ysabetwordsmith: (gold star)
Rock-Paper-Scissors is widely known, and Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock (watch original video) is spreading.

Of course, nerds are nerds, and apparently, Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock wasn't nerdy enough. The RPS-101 website details additional versions with 7, 9, 11, 15, 25, and 101 variables. I am in awe. O.O

Now for some observations ...

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: (gold star)
Here is a more complete video of the mini cheetah robot from MIT.  I've seen some of these scenes but not others.  In particular, watch the shoulder/hip joints.  Those are now fully articulated, enabling the robot not only to accommodate vagaries of terrain but also to right itself after falls.  I am in awe. 
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This guy has been building himself prosthetics since he was 9.  He is now going to college to study biomechanics, with a goal of making affordable prosthetics for everyone who needs those.  That's great; we need more people with disabilities making stuff for people with disabilities, because they know the needs better.

However, this does highlight a garish and almost universal example of child neglect: the dearth of prosthetics, especially upper-body prosthetics, for growing children.  Adults don't want to provide that kind of health care because it's expensive, and constantly updating the gear for a growing child is a nuisance to the adults.  But the result is that many children don't grow up with prosthetics, or the right ones, and thus, don't develop their brains and bodies to use those.  Instead they adapt to whatever body parts they have, finding ways to do things as they are.  By the time adults get around to offering or forcing prosthetics, many young people have outgrown the potential to adopt them and just aren't interested.  Bluntly put, adults make prosthetics to make money, not to take care of kids, and that shapes the whole industry.  Or lack thereof.  So it's no wonder that the few disabled folks with superlative mechanical intelligence are taking matters into their own hands or equivalent.
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This is hilarious, but also pretty good music.  If you were wondering what bluegrass sounds like in Terramagne, this is a good example of their avant garde stuff.  :D
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
In addition to the intended use, these are also good if you just want nice views of nature or architecture.  Some also have a good audio background.  Be aware that walking videos are not as smooth as biking ones; some are okay, but others are too jiggly for my taste.  
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's a video about a Cascadian earthquake scenario.  That's nowhere near the real worst-case scenario, which would strike at night during peak tourist season, but it's plenty bad enough.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here for the holidays is an updated version of "Santa Baby" with new feminist lyrics.  \o/
ysabetwordsmith: (moment of silence)
Douglas Rain has died.  You probably know him as the voice of Hal 9000.

I guess Stan Lee needed an announcer for his arrival at the Great Con in the Sky.
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This dancing robot demonstrates a number of impressive features.  First, you can see its resemblance to the famous cheetahbot, where the legs are almost identical but the body is much slimmer.  The motion has become more articulated and graceful, with swiveling movements.  Second, the addition of a head on a long neck resembles that of a heron, which tucks into an S-shape when not needed but can extend quite far to give the robot a better view.  It's not quite what I'd call "cute" yet, but it's much more elegant, much more functional, and a great deal less scary.  \o/ 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I'm a fan of weird musical instruments, and this one is awesome.  It's really quite sophisticated with a string part, long metal springs, and resonating dishes.  It looks simple, but if you know acoustics, you can tell a lot of what it will do just by looking at it.  I was instantly reminded of the origin of the laser sounds in Star Wars.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] technoshaman tipped me to this video about undamming the Sandy River.  How fast do you think it will return to normal?  How long will it take to empty the reservoir?  To wash away decades of silt?  To see fish swim past where the dam used to be?  Make your estimates and then watch to see what happens.


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