Dung Beetle Uses The Milky Way For Navigation, First Animal To Do So

Dung Beetle Navigating by Milky Way

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.

Read this fascinating article over at PlanetSave for the full details.

Geek News Links Jan 4 2013

image

 

imageHouston, 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.

 

imageDad 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/

 

 

imageHigh Quality Photos From Star Trek Into Darkness [Superhero Hype]

Star Trek Into Darkness is coming out May 17 2013 (3D/2D theaters and IMAX 3D).

 

 

imagePentagon 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.

 

imageField 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.

 

 

bookcoverDesigners 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, New Concept of Entertainment

Projector

image mappingVideo 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.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Helldiver

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Helldiver

There’s a new graphic novel out called "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Helldiver". The book is part of a 3-part series, all to be released throughout November and December 2012.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is a dark, gritty, action – horror story inspired by the biblical tale of Armageddon.The story follows Adam Cahill, a warrior bound by bloodline to guard the Seven Holy Seals that contain the End of Days. But sinister forces strike against him and send him into Hell itself. There, he must find three corrupt souls, chosen by Divinity, to join him in battle against the Four Horsemen to not only save their own souls, but to decide the very fate of Humanity.

The graphic novel can be found at Graphicly, Comixology for digital sales. Heavymetal.com also offers a hard and digital copy of the book as well.

GM Unveils New All-Electric Vehicle

image

General Motors is giving its Chevrolet Spark a jolt of electricity.

An all-electric version of the mini-car will debut this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show. It goes on sale this summer in California, Oregon, Canada and South Korea, where it’s made. Other markets will follow.

It will cost less than $25,000 in the U.S., be shorter in length than the Fiat 500 and get 76miles per charge.

Associated Press has the full details.

Talisman Prologue

Talisman

The Talisman board game is coming to the PC and mobile gaming world and boy am I excited!

Talisman Prologue is the first in a series of games based on the seminal Talisman board game.

In Talisman Prologue, you take the role of 10 characters on a series of epic quests. Fight your way through hordes of monstrous creatures and cast powerful magic spells along the way. Using the rules of the board game, Talisman Prologue is a single-player strategy role-playing game.

Learn more at Nomad Games  &  talisman-game.com

Upgrading the Dogs of War

war dog

The BBC Science goes to North Carolina to get rare look inside one of the US Military projects to counter the threat of roadside bombs. North Carolina has a centuries old reputation for producing some of the best trained dogs and it’s here that the military is investing in “Jason Bourne” type pooches to help take up the cause of finding mines and roadside bombs.

The BBC report…

A Must See GI Joe Fan film

This is a very cool fan film of the GI Joe franchise, how fans probably really want the story to proceed. And the production quality is surprisingly good for a fan film! I’m subscribed to the youtube feed to keep track of new episodes because I was left with a desire for the story to keep going…that’s a good sign. Smile I’m going to donate to the effort to help encourage more.

You can find more information at their website http://www.gijoeinitiate.com/  and at their Facebook page.

Buddhist Meditation: A Management Skill?

Buddhist Meditation

I’m a firm believer in the use of meditation to help deal with the chaos of life around us, this includes the stress and ambiguity and pressure of work. The intent is to help you deal with the things that influence you in a way that prevent you from being more successful.

From NPR this week

A handful of executive MBA programs around the country — from Harvard to Michigan’s Ross School of Business — are teaching students Buddhist meditation techniques. It’s not necessarily about teaching spirituality, but focus. There’s no way to quantify whether learning how to be centered during a stressful business meeting is balancing the bottom lines at companies. But students say slowing down does help them be more effective.