Earthcore: The World’s First Podcast-Only Novel

In 2005, fiction author Scott Sigler announced the release of EarthCore as “the world’s first Podcast-only novel.” He released an hour of audio each week, creating a format similar to weekly drama TV shows with continuing storylines. The free Podcast feed ran for 24 episodes and one might even credit him with the boom in podiocast’ing of novels today (go to podiobooks.com and marvel at what’s available for free or with a small paypal donation).

In his press release at the time, Sigler said:

EarthCore is the first Podcast novel because it is not available in any other format. Listeners can’t buy the book and peek at the last page, they have to wait each week for a new episode. You can listen to them on your iPod or MP3 player, letting you enjoy the story while driving, at the gym, walking — anywhere you want to listen. Listeners don’t have to be in a specific place at a specific time. You listen whenever you want.

I’m just sorry I missed out on it 3 years ago, in the past week and a half I’ve been addicted to it. If you read Geeknews via a feed then you didn’t see the update to my sidebar this weekend calling attention to Earthcore, I like it that much. If you enjoy sci-fi/suspense/blood ‘n guts, you owe it to yourself to listen, give it 4 or 5 episodes and you’ll be hooked.

Reviewers say:

– “This audio book has everything: cutting-edge science; a perfectly-realized setting; terror both plausible and profoundly unsettling.”

– “EarthCore is in-your-face, steel-tipped boot on your throat, speed-metal fiction!”

Here’s the synopsis:

Deep below a desolate Utah mountain lays the largest platinum deposit ever discovered. A billion-dollar find, it waits for any company that can drill a world’s record, three-mile-deep mine shaft.

EarthCore is the company with the technology, the resources and the guts to go after the mother lode. Young executive Connell Kirkland is the company’s driving force, pushing himself and those around him to uncover the massive treasure.

But Kirkland and EarthCore are not the first to find this treasure. The mountain’s history reveals two centuries of disappearances, murder, and insanity.

The discovery of ancient platinum knives, razor-sharp despite lying untouched for 1,000 years, reveals evidence of an ancient culture. If the artifacts are genuine, they show a pre-historic empire that once spanned from the Southern tip of South America all the way up through the American Southwest.
Wealth and fame lie under that Utah mountain, but at three miles below the surface, where the rocks are so hot they burn bare skin, something has been waiting for centuries. Waiting … and guarding. Kirkland and EarthCore are about to find out first-hand why this treasure has never been unearthed.

Highly recommended!

Sharing Spit Forces Changes In DNA Testing

Medical

In a recent paternity test, a DNA sample was taken from a suspected father in the case. For quite a few years now, samples are usually taken from mouth to collect saliva cells to conduct the DNA analysis.

In the Journal of Forensic Sciences, Dr José Antonio Lorente Acosta (director of the Laboratory of Genetic Identification of the University of Granada) explains how saliva samples were collected from the subject’s mouth using the standard swabbing method you’ve probably seen on CSI dozens of times.

However, the saliva analysis (epithelial cells from the interior of mouth) taken from the person gave an incongruous result, a DNA which could not come from the man who had carried out the test.

After repeating the analysis, there was an only one possible conclusion: In the mouth of that man there was DNA from two different persons.

After dismissing other possibilities, the question was: how was it possible? The analysts met with the person in question and showed him the results and explained that they thought he was purposely trying to manipulate the samples which could get him in serious trouble with the judge in the case.

Faced with the evidence, he admitted that shortly before the mouth swab he put someone else’s saliva in his mouth, saliva that he had kept in a little container for the moment. This will cause a change in the protocol for the process moving forward; it will be compulsory for the donor to wash his mouth out before a witness.

The University of Granada Science News has more detailed information.

Hack an Elevator

This hack will put some elevator cars into an express mode, sending you directly to your desired floor, bypassing any requests from patrons at floors in between your originating and destination floors.

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Youtube is chock full of other geeks demonstrating this same hack.

