Archive for October, 2010

3 awesome depictions of the golem in art [Video]

31 Oct
Halloween is here, and although Frankenstein get all the press, we're going to showcase a lesser known (but no less distinguished) manmade man: the golem! Here are some portrayals of this Hebrew homunculus in film, comics, and music. More »

Hundred Year Starship Initiative plans to put people on Mars by 2030, bring them back by… well, never (video)

31 Oct
For a while now, there has been a conversation going on in certain circles (you know, space circles): namely, if the most prohibitive part of a manned flight to Mars would be the return trip, why bother returning at all? And besides the whole "dying alone on a hostile planet 55-million-plus kilometers from your family, friends, and loved ones" thing, we think it's a pretty solid consideration. This is just one of the topics of discussion at a recent Long Now Foundation event in San Francisco, where NASA Ames Research Center Director Pete Worden discussed the Hundred Year Starship Initiative, a project NASA Ames and DARPA are undertaking to fund a mission to the red planet by 2030. Indeed if the space program "is now really aimed at settling other worlds," as Worden said, what better way to encourage a permanent settlement than the promise that there will be no coming back -- unless, of course, they figure out how to return on their own. Of course, it's not like they're being left to die: the astronauts can expect supplies from home while they figure out how to get things up and running. As Arizona State University's Dr. Paul Davies, author of a recent paper in Journal of Cosmology, writes, "It would really be little different from the first white settlers of the North American continent, who left Europe with little expectation of return." Except with much less gravity. See Worden spout off in the video after the break.

Continue reading Hundred Year Starship Initiative plans to put people on Mars by 2030, bring them back by... well, never (video)

Hundred Year Starship Initiative plans to put people on Mars by 2030, bring them back by... well, never (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 31 Oct 2010 03:03:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Robocop Kid Hits Detroit City

30 Oct

So cute story... Point me to the author, please!


Dead Drops preview

30 Oct




Aram Bartholl writes:

I am pleased to preview 'Dead Drops' a new project which I started off as part of my ongoing EYEBEAM residency in NYC the last couple weeks. 'Dead Drops' is an anonymous, offline, peer to peer file-sharing network in public space. I am 'injecting' USB flash drives into walls, buildings and curbs accessable to anybody in public space. You are invited to go to these places (so far 5 in NYC) to drop or find files on a dead drop. Plug your laptop to a wall, house or pole to share your files and date. Each dead drop contains a readme.txt file explaining the project. 'Dead Drops' is still in progress, to be continued here and in more cities. Full documentation, movie, map and 'How to make your own dead drop' manual coming soon!

In the meanwhile drop some files here!

87 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY (Makerbot)
Empire Fulton Ferry Park, Brooklyn, NY (Dumbo)
235 Bowery, NY (New Museum)
Union Square, NY (Subway Station 14th St)
West 21st Street, NY (Eyebeam)

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She Doesn’t Look Like Much, But She’s Got It Where It Counts

29 Oct

funny car photos - She Doesn't Look Like Much, But She's Got It Where It Counts

Submitted by: Unknown


American Pie: Sex, Teens, And Parents

29 Oct


Rachael Phelps argues that the European view of sex is healthier. She notes that in both Europe and America "the age at which most people start having sex is 17," but that teen pregnancy "rates in the United States are three to six times higher than in Western European countries" and that "gonorrhea and chlamydia rates are 20 to 30 times higher here than in the Netherlands" One major cultural difference:

In the United States, sex is generally kept secret from parents.

In a 2004 study, [Dutch-American sociologist Dr. Amy Schalet ] asked parents: "Would you permit your son or daughter to spend the night with a girlfriend or boyfriend in his or her room at home?" Not surprisingly, nine out of 10 American parents said, no, often adding, "Not under my roof!" ... According to Schalet, Dutch parents struggle with their teens' emerging sexuality, but they deal with it by bringing the issue out into the open and into the home, where they can supervise. Nine out of 10 Dutch parents told Schalet they have allowed or would allow a romantic sleepover under the right circumstances: With a child who was 16 or older and in a loving committed relationship that the parents observed develop gradually. It is common for Dutch teens to sit down together with each set of parents to discuss why they think they're ready to have sex, and to seek permission.

The first time they had sex, 64 percent of Dutch teens used birth control, compared with only 26 percent of American teens. Most of the time, the Dutch teens used pills. Think about it for a minute: The majority of Dutch teens are making an appointment, going to a clinic, getting a prescription filled and starting birth control before they have sex.

(Hat tip: Cohn)

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Sarah Palin's Facebook page hacked.

29 Oct
From the Daily Beast:

The vertical message that ran down the left side on Glenn Beck's Facebook page the night of October 14 read clear as that evening's sky: "K-E-E-P F-E-A-R A-L-I-V-E." It was a reference to Stephen Colbert’s March to Keep Fear Alive, a gathering organized in faux-competition with this weekend’s Rally to Restore Sanity, headlined by Jon Stewart.

Minutes after the first message appeared, the same letters, in the same order, began turning up on the fan pages of FOX News', Sarah Palin, and hilariously, Justin Bieber. Each letter was displayed in the space where a profile picture would normally be, next to a posted comment. As each Facebook user posted their comments in the right order, the message came to life.

Seeing the unauthorized messages pop up on their feeds, the page administrators began furiously scrubbing the pages. Palin's message lasted almost an hour. Beck's was gone in just one minute.

