This video of a live Tickle Me Elmo doll going up in flames is easily the most disturbing thing I've seen all month -- it writhes and thrashes and laughes with mad glee, begging you to "stop it" while its charred body dances with red flame. This is some deeply twisted stuff.
(Thanks, Fipi Lele!
Update: An anonymous puppeteer writes, "When I was working on 'Elmo in Grouchland' they were using a radio control Elmo for a couple of scenes. These RC puppets used to be prone to all sorts of problems. They'd go into seizures if a cab went by broadcasting at the same frequency. So, we were all used to the puppets suddenly freaking out and twitching.
Until Elmo caught on fire.
He was hanging from a basket twelve feet over the stage floor, and went into the twitching routine. Then smoke started pouring out of his neck. They cut the power and hit him with a fire extinguisher so fast you'd think he was a real person. It turns out that some of his fur had gotten caught in a servo. "
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
CEO Dick Costolo will resign, to be replaced in the interim by Jack Dorsey
The Lytro Illum dares to be different, boasting even more robust features than its first generation predecessor and a sleek design reminiscent of professional DSLRs. What’s so cool about it? Most cameras capture the position of light rays, producing a statoc 2D image.
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