Space Object Plays Chicken with the ISS – Astronauts Forced to Hunker Down in Capsule

Posted by Tony on July 18th, 2015

Early this morning the ISS and a piece of debris from an old Russian weather satellite almost gave one another a bro-like chest bump.

Astronauts had an hour and a half to secure as many of the ISS’s individual modules and get themselves hunkered down into their escape pod (the Soyuz capsule attached to the ISS) and nervously wait to see how it would play out.

While that’s the official word there are a lot of humans on the ground declaring that that’s what NASA wants you to believe and that the “space object” was actually a UFO doing a drive-by of the ISS.

Thankfully the debris or whatever it was went by without incident. NASA gave the astronauts the all-clear a few minutes later.

While safe it’s still a terrifying scenario because orbit is pretty is pretty predictable once things are in it…

But there’s that old saying…

What goes around comes around.

Let’s just hope that’s all it is…an old saying…

Or just a UFO flying by.

[WIRED]


After Things: Gothopolis

Posted by Bryce on July 15th, 2015
Skitched 20110225 175343
After Things is the official after show of Weird Things Podcast.
Live during San Diego Comic-Con! The Boys talk about the big news out of SDCC 2015. Star Wars, Deadpool, Superman vs. Batman, and more!
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Podcast: Machina At Last

Posted by Bryce on July 13th, 2015
Skitched 20110225 175343
Finally! The discussion on Ex Machina! Spoiler talk starts at 22:34. But first: losing the ability to conjure images mentally–or aphantasia. The way our minds compensate for shortcomings like inability to remember names. Spoilers end at 43:40 for Picks.
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Picks:

Andrew: Terminator Genisys and Name of the Devil

Brian: A Canticle for Leibowitz

Justin: Game Change


Researcher Wires Four Rats’ Brains Together – Creates Bizarre Organic “Brainet”

Posted by Tony on July 11th, 2015

At Duke University a researcher who’s pioneering brain-computer interfaces has circuited four rats’ together via their brains and created a gooey and organic “Brainet”.

Miguel Nicolelis, the neurobiologist pioneering this neuroengineering at Duke University has spent 30 years doing similar experiments in hopes of uncovering the secrets of the human mind.

Earlier, in 2011, Nicolelis connected the brain of individual monkeys in order to get them to work a virtual monkey arm and grab virtual objects with it using only their mind. It didn’t take long for the each monkey to grasp the process mentally and move their extra invisible monkey hand.

Nicolelis then wondered if it were possible to string together several brains and have the work together to perform particular tasks. He used four rats to test the idea.

In order to get a drink of water the rats would have to learn to work together mentally to get a drink. In a short amount of time the rats were drinking regularly as normal.

Currently the rats have Frankenstein-like electrodes embedded in their heads. That will change as the technology progresses until it’s completely non-invasive.

What can we gain from a “brainet” as humans? Will we eventually become Borg-like? Is it smart to move toward a hive-mind? Who knows.

Downside? Enough people are connected via their brains and someone hacks the “brainet” to make the world bow before them. Upside? Natural disaster takes place and we use the “brainet” to locate those in need of help and almost telepathically send the information needed to medically aid those people even though the person at the receiving end might not be trained in life-saving techniques.

The entire idea is still in its infancy as to the possible applications but as Nicolelis points out:

“These computers will not do word processing or numerical calculation or internet searches, they will be tailored for very specific tasks like what animals are tailored for. It’s a totally different kind of vision for computation that we’re not used to.”

The whole process is intriguingly involved and fascinating….and somewhat terrifying.

Imagine waking up and being hooked to someone else’s brain?

Or imagine that this is slowly becoming a reality….

[Motherboard]


Record Made with Conductive Paint to Create “Music” – Sounds More Like Angry, Drunk R2D2

Posted by Tony on July 10th, 2015

Two researchers at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design recently decided to make a record utilizing conductive paint.

Conductive paint is awesome…just think of it as paintable wiring.

Sounds great, right?

It is…unless you decided to make a record utilizing conductive paint.

