Saturday, July 31, 2010
Peter Steele 1962-2010
At the time of Pete's death "Ouija-Man" was
If you would like to check out this newest track click HERE or follow the Civilized Meat or Facebook link in the right hand column of this page. If you like the song please add Civilized Meat on Myspace or like my musician page on Facebook
Uploaded by metalgirl. - Explore more music videos.
Image credit: Pete, Unknown, Brood cover by: Caine
Monday, July 26, 2010
Posted by Youtube user:DiscoverNetworks
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Researchers at Harvard’s Wyss Institute engineered a coin-sized microchip that can be loaded with biological cells and made to "breathe", mimicking the workings of an actual lung. The chip has two chambers separated by a flexible membrane, one containing human lung cells, the other capillary blood cells. Because of the chip's flexible design, varying the air pressure within channels along the chip's surface causes it to expand and contract, replicating the mechanics of breathing. This ability to mimic a functioning lung enables the transparent device to be used in monitoring how the cells within the chip react to introduced particles, such as environmental toxins, and could ultimately replace some animal testing.
More importantly, I believe this device could potentially be the first step in the development of the synthetic lungs I'll be needing in order to realize my dream of someday becoming a murderous...I mean... friendly..um.. cyborg... hero.. person...ya.. Just watch the Dr. guy in the video for more info you filthy MEAT-SACKS!
Posted by Youtube user:wyssintitute
Also check out this story on: Singularity Hub, which was my original source.
Image credit: The Wyss Institute
Saturday, July 24, 2010
You may remember reports that Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens intended to arrest the Pope on his next visit to the UK this September. While these initial accounts of the pair's intent to literally ambush and arrest the man themselves was ridiculous. Dawkins and Hitchens, along with human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson, legitimately sought to bring charges against the pope for human rights violations following the release of documents which proved the pope had a hand in covering up the actions of several pedophile priests. Including, most infuriatingly of all, a Wisconsin priest who raped 200 deaf children.
It appears this campaign to hold the pope and by proxy the Catholic church responsible for it's actions, seems to have had a real chance at being successful. So real in fact that the UK government has moved to prevent the arrest by altering it's universal jurisdiction laws, according to an article on the website "Sky News HD".
The UK's universal jurisdiction law allows individuals to be prosecuted in the UK for serious offenses such as war crimes, crimes against humanity, and torture even if those crimes were carried out abroad without the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions. Once in effect, the new changes in the law, first proposed by Justice Secretary Ken Clarke, would now require the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions before an arrest warrant can be issued to a private prosecutor in respect to an offense of universal jurisdiction.
Posted by Youtube user:M4fiot
Chritopher Hitchens discusses the campaign on MSNBC:
Posted by Youtube user:DailyHitchens
Thursday, July 22, 2010
in 2006 artist and Fulbright scholar Garnet Hertz created a robot which, by means of a modified mouse ball, is controlled by a Madagascar hissing cockroach.
I have already begun plans to amass my very own Roach-Borg army which will guarantee me success in my campaign for world domination as Neo-Luddites everywhere will cower in fear of my advanced technology, while the rest of the world retreats in disgust from the icky bugs controlling them! MUAHAHAHAHA!
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
But all of this trouble could have been avoided, along with the pain and misery of the victims if only more people had a better understanding of what the Catholic church was really all about. If only...More people listened to Louis CK.
Video posted by Youtube user:Louisck
If You're not watching already, Louis has a new show on FX called "Louie".
It airs Tuesday nights at 11PM, click HERE for clips and more info.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
In 2000 an even more complete example of Australopithecus was discovered in the form of a nearly complete juvenile specimen and now there is a third and even older bipedal ancestor to add to the list "Big man".
Discovered in Ethiopia's Afar region in 2005 Big Man has once again pushed back the time when our ancestors first walked upright by another 400,000 years and though he only stood around 5 to 5-and-a-half feet, he still would have towered over the diminutive Lucy who was only 3ft 6in. New details gleamed from Big Man's remains, in particular the shape of his shoulder blade and the length of his legs, show that he shared more physical characteristics with modern humans rather than chimps, a fact which contradicts traditional thought on the evolution of hominids into modern humans but which follows similar evidence observed in the remains of what is to date the oldest known human ancestor, the fossil known as "Ardi" who lived an estimated 4.4 million years ago.
