I just had to repost this funny tweet from Simon Harris.
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.
The following is a guest post by Laura McKeever.
If you have ever wondered what it would be like to reach the darkest depths of the ocean, today you will find out. Thanks to an expedition conducted by James Cameron, the director of Titanic and Avatar, we have an insight into what life seven miles below sea level is like. The famous director has boldly gone where only two men have been before, but unlike them he was able to see the area in the Mariana Trench, an area that is larger than the Grand Canyon.
To many people, life that far beneath the ocean surface conjures up images of alien-like creatures and foot long anthropoids. The mystique of the sea has always been associated with monsters that us mere mortals have not yet seen, but Cameron’s trip has proved our imaginations wrong. Disappointingly, he reported after surfacing that the only living things he saw in the Marina Trench were inch long prawn-like specimens. Despite returning without any captivating stories about monsters from the deep, Cameron feels as though his journey was largely a success. The three hours that he spent cramped into a tiny capsule were just a fragment of the intended six hour journey, but at the same time he felt as though he had “ventured between two planets.”
Although Mr. Cameron’s lack of discoveries are a little dull, there is plenty to be excited about when it comes to the machine he went down in. The lime-green craft, known as the Deepsea Challenger, is a tremendous feat of engineering. It has been designed to withstand the incredible pressures that are often exerted on mechanical objects in the deep sea, which can reach eight tonnes per every square inch of material.
The design of the Deepsea Challenger also means that it is able to withstand high variations in pressure. Imagine rocketing between ranges of 100 degrees Fahrenheit to well below freezing within a matter of minutes, as that is what Cameron’s sub has been designed to do. As the vessel descends, the electrical circuits heat up while trying to meet the continuously strenuous demands exerted on it. This is eventually reversed as the ocean floor grows nearer, as the deepsea water temperatures maintain a constant below freezing level due to receiving no sunlight.
Unfortunately, Cameron’s trip has not even been able to provide us with any geological discoveries. The hydraulics on the vessel stopped working as he reached the ocean floor, which meant he was unable to retrieve any samples that could give us an insight into life seven miles below the surface of the ocean. Despite this, it is pretty clear that Cameron’s dedication to learning more about what goes on down there won’t stop him from making some truly astonishing discoveries. The dedicated director was faced with the decision of either missing the premier of Titanic 3D, or going ahead with his mission. As he chose to head for the depths of the ocean rather than the big screen, his dedication shows that the Deepsea Challenger may be dusted off in the future to bring avid biology and geology lovers news of what happens under the sea.
Laura McKeever is a Medical Sciences student from the UK and freelance writer. In addition to having an avid interest in medicine, she is also fascinated by other areas of science, including geology.
Here’s a Kickstarter project I not only recommend, but I’m also a backer. The project comes from Caltech physicist Sameer Walavalkar; he is looking to raise $50,000 to create silicon nanostructures that can represent portraits, pictures, text and are all etched into a variety of objects. The etchings can be done on silicon, gold, sapphire, metals, which can then be mounted and framed as one of a kind art, or given as gifts.
I hope this project gets fully funded, I plan on having a picture of my cats etched and it’ll be a gift for my wife.