I'd be (pleasantly) amazed if the actual play in Boris Karloff's Monster Game was anything but tedious, but LOOK AT THOSE GAME TOKENS. DANG.
Shapeways user Maundy created the Steampunk Geared Cube, a magnificent geared confection that came out of the 3D printed fully assembled!
The cube contains a total of 28 gears, all of which turn from manually rotating only one (though the designer notes that rotating two gears results in a smoother motion). The outermost gear on each side has handles for easy rotation, and each is linked to its adjacent gear in an interlocking pattern. Once one gear is spun, the others correspondingly spin along.
In addition to the fascinating pattern and mechanics, the cube has a tray in the middle for holding various small objects. The product also comes with a stand and a lockable lid, which is placed on top of the cube and can be locked and unlocked by rotating the gears.
UPDATE: Molly's now released the solo show's work under a Creative Commons license.
Stanford University researchers developed a process to make a mouse brain totally transparent. The brain has to be, er, removed from the mouse first but it's still an amazing process that enables scientists to see the entire brain in great detail, without chopping it up. Brilliant bioengineer, Karl Deisseroth, a pioneer in the field of optogenetics, postdoc Kwanghun Chung, and their colleagues have used the same technique, called CLARITY, to make fish and, yes, bits of human brains transparent as well. The process involves replacing the fatty molecules, called lipids, with a hydrogel. As a result, the brain can be studied with visible light and chemical markers with unprecedented clarity and resolution. Check out the stunning fly-through of the rodent's brain above.
Dr. Tom Murphy VII gave a research paper called "The First Level of Super Mario Bros. is Easy with Lexicographic Orderings and Time Travel . . . after that it gets a little tricky," (PDF) (source code) at SIGBOVIK 2013, in which he sets out a computational method for solving classic NES games. He devised two libraries for this: learnfun (learning fuction) and playfun (playing function). In this accompanying video, he chronicles the steps and missteps he took getting to a pretty clever destination.
Artist Bernard Pras built a room-sized anamorphic sculpture of Malian actor Sotigui Kouyaté's face from wood, branches, rugs, clothing, rubber scraps, and other odds and sods.
Mark Ernest Pothier is a Kindle Single author I have been watching. Since reading his story The First Light of Evening I've been waiting for his next. The Man Who Owns Little was released a few days ago and I read it last night.
Pothier has mastered the skill of allowing your past experience and memories to fill in blanks and flesh out his characters. The Man Who Owns Little is simply a conversation between two long term friends, via post, analyzing how their relationship has changed and perhaps why. I really enjoyed how there are no judgements and there is no right or wrong. The story is about friends who think and experience life so differently trying to understand one another. Pothier leaves it up to the reader to determine what really happened.
I'm waiting for your next story, Mark.
Above is a US Navy demonstration of a high-energy laser on a moving ship shooting down a drone. The Office of Naval Research just announced that they plan to deploy the system next year. "Our conservative data tells us a shot of directed energy costs under $1," Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder said. "Compare that to the hundreds of thousands of dollars it costs to fire a missile, and you can begin to see the merits of this capability." (Navy.mil)
The new documentary about esteemed magician, magic historian, and actor Ricky Jay opens next week at New York City's Film Forum with screenings in many other cities to follow in May and June. Jay is a fantastically curious and entertaining fellow and I can't wait to see this film. "Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay"
I'm in Guatemala with Miles O'Brien, working on a report for the PBS NewsHour on the genocide trial of Jose Efrain Rios Montt, who ruled Guatemala from 1982-1983, and Jose Mauricio Rodriguez Sanchez, his chief of military intelligence. They are being tried here in Guatemala City for genocide and crimes against humanity.
Above and below, some stills from the video we've been shooting inside the courtroom. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram for snapshots throughout the day. And if you're interested in monitoring the trial, listen here, watch here, or follow this Twitter list I threw together.
All photos: screengrabs from video shot by Miles O'Brien.
Reddit co-founder calls Larry Page to get Google to join the anti-CISPA fight -- your help needed too!
Sign the petition, kill CISPA, save the Internet (again!).
Cancer, the internet, and identity: my talk with Kevin Sites' Hong Kong Univ. Journalism and Media class
Kevin asked me to join the class via Skype to talk about identity and the internet, and we ended up focusing on my sharing the experience of cancer diagnosis and treatment over the last couple of years.
The video quality isn't great—it was hotel internet on my end—but I enjoyed the opportunity to share with this bright group of young people. Thanks, guys, and thanks, Kevin.