Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tech: 3D Ms. Pac-Man Display

Game director Keita Takahashi, creator of Katamari Damacy, has brought the retro arcade video game Ms. Pac-Man to life with his projected 3D version that fills an entire room. The great video footage, shot and edited by Kotaku, shows Keita’s brilliant 3D display in action at the Museum of Art & Design for the 2012 Babycastles Summit in New York.

Music: Clean The Fan

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Link Round-Up: August 28, 2012

Hippity hoppity Google Fiber stickers. Let’s get some googly eyes and these fluffy bunnies and we’ll be all set. 
Get it? “Googly” eyes?

Google Fiber Stickers
Source: Google+

Top 10 Oddest Things People Have Used Facebook For

12 Of The Scariest-Looking Animals On Earth

Beloit College examines the cultural backdrop and assumptions of those new college freshpeople headed for, or currently wandering their new college home: Class of 2016 Mindset List

Citizen science refers to science conducted by average persons, e.g., people who are not full- or part-time professional scientists but nevertheless have a keen interest in scientific inquiry. Citizen Science Center is a resource for books, papers, discussions, and project listings related to citizen science that aims to convince you to get your hands dirty and do science now.

Researchers in the Earth Sciences and Art departments at Syracuse University melt basalt and make their own lava flows for science and art! Here's the project's homepage, including videos. Via: Make blog

Start Your Own Currency - "In the Catalonia region of Spain, a restaurant and a community garden are part of an experiment in alternative cash--they are accepting a home-grown currency called the Eco as well as the Euro."

What the fuck has NASA done to make your life awesome?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Lecture: NASA's Mission to Save Earth from Asteroids

Neil deGrasse Tyson and NEEMO (NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations) explore what it takes to stop an asteroid from colliding with earth.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Tech Links: August 24, 2012

Via: Reddit


College Humor imagined what seven different websites would be as the seven deadly sins.


Facebook and the ACLU are making the case that clicking “Like” is protected speech, and therefore not a firing offense.

This is a strangely beautiful piece on what it’s like to live life “on” the internet.


One Laptop Per Child fails in Peru, despite a bankroll of US$200 million

US drones are coming back after initial attacks to target first-responder rescuers in strategic assaults that would previously have been characterized as "terrorism."

Reading & Discussion

Don't lose sight of why the US is out to get Julian Assange: Ecuador is pressing for a deal that offers justice to Assange's accusers – and essential protection for whistleblowers

Resources & Utilities

Why you should consider Amazon's super cheap, super slow storage


Earth destroyed repeatedly in the name of science

New Theory: Universe didn't start with a Big Bang, but with a Big Freeze

NASA's James Hansen has been called the "godfather" of climate warming, largely because of his long record of major publications on the topic. He is also a determined climate activist, protesting, blockading, and demanding (PDF) that immediate action be taken to deal effectively with the issue, while using his science to advance his case. Recently, he and 2 colleagues effectively contradicted the widespread view that individual extreme weather events cannot be directly linked with observed climate warming, using extreme high temperatures as an example. [additional earlier and new (PDF) information]. (See previous (PDF) related work by others.) Several climate experts have attacked Hansen's activism and his science (PDF). Does his activism make James Hansen a bad scientist? (Related previous posts here and here, now peer-reviewed and published.)


A Post-Mortem on India's Blackout: IEEE Spectrum's energy, power, and green tech blog gives an excellent overview of what led to the devastating blackouts that occurred in India on July 30th and 31st leaving more than 600 million people (approx 10% of the world's population) without electricity. Bonus: BBC's Soutik Biswas gives us 10 interesting factoids on India's power situation to chew on.

Video Games

Legends of Localization: The Legend of Zelda is a comparison of the Japanese and American versions of The Legend of Zelda. It highlights differences in music and SFX, why the intro story is in English in both versions and why Pols Voice supposedly hated loud noises, what some of those cryptic hints originally said and how Testitart became Manhandla.  It was written by Tomato (Clyde Mandelin), a professional anime and game translator whose fan translation of Mother 3 showed up on the blue in 2008.

The PBS Idea Channel takes a look at how Minecraft can be a useful simulation for what life could be like in a post-scarcity economy where technology like Makerbots has become common.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Art: Confessions

Confessions by Candy Chang

"Confessions" by Candy Chang

Inspired by Post Secret,Shinto shrine prayer walls, and Catholicism, people could write and submit their confessions on wooden plaques in the privacy of confession booths. Candy hung the anonymous plaques on the gallery walls and painted select responses on large canvases.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Project: Ever-Expanding Ball Of Paint

This project is so amazingly done, its unreal. Basically, this ball is made solely out of paint and is constantly growing in size by different contributions by different people.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Science: The Art and Science of Making White Dwarfs

The Z Machine is the largest x-ray generator in the world. At twenty feet in depth and over 100 feet in diameter, the circular apparatus is capable of generating some of the most phenomenally powerful electrical currents known to man — for a few nanoseconds at a time.

