jump to navigation

And He Can Fall Eight Times! November 28, 2016

Posted by stuffilikenet in Hello Kitty, Video.
add a comment

As Reported Previously, the Ice Caps Are Gone November 28, 2016

Posted by stuffilikenet in Applications, Awesome, Mutants, Science, Toys.
add a comment

https://i1.wp.com/media.gizmodo.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/s--awA5Xrmi--.gif

Each BigDog(tm) has 8/3 reindeer power.

I’ve Had Enough Out of You Guys November 27, 2016

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Video.
add a comment

Don’t mess with me;  I have a stick.

I’m So Stuffed I Could Just Burst November 25, 2016

Posted by stuffilikenet in Geek Stuff, Mutants, Photography.
1 comment so far

13

From BoingBoing.

Exciting update: Apparently aliens are a thing.  Who knew?

First Real Snow November 23, 2016

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Photography.
add a comment

first real snow

My postings have been delayed by iceberg calving down the road. Fortunately, the local market is open, and I can still get egg nog and brandy.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong? November 23, 2016

Posted by stuffilikenet in Brilliant words, Mutants.
add a comment

View image on Twitter

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Newtonmas November 21, 2016

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Mutants, Toys, Uncategorizable.
add a comment

Can’t get it on Amazon…can it be real?

Gluten-free Bread Machine Adventures 5 November 21, 2016

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Mutants, Science, Toys, Uncategorizable.
add a comment

Wherein we find Our Hero has found that Pamela’s Gluten-free Bread Mix can be had from Amazon Prime for $2.42/lb delivered, which is no small thing here in the Frozen North, where the only town bigger than 2,000 is an hour away…

See previous Bread Machine Adventures for correct use, misuse and abuse.

What I Want for Newtonmas This Year November 18, 2016

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Geek Stuff, Japan, Science, Toys, Video.
add a comment

A realistic dinosaur costume.

Or a T-Rex.  Either way.

Too Much Science to Read, Let Alone Review November 15, 2016

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Brain, Brilliant words, Geek Stuff, Science, Star Trek Technology, Toys, Uncategorizable.
add a comment

It’s been a banner week for science geeks, nerds, and squints. The locked-in lady gets to at least shout from her prison quietlyGoogle has radar sensitive enough to not only find objects but identify them by their radar signature and perovskite is once again breaking solar-conversion efficiency records.

Ordinarily I would give you a breakdown of each of these nifty developments, but more are coming and I may want to return to these later when I am not pressed for time.  Follow the links above; there are others as well that you will find more well constructed than my chicken scratchings, I’m sure.

Brain-Computer Interface Now in Use at Home!!! November 15, 2016

Posted by stuffilikenet in Applications, Awesome, Brain, Geek Stuff, Science, Star Trek Technology, Toys, Uncategorizable.
1 comment so far

A 58-year-old woman (“HB”) with ALS has had a functioning brain-computer interface (BCI) for a while now, and is able to communicate (slowly) with the outside world. She was facing total lock-in Real Soon Now, so any device which offers communication ability is welcome.

What it is:

A diagram illustrating the setup and use of the ECoG implant.

Electrode strips at the top laid across her brain like band-aids read faint electrical signals.  With training HB was able to “type” fairly quickly (words per minute, but still).  More work remains to be done on the interfacing software (I am imagining more inputs and a neural network to interpret her thoughts more and more efficiently), and HB is ecstatic to have a way t live in the world.  She would like to use the interface to control a wheelchair, for example, but that is a ways off.

 

Homework:  Vansteensel, Mariska J. et. al., Fully Implanted Brain–Computer Interface in a Locked-In Patient with ALS, New England Journal of Medicine November 12, 2016 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1608085

Update: New Scientist has an excellent writeup as well.

Morning and Evening Here in the Frozen North November 15, 2016

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Photography.
add a comment

 morning pano

evening pano

Scary, isn’t it? Forecast calls for rain, but I imagine I will see snow on that little mountain tomorrow. Maybe.

A Walk Around the Neighborhood November 15, 2016

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Photography.
add a comment

What I said about living in a forest meadow?  It’s pretty much the truth. Yesterday I went for an evening constitutional and found some traces of fungus among us:

IMG_20161112_113309

IMG_20161112_113232

IMG_20161112_113239 

IMG_20161112_114650

Men’s size eleven clodhoppers for reference:IMG_20161112_114716

 IMG_20161112_114535

IMG_20161112_114553

IMG_20161112_114601

I’m not sure any of them are edible; after all, the bear doesn’t seem to have eaten any of them.

IMG_20161112_114443

As far as I can tell with, uh, casual observation, those are Manzanita berries.

Breakfast of Champions November 11, 2016

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Toys, Uncategorizable.
add a comment

IMG_20161111_210239

A friend gave this to my wife today (the egg mold, not the scotch). I couldn’t wait for breakfast to enjoy it (hence the scotch).  Turns out you can get them sent to your house by tomorrow if you have Amazon Prime.  Hurry up! We can all commune tomorrow morning with pirate eggs.

