Sunday, May 23, 2010

Pachinko Museum

The name Pachinko apparently comes from the onomatopeia of the sound of ball bearings hitting "Pachi-Pachi"

Apparently Pachinko started in the 1920s, possibly after viewing western proto-pinball (with no flippers) machine or maybe not.

This visit to a Pachinko museum comes up with some nice and outlandish designs from the game.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Psychopaths blind to consequences in search for reward

The brains of psychopaths appear to be wired to keep seeking a reward at any cost, new research from Vanderbilt University finds.
To examine the relationship between dopamine and psychopathy, the researchers used positron emission tomography, or PET, imaging of the brain to measure dopamine release, in concert with a functional magnetic imaging, or fMRI, probe of the brain's reward system.

In the first portion of the experiment, the researchers gave the volunteers a dose of amphetamine, or speed, and then scanned their brains using PET to view dopamine release in response to the stimulant. Substance abuse has been shown in the past to be associated with alterations in dopamine responses. Psychopathy is strongly associated with substance abuse.

"Our hypothesis was that psychopathic traits are also linked to dysfunction in dopamine reward circuitry," Buckholtz said. "Consistent with what we thought, we found people with high levels of psychopathic traits had almost four times the amount of dopamine released in response to amphetamine."

Monday, February 8, 2010

Year of the Tiger

New Year starts February 14th... Happy Year of the Tiger!!

U.S. always spends more than it makes

Yes the U.S.A has borrowed its way to "superpowerhood", not achieved it from hard work and talent as the population likes to believe. The U.S has only had 8 years since 1930 where they have not borrowed ridiculous amounts of money to finance their unsustainable "growth".

How generous (!?)

apparently quite serious, and spotted in San Francisco->

Taxidermy Fashion

Apparently a popular trend is in taxidermy fashion. According to the Globe and Mail:
It started with mink stoles and snout-to-tail cuisine. Now hipsters are going whole hog, donning road kill as accessories and cow hooves on their feet. But is the phenomenon a real artistic movement – or just plain beastly?
The toyzone has a list of their top 10 taxidermy fashion favs... mine is the dead rat purse.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tetris changes the brain

A study in the journal BMC research notes, found that MRIs of brains showed that tetris increases the density of connections in the visuospatial working memory area of the brain's cortex.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Environmentally risky seafood list

Here is a list of environmentally responsible and environmentally damaging seafood choices.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

History of the Boombox

Graffitti digital analysis

Graffiti Analysis 2.0: Digital Blackbook from Evan Roth on Vimeo.

All tags created in Graffiti Analysis are saved as Graffiti Markup Language (GML) files, a new digital standard used by other popular graffiti applications such as Laser Tag and EyeWriter. Graffiti Analysis 2.0 is an open source project that is available online for free in OSX, Windows and Linux. Graffiti writers are invited to capture and share their own tags, and computer programmers are invited to create new applications and visualizations of the resulting data.

Finch guitar solo

Finches playing accidental (?) experimental string music...

Digital Billboard manipulation

Posterchild did quite a few digital billboard alterations during his stay in New York last year, but this one is particularly cool. A cardboard 3D cutout superimposed over the public TV. The face is of Star Fox character Andross. Even if, like me, you have no idea who it is, it’s pretty damn cool looking!

Andross from posterchild on Vimeo.

Movie made by chimps to be shown on BBC earth

A film made by specially made "chimp cams" and filmed entirely by chimpanzees, is going to be shown on BBC earth. See this link for more deteails and a preview.

Vivienne Westwood's new line "homeless chic"!

In a scene that seems straight out of a Bruno piece, Vivienne Westwood, noted fashion designer, released her newest line of haute-couture clothing inspired by homeless 'fashion'.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dunny Fatale Release + Trading Party + Artist Signing - 5666 Sherbrooke O.., MONTREAL QC
.."Next trade party: Thursday January 28th, 6-9pm! As always, bring your old toys, books, etc. and trade away! camiondepompier itself is always available as a late night trade partner.

The first ten persons to buy a Dunny Fatale case will be given this superb, Montreal-spirit limited edition Dunny by 123Klan’s own Klor! And she’ll be there to sign them (if you ask politely) from 6:30 to 7:30!"

