Category Archives: Interview

Guest Article: HBO’s ‘Temple Grandin’ Biopic Honors Autistic Scientist

Temple Grandin film

poster ©2010 Home Box Office, all rights reserved

This was a remarkable week for autism science and publicity. In a stunning and rare reversal, medical journal The Lancet retracted the 1998 paper responsible for suggesting a link between autism and MMR vaccinations, incurring over a decade of acrimonious debate and frightened parents. Ironic then that this should be the week when HBO premieres their new feature film Temple Grandin, about the eponymous world-famous scientist. Dr. Grandin has written and spoken openly about her struggle with autism and how it’s colored her view of the world and influenced the science she studies. ScriptPhD.com is extraordinarily honored to extend a warm welcome to friend and fellow blogger Susan Etlinger, author of the autism spectrum blog The Family Room, to review the biopic and interview the project’s executive producer. For full content, please click “continue reading.”
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Forever Young: Living in an Age of Agelessness

The chemical compound resveratrol, a component of red wine that has been linked to anti-aging properties in laboratory experiments.

During a recent trip to New York City, I had the pleasure of befriending exciting new author Ernesto Robles, whose debut novel The Malthusian Catastrophe is a ScriptPhD.com recommended pick. Smart, topical, fast-paced and decidedly engrossing, this biomedical thriller drives at the roots of our cultural obsession with the “fountain of youth” and the perilous socioeconomic repercussions of actually finding and disseminating it. In a year when the Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology went to a team of researchers for their discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase, essential biological components of the human aging machinery, and a cultural era that has anointed juvenescence as sacrosanct, Malthusian’s overarching themes are especially germane. ScriptPhD.com’s discussion includes a review of the book, the biology and ethics of current aging research, and a one-on-one interview with Mr. Robles. For full content, please click “continue reading.”

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On ‘Creation’, Charles Darwin, and Survival of the Fittest

There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.

Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin’s postscript to perhaps the greatest work of biology ever recorded, The Origin of Species, ignited an acrimonious debate about science, religion, the mutual exclusivity thereof, and where we come from. 150 years later, as we celebrate the anniversary of Darwin’s monumental scientific achievement, it is a debate that has yet to abate. Regardless

of what stance one takes on evolution and natural selection, fascination with the life and times of this inimitable figure is undeniable. A new biopic, Creation, delves into the dichotomy of Darwin the naturalist and family man, the disapproval he faced from a devotedly Christian wife, and the inner anguish he faced in whether to publish his findings. ScriptPhD.com’s Stephen Compson was recently treated to a private screening of the film and had the extraordinary opportunity to sit down with Darwin’s great-great-grandson Randal Keynes, whose Charles Darwin biography the movie was based on. For our exclusive content, please click “continue reading.”

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INTERVIEW: Greenwriter.org

Logo ©2009 Greenwriter.org.  All rights reserved.
Logo ©2009 Greenwriter.org. All rights reserved.

Here at ScriptPhD.com, we are increasingly aware of science and technology that provides solutions to the stresses and threats facing our global environment. As part of a new series we are launching called “It’s Not Easy Being Green”, we are committed to bringing you coverage of the best “green initiatives”, especially those relating to the entertainment industry. With the help of the newest addition to the ScriptPhD.com family, talented European filmmaker Svetlana Dekic, ScriptPhD.com’s first video production is a filmed interview with environmentally-conscious company Greenwriter.org. Based in Hollywood, CA, Greenwriter.org is seeking to reinvent the way we buy and sell screenplays by establishing the first free online screenplay catalog service that directly connects writers worldwide with Hollywood production companies–all without having to print a single sheet of paper! Our interview, under the jump.
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INTERVIEW: Alex Tse, screenwriter of “Watchmen”

Who watches the Watchmen? A whole lot of people! One of the spring’s biggest breakout hits was director Zack Snyder’s cinema adaptation of the Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons classic 1989 graphic novel, Watchmen. ScriptPhD.com first caught up with one of the Watchmen screenwriters, rising star Alex Tse, during this summer’s Los Angeles Film Festival, and sat down with him recently to talk about the experience of working on the blockbuster. Before being contracted on the Watchmen project, Tse got his big break when his first script, Sucker Free City, was produced by Showtime Television and directed by Spike Lee. His current projects include a collection of sci-fi and comics screenplays, including the 1951 collection of science fiction short stories The Illustrated Man, the 2005 American thriller novel The Winter of Frankie Machine, the anime Ninja Scroll, and a film adaptation of the upcoming graphic novel Battling Boy by Paul Pope. Tse grew up in the San Francisco area before attending Emmerson College in Boston. Our full transcript under the “continue reading” jump.
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The Humanitarian Side of a Software Leader: Microsoft and Global Disaster Response

UN Undersecretary-Gen for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes chats with women in war-torn Akobo, Sudan. Photo courtesy AFP.
UN Undersecretary-Gen for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes chats with women in war-torn Akobo, Sudan. Photo courtesy AFP.

