More novel control schemes: Skyrim Kinect

I’ve been thinking about getting a Kinect for PC, considering how hackable they are, and how there’s an open-source stack useable cross-platform, and how Microsoft actually failed to fire the footgun recently by backing down on a lawsuit they were trying to initiate against someone who adapted a legally-owned Kinect to build said open-source stack.
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Can we stop calling science things “God Something”?

Let’s play a little game of quantum compare/contrast.

“Oh, sure,” you object; “because quantum stuff is so easy to find and examine in situ!”

But that’s pretty much exactly the point — quantum ISN’T easy to do that with. What IS easy to compare/contrast is stuff in macro — stuff at the “human size scale”. Like, how humans are reacting variously to news that CERN may just have gotten a taste at around 125GeV of the Higgs boson, also known as “The God Particle.”

Mind you, it’s only also known as that TO IDIOTS.
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Reports of gender roles’ death are greatly exaggerated

Via Right Wing Watch, James Dobson and Bill Bennett mourn the death of traditional male gender roles, thanks to those meddling gays and feminists. If only those roles were actually dead!

Dobson: You’re concerned about manhood today, aren’t you?

Bennett: Yes.

Dobson: Especially in the Western world, we’ve forgotten what it means to be a man. And we’re not teaching our boy’s to be men. Why?

Bennett: That’s exactly right, because… moral relativism, the notion that there’s no right and wrong, who’s to say? The dizzying array of signals, the gay culture, which has confused an awful lot of boys, the message is there.

Dobson: The feminist movement has just hammered away at what manhood means.

Bennett: The feminist movement, remember Gloria Steinem, ‘a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.’ If you put on TV, if you go to the universities, if you check the popular culture, there is not a consistent message to boys about what it means to be a man, and as a result they’re confused.

Why exactly is it so hard for these people who are so anti-feminist to understand that there have been multiple waves of feminism, just as there has been multiple waves of the civil rights movement (including the fringe Black Panthers), and that not everyone in a movement believes as the fringe does? And that Gloria Steinem, with her criticisms of transsexualism and pornography and even of enjoying the company of men, by no means represents even a majority of feminists, much less all feminists in the movement? I mean, these are the same people who would throw violent right-wing Christian extremists under the bus for “not being true Christians” when they murder abortion doctors or gays. How is this difficult for them to comprehend, when they say the exact same thing when we talk about their violent fringe, and they demand that we not paint all believers with the same brush?

Forgetting what it means “to be a man” is not a bad thing. None of the things that these lackwits believe makes “a man” are intrinsic to maleness. I know too many women — heterosexual sex-enjoying women who wage constant war with this patriarchy we live in — who are more “man” by those standards than Dobson and Bennett. Likewise with gay men, who face oppression every single damned day just for enjoying cock regardless of what else makes up their personalities. Never mind that their other attributes are never in question, just their preference in genitalia.

Biofeedback for video games

This is pretty awesome. Advancer Technologies released what’s probably a viral video for their biofeedback sensors, which take muscle impulses to create signals that you could connect to an Arduino HID controller which turns any arbitrary input signals into specific key- or mouse-presses. Ergo, playing Mario by flexing.

Of course, Mario involves going right a lot more than going left. So next time you see some guy with a really insanely large right bicep and a flimsy left one, you can now more safely assume he’s a video game player, rather than a chronic masturbater. (Besides, that’s the forearm. Get it right.)

Neti pots: potentially dangerous?

A woman using a neti pot, a small teapot-like device, to pour water in one nostril and out the other.

Does this look at all comfortable or useful to you? Seriously?

Sorta kinda maybe. Depends on what kind of water you’re using. Turns out the popular but placebo home remedy for sinus issues might be a vector for catching slight cases of brain-munching amoeba infestation. But Louisiana’s taking no chances, after two people contracted primary amoebic meningoencephalitis after using a neti pot filled with tap water and died.

Jonathan Yoder, an epidemiologist with the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said the Louisiana cases are still being investigated to ascertain that the deaths did indeed result from exposure to treated tap water in neti pots, rather than exposure to untreated water in a pond or lake. If so, they are the first known incidences of the disease in the U.S. resulting from N. fowleri organisms surviving the water treatment process.

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Will the first Earthly organism on Titan be a super-fly?

Earth and Titan. Soon to both be inhabited by fruitflies?

Earth and Titan. Soon to both be inhabited by fruitflies? Via The Encyclopedia of Space

And what’s weirder, will this super-fruitfly be bred by an artist, rather than a scientist? Very much art meets science.

The air pressure on Titan is fifty percent higher than on Earth so I used a bicycle pump and pressure gauge to increase the pressure in the chamber to 1.5bar. That was probably the most authentic recreation of the conditions. Titan is a frosty -190 degrees but it would have been pointless exposing flies to that temperature as they would all die. Instead the idea is to use freezer elements to take down the temperature a few degrees at a time and try to selectively breed for resistance to low temperatures. The radioactive element from a smoke alarm simulated the radiation found on the moon and a series of UV LEDs represented the harsh UV rays that rain down.

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Justin Trudeau apologizes for being right about Environment minister Peter Kent

As you might know, recently Canada withdrew from the Kyoto protocol shortly after the Durban conference — what our next steps are once Kyoto ends — came to agreement. While the problems with the Kyoto protocol are myriad, including that it didn’t go far enough, didn’t include the top climate destroyers, and explicitly excluded carbon taxes as a means to achieve reductions, it was in fact something. The Durban talks involved what to do for each country in light of their progress toward achieving lower emissions overall, and it’s fairly self-evident that Canada withdrew to avoid the international scorn they had coming. Not that they avoided any of the scorn by withdrawing — such a blatantly transparent responsibility dodge was not lost on anyone.

In the House of Commons on Wednesday, NDP MP Megan Leslie questioned Environment minister Peter Kent over Canada’s withdrawl from Kyoto. His response was galling.
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