Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday Links!

For your reading pleasure, and sorry for the late start.

First off, and I know I'm outing myself as a moron--wait, that's old news--but I never knew that Stevie Wonder could play the drums. And I don't mean "kind of," either. Here's a video clip of him absolutely melting the stage with a six-minute drum solo. The solo starts at about :40 into the clip.

I've written about 3D printing using a RapRep before, and even though the prototypes have been a bit clunky, I always thought that their potential was enormous. Jeffery Gardiner sent me a link to the announcement that the technology will be used to enable WOW players to order 3D statues of their in-game characters. It's a sensational idea, and there are details as well as a video to watch here. Here's an excerpt that explains the process:
We use technology previously reserved for the manufacturing industry, called rapid prototyping machines, to convert three dimensional computer models into physical objects. The electronic version of your FigurePrint is cut up into more than a thousand very thin slices. The printer creates a slice at a time and the slices are stacked on top of each other to form the final three dimensional statue that we call a FigurePrint. We remove it from the machine, hand finish it, mount it in a glass display case and it’s ready to go.

Ah, Terry Tate. I still burst out laughing every time I see one of the "Office Linebacker" commercials, and here's a compilation of all the commercials in one package. My absolute favorite: "You eat someone else's cake AGAIN, and I will give you a slice of Terry's special PAIN CAKE, and you WON'T want seconds of THAT."

Here's your Christmas feel-good story: English opera singer Tony Henry sang the Croatian national anthem before a Euro 2008 qualifying match against England. Here's an excerpt of what happened:
He should have sung 'Mila kuda si planina' (which roughly means 'You know my dear how we love your mountains').

But he instead sang 'Mila kura si planina' which can be interpreted as 'My dear, my penis is a mountain'.

In America we'd be storming the castle in outrage. In Croatia, they thought it was hilarious and have adopted Henry as bringing good luck. In this case: Croatia 1, U.S. nil.

From Michael Gilbert, a link to an article about the Commodore 64's twenty-fifth anniversary.

Since we just had a band name contest, it's the perfect time for this NSFW link from Craig Miller to The Worst Band Names of '07. Believe me, they're lousy.

From Meg McReynolds, a link to an audio interview by NPR with Nolan Bushnell.

From Griffin Cheng, a link to an article in the New York Times about how Scott Adams, after mercilessly mocking management in his Dilbert comic strip for years, is now managing--a restaurant.

From Steven Davis, a link to a violin-playing robot that is totally remarkable.

From Sirius, a link to the infamous corpse farm in Tennesse, which is used to study the decomposition rates of corpses to improve time of death estimates in criminal cases. Also in this article, and it's a fascinating piece of news: Houdini's body is going to be exhumed and tested to find out if he was actually poisoned by Spiritualists, as was recently alleged in The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America's First Superhero (which I highly recommend--it's a terrrific book).

Another link from Sirius, and it's a doozy: Tesla downunder. It details "almost 200 high-voltage projects," and man, the pictures are just amazing. It's not just high-voltage projects, either--there's liquid nitrogen (the banana hammer caught my attention), lasers, and all kinds of ridiculously cool things.

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