Monday, April 30, 2012

Department of Acquisitions: Atari 400

When I was about seven years old1 or so my parents got my brother an I an Atari 400. With it they got two cartridges: Pacman and BASIC (spelled Basic from here out). The idea being that if we wanted to play anything other than Pacman we'd have to write it ourselves. The idea worked. I got several books with games and some stories that had games dropped in the middle of them. Of course, back then there was Dartmouth Basic, Altair Basic, BBC Basic, Basica, Atari Basic, Apple Basic, GW-Basic, QBasic, Tiny Basic, and who knows how many others. Any book of programs that I'd pick up had games of who knows what Basic that were pretty much guaranteed not to work on our system. So I learned, at the age of eight or so, how to debug other people's programs. What is it they're trying to do? Is my Basic capable of doing that? Then make it so.

At some point ours stopped working and went on a shelf. I took it down years later to open it up and found that all the circuit pathway, which were simply massive, had cracked and boiled. Eventually, I remembered my brother and the neighbor kid using the Atari as part of the structure for their Hot Wheels track to run down. They would also occasionally use speaker magnets instead of Hot Wheels.

Anyway, I got a new one. Two new ones actually. One doesn't display properly, but the seller thinks it should be an easy fix. The other displays, but some games won't play and others lock up the system. But Pacman works!

1 I had previously said five because this system was released in late 1979. I see now that Pacman was released for this system in 1982.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Links: April 27

The DOJ's case against Apple and publishers to fix e-book prices. [link]

Texts from Dog. [link]

Nightmare fodder: a big ass spider eating a big ass snake. [link]

Wind turbine blimp-type thing.

The original Leisure Suit Larry is being remade and modernized with 100% Sierra Games veterans. It's not gonna suck like the last few did.

Which state is the most horrible... politically that is. [link]

"Hot Problems (Hot Girls Have Problems Too)" is the sort of song I'd have expected to hear on Doctor Demento once upon a time. Only then I'd have thought it was written by some professional humor musician and performed by teenaged girls. It's not going to get radio play. I'm not going to stick it in my music collection. But it deserves a listen if only because these two have the drive to make the song and video instead of just talking about it. Someday that drive is going to take them somewhere.

Or maybe I'm being generous and teenaged girls are as persistent and hard to kill as Conan the Bacterium. [link]

Trailer for "I Know That Voice", a documentary about voice actors.

Monsters in cheap paintings. [link]

Penguins: They're just telling Newt what we're all thinking. [link]

Monet could see into the ultraviolet. [link]

Tennis shoes at sea. No, not the Nikes from the famous capsized ship. Other shoes. [link]

If you managed to get those shoes off the sea floor you can send the shoes to Nike for recycling. [link]

A map of massage parlors that do happy endings. [link]

Highlights of two days of a cat attacking it's automatic food dispenser.

Learn to read Korean in 15 minutes. Understanding may take longer. [link]

It's like "300", but there's only 21 of them and they're sikhs. [link]

36 kinds of Pong. [link]

Super cooled liquid helium is some freaky stuff.

Wanna be an asteroid miner? Fill out an application. [link]

They'll even bring the asteroid to you. [link]

A map that tells you about the makeup of a neighborhood. [link]

Lamar billboard company has been poisoning trees. [link]

A can design that could make Pringles work. [link]

Matchbook art. [link]

Chalkboard art from a coffee shop in Illinois. [link]

A study of the cause of brain freeze. [link]

Game: Super Mario Summary - each level abbreviated to one screen. [link]

If Nick Park (the Wallace and Grommit guy) did a Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. [link]
Much better than what Michael Bay has planned.

Why is the word "ye" used instead of "the" in old British stuff.

An attempt to build a working version of the machine from the Animusic video "Pipe Dream".

The original. [link]

Sonic screwdriver - mark I. It's sonic and it screws. [link]

Everybody needs to stop using this picture in movie posters. [link]

What kind of fucked up test question is this? [link]

This would be a much more acceptable dance for a Star Wars video game.

