Stories about space

‘Lost in Space’ will make you want to fly into outer space to reconnect with your family

I am sure we all have some favourite books from our childhood that have profoundly influenced our collective lives in one way or another. The Swiss Family Robinson happens to be one of mine. Johann David Wyss’ classic novel tells the story of a Swiss family that gets shipwrecked and finds refuge on a deserted tropical island somewhere in the East Indies, when they were on their way to Australia. According to the author, he wrote the novel in order to teach his four sons about family values, good husbandry, the uses of the natural world and self-reliance. I don’t ...

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‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ feels like two films in one, and neither fares well

The prequel movie formula is one that barely works. In hindsight, you can understand its purpose – which is fan service – but for anyone who isn’t a fan of a particular franchise, this can be an issue. Because let’s face it, making a movie with a predetermined beginning and end while having to fill in between the middle just isn’t the most effective way of telling a story, nor does it give a lot of room to try something fresh. The latest Star Wars prequel series has tried its best to avoid these mistakes, and with Rogue One they succeeded in creating something ...

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5 reasons why ‘The Expanse’ has what it takes to be the new ‘Star Trek’

There is an abundance of science fiction shows on television today. Every TV channel has its horse running in the race to attract the geek fandom and create a following like no other TV show. Over the years, there have been some iconic sci-fi shows that have left a lasting impact on the viewers, and continue to live despite finishing their respective TV runs decades ago. Shows like Star Trek, Firefly and Battlestar Galactica will undoubtedly continue to be watched by generations to come. For how many sci-fi shows that have aired in the past decade could we pass the ...

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Farewell to our very own star on Earth, the extraordinary Stephen Hawking

“They’re named black holes because they are related to human fears of being destroyed or gobbled up. I don’t have fears of being thrown into them. I understand them. I feel in a sense that I am their master.” These are the words of Stephen Hawking who passed away on March 14th at the age of 76. He was not afraid of death. And why would he be? He was told, at the age of 22, that he was suffering from a rare motor neuron disease and was given only a couple of years to live. But nobody loved defying odds ...

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Listening to the whispers of merging black holes

A little over a billion years ago, two black holes were orbiting each other somewhere in a galaxy far, far away. At this time, life on Earth had just found a successful way to include more than one cell in a body. Indifferent to the happenings on the Earth, these black holes were locked in a spiral of death. One black hole had mass equivalent to 36 Suns. The other was 29 times as massive as our Sun. Nature had already sealed their fates. With a sudden gasp, the two black holes merged into one. This larger black hole had ...

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Yes, Imran Khan’s marriage IS my priority

Let me begin this with a disclaimer: I have nothing against Reham Khan. She should not be harassed or have her private space infiltrated. She is free to choose whatever and whoever she wants to. I hope it’s clear; this is not about Reham Khan. This is about the discrepancy in Imran Khan’s choices. Imran, like any other right wing politician, exploits the religious sentiments of his voters. We are a nation who as children fall into the trap of our grandma’s religious manipulation, “Hazoor (SAWW) ne toh kabhi kisi khanay se inkaar nahi kiya, chalo achay bachoon ki tarha kaddu kha lo.” (The Prophet ...

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“I will be selling chai on Mars soon!”

Chinese authorities, on Friday, sent a letter to the UNOOSA (United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs), condemning the unashamedly cheerful celebration by the Indian authorities on the success of the recent Indian Mars mission ‘Mangalyaan’. It accused the country of ‘highly inappropriate’ interference in its outer space affairs. The letter from the Beijing foreign affairs committee said that, under its ‘eight planet chain’ convention, China has the exclusive rights to any space territory that was charted by its ancient astronomers. This is not the first time the emerging Asian superpower has asserted its growing authority on disputed territories. It has previously ...

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Gravity: Less of a movie, more of an experience

Space movies have always enthralled viewers because of their special effects. Gravity’s plot is a typical space survival story but the way the scenes are shot makes Gravity less of a movie and more of an experience where viewers can feel weightlessness, solitude and chills running down their spine. Director Alfonso Cuaron has taken the concept of space movies to the next level with Gravity. Movies such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Armageddon, and Apollo 13 are a few from this genre that were box office hits and still have a place in the viewer’s subconscious mind. [Warning: some spoilers ahead] In this space disaster flick, Dr Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and Lieutenant ...

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Nazia Hassan: Remembering our subcontinental princess

Hendon Cemetery, London NW7 on Holder’s Hill Road is a serene space with the usual poignancy and hush that accompanies cemeteries. There, tucked away among other graves is a simple tomb with a black headstone. “786”, the numerical translation of Bismillah is etched along with this touching epitaph: “In the loving memory of Nazia Hassan. Loving daughter, sister and mother. Beloved and cherished by millions of people. Died in her youth, August 13, 2000.” Every word rang true and took me back to July 2000. I was driving my friend and Nazia’s songs were playing on the stereo. “She is about to die”, he ...

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I am not your sister, mother or wife; I carry my own identity

Ripley’s believe it or not (the Pakistani version) A woman physically attacked a man in a restaurant because he intruded her personal space. She tried to make him back down. There was a sense of injustice that spurred this violence because she wanted to drive home the fact that she has the same claim to her personal space as he did to his, both in public and private domains. She too is a human being and her claim to her space remains valid regardless of her gender. It turns out the concept of being human is elusive, almost faded beyond ...

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