Archive for May, 2012

Kickstarter Pulls Tentacle Fetish Card Game, Fans Ensare Censorship Kerfuffle

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

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Tentacle Bento, a MUCH spicier niche game than Magic: The Gathering or Yu-Gi-Oh, made its way onto the crowd-funding project site, Kickstarter. Within one week, Tentacle Bento rocketed past its $13,000 goal by over $17,000!

The game’s objective is to “get your slimy tentacles on as many of the students as you can before time runs out” by assuming the role of a tentacled monster. This has not set well with some critics of both the game and Kickstarter for allowing this project to even be available for funding.

On the other side of the fence are the games creators who included this on Bento Tentacle’s Kickstarter page:

In the long history of horrible combinations of tentacles and school girls, we have taken a cheeky satire look at the genre to create a silly, if not innuendo rich, product. We are firmly against the depiction of violence against women in any regards.

Currently the Kickstarter page simply states, “Funding Canceled”.

Soda Pop Miniatures, the creators of the game, have moved the project to a another site to be privately funded and have already accrued the $13,000 they needed to complete the project.

Mike “Gabriel” Krahulik of Penny Arcade also chimed in on Twitter saying that “It’s okay for things you don’t like to exist.”

While everyone is up in arms about this whole mess, it sounds like Tentacle Bento is going to be about as horrendous and shockingly graphic as that deleted scene from Goonies.

Which is to say, not at all.

[The Daily Dot]

Paralyzed Woman Just Drank a Bottle of Coffee With Her Mind

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Dragging yourself to your morning coffee just got a whole lot easier. So did our baby steps toward becoming cyborgs.

Two quadriplegic volunteers, a 66 year-old man and a 58 year-old woman, have been part of a study being conducted at Brown University that transmits neural activity into physical movement via a robotic arm.

Cathy Hutchinson, the female volunteer, has been working with the implanted sensor for almost five years now to achieve this seemingly simple task.

Watch the video not just for the load of information it provides but for the kinda heart-warming moment when she actually drinks the coffee without assistance for the first time in fifteen years and both her and the up-until-then stone-faced science guy in the background triumphantly smile at their success…which is EXACTLY how our future robot overlords want us to feel.

Let’s just hope that the male volunteer’s name isn’t Otto Gunther Octavius…because that’s when all this feel-good/man-machine love story will just get ugly.


Low Levels of Prolonged Radiation Exposure Not Risky to Health

Thursday, May 17th, 2012
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Turns out you can plop yourself amongst over 200 times the average level of background radiation for as long as you’d like, it’s probably not going to hurt you all that much. Despite popular thought that any radiation exposure increases the likelihood of cancer, new studies are showing that simply isn’t the case for prolonged low doses.

On the most recent Weird Things podcast the boys discussed what levels of radiation exposure were safe to work around with Brian landing on the right side of the research. As for Justin’s insistence that he would eat a bag of popcorn cooked by way of an radioactive reaction, he’s still an idiot.

[Medical Xpress]

Mystery Object Nearly Collides with Plane Over Denver

Thursday, May 17th, 2012
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A corporate jet pilot nearly collided with what he said looked like a remote controlled vehicle over Denver Monday evening. But no one will take credit for the mysterious airborne menace.

Law enforcement says their were no drones in the air. The local RC club says that members are forbidden from flying craft that high as they would otherwise cause this kind of commotion.

The pilot is heard telling air traffic control: “A remote controlled aircraft, or what? Something just went by the other way … About 20 to 30 seconds ago. It was like a large remote-controlled aircraft.

The corporate jet, a Cessna Citation 525 CJ1, was flying at 8,000 feet above sea level over Cherry Creek when the mystery object came close enough to make any pilot nervous.

What else could it be? UFO? Pterodactyl?

In our mind, there is only one culprit. Drogon is loose from the pits of Meereen!


Video: 1 Armed Robot Juggles 2 Balls

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

The revolution is here. The machines have risen. And they can juggle.

Chiba University presented the following this week at 2012 IEE International Conference on Robotics and Automatiion.

The robot is equipped with a three-fingered hand, each with 2 or 3 degrees of motion, and an arm with 7 degrees of motion. These pieces are coupled with a high-speed vision system (500 frames per second) that allows a controller to plan for catches and throws, the IEEE Automation Blog explains.

Next they’ll spin plates…


Gaydar Confirmed By Science

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012


Gaydar, it’s not just a one liner from sassy friends in romantic comedies anymore. It’s science fact.