An interesting fish tank. [link]

Alternate Dalek designs. [link]

Pictures of things exploding with a fast camera. [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

Waffle furniture. [link]

I haven't listened to this, but I'm assured that I should. [link]

Obituary for facts. [link]

An essay on the Voyager probes from someone who has been there since the beginning. [link]

10 documentary types that need to go away. [link]

Thursday, April 26, 2012

real estate

I'm debating getting into real estate.

In Baltimore.

Yeah, I thought you might say that. But, look, investing in real estate takes money. I'm better off than some, but I'm not wealthy. Baltimore is home to lots of cheap property. Seriously. LOTS!

These places I'm looking at are in the $5K-10K range. Then I just put a roof on the place and the property value jumps by $50K. A roof and some walls. Maybe some plumbing. And wiring. But I think that I can bring up the value of the homes more than the cost of materials. If not then I'll find out early and cheaply enough that I can get out without losing a fortune. More like a bad weekend in Vegas.

There's a couple of places I think I can rent out fairly easily. I need to clean and paint, but they can be earning me some money to expand my little empire. Each property isn't gonna be making me a fortune, but a bit here and a bit there should add up over time. And if I do a good job I may have a chance at improving some neighborhoods. Maybe. It's not gentrification if the houses weren't habitable in the first place. Nobody gets tossed out.

I've had some ideas other than renovating.
One idea was to buy and level homes. Clear the lot and sell the land sometime down the road. I'm not entirely sure what I would accomplish that way. Baltimore has plenty of parks and vacant lots. I'd just be grabbing cheap land with the hopes of selling it for more someday while not leaving a rotting eyesore that drags down the neighborhood.

There's city blocks where 75-100% of the homes are boarded up. I put some thought into just buying and leveling the whole block. Put in trees, build a decent house in the middle, and you got a respectable neighborhood of one square block. Use the bricks from the homes you tore down to put a wall around the block and you have a super villain fortress without the expense of having to ship everything to your private volcano.

Or take the bricks from the leveled homes and pile them all up in one lot. Make a pyramid. A monument to urban decay!

I had also considered getting these places rezoned properly and then turning them into farms. Fill a row house with hydroponics and grow food to sell at local markets. Then I'd just have to start a local market.

Yummy had talked about making one into a big chicken coop. So long as I could figure out how to control the smell I really like the idea. We wouldn't pack them in tight like a factory farm. It'd be like the chickens on the farm. They get to run around and scratch and have roosts.

Honestly, my biggest problem with this last idea is needing to find somewhere to sell the food. I like my weekends too much to spend them at farmers markets. It's not that Baltimore has a shortage of restaurants and grocery stores. There's just a very unequal distribution. They're all in Fells Point while the rest of the city gets liquor stores that have some food and chinese/indian or pizza/indian take out.1 I'd love to be the guy who sees a shortage of places to eat in his neighborhood and opens a place. Or, in my case, funds a place that others run for him because he doesn't know what the fuck he's doing.

I had considered focusing my land grabs in one area. Buy, fix, rent, and then provide a cheap place for restaurants or shops to increase the value on my properties. But that's a 30 year plan. Just in time for me to cash out, I suppose.

Have a virtual stroll down these blocks. Tell me this block doesn't need some work. I just don't think these houses will ever be worth the value of the materials needed to bring them up to the level of "slum".

View Larger Map

Tell me that you could live here without a security system that's worth more than the house.
This isn't where hope goes to die. It's where her body was dumped after they beat her to death.

View Larger Map

These are NOT the areas I'm looking at. Maybe down the road, if I ever have the money, I might look at somewhere like that as a project. But I'd be just as likely to raze the area and plant trees as I would be to try to resurrect the area. I'm not asking for a Starbucks, but maybe McDonalds would stop avoiding the area.

