Thursday, October 29, 2009

Techknow Thursdays: Cars of the Future

Egads! I almost let this day get away from me. I'm not to be foiled though, as I present to you two items for Techknow Thursday.

This first item is a bit of design and innovation for the interior of a car. Two cars to be precise. Nissan and Toyota are both getting fanciful in their designs, but I find these latest developments enjoyable.

I like how Nissan just goes at it making you feel like you're in the middle of a cockpit, while Toyota gives their idea a bit more finesse and a look of delicate luxury. Personally, I'll stick with the Nissan design because I'm afraid I might break something in the Toyota cockpit

The second topic for today is the dual screen laptop coming from both Kohjinsha and GScreen and although the idea seems a bit flimsy, I like how they made it work. The two videos below show promise for the idea. I might have to get one for myself...eventually.

Kohjinsha's Dual Screen

And the video for the GScreen Spacebook is over at Gizmodo's site. It's a larger ~15" dual screen laptop, but I like Kohjinsha's styling better.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Happy Wednesday!

Halloween is right around the corner and that means women in tight-fitting, sexy costumes. I enjoy Halloween quite a bit and here are some great reasons, thanks to Co-Ed Magazine, for you to make it your new favorite holiday!

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Therapeutic Tuesday: Existential Therapy

"No shepherd and one herd! Everybody wants the same, everybody is the same: whoever feels different goes voluntarily into a madhouse."
~ Nietzsche, 1892/1966, Thus Spoke Zarathustra (W. Kaufmann, Trans.), p. 18

First off, the existentialist view on life is largely considered to have began with Nietzsche and has grown and blossomed into a useful therapy for mental health issues. I, for one, am a fan of the take Victor Frankl had on existentialism, but for it to be useful, quite a few existentialists say that you must take it and make it your own. If you do not, it becames painfully aware that it is either inauthentic or you are not effective.

Additionally, it seems that as long as you know your subject, creating your own out of the existentialist pool needn't be that difficult. Many, including Rollo May (one of the big names in existentialism), note that throughout existentialist base, one will find influences from Jungian ideals to Gestalt psychology, Psychodynamics and more. With so many influences, it can be easy to get lost, but it can benefit the true existentialist in developing his or her own thoughts on the matter.

Okay, so what is existentialism? If you go strictly by the book, Merriam Webster's defines it as:

a chiefly 20th century philosophical movement embracing diverse doctrines but centering on analysis of individual existence in an unfathomable universe and the plight of the individual who must assume ultimate responsibility for acts of free will without any certain knowledge of what is right or wrong or good or bad.

As previously mentioned though, that is dry, scholary, yet at the end of the day, still inauthentic. Taking a page from Louis Hoffman's website, one of the chief binding agents of the existentialist theory is the question as to whether there are any major answers to this existence. Many believe that one cannot gain access to that answer until after this life has concluded. There are optimists, and I tend to fall into that party more, that focus "on the potential for good and growth that is inherent in the human condition."

However, even the optimists will conclude, for the most part, that any structure found is merely there as a "human construction to understand the theory." I think of it as trying to describe an abstract. You can use metaphors and stories all day long to explain love or hate, but it is hard to say exactly what love or hate is without confining it to a limited definition. Maybe I'm way off here, but I see the optimist point of view as saying, okay, the human condition is at times cruel and cold, but rather than focusing on the horrible parts, let's highlight the good things in one's life.

Again, I'm just starting to find what I believe and under what banner I would like to live. My wife could do a much better job at this than me, but in attempting to share with you the ideas behind existentialism, I can grow and re-evaluate my surroundings which is ever more beneficial than simply allowing someone to write this up for me. I hope.

"Our thesis is that symbols and myths are an expression of man's unique self-consciousness, his capacity to transcend the immediate concrete situation and see his life in terms of 'the possible,' and that this capacity is one aspect of his experiencing himself as a being having a world."
~ Rollo May, 1961, "The Meaning of the Oedipus Myth"
In Review of Existential Psychology and Psychiatry, Volume 1, p. 44

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I Love xkcd: A Music Video

This little charmer comes via Today on the Interwebs and it was originally put together by noamR. If you enjoy the webcomic for xkcd, then I'm sure you'll find this video to be witty, funny, and catchy to boot. And if you've never heard of xkcd (preposterous I know), then head on over to their webcomic after the video. Enjoy!

I Love xkcd from NoamR on Vimeo.

