Monday, December 19, 2011
On Saturday, the infamous leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-Il died from a heart attack. Doctors were surprised that he even had a heart! Anyways, the oppressive, nuclear weapons driven lunatic is now out of power and the world has one less villain.
And an article from the NYTimes.
Here is a link to the article if you are interested: Click Here!
I find it interesting that the whole thing appears to be of questionable legal standing: there seems to be a theory that the creators of the PSA didn't actually get permission from Marvel and DC to use the characters' likeness. Though I also doubt that there will be too much of a problem with this, seeing as how attacking a positive PSA might look a little, oh what's the word? Tacky?
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Ray Kurzweil, a successful inventor and highly progressive thinker, believes that we are nearing a point where computers will be much more intelligent than humans. During this shift, Kurzweil also says that machines will be so smart, they will be able to learn on their own and fix their own problems. He calls this: Singularity.
Does anyone remember at the football game against Nebraska when the brand new big screens weren't working? Well, it took the athletic department well into the second half of the game to get them working like they're supposed to. Kurzweil thinks that in the near future, these monitors will know that there is a problem and fix it on its own. It will be like a doctor, diagnosing the issue, and a repairman, replacing it to normal functionality.
His ideas are pretty amazing and surely revolutionary, but I can definitely imagine a day when the things he says are true.
Click here to read more about singularity: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2048299,00.html
And here to watch a video: http://www.time.com/time/video/player/0,32068,784887564001_2048332,00.html
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Friday, December 16, 2011
Zapata, who has been referred to as "Dolphinman," "Aquaman" and "Jetman," recently posted on the Zapata Racing website a French-language promotional video of the Flyboards, which sell for about $6,500. They are connected via a long hose to a personal watercraft with an engine of 100 horsepower or greater, and controlled with hand-held throttles.
Meanwhile, video footage has been very popular on the Internet and bloggers have been having fun with the story. Reads the caption beneath an image of an airborne Zapata, on a CNET report: "Bonus points if you can catch a fish with your mouth."
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
They even have Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, in which this is an All-Star cast with amazing superheroes and cyborgs. My favorite part is Tony Stark saying "Genius, Billionaire, Playboy, Philanthropist" in response to what he is without his suit, which shows how well Robert Downey Jr. IS Iron Man. He fits the characteristics and personality so well, I could not see anyone else as an actor portraying Iron Man other than Robert Downey Jr.
ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Research conducted at the University of Michigan College of Engineering may lead to the use of insects to monitor hazardous situations before sending in humans.
Professor Khalil Najafi, the chair of electrical and computer engineering, and doctoral student Erkan Aktakka are finding ways to harvest energy from insects, and take the utility of the miniature cyborgs to the next level.
"Through energy scavenging, we could potentially power cameras, microphones and other sensors and communications equipment that an insect could carry aboard a tiny backpack," Najafi said. "We could then send these 'bugged' bugs into dangerous or enclosed environments where we would not want humans to go."
The principal idea is to harvest the insect's biological energy from either its body heat or movements. The device converts the kinetic energy from wing movements of the insect into electricity, thus prolonging the battery life. The battery can be used to power small sensors implanted on the insect (such as a small camera, a microphone or a gas sensor) in order to gather vital information from hazardous environments.
A spiral piezoelectric generator was designed to maximize the power output by employing a compliant structure in a limited area. The technology developed to fabricate this prototype includes a process to machine high-aspect ratio devices from bulk piezoelectric substrates with minimum damage to the material using a femtosecond laser.
In a paper called "Energy scavenging from insect flight" (recently published in the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering), the team describes several techniques to scavenge energy from wing motion and presents data on measured power from beetles.
This research was funded by the Hybrid Insect Micro Electromechanical Systems program of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency under grant No. N66001-07-1-2006. The facilities used for this research include U-M's Lurie Nanofabrication Facility.
The university is pursuing patent protection for the intellectual property, and is seeking commercialization partners to help bring the technology to market.
In the presentation, I noticed that the yellow one is Asian, and the black one is also Black. I wonder if the producers noticed this as well. At the very least this video shows they have a cyborg-y side to them.
Monday, December 12, 2011
I think the class decided parody of the superhero genre is having two tired genres become one fully embodied genre. However I also think that "invincible" superheroes make better parodies because they emphasize flaw in superhero identity. Batman is a great example of how the flawed superhero becomes favorable in specific moments in history.
