May 23rd, 2012

Porsupah in spacesuit, by Ende


If you've got eight minutes to set aside, consider this video of Alan Rickman, from a series of videos "Portraits in Dramatic Time", produced for the 2011 Lincoln Center Festival, by David Michalek. (There are plenty of copies of this on YouTube, sometimes adding an amusingly dramatic soundtrack - the version I first saw used a loop from Inception. The original is entirely silent) It does indeed move slowly, in every sense - but it's surprisingly engaging, and effective as a character study, and the effect of such a marked time dilation has upon what would ordinarily be very routine, unremarkable acts. (Well, mostly..)

Speaking of time dilation, the WaPo recently posted a story on deep sea bacteria: "Call it survival of the slowest: Extraordinarily old, bizarrely low-key bacteria have been found in sediments 100 feet below the sea floor of the Pacific Ocean, far removed from sunlight, fresh nutrients and what humans would consider anything interesting to do. Some of these organisms, scientists say, could be at least 1,000 years old. Or maybe millions of years." Consider that for a moment - these particular examples, not the species, could themselves be millions of years old, so vastly slower is their metabolism.

The Leap is an input device, roughly analogous to a Kinect for hands, but designed with precision in mind - they claim accuracy down to 0.01mm. The demo video shows some surprisingly tidy writing, and drawing within a 1x1cm area on the screen, along with game control, and OS X style swipes and similar gestures. The big difference, it would seem, between this and a touchscreen for desktops is that your hand(s) don't need to be touching the screen, but can be in a more comfortable, natural location - stop snickering at the back, there - so you're not faced with the usual problem of reaching up to a display getting quite wearing after short periods of use.

From the London Review of Books, Gareth Pierce - a defense lawyer in extradition matters - writes on the Framing of al-Meghrahi.

There really needs to be a shirt produced of this design. The artist notes they do intend to. (What other furry shirts can you recommend? There aren't that many, especially once the more cheesecake/beefcake designs are discounted. Bonus points for lapinity =:)

The Home Office has a survey regarding marriage equality, which UK peeps may wish to complete - it's fairly concise, and shouldn't take more than around five minutes to complete, unless you have plenty to say. =:) The consultation document linked from there outlines the proposals tidily and eminently clearly. The consultation period closes on June 14 2012, so be sure to respond by then.

Very much for the electronics geek - a very detailed look inside two iPhone chargers: a cheap, anonymous unit, and Apple's rather less cheap device. It's interested for its examination of the different ways in which one can go about designing a circuit that has essentially the same function, but with different levels of quality of the output smoothness, and the safety margins involved.

Does Grillstock not sound rather enjoyable? =:9 "Music, Meat & Mayhem return to Bristol this Summer! Grillstock is back and it is bigger, louder and meatier than ever! Soak up the smokin’ atmosphere, tantalise your tastebuds with the best in BBQ cooking, and tune your ears to some of the coolest live music around. Great flavours, great bands and great characters in this fantastic festival for all the family." Saturday headliner: Alabama 3.

Well, that's one way for visitors to remember this place.. as I was passing by, someone asked out generally if anyone lived here. I noted I did, but didn't recognise the place they were enquiring of, and was about to reach into the bag for the wonderslab, when I heard a loud *squirt*, and saw the two guys suddenly adorned with brown splashes, victims of the eternal gull-human battle. They couldn't help but break out laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation. ^_^; (Mercifully, I was almost entirely untouched..)

I'm not hugely into sports, as you know, but you can also feel the pride radiating off the runners chosen as torch-bearers. I'm happy for them. ^_^