Archive for March, 2012

Are They Miracles Or Murder? Find Out In Andrew Mayne’s Latest Thriller

Friday, March 30th, 2012

angel killer andrew mayne.jpgIn front of security cameras, a tourist vanishes from the top of the Empire State Building and mysteriously falls to her death moments later in Times Square…

A young girl dies crawling out of her own grave after having been declared dead a year earlier…

On a Fort Lauderdale beach, a missing World War II airman and his aircraft show up as if he died only hours before…

They call the mysterious man behind these unnatural events the Warlock. To some he’s the messenger of a modern age of miracles.

To Jessica Blackwood, FBI agent and daughter of a legendary magic family, the Warlock is a trickster and a murderer and she’s the only one who can see through his deceptions.

Andrew Mayne, the author of Public Enemy Zero and The Chronological Man series brings you an edge-of-your-seat triller that only he could write.



Science=Complete: Google’s Self-Driving Car Takes Blind Man to Taco Bell

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Necessity is the mother of invention.

For blind California resident Steve Mahan, he absolutely needed to get a taco. But how to get there? He could walk, call a cab or get picked up from a friend.

He relied on a trusty friend from Mountain View named Google.

And so Steve headed to the Bell, driven by one of Google’s new self-driving cars. Science and technology had finally advanced it’s most challenging rubric, getting a blind man to a chalupa as fast and easy as possible.

According to the Google’s own Google+ page, since Mahan doesn’t have a driver’s license he had to get special permission from local law enforcement to sit in the front seat. A police official even sat in on the ride. But we’re pretty sure it was just so he could get one of the new Dorito shell hard tacos.

[Google’s Google+]

My Mother is a Green Alien! British Councilor Confesses

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012
Contactee Simon Parkes Part 1.flv - YouTube.jpg

I am fond of saying that all politicians are lizard people. Vaguely humanoid creatures drawn to the warmth of public office and the uniquely bizarre responsibilities and customs that go with it.

But that’s just a metaphor. A way to illustrate a healthy distrust for anyone campaigning.

It certainly isn’t true about Councillor Simon Parkes of the UK, who was elected only last month. He isn’t a lizard person. No, according to a confessional vlog on YouTube he’s one half green alien.

He said: “Two green stick things came in. I was aware of some movement over my head. I thought, ‘they’re not mummy’s hands, mummy’s hands are pink’.”

He added: “I was looking straight into its face. It enters my mind through my eyes and it sends a message down my optic nerve into my brain.

“It says ‘I am your real mother, I am your more important mother’.”

He later confesses that his alien background did not come up during his recent campaigning. Furthermore, his extraterrestrial lineage is far more aware of the world around him than the local government he was elected to serve on.

“I get more common sense out of the aliens than out of Scarborough Town Hall. The aliens are far more aware of stuff. People in the Town Hall seem not to be aware of the needs of Whitby.”

You’ve cracked us Councillor Parkes… you’ve earned my endorsement for the next public office you seek. Because, if he’s willing to confess he was raised by a green alien, what could he possibly be hiding?

[The Northern Record] via mxyzplx on Twitter

Wisconsin Residents Who Heard Mysterious Booms Question Official Explanation

Monday, March 26th, 2012
clintonville booms.jpg

One week ago today, several residents of Clintonville, WI heard a series of big booms throughout the town. Beginning at 2 a.m. and continuing until 8 p.m. Monday many residents initially called in reports ranging from a car crashing into a house to ice falling off a roof, only to find no physical evidence.

Yet the booms kept coming.

They’ve since received an official explanation. An extremely rare 1.5 magnitude earthquake shook the town shortly after 5 a.m. Tuesday, concluded the United States Geological Service.

But that doesn’t quite explain what the noises were Monday.

I have a theory…

[Fox 11]

Japanese Ship Lost After ’11 Tsunami Spotted Off Coast of Canada

Monday, March 26th, 2012

japanese ghost ship.jpg

Lost in the massive confusion and destruction of the 2011 Japanese tsunami, a fishing vessel has shockingly been found afloat off the western coast of Canada.

