January 10, 2009
Remember the Mario Marathon? Child's play. These guys are playing through every song available for the game Rock Band, in a row, without sleep. That's 539 songs. 48 hours in and they are only 347 tunes down. This isn't just pushing buttons, this is taking sticks to drumpads rapidly for days straight. At what point is this no longer a game, but an obsession?
Dear President Bush, Thanks for the memories. You will be missed. Thanks for making people care. And don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. Wishing you all the best, A Citizen.
SFXR by Tomas Pettersson - Ever needed a skilled Foley artist and an audio lab for making sound effects? No, probably not, but even the most amateur game designer needs sound effects for his game. Now, thanks to Tomas Pettersson the long tradition of stealing sound effects from other games is finally over. It doesn't do much more than little 8-bit bleeps and bloops, but it sure feels nice to have original, royalty-free sound effects for your game, or just for fun. [previously]
Hungary may be the gloomiest country on earth. Believed by its people to be suffering from a centuries long curse, it's most famous modern musical export is probably the "Hungarian Suicide Song" - Gloomy Sunday. Originally popularized by Billie Holiday in the US (with an upbeat ending tacked onto the original lyrics), it's been covered dozens of times since then. Links to a few of my favorites inside: [more inside]
Julie Louise Gerberding, M.D., M.P.H., first female director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is resigning her post effective January 20th. While subject to criticism for her management of the agency and failure to mollify the autism community over issues of vaccine safety, she was a straight (if silenced) shooter on global warming and her efforts to restructure the CDC as a prevention-oriented agency are to be commended.
Possibly the most surreal children's video ever made. Dance, dream and cringe along with Creating Rem Lezar.
Beep boop beep! If you wish to become a Touch Tone Genius, you must first practice the Telephone Keypad. Start with the standards -- sheet music and mp3 samples can be found at these two sites. Once you've mastered the easier songs, you can move on to the more challenging classical pieces, like Mozart's Turkish Rondo (K331) for Two Office Phones and Two Cellular Phones. Just don't dial any real phone numbers; that could be a violation of copyright.
My Genome, My Self: Steven Pinker considers what we can expect from personal genomics. Searching for Intelligence in Our Genes: Carl Zimmer looks at the hunt to learn about the role of genes in intelligence.
I might be doing some more-serious-than-snapshot photography soon, so I figured I'd better read up on how to balance my whites. [more inside]
Top Events USA lists their top 20 events across the USA, the top 10 events and festivals for each of the United States, and lists of the best annual events and festivals by category or theme. [more inside]
Electronic Masks and Calculated Movements are two early computer animation projects featured at EVLTube, the YouTube channel for UIC's Electronic Visualization Laboratory. In additon to the video archive, the EVL website also features a trove of interesting current EV projects like snstncntnrs and Unfolding Space, not to mention extensive notes on the fascinating research conducted and devices used at the facility. [more inside]
Ladies And Gentlemen… Dow 25,000! A few years ago, some financial wizards thought the good times would go on and on and on. The mega-market could bring Dow 30,000 or Dow 36,000. Maybe the real estate boom will not bust.
Everybody has one -- that album that first made you a music-lover for life. It could be the first album you ever heard or bought with your own money. It could be one you didn't hear until later in life. But everybody has one, and we want to know about yours.
Spacesuits ll LunarRover ll NavigationComputer ll LunarModule ll SaturnV First aired on Discovery channel as part of Space Week, Moon Machines tells the story of the over 400,000 engineers and technicians that made it possible for us to go to the moon. Lots of gorgeous Nasa archival footage throughout.
"The more we understand why we demonise certain scientific advances, the better we will be able to decide whether some areas of research are so sensitive they should always remain off limits to science." Is Science Out of Control?
The Tale of Genji turned 1000 years old sometime around now, and Japan is celebrating with parties and dressing up. This lengthy rambling narrative may be the world's first novel, although that depends on how you define "first" and "novel." For the person who is technophilic and literary, there is a very cool robot that reads it to you (in Japanese -- sorry). Sadly, it is only a prototype. There is a recent board game, however. More useful links previously.
Caturday: I Can Has History plus Maru's many moods: music box l blankie peekaboo l Nature abhors a vacuum l weak in the time for toothbrush, sink pr0n. [more inside]
When the modern oil industry began 150 years ago, many speculators moved into Northwestern Pennsylvania. Among them was John Wilkes Booth, who walked off the stage and onto the oil fields in an attempt to increase his fortunes with the Dramatic Oil Company. [more inside]
Neale Donald Walsch, author of the best-selling series “Conversations With God,” recently posted a personal Christmas essay on the spiritual Web site Beliefnet about his son’s kindergarten winter pageant. During a dress rehearsal, he wrote, a group of children spelled out the title of a song, “Christmas Love,” with each child holding up a letter. One girl held the “m” upside down, so that it appeared as a “w,” and it looked as if the group was spelling “Christ Was Love.” It was a heartwarming Christmas story from a writer known for his spiritual teachings. Except it never happened — to him. [more inside]
Polyvore is a website that lets you mix and match online images to make fashion sets and collages. While it has received favour from Web 2.0 pundits, fashion bloggers, and major craft blogs, it has also drawn massive ire from artists that claim copyright infringement and use of personal photos. The anti-Polyvore pressure mainly comes from Etsy sellers, with some support from artists on DeviantArt, Red Buddle, and independent artists - all coming together on Flickr. We Heart It and Ffffound! are also seen as suspect. While Polyvore tries to assuage copyright fears, amidst growing pressure to shut down, many of Polyvore's current users are counter-petitioning for the site to stay.
The Justice Department - brought to you by the letters ORLY? The left gets to hate him because he "is the RIAA's favorite lawyer". (Note however, that the RIAA has still never actually won a judgement against a file sharer.) The right gets to hate him because he was the lawyer for Terry Schiavo's husband. Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce Thomas J. Perrelli, Obama's selection for associate Attorney General. [more inside]