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Author Topic: Interesting Non-Game Stuff  (Read 86296 times)

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Offline manfred

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #150 on: August 20, 2008, 04:01:44 PM »
"Star Trek warp drive is a possibility, say scientists"

Darn, and I hoped they would prove a better TV Series first. So be it... stabilize the stabilizers!


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2008/08/15/sciwarpdrive115.xml
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Offline Kinslayer

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #151 on: September 16, 2008, 06:15:04 PM »
Quote
All this extraordinary feat requires, says the new study, is for scientists to harness a mysterious and poorly understood cosmic antigravity force, called dark energy.

First teleportation turns out to just be an electron tunnelling thing, now this.  Can I at least get a phaser set to stun?
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Offline manfred

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #152 on: September 17, 2008, 07:00:50 AM »
How about a stunner set to phase?
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Offline manfred

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #153 on: October 12, 2008, 05:19:11 PM »
Much more contemporary, a British camera "sees" under clothes

It can can detect weapons, drugs or explosives hidden under people's clothes from up to 25 meters away and detect hidden objects from up to 80 feet away, effective even when people are moving. It does not reveal physical body details and the screening is harmless, the company says.

Welcome to a Brave New World!

---

Classier: an ultrasound machine 'turns cheap plonk into fine wine in 30 minutes'.

It does this by aging the alcoholic contents. Necromancy at work, this time for the betterment of the human race.
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Offline manfred

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #154 on: October 31, 2008, 05:44:06 AM »
Instant food

Breakfast 8000 years ago wasn't that much different from what we enjoy today, according to a study that describes the world's oldest known cooked cereal.

"In this form, the cereal grain can be stored throughout the year and consumed easily, even without boiling, by merely soaking in hot water."


Food for thought and adventurers.
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Offline manfred

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #155 on: November 06, 2008, 05:51:20 PM »

Scientists discover Patagonian diesel that grows on trees


Actually it is a fungus, that naturally produces a mixture of chemicals that is remarkably similar to diesel. Forget hydrogen and solar cars, the future lies in fungus!
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Offline manfred

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #156 on: November 19, 2008, 05:53:44 PM »
When I grow up, I want a library like this one:

http://www.wired.com/techbiz/people/magazine/16-10/ff_walker?currentPage=all

Watch and weep and imagine.
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Offline manfred

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #157 on: November 23, 2008, 03:32:03 PM »
Finally: the flying car is here!

The seed of this improbable adventure was sown four years ago when Gilo Cardozo, a paramotor manufacturer, had a eureka moment. For those not familiar with paramotors, picture a parachutist with a giant industrial fan strapped to his back, which provides forward motion and boosts lift for the parachute - or wing - during takeoff. Cardozo’s brainwave was to attach a car to the fan.

“I started making a paramotor on wheels that you sit on and take off and it suddenly occurred to me, ‘Why not just have a car that does everything?’” recalls Cardozo, whose Wiltshire-based company Parajet built the paramotor that the adventurer Bear Grylls used to fly near Everest last year.

A workable flying car has been the inventors’ holy grail for half a century, but the reality has remained elusive.

...
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Offline Maggot

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #158 on: November 25, 2008, 08:27:13 AM »
Oh dear, if this invention ever becomes mainstream, I see air pollution getting a lot worse.
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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #159 on: November 25, 2008, 08:52:09 AM »
I dont think it would have that much of an impact. Flying is scary and I dont think the car would sell well. I would buy one, but I'm not scared of heights or flying. Also, it has a 4 cylinder 140 hp diesel engine, that's pretty clean compared to a normal gasoline engine


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Offline MoonHunter

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #160 on: November 25, 2008, 10:51:51 AM »


Batman Theme Song
Somehow this seems less cheesy than "Batman Forever."
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Offline Lanfear57

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #161 on: January 23, 2009, 03:46:34 PM »
http://www.flixxy.com/presidents-morphing.htm

pretty cool. my mom sent it to me.
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Offline manfred

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #162 on: January 29, 2009, 04:11:12 PM »
Invasion of the immortal jellyfish!!!

OK... not quite:

Quote
The Turritopsis Nutricula is able to revert back to a juvenile form once it mates after becoming sexually mature.

Marine biologists say the jellyfish numbers are rocketing because they need not die.

Dr Maria Miglietta of the Smithsonian Tropical Marine Institute said: "We are looking at a worldwide silent invasion."

The jellyfish are originally from the Caribbean but have spread all over the world.