 

Exciting update:

IMG_20161112_092228

How Statistics Can Predict the Future November 10, 2016

Posted by stuffilikenet in Brilliant words, Geek Stuff, Science.
add a comment

The X Axis on the graph is the percentage of GDP spent on R&D and the size of the balls is the amount of spending. The Y Axis is the scientists and engineers per million people.

]

Notice that the 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th largest amounts are spent by Asian countries.  And notice that Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Singapore and Finland have the largest number of scientists per capita, but look at the volume of South Korea and the number of scientists…those guys are going to eat the world.

Excuse me; I have to go buy a Samsung phone.

Better Neutrino Detection Through Beta Decay November 9, 2016

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Geek Stuff, Japan, Science, Toys.
add a comment

Once upon a time scientists studying the sun couldn’t have the faintest idea of the internal activity of the Sun. One bright (see what I did there) scientist realized that monitoring neutrinos, the massless, chargeless, non-interacting particles that zip through the universe barely interacting with anything at all, might give a useful clue to the machinations therein.  I mean, they knew neutrinos are part of the solar flux,so it’s just a matter of detecting massless, chargeless, non-interacting particles.

Oh, crap.

Well, luckily neutrinos do not remain neutrinos forever; they decay into detectable particles…eventually.  Not often to be sure, as billions pass through a square centimeter every second without leaving any decay particles. Those decay particles can be detected with rather elaborate photomultipliers in a huge cavern in Japan somewhere: “It consists of a tank filled with 50,000 tons of ultra-pure water, surrounded by about 13,000 photo-multiplier tubes. If a neutrino enters the water and interacts with electrons or nuclei there, it results in a charged particle that moves faster than the speed of light in water. This leads to an optical shock wave, a cone of light called Cherenkov radiation. This light is projected onto the wall of the tank and recorded by the photomultiplier tubes.1“ Despite the heavy hardware only a few thousand are detected every year, which should tell you something about the likelihood of a decay event…not very damn likely.

Thing is, the theoretical number and the actual number didn’t match; the experimental result was one-third of theoretical, indicating something must be wrong with the theoretical understanding, or the experiment is crap. It turned out that neutrinos oscillate among three forms (electron, muon and tau) and detectors were primarily sensitive to only electron neutrinos.

Here’s where science gets really intricate; pour another shot and I’ll tell you why. In a distantly-related field, other scientists observed variations in the rate of beta decay of radioactive elements.  Once again, either the data is crap or the theory, and the theory says the decay rate should be constant.  Looking at the data over time, they found that the beta-decay rate matched the neutrino data, indicating a one-month oscillation attributable to solar radiation. Many now believe that neutrino emissions from the Sun are somehow affecting beta decay.

If that’s not strange enough for you then feature this: the same guys who figured this out are going to use beta-decay experiments here on Earth to monitor massless, chargeless, non-interacting neutrinos, and thereby the Sun.

 

1. Sometimes I don’t feel like writing all that much.  It is 11:30p.m. and I’m tired. Sue me.

Homework:  P. A. Sturrock et al. Comparative Analyses of Brookhaven National Laboratory Nuclear Decay Measurements and Super-Kamiokande Solar Neutrino Measurements: Neutrinos and Neutrino-Induced Beta-Decays as Probes of the Deep Solar Interior, Solar Physics (2016). DOI: 10.1007/s11207-016-1008-9

How I Started Every Morning This Summer November 9, 2016

Posted by stuffilikenet in Uncategorizable.
add a comment

IMG_20160921_090747

Jealous?

Brain-Computer Interface Restores Locomotion November 9, 2016

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Brain, Science, Star Trek Technology, Toys.
add a comment


You heard me. Watch the video and be amazed.

The researchers think it could be ready for human trials by the end of the decade.

If it sounds familiar, it might be because Star Trek thought of it first:

Image result for spock's brain

Homework: Capogrosso, Marco, Milekovic, Tomislav, et. al, A brain–spine interface alleviating gait deficits after spinal cord injury in primates, Nature

Unity3D Game Engine November 8, 2016

Posted by stuffilikenet in Uncategorized.
add a comment

If you already know a few things about coding in Java or C#, you can probably cobble together a few different types of games using Unity3D’s game engine. I can state this with fair confidence as I have done just that following their video tutorials with slavish adherence to every bit (and byte, I suppose) of their coding advice.  The Unity3D game engine will allow you to compile to a number of different operating systems; I built an Android app and a web-based sample you can see here.  It’s a fun little space shooter a la Galaxians, but a bit more primitive.  I was just thrilled to make it work with so little knowledge of C#.

I’m an idiot; I am sure you all can do better.  The video tutorials on Unity’s site show examples of 2D and 3D games, both perspective and first person games.  There’s lots of shooting, but there doesn’t need to be (Katamari Damacy, anyone?); be creative. 

My personal dreamscape of computer games involves cutlery fighting with crockery; YMMV.

A Shortage of Imagination November 8, 2016

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Hello Kitty, Photography, Toys.
add a comment

hello kitty armour

There are lots of creative notions and flights of fancy I come up with in the shower, after a couple of scotches or in the drowsy state which precedes real sleep.

This is not one of them.