Crayon Physics


[Update: it appears Petri’s site is probably being slammed with requests and periodically offline]

Crayon Physics is a game by Petri Purho, a student attending Helsinki Polytechnic. He’s a very prolific game developer, cranking out his tenth game, each game developed in under 7 days to force him to be productive and to learn something new.

He’s looking for criticism to improve his coding skills at developing games, so help a brother geek out. Download it (5 MB), test it, give him constructive feedback.

Here’s a demo of the game via youtube.

[youtube hDwAAckxOkc]

8 Of The Strangest Communities On The Web gives us details on their list of the eight strangest community sites on the Interweb they’ve come across. From “Ice Chewers” to “Furries for Christ.”

Folks, I have an open mind and just push the ‘I believe button’ from time to time so won’t have to deal with understanding some things (like Furries for instance). But I wish I really hadn’t just learned about the Boytaurs community, because I’m thoroughly confused over this one and really don’t want to try to understand the bizarre, primal nature of this and why it would be attractive.

To each his own.

[via digg]

How To Make Out, Or Levitate

Make out

Time magazine has an Internet related article that reads quickly on search engines being used for ‘How to…?’ questions.

The top 10 ‘How to’ searches in the US over a 4 week period ending 7/21/07:

1. How to tie a tie
2. How to have sex
3. How to kiss
4. How to lose weight
5. How to write a resume
6. How to levitate
7. How to draw
8. How to get pregnant
9. How to make out
10. How to make a video

Read the Time article for more interesting revelations.

PicoP Laser Projection ‘Real Soon Now’

From Alex Vorn’s Tech Gadget Blog we learn that Microvision and Motorola have inked a deal to integrate Microvision’s PicoP laser projection technology with Motorola’s mobiles.

I’m not holding my breath that we’ll see it any time soon, honestly I’m not sure what user scenarios they’re envisioning besides marketing/sales, maybe instant porn theatre on the sidewalk?

If my mobile can stream TV can I rebroadcast it via the projection system? Now that would be cool. 8)

Link to the article with details.

Picop vision

Mozilla To Thunderbird – ‘Take A Hike Pipsqueek’

In a shocking announcement on Firefox CEO Mitchell Baker’s blog, the Mozilla foundation is looking for suitors to take over driving the overall Thunderbird effort or possibly spin off a separate foundation to own it.

But one thing is clear according to Baker, it’s all about the web and the success of Firefox so it just makes sense to do one thing and to do it very well.

He gave no indication of a timetable to make the decision, but if you’re passionate about the project and a contributor to it, you’re encouraged to provide input on its fate.

Likely the real cause of this is simply fallout over the popularity of online mail accounts like Gmail and Live Mail.

Supergirl Lands In Smallville

Supergirl vs. Wonder Woman, who ya got in that mud wrestling match? OK, enough with the fantasies, we’ve got real news here.

Laura Vandervoot is the smoking hot Supergirl in Smallville next season playing ‘Kara’, the Krypton cousin of Clark Kent. She got the call a few weeks ago that she’s joining the Smallville cast and filming has already begun.

You may have to peer a little to tell that this is her costume she’s wearing in the publicity photo, not what she’s wearing to school but what she’s wearing to the bank robbery she needs to stop.

Question: How does she get her nails done at the salon when they’re as strong as steel?

People magazine has the details.


Caller Bot, The Prankster’s Holy Grail?


When I stumbled upon this site I thought it was a joke, but looks like it’s real…

The Caller BOT will call any number in the USA and read the message you want. has a very simple web form to enter the ‘Number to Call’, the Number to appear on Caller ID, the Name to appear on Caller ID, the voice (male or female with different varieties of each), and lastly the text message to be converted to speech when the system calls the number.

I tried it out by sending a sentence to my mobile phone, the form accepted the entries and said it’d deliver the message within 5 minutes.

15 seconds later my mobile rang, the caller ID showed the number I requested and sure enough, the voice on the other end sounded like your typical synthesized computer text-to-speech program.

Give it a try.

Scratch. Programming For Kids


Scratch is a new programming language that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art — and share your creations on the web.

Scratch is designed to help young people (ages 8 and up) develop 21st century learning skills. As they create Scratch projects, young people learn important mathematical and computational ideas, while also gaining a deeper understanding of the process of design.

Scratch is available free of charge, go to Download.

Currently available for Mac OSX and Windows (system requirements)

Learn more here.

Hidden Lake Could Be Key To Helping Darfur


There may be a massive lake beneath Darfur detected by a team using a satellite participating in a search for water from space. The team is led by former NASA Apollo lunar participants, they’re using the satellite equipment to put together pieces of a puzzle that compose a picture of the 12,000 sq. mile mega lake in the western Sudanese province.

Although the lake drained years ago, researchers believe groundwater might still exist. And that just might help to bring a close to the clashes that have left hundreds of thousands dead due to war and strife if they’re successful in digging wells in the correct locations.

Link to Terra Daily with the details.

World’s Smallest Hydrogen Car

H powered mini car

From the Gadgets.Infoniac blog today I learned of some cool toys running on hydrogen that will soon be marketed towards us regular geeks (as opposed to the hard core science geeks that may have already established themselves as masters of tapping into the technology).

Shown here is the ‘H-Racer’, the smallest and coolest hydrogen fuel cell car in the world and it fits in the palm of your hand. It operates on 100% clean fuel produced by a miniature solar powered hydrogen refueling station that converts water to hydrogen using energy captured by the sun.

Although simpler in design, this palm-size fuel cell car contains all the necessary technology to make it run.  It includes an on-board hydrogen storage tank, a fuel cell system connected to the car’s electric motor and a hydrogen refueling valve system that can connect the car’s storage tank to an external hydrogen refueling station.

Get your kit from Carl’s Electronics for just US$99.95 or get it from Amazon for a few cents less.

Car plus solar plus H storage tank

Office Subscription Service Launches in South Africa?


I’m not sure how I feel about pay as you go software but according to Reuters, that very service has been launched in South Africa. It appears that Microsoft Office software will be available in emerging markets in the future and South Africa is testing it out right now.

For the 199 rand (less than $30) you can get a 3 month subscription to use Office 2007.

It appears that it’s being tested out in Africa first since the pay as you go mobile phone service is very popular in regions that generally can’t afford high up-front costs to services.

Who knows, maybe it’ll be what we’re all doing in the future.

Link to the article on eWeek.

Touring OnStar’s Command Center


PodTech goes behind the scenes to tour the OnStar Command Center to get details on how they operate and learn a few interesting tings about the data displayed on the massive screens on the wall.

If you’re not familiar with OnStar, a division of General Motors, OnStar provides motorists with a range of advanced, wireless communications solutions that make driving safer; including road-side assistance and automatic emergency response. Additional available services provide concierge assistance, offer destination directions, and other advanced convenience – all at the touch of a single dashboard-mounted button.

One cool thing I learned is the on board diagnostic data can be relayed via OnStar to your personal e-mail account.

Link to the podcast.

Link to the OnStar site for more information.

Could Facebook Become The Next Microsoft?

TechCrunch has a good article on the subject of Facebook and its continuing popularity especially when your favorite applications show up on the site to become the #1 stop for content and interaction.A few months ago they released the ‘Facebook platform’ and in short order thousands of applications have been delivered against that platform.

Link to the debate over Facebook as your future Web OS, the comments to the article are just as good.