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Top 5 Most Creative Dragon*Con 2010 Costumes

Friday, September 10th, 2010

As some of you know both I and Justin Robert Young attended the amazing Dragon*Con in Atlanta, GA this past weekend. EVERY type of fandom is represented at this mega-convention, and cosplay is the main event. I spent approximately 60 billion hours walking the floor just taking it all in while trying to avoid drunk people piking on the floor, and what follows are the five most creative Dragon*Con costumes I saw.

5. Alien

5. Alien

While technically not the most creative costume, it was very well put together with many moving parts.

The person wearing it stayed in character throughout all of Friday as well.

If you missed it, you can see me give the xenomorph a hug during the Live NSFW Show filmed at Dragon*Con (I’m the one in the Spider-Man shirt).

4. Handy Man & Sidekick

4. Handy Man & Sidekick

These two special fellows were a big hit on Sunday.


Japanese Women Takes 10,000 Volts to the Face… And Lives!

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Check out this amazing video that shows what happens when electricity meets flesh. A Japanese women scaled an electric pole and refused to come down, and while arguing with authorities touched one of the lines, sending a 10,000 volt spark arcing from her finger to her face. To her credit, she argued for another 45 mins. before firefighters finally talked her down.

Tractor Beams Make A Move Toward Reality

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

It’s official… we can now move objects with simple lasers.

Developed at the Australian National University, the new discovery can move small objects 100X larger than a bacterium up to a meter in water.

The device works by shining a hollow around tiny glass particles. The air surrounding the particle heats up, while the dark center of the beam stays cool. When the particle starts to drift out of the middle and into the bright laser beam, the force of heated air molecules bouncing around and hitting the particle’s surface is enough to nudge it back to the center.

A small amount of light also seeps into the darker middle part of the beam, heating the air on one side of the particle and pushing it along the length of the laser beam. If another such laser is lined up on the opposite side of the beam, the speed and direction the particle moves can be easily manipulated by changing the brightness of the beams.

Researchers are confident that with enough testing they should be able to move larger objects longer distances, eventually allowing you to become even lazier!


Mysterious Unmanned Yacht Washes Ashore

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Who does the mysterious Yacht belong to? Authorities in the Redington Beacharea of Florida were left scratching their heads Wednesday when this unmanned craft arrived on the sand. The $1,000,000 craft was never registered after it was sold by the previous owner 2 years ago, leaving the police to wonder who the new owner might be and what might have happened to them.

Police hope that the owner will report the craft as missing… if he wasn’t lost at sea.

Back-Scatter Scanners Coming To A Street Near You

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

If you thought staying away from airports would keep you safe from the new full-body scanners that were recently deployed think again. As this video shows back-scatter enabled vans are already rolling out.

According to Forbes:

American Science & Engineering, a company based in Billerica, Massachusetts, has sold U.S. and foreign government agencies more than 500 backscatter x-ray scanners mounted in vans that can be driven past neighboring vehicles to see their contents

Due to this recent development, now may be the perfect time to invest in lead underwear.

Helium Set To Fly Away Within 30 Years

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Forget peak oil, peak helium is set to upset children’s parties and squeaky voices by 2015.

Due to legislation passed in 1996, the United States reserves of helium must be sold off within the next five years, which has led to the lifting gas being criminally under-priced. According to Nobel laureate Robert Richardson:

The Earth is 4.7 billion years old and it has taken that long to accumulate our helium reserves, which we will dissipate in about 100 years. One generation does not have the right to determine availability for ever.

Unless we find another hidden reserve of the stuff, expect highly-flammable hydrogen balloons to replace helium once it runs out.

[New Zealand Hearld]

Beer Goggles Explained… With SCIENCE!

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Finally, science is addressing the truly important questions… Namely, why that homely girl you took home after a night of drinking seemed much hotter the night before.

…two photos of the same person were supplied. One was natural. The other was subtly altered to make their face less symmetrical. Symmetry is one of the keys to perceived beauty. Respondents were asked which photo they preferred.

In the second test, more altered photos were supplied. The pub-goers were asked to rate the attractiveness of those.

As it turns out, alcohol keeps us from properly assessing the symmetry in people’s faces, and as we all know the more symmetrical a face the more attractive we perceive it to be.  What’s worse is that the uglier the person is the more this effect is enhanced.