The ship is the largest piece of debris found yet from the natural disaster and is being monitored as debris as of now. It will hit landfall in roughly two months if not stopped at sea.

Meanwhile, the boat could just be an eerie harbinger for even more random Japanese stuff. Is is estimated roughly two tons of debris washed off shore and the main mass of that should start hitting North America in two years time.

[BBC] via WT reader Jeff

The Slightly Underwhelming Doctor Who Series 7 Trailer

Monday, March 26th, 2012

It’s really hard to judge the first new footage from the upcoming season of Doctor Who. We get a suitably intimidating villain, an interesting locale and of course all the usual smiling faces we’ve come to know and love.

But something feels… missing.

We don’t really get enough of the premise of the episode to have that mean much to us. There are no hints as to how the Doctor reunites with the Ponds, which should be the most interesting mythological beat in the first 10 minutes of episode one. And as intimidating as our cyborg gunslinger seems to be he’s just… well… a robotic Buford “Mad Dog” Tannen.

Which isn’t bad. It’s just not uniquely grabbing in the grand pantheon of Whovian foes.

What do you guys think? Are you more or less pumped for having seen it?

By the Time You Read This, James Cameron Could Be at the Bottom of the Ocean

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

james cameron submarine challenger.jpg

It’s go time.

The man who directed the most successful film in movie history twice is about to embark on his greatest adventure yet. James Cameron will begin his descent into the Pacific Ocean, weather permitting, sometime this weekend.

His mission is to make it to the bottom of Challenger Deep, the lowest known point in the ocean. His submarine, a revolutionary vertical design, will attempt to sink to the bottom as fast as possible so he can spend six hours investigating. He will be the first ever human to see the depths with his own eyes, the only previous crew (aboard the Trieste in 1960) to make it that deep hit the bottom to hard and caused a silt storm bringing visibility down to zero.

Cameron will also bring along 3D cameras to make a documentary of his voyage.

Godspeed James.

[Nat Geo]

Nokia Wants to Give You a Vibrating Tattoo So You Don’t Miss Calls

Friday, March 23rd, 2012


Nokia has applied for a patent which amounts to tattoo which would accommodate customizable buzzing for your phone.

Here is how it would work:

The patent application describes “a material attachable to skin, the material capable of detecting a magnetic field and transferring a perceivable stimulus to the skin, wherein the perceivable stimulus relates to the magnetic field.” The material would react to magnetic signals emitted by a nearby electronic device, such as a smartphone. It would offer some sort of micro vibration, and could be set to certain vibrating patterns. The idea is to provide you with a more direct way to notice when you’re receiving some sort of incoming device alert, whether it be a phone call, email, or text message.

Congratulations I Didn’t Feel The Vibration Through My Pants Excuse Practitioners and welcome to Screwsville.

In reality though, this is something that could be used for far more than smart phones. Imagine how many “alerts” we get everyday. Our phone, our car, our appliances and anything else you can think of. What if we had a way to prioritize some to directly interact with our body.

It’s a pretty cool idea at least.

[Information Week] via @Lockridge_Lisa

Doctor’s New Companion, Pond’s Exit Revealed

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

jenna louise coleman-1.jpg

Dissecting the Stephen Moffat Doctor Who press conference today.

How many episodes?

We will get six this year including a blockbuster Christmas special (MUCH more on that in a bit) and then eight more to round out this season in 2013.

When are Amy and Rory off the TARDIS for good?

Episode five. Which means we have five episodes for them to reconnect with the Doctor whom they’ve just realized is still alive. I sincerely hope that this season comes with a bit of reinvestment for the Ponds. The possible pregnancy / Amy’s going crazy angle last season felt tacked on. In fact, Amy’s storyline has felt a bit stalled since the end of her first season. She got on the TARDIS to put off getting married to Rory, she then rediscovered her love for him, bada bing bang boom we’re dun-zo.

If it’s simply, “Hey! The Doctor is back!” I’ll be a little bummed.

Will one of them die?

Moffat says not everyone will survive the fifth episode. But… c’mon, you wouldn’t send Amy off a widow, would you? Or kill off a beloved companion? Stuck in an alternate time stream is bad enough.

