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The 90s cartoon Reboot is getting a Reboot. Reboot.

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Back in 1994, when the internet was just a wee thing and computer animation was only just beginning to lose its gills and walk on land, there was a cartoon called Reboot that was the first full half hour fully computer animated cartoon. A lot of people liked Reboot, but even at the time, I thought the animation was nauseatingly bad, but maybe in the 21st century it won’t look quite as bad. Maybe? 

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scytrin
3227 days ago
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Poking holes in the Gravity trailer with NASA’s help

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I haven't seen Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity yet, but I want to. The movie will enter general release here in the US on October 4. It stars George Clooney and Sandra Bullock as two astronauts having what looks to be a really, really bad day in space. Trailers for the movie show them flying around in their space suits, yelling and crying and dodging debris from exploding satellites and space ships and space stations, all lit by a beautifully rendered and untouchably distant Earth in the background.

The director and the studio have taken great pains to recreate the experience of operating in microgravity as accurately as possible. Cuarón consulted with NASA astronauts on the particulars of moving in microgravity, microgravity and,according to theNY Daily News, the movie's production designers studied thousands of NASA photographs in order to make their vision of space look authentic.

When asked how far that commitment to verisimilitude stretched, though, Cuarón said that while the movie strives for accuracy, "it would be disingenuous to say we did it 100 percent, because this is a movie, and we needed to take certain liberties."

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scytrin
3229 days ago
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Menace

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Power is intoxicating. Everyone loves having the ability to make their decisions into reality — to think "this should be something that happens," and then actually be able to make that thing happen.

It is also dangerous.

And it is especially dangerous when applied to four-year-olds.

Four-year-olds lack the experience to wield power responsibly. They have no idea what to do with it or how to control it.


But they like it.


The dinosaur costume was the greatest thing that had ever happened to me. The previous Halloween, which was the first Halloween I could actually remember, my parents had dressed me as a giant crayon, and the whole experience had been really uncomfortable for me.


But being a dinosaur felt natural.


And powerful.


The feeling had been slowly intensifying ever since I put the costume on that morning, and, as I stood there in the middle of the classroom, staring off into the distance in an unresponsive power trance, it finally hit critical mass.

I had to find some way to use it. Any way. Immediately.


The other children screamed and fled. The teacher chased me, yelling at me to stop. But I couldn't stop. I was a mindless juggernaut, a puppet for forces far greater than myself. I had completely lost control of my body.


All I knew was that being a dinosaur felt very different from being a person, and I was doing things that suddenly able to do things I had never even dreamed of doing before.


Of course, I had always had the ability to do these things — even as a person — but I didn't know that. I'd just assumed that I was unable. As a dinosaur, I didn't have any of those assumptions. It felt like I could do whatever I wanted without fear of repercussions.


The repercussions were also exactly the same as they were before I became a dinosaur.


I just experienced them differently.


My parents had to come pick me up at noon that day. The teacher explained that it must have been all the Halloween candy. "Some kids really can't handle sugar," she said. "It turns them into little monsters."


I suppose it was a reasonable enough conclusion, but it only served as a distraction from the real problem.


The thing about being an unstoppable force is that you can really only enjoy the experience of being one when you have something to bash yourself against. You need to have things trying to stop you so that you can get a better sense of how fast you are going as you smash through them. And whenever I was inside the dinosaur costume, that is the only thing I wanted to do.


The ban on sugar provided a convenient source of resistance. As long as I was not supposed to eat sugar, I could feel powerful by eating it anyway.


I'm sure the correlation started to seem rather strong after a while. I'd find some way to get sugar into myself, and then — drunk on the power of doing something I wasn't supposed to —I would lapse into psychotic monster mode. morph into a horrible, psychotic monster. To any reasonable observer, it would appear as though I was indeed having a reaction to the sugar.


My parents were so confused when when the terror sprees continued even after the house had been stripped of sugar. They were sure they had gotten rid of all of it. . . did I have a stash somewhere? Was I eating bugs or something?

They still weren't suspicious of the costume.


I lost weeks in a power-fueled haze. I often found myself inside the costume without even realizing I had put it on. One moment, I would be calmly drawing a picture, and the next I'd be robotically stumbling toward my closet where the dinosaur costume was and putting myself inside it.

It started to happen almost against my will.


Surely my parents made the connection subconsciously long before they became aware of what was really going on. After weeks of chaos, each instance punctuated by the presence of the costume, I have to imagine that the very sight of the thing would have triggered some sort of Pavlovian fear response.


They did figure it out eventually, though.


And the costume was finally taken away from me.


I was infuriated at the injustice of it all. I had become quite dependent on the costume, and it felt like part of my humanity was being forcibly and maliciously stripped away. I cursed my piddling human powers and their uselessness in the situation. If only I could put on the costume . . . just one more time.


But that was the costume's only weakness — it couldn't save itself. I had to watch helplessly as it disappeared inside a trash bag.

