Science!

Robot gecko rights itself as it falls through the air

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IEEE Spectrum reports on a UC Berkeley robot gecko that uses biology-inspired three dimensional analytical models to right itself as it falls through the air, kind of like a cat, but more like lizards, of course, which can use the heavy weight of their tales to twist themselves right in mid air (and very much unlike me when I was five years old fell from the top of the playground and got a damn bloody nose).

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Tech

Five impressive Kinect hacks

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Not even a month into it’s life and the Kinect is already proving to be an exciting new device for makers, designers, and DIY gamers. After electronics supplier Adafruit Technologies placed a $3000 bounty on cracking the device and Héctor Martin claimed the prize, the Internet has been abuzz with demonstrations that illustrate the device’s potential. Though the best is certainly yet to come, we’ve compiled a list of the 5 hacks that most piqued our interest.


Personal robotics designers Willow Garage (featured video) seem to be quickly developing ways in which the Kinect can move from games to more altruistic endeavors. A robotic appendage that mimics the user’s own movements, built on open-source software and available to the general public could revolutionize the home robotics industry.

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One Response to “Five impressive Kinect hacks”

  1. avatar TM says:

    I don’t have an XBox, but I’m excited to see what they come up with. Even more excited to see what Nintendo’s response is gonna be…

TV
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The Walking Dead continues to rake in viewers

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The third episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead, which we kinda-sorta panned, nevertheless received 5.1 million viewers, according to the Hollywood Reporter. We can only hope that even more viewers tuned in for Sunday night’s episode, “Vatos,” because that was actually pretty damn good.

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First pictures from the set of HBO’s Game of Thrones are gritty, true to the original series

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Entertainment Weekly has posted an exclusive slideshow of photos from HBO’s The Game of Thrones. Television or film adaptations of great works of fiction always leave fans a little anxious — the filmmakers have just one shot to get it right, after all. Judging from these production stills, however, it at least seems like the visual direction is on the right track — it doesn’t look like a fantasy series, but like a gritty work of historical fiction, just like Martin’s books read. We are fingers-crossed optimistic that this series will, also like Martin’s books, reinvent the genre, this time on TV.

From EW:

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else {

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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Janitors, male nurses, and old people are the most likely to survive a zombie apocalypse, and other revelations in last night’s episode of The Walking Dead, “Vatos”

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On last night’s The Walking Dead, the show took a sharp turn from the mediocrity of the past two episodes, ending with a bloody human zombie massacre that brought the series back to the excitement of the premier.

We dissect the positives and negatives below, where once again we tabulate the series’ progress with Romero Points (see explanation below).

Here goes. Hold on to your zombie-gut shirts:

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4 Responses to “Janitors, male nurses, and old people are the most likely to survive a zombie apocalypse, and other revelations in last night’s episode of The Walking Dead, “Vatos””

  1. avatar Rhe Hill says:

    Crossbow kills over axe hacking?!

    Anyways, I sort of liked the twist with the vatos, well, cholos really, solely because it did address something most zombie movies don’t touch on: old people. The fact that they were left behind by their families really shows that true end-of-the-world mentality that I think this series is trying to portray. Luckily, their gangster grandchildren/nephews/etc., stayed to save them. (Where were the girls?) I agree with giving that ending 2,000 points. Blood, death, and screaming ftw.

    Oh, what happened to that guy and his son in the first episode?

  2. avatar Kevin Morris says:

    The guy and the kid are supposedly headed to Atlanta as well, which is one reason why Grimes wanted to pick up the gun bag–it also had the CB for communicating with them. My guess is they come back next season.

    So I’ll agree that I like what the Vatos subplot addressed, but I still dislike how it played out. There are a few things in the series that are so improbable that they’re distracting, and this was one of them.

  3. avatar Kevin Morris says:

    Oh, and I prefer crossbows just because it’s an almost delicate way to kill the zombies. Every other way is gruesomely brutal.

  4. avatar Rhe Hill says:

    That is true. There are a lot of improbable moments in this series. Hopefully they’ll get their stuff together next season.

    Hmm. I guess an axe does require being close to the geeks. That’s what they’re calling them right? Did they ever address why?

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Futurama Holiday Spectacular reprises Al Gore, Kwanzaa-bot

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After a month of no new episodes, Futurama has returned with its last episode of the year. “Futurama Holiday Spectacular” worked in several elements the season has been missing so far: a three-story episode, musical sequences, Robot Santa and Kwanzaa-bot (voiced by Coolio).

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Films

Sunday Web Short: “ARK” by Grzegorz Jonkajtys

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Grzegorz Jonkajtys is an immensely talented animator and director. The above short film, ARK, is not perfect, but it is certainly gorgeous.

From Vimeo:

An unknown virus has destroyed almost the entire human population. Oblivious to the true nature of the disease, the only remaining survivors escape to the sea. In great ships, they set off in search of uninhabited land. So begins the exodus, led by one man …

I’d love to see more of the pre-twist ending part of this story — and less of the twist. In fact, I’d be fine with no twist.

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Manbirds explained in latest Ugly Americans

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The season 1 finale of Ugly Americans focuses on yet another undead-American phenomenon that makes this world’s NYC unique: the winter manbird migration.

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3 Responses to “Manbirds explained in latest Ugly Americans

  1. avatar Kevin Morris says:

    Nice ass shot, Tiago.

    I’ve only seen about four episodes so far. But I thought it was alright. I kind of liked the ending. There’s not even an attempt at saccharine banality with this show, even when dealing with innocent, Danny Boy-singing man-bird toddlers.

  2. avatar asshat says:

    Suck My Balls!

  3. avatar suck my balls says:

    Funniest cartoon episode I have seen in the last five years. It was absolutely genius. C’mon, “suck my balls” and cock fighting! Man… suck my balls, suck….. my balls.

Communities
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Handshake’s Community Spotlight segment kicks off with Fractal Forums

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We are very pleased to announce the first in what we hope to be an ongoing series chronicling geeky communities all over the web. Check out our Community Spotlight on Fractal Forum and stand in awe of the amazing images that members of this community share with each other.

Oh, and if you know or are part of an online community you’d like for us to cover in our segment, please don’t hesitate to drop us a line either in the comments or via email.

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