Saturday, April 14, 2012

Look into the eye of Sauron

Astronomers have recently discovered this image of the Eye of Sauron, looking back at us from across the void. What we are actually looking at is a supermassive black hole sitting at the center of galaxy NGC 4151 located approximately 43 millions light years away. It’s one of the closest galaxies where astronomers can clearly observe an actively growing black hole, probably feeding on Hobbits.

Watch Shuttle Discovery being prepped for its final journey

Space Shuttle Discovery made 39 trips into low earth orbit, but on Tuesday it will take one more voyage. The oldest surviving shuttle is taking a flight to its new home at the Smithsonian near Dulles International Airport. Before landing, NASA plans to show off the retired space shuttle in a flyover over Washington.
Weather permitting, the Discovery and its carrier 747 will depart Kennedy Space Center in Florida around 7 a.m. and arrive in the Washington area around 10 a.m. for a 40-minute aerial tour.
NASA and National Air and Space Museum officials refused to release full details of the flight path, citing security reasons. Here you can watch the procedure necessary to get the retired orbiter to its new home in Washington.

Friday, April 13, 2012

LEGO Star Wars organ in action

As a promotion for The Phantom Menace's 3D re-release in Germany, LEGO builders Rene Hoffmeister and Lorenz Lnggrtnr constructed a circus organ that doubles as a diorama. This beast has four of the most famous Star Wars worlds including Hoth, Tatooine, Endor and the Death Star built on to the barrel. When the organ is turned, the bricks touch little mechanical sensors which strike the keys of a keyboard and play the Star Wars main theme.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Kid builds own arcade out of cardboard

Meet 9 yr old Caine Monroy. Like many kids his age he loves video games. But good old Caine didn`t stop there, you see he built an elaborate cardboard arcade inside his dad’s used auto parts store complete with games, signs and tokens for the games. This is his story and by the looks of it he`s about to have the best day of his life.

Official trailer for the time traveling thriller Looper

The latest film from Brick director Rian Johnson stars Bruce Willis as Joe. You see, Joe has a problem, he is being hunted down by his younger self played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt who gets a contract to kill his older self. Talk about a paradox waiting to happen, Looper not only involves time travel but it also throws in organized crime and assassinations order by future under world leaders. This looks like it could be one fun action movie released this fall. Looper hits theatres September 28th.

Remembering Yuri, the first man in space

On this day in 1961 Yuri Gagarin became the first human being to travel beyond the confines of Earth aboard the Vostok 1 spacecraft. Yuri Gagarin became an international celebrity and was awarded many medals and honours, including Hero of the Soviet Union, that nation's highest honour. Although this was his only spaceflight, he served as backup crew to the Soyuz 1 mission (which ended in a fatal crash). Gagarin later became deputy training director of the Cosmonaut Training Center located in Star City outside of Moscow in Russia, which was later named after him. Gagarin died in 1968 when a MIG 15 he was piloting suddenly crashed. To this day the cause of the crash is still unknown. He was also honored by the American space program during the Apollo 11 moon mission when astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin left a memorial bag containing medals commemorating Gagarin and cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov on the moon. On August 1st 1971, Apollo 15 astronauts left an aluminum sculpture known as the "Fallen Astronaut" on the surface of the Moon as a memorial to all the American astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts that died during the Space Race, with Yuri Gagarin listed among 14 others.

Watch the birth of an iPad

Ever want to see how iPads are made? Here we have workers at a Foxconn manufacturing facility in Shenzhen assemble Apple iPads destined for consumers around the globe. Despite all the negative publicity this facility looks clean and the working environment albeit is probably pretty boring does not resemble any slave mill that certain bloggers claimed it would be. Here we can see the installation of certain components such as the motherboard and batteries to final testing of the product before shipping.

