Recently in odd things
I've been writing a story about a hamburger being made from muscle cells grown in a petri dish. Here's a limerick the story inspired:
The problem with laboratory grown meat
Is the fact that the meat has to eat,
cultured cells must be fed,
with blood from the dead,
Its a pity the flavour's so sweet!
Pareidolia normally makes you see faces, but I see a huge capital letter "A" in the sky. Can you see it, too?
Leigh Russell at Dorkbot Sydney demonstrated the behaviour of non-Newtonian liquids by putting a potato starch solution on a speaker and playing tones from his synthesizer through it, producing shoggoth-like effects. The stuff looks like its alive and trying to escape! This one is safe for the kids to try.
This video was broadcast (with my permission) on "Tokudane," which is a weekly morning show on the Fuji Television Network on Japanese TV.
Rare emailed me today to ask permission to use my voice in this demo song "Entangle". He searched on "Entangle" and "spoken word", found my Diffusion feature on entanglement, liked it and edited a snippet into his song. I've been mashed!
A colourful animated light show projected onto the Sydney Opera House for the Vivid Sydney festival 2011.
These are amazing value for very little dollars.
click to buy frogs
They record and store 30 seconds of sound when you press the left button. They play back the sound when you walk past them triggering the light sensor in the eye.
This has endless possibilities. Children talk to the frog and he talks back. Teenagers can set the frog up where it won't be noticed and play practical jokes when people trigger the phrase they've recorded. A friend and I set up several of these frogs in a big cloth pyramid in a shopping mall art exhibition of Interactive Sculptures, with a different sound for every direction. My favourite was "hey you!".
The insides come out easily to be made into a new talking object, whether you want your garden gnomes to talk, or a movie poster to be interactive - anything can talk!
I imported a whole bunch, and have sold or given away almost all of them. If I imported more of them, would you buy them?
My larynx is swollen, so I'm recording funny stuff before it heals. Here's fake Barry White:
Back in 2000, I found a book called "The Penny Pincher's Passport to Luxury Travel (Travelers' Tales Guides)l" at the local library as I was preparing for my first overseas trip. It emphasized how to accumulate and work the frequent flyer system to get upgraded and get better and better treatment. It could have been a template for George Clooney's character in "Up in the Air [Blu-ray]".
The book was in my big backpack of travel-ready goods including new glasses and contact lenses and new camera and so forth, which was stolen from my locked and occupied shared office at the University of Technology, Sydney. I normally don't carry much of value, but I probably had more than $800 worth of stuff with the new glasses adn contact lenses. UTS insurance doesn't cover thefts of employee property from their offices.
I booked around the world tickets, because they were cheaper than direct flights from Australia to anywhere. The airline could save money by placing me in empty seats from Australia to the USA to Europe to Asia and back to Australia. So I spent less money. I built up more mileage, I earned more frequent flyer points. And no flight was over 12 hours, so I got to rest between stops, instead of a mad 27 hour dash.
There are two main frequent flyer systems in the world. I chose the Star Alliance. In 2000 this meant I got a free upgrade to First class on the flight from Canada to Britain. This was unfortunate, because Ansett were the only Star Alliance presence in Australia. Ansett was bankrupted and stopped trading after I accumulated many many points from several years of around the world trips to Canada. No other Star Alliance airline took their place.
The Star Alliance, through Air Canada, remembered my frequent flyer points, but they had no way for me to redeem the from Australia. Only flights within Canada were available. Last year they emailed me that if I didn't make a transaction on my account, I'd lose all my points. So I surfed their website and ordered a very sweet geeky 10 megapixel Pentax Optio M60, and had it delievered to a Canadian friend who shipped it to Australia for me. 9 years later I had a new camera, care of my frequent flyer points.
I had booked the tickets with my credit card, which accumulated mere reward points. This year I cashed out my credit card reward points for a return flight to Melbourne for a convention.
Naturally I've registered the flight with the Qantas frequent flyer program for free by getting a Woolworths Rewards card. Now I just need funds for a few more trips around the world, and I can get back to getting upgraded to better and better treatment by airlines. Just like "Up in the Air [Blu-ray]".
A remote controlled gyroscopically stabilised flying thingy, flying at the Australian Technology Park in Redfern for Barcamp Sydney 5.
Here are the video clips referred to in Assault by teen wankers
This first guy is the one that came up to me from across the road trying unsuccessfully to provoke a fight while making violent threats:
They were intimidated by the camera like vampires faced by a crucifix, so they sent their main neanderthal, who shoved us and threw a milk crate at us.
Note the kid claiming his "rights" against being photographed in public while committing assault.
Saturday night I was standing on Woolworth's corner opposite Sydney Town Hall with some friends. A teen-aged boy came up and asked me if I was the one that had disrespected his mate. It was like falling into a bad British TV drama. There was nothing in the boy's eyes but the wide hope of violence. I looked around at his crew, and as he started threatening violence, my friend brought out his phone and started videoing the encounter. The thugs reacted immediately by pulling up their cowboy-style neckerchiefs to hide their faces, and the guy without a scarf pulled up his shirt to his nose. The yelled "stop filming us, we got rights!" at the same time as they were shoving us and threatening worse. Intimidated, they called in their largest neanderthal, who started shoving us while playing with himself with his other hand. It was surreal. We moved away from the wanking maniac, but he followed us while telling us to go away. The gang's teen girlfriends came to try and calm him down, but it was too late. The neanderthal hrew a milk crate at us, in front of a bouncer from the bar next door, who called the police.
We walked away while they postured and shoved with other teens.The police quickly drove up with a paddy wagon. We were called back as possible witnesses, in time to see two of the teenage thugs on the floor fighting the police and demanding that the police stop touching them. As the boy started crying, we were told they'd tried to run away. His two friends were laughing and high-fiving each other that they hadn't been arrested. They'd traded shirts to try and fool the police video cameras and any confused witnesses. I was ready to point them out, but the police didn't want to talk to any witnesses and had all the video evidence they needed, so we left. I'll link to my friend's video if he decides to post it to youtube. He had his phone backing up over the internet while he filmed, in case the phone was taken from him.
Apparently the teenage gangsta wanna-be's just don't understand where they are. Sydney is now full of high definition video surveillance cameras, and Woolworth's George St is just a few doors up from a police station. We were told by the bouncer that the masturbator who threw the milk crate would be caught that night because of all the video footage, but that he and his friends were under-age, so would be released without penalty. Obviously with the cowboy-neckerchief fashion, they're ready to start attacking random strangers while masturbating again.
The bouncer reckoned the kid had been watching American gangsta videos and thought that by touching his penis, he was insulting us before hitting us by making his hands "dirty". Or making us more afraid to be hit because of the insult. While some of the other behaviour was stolen from British hooligan TV.
It later turned out that one of the 2 metre tall friend of a friend who was with us was actually still a teen, and had exchanged from across the road teen cultural signals indicating he disliked someone's Emo fashion statement, and this prompted the gang to cross the road and attack us slightly shorter people, instead. Nobody was hurt.
The phone video camera is a potent self-defense device, and one that thugs are obviously intimidated by. As they should be when you can now stream your video live from your phone and let people around the world see who is attacking and what they say and do.
It reminds me of Edison Carter in "Max Headroom", that old 80's TV series, an investigative reporter who was able to fearlessly report because he had a live satellite network link from his portable video camera. There was no point trashing him and the camera, because the pictures had already been sent.
I need a phone capable of live video streaming!