ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
A new GMO food in development is the pink pineapple, with the antioxidant lycopene.  I might like to try that one, as it has a defined benefit for diners (rather than just enriching executives). There is also a purple tomato, but we already have those from non-GMO varieties.  Eh, I'd consider tasting the new ones.  I like the concept of gengineering but frown on most of the current applications due to safety concerns and/or features that don't benefit the end user.

I disapprove of the non-browning apples and all other modifications which make stale food seem fresh.  This route is why most supermarket fruits and vegetables are so tough and flavorless that they're barely worth eating, so people don't eat them.  They were bred for such things as shipping durability or ease of harvest instead of nutrition and flavor like people used to do.  Fuck it, I'll buy heirlooms at the farmer's market.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 You can now buy a molecule quilt of your very own.  And gosh, part of the background development is Mathematica, a program my mother helped create!  These are ridiculously bargain prices for a quilt, too, and the standard size will fit a queen or king bed.  If you are into technomagic, note that molecules DO things, so these quilts make a terrific base for charm magic.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the March 4, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] aldersprig. It also fills the "beauty" square in my 1-31-14 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo fest. This poem is posted in trade for the awesome Megalodon cartoon by [personal profile] redsixwing. It belongs to the series A Conflagration of Dragons.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Look look look it's a fractal bridge!  See how the underside is a thick curving branch that splits into smaller branches reaching upward that eventually flatten out to become the upper surface of the bridge.  It is based on designs found in nature.  It is an awesome bridge.  Also it is build by a giant robot, but I am more intrigued by the infrastructure.  That bridge is built to last.  It will be very hard to damage.  Its design is resistant to pressure from above but also lets air or water pass through to avoid building up sideways pressure.  I am a great big fangeek when it comes to nature-inspired engineering.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
My partner Doug pointed this out to me:

Before climate change = rain of frogs

After climate change = rain of lampreys

There is not enough W in TF for this.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This robot uses a sword with admirable precision.  While this is not an autonomous sparring bot, it is a vital step toward that goal.  
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Okay, this is awesome. But look at the caption: "There's no good reason for anybody to own anything this powerful."

*facepalm*

You can't think of any reasons that are constructive instead of destructive? And you BUILT that thing?

*epic facepalm*

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's an article about DARPA's robot competition.  

One thing caught my attention: center of balance.  Almost every one of those robots was top-heavy and that's why they fell.  As soon as the top swings wide of the base, boom, down they go.  Guys, you need to think about stability.  One reason antbots, tankbots, centipedes, etc. score well in navigation tests is because they just about can't fall over.  You want to open a door?  Put an arm on top of a stable base.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 ... is in progress.  It's a great idea, if you're doing it for a few seconds.  If you're using that as the primary interface, however, most people get tired and sore very quickly.  And if you keep doing it, then you wind up with repetitive stress injuries.  People have found this out by using touchscreens on their desk computers.  Seriously, folks, haptics matter.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
When I see this, all I can think is, "They're chickens, man!  Just optimize 'em!"  It's a tagline from an anthropomorphic roleplaying game, where people had -- among other foolish things -- accidentally made dinosaurs out of chickens.
ysabetwordsmith: (gold star)
The folks who make The Big Bang Theory have demonstrated how you give back to support the source that contributes to your success.  They acknowledge that science has been a big inspiration to them and that science geeks have supported the show with enthusiasm.  So they closed the loop by sponsoring scholarships for STEM field students.

Now imagine if every successful television show or movie would give back to whatever made them successful.

See, this is why I protect wolf habitat and survival: not just because they're one of my totems, but because I write about wolves.  They inspire me, I write about them, I protect them, and there continue to be wolves for me to enjoy.  We help each other.  It is a cycle, as most successful things in nature are cycles.  I don't just pick up bits of tribal languages and walk away with them.  I link back to language nests and tribal right petitions.  I do potlucks and giveaways and know enough to do a blanket dance in rounds of 4.  Because it's not just about weaving a handful of native characters into what I write, but also about living this part of my cultural heritage, and doing things that help it survive into the future.  So too with crowdfunding: people give me ideas, I give them a free poem.  I boost signal for creative friends, and they do the same for me.  Sometimes people who feel that they're getting a lot out of the project will sponsor a piece they didn't prompt, just to make other people happy and keep it moving.  That's a basic tenet of the gift economy: the gift must move.  You maintain the cycle.

You give back.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This campaign will fund the creation of unique voices for people who use speech synthesizers.

"Through years of research we observed that even those who have severe speech impairment produce distinctive sounds when they laugh, cry, and vocalize emotions and intentions. Their vocalizations contain the voice’s source -- its pitch, tone, rhythm, and loudness. What these individuals lack is the ability to manipulate their tongue, lips, and the shape of their mouth -- their vocal filter. The filter is essential to producing clearly articulated speech. So we developed technology to harness the source characteristics of recipients and supplement them with the vocal filters available to healthy talkers. The result is a blended voice that is as understandable as the donor while conveying the vocal identity of the recipient."
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 [personal profile] dialecticdreamer has an awesome post about the scale of things.  Yes, my mind is very good at that zoom trick.  Now add more outer rings extending to neighboring universes.  And so forth.  I got down to the bottom end of the scale and thought "Where are the Planck termites?"  I'm still trying to remember what-all those are.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
GEEKGASM!!!

Also, bonus points for what I think is only the third useful pop-up I've ever seen: "Click here to download the song."  

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