You know I am not usually a fan of sabotage or hacking people's webpages, but I have to admit THAT is pretty funny!  I think it is especially funny that the professionals working on Beck's page handled the problem in minutes, where as Palin's bunch of amateurs took the better part of an hour.


Privatized prisons in Arizona helped draft laws to send people to prison

28 Oct
news-releases.jpg The story of industries paying lobbyists to influence legislation that benefits their business is nothing new—but what about when that industry is a privately-owned and operated prison system?

NPR reports that Arizona Senate Bill 1070 (PDF), the immigration bill that requires anyone who can't produce papers proving they are in the country legally to be arrested, was drafted with the help and influence of Arizona's private prison companies.

"According to Corrections Corporation of America reports reviewed by NPR, executives believe immigrant detention is their next big market. Last year, they wrote that they expect to bring in "a significant portion of our revenues" from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency that detains illegal immigrants."
Prison Economics Help Drive Ariz. Immigration Law - NPR


10 Flash Things You Can’t Do With HTML5

28 Oct

You could almost hear the collective gasp when Apple announced that it was no longer going to be supporting Flash on its upcoming devices. Like a scene from Monty Python’s Holy Grail, it seemed the bell had tolled for Flash and designers and developers were going to be dragged into the street to await the body wagon.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The reality is that Flash is far from dead..

..and if one listens carefully I think you can hear developers whispering “I feel happy.” So with HTML5 adoption still a way off, what are some things that Flash can do better than HTML5? Come along as we showcase 10 examples from the ActiveDen marketplace demonstrating why Flash is not quite dead.

1. HTML 5 can’t interact with a webcam.

With privacy and security concerns at the forefront, it’s unlikely that HTML5 will support webcam interaction any time soon. Augmented Reality Surprise Cake gives a good idea of what can be done with Flash’s webcam integration.

2. HTML5 video cannot be used on a 3D plane.

Along with snakes, HTML5 video cannot be used on a plane. 3D, like joke telling, is better left to the experts. XML 3D Video Showcase shows what you can do with a few images and Flash’s powerful 3D engine.

3. HTML5 cannot record audio from your microphone.

While there may be plans in motion for HTML5 to support audio recording from your microphone, currently the best option is to use Flash. Sound Recorder shows how easy it is to record WAV files from your computer’s microphone.

4. HTML5 cannot do any sort of web conferencing.

Who doesn’t want to see their coworkers’ smiling faces during their next online conference? Since video streaming is not part of HTML5’s core standard, you’ll have to use Flash to make sure your coworkers are not working in their underwear on their head (I’m looking at you Roger!) Web Video Conference is a web-based application that allows you to create multiple rooms for audio and video conferencing.

5. HTML5 cannot add dynamic objects to go over the video, like captions, titles, or navigational items.

Feel like localizing your next video for a foreign audience? While Safari 5 has recently added the ability to add captions to your HTML5 video, Sequential XML Playlist Video Player shows what can be done with not only captions but also titles and navigational items in Flash.

6. HTML5 cannot record from your webcam.

It may go without saying that since HTML5 can’t interact with your webcam that it also can’t do any recording from your webcam. You’ll have to use Flash and an application like Record Camera To FLV to record all the crazy things your cat does while you’re at work.

7. HTML5 cannot create desktop apps.

I know what you’re thinking “HTML5 is for the web so of course it doesn’t do desktop apps. Duh!” Well let me just say this – you are absolutely correct. And why do you have to be so angry all the time? Desktop Reader App is just one of the many desktop apps that can be put together within Flash.

8. HTML5 can’t handle video with alpha channels.

Ahh alpha channels. You have to be one of my favorite types of channels. This fireSmoke file gives you a glimpse at what you can do with animations and alpha channels.

9. HTML5 doesn’t yet support Peer-2-Peer.

While P2P is in the HTML5 spec, it hasn’t been turned on in any of the browsers yet. Flash has built in P2P frameworks that help you share all your beautiful files with the world. Multi User File Sharing System is just one of the many P2P apps available.

10. HTML5 Doesn’t do Full Screen Mode.

Who doesn’t love a full screen? If you want to put your widescreen monitor to its best use, you’ll have to use Flash since HTML5 currently stops browsers from going into full screen mode. .Full Browser Flash Image Viewer with Video Player. shows what can be done when you have the full screen to work with.

Wrapping Up

While none of us are rabid Flash fanbois (except for Lance, maybe), we thought you would like to take a closer look at what’s currently not possible with HTML5. Of course, you could make the case that it’s me who should be dragged out into the street and left for dead. But after all, isn’t that what comment forms are made for? =)


Vintage Star Wars travel posters

27 Oct
Well, I've been sitting on these for two years now (that is far too long) and since then I've seen every kind of Star Wars mash up imaginable (but hope to see some more creative ones in the future). I say "since then" because I really wasn't looking too hard before I completed these.

They are very much inspired by some of the vintage travel posters of the early 20th century.

These were done in association with a website in order to have them printed. That website is still working on making that a reality. I'm crossing my fingers for a quick resolve. So, for now they are just here to look at.

I decided I couldn't wait any longer to show them. With the release of the art book Star Wars: Visions, and everyone else sharing their awesome Star Wars inspired art, I wanted to throw mine into the web mix.

There are eight in all and you can see all of them together here.

If interested and you want to know when they will be available, please leave a comment and I'll get back to you. Thanks.