Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Alien Attack Has Begun... Maybe

I took one look at this picture and immediately had one thought: Whaaat?!?!?!

But then I realized that it was obvious what it was... a pink laser beam of death from outer space.

This is just like Independence Day, except there's no humongous space ships covering the planet in darkness... and this laser isn't blowing up some landmark building... and no Will Smith. But it's basically the same exact thing.

The image is from Google's new "Street View" feature on their maps. I am absolutely dumbfounded as to how they capture all these images. You can rotate 360 degrees. It's pretty amazing.

Look, I don't know what's scarier here... the fact that we, Earth, as a planet, have been fired upon... or that our attackers have a weapon that is pink.

What do the pink laser people want? Why are they blasting this harmless field in New York? Was it because they thought we wouldn't be looking there? Was this a test fire? Do we still have time to stop them before the pink lasers rain down on us all?!

Did Google just literally save all our butts from complete and total annihilation... again?!?!

Why pink?

Either way, I'm covering my bases... I'm heading for water with a tinfoil hat on, an apple laptop with a computer virus on it, and a Noisy Cricket.

See you all after the invasion... if you make it.

And if the internet still works.

The Force Has Come!!

The Force is here. Can you feel it?

Yes... that Force. George Lucas' Force. Star Wars Force. It's real, just as I dreamed it was when I was a little boy.

I just didn't think it would be squirrels who first harnessed the power of the Force.

Nor did I think they would be so proficient with a light saber.

I can totally hear that Duel of the Fates theme from the prequels pounding out over the back of this scene.

See, you may think I'm joking about the Force having come to the real world and squirrels having mastered the art of light saber fighting... because I am.

But it's not so far fetched. I mean... seriously people. Think about the movies. They were always very racially diverse in handing out Jedi abilities. There are all sorts of strange animal creatures that are Jedi in the prequels. Hairy ones... slimy ones... Yoda ones.

If the Force were real...if Jedi were real... who's to say that only humans would make up their ranks? Why not a squirrel Jedi? Or a grizzly bear Jedi? Or a tarantula Jedi?

Which gives me an idea: someone (and by "someone," I mean a person with Photoshop skills and with much less laziness than me) needs to take this photo concept and run with it...find nature pictures of all kinds and digitally plug in light sabers. Boom! Instant greatness. I can see it now, two white mountain goats in mid-air, with light sabers in their horns. I want to see all kinds of wild beasts locked in light saber battle.

Regardless of what your beliefs are on the Force and Jedi abilities for animals... I think you'll agree that the photo is maybe the second greatest thing of all time.

Go here to see the full photo on Flickr, including all the comments.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

"Mom, you sure can hydrate a...T-shirt?"

So some smart guys came up with a cool new T-shirt. It starts out super tiny, like...too small for even a newborn baby or a small dog.

Then, you apparently apply cold water, and the thing expands to full, human size.


I like how they tapped in to the growing consumer trend in wearing clothing that is freezing cold and sopping wet. It's nice to know I can cut out the part of my morning routine where I soak the shirt I'm going to wear to work in cold water while I shower and shave. That'll save me... at least... ten minutes.

Of course...I suppose I'll have to go through the same steps anyhow, only it'll be putting this tiny shirt in cold water instead of a huge shirt. But I won't have to use as much water, so I'm still saving something.

Heck, as long as I reach my goal of having correctly sized, cold and wet clothing by the time I'm ready to dress myself... I'm good.

Seriously, though, this is amazing. It's one step closer to Back To The Future Part II's promise of hydrating a pizza. Pizza comes in tiny package... put it in the Hydrator, and a few moments later... full sized pizza! This is a personal dream of mine. It's on my list of things I hope happens before I die.

Tiny food storage is a lot less consuming of space than regular-sized food storage. We'd be able to store a month's worth of meals in a drawer, people! Just think of all the uses for the pantry now that we don't need it for storage.

Also... how long could it possibly take before we see Star Trek's "replicators" in the real world? I mean... what if this fantastic tiny T-shirt started out even tinier... like, say, microscopically tiny? So tiny we can't see it with the human eye? We use voice-recognition technology and speak the name of the food we want. It drops out the little molecule for the food we desire... heats it or cools it or whatever... moments later we have the item, full-sized and the right temperature.

I'm telling you it's going to happen. All because of this wonderful T-shirt.

(by the way... that Spulch site is where I get many of my featured science-fiction-in-the-real-world examples. I probably haven't done a good enough job crediting them. A lot of the stories we both cover come from Digg and other social news sites. But I read Spulch every day too, and they find a lot of this stuff before I do. They cover a lot more than just sci-fi stuff...mostly, though, it's off-the-wall type stories. And they post often. Check it out.)

Also now on technorati! Technorati Profile

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Meet the New Earth, Same As the Old Earth (only bigger)

So NASA quietly secured the future of humanity this week by discovering Earth 2.

Earth 2--that's my name for it, by the way, not NASA's (they call it something stupid like Gliese, which, to me, sounds like one of those ice-dancing moves)--is basically like Earth, but with a few important differences.