Monday, July 19, 2010
If you have not visited any of the links labeled "my music" or the Facebook link in the right hand column of this page then you may not yet know that aside from being a blogger I am also a musician and artist. I write, record, and perform as well create the artwork and graphics for, a number of primarily one man musical projects. Two of which can currently be found online either independently HERE and HERE or collectively on my Facebook play list.
This week I released the first industrial track, "Genesis" for what is currently an instrumental project called "House Of Caine". This particular track is a mixture of programmed drums and percussion alongside live guitars and represents the first of 8 to 10 similarly styled tracks that will form the bulk of the track list for an ambient/industrial style album which I intend to release sometime next year. The remainder of the tracks currently listed on the House Of Caine play list are film score style instrumentals.
While the final CD will contain tracks complete with vocals, for the time being I have chosen to release only instrumentals on the page as it was my hope that other independent filmmakers, podcasters, and the like might decide to place a track or two within they're own project.
So if you have a project in need of an original composition or theme, please follow the links provided throughout this article as well as this blog to check out House Of Caine. Or, contact me direct via e-mail with more information about your project at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can Also check out my second project Civilized Meat; which I hope to update with a new track, possibly updated mixes of the previously released tracks, next week.
And if you enjoy my music or this blog, take a moment to answer the poll at the top of this page and be sure to "like" my musician page on facebook, which I regularly update whenever I post a new article or song.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
There comes a time when you just have to give up and accept things for what they are. I want the Sci-fi, sorry, "Syfy" channel to not suck. I want shows like Ghost hunters to go away not multiply and shows like Farscape and Firefly to come back. And when they run movies, I want them to run movies like Blade Runner and Star Wars instead of Pirates of the Caribbean or Elf. But it's obvious that none of that is ever going to happen. And so, the MST3K fan within me has accepted the Syfy channel for what it is, a place to watch intentionally bad(?) Syfy films purely for the comedic value. Behold the newest challenger for the bad movie throne, "Sharktopus".
Why is Sharktopus only a challenger and not the king sight unseen? Because there is still "Mega Piranha."
Image Credit: Unknown
You may remember Joe as the man who claimed to have recieved the words; "Peace, peace, peace the message is peace.", from the spirit of John Lennon in a 2007 American broadcast appropriately named: "The Spirit Of John Lennon". Since then, Joe or "The Man Who Sees Dead People" as he dubs himself in his book, has been busy back home in Liverpool continuing to build his career as a psychic medium. But recently it looks as though that career may have taken a turn for the worse.
On a recent episode of the Skeptics with a k podcast, Michael Marsh co-founder of The Merseyside Skeptics Society, discussed a phone call he had received from his local police department. The officer called to inform him of a recent complaint that Marsh's organization had made violent threats against psychic Joe.
Marsh explained to the officer the relationship between Joe and The MSS as well as his own past interactions with Joe and assured him that neither Marsh himself nor his organization would ever encourage or tolerate violence or threats of violence against anyone. Satisfied with Marsh's explanation the officer assured him that it seemed no wrong doing had occurred.
What would have provoked the UK psychic to make an unwarranted allegation against a set of his critics? Perhaps it has something to do with his recent appearance on the UK's paranormal investigation show, "Derren Brown investigates", hosted by Mentalist, Magician, Artist and Skeptic Derren Brown.
During the show Joe allowed Derren to film and interview him while he performed psychic readings for various subjects. At first things seemed to go well for Joe as he was able to score a number of seemingly impressive hits during his first reading. It would later turn out that this particular woman actually lived next door to Joe's sister not merely on the same street as Joe admits in a statement on his web page released after the fact .
Joe appeared both confident in his abilities and pleased with the conditions of the show as they moved on to his next planned event. But all of that would change as Derren began to remove elements of control from Joe's hands. Leading to amongst other things, Joe's refusal to participate in a previously-agreed-to blind test meant to prevent him from employing techniques such as cold reading. Joe explained it would be impossible for him to conduct such a reading because as a clairaudience, he required verbal interaction with an individual to conduct a successful reading. A claim which is made even more laughable once you've been greeted by the sizable add on Joe's homepage which supplies you with a number to text for a psychic reading.
