Big Think, Short Fiction (#1 – Sci Fi): The Winners
The Big Think, Short Fiction contest was born out of our desire to find new ways of connecting with readers and foregrounding their voices on the site. Today we're proud to publish the three winning entries, selected by author Nathan Englander.
The Big Think, Short Fiction contest was born out of our desire to find new ways of connecting with readers and foregrounding their voices on the site. It also grew out of our realization that narrative fiction is a powerful medium for conveying big ideas, and one that has almost no presence on Big Think.
Big Think, Short Fiction #1 – Sci Fi was an Iron Chef - style competition in which writers had 72 hours (from February 17th to 20th, 2012) to submit a 1000 word short story in response to a surprise “Big Idea” . . . Future Food.
In spite of some serious hiccups involving confusion over what time zone the deadlines referred to, we received 190 submissions, which we consider a resounding success for the contest’s first time out. Even better, many, many of the submissions were funny, powerfully written, and/or mindbending in one way or another. The Future Food theme inspired tales of talking vegetables, vat-grown meat, ritual cannibalism, and homicidal Pekinese.
Choosing the top three was a genuine challenge for judge Nathan Englander, acclaimed author of For the Relief of Unbearable Urges and What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank.
But choose them he did, and today we’re proud to publish the results:
1st Place: Jon Bastian, Neither Face Nor Feelings
2nd Place: Karen Lacey, The Gods Ate Small Children
3rd Place: Roohi Choudhry, The Kalhoni Experiment
Research in plant neurobiology shows that plants have senses, intelligence and emotions.
- The field of plant neurobiology studies the complex behavior of plants.
- Plants were found to have 15-20 senses, including many like humans.
- Some argue that plants may have awareness and intelligence, while detractors persist.
E-cigarettes may be safer than traditional cigarettes, but they come with their own risks.
- A new study used an MRI machine to examine how vaping e-cigarettes affects users' cardiovascular systems immediately after inhalation.
- The results showed that vaping causes impaired circulation, stiffer arteries and less oxygen in their blood.
- The new study adds to a growing body of research showing that e-cigarettes – while likely safer than traditional cigarettes – are far from harmless.
Since the idea of locality is dead, space itself may not be an aloof vacuum: Something welds things together, even at great distances.
- Realists believe that there is an exactly understandable way the world is — one that describes processes independent of our intervention. Anti-realists, however, believe realism is too ambitious — too hard. They believe we pragmatically describe our interactions with nature — not truths that are independent of us.
- In nature, properties of Particle B may be depend on what we choose to measure or manipulate with Particle A, even at great distances.
- In quantum mechanics, there is no explanation for this. "It just comes out that way," says Smolin. Realists struggle with this because it would imply certain things can travel faster than light, which still seems improbable.