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April 2011

  1. Human Sings Duet With Bird

    Almost Totally Excellent

    See, it's not just Disney Princesses. (via Reddit.)

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  2. Things We Saw Today PSA: Mother’s Day is Next Weekend

    Things We Saw Today

    Grammar sticklers start young, at Animateher.

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  3. Archie‘s Minseries on First Gay Character Hints at DADT?

    Fact From the Vapor of Nuance

    If you'd asked me a couple years ago whether I thought I'd ever be writing about a gay character headlining in Archie comics, I probably would have said "Yeah, well, eventually. Maybe in another decade or so," but a four-part miniseries featuring the "origin story" of Kevin Keller is set to begin release in June, and according to Comic Book Resources the miniseries is basically a test run to see if Kevin's popularity (his debut issue prompted the very first reprint of a sold out issue in Archie history) can support a full on-going series. But, as Robot 6 points out, the more interesting news of the story may be what Archie comics are hinting at with the second issue of Kevin Keller.

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  4. Jell-O as You’ve Never Seen it Before [Video]

    You've probably been around Jell-O at some point in your life, and observed how they jiggle and jostle in an amusing (though not always appetizing) way. You probably haven't seen Jell-O like this, wiggling around in slow motion filmed at 6,200 frames per second. It's rather astonishing to see the familiar cube of gelatinous deliciousness seem to splash outward like falling fluid, only to rebound and reform in midair. A veritable flubber ballet. (via Gizmodo)

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  5. Geekolinks: 4/30

    8 Creepy Video Game Urban Legends (That Happen to Be True) (Cracked) The Fight Against Dark Silicon (/.) Severe storms over U.S. seen from space (Discover) Space Adventures plans tourism missions around the Moon (for just $150 million!) (io9) Portal turret plushie is interactive, adorably awesome (Geek.com) Inception Folder (BuzzFeed) Google faces $50 million lawsuit over Android location tracking (Ars Technica) (title pic: an impossible landscape created by Microsoft's photo stitching software, via Reddit)

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  6. This Just In: Jello Is Weird

    Vital Information for Your Everyday Life

    I just remembered that I know a D&D player who is terrified of jello. Like, they can't watch it jiggle, it's too scary. I should make him fight a gelatinous cube sometime. (via Gizmodo.)

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  7. Fighting Cancer With Specially Trained Cells

    Researchers looking to treat cancer patients without subjecting them to the ravages of chemotherapy have published some promising results in the journal of Science Translational Medicine on "adoptive T-cell therapy." Using this technique, researchers removed cells from nine melanoma patients immune system that fight disease, called T-cells. They then "trained" the cells, by exposing them to genetically engineered cells that carried tumor antigens, which signaled the T-cells to attack. The new, smarter, more experienced cancer-fighting cells were then multiplied and re-introduced to the patient's body. After two weeks, the cancer in four of the nine patients had stabilized, neither growing nor shrinking. In one patient, the cancer had disappeared entirely and was still cancer-free after two years. Five of the nine patients also responded much better to cancer drug treatments later on. Though this is only an early study, and will require many more experiments before it can be considered for widespread use, it does bode well for researchers. Especially, since previous T-cell training experiments failed when the cells died off when put back in the body. With any luck, future research will be just as promising as this study. (via Discover, image via Wikipedia)

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  8. X-Ray Origami

    Artist Takayuki Hori takes the art of origami to another level of poignancy in her work Oritsunagumono, which uses skeletal views of endangered animals printed on transparent plastic, and folded into animal shapes. The work is beautiful, but undeniably grim. In addition to the skeletons of the animals, Hori has added images of the manmade objects these species often ingest. Keep reading after the break to see more images of Hori's work.

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  9. Take This However You Like: Pixar Says It Won’t Make Marvel Movies

    and let it be known

    On the face of it it makes perfect sense: Pixar is a vital part of the Disney machine right now, and one of its founding members, John Lasseter, is the chief creative officer of the whole animation shebang. Now that Disney is the film studio and mother company of all not-previously attached Marvel Comic projects, why wouldn't Pixar tackle one or more of Marvel's characters? But according to John Lasseter himself, it won't be happening.

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  10. Study: Bubbles Behave Like Sand

    Sand, or other granulated material, seems to pour and flow just like a liquid. There are even some animals that have adapted to these properties, and can "swim" through the sands of deserts. However, it doesn't always work that way. From the New Scientist:

    [...] if the grains are packed so that they fill 64 per cent or more of the chute, they jam up and behave like a solid. The grains are thought to start moving with their neighbours, forming temporary "necklaces" that resist flow, although it is unclear why the transition occurs at this point.
    This lead Rémi Lespiat, a researcher with the University of Paris-East to wonder if bubbles behaved in a similar fashion. To test the behavior of bubbles, he shot nitrogen gas through a water tank creating bubbles. He then watched their progress through a tube, observing their movements. When the number of bubbles was low, they flowed quite normally, but as soon as they occupied 64% of the tube, the flow jammed to a halt. Though it's very preliminary research, it is quite surprising to see such startlingly similar results. In fact, it may be suggestive of a hard and fast rule for flowing bodies, and could prove useful for designing systems were a continuous flow of objects is important. (via New Scientist, image via Brian Smith)

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  11. Free Comic Book Day is in One Week

    Audience Participation

    It's the last Saturday in April, so you know what that means! Free Comic Book Day, one of the greatest days of the year, is next weekend. Free Comic Book Day historically occurs on the first Saturday in May, just in time for the first comic-book-related summer blockbuster of the year (this time it's Thor). On FCBD you can visit any participating comic book retailer to pick up a bunch of totally free comics put out for Free Comic Book Day by a wide range of mainstream and independent comic publishers.

