Stuff I Found

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Male Chauvinism

Tsk tsk tsk!

Razor thin TV

Looks nice, but if they find themselves all over the place in the future, it will just be annoying. Please, no TV T-shirts.

In the race for ever thinner displays for TVs, cell phones and other gadgets, Sony may have developed one to beat them all - a razor-thin display that bends like paper while showing full-colour video.

Awesome cursor

It might take a while to load, but this mouse cursor is great.

Dragon head illusion

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Little Big Planet

A PS3 would be worth getting just for this game, in my opinion. It looks amazing, much like Spore, because so much of the game's fun comes from it's use of physics and user creativity, thus it supports emergent properties. Games like this are the future of gaming. Take a look at this insane game:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Isn't that brilliant?! Who doesn't want this game?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Amazing trumpet duet

Wow, isn't that amazing?!

The creationist argument is dumb

I just thought this was funny:

Everyone should really look up emergent properties, they are the most fascinating thing in the world. Creationism is a stupid way to argue that God must exist, and it always angers me a bit that it's what so many Christians focus on. I wish Christians would focus more on morality. As amazing and complex as human life seems to us, its emergence from the properties of matter and physics does not require God. The thoughtless argument of creationism, regardless of its good intent, is doing much more harm than good. Please tell me that your faith in God is based on much more than the shape of a banana, or the lack of a scientific explanation for the creation of Earth and human life.

The Uncyclopedia

This is the 300th post! Woohoo!

The Uncyclopedia seems to be a hilarious parody of Wikipedia, with countless nonsense articles... ah, funny stuff.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Some physics

This is probably the best, or at least the simplest, I've ever heard the two slits experiment explained (sorry Gribbin). It should also help you understand that physics joke from Futurama if that clip made you feel like an outcast...

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Zombie cockroaches

Cockroaches are infamous for their tenacity, and are often cited as the most likely survivors of a nuclear war. Some even claim that they can live without their heads. It turns out that these armchair exterminators (and their professional brethren) are right. Headless roaches are capable of living for weeks.

They are zombies. So is a headless cockroach kind of like a robot (or a biot) in that it's purely a biological living thing with no thought? Or does a cockroach brain do any thinking anyway? Probably not.

When galaxies collide

If Homo sapiens can stick it out on Earth for another two billion years, our descendants may witness quite a show in the night sky. Researchers estimate that the Milky Way will collide with its nearest neighbor, the Andromeda galaxy, at around that time—well before the sun collapses into a white dwarf, perhaps destroying the Earth in the process.

That'll be fun, I hope I live long enough to see that.

Cat's long journey

After Eric Congdon opened a crate from China and discovered a cat inside, coming up with a name for the furry stowaway was easy.

They named the cat Stupidfur. The cat risked being eaten as a pizza topping in its former home. Like many, the cat sought refuge in the USA, and we welcome illegal alien cats with open arms because so few of them are willing to make the journey and they look so cute. After engraving "Made in China" on the cat's feet, several people were ready to take it home as a pet and some wanted to make a coat out of it.

A Heart of Full of Lord of the Rings

I just thought this was hilarious... you have to understand the context of the film though... and perhaps be familiar with the song...

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Benford's Law

Does your house address start with a 1? According to a strange mathematical law, about 1/3 of house numbers have 1 as their first digit. The same holds true for many other areas that have almost nothing in common: the Dow Jones index history, size of files stored on a PC, the length of the world’s rivers, the numbers in newspapers’ front page headlines, and many more.

Hmmm... interesting, no? I think it has more to do with human psychology than actual mathematics, such as why we use a ten-based system and how we choose numbering systems. While math is inherent in nature, how we represent it numerically is entirely up to us. Benford's Law is not a strange mathematical law, it's a reflection on our own psychological tendencies when it comes to choosing mathematical representations. It's an emergent property. Fascinating, no?

The creatures on your skin...

Uh... gross!

World's highest swing

Aaahhh!! I think I'll pass, thanks.

Electronic cigarettes

Not only are these good for smokers who are filling their lungs with nastiness, they're good for us non-addicted people who can still smell that annoying cigarette smell. Still, nicotine is not a safe thing to be addicted to, so while these cigarettes may help health-wise, it's still better to quit completely and give your brain no nicotine at all.

Pretty fractals

You must love these pretty fractals...