1 Baltimore city law requires all eateries to serve indian food in addition to their regular cuisine. Well, I don't know this for a fact, but it stands to reason. Why else would damn near every place we go have an indian section to their menu?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sod Off Wednesday: April 25

My house can sod off because I don't have a place to put this old fridge I found for sale.
My phone can sod off for taking such crap photos.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Movie Review: Mirror, Mirror

What is with fairy tale stuff these days? We've got "Mirror, Mirror" in theaters with "Snow White and the Huntsman" coming soon, as well as "Grimm" and "Once Upon a Time" on TV.  What bizarre alignment of planets caused this Mother Goose pile up? Rhetorical question. I with draw it.

SPOILER ALERT! I will be talking about some of the things that made this movie different from every other Snow White story.

It's pretty predictable really. It's a Snow White movie. Even if they made Snow White the villain it wouldn't really be anything new. That isn't to say they didn't try. There were a few elements I hadn't seen before.

I want to give props to them for Snow White's eyebrows. Too much has been made of eyebrows in general and plucking has gotten out of control. Too many actresses looking at their stuff from 10-15 years before and fussing over how big their perfectly normal looking eyebrows were. Yes, a unibrow is not attractive, but the plucker needs to remember that Sharpies do not make for good eyebrow substitutes. Snow has more eyebrow that we're used to anymore and it looks good.

The face in the mirror is the same as the evil queen. It does add an element of her talking to herself, an id and ego thing, that you don't get when some vaguely menacing middle eastern man is looking out. I'm not sure why it seemed to get paler as the movie went on.

The marionette warriors were a nice touch. They came for Snow and the dwarves. We immediately see what they are and how to defeat them, but they're clever and I like how they moved like, well, marionettes.

The Bollywood ending was a surprise. Not sure why since it's right there in the trailer. I'm wondering if it was the idea of Indian director Tarsem Singh or if the studio wanted it put in to try to cash in on uptick in movie rentals by people who want to see the Bollywood musicals.

You don't see many asian dwarves in movies. Now you can say you have.

And if we have Julia Roberts you have to have her crazy laugh. It probably has it's own makeup people.
Just eat the fat guy trying to protect his can of shaving cream and leave the rest of us alone, lady.

The movie itself? It felt like it was started by Terry Gilliam and passed off to someone more acceptable to Disney film makers. It's like elements of the kind of strange Gilliam does remained after someone else tried to make it more silly and someone else tried to make it sweet. Still, it's safe to take your kids to, which I don't think we'll be able to say about the movie with the huntsman.

I enjoyed the movie, and wouldn't object if someone puts in the DVD sometime down the road. But I won't be providing the DVD.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Department of Acquisitions: PacMan

The Dougintology Technology Museum has come into possession of some spiffy things recently. Pictured here is the glass from an old upright Pac-man arcade machine.
Now I need to build a light box to hold it and light it up.

Gobbled up from Ebay.

It came from something very much like this.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Links: April 20

Computer issues have resulted in a lot fewer links this week. Sorry.

Many of the greatest breakthroughs in recent medical history are due to one woman who has what appear to be immortal cells. [link]

You've heard of people smoking banana peels, right? This is why. [link]

A brief history of heroin as medication. [link]

Plastic eating fungus. [link]
Now, just to freak you out a bit, imagine if this fungus,  or a hardy relative of it, got out in the rest of the world. Imagine this stuff getting into our household wiring and go from there.

Just because he's David Tennant.

Tennant again, recording the voice of Charles Darwin for the upcoming "The Pirates!" movie.

The source code for the Apple ][ version of Prince of Persia has been released for download. [link]

A kitten watching the Pixar short "For the Birds".