While it was originally designed to test materials under extreme temperatures and pressures, astronomer Don Winget has been using the Z Machine for the last few years to create white dwarfs — what Carl Sagan referred to as "chunks of star stuff" — right here on Earth, in the middle of the New Mexico desert. It's tremendously beautiful stuff, and even inspired fine arts student Leah Flippen to produce a painting based on the science done at the generator.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Science: The Largest Ever 3D Map of the Universe

Fly through the latest release of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, with images of 200 million galaxies. The spectra and motion collected in this ongoing project, which released this latest data this week, are like a lens into the early days of our universe.

Don’t feel small, feel special! That we can know so much about something so immense … that is truly amazing. 

Source: The Atlantic

Factoid: War Sand

War Sand

As much as 4% of sand on Normandy’s beach is made up of miniscule fragments of steel, the remnants of shrapnel from WWII’s D-Day. It’s a story that’s part geologic wonder, and part reminder of what will be left of our civilization when we’re gone.

Science: NASA Astronaut Plays With Yo-Yos in Space

In of Science off the Sphere, watch as NASA Astronaut Don Pettit used his ‘off-duty time’ on a recent International Space Station expedition to play with yo-yos.
Astronaut and chemist Dr. Don Pettit does physics demos that are out of this world…Dr. Pettit presents fantastic physics that can only be demonstrated in micro-gravity.

Link Round-Up: August 13, 2012

This full-resolution self-portrait shows the deck of NASA’s Curiosity rover from the rover’s Navigation cameras.

Amazing Perseid Meteor Shower Photos of 2012

The Internet Archive is now offering over 1,000,000 torrents including live music concerts, the Prelinger movie collection, the librivox audio book collection, feature films, old time radio, lots and lots of books, and all new uploads from our patrons into Community collections (with more to follow). There are a few real gems buried in there, including House on Haunted Hill and Night of the Living Dead.

Life on the Internet: This is a strangely beautiful piece on what it’s like to live life “on” the internet.

Peanuts, Blackjack and Pee: Strangest Space Mission Superstitions

WIRED has been running a fascinating series: Olympic Physics: Can Runners Benefit From Drafting?, Scoring the Decathlon, New [Swimming] Platform Is No Chip Off The Old Block, Air Density And Bob Beamon's Crazy-Awesome Long Jump, How The Hammer Throw Is Like A Particle Accelerator and is also Exciting and Artisitc

Friday, August 10, 2012

Tech Links: August 10, 2012

The most appalling infographic you’ll see today compares the cost of the Olympics vs. the cost of landing Curiosity on Mars. And yet, the future of space exploration is more precarious than ever.


If Hemingway wrote JavaScript

The surprising, stealth rebirth of the American arcade

Twitter has leaked into the “real world” so much these days that someone took it upon themselves to “invent” the equivalent of finger air-quotes, this time to indicate you’re speaking in hashtags.


David Pogue, the tech columnist for The New York Times, lost his iPhone. Thanks to his 1.4 million Twitter followers, and the Prince George's County police department, it has been found

The portable 3D printer that fits in a briefcase: Two MIT students created an ultra-compact machine with a detachable head.

A Surprisingly Long List of Everything Smartphones Replaced


Infographic: Design Evolution On The Web Explained

Google Fiber: Here’s what you need to know

Rather than reading the terms of service for your favorite social media or other sign-up service online, you can see how they fare with easy-to-read iconic summaries on this handy “ToS; Didn’t Read” website.

Vilnius, Lithuania-based creative agency New! took it upon themselves to make a better Wikipedia. New! improved the site visually, made it more user-friendly and above all made a beautiful design. 

A viral video about the phenomenon of viral videos.

Reading & Discussion

Does Cybercrime Really Cost $1 Trillion?

Women and tech: Why don't girls want to be geeks?


Curiosity rover landing on Mars: This is how we should explore the solar system.


Chameleon Clock is an iPhone and iPad clock app that uses the device’s camera to match the screen background to whatever is behind the device for a see-through effect. The app is by Belgian developer NetwalkApps.

Software Runs the World: How Scared Should We Be That So Much of It Is So Bad?


A Day Job Waiting for a Kill Shot a World Away


Toasted Leg Syndrome, or erythema ab igne, is / are a pronounced skin burn, usually on the thighs, that can lead to permanent discoloration and even melanoma. And you can get it from using a laptop - on your lap. One solution: Make your own cooling pad (1, 2). But that won't help you if you toast the undersides on the warmed seat of your fancy car.