But the ultimate turning point in the show, as well as Joe's attitude, came when he was presented with a subject which Derren and his producers had chosen from a list of their own applicants rather than the list of individuals given to them by Joe's management, as had been the case for the first and most successful of Joe's readings on the show. After abruptly ending his reading of this woman, declaring that her mind had been corrupted by merely meeting "known skeptic" Derren Brown. Joe began to accuse Derren of lying to him about having met the woman before her reading, even though Derren had admitted to doing so directly to Joe before the reading and on camera.
A statement released on Joe's web page about his appearance on the show includes the following about this particular reading:
"You may have watched my recent appearance on “Derren Brown – Investigates” on Monday 10th May 2010. If you managed to catch it, you will have noted ….all was not as it seems as the well know sceptic, himself might say.
For example, the production company advertised for a list of readers to use in the documentary. Ultimately they therefore had a free reign as to who they chose for me to read for. I was not informed who I would be reading for, where I was going or when I was reading."
That's right, "Psychic medium" Joe Power says it was unfair of Derren and his producers to ask him to "read" someone without first telling him who they were, where they lived, when the reading would take place, and then allowing him to decide weather or not he actually wanted to read them in the first place. Kind of makes you wonder if Joe Understands the difference between being psychic and running a background check on someone.
All in all I'm enjoying watching the image Joe's worked so hard to create unravel in such a public way and can only hope his spiral back into obscurity where he belongs continues to be as public and as humiliating as possible so that no ever wastes their money on Joe's lame parlor tricks again.
Links and Additional Content
First of all go visit the Merseyside Skeptics Society page and check out the Skeptics With a K and Inkredulous podcasts. Check out they're blog as well to read about Marsh's first encounter with Joe, SPOILER ALERT: someone gets called a pedophile and it isn't Joe... and also his account of the most recent accusations of threats of violence.
Visit Derren's page for more info on Derren and his show and of course Watch Joe fail for yourself on Derren Brown Investigates in the video below.
Posted by YouTube User: SkepticaTV
Image Credit: Joe Power, The Merseyside Skeptics Society, and Derren Brown
Video posted by Youtube user: SkepticaTV
Friday, July 16, 2010
Rex Bionics has designed a pair of robotic legs which allow people in wheel chairs to stand, walk, and even go up and down stairs. Users strap themselves into the exoskeleton and control it's movement by using joysticks with either hand. Check the company's web site or Youtube channel for more vids.
Video posted by YouTube user:rexbionics
As far back as 1855 Observations were made of distant stars which suggested that they might in fact have planets orbiting around them. But the first Published discovery of a planet orbiting a star outside of our own solar system to later receive confirmation was not made until 1988 when Canadian astronomers Bruce Campbell, G. A. H. Walker, and S. Yang made radial-velocity observations which suggested that there was a planet orbiting the star Gamma Cephei. The trio's observations would eventually be confirmed in 2002.
Today projects like Trappist, a new robotic telescope from the ESO designed to detect exoplanets, and Keppler a NASA space observatory launched in March of 2009, have helped us to detect over 450 planets orbiting distant stars. One such planet is Osiris or HD 209458b which orbits the star HD 209458 in the Pegasus constellation 150 light years away from earth.
Osiris was first spotted in 1999 and additional observation of the planet have since confirmed that the gas giant has not only water vapor in it's atmosphere but methane as well as carbon dioxide and that the Planet's orbit is a mere one eighth the radius of Mercury's. Meaning, Osiris revolves around it's own sun in just 3.5 days leaving it with an estimated surface temperature of 1000 degrees Celsius. Now new observations of Osiris made by the Hubble Space Telescope's Cosmic Origins Spectrograph have confirmed that the consequent evaporation of the planet's atmosphere mean the gas giant leaves behind itself a tail like a comet as it's atmosphere is slowly burned away.
You can find out more about Osiris by visiting this article on the discovery blog: 80beats, which was my main source for this story. Or if you just want more info on exoplanets in general check out NASA's PlanetQuest site which is full of pictures, multimedia presentations and other cool stuff. But my personal favorite link of the day, the Exoplanetology blog right here blogspot which I stumbled upon while googling for this entry and ended up being distracted by for quite some time.