There was nothing I could do.


And so my reign of power came to an end, and I slowly learned to live as a person again.





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scytrin
3230 days ago
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11 public comments
clinthowarth
3231 days ago
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The "Something is wrong. Something is going to happen." is absolutely correct.
jenniferoboyle
3232 days ago
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Hyperbole and a Half!
nschively
3232 days ago
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Awesome
Baltimore, MD
adamgurri
3232 days ago
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dinosaurs are more powerful than parents
New York, NY
subbes
3232 days ago
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This certainly doesn't alleviate my concern about Allie's mental wellbeing.
superberg
3232 days ago
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Masks allow us to stop hiding what we really are.
Palatine, IL
effingunicorns
3233 days ago
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The power... the POWER...
Michdevilish
3233 days ago
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evolve or get sent to the dump...
Canada
TheUnchosenOne
3233 days ago
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A new Hyperbole and a Half!
Madison, WI
glenn
3233 days ago
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As good an explanation as any to explain politicians and their behavior :)
Waterloo, Canada
craigrettig
3232 days ago
Well, most of them *are* dinosars in their own right.

Fork in the road: Cyanogen raises $7 million to build a better version of Android

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Cyanogen, makers of popular software based on Android that extends the abilities of smartphones, is making a bid for the mainstream. The four-year-old company, which began as a one-person side project, said today that it has raised $7 million from Benchmark Capital and Redpoint Ventures. others. The goal is to vault past Blackberry and Windows Phone to become the third-most popular mobile operating system, after traditional Android and iOS. And the company is already closer than you might think.

CyanogenMod, the company’s free open-source replacement firmware, has more than 8 million users, CEO Kirt McMaster says. But that counts only users who have elected to share data with Cyanogen, he says, estimating that the true number is two to three...

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three times that...

Continue reading…

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scytrin
3247 days ago
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Chris57
3246 days ago
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This could be trouble for Google.
Florida

Some nice timelines

jwz
2 Comments and 9 Shares

It's turtles all the way out.

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scytrin
3248 days ago
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2 public comments
tewhalen
3248 days ago
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Hrrrm. Nice idea, not sure about relevancy of chosen historical factoids. Click through for more charts with even less explanatory power other than "the planet/universe is really really old".

Not really sure why science-types want to constantly impress others with how incomprehensibly vast the vastness is.
chicago, il
3241 days ago
It reflects the bias of whoever put the graphs together. That's kinda valuable.
digdoug
3249 days ago
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Perspective. You needs it.
Louisville, KY

HIV/AIDS vaccine passes Phase 1 clinical trial in humans

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Pharmaceutical company Sumagen Canada announced yesterday the successful completion of a Phase 1 Clinical Trial of SAV001-H, a vaccine against HIV and AIDS. The trial ran for over a year, from March 2012 through last month, and was designed to test the "safety, tolerability and immune responses" of the drug in real live human subjects. Phase 1 trials are the point at which researchers go from seeing whether their drugs work in animals to making sure that they don't do weird and bad stuff to people, so the stakes are obviously very high. SAV001-H passed flawlessly: in the randomized, observer-blinded, placebo-controlled study of HIV-infected, asymptomatic men and women, there were "no serious adverse event[s]," meaning that Phase 2 trials (seeing how well the vaccine actually works) can come next.

SAV001-H is what's called a "killed whole virus vaccine," meaning that it includes actual HIV viruses. This sounds like something that you don't want to get injected with, but as part of the vaccine-making process, the live HIV viruses are genetically re-engineered to eliminate pathogenicity, chemically treated, and then irradiated with gamma rays to make sure that they're dead dead dead. While other HIV/AIDS vaccines that haven't used killed whole viruses (relying instead on targeting specific components of HIV) have failed in Phase 3 trials, Sumagen is optimistic about their drug because other successful vaccines (including polio, influenza, rabies, and hepatitis A) work on the same principle.

The vaccine prevents HIV infection by massively boosting the production of a variety of antibodies in the human immune system. We won't get detailed statistics on how effective SAV001-H is until the completion of the Phase 2 trials, but even during Phase 1, the researchers were able measure boosts in the production of a variety HIV-specific antibodies ranging anywhere from eight to 64 times higher than with a placebo. Plus, these increases in antibodies were maintained over the entire duration of the study. Based on these data, Sumagen is "[forecasting] a success of the Phase 2 human clinical trial."

It would be premature to get too excited about this, since many vaccines encounter issues in Phase 2 and Phase 3 clinical trials. But, we're excited anyway. 35 million people have died of HIV/AIDS, and nearly as many are currently infected. 40% of new infections occur in people between the ages of 15 and 24. According to Sumagen, when this vaccine comes to market (and it's getting closer), it could mean "the eradication of HIV/AIDS for human beings." Eradication. Forever.

Sumagen, via UWO

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scytrin
3260 days ago
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