Video Distraction: ISS Time-lapse Photography

From high above the Earth, the International Space Station (ISS) provides a unique vantage point to view our home planet. Stunning time-lapse photography of cities, aurora, lightning and other sights are seen from orbit. Famed astronomer Galileo imagined these views from space and now through the technological marvel of the space station, we can see them for ourselves.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Science: Water in Zero Gravity

Experimenting with the physics of water in the weightless environment aboard the International Space Station.

Lecture: The Biological Advantage of Being Awestruck

[...] our ability to awe was biologically selected for by evolution because it imbues our lives with sense of cosmic significance that has resulted in a species that works harder not just to survive but to flourish and thrive…

Humor: Martian Invader

Source: The Miami Herald

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

News: Curiosity Rover lands safely on Mars

NASA’s Curiosity Rover lands safely on Mars. Here’s what it took and how it happened.

News: NASA Announces Next Steps

NASA Announces Next Steps in Effort to Launch Americans from U.S. Soil:
NASA and its Commercial Crew Program announced new agreements with three American commercial companies to design and develop the next generation of U.S. human spaceflight capabilities, enabling a launch of astronauts from U.S. soil in the next five years.
Advances made by these companies under newly signed Space Act Agreements through the agency’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) initiative are intended to ultimately lead to the availability of commercial human spaceflight services for government and commercial customers.
SpaceX’s crewed Dragon will get more lift capability from the next-generation of Falcon rockets. The uncrewed version of Dragon recently made history as the first commercially built spacecraft to rendezvous and then berth with the International Space Station.
Sierra Nevada Corporation will advance its Dream Chaser spacecraft, which resembles NASA’s space shuttle but is smaller and based on improvements to the agency’s HL-20 lifting-body design. The company partnered with United Launch Alliance to launch its spacecraft atop an Atlas V rocket.
Boeing will continue to develop its CST-100 spacecraft, which underwent rigorous testing during two previous commercial crew development phases. It too will launch atop an Atlas V.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Tech: A Microscopic Archive of World Languages

Daily Links: August 2, 2012

This is truly astonishing: the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter snapped what may turn out to be the Space Picture of the Year: Curiosity descending to Mars under its parachutes!

10 Insane Things You Didn't Know 3D Printers Could Do

After The Final Curtain has posted some photos of the inside of Coney Island’s SHORE theater which has been closed since the 70s. If you’ve ever been to Coney Island, you’ve no doubt seen the exterior of this beautiful theater. The inside however, is a different story, mostly falling into heavy disrepair and most likely demolition.

The Castaway's Guide To Making A Home: What do people do when they're shipwrecked on a deserted isle?

Global issues as depicted by Olympic rings.

Man texts, "I need to quit texting," before driving off cliff.

Simple Desks: A frequently updated collection of beautifully minimal desks and workspaces, interspersed with occasional musings on minimalism, productivity, design and technology 

Photo: Trifid Nebula

Friday, August 3, 2012

Video Distraction: How It's Made: Cardboard Boxes

There's something about complex manufacturing processes that I find completely entrancing. I thought that I would share this one.

Net: Internet Map

Internet Map is a data visualization of 350,000 websites, based on a snapshot of the Internet from late 2011. Each site is represented by a circle—the size of the circle indicates traffic. Sites that link often to one another are closer together, creating “constellations” of connected sites. Laughing Squid is on the map, not far from Tumblr, Flickr, and Reddit. The Internet Map was created by program developer Ruslan Enikeev.


"The combined level of robotic chatter on the world’s wireless networks — measured in the digital data load they exert on networks — is likely soon to exceed that generated by the sum of all human voice conversations taking place on wireless grids. “I would say that is definitely possible within 10 years,” said Miguel Blockstrand, the director of Ericsson’s machine-to-machine division in Stockholm. “This is a ‘What if?’ kind of technology. People start to consider the potential, and the possibilities are endless.

 Talk to Me, One Machine Said to the Other

Tech: Human Body on a Chip Research

DARPA and NIH to fund ‘human body on a chip’ research

DARPA and NIH to fund ‘human body on a chip’ research:
MIT-led team to receive up to $32 million from DARPA and NIH to develop technology that could accelerate pace and efficiency of pharmaceutical testing

Researchers in the Department of Biological Engineering at MIT plan to develop a technology platform that will mimic human physiological systems in the laboratory, using an array of integrated, interchangeable engineered human tissue constructs, with $32 million funding over the next five years from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

A cooperative agreement between MIT and DARPA worth up to $26.3 million will be used to establish a new program titled “Barrier-Immune-Organ: MIcrophysiology, Microenvironment Engineered TIssue Construct Systems” (BIO-MIMETICS) at MIT, in collaboration with researchers at the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, MatTek Corp. and Zyoxel Ltd.
Source: Kurzweilai

Science: Visualizing Prime Numbers

Visualizing Prime Numbers

Jason Davies has created a way to visualize prime numbers as periodic curves (curves that repeat every n points). Wherever only two curves intersect (for 1 and the number), that’s a prime. Play with the interactive, zoomable version here.