Turritopsis Nutricula is technically known as a hydrozoan and is the only known animal that is capable of reverting completely to its younger self.

It does this through the cell development process of transdifferentiation.

Scientists believe the cycle can repeat indefinitely, rendering it potentially immortal.

While most members of the jellyfish family usually die after propagating, the Turritopsis nutricula has developed the unique ability to return to a polyp state.

Having stumbled upon the font of eternal youth, this tiny creature which is just 5mm long is the focus of many intricate studies by marine biologists and geneticists to see exactly how it manages to literally reverse its aging process.
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Offline Murometz

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #163 on: February 04, 2009, 01:29:10 PM »
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Triumph of the Dungeon Master!

Ah, how I have come to love that sense of accomplishment and victory that I get when I pull the wool over the eyes of a clever player character. What DM Triumphs have you had?

Some of mine:
1. Finally killing an incredibly powerful, lucky, annoying player's character.
2. Finally achieving a TPK (Total Party Kill)
3. Finally achieving a TPK using only traps
4. Finally working out how to make it so that d**n wizard doesn't steal the spotlight all the d**n time.

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Offline manfred

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #164 on: February 09, 2009, 03:08:04 PM »
The man who helps people disappear

Actually a 'skip tracer', a guy that finds all those who attempt to vanish, he also uses his skills to allow his clients to disappear from trouble. An interesting read (with some fodder for modern games).

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Finally, you can order your own robotic copy, that will obey your orders and behave like you! Order now!

(Just have to find out how to get your brain into it if something happens.)
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Offline manfred

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #165 on: March 03, 2009, 07:39:40 AM »
Octopus attempts to drown people!

Of course not. But a brave little octopus attempted to flee its aquarium:

Quote
The female California two-spotted octopus swam to the top of her tank, disassembled a valve with her powerful arm, and released at least 200 gallons (757 liters) of seawater into nearby exhibits and offices.

The foot-long (0.3-meter) creature remained in her tank and survived her ordeal. But the aquarium's brand-new floors weren't so lucky.

Such high jinks are typical of the invertebrates' still unexplained smarts, experts say.

"Octopuses have a wonderful combination of intelligence, tremendous manipulative ability, curiosity, and strength," said Jennifer Mather, a psychology professor at Canada's University of Lethbridge who has studied cognition in octopuses.


I like this one most:

"In one instance, an octopus given a slightly spoiled shrimp stuffed it down the drain while maintaining eye contact with its keeper."

Ever faced down an octopus?
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Offline manfred

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #166 on: March 16, 2009, 07:06:06 AM »
Take that, you barbarians!

Rampaging hordes - or darlings of the Dark Ages?

"The vikings' reputation as hairy, axe-wielding barbarians has been demolished by the revelation that the ancient Norsemen were technologically advanced, hygienic and really rather civilised."

Quote
Their image problem largely stems from their failure – what, with all that plundering to do – to find time to record their own history; meaning that chronicling their presence was left to those on the receiving end of their, shall we say, pragmatic approach to revenue gathering.


Quote
Even allowing for historical exaggeration, there's no doubt the Vikings could be a tough bunch. Where, though, did the ferocity come from? Some scholars have suggested that they may have been using performance-enhancing substances – notably magic mushrooms that they collected on their travels. From this arose the myth of the "berserkers", the Viking super-warriors who, when in battle, would enter a frenzy, seemingly impervious to pain.

Yet, away from the obligations of pillaging and plundering, the Viking was – according to the Cambridge consensus – a very different creature. He was obsessed with good grooming, fashionable appearance and personal hygiene, and, in this sense, could be seen as the first metrosexual. One medieval chronicler, John of Wallingford, records disapprovingly that the Danes "combed their hair every day, washed every Saturday and changed their clothes regularly".



Worth reading in entirety.
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Offline manfred

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #167 on: March 18, 2009, 08:46:35 AM »
Revealed: The headset that will mimic all five senses and make the virtual world as convincing as real life

"The prototype helmet connects wirelessly to a computer which feeds it information about a virtual world or another part of the real world.

It features a high-definition high dynamic screen - which produces pictures ten times darker, or 30 times brighter than conventional television.

A tube connected to a box of chemicals releases smells under the wearer's nose, while a similar device can spray flavours directly into the mouth and provide a texture sensation.

The heat and humidity can be changed using a fan and heater, while surround-sound speakers recreate ambient noise.