Image Credit:John Whatmough
Sunday, July 11, 2010
In the Wednesday edition of weird
things TV Justin made an impassioned plea to "SAVE THE LASER!" and urged others to do the same. So protect your inalienable right to own dangerous yet otherwise functionless toys simply because they happen to resemble props from your favorite films by going to the weird things TV channel on YouTube and uploading a video of yourself chanting, "Save The Laser" in reply to the following episode of Weird things TV.
Uploaded by YouTube user: Weirdthingstv
Image credit: S3 Laser by: WickedLasers.com, "Save the Laser" by: Weirdthings.com
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Ridley Scott, director of Blade Runner and Aliens, along with director Kevin Macdonald, Intends to "crowd scource" a documentary called "Life In a Day" using videos submitted to YouTube by the general public. The projects YouTube Channel explains, in part, as follows:
"Life in a day is a historic global experiment to create a user-generated feature film, shot in a singe day, by you. On July 24th, you have 24 hours to capture a glimpse of your life on camera. The most compelling and distinctive footage will be edited into an experimental documentary film, produced by Riddley Scott and directed by Kevin Macdonald."
The finished film will premier at the Sundance film festival in January of 2011 and 20 of the films chosen contributors will get to join Kevin Macdonald in Sundance. So if you would like to appear in a Ridley Scott film then all you have to do is record the most compelling moments of your day on July 24th and submit your footage to the project. If your footage makes it into the final film, you even get a co-directors credit.
For more info on this project go to the YouTube channel: Life In a Day
Image credit: Martin Argles
Video posted by YouTube User: lifeinaday
As you may recall, On June 13th The unmanned Japanese space probe Hayabusa returned to earth following a seven year round trip to rendezvous with and sample a near Earth asteroid known as Itokowa. Malfunctions during the mission made it unclear weather or not Hayabusa had successfully collected samples from the asteroid. Now, an article in the Japanese Times Online, posted July 6th, reports dust particles have been found inside the container. While it seems most likely that those particles will turn out to have originated here on earth, JAXA will be closely analyzing the dust to see if in fact any of it may have come from Itokowa.
Friday, July 9, 2010
Captain Disillusion is a real life super hero and all around champion of logic, reason, and the scientific method. He uses his superior knowledge of advanced video editing techniques to analyze and explain various viral videos from around the web and now he's managed to attain an extra dimension!
In this special 3D episode Captain Disillusion explains a series of viral videos from Reebok depicting various Football players performing superhuman feats of speed, agility, and strength. I've chosen to link to the 2D version here as 3D videos from YouTube only embed in parallel mode and lack the 3d tab which allows you to choose the method in which you view the video. You can see the 3D Version here. But the Captain is awesome in any number of dimensions. So watch the video and go to the Captain's YouTube channel to view the rest of his videos.
Posted by YouTube User: Captain Disillusion
Links And Additional Content
If like me you happen not to own any 3d glasses select parallel or cross-eyed from the 3d tab and you can view the video by crossing and then unfocusing your eyes the same way you view these things:
(If your doing it right the diamonds become pyramids and the two circles become spheres, click to enlarge for easier viewing)
Image Credits: Captain Disillusion,
Stereogram by: B.P. Johnson (X-Your-Eyes)
Video posted by YouTube user: Captain Disillusion
Monday, July 5, 2010
So you wanna take pictures from the edge of space. Don't think you can? Photographer and cinematographer Collin Rich did, and he did it for next to nothing.
Collin posted the following video on Vimeo of his second high altitude photography experiment, Pacific Star 2. The images were all taken using two digital cameras, purchased online for a mere 45 bucks and then attached to a home made weather balloon. The balloon was able to reach an altitude of 125,000 feet before bursting and deploying the chute on the insulated box carrying the cameras which then descended for 35 minutes, landing near an old olive orchard near Santa Paula.
Rich's first attempt is also posted on the site. His Pacific Star 1 balloon managed to travel a distance of 96 miles and reach a height of 33Km. While he was able to retrieve the cameras, insufficient insulation caused the condensation on the lenses of the camera rendering many of the photos unusable.
Links And Additional Content
You can see stills from both Pacific star experiments as well as more of Collin's photography HERE on his website.