“Conductive paint and resistive graphite were used to draw functioning circuits on paper disks. When the synthesizer completes the circuit its pitch is changed by the varying resistance of the graphite strips.”

The “varying resistance” ends up sounding like a very angry, very drunk R2D2 with an ear-piercingly bad motivator.

[Gizmodo]


Someone Stitched Together 400,000 Space Photos – You’ll Be Glad People Have This Kind of Time

Posted by Tony on July 9th, 2015

YouTube user Daveachuk has created a late-night, where-do-I-fit-in-the-universe, pondering-life-late-at-night video from over 400,000 photos as well as data taken by the Spitzer Space Telescope.

The resulting video is almost mesmerizing and a gentle reminder of just how tiny we all are…

It’s also a reminder of this…

[SPLOID]


Charon Photobombs New Horizon Photo of Pluto

Posted by Tony on July 9th, 2015

Back in 2006 the New Horizon space probe left Earth on mission to visit Pluto.

On July 14th of this year, New Horizon will finally reach its destination and give us a closer look at the piece of rock that was once on the a-list of planets in our neighborhood.

In January New Horizon was brought out of hibernation in preparation for its approach to Pluto.

As photos began coming back showing Pluto in more detail than we’ve ever seen, scientists were a little bummed they weren’t seeing much of Pluto’s little moon-buddy, Charon. That all changed as scientists merged photos from the RALPH and LORRI cameras onboard the probe.

Suddenly they could plainly see the photobombing moon of Charon in the background of the Pluto photos they already had.

New Horizon’s mission includes mapping Pluto (and possibly Charon) and gathering as much info as possible about Pluto. Once it heads away from Pluto it will try to collect information about any object it can come across in the Kuiper Belt before moving into who-knows-where.

[WIRED]


Man’s Wife Gets Beaten by Evil Demon Poltergeist – Hires Pro Demon Slayer to do Battle

Posted by Tony on July 8th, 2015

Tracey and Kerion Fry have marriage problems.

And not in the normal domestic disturbance kind of way, either.

According to the Frys, an evil, seriously pissed-off poltergeist is plaguing their marriage and their home.

Before calling upon help, the couple have allegedly been dealing with an entity that beats Mrs. Fry and leaves marks of its attack. With attacks becoming more intense, Kerion decided to call in a professional slayer of demons to stop his wife Tracey from getting beaten.

“We are being molested by demons. My wife goes to bed fine, doesn’t feel anything in the night but when she wakes up she’s in agony. I wake up the next day and said: ‘I didn’t do that’. I would never beat my wife. It’s getting worse and worse and there’s nothing we can do.”

In the name of love, Kerion sought out the help of Robert Amour who beats the crap out of demons for a living.

Amour entered the home and determined that it wasn’t just a single demon, but a group of demons. In a battle where love and a marriage were at stake, Amour says he slayed two of the evil spirits:

“As soon as I arrived at the home I could sense there was negative energy. The incubus was brought via a ouija board – they are an absolute danger and can bring through anything. This particular one was reluctant to go. I always speak to their residents first about exactly what they can see. I listen and deal with it from there. I can normally see the demons straight away. I then focus on it and move it on to a heavenly state.
‘I don’t send it back where it came from. It takes a while for things to calm down as you have to allow the negative energy to return to positive energy.”

Amour says that there were three demons and he single-handedly laid waste to two of them using nothing more than a bible and a crucifix.

Unfortunately Amour states that he was not able to cleanse the house of the third, most powerful demon and that, after his exhaustive battle with the lesser two, he wishes the Frys well in the future.

Always reassuring to hear from a professional demon slayer.

Currently the Frys are still dealing with an evil nightmare demon from hell…

And armed only with love.

[Express UK]


Ancient Lodging Discovery Rewrites Icelandic Local Settlement History

Posted by Tony on July 8th, 2015

Archaeologists have discovered the remains of what appears to be an ancient lodging almost 20 feet wide and 65 feet long in central Reykjavík. A government-sponsored team stumbled across the remains of the building and believes it predates another, similar lodge discovered in 2001.

