Archive for the Humour Category

Roundup: nightmare animals, laser dancing and wildlife photography

Posted in Humour, Images & Videos, Nature Attacks! on September 22, 2009 by Gustav

List-based comedy site Cracked count down “13 Real Animals Lifted Directly Out of Your Nightmares“, among them the Deep Sea Holothurian:

Deep Sea Holothurian

This charming video explains how lasers work and use dancing people as illustration:

New Scientist has a set of wildlife photos from the Thrive! exhibition at London’s Saatchi Gallery. Here’s a Peacock Mantis Shrimp:

Peacock Mantis Shrimp


Links: Dinosaurs for sale, wildlife photography, robotic surgery and devilish predators

Posted in Health & Disease, Humour, Images & Videos, Nature Attacks! on September 14, 2009 by Gustav

Samson the T. rex

You want a T. rex? What am I saying, of course you do. Wired reports that dinosaur fossils are up for auction. Take a look at Wired’s gallery of the skeletons for sale.

New Scientist have a gallery of the science-fictiony future of robotic surgery.

Ed Yong of Not Exactly Rocket Science have a gallery of photos of the furry woodland creatures of British wildlife.

Humour site Cracked lists, “Nature’s Most Diabolical Predators“. Two word: assassin bug.

A few more words:The assassin bug cloaks itself with debris from the surroundings to  infiltrate the nests of its prey. When it has killed its prey it suck out its innards so it can use the lifeless husk to lure more prey to it.

Linkage: transformative technology, microgravity physics and bullshit animal facts

Posted in Humour, Images & Videos, Math & Physics, Nature Attacks!, Robots & Cyborgs, Technology Attacks! on September 6, 2009 by Gustav

1) Cracked comedy website lists “The Most Frequently Quoted Bullshit Animal Facts“: lemmings don’t commit mass suicide, ostriches don’t put their head in the sand and bumblebees do fly.

2) New Scientist has a gallery of microgravity physics:

Microgravity flame

3) io9 has a piece on the near-future technologies which will replace humans: android receptionists, surgeon robots and more.

How many cartoon characters can dance on the head of a pin?

Posted in Humour, Images & Videos, Technology Attacks! on August 28, 2009 by Gustav
"Why you little!"

"Why you little...!"

Willard Wigan is a micro-sculptor: his creations, ranging from the Homer and Bart Simpsons above to Betty Boop, are all small enough to fit on the head of a pin or in the eye of the needle.

And it’s not just cartoon characters that Wigan sculpt, he’s created a mini-moonlanding, a mini-Mad Hatter’s tea party and a bunch of other artworks that you can only admire through a microscope.

It’s not easy creating these miniature works of art, when even traffic on the streets outside can make Wigan’s hand shake at a crucial moment. He has figured out how to slow his heartbeat and sculpt between pulse beats, and often works through the night when things are quieter outside. Once he accidentally inhaled the entire sculpture. His “brush” might be a single hair from a house fly, or a single shard of diamond attached to a pinhead. [The X-Change Files]

If someone will only commision him to sculpt some miniature angels we can finally put that deep philosophical question to rest, too.

Cnet has a gallery of some of Wigan’s work.

Robots don’t know anything about love?

Posted in Humour, Images & Videos, Robots & Cyborgs, Science Fiction on August 27, 2009 by Gustav
He should have gone with "we've grown apart".

He should have gone with "we've grown apart".

Robots Don’t Know Anything About Twitter is a comic by one Doctor Popular about things robots don’t understand: love, humour, world domination… didn’t the good doctor ever see Battlestar Galactica?

Via io9.

Links: animals that are taking over the world, animals with sci-fi names and updated laws of robotics

Posted in Humour, Images & Videos, Nature Attacks!, Robots & Cyborgs, Science Fiction on August 21, 2009 by Gustav

Watch out! A flurry of links is heading your way!

First, comedy site Cracked count down, “5 Species that Seem to be Trying to Take Over the World“. The global mega-colony of Argentine ants at number 5 is my personal favorite, but those smirking dolphins are scary, too.

Second, MSNBC writes, “Science fiction’s robotics laws need reality check“. The experts are not calling for a complete revision, though, more like an update. Their amended first law states:

Their first law says that humans may not deploy robots without a work system that meets the highest legal and professional standards of safety and ethics.

Third, io9’s triviagasm section has a gallery of  “30 Real Animals with Science Fiction Names“. Agathidium vaderi is seen below next to its eponymous Star Wars character:

Darth Vader?                                                              Agathidium vaderi?

Darth Vader?..................................................Agathidium vaderi?

They did the math: this is how you survive a zombie outbreak

Posted in Humour, Math & Physics, Science Fiction on August 14, 2009 by Gustav

When Zombies Attack!: Mathematical Modelling of an Outbreak of a Zombie Infection” is a paper published in the journal Infectious Disease Modelling Research Progress by mathematicians from University of Ottawa and Carleton University.

The paper sets up mathematical models for the outbreak of Romero-style zombies (lumbering, flesh-eating, undead) and discusses how best to deal with an epidemic of infectious zombies. Here’s an excerpt from the paper:

The key difference between the models presented here and other models of infectious disease is that the dead can come back to life. Clearly, this is an unlikely scenario if taken literally, but possible real-life applications may include allegiance to political parties or, diseases with a dormant infection.

This is, perhaps unsurprisingly, the first mathematical analysis of an outbreak of zombie infection. While the scenarios considered are obviously not realistic, it is nevertheless instructive to develop mathematical models for an unusual outbreak.

The conclusion of the paper is that a zombie outbreak is likely to destroy civilization unless swift and decisive action is taken to violently eradicate the zombie threat. An epidemic could be contained with an aggressive implementation of quarantines, and if a cure were to be developed that would be another possible solution, but it would be unpractical.

Aim for the head. No mercy.

Via io9.