The guards are no match for the hero.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Rescue sparrow: lessons learned

Yummy found another sparrow to rescue. It was being very loud and when she went to investigate she found a recently hatched sparrow on the ground. We couldn't find a nest in the nearby trees so the ugly little thing needed to be taken home. But what to feed it at 10:00 at night when all the pet stores are closed? Not everyone has an eyedropper lying around the house. Research indicated that it should be fed something high in protein. Hard cat or dog food softened to mush with milk or water was recommended. They also suggested cutting one end of a popsicle stick down to 1/8 of an inch to serve it up. Yummy wasn't able to get the cat food totally mushed, but it did become soft. She served it up on the blunt end of a shish kebob skewer. And the bird gobbled it right down. The people at the rescue where she dropped the birdie off yesterday morning said the milk was a bad idea. They say the baby bird's stomach is too sensitive for milk. But it has thus far lived through two nights indoors so something is going right.

I should mention how Yummy's conures reacted to her bringing in a baby sparrow. They heard the chirps and became very interested. They started acting differently. Almost paternal. They already feed each other. She felt that Rosie wanted to feed the sparrow. If she wasn't afraid that the sparrow might have some disease or parasite she would have given it over to the conures to care for.

The cat heard the sparrow and had to come investigate this new horror that had been introduced to the house. Upon meeting it face to face Seamus returned to his food dish.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sod Off Wednesday: April 18

I came across this picture some time ago and promptly lost it. I'd been looking for it ever since. What you're looking at is a a listing of how much value each dollar of stimulus puts into the economy. 

So tax cuts for everyone pay off a lot more than tax cuts for the rich. Probably because the rich get to spend what they want and extra money won't change that. Their refund is just another number in the bank and is taken out of circulation. 
Tax cuts for others usually gets spent either on paying down debt or gets blown like they won a smallish lottery. That money stays in circulation by paying for goods which then goes toward salaries of staff who then respend it on other stuff, and around and around. Eventually it goes back toward the company owners and taxes, but before then a dollar has done more than a dollar's worth of work.

Investments in infrastructure not only gets an improved infrastructure which benefits pretty much everyone, but also has the money going into the pockets of the workers. Again, the workers spend it and the money circulates. 

Alright, sure, but unemployment benefits? Food stamps?
An unemployed person with an address is worth more, economically, than a homeless person. It costs less to help a person keep their home than it does to get them a new home once they're on the streets. And when the unemployed person gets a new job they get money circulating and pay taxes back to the government. In the long run the unemployed person pays back to the government what was given and then some. The homeless person, lacking an address and everything else that comes with having a home, has a significantly harder time getting a job. The investment required to get a homeless person back up to where they were before they lost their job is significantly higher and harder to repay than the person who was simply unemployed.  

What I've said here is seriously simplified and we've all heard people on different sides of the political spectrum argue the points. That's why I like the chart. It show there is a real world way of evaluating the value of the programs and which ones are worth a damn. This chart tells the supporters of Supply Side Economics (a.k.a. Reaganomics, Voodoo Economics, Trickle Down Economics, Fuck-You-I'm-Rich Economics) that they can all sod off. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Movie Review: 21 Jump Street

I was not a fan of the original "21 Jump Street" TV series. To be fair, I don't think I ever watched a full episode. But pretty much everything I heard about it made it another "90210"-type show mixed with about the worst cop show ever. The fact that it was a hit with every girl in school did little to change this image with me. This was a show to actively avoid. Yummy, however, was a teenaged girl when it was on the air so she fit their demographic exactly and loved the show.

When we heard there was a "21 Jump Street" movie our reactions matched what we thought of the original series. She was excited, I felt great dread. When we saw a poster in the movie theater saying that it would  star Jonah Hill our opinions changed. Yummy felt dread while I felt a completely new kind of dread.

Then we saw the trailer.

Holy shit. This movie could be good. Nothing like the original, but really funny.

And it was. Holy shit, I haven't laughed so hard at a movie in years.

