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Playing Pi. Just ’cause.

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Ever wondered what π (Pi) would sound like as a song? Of course you haven’t. But musician Michael Blake of Quebec Antique plays his musical interpretation of the mathematical constant up to 31 decimal places in this here video. Basically, his sheet music looks like this: 3.1415926535897932384626433832795.

Using a piano, a bell set, an accordion, and his own hands, Blake takes the majors and minors at 157 beats per minute to further demonstrate the correlation between math and music. And for those of you who hated math as much as I did, 157 beats per minutes is coincidently 314 divided by two.

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Forget St.Valentine — Happy Gandalf Day, everyone!

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While many happy couples are going out tonight to celebrate some dude’s decapitation in the third century, many Lord of the Rings nerds may choose to celebrate instead the day that Gandalf was reborn after falling in the abyss.

Here is what Tolkien said happened today in the history of Middle-Earth:

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Art Project brings masterpieces in for a close-up

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Art enthusiasts can now get geeky with Google’s new art experience. Or maybe Google wants computer types to get cultured from the comfort of their own wireless networks.

The latest Google offering, Art Project, takes viewers inside 17 museums in the U.S. and Europe. They can view art from an inside-the-museum perspective or in a slideshow.

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A Google Doodle for Jules Verne

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In commemoration of Mr. Jules Verne’s 183rd birthday, Google’s logo acts as the portholes of Nautilus today. The author of 20,000 Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and A Journey to the Center of the Earth, Verne is credited as a Father of Science Fiction, along with the great H.G. Wells, whose birthday was also celebrated by Google, and Hugo Gernsback. The 1954 motion picture adaptation of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea also marked Disney’s entrance to the science fiction genre with a bang, surpassing the production costs of Gone with the Wind.

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The candid Stephen Colbert

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So earlier this year, the good folks at reddit helped raise money for the DonorsChoose rally. Stephen Colbert promised to chat with them and answer some questions if they reached a certain amount. They did. So he talked.

Most Colbert fans know that, behind the character he plays on The Colbert Report, Stephen is an intelligent, insightful and often fascinating man. Of course, he’s also funny. Funny and intellectual go a long way toward helping folks become more informed – it’s easier to digest facts with a dose of humor, which probably goes a long way toward Colbert’s popularity.

The casual interview on reddit features the man behind the character, and contains some great stuff like:

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A steampunk record player

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Youtube user asciimation created a record player that runs on steam.

This is a small steam engine I made, mainly from bits of junk around my garage, playing a Sex Pistols punk LP. The engine speed is controlled by a throttle being driven from a servo controlled by an Arduino. The RPMs are measured by a coil detecting the passing of six magnets in the edge of the platter and the approximate revs are displayed on an analogue meter. I am using the PID controller library to do the work out how to control the servo based on the input speed. The safety valve is making the whistling noise at the start as steam pressure is built up. A small flick of the platter will start the engine and then the Arduino takes over trying to maintain 33 1/3 RPM. At the end the meths burner runs out of fuel so the steam pressure, and therefore the speed, drops. You can see the Arduino trying to throttle up to maintain the speed right at the end.

Read more about the project at asciimation’s blog.

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@GaryJBusey becomes @NotGaryBusey after Twitter suspends the parody account due to a “valid impersonation report”

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@garyjbusey is back.

For almost six hours on Monday, the infamous Twitter account was suspended because of a “valid impersonation report.” The suspension caused a Twitter uproar and resulted in some speedy changes to the account, said Pauly Casillas, one of the contributors.

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Twitter temporarily suspends @GaryJBusey because of “valid impersonation report”

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Tracy Jordan once said that celebrity deaths come in threes. Today he was proven right.

Leslie Nielsen, Irvin Kershner and now, @garyjbusey.

Today Twitter officially suspended the @garyjbusey account because they received a “valid impersonation report,” said Pauly Casillas, one of the minds behind the account.

The suspension has stirred up some serious support for the famed account. @YourFavWhiteGuy, @Jesus_M_Christ and @Nick_Nolte are only some of Twitter celebs showing their love for the “patron saint of headbutts.”

Here’s some more of what Casillas had to say about the suspension:

Twitter has said that they will activate the account as long as we change two things: The avatar and the username.
As we have been @GaryJBusey for almost two years and also have tweeted our followers to follow @THEGaryBusey out of respect, it seems as that is not enough. Of course, we will follow Twitter’s demands and comply as soon as we can, but you and I both know who the real Not Gary J Busey is.

Check out the #freegaryjbusey hashtag on Twitter for more updates.

And be sure to read our interview with the mad minds behind the account here and here.

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PVC pipe percussionist rocks out with a medley

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It’s hard to think of a more futuristic-looking instrument than Blue Man Group’s PVC Pipe Instrument. Well, out of genuine inspiration snubbyj (aka Kent Jenkins) showcases his own version of the instrument as he shows off his mad skills in medley form in a college talent show. He even hides a link to another YouTube video in this video with the hint “paddle flip.”

After watching this display of awesome, nobody should ever underestimate the might of several chromatically tuned lengths of polyvinyl chloride being played by capable hands. Nobody.

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A Love Letter to Syracuse — Steve Powers

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Steve Powers’ street art project, “A Love Letter to Syracuse,” has been up for a couple of months now. But this is the first time I’ve seen this excellent video of the project.

We at Handshake have more than a middling connection with the Salt City, and it’s great to hear how so few of the residents on the West Side — the poorest part of the city — found anything to dislike about their hometown.

For those unfamiliar with the project, the original press release is copied after the jump.

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