Stripper Poll Game For Wii

Stripper Game

ABC Reports that a UK based company called Peakaboo that specializes in temporary at-home stripper polls, including one endorsed by Carmen Electra, announced this week that it’s developing a strip aerobics game for the Wii.

To see how the regular temporary stripper poles work in your home today, check this youtube stripper demo.

[youtube PDxiTBFJ0wg]

World’s Longest Voyage in a Wave-Powered Boat

 Suntory Mermaid

Economically speaking, wave power would seem to be a very cheap method of travel for a boat, no? As with everything else in life, there’s yin and there’s yang, give and take, pro and con. In this case, while the cost is cheap, the speed is slow.

Kenichi Horie is a Japanese sailor that embarked on a 4000 mile voyage March 18  2008 from Hawaii to Nippon on his 3 ton boat called the Suntory Mermaid II. This boat is powered by waves which in turn cause two paddles, or fins, at the bow to propel the boat forward at a speed up to 5 knots. After about a month of travel, he’s recently reported that he’s making progress of 100km per day and the progress report from the link below shows he’s about 1/3 of the way home.

It’s expected to take this adventurer about 75 days to reach his destination, to put it into perspective a diesel powered boat would take about 10 days.

The reason he’s doing this is to promote this technology and encourage further research into wave power with a goal of one day seeing commercial ships adopting a greener method of locomotion.

Track his progress here.

Tip of the hat to Kenichi, I wish him well and will follow his progress closely.

Cure For Acne. Geeks Rejoice.

Medical

Scientists believe they have found a breakthrough treatment for acne. They claim that the drug, SMT D002, can reduce the flow of sebum – an oily substance produced by the skin and believed to be a significant cause – by 90%.

Now if they can just cure the whole ‘afraid to talk to girls’ thing that doesn’t require alcohol. Am I shallow to bump that to the top of the list ahead of cancer?

Telegraph has the full story.

Women of World of Warcraft? Or Women of WoW? Or WoWoW?

Women of World of Warcraft gives your tongue quite a workout to the point that you subconsciously recoil when uttering those out loud. But Women of Warcraft or Women of WoW does slide off the tongue like the two key words were made for each other.

For some reason Geeknews gets a good number of hits from people searching for ‘women of warcraft’ or ‘women of wow’, landing on this page of babes: WoW Women.

Much cooler though would be if they were landing at this site: Women of Warcraft Podcast.

The podcast/vidcasts are quirky and funny, I really like it. However, the site is kind of stale. I guess the owner (Molly) is pretty busy with a life in the real world, go figure. But she is truly one geeky girl.

In any case, no doubt the nerds querying Google, Live and Yahoo! for ‘women of warcraft’ are looking for more of this (clicky)

WoW Women   Swanky's WoW Women   WoW Women 3   WoW Women 4

Hot girl gamers? Booth Babes? Who are we to judge? Get clicking.

Chocolate Pencils

Chocolate Pencils

Chocolate-pencils is a collaboration with patissier Tsujiguchi Hironobu, the mastermind behind some very popular dessert shops. Tsujiguchi created a new dessert to go with some newly designed tableware from nendo, a design company. They wanted the plates to show off the beauty of meals and desserts like a painting on a canvas.

Based on this idea, the “chocolate pencils” come in a number of cocoa blends that vary in intensity, and chocophiles can use the special “pencil sharpener” that comes with our plate to grate chocolate onto their dessert. Pencil filings are usually the unwanted remains of sharpening a pencil, but in this case, they’re the star!

My wife would love this, and I can’t imagine the cost. 🙂

The Problem With Biodegradable Coffins

eCoffins

Treehugger.com tells us about the new hotness in ‘green funerals’ – biodegradable coffins.

The problem with biodegradable caskets is that if CSI ever needs to exhume the body, any potential evidence to be discovered would likely be destroyed due to the accelerated exposure of the body to the elements.

Interested in seeing the eCoffin product line? Jump to the Ecoffin parent company in the UK, and check out the hand woven urns.