This post is sponsored by eBay. From the new to the hard to find, when it’s on your mind, it’s on eBay.
No, that isn't the brand new iPhone in the center there. It's the iPhone 4S. And while the new phone grabs the spotlight, the 4S is hardly obsolete. Just back to school with a limited gadget budget? eBay currently offers the 16GB iPhone 4S used, refurbished, starting at around $300 depending on the carrier and color. New factory unlocked models are also available. Of course, iPhones aren't the only Apple product to be found on eBay at discount. Check out listings for the iPad 3 and Macbook Pro with Retina Display for significant savings.
I'm sitting in on a NASA Jet propulsion laboratory teleconference for science journalists, with an update for the world on the Mars Curiosity rover's mission. Curiosity completes her "checkout" phase today. Including an "intermission" of 13 sols, and one remaining sol to inspect the rover's robotic arm, 26 sols have been devoted to so-called checkout duties. Today is sol 37. Rover is currently facing a Southeast direction. Temperatures on the rover are between 7 and 33 C. She has covered a little over a football field's distance on the surface of Mars. Ability to move the arm has been confirmed, and the ability of the rover to perform sampling is confirmed.
Curiosity has so far driven 109 meters from its original landing site, and engineers are driving her about 40 meters per sol. The first drilling into the surface of Mars is expected to occur about a month from now, following various surface activities (scraping rock surfaces, and so on).
Three speakers in the teleconference: Jennifer Trosper, JPL; Curiosity mission manager. Ralf Gellert, University of Guelph, in Guelph, Ontario, Canada; principal investigator for the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer instrument (or APXS) on Curiosity. Ken Edgett, Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego; principal investigator for the Mars Hand Lens Imager (or MAHLI) on Curiosity.
At the top of this blog post, the first Mars image of the day (larger size here):
A bald eagle named Beauty whose beak was shot off by poachers has been fitted with a 3D printed, prosthetic beak by her helpers at Birds of Prey Northwest. The prosthetic isn't stable enough for a release back into the wild, but the bird can now feed and groom herself, rather than relying on humans.
But raptor specialist Jane Fink Cantwell, who dresses like Indiana Jones, refused to take “dead bald eagle” for an answer. She joined forces with mechanical engineer Nate Calvin of Kinetic Engineering Group, and together with other scientists, engineers, and even a dentist, they designed a nylon polymer beak that would perfectly replace Beauty’s lost upper mandible.
Calvin developed the new beak using a 3-D modeling program, then used a 3-D printer to fabricate it. After an arduous procedure to attach her prosthetic, Beauty was able to eat, drink, and preen herself on her own.
German artist Paule Hammer created this massive head of Klaus Kinski for a 2005 exhibition at Munich's Galerie Andreas Binder. The work is titled "Niemand weiß, was wir fühlen" ("Nobody Knows What We Feel"). It reminds me of something an exhausted Ron Mueck might sculpt after sitting through a comprehensive Herzog film festival in its entirety. (via Spencer Hickman and Dangerous Minds)
News broke today that Bravo was headed into scripted television territory, and that's the positive news. (Holding out on calling it "good news" until I see the actual shows.) But then there was this: a reboot of the movie Heathers. As you can imagine, the blogosphere (at least the writers who are Heathers fans) was not thrilled about this news. But fortunately, the movie itself has provided a whole slew of reactions for us! Let's take a look at a bunch of quotes from the movie that can now be reissued as pre-reviews of this very dumb reboot idea. The best part is that we don't even need context from the plot!
Jon Cotner says, "Last weekend's New York Times discusses Island Night -- my 12-hour nocturnal walk through Fire Island. These walks accommodate eight participants plus myself. They combine philosophic dialogue with poetic meditation, and go from 6 pm to 6 am. Ancient Greeks are heavily represented (Sappho, Pythagoras, Diogenes, Hippocrates). Asian poets too (Akahito, Basho, Issa). All my recent projects aim to revive the ancient, endangered practices of walking and talking."
Here's a series of "Disaster Dioramas" (dioramae?) -- papercraft models of historic disasters to download and print. Included in the set are the Titanic, the Hindenberg, Sir Shackleton's Endurance, Apollo 13, the Boston Molasses Disaster and the Chicago Fire, pictured here.
Dylan Tweney at Venturebeat: "Apple has entered a new phase in the evolution of its iPhone line, and you can pretty much forget about radical reinventions from now on. The iPhone is now a mature product, and as with many mature products, the chief innovations will interest chief financial officers more than tech reporters like me: Expanding to new international markets and new carriers." — Xeni
After rigorous study of the Instant Art Critique Phrase Generator, I conclude that with regard to the issue of content, the disjunctive perturbation of the spatial relationships brings within the realm of discourse the distinctive formal juxtapositions. "The Instant Art Critique Phrase Generator" (Thanks, Terre Thamelitz!)
Rome's Ponte Milvio Bridge is decorated with thousands of padlocks that couples have attached to the structure to signify their love. Now, city workers are taking bolt cutters to the tradition. In 2007, the mayor introduced a fine to punish those caught attaching the locks, but now the city council says rust from the padlocks is damaging the bridge. From BBC News:
The custom is inspired by a book by novelist Federico Moccia in which a couple place a bicycle lock around a lamppost and throw the key into the Tiber.
The gesture was meant to symbolise the couple eternally locking their hearts together.
It took off and clusters of padlocks can be found near other landmarks in other Italian cities.
A hiker in Unterwössen, Germany called police after coming across a naked, disoriented man in the woods who refused any help. Turns out, the gentleman was a monk who had gone off camping and, according to the police report, ate some poisonous Belladonna berries that spurred a rather bad trip. From the Local:
He failed to find his way back to his tent, ending up instead wandering around aimlessly.