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Green Pizza: A 21st Century Innovation

Okay, more specifically Going Green with Pizza in the 21st century. This company, Eco, Inc., in it's debut into the market, gives us a brilliant twist on the pizza box. Not only is their new pizza box made from all recycled materials, but it can be broken down into plates and a leftovers container. I found it quite simple yet absolutely brilliant! I'd stand behind them...let's hope pizza restaurants do also! Here's the video (via Geeks Are Sexy) below.

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

An Entertaining Guitar Duet

From the YouTube video's blurb:

The 2009 Brazilian Music Institute featuring Cecilia Siqueira and Fernando Lima (Duo Siqueira Lima) performing TICO TICO NO FUBA (Zequinha de Abreu). The Institute has been active since 2001 and is organized by musician and professor Welson Tremura.
It is an entertaining and beautiful performance. Enjoy!

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Techknow Thursday, Part 2: CarGo

From designer Adam Schacter via Geek Civilization Online comes this brilliant bit of conceptual design. It's termed the CarGo, and it may help solve a lot of inner city problems with delivery trucks and traffic. It really is a terrific concept!

The CarGo has room for a single occupant and the rear half of the vehicle can reconfigure based on the needs of the driver and the contents which are to be delivered. It accomplishes this with changeable axles and an extendable wheel base which can accomodate various types of deliveries and various types of traffic. Additionally, there is a telescopic tilt which allows the CarGo handle much like a motorcycle or commuter car and allows it to handle corners well.

According to Geek Civilization, the car has three configurations:

Compact mode – for traveling in normal city traffic and for ease of parking.

Narrow mode – for maneuvering in and out of heavy traffic.

Pick-up truck mode – the wheels are extended out for a better stability.

I look forward to seeing the CarGo take over cities across the world as a standard electric commuter car/delivery truck!

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Axis of Awesome and Pachelbel Rant

Just a quick add here to my musings today. Still working on the second parter of Techknow Thursday, but I ran into this first video on Facebook from a friend which then reminded me of the Axis of Awesome video. Enjoy!

Pachelbel Rant

Axis of Awesome

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Techknow Thursday, Part 1: Smart Bump

We've all been there. We're driving home, to the office or wherever and actually going the speed limit when we come upon a street full of annoying speed bumps. Even though we're already going a safe speed, we still hit the large bump which can be jostling for the car and for us. At best, it's a minor annoyance, but there's a company looking to change things.

Mexico's Decano Industries is developing a smart speed bump (sadly, the company has little to no web presence as I learned from Timothy Sykes' blog). Ideally, as long as you're driving the speed limit or below, it will stay in a depressed state - allowing you to travel over it without the bump. However, if you're like me and tend to have a lead foot, then this intelligent tech bump pops into action and slows you down (in other words, it does its job).

At present, that seems to be the only photo we have of the device, but Decanoboss on YouTube has given us the video animation below, along with a short description, showing how the smart bump should function (ideally, of course).

A great Intelligent Bump created by mexican inventor. It´s stays flat when vehicles cross over it at speed limit, but retracts forming a bump when a vehicle cross it exceeding speed limits, so this device only affects vehicles running over speed limits. Low Cost engineered effective speed restrictor, autonomous operation, it is a real lifesaver by reducing accidents, pollution killer because reduce stops and accelerations compared with common bumps, so also improves traffic speed (continuous speed vs. continuous stops ). Easy installation.
Article Info via: AutoMotto blog/Geeks Are Sexy

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A Morning Motivational Moment

Coming to you straight from the Geeks Are Sexy site is this motivational video. The tag line is "if you've never failed, you've never lived. It came to my view at a great time as I am still currently in the job hunt. Now, I'm not saying that I've got it as bad as these great people nor am I saying I could do what they have done. What I am saying is that I can stick it out and keep taking those rejection letters and emails knowing that it will only make me value the job I get even more. So, without further ado, your video.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Happy Wednesday!

I'm off! Off to a follow-up interview that is. Hopefully I'll get this job at DHS, but before I go, today's that day...hump day. And that means Happy Wednesday for everyone! Today, we have some lovely photos from the Busted Coverage, Co-Ed Magazine and The Women of WTF websites. I thought it might add some diversity to the photos, so let's hope I'm right. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Therapeutic Tuesday: California and TED Talks

The wife actually brought this article to my attention last week, but I was a bit distracted last Tuesday. So, I bring it to you today. She really is a spectacular and brilliant person, my wife. She is constantly bringing new and different ideas up and shares every last one of them with me, so I try to make sure that she gets credit where it is certainly due. Thanks babe!