If you've never spent any time on Vimeo before you should take some time to check it out as well. Think of it as You Tube for artists.
Image Credit: Collin Rich
Video posted by Vimeo user:Collin Rich
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Posted by YouTube user:Kthan646
Memory Alloys "remember" their cold forge shape and will return to that shape after being deformed in response to the application of heat. Certain memory alloys posses a "two way" memory effect, meaning they respond to both heat and cold by changing shape. So when electrical current is applied through the copper ribbons, heating the shape memory alloy in the fiberglass to 70 degrees C or more, the strips bend and fold causing the fiberglass to do the same. Researchers were ultimately able to use this effect to manipulate the sheets into specific shapes.
The hope is that experiments like this will help lead to the development of more advanced forms of programmable matter and "smart materials" capable of transforming into specific shapes on demand. While were still a long way away from that reality, the potential applications for materials like this seem to all but guarantee future advances in the field.
Friday, July 2, 2010
While eating my lunch the other day I decided I was in need of background noise and more often than not, The Travel Channel is THE place for ignorable white noise. So the Travel Channel is where I went. But instead of white noise I tuned in just in time to watch a story on a disturbing little town in Iowa which had chosen to base not only it's laws but its architecture on the teachings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
The Vedic writings on which Mahesh's techniques and belief system were based are as always, ancient, vague, and metaphoric enough to allow believers to interpret and add to them as they see fit, which Mahesh was more than happy to do. At the height of the movements popularity he introduced an "advanced form" of TM called "TM-Sidhi" . Besides greater spiritual enlightenment, Sidhi promised followers the ability to generate a peace inducing field, invulnerability, and every one's favorite, the ability to float and fly. Wow, that does sound advanced.
Around the same time Mahesh also developed theScience of Creative Intelligence or SCI. Criticised by both James Randi and Carl Sagan as a pseudoscience SCI was an obvious attempt to make Mahesh's beliefs seem less supernatural, more scientific and therefore more appealing to a wider audience. You know, kind of like Creationists and the intelligent design movement and by "kind of" I mean EXACTLY THE SAME AS.
Residents of Vedic city gather several times a day for meditation, adhere to a strict vegetarian diet(all food is legally required to be grown organically), and must build their homes facing east in accordance with vedic architecture. Homes must also adhere to precise Vedic proportions, include an interior silent core, a perimeter boundary called a "vastu fence" and a gold-colored fixture on the roof, called a "kalash". All of which are of course vital to cosmic awareness, inner conscientiousness, world peace and the usual variety of made up spiritualism nonsense.
Besides naming it's very own Mansion Hotel as the physical capital of the imaginary global country, the town also houses a variety of Mahareshi-themed "educational" facilities including: Maharishi Vedic University, Maharishi University of Management, Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment, Maharishi Open University, Maharishi Spiritual University, and Ideal Girls School. An impressive list for a town which, as of a 2006 census, had only 222 residents.
But my personal favorite program in Vedic City has to be Vedic Defense, descibed in it's entirety as follows;
"Founded to become a “lighthouse of peace” for America and the world. The City is working to establish a permanent group of peace-creating experts whose daily practice of Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation™ (they added the trademark not me, seriously)and Yogic Flying techniques will promote coherent national and world consciousness and thereby prevent any negativity from arising in America or in the family of nations."
Translation: They believe that by practicing mantric meditation, which is all TM is, that they they can effect the ever popular global conscientiousness in a positive way. Thus creating an impenetrable bubble of peace for all around them regardless of weather or not those around them actually believe in TM. Sounds like perfect conditions for a million dollar challenge to me.
There was so much to be said about this insane little town and the Transcendental Meditation movement that it was hard to decide what to leave out. Vedic science alone was deserving of it's own entry and may still get one. So be sure to follow these links as well as those throughout this article to the; town's homepage, the Maharishi University site and the Wikipedia page for Maharishi Vedic city. All of which will provide you with even more links and information to support my assertion that; like scientology, the poeple of Vedic city and followers of TM are not harmless eccentrics to ignore or laugh at but a cult worth paying attention to.
I never said we couldn't laugh at them.
Image Credit: Mahesh photo, unknown
Mayor Bob Wynne photo taken from the Town's homepage.
Video posted by YouTube user: gobeyondthought