Look at this in relation to Batman vs. Superman.
For example: Today we are a skeptical
1978: Superman the Movie was made, popular because its moment in history (after
Sunday, December 11, 2011
I think that superhero films, particularly Christopher Nolan's Batman films, take themselves so seriously that parodies are necessary. Also the use of Aquaman in this skit further proves my point that he is on a comeback as the lamest superhero of all time.
The first of many official Spiderman posters has arrived. I think this is a very cool poster and will definitely raise some hype for the movie. Another site compared it to the Star Wars: Episode I poster that had Anakin Skywalker's shaddow on a wall that was in the form of Darth Vader and said that this was just a ripoff of that. Either way I think that this is a great start for the movie posters. People may be skeptical of Marc Webb's version of the Spiderman series but I am nothing but excited to see what he creates.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
I thought this was interesting especially based on what we were talking about last lecture. We were talking about superhero satire and what comedies about superheroes can tell us. Although this may not exactly be satire or a comedy directly towards superheroes, it does tell us that jokes can me made based on the audience knowing what the superhero is capable of, but having an actor fail at attempting to duplicate that superhero. In the case of Sheldon, it is funny to watch his attempt of warp speed by beating the banana to the ground.
What I took away from his lecture was he created and used The 99 to battle the status quo, particularly the negative stereotypes of muslims in the world. Dr. Al-Mutawa noticed that media conveys certain views and plays to the accepted stereotypes. Take the Cosby Show for example. The show was meant for a the dad to be a limo driver and the mom to be a stay at home mom, instead of what the show actually is, which is a lawyer and doctor. This was considered unrealistic expectations for a black family, but it really challenged the status quo of what the expectations are and what they should or shouldn't be. In addition, the show also added a child who was in college to show success.
Another interesting thing to note in a different show is one in which they purposely had two bad black Presidents, one which was like Nixon. They then had two black Presidents who were good, and coincidentally Obama later came into office. It is not to say this was the only reason, but Dr. Al-Mutawa believes it had an impact, which is why he created The 99. He wanted to portray islam and muslims in a positive light, much like the latter two Presidents of that show did for black people. I found it very interesting and was glad I got to listen to Dr. Al-Mutawa speak.
Friday, December 9, 2011
Have you ever watched someone use their computer? One of my favorite in class activities, particularly in lectures, is to snoop on the people around me. Here are some of my observations:
I was in a class once where a girl was playing WoW while sitting in the front row.
There is a kid in one of my classes who obsessively switches between webpages and applications. It's like a strobe light of digital imagery.
On Monday there were at least two people in my lecture who were video chatting during class.
I personally am very conscious of what I'm looking at on my computer during class but apparently, I'm the only one with that hang up.
I think he looks like a mime.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Dr. Al-Mutawa came from a conservative Islamic family from Kuwait and saw a problem in the way that the only art they had was based on religion and came from the Koran because art is where expression and opinion begin and when art is religion then there is not much room for expression and opinion. He felt it was unfair that some one should decide what his kids could or could not be exposed to (Pokemon was banned in Kuwait) so he created these comics to teach tolerance and acceptance of differences as well as to disassociate terrorism and extreme evils with Islam as a whole.
The presentation today by Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa was pretty interesting. He is getting all kinds of attention for creating what is essentially the first comic series featuring Muslim superheroes. It's called "The 99." From the clip he showed, I was able to gather there are 99 special stones that each member has that gives them special superpowers. There's also some incredibly cheesed out super villain bent on dominating the world. From a superhero persepctive, I find it odd that he chose such a large number. It's hard enough caring about every single member of the Avengers, I can't imagine having to provide enough dynamic and relationship bonds between 99 different heroes.
With regards to the social aspect, his series has gotten mixed reviews. President Obama singled him out specifically at a speech and praised him for his work. Naif's goal is to change the way the world views Islam and the way that Muslims themselves view Islam, thereby making it less of a stigmatized threat to Western thought. However, many reviews have been extremely critical, and believe the comics do the exact opposite, sparking radicalism into the Islamic youth. I'd be interested to read or watch the series in order to gather my own interpretation. All in all, very intereseting presentation.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
I personally like Sheldon's theory about SkyNet sending back terminators who pose as actors that have played terminators in the movies or tv series. Before you realized who they were, it would be too late. Hasta la vista, baby.