With such fantastical coloring (which, in my opinion, is more beautiful than underlying mathematics of the fractals), I was not surprised to learn that the artist has done some fantasy book covers, like covers to The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

This fractal is my favorite.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Spending $8,000 at Burger King

By accident of course... oops!

Color changing card trick

Great trick! Pay attention to those cards... sneaky magicians! I was completely fooled.

By the way, notice the gorilla reference... ha!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Like many a teacher's PowerPoints:

Tighten up the graphics!

Maybe I shoulda gone to college here:

Shigeru Miyamoto

Miyamoto's approach to game design is certainly very different from his peers, but he is hopeful that other game developers will lean towards their creativity rather than constantly worrying about the risks associated with the video game business.

It's a bit sad to think that the entire reason I'm studying computer science here in college is because I wanted to design computer games. I still want to, but not as much as I spend my free time nowadays writing or reading about music or literature more than anything else. Eh... too early in life to say something like "I coulda been a contender" though, isn't it? I can't say I care much for computers now, though.

Google command lines

For reference... just in case I ever need it.

3D Printers

Wow, this would be awesome!

But... get ready for plastic toy piracy!

AI will surpass human intelligence after 2020

Um... yeah, great prediction! Just sometime after 2020? Hmmm, seems like you're going out on a limb there, I mean, after 2020 that just leaves, what, centuries? Are you sure you don't want to say before 2020? Well, whatever, it's your integrity that's at stake, not mine...

Sleepless Nights

According to the article:

Scientists have found a way to turn on deep sleep at will using a machine that magnetically stimulates the brain.

A device worn on the head could in squeeze the benefit of eight hours' sleep into just two or three hours.

Wow, I would love that... there'd be so many more hours in the day. Unfortunately my guess is that health problems might arise from extended use though... of course the brain needs to sort through memories and do whatever it does when we sleep, but what about the rest of the body? Surely the rest of the body benefits from a good night's sleep as well, it's not just the brain that needs it. And what about dreaming? You gotta have those... actually, if scientists could develop a way to put you into sleep and then somehow get you lucid in a dream, that would be extremely addicting. It would probably give me great ideas for novels and music as well.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Camera flashes reveal scenes in 3D

Umeda has not devoted much thought to potential applications, but says the system could perhaps be used to automatically pick out people in an image, by distinguishing them from the background.

That would be an interesting use... perhaps if similar technology were used in motion picture camera, it could replace the need for blue or green screens? It might make a lot of special effects easier to create.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Mathematicians Design Invisible Tunnel

Call it Harry Potter's invisible sleeve. New calculations show how to make an electromagnetic "wormhole"—a tube that is invisible from the sides but allows light to shine down the center.

Well... ok... good luck with that!

Magic glasses

For $89 I'd rather not impress my friends...

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Insects get pied

Conan at ILM

The taste of salt

I just wanted to say, sometimes the taste of salt is desired on food, and sometimes the taste of sugar is desired. Sometimes the taste of sugar is desired in a drink (high fructose corn syrup), but the taste of salt is never desired in a drink. That would be disgusting. It would be like drinking tears, which would make you cry. Don't drink salt. Only put it on fries and chicken. Mmmm, I haven't had some good chicken in a while, I want chicken. I want cookies with M&Ms inside.

I did #28!

Manage your time!

I wish I could actually do some of this stuff! I do like #22 though. I also like #28:

Defeat perfectionism by completing your task in an intentionally terrible fashion, knowing you need never share the results with anyone. Write a blog post about the taste of salt, design a hideously dysfunctional web site, or create a business plan that guarantees a first-year bankruptcy. With a truly horrendous first draft, there’s nowhere to go but up.

Vibrating Window Negates Noise

It looks like it's currently too much trouble to be of any real use, but interesting nonetheless. Is it even desirable though? It may help shut up noisy dogs, but what about that poor woman getting stabbed and those guys shooting at each other? Who's going to notice on the other side of noise-cancelling windows?

In the Ender's Game series (or at least the Bean series, or whatever it's called), characters sometimes have these noise-cancelling devices which allow their conversations to be private from lurking recording technology, although they can some how still hear each other. I suppose it's technically possible, but such devices have to be pretty darn precise, and I reckon that precision is currently a bit out of reach.

I think. Maybe. I'm not a scientist in this area. But if there was a device I could sneak into an orchestra of movie theater that could suddenly make everyone deaf... well, that would be funny.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Da Vinci's secret music

It's like a puzzle from a Myst game... I was hoping a secret door might open or something.