Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Heart-healthy pigs, son!

US scientists have used gene technology to breed pigs that can produce omega-3 fats, widely touted as good for the human heart.

Currently, the only way for humans to realise the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids is by taking dietary supplements or eating certain types of oily fish that may also contain high levels of mercury.

... until now. Now, you can kill a pig, eat 'em and *not* die at forty.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

UT Dallas nanotechnologists demonstrate artificial muscles powered by highly energetic fuels

University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) nanotechnologists have made alcohol- and hydrogen-powered artificial muscles that are 100 times stronger than natural muscles, able to do 100 times greater work per cycle and produce, at reduced strengths, larger contractions than natural muscles. Among other possibilities, these muscles could enable fuel-powered artificial limbs, "smart skins" and morphing structures for air and marine vehicles, autonomous robots having very long mission capabilities and smart sensors that detect and self-actuate to change the environment.

Hmm ...


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Neurofuture medusaheaded.
Seeing with Sound

Imagine being blind for 25 years, and suddenly being able to see again - using your ears. It sounds impossible, but that's exactly what happened to Pat Fletcher. For the past few years, she's been experimenting with a revolutionary new technology that allows her to see through sound. Using a simple computer program that she downloaded from the Internet, called "The vOICe", which translates visual images into soundscapes, Pat's brain is able to translate those sounds back into images.

Toronto science journalist Alison Motluk spent a day with Pat Fletcher at her home in Buffalo, New York. She plugged her recorder into Pat's computer, so we can hear what Pat hears. She also spoke with Dr. Alvaro Pascual-Leone, a neurologist at Harvard University, who believes that brain cells have the latent ability to process information from a variety of senses. That means the brain can translate input from one sense into another.

Alison's documentary is called, "See, If You Can Hear This."

Mp3 of the documentary is available on the other side of the link. Long and short: camera picks up visuals, converts them into sound, sound is piped to her ears and - get this - her visual cortex translates the sounds into images!


Here's what I don't get: is it that mainstream media just doesn't care or that they're just aggressively ignoring the future - hell, the present?

Saturday, March 18, 2006

I Be Rocking The RSS Thing, Yo.

Like lj-user antastra suggested, I've included an RSS feed under the heading "Raktabija" (spores and such, get it?)

Time will tell whether I got it right.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Neurofuture: BAW - Day 2

Neurofuture: BAW - Day 2

LJ-User Antastra has been edutational in recent days. Enjoy.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

I hereby declare "what it means to be human" and/or its variant "what it really means to be human" the dumbest phrase ever uttered in the English language. Specifically, when used in reviews of science fiction anything.

If you've ever used this term in a review, I would like to wish you a heartfelt:

Fuck. Off.


Friday, March 10, 2006

Infidelity Allowance - all you have to do is be a millionaire basketball star.

In case you missed what was inarguably the most important sports story of last week (labor, schmabor; we've had work stoppages before) the wife of Utah Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko told ESPN The Magazine that she has given her husband an allowance of one woman per year.

She said that because women are forever throwing themselves at him and because things that are forbidden only become more desirable, she has told her husband he may have sex outside their marriage one time per year.

"If I know about it," she concluded, "it's not cheating."

I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Laugh because

(a) one a year is clearly insufficient :D

and (b) it amuses me how persistently people in general deny the explicitly Darwinian nature of the universe and women in particular deny their simple k-selecting brains. (Yeah, I went there. Bring it on, ladies.)

Crying on the other hand would be for obvious reasons: I am not a millionaire basketball star and, barring supernatural intervention, never will be. Wealthy writers (assuming I manage that somewhat more possible goal) don't have quite the same cachet with the ladies ... do they?

(Yoinked from Hannibal Tabu's Myspace page.)
I am rewriting my personality, online and off. This is a gradual process, best done from the outside in. In pursuit of that, it's time to Purge some deadweight ... prune the Medusahead if you will :D :

A Fieldguide to Cosmic Xflora - was shiny, now passé.

Book-A-Minute - just don't care.

Eliezer Yudkowsky - if he updates anytime before the Singularity, I'm sure I'll hear about it from some other source. *punt!*

Kevin Smith - never read it before and now, I never will. *emphatic kick!*

Kneel Before Zod - entertaining but one-note. *reluctantly trashed!*

Onward Raven, Through The Fog - funny dude, hella smart and Nigerian - perfect trifecta. However seeing how he's a House Officer these days, online pursuits have been sacrificed. I shall now do the same. *crunch!*

Orion's Arm Blog - never updated. If that changes, I'll know from the Yahoo forum. *easy punt!*

Self-Defense Against Vampires - why the hell did I link this at all? Jeez ... *hella kick!*

Steve Bowers(The Starlark) - See Orion's Arm Blog.

Strandbeest - I don't care anymore. *gone!*

Superman is a Dick - I just realized something - thanks to Grant Morrison's All-Star take, I like Superman these days ... or at least, like him enough to ditch this. *next!*

They Fight Crime - hilarious but ... heh. Funny but ... heehee!
Ah what the hell, I'm hanging onto this one ... for now. *kept!*


I did however make a long overdue addition, namely I Am A Cheeseburger. This, for the uninitiated, is the personal blog of the very froody dude behind The Darth Side: Memoirs of a Monster and, of course, Simon of Space.


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Project Aura

The most precious resource in a computer system is no longer its processor, memory, disk or network. Rather, it is a resource not subject to Moore's law: User Attention. Today's systems distract a user in many explicit and implicit ways, thereby reducing his effectiveness.

Project Aura will fundamentally rethink system design to address this problem. Aura's goal is to provide each user with an invisible halo of computing and information services that persists regardless of location.

There's an 85MB video showcasing how this might actually work; fun stuff!

I wonder how this would integrate with Red Tacton. Alternatively, they could very well become competing or parallel paradigms.


On a somewhat darker note,

Bill Napoli

Details are at my other blog. Profanity abounds.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Sunsets and Sunrises on Mars

Now ain't that just purty - I mean, that sunset's damn near blue, innit?