Okay, enough with the mushy stuff, right? Right. California. It became the 50th (or last) state of the United States to officially license professional counselors. Until now, it had been the duty of psychologists and psychiatrists to provide care for the mental health of the state of California, but now there can be a new addition to that team (and I would add a welcome addition at that). There actually wasn't much of an article that went out about this. Just a Senate Bill (788) and this little blurb on the website for the California Coalition for Counselor Licensure (or CCCL):

After seven years and three bills, CCCL is proud to announce that its third bill has been approved by California’s Legislature and signed into law by its Governor. This would not have been possible without the dedicated counselors and graduate students throughout the state, and the state and national organizations that support professional counseling.
So chalk one up to coalitions. This next bit is one of the superb videos from the TED Talks. It is Julian Treasure showing how sound can affect us humans in four different ways. He details the real importances of taking care of our hearing. I didn't realize, as he says, that our bandwidth to receive auditory information is so limited. It, like a lot of the other TED Talks, really is superb.

Thanks to the Geeks are Sexy blog for putting this video in front of my view.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

"Why is Captain Kirk Climbing a Mountain?"

"Because I'm in love," answers Shatner. This is a pretty groovy video by Fall on Your Sword. I enjoyed it, but then, I'm a Star Trek fan (yes, I can even find enjoyment in the Enterprise series). I am pretty sure that people other than Trekkies will enjoy this though. At least that's my hope.

And while we're on the topic of William Shatner, I have enjoyed the light-hearted way he has approached his fame...even making fun of his seeming larger-than-life status. That being said, I first came across this next piece of Shatner fun at the great site Neatorama. It's the book Shatnerquake by Jeff Burk (who also puts out The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction with Andersen Prunty and Jordan Krall).

Now, having yet to read this book, I can't give it my full review (obviously), but being a fan of both William Shatner and Bruce Campbell, it sounds like great fun! From Amazon's website, here is the premise:

William Shatner? William Shatner. WILLIAM SHATNER!!! It's the first ShatnerCon with William Shatner as the guest of honor! But after a failed terrorist attack by Campbellians, a crazy terrorist cult that worships Bruce Campbell, all of the characters ever played by William Shatner are suddenly sucked into our world. Their mission: hunt down and destroy the real William Shatner.

I can't wait to sink my eyes into this one! I hope it's as great as my mind is already making it out to be. If any of you have read it or just have thoughts about William Shatner, Star Trek or Bruce Campbell, feel free to leave a comment!

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Manly Monday: Our American Heritage

As I was sifting through Digg and reddit and other sources of goodies to read, watch and admire, I came across this wonderful video. I've seen it a few times before, but for me, it falls into that "oldie-but-goodie" category. It's something you could watch once or twice a month and never get old. At least that's my view on it because it is hilarious...and catchy. So, for this Manly Monday, I present to you, from unvmebad86, George Washington!

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

On the Rapture: Answer to a Comment

Apparently the funny rapture prank video was watched by some because there was a comment which asked me on my views or opinion on this pretribulation article. Now, normally I would say that I don't like to talk about religion because I'm of the personal belief that to each his or her own.

However, I also don't want my readers to feel that they'll be ignored because this blog, above everything else, is a way for me to share my thoughts with you wonderful people of the web! I really do love you and thank you for still reading! And now, I'll commence with the inciting of anger.

Now, onto this idea of a rapture...well, how do I put this delicately? I...I grew up learning religion from a unique take on Christianity. As such, I was taught that the "taken up" rapture happened after the world was cleansed and after Satan was chained for the Millenium but before the Final Judgement, and for years I accepted this to be the truth.

Today, were I forced into answering what I believe, I'm not entirely sure what I would answer regarding anything relating to Christianity. Don't get me wrong...I still think I believe in Christ's divinity, but what if he were just a vehicle for faith? What if Christ and Mohammed and Abraham and Moses and Buddha and every other religious figure were on the same level? What then?

My point is this: the question should not be whether or not I believe in pretribulation rapture or whether or not I believe in posttribulation rapture. My question, and I put this out to everyone, including myself. What do you do if everything you ever believed was confirmed to be wrong? What reevaluation on your life happens? Do you go on faking? Do you revolt and change? What do you do?

You stop. You listen, perhaps for the first time in your life. You turn to your friends and loved ones and apologize. You apologize for being so neck deep in a religion that you forgot to be a good friend, husband, mother and daughter. You forget yourself for once, and reflect on what life means. Is it sensible to spend 60 or 70 years arguing points and counterpoints on a minor bit of scripture all the while your wife feels lonely every day? Do you force feed a coworker your "faith" while your friends think you hate them?