Professor Alan Chalmers, of Warwick University, said the headset should be ready within five years."
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Offline Murometz

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #168 on: March 27, 2009, 10:50:22 PM »
A kidney-punch for all Luddites  :P

[http://green.yahoo.com/blog/ecogeek/1012/candles-are-10-times-worse-for-the-environment-than-light-bulbs.html]
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Triumph of the Dungeon Master!

Ah, how I have come to love that sense of accomplishment and victory that I get when I pull the wool over the eyes of a clever player character. What DM Triumphs have you had?

Some of mine:
1. Finally killing an incredibly powerful, lucky, annoying player's character.
2. Finally achieving a TPK (Total Party Kill)
3. Finally achieving a TPK using only traps
4. Finally working out how to make it so that d**n wizard doesn't steal the spotlight all the d**n time.

-Captain Penguin

Offline Chaosmark

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #169 on: March 28, 2009, 03:09:55 PM »
Quote
I know, I know, incandescent light bulbs are the devil. The fact that any of us still use this antiquated technology is a testament to our stupidity as a species...
Obviously this person is slightly out of touch with reality, if they're suggesting that fluorescent light bulbs are the absolute best light bulb to use for every situation. Cold weather, for instance, causes problems with most fluorescent lights (reduced light output, longer warm-up time, etc.). Likewise, lights that are constantly on-and-off are better served by a regular incandescent bulb.

However, the overall article is a good reminder of why people generally went to bed when the sun went down before Edison invented the lightbulb: candles aren't all that effective as a light source. They're functional, certainly, but it's not worth the effort for most things.
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Offline manfred

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #170 on: April 03, 2009, 06:17:27 PM »
Sex with robots

That's where it starts, but it goes much further, up to an interesting way, how the humanity could end.
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Offline Maggot

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #171 on: April 03, 2009, 09:44:56 PM »
In era when both STD epidemics and massive human over population are rife, this is an innovation that couldn't come too soon.
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Offline manfred

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #172 on: April 04, 2009, 05:43:55 PM »
And it could easily end with a massive under-population and the advent of the human race...

...then again, better way to go out than some nuclear war .


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Offline MoonHunter

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #173 on: April 06, 2009, 10:39:32 AM »
Quantum setback for warp drives
Include quantum mechanics in the calculations and faster-than-light drives become unstable

http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/23292/

Bad news I'm afraid -- it looks as if faster-than-light travel isn't possible after all. That's the conclusion of a new study into how warp drives would behave when quantum mechanics is taken into account. "Warp drives would become rapidly unstable once superluminal speeds are reached," say Stefano Finazzi at the International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste, Italy, and a couple of friends.

Warp drives have been the focus of science fiction writers for decades. But scientists kept them at arms length until 1994 when the idea was put on a firm (ish) theoretical footing by the Mexican physicist, Michael Alcubierre. His thinking is that while relativity prevents faster-than-light travel relative to the fabric of space time, it places no restriction on the speed at which regions of spacetime may move relative to each other.

Alcubierre imagined a small volume of flat spacetime in which a spacecraft might sit, surrounded by a highly distorted bubble of spacetime which shrinks in the direction of travel, bringing your destination nearer, and stretches behind you. He showed that this shrinking and stretching could enable the bubble--and the spaceship it contained--to move at superluminal speeds.

The conclusion is the result of classical thinking using the ideas of general relativity but physicists have long wondered what would happen if you threw quantum mechanics into the mix? Now Finazzi and pals have worked it. For a start, they say that the inside of the bubble would be filled with Hawking radiation, making life rather uncomfortable for any spacecraft within it.

They have also studied a property of a quantum field called the renormalised stress-energy tensor which should be well-behaved under normal circumstances. But in the front wall of Alcubierre's bubble travelling at superluminal speeds, the renormalised stress-energy tensor grows exponentially.

That strongly implies that such a bubble would be unstable. So it looks increasingly likely that, after a brief few years of excitement, Alcubierre's warp drive is impossible.

Shame really.
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Offline Chaosmark

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #174 on: April 06, 2009, 12:49:39 PM »
Looks to me like they just talk about the Alcubierre-Bubble Drive (that's what I get from reading the abstract). That's a far different thing than saying "FTL drives are unstable once you include quantum mechanics". Admittedly, the ABD was the most promising 'actual' FTL idea, but that still doesn't throw FTL entirely out the window. It just means our Sci-Fi is going to have to work a bit harder.
P(A|B) = P(B|A)*P(A)/P(B)

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