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Saturday, 17 November 2007

Science Week: The best invention of 2007

As far as I can see, the best invention of 2007 going by the definition of the word (an innovation that is both novel and non-obvious) would be the Microsoft Surface (as seen demonstrated here by a Mr. Bill Gates).

It's the next step in iPhone style technology. I love the interactivity with the touch screen and the way it reacts to other devices. It's the final piece of home technology equipment I'd like until the flying car arrives.

Here's a five minute promotional video which gives a more in-depth view at Surface's features:

Not everyone is impressed by it, however. Here's Sarcastic Gamer doing what he does best (original version is here):

No matter your opinion of Microsoft, they are clearly technological pioneers. They might be a bit too ambitious and fail in some critical areas (i.e. the original Xbox lacking in comparison to the much older Playstation 2, the Xbox 360 having a 30% failure rate and Vista turning consumers back to XP) but they do push the competition. The Zune is currently giving the classic iPod a run for it's money in America and the Xbox 360 is currently leading the race in the Console wars due to it's huge online base and a surplus of excellent games.

This, in my pseudo-professional, is the future. It might be a bit pricey (it's somewhere in the area of $10,000 which is slightly more than your average table). It's not something I'd like to use as a foot rest, although you never know, maybe some funky rings will shine out from the heels of your shoes or something.

This is day five in the Science Week Ireland blogging competition as hosted on

Best Book Designs Of 2007

Via Boing Boing comes this brilliant collection of fancy book covers which are all uniquely brilliant. As a former graphic design student, I find them all very inspiring. They're all much better than the simple gallery of faces currently filling the charts right now.

Here's the link.

Whose line is it anyway (again)

Some mad man has gone through the trouble of uploading all the early seasons of Whose Line Is It Anyways? and is still uploading away. If you have a few hours/ days to spare have a look at the YouTube playlists here. It includes the complete season one, two, three and he's just started uploading season four and his personal favourite moments.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Actione! Velocita! Terrore! Suspenso! Romanza! Goblin! Spiderman! Spiderman! Spiderman!

Here's the video description as found on Youtube:
lrugo Entertainment, producers of A-grade, B-grade content bring you:

Unearthed for the first time in 43 years and lovingly restored at Maxischermo Studios Milan, this rare theatrical trailer for the 1964 Italian classic 'Italian Spiderman' is a real treat. Featuring Franco Franchetti of 'Mondo Sexo' fame in his last ever role before being killed in a spear fishing accident in 1965. Director, Gianfranco Gatti, reminisces on 'Italian Spiderman'; "I have made some mistakes in my life...bad, bad mistakes".
You know it's big when it's in the news. Bonus- Japanese Spiderman:



Science Week Ireland: Which invention has helped you most with your working life?

If it wasn't for my alarm clock, I would be unemployed right now. Most scientists and politicians argue that this is rarely a good thing. The amount of times that annoying ticking device has saved me from sleeping through the morning is a Godsend.

I had to get rid of it though, because the ticking noise drove me insane after a few weeks. All of my dreams revolved around that damn ticking. Sometimes it works out well and I've dreamt that I'm Jack Bauer in 24 or that Johnny Depp fellow in Nick Of Time (except much more handsome). In other dreams I just stare at a large annoying clock and that's... not quite as fun.

I'm actually thinking about buying myself one of these fancy hanging alarm clocks. The idea is that every time you want to have a few more minutes of dreamy sleepy nighty snoozy snooze, you have to touch the ever-raising orb, making you stretch more every time you do. It also plays soothing music apparently. As you might notice on the picture to the side, the man seems awfully happy with his magical floaty orb. That will be me someday (except much more handsome).

Now that I'm currently without a proper alarm clock, I have to make do with my phone. It's a nice bonus that I can wake up to the tune of Bill Withers because that's how we gangstas do. My phone isn't exactly suspended from the ceiling, so as motivation to wake up, I flake my phone across the room to force myself up.

This is all based on the fact that I'm a hard person to wake up. After a week in Spain with a large group school friends, we were held up by a cancelled in England and we were forced to stay in a five star hotel for free. I was knackered after a long week without sleep and chose to go to bed rather than make use of the all night restaurant and free phone calls. I woke up to find my hair covered in shaving cream and a nice fluffy beard to go with it, under another mattress and surrounded by the entire group playing poker using me as the table. I've a history of sleeping sitting down, sideways, while watching movies, and once I slept under a couch. I was drunk at the time, so that's alright.

What this all has to do with Science Week Ireland, I don't know. Props to Damien though for his hand in organising a brilliant competition for Irish bloggers to show off.

It's a good time to be a gamer

I can't remember when there's been this amount of Triple-A games coming out on a weekly basis. It's hard to think of what's left for next year. Other than Metal Gear Solid 4, there are no other games that I know of worth getting excited about.

In the past two months alone, I've bought:

Xbox 360: Bioshock, The Darkness, Blue Dragon, Halo 3, Tomb Raider Anniversary, Half Life 2: The Orange Box, The Simpsons Game, Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Scene It: Lights, Camera, Action.

Playstation 3: Heavenly Sword, Fifa 08, Resistance: Fall Of Man, Warhawk, Skate, The Eye Of Judgement, Ratchet & Clank: Tools Of Destruction and Assassin's Creed.

Games due in the next month:

Xbox 360: Guitar Hero III, Mass Effect and Kane & Lynch: Dead Men.