Anywho… their final nemesis will be the Weeping Angels.

Who is the new companion?

Jenna-Louise Coleman. Her biggest credits to date came from the ITV soap opera Emmerdale. Let’s go to a clip…

She also played one half of the silent double date put together for Steve Rogers by his pal Bucky at the World’s Fair in Captain America.

jenna louise coleman.jpg

We will soon see her in the upcoming Titanic miniseries penned by the folks behind Downton Abbey.

Why is she the new companion?

Moffat says she won him over in an audition with Matt Smith where the motor-mouthed rambler played catch up with JLC’s energy.

Also, as The Internet has already noticed. She’s pretty. Reading between the lines of Moffat’s answers, they seem to be positioning her as an Amy Pond-level spitfire with Rose Tyler looks.

Raise you hand if you think that’s a bad idea? I thought not.

She does look tiny. Next to the stretchy Smith she might look even smaller.

How does she meet the Doctor?

No firm details beyond that she’s not a “conventional” character. So I guess we can rule out the Doctor arriving in modern day London and solving a crisis surrounding a smoking hot chick in her early 20s before inviting her on his space ship to enjoy platonic adventures?

What we do know is that it will take place during the Christmas special. This creates the highest stakes incarnation of that particular episode since David Tennant had his “Hello, World” turn in The Christmas Invasion, which began season two.

Once Rory and Amy are gone, have we seen the last of River Song?

Quoth Moffat: “No, not necessarily.”

It can’t all be good news, sweetie.

Man Says He Knows the Road to Heaven, Coy on if it Involves Stairway

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

jesus heaven macho man.jpg

A South African man claims he has been to heaven four times and has drawn a map.

Self-styled prophet Mthembu says there are 11 heavens, so nuts to you if you had seven in the office pool. He made his first journey to one of them in 1998, took a little breather until 2004 when he returned. He also made a long weekend of heavenly vacays in 2006 and 2008.

He described those first several minutes in heaven.

“An angel, whom I later realised was Gabriel, who was in his early 20s, appeared at my house and led me by the hand to the Mandeni River where he baptised me and he returned to heaven,” Mthembu told the newspaper.

He said the same angel arrived in 1998 and this time took him along to heaven. Mthembu said he had seen God, Jesus and angels during his journeys.

Mthembuuuuuu do you know what that’s worth? Who knew heaven was a place on Earth?


Our Favorite Take Away From SpaceX on 60 Minutes

Monday, March 19th, 2012

Elon Musk got his close-up beauty shot last night on CBS’ venerable newsmagazine 60 Minutes. His company SpaceX was the subject. Here was our favorite impression.

The biggest geeks about SpaceX work at SpaceX.

Every employee interviewed shared the same Big Sky optimism. They are doing what they are doing because this is a pivotal moment in the history of space and… well… they’d like to go to space and this is the best way to do it.

Which is why we root for them.

The organization really has a dot com start-up vibe to it. Not a shock considering Musk’s background but it is awesome to see in action.

The money quote from Garrett Reiseman, an engineer and astronaut who spent time on the International Space Station now working with SpaceX as a consultant.

“If you had a chance to go back in time and work with Howard Hughes when he was creating TWA. If you had a chance to be there at that moment when it was the dawn of a brand new era, wouldn’t you want to do that?”

Watch the full segment above.

Down With The Sickness [The Walking Dead Dissection]

Monday, March 19th, 2012
beside the dying fire walking dead.jpg

A season comes to a close with the cast a little lighter, many bullets fired and a few lessons learned.

This might not be a democracy but it is the final Dissection of the year so you might as well click through a read it.


SpaceX Will Launch First Commercial Spacecraft to Spacestation on April 30

Friday, March 16th, 2012
SpaceX sets launch date april 30.jpg

We finally have a date.

SpaceX announced they will send the first commercial spacecaft to spacestation into orbit on April 30th. If successful, the unmanned Dragon capsule will dock with the International Space Station representing a major step for space exploration in the Post Dreams era.

Here is how the mission will go down.