-It's bigger than Earth, by like...1.5 times.

-It's about 14 times closer to its sun than we are to ours.

-Its sun is significantly weaker than our's, meaning that it can be a ton closer to its sun without it being way hotter than Earth is.

-It's orbit around its sun lasts only 13 days. So now we can start doing the whole "dog-years" conversions to find our Earth 2 age. One Earth Year is equal to 28 Gliese years. So on Gliese, I'd be 868, which means I'm gaining on Methuselah.

So what I need to know is this: when do we start colonizing this bad boy? I mean...heck, if there's another Earth-like planet, with liquid water and breathable air...who the crap cares about Global Warming anymore?! Let's just trash this sucker and move on to the next locusts.

Plus, since this planet is 50% bigger....that means we don't have to worry about overpopulation yet. So we can keep reproducing like rabbits without the fear of diminishing resources.

Of course, with out current would take 20.5 light years to get there. But there's hope that new theories on hyperspace will speed up that trip.

Anyway, this is great news, folks. Now, if some alien race comes to destroy our planet, a la Titan A.E. or like the Vogons, we're good to go. We just need some bigger space ships so we can all get there together. Like the Titanic of spaceships. All aboard the Earth 2 Express!!!

Oh crap, I almost can watch nerdy people discussing and explaining Earth 2 in this YouTube video:

(also talked about on Spulch)


So some geologist dudes found this strange mineral/rock that had apparently never been discovered.

It's powdery and white, not crystally and green ('s what, then? Chalk?). And it doesn't weaken Superman, because it probably didn't really come from Krypton--also, Superman is not real...he's a comic-book idiots.

But at any rate...the mineralist/geologist dudes said this:

'Towards the end of my research,' says Dr Stanley, 'I searched the web using the mineral's chemical formula, sodium lithium boron silicate hydroxide , and was amazed to discover that same scientific name written on a case of rock containing kryptonite stolen by Lex Luther from a museum in the film Superman Returns'.

'The new mineral does not contain fluorine and is white rather than green, but in all other respects the chemistry matches that for the rock containing kryptonite. We will have to be careful with it - we wouldn't want to deprive Earth of its most famous superhero!'

So...apparently this rock has the exact same geological make up as Kryptonite. Which is kind of cool, actually. The Superman writers must have had some serious premonitions here...or they know more than they are letting on. Maybe Superman is more of an accurate history than we know? Could it be that comic books are really stylized re-tellings of real events?

Of course not, you big nerd. But it's fun to talk about anyway.

I also think it's cute that the scientists used "the web" to find out what rock they'd found...and settled on something they read about a movie. There's science at work, folks!

(also covered over at Spulch)

"Traveling through hyperspace isn't like dusting crops, boy! "

Wooo-hooo! Hyperspace--or "light-speed" or "hyper-drive" or "warp speed" or any other sci-fi name you want to throw on it--is here at last!!!

Okay, well, not exactly. But it's here in theory! A theory so good that it won the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics' "Paper of the Year" award.
According to the paper, this hyperdrive motor would propel a craft through another dimension at enormous speeds. It could leave Earth at lunchtime and get to the moon in time for dinner. There's just one catch: the idea relies on an obscure and largely unrecognised kind of physics.'s a theory in a paper based on an obscure and little-known type of physics...but still...HYPERDRIVE!!

Man, I wish I could get warp drive on my car. It'd be like the "Ford POS" from Men in Black...and all my guest passengers would be all screaming and panicking and stuff. And I'd be laughing and very calm because, well, obviously it's not my first trip through hyperspace.

Any kid who's ever enjoyed a space movie wants to see hyperdrive exist. I don't know why it's not a Presidential Kennedy's famous declaration that we'd send a man to the moon. Bush could give a speech and say "Within the next 10 years, we will perfect technology that will allow our spaceships to make the jump to hyperspace." And the crowd would go wild and cheer and rave. Everyone would be all excited and the country would unite.

Until then...we have to settle for movie-based hyperdrives and warp drives. Thankfully, such movies abound (heck, there are nine of them alone just in the Star Trek series). But this paper is surely a step in the right direction. Nevermind that you've never heard of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics before today. Nevermind that the paper was probably written by some guy in a Rebel Hoth uniform or a 10-year-old. Just shut your eyes and allow your world to be a bit sunnier today, knowing that we are that much closer to Hyperspace!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Aliens Under the Sea!

Okay, so think about movies with aliens. Any movie with aliens. You could even consider the movie "Aliens," but there are hundreds of extraterrestrial movies. How about this...think of any movie you've seen with a fictional monster or alien creature.

Got one?

Good. Because here's a brief series of photographs of some science-fiction-type aliens that are found right here in the real world...miles below the surface of the ocean:

See, the deep, deep sea is so pressurized, dark, and not-intended-for-humans...that we never get to see half the crap that's down there. There are hundreds of species we haven't even discovered yet...many more still "unidentified." If the deep sea wouldn't so easily implode us humans...we should seriously think about moving down there and checking out all the crazy alien fishes.

There are a total of 26 images like this over at this very cool blog. I hope you enjoy them.