See? Now instead of making excuses to your friends you can defend yourself with sound scientific fact!


Twitter’s Latest Star… A Robot?

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Before he boards the international space station in November, NASA’s latest robotic creation Robonaut 2 is spending his time mastering social networking. Using the Twitter handle @AstroRobonaut, the robot is answering questions from the public about his upcoming trip from more than 14,000 Twitter followers.

Robonaut 2 was designed to mimic basic human task and serve as a futuristic helper monkey on the Space Station. Many famous Twitterers have taken notice of the newest Twitter phenom, with even Conan O’Brian chiming in:

The NASA robot doing chores on the space station has its own Twitter account. I’m glad to see NASA is still shooting for the stars.

Robonaut 2 was a bit snarky in his reply:

@ConanOBrien Astronauts are excited to have me @ station because they’ve programmed me to always laugh at their jokes. Jealous?

No word on if the tweets will continue from the Space Station.


A Peek Into Our Augmented Reality Future

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Check out this great video showing the most realistic endgame for augmented reality I’ve seen. Prepare to be eye-banged!

Here’s more information from the producer of the video himself:

The latter half of the 20th century saw the built environment merged with media space, and architecture taking on new roles related to branding, image and consumerism. Augmented reality may recontextualise the functions of consumerism and architecture, and change in the way in which we operate within it.

Ground Zero Pirate Ship: The Investigation Begins!

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Remember that pirate ship they found under the World Trade Center we reported on in July? Researchers gathered many samples and the investigation has now started to reveal the true origins of the ship.

The wood samples will hopefully tell us where the ship was built by analyzing the properties and age rings. They are also analyzing various woodworms in the wreckage to glean where the ship might have sailed.

The American Archaeologist site is keeping a close eye on the ship and will report findings as they happen.

[American Archaeologist]

New Microchip Interfaces With Your Brain

Friday, August 13th, 2010

Scientists at the University of Calgary have used a specific type of microchip called a neurochip to allow doctors to monitor the brain waves of victims of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

While the chips aren’t quite ready to replace your Gravis Gamepad, researchers hope they will eventually let patients control symptoms and doctors to monitor the brain’s reaction to new treatments.

[CBC News]

Enjoy The Carnage Of Liftoff

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Enjoy this stunning HD video of the Apollo 11 rocket taking off… in HD! No clue how they kept the camera from melting, but their innovation makes for a great video.

NASA Mulls Asteroid Probe in 2106

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

In an update to our story from last week (Asteroid Heading For Earth (in 2182)!), NASA is considering sending a probe to the ominous asteroid 1999 RQ36 to collect rock samples so they can more accurately when and if it will collide with earth. The project is being proposed as part of the New Frontiers program, and is competing with a trip to Venus for funding.

Basically, we are choosing between finding out when Earth will be destroyed or finding somewhere else to go before it is. Considering Bruce Willis will most likely not be around when the time comes I think we can safely write off the ‘Armageddon Option.’


The World’s Only Immortal Animal

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Marvel at the various life cycle of the fantastical Turritopsis nutricula, a jellyfish that is, for all practical purposes, immortal. This strange creature reaches adulthood, transforms itself back into a child, then lives through it’s life again. Think of it as Groundhog Day with a jellyfish.

While old age can’t kill it, the creature is still susceptible to disease and fatal injuries.  Read more about this fascinating forever-fish here.

Churchill UFO Cover-Up Declassified

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Newly declassified documents have revealed that former Prime Minister Winston Churchill demanded a cover-up of an encounter between a Royal Air Force plane and a UFO.

The revelation was found in a letter from the son of one of Churchill’s bodyguards who claimed to have witnessed Churchill viewing pictures of the incident and demanding it remain secret for at least 50 years because ‘it would create mass panic among the general population and destroy one’s belief in the Church’.

UFO experts aren’t surprised, however. Churchill is known as a big UFO buff, and even requested an update from the British government in the 50’s.


Start Building Your Super-Hero Lair… Now!

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

Check out this awesome custom lock that detects a special knock to open the door. It’s programmable, which is good because “Shave and a haircut, two bits” is the knocking equivalent of having ‘password’ as your password.