Again, I'm not the one to ask these sorts of things because I don't know. I don't. And no one else does either. The best you get from the best religious minds is one commonality: respect. Love. It's the same. So, maybe, in this world of turmoil and supposed end-of-days violence, instead of asking what is different about the Jew and Muslim and Atheist, ask what do we share in common?

Then, perhaps then, it won't matter whether your taken first or last or never because whatever happens, you'll feel you lived a full life because you notice the small things. You loved your wife a bit more, you increased your child's confidence, and you made your friend feel cared for.

I'm not perfect, so until then, I'm just going to try this respect thing.

That's hard enough right now.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Happy Belated Wednesday!

First I must apologize as Wednesday came and went without this post which saddened some of you I'm sure. Either way, I thought it would be too much to go without Happy Wednesday this week, so here it is coming to you a day late. From myself and Co-Ed Magazine, enjoy!

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Friday, October 9, 2009

WTF Friday! Spiders and Priapism?

Traveling the wide world of Reddit can be at times fascinating, at times disturbing, but always enjoyable to the last drop! Today, I was perusing their pages when I came across a link to this Wikipedia page for the Brazilian wandering spider (a.k.a. the armed spider a.k.a. the banana spider). Although one of their nicknames is the banana spider, the editor over at Wikipedia warns that they are "not to be confused with the relatively harmless species of the genus Nephila."

Of particular mention is the species P. nigriventer which contains a very strong neurotoxin known as PhTx3. Fortunately these spiders, like most spiders, developed mouths for small prey instead of tastier morsels like us humans. However, if you a potent enough dose of PhTx3 were introduced into your system, your death would be imminent without medical care.

First, you might lose some muscle control and have a few breathing problems, both of which increase as time progresses; however, before paralysis sets in, you discover just how much intense pain your body is capable of handling as it shoots throughout your entire system "due to an excitatory effect the venom has on [your] serotonin 5-HT4 receptors of sensory nerves."

Finally, if paralysis doesn't set in fast enough, priapism can set in, lasting hours, which can lead to impotence (if you're lucky enough to survive of course). What?! For a good time, call P. nigriventer? It's faster than Viagra and no awkward side effects! That's just messed up. What kind of cross-wired mumbo jumbo happens in the body to say, "oh, I'm in excrutiating pain, I need an erection?!" Remind me to keep a healthy distance from any spiders from now on. In fact, I think I'll just call off my friendship with any critters that use neurotoxins. I'm looking at you Dendroaspis sp. And familyTetraodontidae? Yep you too, but hey, we had a great run!

I guess, if I were to call this leaving you on a good note, there are currently scientists study P. nigriventer's chemical Tx2-6 for use in combating impotence and erectile dysfunction. Ladies and gentlemen, there's your silver lining!

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Prank Wars: Faking the Rapture

I don't know about you, but I'm not a big fan of the Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. I read the first couple novels in the series, but my interest quickly waned. Also, if you're anything like me, you have at least one friend who is not only a fan of the series but he or she also firmly believes the rapture will one day really take place. Maybe he or she has even tried to show you the error of your ways. I'm not knocking the beliefs of anyone, but this video is hilarious!

This video, from, reminded me a lot of the Syfy channel's show Scare Tactics. It had me laughing for minutes. I can't imagine the fear in the girl's mind as she's working out the scenario, but I can imagine it being something like "Am I going to burn?" Wow. Enjoy.

Faking the rapture - Watch more Funny Videos

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Techknow Thursday: Beat It, Stroke It, or Play It Any Way You Want!

Despite what the title of this week's installment of Techknow Thursday might conjure up in your head, this post is about a truly remarkable development in the world of electronic music.

Remember back when synthesizers were large, bulky and cumbersome objects of musical oppression where the musician was forced to stay in one place, often hidden from most of the audience? Technology has made vast improvements since then, and this is the latest and greatest!

The Eigenharp, by Eigenlabs in the UK, is finally here.

After eight long and exciting years of development, the Eigenharp is an amazing all-in-one instrument that you can strum, stroke, beat, and blow. It's still undergoing developments on the software end, but it can already pull off some amazing feats of musicality (is that even a word? who cares.). It's so great that I've decided to stop yammering and have included several videos below of the various features, but the best video I wasn't able to embed. It's over at Enjoy!

