.


How to Enter

To enter, send a single email to the following address:

Include your email address as the subject line, and your name and contact phone number in the body of the email.


Contest Rules

Contest is void where prohibited by law.

One entry allowed per email address. One winner will be randomly drawn from the entries submitted and will win two (2) VIP guest tickets to The Singularity Summit 2008, to be held October 25, 2008 in San Jose California, USA. Tickets are for admission only and include access to the VIP reception on Friday October 24, 2008. Tickets do not include any other associated items, including but not limited to, transportation and lodging.

Entries must be submitted and received by 12:01am EDT, Monday, October 6, 2008. The contest entry deadline may be extended at the sole discretion of The winner will be announced on the website.

Contest has no cash value. No substitution will be made in the event of cancellation or alteration of The Singularity Summit 2008. This contest is open to new and existing RSS and email subscribers, excluding employees and family members of

March 19, 2008

Welcome International Science Grid This Week Readers!

Welcome iSGTW readers - thanks for stopping by! If you are interested in subscribing by email or RSS, please click here.

Regular readers of Nested Universe may be interested in taking a look at the iSGTW site at This weekly newsletter promotes grid computing and stories of grid-empowered science and scientific discoveries from around the world.

An article that I wrote, Distributed Computing and the Singularity appears in the March 19, 2008 edition.

January 03, 2008

Special Opportunity for Nested Universe readers

A new Singularity-themed social news and discussion community that focuses on topics such as Artificial Intelligence, Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology will open to the public on Monday, January 7th, 2008. Readers of Nested Universe have a special opportunity to join this community prior to its opening. The first 100 people to sign up on the site will become Community Founders, and will be listed on the community founders page. In addition, they will enjoy higher voting power to keep the community focused.

Community leaders such as Dr. Aubrey de Grey (Chief Science Officer of the Methuselah Foundation), Bruce Klein (President, Novamente LLC), James Clement (Execute Director, World Transhumanist Association), Jeff Hall (Executive Director of SENS Research for the Methuselah Foundation) and others have already joined.

The concept of the site is similar to, in which the community chooses what news articles and discussions are presented on the site. Users then vote to raise awareness of articles and discussions to other users by voting on the items that are most important to them.

I personally welcome the appearance of a Singularity focused social news community, and wish the founder, Waleed Abdulla, the best. To join the community, please follow this link:

Chris K. Haley, Subscribe Get free RSS or email updates here.