When was the last time that you tuned into CNN in the midst of a developing global crisis and heard about the power of software technology? The more likely scenario is a cavalcade of jarring images—displaced children wading knee-deep in floodwaters, distraught earthquake victims climbing through the rubble of utter destruction, panic embodied in a sea of facemasks—coupled with desperate pleas for food, water, medical supplies, donations, and on-the-ground manpower. But how is information assessed and distributed to the humanitarian relief agencies and governments that converge on often under developed disaster zones? And who enables the logistics of distributing supplies where needed in the middle of chaos? Rarely, if ever, is enough credit given to the technology, web and software support that coordinates these efforts and makes them possible. Microsoft has been using technology to help respond to and manage the effects of natural disasters through its local impacted offices for many years, but in 2007, Microsoft Corporation formally launched a centralized Microsoft® Disaster Response program expanding its breadth and depth in reach to provide sustaining global coverage. For our full profile and exclusive sit-down interview with Program Director Claire Bonilla, please click “continue reading”.
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INTERVIEW: Best-Selling Author and Medical Doctor Josh Bazell

Dr. Josh Bazell, author of medical mystery Beat the Reaper

ScriptPhD.com recently reviewed and recommended a new medical mystery thriller, “Beat the Reaper”, written by real-life medical doctor Josh Bazell. A longtime aspiring writer, Josh majored in English Literature with Honors at Brown University, after which he entered the English Lit PhD program at Duke. He ultimately chose to pursue a post-graduate degree in medicine at Columbia University, and completed his residency in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco. He is currently working on his second book and is a practicing psychiatrist.

In between getting ready to release “Beat the Reaper” as a paperback, with a Leonardo di Caprio-starring film adaptation in the works, and writing his follow-up novel, a busy Dr. Bazell generously lent us some time to chat. To read our interview, please click “continue reading”.
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From the Annals of Psychology: ‘A’ is for Adam (and Asperger’s)

Among the many manifestations of mental illness, psychological and developmental deficits and behavioral disorders regularly portrayed on television and film, conspicuously missing is Asperger’s Syndrome, a developmental Autism-spectrum disorder. ScriptPhD.com eagerly took in a private screening of Fox Searchlight’s thoughtful new film Adam, a sensitive love story with a groundbreaking portrayal of Asperger’s in a leading character. In addition to simply reviewing the film, we wanted to provide a background primer on the basics of Asperger’s diagnosis and treatment, as well as an ensuing discussion of accuracy in portrayal and plot by the filmmakers. To do so, ScriptPhD.com enlisted the help of two leading international Asperger’s experts, Timothy P. Kowalski and Dr. Tony Attwood. Please click “continue reading” for our full story.
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Comic-Con 2009 Roundup Post: extra coverage

Well, faithful readers, our press room interviews have been transcribed, our complete pictures have been edited and labeled and sleep has still not been had. Someday. To make it easier to enjoy all the Comic-Con goodness from start to finish, we have condensed our four days of coverage in one place. Enjoy and thanks so much for following the journey with us!

Day 1: Includes pictures and scoop from the Warner Motion Comics, Battlestar Galactica Retrospective and Mad Science: The Fiction of Science Fiction panels, and press room transcripts of Psych and Burn Notice.

Day 2: Includes pictures and transcripts from the Farscape 10th Anniversary Reunion and FlashForward panels along with full transcripts from press room interviews with Bones and Big Bang Theory

Day 3: Includes exclusive pictures and videos of the enormous Lost panel/arena rock event and the Futurama! and True Blood panels, as well as press room interview transcripts with talent from Fringe and MythBusters

Day 4: Includes exclusive pictures and transcripts of two final Sunday panels: Supernatural and the long-awaited Comic-Con appearance of David Tennant with the Dr. Who panel.

All four days of coverage include the ScriptPhD.com Costume of the Day, chosen from an array of pictures that you can browse through on our Facebook fan page and extra side interviews and scoop from all the wonderful actors and writers we ran into.

But wait! There’s more! I’ve saved two special surprises for our last post. The first is our ScriptPhD.com one-on-one sit-down with 24 writer/executive producer David Fury. We go in-depth behind the show’s themes of terrorism, torture, national security and how they extend to the real-world law enforcement reaction to the show. We also have a free fan giveaway of three copies of the Comic-Con 2009 40th Anniversary souvenir books handed out only onsite.

To read our interview and enter to grab your copy of the book, please click “continue reading”.
Continue reading Comic-Con 2009 Roundup Post: extra coverage

Comic-Con 2009: DAY 3 Coverage

Are you guys still staying strong and ready for more Comic-Con highlights? Good, I thought so. Saturday is always an action-packed highlight day for the Con, with the best of science and entertainment panels saved for last. And this year did not disappoint. We got an up close and personal view of the very last Lost panel ever as we watched right from the stage and bring you great pictures and highlights from the panel. Thanks to two great friends from the production crew, we were able to enjoy the controversial Futurama! panel from backstage, where we caught up with the writers and producers. Along with a full transcript of the highly anticipated True Blood panel, we had two more great press rooms with Fringe and MythBusters. To be a part of the Comic-Con action, please click “continue reading.”
Continue reading Comic-Con 2009: DAY 3 Coverage