I Read Stuff!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Idea Men At TED

Another TED! This one is a relaxed talk about 6 different technologies that may change the future. Sadly it was filmed 4 years ago, so these ideas haven't exactly made a splash.

Still, a 10 foot pole in your pocket seems to have unlimited potential...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Muppets Terrorizing Germany

This is great. It turns out that Germany has a bit of a loop hole in their traffic laws. A license plate is not sufficient information to prosecute a driver. Because of this, highway cameras are setup to capture the face of the driver as they speed by.

Only, not all cars put the driver on the same side:



The driver has so far been unidentified, but Animal, Grover, and Ernie have all been seen aiding and abetting.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Wassup

Let's play the time travel game! Yay!!!!

In 1999 we were living at the top of the internet bubble, we had a national surplus, and the war on drugs was our only major operation.

This commercial aired during Monday night football:



A friend emailed me the updated version:

Friday, October 24, 2008

Scotch Tape Physics

In 1953 Russian scientists claimed they could create X-Rays from a roll of tape. The rest of the world scoffed. 55 years later, a U.C.L.A. scientist was able to duplicate the effects.



In fact, 3M's Scotch tape was able to produce enough X-ray photons to take an X-ray of a finger. The trick to the experiment is to unwind the tape in a vacuum. Something about the atmosphere inhibits the X-ray creation process, so don't worry about over exposure while you scrapbook.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mr. Jackson, If You're 7

Poor celebrities, guilty until proven innocent, and even then we continue to make fun. Michael Jackson was acquitted of the child abuse charges 3 years ago, but you and I still believe he's a pervert.

And he's not helping matters! Jackson moved back to Las Vegas to be closer to his three children. There is nothing wrong with that, except he moved into a house across the street from an elementary school.

Good choice Michael! How's the view?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Rock Band Giveth

The 20 free tracks from Harmonix have been revealed! Though, they are a primarily indie and up and coming bands. I wonder if Harmonix is intending to make their platform available for free promo songs as a way for bands to grow their audience.

I would love to download new free songs as teasers. ITunes offers free music every week. Why not Rock Band? This would be a good way to spend some advertising bucks, and get your garage band heard by millions.

Here's the list of new music, which you can grab on November 4th. You'll need to register the number on the back of your instruction manual with Harmonix if you want access.

    • The 88 -- "Sons and Daughters"
    • Authority Zero -- "No Regrets"
    • Between the Buried and Me -- "Prequel To The Sequel"
    • The Cab -- "Bounce"
    • The Chevelles -- "Get It On"
    • The Cocktail Slippers -- "Give It To Me"
    • Dealership -- "Database Corrupted"
    • Endeverafter -- "I Wanna Be Your Man"
    • The Ghost Hounds -- "Ashes To Fire"
    • Hollywood Undead -- "Young"
    • Kutless -- "The Feeling"
    • The Len Price 3 -- "If I Ain't Got You"
    • Lesley Roy -- "I'm Gone, I'm Going"
    • Opiate for the Masses -- "Burn You Down"
    • Semi-Precious Weapons -- "Magnetic Baby"
    • Shaimus -- "Like a Fool"
    • Thenewno2 -- Crazy Tuesday"
    • Tickle Me Pink -- "The Time Is Wrong"
    • Underoath -- "Desperate Times, Desperate Measures"
    • X Japan -- "I.V."

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pumpkins Rule

I wish I had skillz:



Friday, October 17, 2008

Scrap Metal Ninjas

This happened a little while ago, but it's damn impressive. In Somerset County, Pa, a group of scrap metal thieves managed to steal an entire radio tower!

Using a truck and a cutting torch, the thieves managed to pull a 120 foot tower down, cut it into manageable pieces, and drive off. As an added bonus they got away with a 300 lb transformer without being electrocuted.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

YouTube Audio

I'm going to basically copy this forum post from XKCD. You can go there and read it, or read my condensed version.

It starts with this comic:



Not one of his best but still amusing.

Well, it turns out that someone at Google/YouTube reads XKCD and decided this was a pretty funny idea. They actually implemented an audio preview of your nonsensical comment. It's just a speech synthesizer, but life still imitates art:



(As an aside, a dramatic reading of a couple forum posts have been recreated in these flash files)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Lakes Beneath The Ocean

This is a trippy video of an underwater lake. Yes, you read that correctly.



Apparently a long time ago, there was a shallow bay where the Gulf is now. For whatever reason, the bay got cut off and became a lake. This poor lake couldn't sustain itself so it slowly dried up. Once gone, what remained was an 8 kilometer thick bed of salt.

Fast forward to today where the ocean has returned to the area. Only the Gulf of Mexico's salinity level is only about 30 ppt. That's good bit less than the Atlantic and the Pacific. The water in this lake is actually brine, that is, water with a salinity level of 300+ ppt. It weighs so much more than the surrounding water that it behaves as a separate entity.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Human Food

I've had a dog now for 4 and a half year. Over the course of those years she has eaten the same dog food day in and day out. My parents' cat gets fed the same way, and so does my in-laws horse. In fact every 'loved' pet gets fed this way. I'd bet every animal under human care gets fed this way.