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  12. Trimensional App Turns iPhone into 3D Scanner

    Georgia Tech researcher Grant Schindler has come up with a pretty clever use for the iPhone 4: Use it to create 3D models. It's a simple process that proves that while there are over 350,000 apps, there's still plenty of new ideas for the iPhone platform. Schindler's app, called Trimensional, works by shining light on a person's face from four directions, and recording the results. These are compiled into a single image that users of the advanced version of the software can export to a 3D printer and create a model of their face, or whatever they scanned. Cleverly, Trimensional does not require any additional equipment to perform the scan, such as a light kit. Instead, it uses the iPhone's screen as a light source, and records the images with the front-facing camera. Schindler describes the scanning process as answering a series of questions. From the Georgia Tech Digital Lounge:

    If I take a scan of my face, the app asks ‘what does the image look like if I shine the light from the left side, what does it look like from the right side,’ and so on. There’s one three-dimensional answer per pixel, and combining all those answers results in the full 3-D model[.]

    Read on after the break for a video of Trimensional in action.

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  13. Dog With Steve Carell’s Voice From Bruce Almighty is Way Freaky [Video]

    This is a dog barking like a lunatic, but dubbed with the voice of Steve Carell from Bruce Almighty. It is freaky. It is also Friday. Have a happy weekend.

    (via reddit)

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  14. International X-Men: First Class Trailer Is The Best Yet

    Mutatis Mutandis

    The international trailer for X-Men: First Class only contains a tiny bit of new footage and a smidgen of more plot information... but somehow it still got us to the edge of our seat, glancing at the calendar to see if June is coming any faster. (via Digital Spy.)

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  15. A World Without Facebook [Infographic]

    Search and social blog Single Grain reminds us what the world would be like without Facebook. A cruel and desolate place, no doubt, where one has to send emails to show off pictures and call people on the phone if one should plan an event. Head on past the break to see the full graphic, and be thankful we no longer have to force our previous night's exploits into a conversation and can simply post them on Facebook for all to see.

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  16. Groundbreaking Research on “That’s What She Said”

    The surprising effectiveness and longevity of the now legendary "that's what she said" joke, recently popularized again with the help of The Office, has done more than provide millions with a knee-jerk response to casual conversation. It has now reached a new level of social significance, by inspiring serious linguistic research. It comes in the form of a research paper called That’s What She Said: Double Entendre Identification, authored by two computer science students, Chloé Kiddon and Yuriy Brun. In their paper, the pair outline their creation of the Double Entendre via Noun Transfer or DEviaNT approach that automatically identifies "that's what she said" (TWSS) jokes. They call their approach "metaphorical analysis," which carries a double-meaning all its own, and is based around weighting certain words as "sexier" than others. The team weighted several "sexy" nouns and verbs, and then ran their algorithm.

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  17. Things We Saw Today: Ruth Law, Early Aviatrix

    Things We Saw Today

    This woman is Ruth Law, who was the first woman to perform a "loop-de-loop" -- in a plane she bought from Orville Wright. She was also the first woman allowed to wear a U.S. Military uniform. (At TYWKIWDBI)

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  18. The Dangers of Using the “Polaroid Effect”

    The so-called "Polaroid effect" is the darling of many an iPhone photo app. Just by messing with the image's coloring and slapping that iconic white border around it, would-be photographers can give their pictures a vintage hint without the trouble of owning an actual Instamatic-style camera. It's all just innocent fun, though. No one could get hurt...right?

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  19. Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray Has Been Republished In Full

    And All Was Right With the World

    When it was first published in 1890, Oscar Wilde's novel The Picture of Dorian Gray was heavily censored by his editor J.M. Stoddart for its "vulgar" and "objectionable" content. Specifically, content about the relationship between the eponymous character and Basil Hallward, because they were both men. But now, the novel has been reissued and restored with much of Wilde's original content that drove those with delicate sensibilities positively mad.

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  20. Geekolinks: 4/29

    Amazon apologizes for their outage, explains their mess (Amazon)

    The On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences (OEIS.org)

    GeoHot speaks out about the PlayStation Network fiasco (GeoHot Got Sued)

    The origins of the famous Mudflap girl (Jalopnik)

    Leaked documents show RIAA's plans for Limewire settlement (Techdirt)

    How do you make your own Pop Rocks? Very carefully. Ha ha. Also, read this. (Instructables)

    It's the Week of Hate over on GamesRadar, so, take this, Portal 2! (GamesRadar)

    (title pic via The High Definite)

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