I personally like the Trent Richardson comparison the most, as the trainers won't let him try bench pressing more than 475 lbs. out of safety concerns. But since when did the Hulk have weight lifting weight restrictions??
After trying to think of a superhero or zombie movie that someone had not already named in class, I finally came up with the following three episodes of South Park to view during screening:
In these episodes, various characters of the South Park community transform into their superhero alter egos and fight crime. You can expect the usual absurdities and classic humor of South Park with a superhero plot twist. I thought this would be a nice break from the traditional superhero films such as Superman, The Dark Knight, Watchmen, etc. and give us all a taste of comical iterations of what is believed to be a superhero.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
C'mon, who wants cyborg mental patients for the last screening?
Monday, December 5, 2011
The water is fed to the Jetlev via the giant yellow dryer duct you see in thepicture above from a boat that follows along holding the motor for the Jetlev. Abasic version of the Jetlev will set you back $135,000, but you are sure to be the most popular person on the lake when summer comes around. Presumably, the harness floats so you and the Jetlev don’t turn into an anchor if/when you crash. You can pick yours up in late June. Is it just me, or is that a full-size version of Minime flying in the picture above?
In case you hadn't noticed, there was some trouble brewing in the NVIDIA camp. After ages of reigning atop the land of stereoscopic 3D playback on the PC, NVIDIA is finally being confronted with a real, bona fide standard for 3D, with zero GPUs capable of meeting it. The current NVIDIA 3D Vision-compatible cards pump out the necessary pixels over DisplayPort or dual DVI plugs, while the official spec for 3D TVs is an HDMI 1.4 plug that accepts data from both frames at once. We were in doubt there for a moment, but it turns out NVIDIA's cards upgrade to 1.4 just fine, and all 3D Vision customers will be getting this as a free upgrade later this spring. NVIDIA will also be offering this 3DTV Play software in a standalone version for $40 to folks who don't want to bother with NVIDIA's 3D Vision stuff at all (with HDMI 1.4 you can just use the stereoscopic glasses that come with your fancy new 3D TV, no need for NVIDIA's setup). NVIDIA is naturally hitting all the high points of the 1.4 spec, with 1080p24, 720p60 (the officialgaming spec), and 720p50. The cards will also support 3D Blu-ray. So, just about time to splurge big on that home theater PC? We don't know... is it just us, or does that guy and his couch look a little lonely?
There have been touchscreens around for long enough to not get excited about, same goes for projectors, but this product aims to fuse these two together. Light Touch is only a concept product at this time but it features many up-and-coming technologies like holographic laser projection technology that allows the product to create a bright, high-quality, always in focus WVGA resolution image - up to 10 inches - on nearly any surface. It works together with an IR touchsensing system which allows the projected image to become a sort of touchscreen. In addition, it runs Flash Lite, allowing for a whole host of different applications, and boasts Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for connectivity, 2GB of onboard memory, and a microSD slot for expansion.
See more after the break...
Sunday, December 4, 2011
So, here's my list so far. What movie were you thinking of (if I can get or stream it)? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
Zombies on SCMY's list:
-Dead Snow (zombies! Nazis! Zombie Nazis!)
-Dawn of the Dead (1978)
-Versus (martial arts + zombies, could be good?)
Not Zombie but good and I've seen and can recommend more readily: is Beetlejuice a zombie or a ghost? more ghost. I think the film American Movie is Brilliant and All Should See It.
Um, Gattaca is pretty and all about the technology. Brazil runs long. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou inverts many of the same structures and tableaus from epic "superhero" films. 2046? Too many options? A Mystery Science Theater episode perhaps?
Here's an article, pulled from superherohype.com, that talks about some of the filming of the new movie.
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Take the quiz to find out which superhero you are most like!
My results were:
|You are mild-mannered, good,|
strong and you love to help others.
Great gadget for those who always need power on the go....or those who travel all the time and cant do without their PDA, or gaming toys for more than a few hours.
The film is about "Three high school friends gain superpowers after making an incredible discovery. Soon, though, they find their lives spinning out of control and their bond tested as they embrace their darker sides." These three boys gain telekinetic powers and decide to experiment with their new abilities.