Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Most of you are probably a lot younger than I am, but that doesn't matter. I want you to go to the "VIDEOSTORE" and check out a copy of The Last Starfighter. It is pure 1980s awesome. If you are a hopeless videogame addict this movie will give you the warm fuzzies.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

How to tell if you're bad at video games

Christopher Hitchens is the man

Organisms that glow - Bioluminescence

These are Cypridina hilgendorfii. They belong to a class of organisms called ostracods - a type of crustacean. Too tiny to make a meal of, humans have nonetheless found a use for them. When you piss them off, they secrete a substance that glows a beautiful blue color. This species is native to Japan, and is locally called umi-hotaru, or sea firefly. They were used in WWII by Japanese soldiers to provide light to read maps and messages.
C. hilgendorfii in action. The jar is from the 1940s and yet the chemicals remain active.
Although there are tons of sea creatures that can produce their own light, many other types of organism have similar abilities. Certain insects and fungi can also give off different colors of light. The biochemical pathways for fireflies, fungi, ostracods, etc. are not all similar, suggesting that bioluminescence has evolved multiple times independently.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010



Fear is one hell of a motivator.

I saw this on a blog called The Derp Files and watching it pissed me off.

You know, the USA has abandoned its founding principles, but not by passing health care and stimulus packages; rather, by poisoning its political system with lobbyists and poisoning its electorate with media garbage like this. FFS half the former presidential candidates for the Republican party have jobs on FOX News. There's something wrong with that. Palin's still in the public eye despite being irrelevant and incompetent. You can bet that Christine O'Donnell (the tea party lady who is not a witch) will follow the Palin strategy and write a book or join FOX news and make millions.

America is waning in technological leadership, industrial leadership, and is in danger of a huge faith-based backslide in personal freedoms courtesy of a party which bandies the word "freedom" about like it's a thing you can buy from Billy Mays. George Washington would be sick.

Additionally, the Chinese ALSO spent money on stimulus, and they are currently UNDERGOING health care reform.

If you want some hyperbole, here you go.  If america falls, it's not gonna be because of health care. It's gonna be because of corporations selling out american jobs overseas coupled with endless tax breaks for corporations and the rich. It's gonna be because of repeated funding cuts to education, infrastructure, and science. It's gonna be because of deregulation of financial markets, turning the stock market back into a casino. It's gonna be because of global warming deniers, abstinence-only education, creationism, and tax-free churches.

Monday, November 1, 2010

You wish you were a spy.

And that's okay. Aram Bartholl wants you to feel like a spy with his new project, "Dead Drops". Named after the spy technique of  the "dead drop" , the idea is simple: USB thumbdrives grouted into the sides of brick buildings throughout a city. Anyone can upload or download their contents. Have a song you want people to listen to? Some photographs or art to show off? Upload it to a dead drop. At the time of writing there are 5 in NYC only, but who knows how big this could get.

Sounds like a cool idea, but how many people are just gonna a) delete the files, b)fill it with copies of goatse or other malicious content, or c) steal the thumbdrive and sell it for crack?

We've seen instances where this kind of information availability can bring out the best in people, and also the worst. Time will tell if Aram's project will take off.

Aram Bartholl's "Dead Drops"