Researchers have known for a while that dung beetles use the sun, the moon or other light source to navigate. Once the beetle acquires a dung ball from the poop pile they want to get away with their “loot” asap to prevent the competition taking it away. And they use a light source to help ensure they navigate in a straight line to prevent circling back to the original poop source and run into the competition.
Researchers from Wits University placed the beetles in a planetarium and clearly observed behavior showing the beetle can use the milky way’s band of light as an alternate light source when all other good sources are not available.
Houston, We Have Another Problem: Astronaut Alzheimer’s [Science Blogs]
As if space travel was not already filled with enough dangers, a new study out today in the journal PLOS ONE shows that cosmic radiation – which would bombard astronauts on deep space missions to places like Mars – could accelerate the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Dad Hires In-Game ‘Assassins’ To Discourage Son’s Gaming Habit [Huffington Post]
Frustrated by his adult son’s incessant gaming habit, a man in China reportedly hired a number of in-game master “hitmen” to annihilate his son’s avatar over and over again in an attempt to deter him from playing. http://www.partybingo.com/
Star Trek Into Darkness is coming out May 17 2013 (3D/2D theaters and IMAX 3D).
Pentagon Looks to Fix ‘Pervasive Vulnerability’ in Drones [Wired]
Drones may be at the center of the U.S. campaign to take out extremists around the globe. But there’s a “pervasive vulnerability” in the robotic aircraft, according to the Pentagon’s premier science and technology division — a weakness the drones share with just about every car, medical device and power plant on the planet.
Field Testing a Four-Legged Robot [Defense Tech]
DARPA recently completed field testing of its LS3 four-legged robot system at Fort Pickett in central Virginia. Check out the great video with the robot playing follow the leader through open fields and tough terrain.
Designers Pick their Favorite Book Covers of 2012 [NY Times]
The NY Times asked people in and around the world of graphic design to name one of their favorite book covers from 2012 and briefly describe its appeal. [via kottke]
Video mapping is becoming popular as an exciting way to spice up events or conferences. Video mapping usually manipulates common entertainment technology (such as projectors) in creative and innovative ways. It is a technique that consists of projecting video images on buildings, streets, people or just about any kind of complex surface or 3D form to alter the viewer’s senses and perspective. The projectors used for video mapping are capable of bending and highlighting just about any form or space. These projectors are able to create unbelievable optical illusions that baffle the minds of viewers. The clever use of suggestive play of light “turns” a physical object into something very different just by altering its perception of form. Video mapping can be applied in virtually limitless ways. It depends on your requirements and preferences. If you are interested in the projectors used for this performance you can check out for more information about projectors at projectorshop24.co.uk.
Video mapping is a relatively new concept and it is becoming more and more popular these days. This new use of common technology has taken many by surprise, leaving them with an unexpected experience. The main reason of its rapid success is that the public gets heavily emotionally invested in the show. Each viewer gets a sense of “exploration” with every video mapping show. The spectacle is not just “another nice video projection”, but it is quite surprising and exciting because it involves not only physical space, but virtual space too.
There two common ways of understanding how to make a video mapping projection.
1. Prepare images to project on a designated surface of your choice. The images can be projected as if the streets or buildings were some kind of blank screen. Remember that there are almost no limits here. You may choose just about anything depending on your requirements and creativity. The surface itself creates some kind of mask which saves you from doing all the time consuming calibration that video mapping usually requires.
2. The Masking. This is exactly what it means: masking is about creating masks (some kind of opacity templates) with the exact form and position of the different elements of the building, space architecture, 3D object etc. On those masks, or in the space between them, is where the images and video are going to be projected, using a relatively simple technique called alpha channel.
With enough creativity, video mapping may be just what you need to dramatically spice up just about any event. The viewer’s will probably never forget the experience.
This Youtube video shows a good example of what’s possible here, this is impressive.
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May all beings achieve #bunniness and freedom from non-bunniness. Bunny Buddhism