As the Dragon capsule approaches the station, astronauts onboard the outpost will grab onto it using the space station’s robotic arm. The capsule will then be attached to the Earth-facing side of the station’s Harmony node. This process is similar to how the unmanned Japanese cargo freighters are manually docked to the space station.

So, who is down for a April 30th meet up?

[Fox News]

Why You Should Be Excited by Rumors of The Doctor’s New Companion

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012
fireplace sophia myles.jpg

First, for a moment, let’s assume the rumors are true and Sophia Myles will return to the Doctor Who franchise as a companion in the post-Amy Pond era.

Many keen eyes will remember Myles as Madame de Pompadour in the superlative season two episode The Girl in the Fireplace, written by current Who boss Steven Moffat. To date, this is my favorite stand alone episodes for a couple of reasons.

The Doctor got to solve an awesome problem. Self-contained time travel whilst interacting with a real world historical figures whilst trying to decipher an escalating problem whilst not getting killed by murderous robots. Compelling plot, check.

The Doctor sacrifices himself. If all you do is travel time and space getting in the middle of all sorts of issues, you’re going to have one or two times when the Doctor resigns himself to death. This happens.

But most important to us now.

The Doctor falls in love. For someone as care free and empathetic as Tennant’s Doctor is this relationship set a crucial touchstone in the character. Of course this dude falls in love with random awesome chicks! Madam de Pompadour is portrayed as the most badass lady to ever live. Of course they fall in love with each other!

Netflix.jpgThere is real, crackling chemistry in these scenes. Unsurprisingly, the actors began a two-year relationship afterward.

So assuming Sophia is back, we have three ways to look at it.

The actress is playing a companion completely unconnected to her former role. Unlikely considering DW’s gleeful habit of splashing around in it’s own history.

The Madam de Pompadour we’ve met returns to the Doctor’s side for adventures. Possible, but I would suspect less likely than my third hypothesis.

Sophia returns as a new character that is somehow connected to the Pompadour we met. Think along the lines of some genetic linage of insanely awesome women. Almost as if she’s a gender double for the Doctor himself. Pompadour is portrayed as The Doctor’s equal in Fireplace, why wouldn’t this new character?

Remember the scene in Fireplace when the Doctor is reading her memories only to realize that she is using the connection to read his? That’s pretty much all you need to retcon a new race of super ladies that happen to look a smoking hot as Sophia.

No matter what, I am pumped. Something I haven’t said about DW in a while.

During the great changing of the guard between Moffat and his predecessor Russell T. Davies if I were to have made a list of Moffat characters that I would like to see revisited in more depth both The Angels and Pompadour would occupy the top. Certainly far ahead of some characters who’ve gotten nothing but screen time in the intervening two seasons. Sweetie.

Besides, a sex super nova character coupled with the current, asexual incarnation of the Doctor? Geronimo.

Fox Licks Window

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

I think he might have some sort of vitamin deficiency. Second fox related post of the month for those keeping track.

[Animal Oddities]

Nightmare Sea Snake Trolling the Waters of Australia

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Spiny, Venomous New Sea Snake Discovered—_Something Special_.jpg

“Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water.”

What a malarky sentence. It’s never safe. Ever. Stop thinking that people. There will always be something in there to kill you.

Take this brand new sea snake discovered off the coast of Australia. It’s venomous and coated in spikes, just in case that first part wasn’t enough.

Though some other sea snakes have spiky scales on their bellies, “no other [known] sea snake has this curious feature,” study leader Kanishka Ukuwela, an ecologist at the University of Adelaide, said by email.

Normally snakes have smooth scales, but each of the newly named Hydrophis donaldi’s scales has a spiny projection, he said.

Scientists cruising shallow seagrass beds in the Gulf of Carpentaria (map) recently captured nine of the rough-scaled reptiles.

Seriously, the ocean is a soup of terror. I will never feel at ease until James Cameron personally murders all of these horrifying little goblins and any others we haven’t accidentally run across.

From here on out, I live my life by the SALTY LANGUAGE PLEASE DON’T CLICK UNLESS YOU WANT TO HEAR CURSE WORDS code of Chris Cooper in Adaptation.

[National Geographic]