While dating information and analysis aren’t yet finished, the researchers firmly believe that this discovery will rewrite local history regarding the settlement of that area of Iceland.

Another great example that illustrates that we really don’t have a full grasp of the planet’s history with each new discovery…

And a reminder that somewhere…under layers of dirt…

The ancient ones are probably waiting for us to find them.

[Icelandic Review]


After Things: Pale Blue Dot

Posted by Bryce on July 8th, 2015
Skitched 20110225 175343
After Things is the official after show of Weird Things Podcast.
It’s a special BEFORE Things! Best ways to reach out. What makes a good method of communication? How do you handle being out-of-contact?
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Jaguar Shows Off New Experimental Auto Tech – Turns Range Rover into Smartphone-Driven RC Car

Posted by Tony on July 7th, 2015

A long time ago on the WeirdThings podcast, because we’re always ahead of the curve when it comes to hypotheticals about how new tech might be used in ridiculous scenarios, we pondered how someone might use smart-car tech to commit manslaughter by hacking a vehicle and driving it into a squishy human being.

Jaguar is pushing that possibility into becoming a very real scenario.

Currently the vehicle has severe limitations on speed (it tops out at 4mph) and the distance that the phone is from the vehicle (the car stops when the phone is too far or too close).

It’s still early in development and still early to really understand how an average user might need this kind of control over their car with autonomous vehicles rolling into the public traffic and becoming part of our every day lives.

Sure….it all sounds safe…

But like the curious primates we are…

It’s only a matter of time before curiosity…and an unmanned Range Rover with a driver on smartphone miles away…kills the cat that’s crossing the road.

[]


Our Childhood Dreams Are About to Come True: Two Huge Robots About to Throw Down!

Posted by Tony on July 7th, 2015

Since the very idea of giant robots the thought of giant robots beating the paneling off of one another has also existed.

Japanese movies, Rock’em Sock’em Robots, Voltron, Robot Jox, Shogun Warriors, Pacific Rim, Real Steel and a massive list of things with fighting robots have whet our appetites for something we all secretly want to be a real thing…

Wish no more!

It’s happening.

Recently the creators of the MK. II came out of nowhere with a video taunt aimed at Japan’s million dollar Kuratas. The creators of Kuratas responded with a snarkingly condescending video asking MK. II to put down its ridiculous cannon-ball launching and missile-firing weaponary and fight like a big metal man.

The guantlet has been thrown.

Now all we’re waiting for is a time and place.

A time and place where two giant metal warriors are going to bring our secret dreams into reality…

One crushingly loud, satisfying blow at a time.

[MAKE]


Podcast: That’s the Shark’s House

Posted by Bryce on July 5th, 2015
Skitched 20110225 175343
Why all the shark attacks? Is there a species we could eradicate without destroying the ecosystem? Should we stop a new ice age? Let’s talk about Godlessness, baby.
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Picks:

Andrew: The Mummy

Brian: An Honest Liar

Justin: Name of the Devil


After Things: Screens, Right?

Posted by Bryce on July 1st, 2015
Skitched 20110225 175343
The disconnect between the oft-forgotten screenwriter and their work.
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Podcast: Floundering Meat Machine

Posted by Bryce on June 29th, 2015
Skitched 20110225 175343
The happiest episode of Weird Things ever! SpaceX’s latest launch. Summertime fun at the beach. Google’s new chatbot.
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Picks:

Andrew: Tremors

Brian: The Jinx

Justin: Jurassic World


After Things: Thinking Outside The No

Posted by Bryce on June 24th, 2015
Skitched 20110225 175343
After Things is the official after show of Weird Things Podcast.
Magician and producer Chris Kenner shares his experience making his own path and refusing to be told no. On receiving advice and handling repeated “bad” advice.
Get After Things before anyone else by supporting Weird Things on Patreon!
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Download url: http://www.itricks.com/upload/AfterThings062115.mp3

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