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Robot Listens and Responds to Human Drummer
08.28.2009
11:50 am
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“A robot listens and responds to a human drummer, improvising new rhythms. From Georgia Tech’s Gil Weinberg and Scott Driscoll.”


Haile, the interactive robot drummer

Posted by Tara McGinley
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08.28.2009
11:50 am
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The Long-Range Taser Controversy
08.27.2009
11:55 pm
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Meet the long-range taser.  For when stunning your victims at close-range just won’t do.  As the accompanying promotional video testifies, the long-range delivers “true incapacitation” without wires, and from a “ground-breaking distance” of a 100 feet away.  Sweet!  But don’t expect to see your neighbor firing one at your dog—or you—anytime soon.  According to a recent article in New Science:

A team led by Cynthia Bir, a trauma injury specialist at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, found that some of the 275 XREP cartridges that Taser supplied for testing last year were capable of delivering an electric shock for more than 5 minutes, rather than the 20 seconds of shocking current they are supposed to generate.

Electric shock weapon expert (!) Steve Wright finds this particularly worrisome, “what happens when the weapons are fired at pregnant women, people with health problems or the very young?”  I’m with you, Steve.  Pregnant women, people with health problems and the very young should receive shocks of only 20 seconds or so—in the name of all that’s humane.

 
In New Scientist: Long-Range Taser Reignites Safety Debate

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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08.27.2009
11:55 pm
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What’s Your Sign Baby?
08.27.2009
11:50 pm
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Awesome 70s horoscope pants… could anybody get away with this now? Could anybody get away with it then?

(Via Copyranter)

Posted by Jason Louv
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08.27.2009
11:50 pm
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Five Reasons You No Longer Need an Ad Agency
08.27.2009
08:01 pm
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Having done two tour of duties in the advertising trenches, it’s refreshing to finally see someone speak the truth:

The current agency model is broken. I know it, agencies know it, but luckily for all of us, clients haven’t realized it yet.

After more than a decade of working for an agency (six years on the client side), I have come to several conclusions, none of which are pretty pictures for agencies unless they change. You see, agencies need clients more than clients need agencies, and there has been a fundamental shift in how technology has both enabled and altered that dynamic. It has exacerbated the problem with the explosion of new media channels, and it has also provided the solutions.

We have built an interweaving production process that is designed to produce media the old way, not the new way, and agencies and clients seem to be stuck in this model.

Agencies over the last 20 years have morphed into advanced communication production shops. The offline agencies have desperately been pursuing online projects with their clients, and the online agencies have been trying to do more offline work. What they both have not done, however, is change the process of production. They have been too busy chasing the money.

But agencies used to be so much more than that. They were the creative powerhouses. The ideation shops. The meme creators for their brands across society. Some still are, but is meme creation needed anymore?

Five Reasons You No Longer Need an Ad Agency by Sean X Cummings

Thanks Jose Caballer!

Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.27.2009
08:01 pm
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Wrapping Cats With Bad Boy Bubby
08.27.2009
04:44 pm
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Instead of Hal Ashby, what if Nick Cave (circa And The Ass Saw The Angel) directed Being There?  It might look something like Rolf de Heer‘s Australian ‘93 cult comedy, Bad Boy Bubby.  We first meet Bubby (fearlessly played by Nicholas Hope) as a 30-something man, imprisoned by his mother all his life in a shitbox room for reasons never fully explained.  Maybe it’s ‘cause “mum” so enjoys bathing and having sex with him?

Anyway, even as an “outside-fearing” captive, Bubby’s got his hobbies: he’s a gifted mimic, and he enjoys wrapping cats in cellophane.  To say any more might spoil this film’s many, often moving, surprises.  The arc of Bubby does, though, follow the familiar “holy fool” trajectory: change brings growth and maturity, which almost by definition entails some loss of innocence.  Still—cellophaned cats!