It does a good job of setting up an odd couple/buddy cop movie with a high school back story that makes you like and give a damn about them. Then, going back to high school gives them a second chance to get it right while their real job gets in the way. Alright, it's a huge cliche, but they really did do a good job with it. I'd say it's on par with what "Avatar" did with the soldier joins the natives against the evil white developers trope. It helps that for each cliche they exploit they take another one and destroy it. The biggest of which is that popularity is a formula that can be exploited to make anyone popular.

It doesn't matter whether you liked or hated the original, you're going to love this movie.

I'm glad I saw it. I look forward to the sequel. I will be getting it on DVD.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Department of Acquisitions: punch card printing plate

The Dougintology Technology Museum has come into possession of some spiffy things recently. Pictured here us a printing plate for punchcards. You remember your parents or professors talking about writing programs on hundreds, if not thousands, of punch cards and then dropping them and spending a couple of hours putting them in the right order? These aren't them. This particular plate printed punch cards that stored customer order data. It has fields for Product Code, Product Description, Customer Number, Order Number, and on like that. Then there's numbers 0-9 and other numbers at the bottom numbering the columns 1-80.
Now that I've noted the number of columns, I wonder if the fact that these had 80 columns helped determine the width of the dumb terminals that followed or if it was just a coincidence.

Aluminum punch card printing plate for Canadian Industries Ltd. 

In the background you can see Gandolf trying to stay clear of this new menace.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Links: April 13

An article about divers for nuclear reactors. [link]

Recommendations of quality textbooks on various subjects. They're also looking for suggestions. [link]

An article about "Adventure Game Studio" a programming language for designing adventure games. [link]
Download the software. [link]

51% of internet traffic is non-human. [link]

Errors and fallacies of logical thinking. [link]

Game: The Dark Room - sort of like a Choose Your Own Adventure game but with some head yelling at you. [link]

Yep, it really was an extra warm March. [link]

How to avoid bad children's books. [link]

Using Python to build a squirrel shooting auto-turret.

"Titanic" in SUPER 3D!

PAC-MAC: The Fan Film

Matt Groening talks about how he created The Simpsons and where Springfield is located in his mind. [link]

"Skate 3" has some issues with it's physics and clipping.

Bobcat Goldthwait is not dead. And he recently did an AMA on Reddit. [link]

In 1968 an American gold medal winner raised his fist in a Black Power salute when he was receiving his medal. This article talks about that event and how the guy feels about it today. [link]

Woman Picking Fruit in stock photo endorses Al Franken. [link]

After hearing many complaints about the John Derbyshire article I had to hunt it down. Yep. The man is definitely racist. The problem is, if this were published in The Onion instead of a serious magazine, this would be considered satire. [link]

Looking for strong female characters in literature for your kids? Check this list. [link]

Kickstarter allows people to help fund startups, but not invest in startups. Investments by small timers like you and I is illegal. Or, it was. This bill changed that. [link]

Excellent pictorial guide to how this guy made a pipe. [link]

How to make a proper Frito Pie. [link]

You'll want to watch the first 10 seconds of this video. The rest has some good bike stunt work, but the first 10 seconds is the best. [link]

How to whistle with your fingers. [link]

As the ice melts separate arctic species are meeting and merging. [link]

Do not listen to while operating heavy machinery. [article] [song]

A brief history of subversive video remixes. [link]

I wrote a post that I hope to take live next week, but I sent it off for an expert to review. I dropped what I wrote into a writing analysis program called I Write Like. It claims I write like Isaac Asimov.
The bit I wrote about the Baltimore food desert is apparently more like Stephen King.
The Science Friday post? Arthur C Clarke.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


"...tree pollen counts he found in February that were 365 grains per cubic meter, up from 2.88 a year prior." [link]

So, um, meds are ... big? ... words ...