NOCs (Nerds of Color)[Essay]

By Guest Contributor Bao Phi, originally posted at the Star Tribune Your Voices Blog

I’ve told this story a million times: when I was young, my father kept me off the streets and saved much needed money buying me the toys I wanted by getting me a library card and teaching me to walk to the Franklin Avenue library, and there began my love of books and stories.

What I’ve written less about is the books I gravitated towards: books about mythological monsters, Greek gods and heroes, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, Lord of the Rings, my older sister’s Elfquest collection and X-men comic books. And the secret of many a nerd of color from the ‘hood: my lifelong devotion with role playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons, and Vampire: the Masquerade (making vampire fixations embarrassing long before Stephanie Meyer).

Although I had friends in and out of the neighborhood who were also nerds, it definitely wasn’t typical. I remember one of my fellow nerds of color inviting me to a Rifts game in a tough tone of voice as if he was initiating me into a gang, all the while looking around nervously as if his street cred would be in serious jeopardy if anyone overheard him talking about how much SDC a Glitterboy had.

Nowadays of course, being a nerd can mean big money. Everything from Tolkien to comic books to video games is finding its way into mainstream America’s fast food blood stream. Along with it seems to be the rebellious streak that goes along with being the kid who gets picked on for knowing how to write in Tolkien’s Dwarven – a certain righteousness about being the odd person out, the strange smug martyrdom that comes from knowing that painting miniatures and possessing a dice bag marked you as being a freak and an outsider.

But then how do nerds of color like me fit in, and how do we deal with fellow nerds who don’t want to talk about things like race and class in comic books, video games, role playing games, and movies? I’ll be the first to admit, I got into all of that stuff for the escapism it allowed. It was invaluable to me, as a refugee from a war growing up in an economically poor urban area, to fantasize that I was someone else, somewhere else.

... To read the rest... follow this link!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Mathematical formulas and 3D printers

You can now buy some mathematical formulas made into model sculptures with 3d prototyping printers at this store.

Diamond Oceans on Uranus

Oceans of liquid diamond, filled with solid diamond icebergs, could be floating on Neptune and Uranus, according to a recent article in the journal Nature Physics.

cats 'exploit' humans by purring

According to latest research cats have a special purr to 'manipulate' humans.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wikipedia article traffic statistics

Access to data on traffic to wikipedia articles by date.

Docu on glass pipe makers

Degenerate Art: The Art and culture of glass pipes.

Mario Tetris mashup flash game

Tario Tros. is an online flash game mixing up these two classics.

Reusable Colour-Dial Spray cans

Reusable, Colour-changeable spray can?

In South Korea, around 180,000 tonnes of cans are produced every year. The recycling rate for these is only around seventy-one per cent. Those that are discarded lead not only to the wastage of metal and an increase of garbage, but also to a greater consumption of raw materials and energy in order to produce more cans.

According to South Korea’s metal can resources society, the country’s use of metal cans is gradually reducing, but the consumption of aluminium cans in particular is increasing due to a greater consumption of beer. Plenty of spray cans are wasted as well, being discarded after a single use. Color Dial Spray aims to reduce their consumption.

Generally, spray cans contain only one colour. If only a small amount of paint is required, there will be considerable wastage. Color Dial Spray is a new type of spray can that contains CMYK colour cartridges in the one can. The user can immediately change the colour by turning the colour dials near the top of the can.

There are two dials: one for hue and one for brightness. These allow for precise mixing of the particular colour desired. The colour cartridges can be refilled many times over. This helps with the reduction of waste. The compact form of Color Dial Spray is convenient and portable

Life-size Gundam

One big toy!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Smell Grafitti

From Urban Prankster:"
While in Vienna earlier this month, I got the chance to get to know artist Mitchell Heinrich and his new “smell graffiti” project. What if instead of tagging a wall with paint, you tagged it with a scent? You could make a stinky subway platform smell like freshly cut grass. As an added bonus the scents are not permanent; they eventually evaporate leaving no trace.

Mitch explains:

Graffiti as a medium has remained largely unchanged since early humans were painting cave walls. The style and purpose has evolved over the centuries, but still nobody has successfully broken free of its visual nature. From this line of thinking smell graffiti has emerged. Harnessing modern chemistry and appropriating technology invented for industry I am working on a new way to make a statement in a public space.