A University of Washington study flashed faces for less than a blink of an eye and asked respondents to determine if the person was gay or straight. Not only did results come more accurate than chance, they also tracked accurate when displayed upside down.

Here are the parameters of the study:

In the study, 129 college students viewed 96 photos each of young adult men and women who identified themselves as gay or straight. Concerned that facial hair, glasses, makeup and piercings might provide easy clues, the researchers only used photos of people who did not have such embellishments. They cropped the grayscale photos so that only faces, not hairstyles, were visible.

By the numbers, women had more “gaydar readable” faces. Participants were 65 percent in choosing sexual orientation when the faces were right side up. 61 when upside down. Sorting the men proved harder, participants had 57 percent accuracy right side up and 53 upside down.

[Science Daily]

Killjoy Neighbors Won’t Let George Lucas Build a Studio, So He’s Building Affordable Housing

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
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George Lucas wants to build a studio on some ranch property he owns. Sound familiar? It should, because he did it with Skywalker Ranch in the 1970s. Back then neighbors hemmed and hawed about how he would ruin property values by attracting tour buses and helicopters.

Nothing awful happened. Well, some things. Either way, peace was retained in the ‘hood and Ranch folk become happy members of the community.

His property at Grady Ranch however, won’t have the option to do the same. Neighbors have successfully soured the permit process enough for Lucas to pull his studio plan entirely.

Instead, he wants to build low-income housing. You know, like for Ewoks.

“The level of bitterness and anger expressed by the homeowners in Lucas Valley has convinced us that, even if we were to spend more time and acquire the necessary approvals, we would not be able to maintain a constructive relationship with our neighbors,” Lucasfilm said in its statement.

…It may seem as if the affordable housing project is a way for Lucas to stick it to his opposition, but Tom Peters, the CEO of the Marin County Foundation disagrees. “I know Lucas and checked with him on that point personally and directly. It was essential that I was convinced that it was not done out of spite. I would not have accepted the project if I thought it was,” he said.

Build or do not, there is no spite.

[CNN Money]

Can You Spot the Tiny Chinese Space Station on the Face of the Sun?

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

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Alright, it’s a little easier when someone puts a tiny circle around it. What you are seeing is China’s Tiangong-1 space station transiting the Sun. This is the handiwork of Astrophotographer Thierry Legault who had to time this perfectly to snap this picture since since the station zoomed through this shot in only .09 seconds.

Notice how the massive sun spot completely dwarves the Tiangong-1 meager size which is only 10.3 x 3.3 meters.

Check out the close up shots at the link below.

[Universe Today] via Bri G

Podcast: Dead Martian Walking

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

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Fight! An epic battle ensues when Brian wonders aloud if everyone would be okay with sending a willing volunteer on a one way trip to Mars. Is it a bold, necessary step toward brining humanity beyond the stars? Or a gruesome galactic human sacrifice with no real value? Meanwhile! A secret is unearthed underneath the Kodak building in Rochester. Can Justin resist the temptation to cook a bag of popcorn on it and eat the tainted, yet delicious, results?

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Revealed: NASA Plan to Land Humans on Asteroid

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

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It’s asteroid fever! Catch it.

Folks are trying to mine ’em and now NASA is talking about landing on one. The Telegraph reveals today that the US space agency will reveal their plan next month. The mission will including the first British astronaut Major Tim Peake.

A manned mission will aim to rendezvous with an asteroid up to three million miles from the Earth, taking around a year to make the entire round trip. The astronauts could stay on the asteroid for up to 30 days.

The officials will say that such missions to asteroids could help test technology for future human missions to other planets including Mars.

Nasa hopes that such missions will provide new scientific information about the early universe while also providing valuable information for ways of defending Earth from collisions with asteroids.

The paper says a mission could happen by the next decade. Twenty years to land on a tiny rock? Really NASA? JFK is frowning.


Black Magic Spell Causes Cheating Wife’s Lover to Become Stuck Inside Her

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

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There are a lot of bad ways an affair with your friend’s wife can end. Some, like death or violent maiming, could be a little more permanent. But few are weirder than what went down in Kenya last week.

A man cheating with his friends wife found himself stuck inside his adulterous lover by way of an alleged black magic spell. The husband, who suspected shenanigans, visited a witch doctor who placed the spell.

The next time the scandalous pair got together for some down low dirty time, they didn’t come apart.

Authorities were called in and things only ended after the lover paid a ransom of $240 to the cuckold husband and a priest was called in to remove the hex.