Um, so... stuff.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sod Off Wednesday: April 11

Taxes went in the mail yesterday. The IRS can sod off... just as soon as they cut me a check.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Movie Review: Wrath of the Titans

I wasn't thrilled with the "Clash of the Titans" remake. Even the "RELEASE THE KRACKEN!!!" line, the climax of the movie, was a bit of a let down after the trailers. So I wasn't sure how much I wanted to see a sequel to that movie. It turns out that "Wrath of the Titans" was better than "Clash of the Titans". Of course, I kept mixing up "Clash of the Titans" with "Immortals" which basically told the same story.

In "Wrath of the Titans" the gods have the problem that their power wanes as people stop worshiping them. If their power goes all the things they did with their power comes undone. That and they die. One of the big things that will come undone is the prison holding Cronos. Cronos is the the Titan that sired Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Hades, etc. Zeus is recruiting all the gods and demigods to come help fight Cronos. Perseus is one of the demigods he needs the most help from. Of course, it would be a story if Cronos hadn't offered deals to some of the gods to provide them with immortality that wasn't based on human worship so long as they helped him escape.

Will I get it on DVD? Probably not. But I will greet a third movie with more enthusiasm.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Friday Links: April 6

The movie police need to confiscate Star Wars from George Lucas before he can screw it up anymore.

No, George, we're not buying it. Just stop. We're not letting you hurt Star Wars anymore.

Here, go mess with Adam Sandler. His last movie won every single category at the Razzies. You can't possibly screw that up any worse. [link]

This guy. He could teach George a bit about story telling.

A collection of this year's online April Fools jokes. [link]

Excerpt from an oral history of Siskel and Ebert. It's got some great gags and insults. [link]

Excerpts from the idiot files of an HR person. [link]

Dinosaur penguin. [link]

8th graders NEED to fail this test. [link]

The GOP war on women. If you don't want to read the whole thing then jump to the last paragraph of page 4 and go from there. [link]

Awhile back I linked to an episode of "This American Life" where some guy talked about going to China and visiting the plants that make Apple products. Unfortunately, he made a lot of it up. So this whole episode of "This American Life" was dedicated to retracting that previous episode. [link]

On a lighter note, Rob Reid, who I'm told is like a modern Tom Lehrer, has an interesting TED analyzing the claims of the cost of video and music piracy.

Meanwhile, people in Hollywood are wondering why people are so opposed to letting them wreck the internet. [link]

Between Monty Python and Faulty Towers John Cleese was in a sketch comedy show called Les Sez. Here are some clips. [link]

Dee Snider of Twisted Sister has a new album of showtunes coming out. Listen to his take on "I Get a Kick Out of You" at the [link].

Yes, you can run a marathon without training. But you will regret it. [link]

If I were a painter this animation would inspire me to paint a picture of Earth that looked something like van Gogh's "Starry Night". [link]

Years ago I read about a guy who had a magnet implanted in his finger. Looks like this guy read the article too and got his own implant with the bonus of the magnet not disintegrating inside him. Here he talks about what the magnet gets him. [link]

Picture: Obama and Uhura. [link]

Final Fantasy is used on Doctor Who. It's super effective! [link]

Neil deGrasse Tyson complained about the star field at the end of Titanic and James Cameron fixed it. [link]

A tornado tossing around semi trailers in Texas. [link]

The 7 most unexpectedly awesome parties ever. [link]

In World War I the threat of wolves became so great that German and Russian forces stopped their fighting long enough to join forces against the wolves. [link]

Everybody sing the 404 song! [link]

A Mario/Portal hybrid that you can apparently download and play after you watch the video. I haven't tried the game yet. [link]

How to grow pineapple plants from pineapple tops. I did this one and let it grow for a couple of years. [link>]

Put a little library in your yard and let neighbors take and leave books as they choose. [link]

I'd like a bit more detail from this video about how to make super capacitors using a CD burner. [link]

Underwater river of hydrogen sulphide. [link]

Metal 100 times lighter than polystyrene. [link]

Rick Santorum hassled a kid who was reaching for a pink bowling ball. [link]
I'm thinking Rick isn't a big supporter of the recent movement against bullying.

