Idea Box draws community to public library

The Idea Box at Oak Park Public Library is a new experiment in community participation and library programming that invites visitors to “explore, learn, and play.” The 9 x 13 glass-enclosed space opened in March and has already played host to several popular exhibitions.

Read the rest

Second Wind, a brutal browser roguelike

Described by author Squidly as "text adventure, roguelike, and sweet simplicity," Second Wind is a grind-em-up browser adventure. Attack, upgrade, buy stuff, and watch as stats accumulate, new character classes unlock, and the pixilated world changes. It's all horribly addictive, of course.

QWOP creator on gaming

Bennett Foddy, creator of staggeringly difficult running game QWOP, has no sympathy for complainers: "My worry is not that games are getting too easy, because easy games can be wonderful. My worry is that games are getting too comfortable." [Indie Games]

Girl's stomach removed after liquid nitrogen cocktail drunk

The BBC's Amy Gladwell: "As the frozen vapour hits the stomach it rapidly warms, releasing large volumes of air which can burst the stomach. Doctors performed emergency surgery to remove Gaby Scanlon's stomach, an operation known as a total gastrectomy"

Art.sy

Art.sy is a recommendation engine a la Pandora or RDIO, but for the visual arts. Melena Ryzik, in The New York Times:

An extensive free repository of fine-art images and an online art appreciation guide, it is predicated on the idea that audiences comfortable with image-driven Web sites like Tumblr and Pinterest are now primed to spend hours browsing through canvases and sculpture on their monitors and tablets, especially with one-click help.

Dishonored "the finest hour" for shooting games

Dishonored is a striking new first-person action game from Arkane and Bethesda. Beautiful and unique—it's set in a bizarre alternative London that suggests a Peter Ackroyd novel on drugs—it is described by Alec Meer as "the finest hour in what we might loosely but innacurately term ‘blockbuster shooters’ in years". But, he says, there will be a backlash. Others chime in on a game whose perfect execution draws the eye to the art's ambiguous charms: Wired, CNN, Forbes, The Verge, Kotaku.

Mathew Borrett's hypnagogic cities

Matthew Borrett's Escher-like sunken cityscapes invite exploration; Huge, finely-detailed prints are available. [via Illusion 360]

Inky-Linky: making live links on printed webpages


Roo Reynolds's Inky-Linky is a bookmarklet that makes printed-out webpages much more useful by adding QR codes to the margins, corresponding to the links in the document. That way, you can follow the links in your hardcopy by scanning the codes. It's available as a tarball on GitHub, and will probably not be usable to you if you don't run a local web-server, but it points in a very interesting direction!

Inky-Linky

TRAMPOLARCHERY: loosing arrows whilst bouncing on a trampoline

Ryan is a University of Waterloo Engineering grad student who has invited the world to suggest damnfool stunts that he might perform for the youtubes. In this episode, he looses arrows from a powerful bow while bouncing on a trampoline. It's TRAMPOLARCHERY!

CREATIVE DISSONANCE EPISODE 4 – TRAMPOLARCHERY (via Skepchick)

Carnage in Azeroth

"Hackers have massacred all the virtual characters in some of online adventure game World of Warcraft's major cities" [BBC]

Mind-powered animal ears

Gillian BenAry says:

This is without a doubt the next best thing to actually being a colorful furry animal (for those who’d be interested in that sort of thing). I got chatting with the guy who was wearing these fuzzy orange fox ears, which move in accordance with your emotional state (triggered by alpha and beta brainwaves). Turned out that Nick Hoffman, the guy under the ears, was also the guy behind the ears: his company EMOKI created these anthropomorphic accessories. He was really excited to tell me all about them and show off the range of emotion they can convey. For example, they perk up when you see somebody cute, they droop down when you feel relaxed, and they wiggle when you get excited.
MAKE: Mind-powered Animal Ears

Steve Jurvetson, on Rose’s Law for quantum computers

If you are a nerd and you're not following Steve Jurvetson on Flickr, you should correct that. Why? Posts like this one, in which the VC and tech-thinker explores interesting things in interesting ways. "Barring a fracture of physics, we may be able to build quantum computers more powerful than the entire universe within 3 years. They harness the refractive echoes of many trillions of parallel universes to perform a computation, unlike anything we have seen before." Check out the full post, with annotations and more thoughts.

YouTube adds more than 50 original content channels

YouTube was once all about "oddball videos of gurgling babies, teenagers crashing their skateboards and synchronized wedding dances." They're still there, but now they're part of a broader mix, with a growing number of professionally produced content channels. Today, 50 more launched, added to the 100 introduced in the last year More in the NYT.

David Pogue, Neanderthal

On the Wednesday edition of NOVA scienceNOW, David Pogue walks the streets of San Francisco in Neanderthal drag. Above, a actual clip from the upcoming hour, "What Makes Us Human?," in which the tech writer turned PBS host explores our relationship with Neanderthals, after being made up like a Neanderthal based on instructions from Daniel Lieberman, a paleoanthropologist from Harvard. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall during that shoot!

What Makes Us Human? premieres Wednesday, October 10 at 10PM/9c on PBS. (Thanks, Paula Apsell)

Kids are receiving more CT scans than ever, but is radiation risk worth it?

There has been a steep increase in the number of CT scans given to children in emergency rooms across the U.S., mostly for "kids presenting with belly ache," but the appendicitis rate hasn't budged. Findings published today in the journal Pediatrics detail the spike in use of x-ray-based scans, which are associated with concerns over cancer risks down the road. Study lead Dr. Jahan Fahimi, quoted in Reuters: "For every six or seven kids that go to the ER for belly ache, one is going to get a CT scan."