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Blue M&Ms; ‘mend spinal injuries’
07.28.2009
12:33 pm

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No, this item did not come from News of the Weird… and no, that furry character above is not an extra from “Willy Wonka” either…

The compound Brilliant Blue G blocks a chemical that kills healthy spinal cord cells around the damaged area - an event that often causes more irreversible damage than the original injury.

BBG not only reduced the size of the lesion but also improved the recovery of motor skills, the rodent tests showed.

Those treated with BBG were later able to walk, although with a limp. Rats that did not receive the BBG solution never regained the ability to walk.

On the downside, the treatment causes the skin to temporarily turn bright blue and BBG needs to be injected soon after the trauma. The test injections were given within 15 minutes.

Blue M&Ms ‘mend spinal injuries’

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
“That’s Incredible” Broadcasts History’s First Video Game World Championship (1983)
07.27.2009
09:47 pm

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Speaking of “Look Around You”, here’s a nifty nostalgic peek at 1983’s “That’s Incredible Video Game Invitational.”  Twin Galaxies says:

Twin Galaxies first Coronation Day Tournament is recognized as history’s first video game “World Championship”—held January 8-9, 1983 at the the Twin Galaxies Intergalactic Scoreboard in Ottumwa, Iowa, USA.

Co-sponsored by Twin Galaxies and ABC-TV’s That’s Incredible, the event featured nineteen of North America’s top players competing on five current titles: Frogger, Millipede, Joust, Super Pac-Man, and Donkey Kong, Jr.

The top three finalists won complimentary subscriptions to Joystik, RePlay and Playmeter Magazine and were invited to compete on the “That’s Incredible” finals in Los Angeles.

The show was aired to an international TV audience on February 21, 1983.

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Twin Galaxies & That’s Incredible

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Look Around You: Remix Music Video
07.27.2009
11:23 am

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Pop Culture
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Trippy fan video of genius British retro comedy Look Around You. The video pays homage to classic moments from the series and does it in a cool psychedelic way.  Fun!

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
PAIN FROM ABOVE.  THANKS, PENTAGON!
07.23.2009
09:30 am

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If, like me, you’re up on your “Active Denial Systems,” you probably know that such systems were (thankfully) relegated to slow-moving earth-crawlers.  Well, leave it to the Pentagon to give these non-lethal microwave emitters wings…er, rotors:

The Pentagon’s enthusiasm for non-lethal crowd-control weapons appears to have stepped up a gear with its decision to develop a microwave pain-infliction system that can be fired from an aircraft.  The device is an extension of its controversial Active Denial System, which uses microwaves to heat the surface of the skin, creating a painful sensation without burning that strongly motivates the target to flee. The ADS was unveiled in 2001, but it has not been deployed owing to legal issues and safety fears.

Nevertheless, the Pentagon’s Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate (JNLWD) in Quantico, Virginia, has now called for it to be upgraded. The US air force, whose radar technology the ADS is based on, is increasing its annual funding of the system from $2 million to $10 million.

The transmitting antenna on the current system is 2 metres across, produces a single beam of similar width and is steered mechanically, making it cumbersome. At the heart of the new weapon will be a compact airborne antenna, which will be steered electronically and be capable of generating multiple beams, each of which can be aimed while on the move.

Microwave Weapon Will Rain Pain From The Sky

Active Denial Systems on 60 Minutes

Posted by Bradley Novicoff | Leave a comment
Drawdio: Turn Almost Anything Into a Theremin
07.22.2009
09:38 pm

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This Drawdio kit can be yours for $17.50 at Adafruit Industries. Creator, Jay Silver talks about Drawdio:

Imagine you could draw musical instruments on normal paper with any pencil (cheap circuit thumb-tacked on) and then play them with your finger. The Drawdio circuit-craft lets you MacGuyver your everyday objects into musical instruments: paintbrushes, macaroni, trees, grandpa, even the kitchen sink…

One day I bought a “harmonium” kit at the street market in Bangalore. I hacksawed the keyboard off to make the first ever Drawdio circuit. We played with it at a local school in the slums using plants, water, our foreheads, etc. My friend told me graphite would work too. Meditating on it, I realized the Drawdio circuit should be literally attached to a pencil to “draw audio,” and that’s where the name came from: Draw + Audio.


Drawdio

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Babies Understand Dogs, Bark-matching Study Finds
07.22.2009
01:22 am

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Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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