This first video is basically a quick overview of physical development of the Eigenharp. Think Science channel's How It's Made.

This next video shows how the arranger feature of the Eigenharp functions. It's pretty nifty.

And now, your wonderful patience has paid off. For your audible enjoyment, a little 007 action by Davek and Mark on the Eigenharp!

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

We have Pythons in the Water!

It will cost around 125, 000 British pounds, and some say it may be the fastest amphibious vehicle developed to date. It's called the Python, and while it won't pry every car enthusiast away from his or her Rolls Royce or Lamborghini, this car/boat hybrid has caught my eye (regardless of the fact I'll never own one).

"The Python is powered on land by a V8 engine from a Chevorlet Corvette, which produces 640 horsepower and enables the 3,800 pound machine to reach 100 mph. On water, thrust is provided by its Dominator Jet, which gives around 500 horsepower. [Daily Mail Online]"

The Python, made by the California-based company WaterCar, has reached speeds up to 60 mph on water. That's faster than many speedboats, and the best part of the entire vehicle may be that switching from road to the waves is done by one push of a button to raise or lower the wheels.

How does the Python, weighing nearly 2 tons, reach such speeds on the water? It utilizes propulsion to raise the craft up onto a plane which allows the boat to skim across the surface of the water rather than trying to push all of that mass through the water. Out of the water, this awkward looking vehicle has the front end of a truck, the rear end of a corvette, and the interior is similar to what you would expect from a speedboat.

I really enjoy the look of the Python, despite being awkward, but then again, I tend to enjoy strange designs and odd aesthetics. Either way, it would be great to have more options in amphibious vehicles. You know, something that's fun for the whole family!

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Oh the Memories!

Apparently the students at Memorial High School touched a nerve with this shirt. I can't see why, I think it speaks to the students' creativity, right?!

It seems that the Memorial-Stratford rivalry only brings out the best in both sides, but I have to give the students at Memorial two points for the win with that shirt design. Wow! And according to the site Jezebel, this image was sent to Feminist Law Professors by an "'anonymous and concerned parent.' [Feminist Law Professors]"

Below is "another artifact from the same rivalry" [Feminist Law Professors] found in the comment section at Jezebel. I find it fascinating that these shirts have been allowed to continue for several years and are just now being questioned. What? Is one horse acceptable, but you draw the line when they start double teaming the cheerleader?! Wow...just amazing.

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Happy Wednesday!

It's Wednesday, and that means a sluggish work day and the latest installment of beautiful women from our favorite website: Co-Ed Magazine! This week, I've found some extra sweet beauties for your viewing pleasure, and after you're done here, go over to Co-Ed's site and vote for Miss COED for October of 2009. It's a tough call, but no matter who wins the competition, we're really all winners! Enjoy!

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A Good Story!

Never underestimate the power a good story can have when you're in a tight jam! This video shows what a little creativity can do for you. It's hilarious!

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Shroud of Turin Reproduced

An Italian scientist, Luigi Garlaschelli, has successfully replicated the Shroud of Turin. The best part of the entire recreation is that Garlaschelli was able to do this using only technology that was available at the time of creation of the original shroud (middle ages - determined via carbon dating).

This has several implications for the Catholic religion and Christianity as a whole, but as Garlaschelli was quick to mention, "if they [sceptics] don't want to believe carbon dating done by some of the world's best laboratories they certainly won't believe me," but this isn't about proving anything so much as opening minds. It is my hope not that this discovery will crush the hope of Christians everywhere (which I know will not happen), but simply that more people will think critically about something before accepting a fact as truth.

This is a large order, but as science gets better and more refined, perhaps people will become more rational (for it is rational thinking which is need most, especially now). And before the fundamentalists start ranting, I feel that religion and myths and such can be a useful tool to instill certain principles into people through the use of anecdotes and fables to teach morals, but religion certainly creates extremists who act before or without thinking.

Either way, I digress from my original point (which was what again? oh, right). While the shroud is considered by many a mainstay of religion and faith, it is, at best, a supposed relic which may provide some with a "proof" of concept. I hope that this finding will allow some the wherewithal to at least open their eyes and question their faith.

For the full article detailing the procedures of duplication and more, see Yahoo's article or fly to Italy this upcoming weekend where Luigi Garaschelli plans to present his findings at a paranormal conference.

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy Wednesday!

Whew! Wednesday snuck up on me again, but here are some great pictures to get you through the rest of the week. Via the great people of Co-Ed Magazine, enjoy!

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