A view of the USCSS Prometheus

Here, courtesy of  we have a close up rendering of the USCSS Prometheus which will transport our intrepid explorers to the planet LV223 were you guessed it, all the trouble starts. Built by the Weyland corp the Prometheus is powered by nuclear ion plasma engines, has multiple cargo bays, (probably were all the nasties will breed) and sports an intergalactic communication antennae so that everyone at home can enjoy the crew`s final screams of agony in glorious hi definition video.

You will notice the USCSS Prometheus does include a medical bay and of course an ejectable life boat. I`m sure that will come in handy somewhere towards the end of the film. Anyone willing to start a survivor pool?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Be amazed: the 24 fingered hair washing machine

No small secret the Japanese just love their robots. Panasonic has developed a hair-washing robot and hopes to put it into actual service in beauty salons before the end of the year.
First, the robot moves its mechanical fingertips around the customer’s head, measuring it with sensors. Once it has an idea of the shape of the customer’s head, it applies hot water and shampoo and uses its 24 digits to wash the customer’s hair.
There are over 270,000 beauty salons in Japan, but plans are in motion to introduce these robots into nursing and care facilities as well.

Psychologist creates "Dream app" for iphone

Richard Wiseman a professor and psychologist at the the University of Hertfordshire England has created an iPhone app that allegedly can manipulate a person’s dreams. While the user is asleep, the Dream:ON app will play various “soundscapes” that are intended to enhance and manipulate one`s dreams. No word yet if there will be an Android version.

Loki and Tony Stark trade snarky quips

Peter Weyland speaks at TED 2023

Guy Pearce as Peter Weyland the head of Weyland corp in the Prometheus movie. You just know something bad is going to happen to him.

Visit the Navy`s robot playground

Spencer Ackerman of tours the Navy's brand new Laboratory for Autonomous Systems Research. This facility was designed to research the interaction between humans and robots in complex environments.

Kind of reminds me of this scene from Caprica. We all know how that turned out.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Take a tour of the Wonders of the Universe

Harper Collins has teamed up with physicist Brian Cox to bring the wonders of universe to the ipad. The app is called Brian Cox`s Wonders of the Universe, and it's the work of publisher HarperCollins, which struck a deal with the BBC to include footage from Cox's TV shows Wonders of the Solar System and Wonders of the Universe.
Developed by The Other Media, the app draws on the full text and photos used in HarperCollins' tie-in books for those series.

The other Korea readies Unha-3 rocket for launch

In an unprecedented move North Korea allowed western journalist to take photos of its Unha-3 rocket scheduled to launch as early as Thursday. Journalists were also shown the rocket`s payload, Kwangmyŏngsŏng-3 otherwise known as the Bright Star 3. This according to North Korea is an Earth observation satellite designed for weather forecasting. The launch is planned to mark the centenary of the birth of Kim Il Sung, the country's founder.

Meet ALMA: the telescopes with altitude

ALMA short for Atacama Large Millimeter/sub-millimeter Array is a multinational partnership between the United States, Canada, Europe, East Asia and the Republic of Chile. Costing more than a billion dollars it is the most expensive ground based telescope currently under construction. ALMA began scientific observations in the second half of 2011 and the first images were released on October 3rd 2011. The project is scheduled to be fully operational by the end of 2012.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Looper countdown trailer

What if you had to hunt down and kill your future self? Rian Johnson`s upcoming sci-fi action flick Looper asks this question. Looper stars Bruce Willis as Joe and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the younger version of Joe tasked with killing his older self. Got it, confusing? Well maybe, but it sounds like a fun ride.

The official trailer premiers in 3 days with Looper being released theatrically September 28.

Prometheus UK trailer

The Prometheus UK trailer includes different scenes, music and showcases the reason as to why humanity venture out into space to meet their doom, err find the meaning behind certain enigmatic discoveries scattered around the world.

Most complex Rube Goldberg machine

Purdue University's Society of Professional Engineers broke a world record yesterday by creating a machine that takes 300 steps to inflate then pop a single balloon.