All animals except our kids.

You laugh and scoff, "Of course we don't feed our kids that way. It wouldn't be healthy." I agree. There isn't a food in existence that you can live on exclusively.

Why not?

I'm not saying I would like to eat the same thing everyday. It sounds torturous, but this would be a great product. How many times have you sat around the house and thought, "I'm not really craving anything for dinner." Or maybe, "I don't feel like cooking."

Invariably we end up snacking on some salt sugary snack that has zero health benefits. But what if you could go to the cupboard and scoop out two cups of Human Chow? Just sit in front of the TV and munch on some kibble secure in the knowledge that you are still getting a healthy meal.

And it would taste good. If we can make jelly beans taste like ear wax, surely we can make a healthy cracker taste like steak. The mouth feel would be wrong, but who cares! Steak!

Friday, October 03, 2008

A Proper Game

The crazy kids at Rock, Paper, Shotgun play all kinds of weird PC games. It's a European publication, so they have access to a large independent development community from places like the Ukraine and Russia. Needless to say, cultural differences make for some very interesting storylines.

A recent play through of King’s Bounty: The Legend resulted in one of the better subplots I've ever read. You can read the whole story here, but I'll give you the basic rundown.

In the game, Alec, the player, runs across a baron whose wife had been turned into a zombie. Being the game's Hero, Alec quests about and comes up with a magic phrase that will de-zombify the girl.

Returning to the baron, Alec finds out that the baron enjoys having a zombie wife. Apparently she never needs rest and can test food for poisons. At this point a dialogue option appears allowing Alec to purchase the zombie wife. A madness that cannot be ignored, so Alec drops the cash and is now married to a zombie. Who constantly talks about having kids. Would half-zombie babies be easier or harder to take care of?

Anyway, he has the magic phrase which restores her humanity. They have a child, and live happily ever after. Until he runs across another woman who gives better combat bonuses. He turns his wife back into a zombie, divorces her, and marries the new girl.


Games
GameInterestRelease Date
Civilization IV1
C&C 31
Company of Heroes1
Half Life 21
Half Life 2: Episode One1
Supreme Commander1
Call of Duty 22
Darwinia2
Dungeon Runners2
Dungeon Siege II2
Far Cry2
Galactic Civilization II2
Hitman: Blood Money2
Jade Empire2
Neverwinter Nights 22
Prey2
Psychonauts2
Sam & Max: Episode 12
Titan Quest2
Dark Messiah Might and Magic3
Defcon3
Heroes of Might and Magic V3
Indigo Prophecy3
KOTOR II3
LEGO Star Wars3
Marvel Ultimate Alliance3
Space Rangers 2: The Rise of the Dominators3
STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl3
Stubbs the Zombie3
War Front3
Warhammer: Mark of Chaos3
Infernal35/8/2007
Shadowrun25/9/07
Pirates of the Burning SeaM6/1/2007
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars?6/5/2007
Two Worlds?6/26/07
Sins of A Solar Empire?8/1/2007
BioShock18/21/2007
Mass Effect19/7/07
Age of ConanM10/30/07
Crysis1Fall 2007
Elveon?Fall 2007
Half-Life 2: Episode Two1Fall 2007
Portals1Fall 2007
Spore1Fall 2007
Stranglehold?Fall 2007
Tabula RasaMFall 2007
Team Fortress 22Fall 2007
Dragon Age?Winter 2007
Fable 2?Winter 2007
Field Ops?Winter 2007
Halo Wars?Winter 2007
Gods & Heroes: Rome RisingMWinter 2007
Haze?Winter 2007
Hellgate: London1Winter 2007
HuxleyMWinter 2007
Kane & Lynch: Dead Men?Winter 2007
Left 4 Dead?Winter 2007
The AgencyMSpring 2008
Empire Earth III?Spring 2008
Guild Wars 2 MSpring 2008
Jericho?Spring 2008
Sacred 2?Spring 2008
Savage 2?Spring 2008
Time Shift2Spring 2008
Universe at War: Earth Assault3Spring 2008
The Witcher?Spring 2008
CellFactor?2008
Darkest of Days?2008
On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkeness: Episode 122008
Warhammer OnlineM2008
Alliance: The Silent War??
Alone in the Dark??
Assassin's Creed??
BioWare MMO??
The Crossing??
Dungeon Hero??
Fallout 3??
Lego Batman??
Mythos??
Overloard??
Space Seige??
Culdcept SagaPC??
Gears of WarPC??
God of WarPC??
Beautiful KatamariPC??
OkamiPC??
Resistance: Fall of ManPC??
Odin's SpherePC??
Castle CrashersPC??

1 - I will buy it
2 - I'll buy it at discount
3 - Other people think it's good, but I wasn't interested when I first heard about it
M - Mainly Multiplayer. See if friends get interested.
? - Find out more about this game
PC? - Will it be released on the PC?