Scent is interpreted by the limbic system which is very closely tied to emotion and memory. This leads me to believe that interacting with people using scent can potentially be a much more powerful medium than paint since people experiencing it can’t help but react to it. The goal of this project is to realize the potential of smell as art and to explore different ways of using it to interact with people.

Check on the step-by-step guide to creating your own smell graffiti cans at Instructables.

Thousands protest global warming

cheeky protestor

spotted in London.

Rainforest diversity


Garden building

Wired mag article on vertical gardening.

Italian port art

Big pieces in an Italian port.

Article in Mother Jones on "culture jamming"

Mother Jones mag runs this online article:"
Dave Gilson ponders the question at Mother Jones, noting that while The Yes Men's 2004 spoof, in which they posed as Dow Chemicals execs to take belated responsibility for the Bhopal disaster, cost that company $2 billion in stock losses, today we're saturated with pranks. He writes:

After [The Yes Men's] unveiling the Halliburton SurvivaBall—a "gated community for one" that turns the wearer into a giant beige gumball—to a roomful of insurance managers, Yes Man No. 2 Mike Bonanno laments, "Instead of freaking out, they just took our business cards. Our effort had been a failure. And come to think of it, all of our efforts had been failures...Maybe making fun of stupid ideas was a stupid idea." After playing the fool for so long, the Yes Men have come to suspect that they've become fools themselves.

São Paolo Float parade

a project titled O Estrangeiro (The Stranger), Os Gemeos collaborated with Plasticiens Volants on a publilc performance that involved their character being blown up as a parade float! The result is awesome. As per São Paulo usual, this was captured by Lost Art. This is just a teaser, go see the rest of the set!

Kermit modified bike lane

Worlds "longest" tag spotted in Toronto

Alongside the Don Valley Parkway.

Pepsi Ice Cucumber drink review

As interesting as it sounds, the new cucumber flavoured pepsi doesn't get such good reviews....

What we eat: time mag photo essay

Time mag runs a photo essay showing supposedly what households around the globe eat in an average week.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Evidence of Octopus tool use

BBC has a video of octopi collecting coconut shells to build armoured protective shelters, evidence of tool use, which arrogant humans use to think was a human only ability, but now we know other primates and birds (and now molluscs) can do.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

18th century mermaid illustrations

This blog has a bunch of pictures resulting from mermaid encounters in the 1700s, not pretty!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Erowid features Obama blotter

Erowid (which apparently established itself from funding by the Microsoft founding member Bob Wallace, also of DanceSafe fame) features this Obama blotter.

Also in other news... bad Obama E's hit the streets.... (!)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

What happens when you pinch a snail's embryo?

Apparently if you jab two metal rods into an 8 cell snail embryo you can not only change the direction it's shell curls, but also it's genes to reflect that curling direction. I wonder what would happen to a squished human embryo?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

India officially recognizes transgender as a gender

India's electoral commission has now added an 'other' category to 'male' and 'female' to recognize members of the transgender community.
The formal recognition, confirmed by the election commission, answers a longstanding demand by the eunuch and transgender community, known as hijiras, who are believed to number up to six million.

"The inclusion of eunuchs and transgenders as 'others' gives us a separate identity which is what we have always wanted," said Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, a prominent eunuch activist and founder of campaign group Astitva.

Taste Test: natto, gooey fermented soy beans

Interesting article on Natto and whether soy is good or bad... Includes recipe for natto spaghetti.

Global gender gap rankings 2009

According to the latest global gender gap rankings by the world economic forum, Scandinavian countries are on top, Canada ranks 25th place behind Sri Lanka, Mongolia and the Phillipines.
The report’s Index assesses countries on how well they are dividing their resources and opportunities among their male and female populations, regardless of the overall levels of these resources and opportunities.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Invasive species of slugs run amok in Canada!

Apparently a European native slug is taking over Canadian soil.
Hermaphroditic in nature, some slugs can even knock themselves up, so it only takes a single invader to build an army. Once the population is established, the slugs become (and I quote) the "slow moving lions of the vegetable world."