Playstation 3: Stranglehold, Haze, Singstar and Unchartered: Drake's Fortune.

I may not be blogging by Christmas due to my being homeless after buying all these games.

Exclusive: Cloverfield's monster is finally revealed

From recently released production stills from the actual movie, it turns out that the evil creature in Cloverfield is a big blue plastic bag with arms. Here it is in action:

Just by touching that woman, her nose, lips and eyes start bleeding. She also gets a sharp pain in her back. It's definitely a different monster than what was expected. The look of it reminds me of this story in the States.

It's obligatory train station chase that most action movies have, with the main characters' backs starting to cramp up.

Here they are, barely able to walk because the back pain is so intense.

I'll post up the proper trailer when it's released online in QuickTime. With all these crappy camera in a cinema clips and the like.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Science Week Ireland: The next gadget that I want to buy

Damien Mulley has been organising an awesome competition to promote Science Week Ireland. If you haven't noticed, I'm rather fond of Lego. Even though I'm a grown man (with deep voice, moustache and everything), I still love creating characters, cities, and mostly short movie recreations with these little connecting pieces of plastic.

My latest obsession in Lego is having motorised mechanisms that can make a truck drive in a straight line or maybe if I'm extra creative, create a building with real working sliding doors at the push of a button. I've decided I want to save up one for one hell of a gadget: Lego Mindstorms.
At €240, it doesn't come cheap. Even with Christmas on the way, I doubt Santa would get me this toy. I'm saving up all the money I can, despite the fact that there's a plethora of games and DVDs on my shopping list right now which I'll never have the time to come around to anyways.

Here are some highly recommended examples of what can be achieved with this nifty bit of kit as found on Youtube:

-The automatic toilet paper dispenser. At the push of a button you'll save yourself straining your wrist when ripping off the 23 squares of apparently needed toilet paper

-The SPC. The self parking car using motion sensors. Amazing.

-The rubik cube solver. Amazing-er?

-This mind-boggling machine can produce cars. I am not making this up.

-The bubble gum sorter. A giant monstrosity of a machine that is large and practical.

-This contraption called the Wiigobot can win a perfect game of Wii Bowling. How fitting...

Just watching those clips really sends my mind into creative overdrive of sorts. According to it's wikipedia page, it's got 30 different programming languages. This is the future of teaching mechanical engineering to children and is something that will keep me busy once I save enough money to buy it.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

David Gray: Greatest Hits

It's David Gray's turn now to do a best of compilation. White Ladder may have more copies sold in Ireland than there are actual people but I'm guessing he had other songs than weren't on that album. Here are as much proper music videos I could find with the rest in live performance form:

1. You're The World To Me
2. Babylon
3. The One I Love
4. Please Forgive Me
5. Be Mine
6. Hospital Food
7. This Year's Love
8. Alibi
9. Sail Away
10. Shine
11. Caroline
12. The Other Side
13. Flame Turns Blue

Groove Armada: Greatest Hits

Apparently, it's Christmas now and that means it's time for bands to release a greatest hits compilation. Even though it's only been 3 years since their last compilation, Groove Armada have brought a new one.

Here's the promo:

01. Song 4 Mutya (3:39)
02. Get Down (3:24)
03. I See You Baby (Fatboy Slim Radio Edit) (4:04)
04. Superstylin (6:32)
05. Purple Haze (4:05)
06. My Friend (5:00)
07. The Girls Say (4:03)
08. Chicago (7:22)
09. Love Sweet Sound (4:37)
10. Easy (5:53)
11. Lightsonic (6:55)
12. If Everybody Looked The Same (3:39)
13. Little By Little (5:30)
14. At The River (6:33)

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

They iScrewed me again- Viral Videos

SNL's dumb cousin Mad TV makes a funny! They take on the ever-evolving iPod design Feist-style:

Here's Bearforce1 with an early Christmas song called 'Christmas Is Here' and it's fabulous:

The song that the Futurama musical director Christopher Ting based the theme tune on is uncovered and on YouTube:

Half Life 2 is summarised in a nifty South Park style animation all in the space of 60 seconds (summarising popular movies and games is all the rage these days):

Bob Ross paints Star Wars (An awesome tribute):

Monday, 12 November 2007

Rap... in math form?

Via Fimoculous, is this great site which takes rap lyrics and turns them into graphical charts. Click each one of the charts to watch the actual song video. I've just spent the last half hour there and am now going through to my old rap album collection. I've just remembered that Wu-Tang Clan ain't nothin' to fuck with and it's always good to know that in case you need it in the real world.

Paris doesn't understand lipstick

I'm a man and even I know that lipstick goes on your lips and not on your teeth. I also know that when choosing the right foam while arranging flowers that generally, green water-retaining foam is for fresh flowers and foliage, whilst the brown stiffer foam is for dried or artificial flowers. I mean, AAARGH, football, beer, Lindsay Lohan and all that.

Bonus example of stupidity (in high-res):

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Songs Of The Week: Queens Of The Future Edition

The Futureheads- Broke Up The Time:

If you don't like the video, you're not the only one- I'm sure it's just a temporary one. If you do like the song, you can download the song from their website or stream the song from their MySpace page.

Queens Of The Stone Age with their new single "Make It Wit Chu" and a similarly crappy video:

Kanye West's mother and manager Donda tragically died this morning. Here's 'Ye performing Hey Mama with his mama, of all people: