Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Today in Geek, 12/15/2009

I have been terrible about blogging. Wow. Let's just put this shameful period behind us, shall we?

To do so, I'm going to start a new tradition by revising an old tradition. The title pretty much explains it. Here are the geekly stories that piqued my interest today:

D.C. Council Approves Gay Marriage. There's a good chance D.C.'s overlords in the US Congress will overturn this law, but the Washington, D.C., City Council passed a measure today to legalize same-sex marriage in the District. Strong work, D.C.

Locked-in man controls speech synthesizer with thought. Locked-in syndrome is the condition where a person is completely paralyzed (unable to move any muscle and thus unable to communicate), but completely aware of their surroundings. I know I'd heard of it before they featured it on House, so I think at least two medical dramas showed how terrifying it would be. That might change soon, now that a locked-in man has controlled a speech synthesizer with thought. That's just unbelievably awesome. Such technology will also come in handy in the construction of my mecha, so that's good news, too.

Mad Science
Swiss Geologist On Trial For Causing Earthquakes. An experimental geothermal energy project triggered earthquakes in Switzerland, so now the guy in charge is being tried. Sure, they're spinning it more as an industrial responsibility kind of thing, but it sounds to me like they may have caught a real mad scientist (it was an experiment to see if this process would work for energy production, so he wasn't just a mad engineer).

Tech Tips
Create Instant Navigation Shortcuts from Android's Home Screen. Someone at Lifehacker noticed that we can create one-touch shortcuts for turn-by-turn navigation on our Android phones now. For example, I have a button on my home screen to navigate from wherever I am to my house. Neat.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy Hits Blu-Ray April 6. Dammmmmit. I don't think I'll be able to hold out until they put out the extended editions months later (my guess: just before The Hobbit comes out in December 2011). How many times are they going to convince me to buy these movies???

That's it for today. Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments.


Libby Hickson said...

Cool animal news does not qualify as geek? How could you not mention my favorite octopus?!

Congrats on the blogging - true Festivus miracle!

Jon Harmon said...

The octopodes were yesterday. If I'd blogged yesterday, I would have definitely mentioned them; tool-using invertebrates are definitely geeky news. Sorry!

Here's a story about them, for anyone who missed them: http://scienceblogs.com/notrocketscience/2009/12/octopus_carries_around_coconut_shells_as_suits_of_armour.php