Thursday, January 22, 2009

Now you have absolutely nothing to complain about

A few days ago I posted about the jetpack. Now, the other geek dream is hitting the market... the flying car.

Discovery has a great story about a Boston area business that is starting tests on their airplane/car vehicle. You basically drive to the airport, unfold the wings and take off! You can fly up to 500 miles on a tank of unleaded, then land, fold up the wings and drive away again.

It's like a James Bond vehicle!

"Lie to Me" anytime (ok I've only seen one episode, but it's a catchy title for a blog post, right?)

I watched the premiere of Fox's "Lie to Me" last night and really enjoyed it. In a schedule filled with quirky cop shows, this one was pretty good.

The twist on this one? The main character, played by Tim Roth, is an expert at telling when people are lying. He uses body language, facial tics, microexpressions and a host of other tricks to tell when someone is fibbing because they're scared, excited, happy, etc. He then uses the info to figure out motives for the lie as well. Its a fun gimmick, but I'm wondering how fast it will wear thin. How many times can we watch him say someone's eyebrow went up, so he must be lying? We'll see.

What I enjoyed most about the show was Roth. I generally enjoy his work, but he's very fun to watch in this one. I first became aware of Roth nearly twenty years ago in the wonderful film adaptation of Tom Stoppard's "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead".

It's still one of my favorite films after all these years and Roth is still fun to watch.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Some very different awards

Its still awards season and some new lists of the good and bad are out.

What were the worst movies of the year?

Well, Mike Meyers' "Love Guru" is on the list of nominiees for worst picture in the Razzie Awards.

Meyers is competeing with Eddie Murphy, Al Pacino (!), Mark Wahlberg and Larry the Cable Guy for worst actor.

Jessica Alba, Cameron Diaz, Paris Hilton, Kate Hudson and the entire cast of "The Women" ( Annette Bening, Eva Mendes, Debra Messing, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Meg Ryan) are all battling it out for worst actress.


The Screen Actor's Guild is about to honor James Earl Jones with a Lifetime Achievement Award. In this AP story, Jones calls acting "Fun!".

Coldplay are up for best British group and best British album at the BRITs awards.

And finally, my man John Woo garnered a bunch of awards for his movie "Red Cliff" at the Asian Film Awards.

Photo by Reuters

Monday, January 19, 2009

I would totally go see a movie called Snakebots on a plane.

According to a cool article over at MSNBC, articulated snakebots may soon be crawling down your throat, up your pipes and into your heart.

Currently, most snake-inspired robots are made to crawl around on the ground, but according to Dennis Hong, Director of the Robotics & Mechanisms Laboratory, the snakebot will use flexible universal joints to roll up scaffolds or right into your mouth.

It has huge applications for construction, with the robot's ability to climb about anywhere. This could potentially reduce injuries on the work sites by a significant amount.

Their medical applications could see them rolling down your esophagus to check out... aw who cares, it's awesome!

Picture Dennis Hong/Virginia Tech

Friday, January 16, 2009

Seriously? This has plagued people for years?

You know the Beatles' song "Hard Day's Night"? Sure you do.

You know that odd, sudden, slighly off chord that starts it? Sure you do.

You know what chord that is? Sure you don't. Oddly, it turns out that nobody really knows what chord that is. How is that possible? I have no clue. Don't the remaining Beatles have some insight?

A doctor at Dalhousie University in Canada tried to figure it out, but could never get it right. He thinks he's finally figured it out. Apparently, there's more than just the Fab Five playing on the recording. He thinks there's a piano note in there as well.

That's a load off my mind.

There's your damn jetpack, now quit your bitchin!

Cool story from Popular Science!
A 49 year-old Swiss pilot and amateur aeronautical engineer named Yves Rossy strapped on this flying wing and dropped out of a plane near the English Channel.
His wing is a fiberglass shell wrapped around a carbon-fiber skeleton and stuffed with an electronic control unit, wires and two fiberglass tanks each holding 3.5 gallons of jet fuel. That's just enough to cross the Channel, doing it at nine minutes and 32 seconds, his longest flight.
Its not quite the jet packs that all the sci-fi stories and films promised, but I'll take it!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

You have a better caption?

Go Ling Ling! Bring help! Warn the others!