Mitt Romney tells an "amusing" tale about laying people off. [link]

And, yes, Obama, too. This article is about the bill that allows the government to disappear people suspected of having terrorist connections. [link]

Animated wind map of the US. [link]

Elephant playing with a smart phone.

A bit about the new Mars rover. [link]

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Einstein daffodils

Take in Yummy's front yard.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Sod Off Wednesday: April 4

I don't know who wrote this, but I'm pretty sure my reaction isn't what they wanted.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Look what I made

I dislike throwing things away. Many of the projects that end up on here are the result of me trying to find alternatives to sending stuff to the dump. This week it's the result of me cutting back some of the honeysuckle growing between my and the neighbor's yard. It was trying to eat the sign we made in welding class! It had to go. But what do I do with a bunch of vines? Try to make a basket before they harden up? Sure, why not?

I tried to use the method I learned in Scout camp with much less than thrilling results. Having failed that way I started developing my own way of making a basket. I started by making rings out of the vines. You know, make a circle and then start wrapping the vine around itself. To make a good one you may even need multiple vines. After I had five of the same diameter I ran vines through them perpendicular to the plane of the circle. Picture the 5 circles stacked on each other with a gap between them and 6 reasonably stiff vines passing through the edges of the circles. If the vines were long enough I had them complete an arc and come back through the edge of the circle roughly opposite of where it started. Then I just started taking the vines and weaving them through this way and that until the holes between vines were pretty small.

I'd refine the technique before trying it again, but what I got wasn't bad.

What started like this...

...became this.
If you're seeing this on an RSS feed, there are pictures on the website.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Bonus Links: April 2

More links that didn't get looked at for Friday.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Muppephone!

Racists didn't like "The Hunger Games". Apparently black people shouldn't have survived the holocaust. [link]

Indian man plants a forest. [link]

Discworld readers may be familiar with the clacks system. They're mentioned in a couple of books and feature prominently in the book and BBC mini-series "Going Postal". Turns out something similar really existed. [link]

Sunrise on Mars. [link]

Obama said to the Russian President that after the election he would have more flexibility to discuss missile defense. Most Republicans went after him for it. Strangely, House Speaker John A. Boehner told those sniping at Obama not to criticize overseas activity. My question is, why are we even talking about building a missile defense system that we know doesn't work unless we know when the missile is being launched, where it's going, there's a tracking devise on it, and there's only one of them. [link

AOL Instant Messenger is unofficially dead. Much like the rest of the company, really. [link]

Microsoft is working on a "universal" translator that speaks in your voice. Being a Star Trek fan, I'm more interested in the technology researcher named Soong. [link]

Say you want to do a Lego project that will get lots of attention. But other people have gone for the low hanging fruit: The Battlestar Galactica, a Star Destroyer, the Enterprise, Minas Tirith... what do you make that nobody has done before, but is nifty enough to get people to forward it around? This guy decided on Commander Adama's command before the Galactica - the Battlestar Valkyrie. [link]

5 movie hacks that can really be done. [link]

Are you using Flash to make a product that brings you money? Adobe wants a 9% cut of that. [link]
Adobe? Flash is dying. Often your products are memory hogs that makers of portable devices don't want around. Do you really want to drive away people who insist on using your product by making them pay MORE to use it?

The effects of microwaves on a plasma TV. He's exposing it to a microwave transformer. 15 minutes.

Jumping robot.

Quad-rotor musicians.

Quad-rotor remote control DeLorean.

The script for Bill and Ted 3 is done. Now they need the studio to approve it. [link]

A Japanese parakeet and it's best friend.

What the tip of a drill sees. [link]

The Avengers trailer done with 60's art.

1,000 small theaters to close in the next few years because they can't convert to digital. [link]

Evidence that humans can hibernate? [link]

The first attempted assassination of a US President. [link]

10 really old things that still work. My favorite is #7, the traffic light. [link]