Now this is a very handy web app that I have started using and just had to share this with you. It’s called croak.it. It allows you to record 30 seconds of audio from your PC (or some mobile phones) then share that recording via a private url hosting that audio file.
I am learning Chinese and quite often I meet online through Skype or messenger apps like QQ or MSN Messenger to speak English and Chinese. It’s a nice, sharing, relationship with my language partners in China.
However, because of the time difference it’s sometimes challenging to get together during the week. This is where a web app like croak.it can come be very useful so you can record your question, or practice the language, then share the url with your partner. They can now listen and respond with corrections for you.
I learned about croak.it from the Chinese learning site Study More Chinese.
The only downside is the length of the recording is just 30 seconds. But I still give it a big thumbs-up.
I just had to repost this funny tweet from Simon Harris.
I’m now a backer for this neat Kickstarter project, and I think this will help me in my study of Chinese (Mandarin). This project is about funding a 3D language learning game for multiple languages: SanJiten
Here’s the state of fundraising for this project.
Here’s a good episode of This American Life from public radio: Americans in China. I visit China 4 times a year and spend a couple of weeks on site each trip working with my Chinese colleagues in Beijing. I’m fascinated by the culture and the language, so I took a particular interest in this broadcast.
Siri Really Speaks Chinese. Just Don’t Ask Her About Tiananmen – WSJ
Concerns are raised about possible fatal design flaw in green vehicles after deadly collision in Shenzhen, China. As we push towards being more green, going with electric vehicles is one concept that has been a desire for most of society for quite a while. Should we be worried now if we’re pushing the boundaries in a faster pace than technology can keep up?
Researchers claim the chip used in military systems and civilian aircraft has built-in function that could let in hackers. The chip in question is ProASIC3 chip , it’s used in medical, automotive, communications and consumer products, as well as military use. Among applications where it’s used are remote surveillance systems, drones, and for flight-critical applications on the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Good god, this is all we need to worry about now for possible terrorist attacks that no longer need to penetrate physical security to down a plane, now all they need is a really good hacker.
I’m proud to be a Trekkie and I’m glad these fellows feel comfortable enough in their nerdiness to do this video. But I also cringe while watching it because of the stereotype it reinforces.
Fine Dining Lovers, an online magazine for food enthusiasts, thought you might be interested in the story about Game of Thrones from a foodie point of view.
Fans of Game of Thrones want to eat and drink like they do in the fantasy land of Westeros. Now they can, because Fine Dining Lovers pulled together cookbooks, recipes and beer labels that invite you to create the same meals and drinks the characters in the book eat.
The credits are often the first thing we see when we watch a great film or TV show, but the complexity and artistry of title design is rarely discussed. From PBS Off Book, a quick look at the thinking behind the opening titles for TV shows and movies, including Zombieland, Mad Men, and Se7en.
There’s been a lot of UFO sightings in the USA, England, Canada and Australia, all reporting seeing an object in the sky shaped like a pyramid.
Coincidence? Conspiracy? You decide. Here’s a few links below with more detail but if you only read one, go to the HuffPost article which also has several videos of some of these events in the last week.
Triangle-Shaped UFOs Buzz Over United States, England And Australia[Huffington Post]
UFO: Couple reports Pyramid-like object over Cambridge, Ontario [Digital Journal]
Op-Ed: Australian UFO witness reports intelligent-like orbs[Digital Journal]
Grant Morrison is a writer for Action Comics, he’s also spent a bit of time revamping the Batman comics. So he’s delved into the psyche of the flying rodent superhero and can tell us a thing or two about him. In a recent Playboy interview, Grant confirms some of what has been rumored for many years when he says the character is “very, very gay”.
As Grant tells Playboy:
"He’s very plutonian in the sense that he’s wealthy and also in the sense that he’s sexually deviant. Gayness is built into Batman. I’m not using gay in the pejorative sense, but Batman is very, very gay. There’s just no denying it. Obviously as a fictional character he’s intended to be heterosexual, but the basis of the whole concept is utterly gay."
Some of the comic purists may claim this is heresy, I would refer them to ComicBookMovie’s defense of Grant’s claim of Batman’s gayness.
Frankly, I don’t care if Batman is gay, though I do like the storylines revolving around Batman and Cat Woman and that would be a shame if the sexual tension between the two is a sham.
|Shark Populations Are Plummeting in Areas Near Humans. Shark populations have recently fallen by up to 90 percent in some areas. – [Planetsave]|
|Wind farms may have warming effect. Large wind farms might have a warming effect on the local climate, research in the United States showed on Sunday, casting a shadow over the long-term sustainability of wind power. – [Reuters]|
|Japan deep-sea drilling probe sets world record. A Japanese deep-sea drilling probe has set a new world record for depth, reaching 7740 meters (25400 feet) below the sea surface. – [Fox News]|
|Foods and packaging containing nanoparticles may require more scrutiny. The FDA has previously stated that nanotechnology is not inherently unsafe; however, materials at the nano scale can pose different safety issues. – [Sci-Tech Today]|
|A new study may explain many mysteries about dinosaurs, such as why enormous species had such small offspring, why non-flying dinos went extinct, and why today’s birds fly. Large body size, egg-laying ways of dinos may have helped to do them in – [MSNBC]|
|Summer movie preview: It’s a superhero smackdown. The Avengers vs Spider-Man vs Batman (and don’t forget Men in Black 3)– [Journal Gazette]|
Ben Crispin informed me of a new 3D platform game under development and pointed me to a trailer to demonstrate their progress.
This game is “Tiny Cthulhu”, an indie 3D platform game destined for the PC/Mac/Linux and of course the game is inspired by the works of H.P.Lovercraft. Check out the teaser trailer below, for more information head on over to the dev team’s blog for much more information on the inspiration and plans for the game.
The Croatian Times reports that the local university now has a course on Star Trek.
Here’s a snippet:
Students at the University of Rijeka in Croatia have been discussing philosophical issues based on themes from the TV series “Star Trek”. It is all thanks to their Professor Boran Bercic, who is a huge fan of the popular TV series, reported daily newspaper 24sata.
Starting with an ongoing academic year, the University of Rijeka, namely the Department of Philosophy introduced “Star Trek” as an elective course. Professor Bercic, the initiator of the course finds Star Trek to be an inexhaustible source of many philosophical themes.
I want to know if the course will also teach Klingon or if I still need to attend the Klingon Language Institute for that.
The thumbnail is the Geeknews website banner redone as nano art by Sameer Walavalkar.
Sameer has an update to the Nano Art kickstarter project I mentioned earlier…
Project re-launch under the title “Nano Art: Reloaded” I’ve learned a lot from backer feedback and I’ve made changes that I hope you all will like!
I’m working on a new type of art– sets of customized etchings at the nano-scale. I’m hoping to use Kickstarter to get my work out there and seen by as many people as possible! I’m not an artist by training or profession and I’m not focused on exhibiting my art, rather I want to make art for you to keep, display or give as a gift. Kickstarter gives me the opportunity to offer you these personalized pieces basically at cost (ie without markups) with the money acting as a seed to launch this idea! How cool is that?
These pieces are made to order, come in beautiful frames chosen to fit the piece, they look awesome on the wall, and are great conversation pieces! Interested? Read on about me and my project…
Head on over to Sameer’s Nano Art project site on Kickstarter and check it out for yourself. I’m backing the project because of the cool factor. 🙂