Photo: Cave Nebula

Tech: Researchers Develop Body Extender Suit

Researchers Develop Body Extender Suit
via 33rdsquare:

Once the preserve of science fiction, increasingly sophisticated robotic devices are vying for a place side by side with humans in the real world. Researchers are currently working on a Body Extender robot at the Perceptual Robotics Laboratory at Sant’Anna University in Pisa, Italy. The exoskeleton or “body extender”, a prototype costing millions is a armour suit weighing 160 kilos which multiplies the strength of its human user 20 times.

[read more] [Sant’Anna University] [video (embedding is disabled)]

Researchers Develop Body Extender Suit:
Once the preserve of science fiction, increasingly sophisticated robotic devices are vying for a place side by side with humans in the real world. Researchers are currently working on a Body Extender robot at the Perceptual Robotics Laboratory at Sant’Anna University in Pisa, Italy. The exoskeleton or “body extender”, a prototype costing millions is a armour suit weighing 160 kilos which multiplies the strength of its human user 20 times.
Source: 33rdsquare

Documentary: Blueprint for the Brain

Blueprint for the Brain is a 6-minute film by PBS and the Public Library of Science explores how the three-pound lump of jelly inside our skulls enables us to do everything that makes us human, and how scientists are now beginning to decipher the architecture of the brain and its secret lives.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Business: Google’s Quirky New London HQ

Google’s Quirky New London HQ: Fit For Mr. Bean:
The search giant is known for its playful, unconventional workspaces—perhaps intended to offset its fairly Vader-esque public image, and certainly, to sweeten the deal for young, in-demand engineers who may be juggling other offers. In Pittsburgh, Googlers enjoy an industrial theme and slides. In Zurich, it’s birch trees and meeting cocoons. Meanwhile, in London, Google has two established offices—one is industrial chic, the other, a space-age white box. Now, a third office—a “Super HQ”—has opened on the eighth floor of Central Saint Giles, the Renzo Piano-designed tower in Covent Garden.

Science: Billionaire Planning to Clone a Dinosaur?

Australian billionaire planning to clone a dinosaur?

Australian mining billionaire Clive Palmer is rumoured to be in deep discussion with the same group who successfully cloned Dolly the Sheep, to clone a dinosaur and keep it in a new resort he is building in Coolum, on Australia’s Gold Coast.

This is the same businessman who recently unveiled plans for the ‘Titanic II’ cruise liner. He has an estimated A$8 billion fortune.

A press conference is expected today, August 3, where Mr Palmer will reveal plans about the planned resort.

Infographic: How Curiosity will land on Mars

We posted this back in spring, but in case you missed it then: How Curiosity will land on Mars, in 11 easy steps. 
Plus: The Anatomy of Curiosity.

How Curiosity will land on Mars, in 11 Easy Steps


well said, mr. feynman.

Richard Feyman
Source: Zen Pencils

Lecture: String Theory in 26 Seconds

String Theory in 26 Seconds by George Musser

Looking for a more detailed explanation? Watch string theorist Brian Greene: The Universe On A String.

Lecture: Measurement

Paul Lockhart, author of the famous Mathematician's Lament, has a new book coming out called Measurement, which tries to discuss mathematics "as an artful way of thinking and living". Lockhart discusses his passion for math and motives for writing the book in this video.

Photo: Young Star Cluster Westerlund 2


Young Star Cluster Westerlund 2 
Credit: Y.Nazé, G.Rauw, J.Manfroid (Université de Liège), CXC, NASA 

Young Star Cluster Westerlund 2
Credit: Y.Nazé, G.Rauw, J.Manfroid (Université de Liège), CXC, NASA

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Daily Links: August 1, 2012

The 12 Most Unique Playgrounds in the World

10 Most Notorious Wikipedia Editing Scandals

Ever wonder what happens when the Olympic flame dies?

Here's a nifty realtime Olympic medal tracker that allows you to sort by rank, country, total, gold, silver, and bronze medals. Too obvious for you? There are plenty of alternatives: medals per capita ; medals by GDP per capita; number of athletes and billions of dollars GDP per medal (2008); and a discussion of alternative rankings with a sortable rankings table.

The New York Post is reporting that Westside Market, a grocery store in New York City’s Upper West Side, has just launched a “Man Aisle” for their “shopping-challenged” male patrons.

Video Distraction: Stop-Motion Video of Paris

Photo: Mirror of the Earth

Salar de Uyuni in Southwest Bolivia, the largest salt flatland in the world at 4,086 square miles, is so extremely flatty that space-faring satellites use it for atmosphere calibrations. As detailed in these pictures, Salar experiences an annual flooding producing a thin sheet of highly reflective water that seems to mirror the sky. I want to go to there.