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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08.27.2009
04:44 pm
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China’s Re-education Camps, Version 2.0
08.27.2009
04:07 pm
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And you think America spends too much time online?  Consider China, and the case of 14-year-old Pu Liang, who was often out all night playing games at a local internet cafe.  Seeking to cure Pu of his “addiction,” his mother, Li Shubing, shipped him off to a summer camp notorious for its “extreme methods.”  How extreme?  Well, as the LA Times reports:

Pu now lies hospitalized in critical condition with broken ribs, kidney damage and internal bleeding.  Removed from the camp by police last week, he told his parents he had been beaten by a counselor and fellow campers after he was unable to complete a rigorous regimen of push-ups.

Li remains as upset as she is baffled, “I never imagined they could be so cruel to treat a child like this.  I only wanted him to straighten out his life.”  Perhaps she should have more closely read the camp literature—or consulted the internet herself.  There are now roughly 300 such camps in China, many of them employing such, ahem, proven internet-weaning methods as enforced standing and shock treatment.

But Wu Yongjin, who runs the Chinese Unconventional Education Training Center, defends these methods, calling them, “more important nowadays when children are so spoiled.  It’s okay to beat them, just as long as you make sure they don’t really get hurt.” 

Hmm…they say excessive gaming desensitizes you to violence and diminishes your capacity for empathy.  Well, Pu, look on the bright side—once those kidneys heal, you’ll have no problem landing a job at the Unconventional Training Center!
 
In the LA Times: China’s Internet-addiction Camps Turn Dangerous

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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08.27.2009
04:07 pm
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Disneyland is Under Attack!
08.27.2009
03:27 pm
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Striking images from Max Papeschi’s upcoming show at the Mondo Bizzarro Gallery in Rome.

 

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Via Who Killed Bambi?

Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.27.2009
03:27 pm
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Get A Room You Chew: Candy Wrapper Porn
08.27.2009
12:11 pm
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A DAD last night blasted a sweet firm over fruity characters on wrappers who look like they are having sex. Haribo’s MAOAM sour candy uses illustrations of lemons, limes and cherries.

But Simon Simpkins was shocked at the “porno” poses when he bought the sweets for his kids Benjamin and Ofelia.

Mr Simpkins of Pontefract, West Yorks, said: “The lemon and lime are locked in what appears to be a carnal encounter. The lime, who I assume to be the gentleman in this coupling, has a particularly lurid expression on his face.

‘I demanded to see the shop manager and, during a heated exchange, my wife became quite distressed and had to sit down in the car park.’

Haribo said the “fun” packaging was introduced in Germany in 2002. They added: ‘The jovial MAOAM man is very popular with fans, both young and old.’

Dad’s outrage at sweet wrapper “porn”

 

(via Arbroath)

Posted by Tara McGinley
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08.27.2009
12:11 pm
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Wackpot Michelle Bachman Calls for Fasting and Prayer to Defeat Health Care for All US Citizens
08.27.2009
11:55 am
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imageShe’s baaaack… Minnesota congresswoman and escaped mental patient, Michelle Bachmann continues to bring the crazy. They should probably institute an IQ test for potential candidates for Congress to weed the complete crackpots out, but what can you do? This lady was duly elected by the people of her district, TWICE. I guess that dumb people need representation, too and I do hope that her fellow opponents of health care for all our citizens take her advice. From The Minnesota Independent:

 

 

 

Bachmann was joined by North Carolina

James Dallas Egbert III: The Dungeon Master
08.27.2009
05:02 am
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When I was about 14, I discovered a copy of “The Dungeon Master: The Disappearance of James Dallas Egbert III” in the local library used-book bin. Noting that it had something to do with Dungeons and Dragons (don’t act smug!), and also noting that it cost about $1, I bought it.

That book stuck with me for a long time.

Egbert, for those who are not versed in their nerd history, was the kid who disappeared in the Michigan State University steam tunnels in 1979, apparently as the result of a live-action Dungeons and Dragons session, provoking a nation-wide scare about the then-new role-playing game that would be unrivaled in sheer stupidity levels until the Satanic Panic…

READ ON
Posted by Jason Louv
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08.27.2009
05:02 am
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