[UK Zambians] via Tony Ley

Revolutionary New Theory Suggest Supernovae Radically Affect Life on Earth

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012
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Are exploding supernovae guiding life on Earth? If a new ground breaking theory is to be believed, the answer is yes.

According to the study by Henrik Svensmark published by the Royal Astronomy Society in London the explosions of stars relatively close to Earth has proven itself to be the variable for life on our planet.

In short, according to the Watts Up With That blog, this is as big of a claim as the theory of plate tectonics was for geology.

Here is the short, short, short, short version:

Here are the main results:

• The long-term diversity of life in the sea depends on the sea-level set by plate tectonics and the local supernova rate set by the astrophysics, and on virtually nothing else.

• The long-term primary productivity of life in the sea – the net growth of photosynthetic microbes – depends on the supernova rate, and on virtually nothing else.

• Exceptionally close supernovae account for short-lived falls in sea-level during the past 500 million years, long-known to geophysicists but never convincingly explained..

• As the geological and astronomical records converge, the match between climate and supernova rates gets better and better, with high rates bringing icy times.

The implications here are massive. Not only for our understanding of the natural world but even politically charged debates like climate change.

But this theory easily encapsulates the reason we write this blog. One day you can wake up and the world is radically different then when you went to sleep. Amazing.

[Watts Up With That]


Navy Gives the OK to Install Laser Weapons

Friday, May 11th, 2012

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Oh hell yeah.

The most powerful Naval force in the history of the world is about to add the most coveted weapon in science fiction. Laser cannons.

Although they won’t fire pulse blasts that explode enemy targets, the weaponized lasers can do severe damage to small vessels that might aim to do harm to U.S. ships.

That’s right, the Office of Naval Research is moving forward with a plan to arm ships with solid state lasers capable of taking out small enemy vessels that could be used in swarming attacks or suicide bombing mission against American warships.

“We believe it’s time to move forward with solid-state lasers and shift the focus from limited demonstrations to weapon prototype development and related technology advancement,” said Peter Morrison, program officer of the Solid-State Laser Technology Maturation program in a May 8 press release announcing the effort.

Check out the link below to find a video of a test laser totally engulfing a boat’s engine in flame.

[Defense Tech]

Sea Creature Mystery Video: Do You Have Any Idea What This Is?

Friday, May 11th, 2012
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A sentient bed sheet.

That’s pretty much the only descriptor that comes to mind when looking at this video. In reality, this blob caught on a deep sea drilling camera off the coast of the UK is a massive jellyfish.

Steven Haddock, a scientist for the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in Moss Landing, Calif., says that the mysterious creature is a Deepstaria enigmatica jellyfish, much to the chagrin of some Reddit users who thought it was a whale placenta.

“This bag-like jelly is not that rare, but is large, so rarely seen intact,” Haddock said on his “JellyWatch” Facebook page. “In the video, the swirling from the sub makes the medusa appear to undulate and it even turns inside-out.”

It’s kind of hypnotic. Just makes you want to submit to our jellyfish overlords and walk into the ocean to bask in their omnipotent glory.

[CBS Tampa]

Helmet Cam Catches Alligator Attack

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

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I’ve never been attacked by an alligator while fishing in the traquil marsh lands of central Florida, but if I was, it’s probably sound something like this.

Thomas Swiader Jr. found himself on the business end of an angry gator who leapt from the water, jostling the fisherman in his kayak. What follows is a string of fairly hilarious obscenities. THE VIDEO BELOW CONTAINS THESE OBSCENITIES, PLEASE BE AWARE.

[Fox News]

Study: Chimp Attack Plans Evolving Against Zoo Visitors

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

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Zoo chimp makes elaborate plots to attack humans | Fox News.jpg

Santino is sick of your gawking and he’s determined to gain sweet revenge by tagging your forehead with a rock.

Santino is a chimp at Sweden’s Furuvik Zoo. He’d gained a reputation for throwing projectiles at particularly annoying visitors so one researcher decided to track his pattern. He discovered a evolving strategy that showed signs of forethought and improvisation.

Here is one of his plots…

“After a visitor group had left the compound area, Santino went inside the enclosure and brought a good-sized heap of hay that he placed near the visitor’s section, and immediately after that he put stones under it,” Osvath said.

“He also appeared to have placed projectiles behind, just before he went in after the hay. After this, he sat down beside the hay and waited. When the visitors came back, he waited until they were close by and, without any preceding display, he threw stones at the crowd.”

How much longer until he starts getting mail order packages from ACME?

[Fox News]