Tag Archives: awesome

Now someone make me an awesome brick hurling robot..

Boston Dynamics, who have a lot of US military and DARPA money invested in their work, frequently build awesome things that I want, like littledog:


Bigdog, and other robots being developed for troop support:

And even robots that move like real people and make Asimo look like a kid’s toy:

And now they’ve given bigdog a robot arm so it can hurl bricks, (bbc news) because Skynet will find all of these remarkably useful when the time comes…

So now I need them to build me an army, one worthy of the Nerd Lair.

The Act of Creation

I live to create.  To produce things that can inspire or move people, or make them laugh.  So, I guess that means I live to create art.

Art; it’s a word that I don’t often use to describe what I do, because part of me worries that others won’t see it that way or that people will find me pretentious or weird.  It can’t be art, it’s not framed, it’s not in a gallery and I haven’t been paid to do it.

But I realise, whether it’s something amusing to put onto a tshirt, or whether I’m referring to the novel I’m part way through at the moment, I can’t deny the truth of it – it is Art.  Capital A, for emphasis.

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Teeny-tiny artificial heart saves life of 16 month boy

Ok, let’s just agree right now – medical science is cool.. and even more cool when it saves the life of youngsters who haven’t really had much of a chance at life yet.

So, this story reported in Reuters has me smiling: Doctors at Rome’s Bambino Gesu hospital implanted a tiny little artificial heart into the kid until a donor was found.

The tiny titanium pump weighs only 11 grams and can handle a blood flow of 1.5 liters a minute. An artificial heart for adults weighs 900 grams.

I wonder how long it will be before we manage to create heart replacement pumps that can be trusted to work on a permanent basis?

Skin Cells can be turned into beating heart cells

Oh wow.. this is just one of the most awesomest sciency things I’ve ever heard.

So, you’ve heard of stem cells? Those cells that can be thought of as building blocks, and that potentially will allow us to grow whole new organs or limbs for use in transplants?  They are, as I like to think, damn cool biology stuff.

Well, stem cells can get bad press, because the easiest and most heard of method of making them is to create an embryo.. but hold on a gosh-darned-tooting second I hear you cry.. what about all those awkward ethical questions?!?!

Do not fret! I say, because stem cells can be made from skin cells!  Also, researchers at Technion Israel Institute of Technology have managed to turn those stem cells into beating heart muscle!  Awesome!

source – http://www.isciencetimes.com/articles/3081/20120523/can-skin-cells-help-heal-your-heart.htm

via http://science.slashdot.org/story/12/05/23/2221226/scientists-turn-skin-cells-into-beating-heart-muscle?utm_source=slashdot&utm_medium=twitter

No more ketchup waste thanks to MIT

When I see sciencey things I think to myself… wow.  Occasionally I see something so awesome I just HAVE to share it with everyone else, beceuse.. well, it’s like, the law or something.  I haven’t really thought that thought through very thoroughly but let’s just leave it there.

Anyway, this is one of those second things, and I know it’s rather lame and superfluous but it’s also rather awesome too..

Scientists at MIT have invented a food-safe coating that can be applied to glass or plastic containers that is super-hydrophobic.

What that means is..  tell you what, here, have a video:

The ketchup does not stick to the bottle!

Now, I don’t know the amount of ketchup or mayo that could be saved if this coating was applied to all containers, but I’m going to imagine it could be measured in olympic swimming pools, or possibly areas the size of Wales.

Science, isn’t it awesome?

Source – http://www.geek.com/articles/geek-pick/mit-creates-superhydrophobic-coating-for-condiment-bottles-20120523/

Heroes, part two

Authors need to read. Learning by example is one of the most fundamental and seemingly obvious pieces of advice anyone can give an aspiring author like myself, for a huge number of reasons.

In a previous post I explored a few of my writing heroes, but a list of favourite writers, like a list of favourite books or films is never truly exhaustive, and so I figured I’d pick up that thread and continue running with it, like a deranged kitten of some sort.

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