Sunday, 7 December 2014

Entertainment stuff from the week 1-7/12/14

Hi oldies,

It's been a week for old stuff, this week...

{Not as old as me, obviously}

The next Bond film has been named. They're calling it... Spectre.

{Cue speculation about the return of Blofeld}

And the first trailer for Star Wars 7 has been released... even though it won't be out until 2016!?

[Trailer version 1] [Trailer version 2]

And here's something that's older than the hills -- colour.

Apparently, some people don't understand that there's no such thing as 'primary' colours, and that there's a difference between pigment and colour...

'Pigment v. colour'

If you've just read my writings ^ on tumblr, then you should now understand the difference. Please hand in your assignments before 12:00 on Wednesday :-P

In other news:

Apparently, many people believe that pufferfish 'hold their breath' when they puff up. Direct evidence has shown that they do not do this - they continue to breath while they're puffed up, which means they continue to pump water over their gills. Keep on puffing, guys.

In some peculiar cases, it seems, it is possible for mammalian eyes to pick up some wavelengths of infrared light. Using pulsed LASER light, researchers found that when eyes received two close-together pulses (essentially a double-pulse) both mouse and human retinas showed responsiveness. "Normally, a particle of light, called a photon, is absorbed by the retina, which then creates a molecule called a photopigment, which begins the process of converting light into vision. [But packing a lot of pulses into a short period] makes it possible for two photons to be absorbed at one time by a single photopigment, and the combined energy of the two light particles is enough to activate the pigment and allow the eye to see what normally is invisible." At the other end of the visible spectrum, beyond blue, are ultra-violet wavelengths. The closest-to-blue of these have also been found to be visible, by some people. Especially those who've had lens transplants, as the replacement plastic lens attenuates UV much less than the original biological lens does. This isn't superhuman, but it is superinteresting ;-)

One of the most famous supernovae pictures, captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, has now been shown to capture a fast-changing object - the pictured supernova and resultant nebula themselves - Eta Carinae and the Homunculus Nebula. The linked GIF image shows the HN's expansion, over the last 19 years. It was produced by the Eta Carinae star system's supernova-ing, which started 170 years ago, and subsided 150 years ago, leaving the Homunculus Nebula more easily seen. You can follow the link for the image:

Funky potatoes! They're already nutritious and delicious, and make a good staple to a balanced healthy diet, but potatoes are now becoming even more interesting. Modern varieties of all genetically-modified-by-artificial-selection vegetables are larger, sweeter and prettier than their ancestors centuries ago, but their nutritiousness and deliciousness have waned over the same period. Various breeders are trying to hybridise potatoes and other veggies with 'heirloom' varieties (that are tasty) and these guys have been working on more-nutritious varieties, which, as a side-effect, have red or purple flesh! "The team reported that yellow potatoes had a 45-fold greater concentration of carotenoids than white potatoes, and purple potatoes had a 20-fold greater concentration of anthocyanins than yellow potatoes."

James Watson - one of the people awarded the Nobel Prize for Biology, for identifying the double-helix structure of DNA, put up his Nobel Prize medal for auction, this year, to donate much of the revenue to research organisations he has worked at in the past. Christie's auction house estimated it to make $2.5-$3.5 million, but it actually made $4.75 million.

It's going to be a (relatively) clean Christmas in Paris, this year - the city's banned log fires. Paris struggles with soaring temperatures in the summer, but as you would expect of a city, it struggles with air pollution too. In March, the problem got so bad that "authorities" banned half of all cars from the streets and made public transport free for several days! Extreme actions? I think it sounds quite reasonable. If you're not just mindlessly adhering to culturalised ritual (i.e. you have freedom of choice) then just choose to do something else, this year. Just sayin' ;-)

------------------------------------------------------ contemporary stuff

'John and Kevin's Sunday Papers - November 2014'

'2014 CAASTRO Annual Retreat'
Scientists' amateur videography. How cute :o)

'Giant lobster 'aged 70' caught off Californian coast'
I have no idea where they got the age figure from. Maybe they just extrapolated by how long they thought it would take to grow that big.

'First video evidence of cusk eels feeding'
Because they live 8000 metres below sea level, cusk eels have never been seen feeding, before. But then, they've never seen humans feeding before, and all the footage of human mealtimes we've got are home videos of babies flicking fish paste into mummy's eye. Humanity should take a long hard look at itself :-P

'Synchronised sex dance fails to lure lady crabs'
FYI: It doesn't work for tapejaras, either.

'How to see the iron in your cereal'
I'm definitely going to do this for myself, at some point :o)

'Investigating the Trees of Amazonia'

'Electric soap film creates liquid motor'

'Slow Motion - Hand Boiler'

'Sodium Hydride (SLOW MOTION) - Periodic Table of Videos'

'Amazing Light Bending Cloak Experiment!'
A couple of weeks ago, i blogged about a research team's development of a device that conceals doughnuts. While they conceal the polo mint, Brusspup can conceal the hole in the middle :-D

'Make Paramagnetic Fluid ("Parafluid")'

'Flowering Hurricane Balls'



'Wacky Weligious News #2'
I can't wait for WWN #3, when 2016 comes :-D

'Samson's Revenge (part 2 of the Samson Trilogy)'
Here's part 1, in case you missed it:

'Christmas Shopping Simulator (HO HO HO!)'
You can see more from Squirrel in non-contemporary stuff. Glitches FTW :-D

'The Chaser's Media Circus - Episode 8'

That's the last of the season for 'Media Circus'. Hopefully, The Checkout will be back on TV soon.

------------------------------------------------------ of the weeks

Word Of The Week: scintilla -- a tiny trace, iota, spark, or flash; a barely detectable amount

Gene Of The Week: Unkempt -- along with another gene called 'Headcase', it is responsible for how nerve cells develop, in the brains of fruit flies. Problems with the timing of this development can lead to disorders like epilepsy or autism. There are certainly lots more genes also involved in this process, and Unkempt is known to also exist in mammals - specifically, mice.

Baffling Biological Demonstration Of The Week: Pasta-based demonstrations of ring-shaped polymers -- I think you have to actually have to be doing a degree in it, in order to know what he's talking about, LOL

Quote Of The Week
: "Careful grooming may take twenty years off a woman's age, but you can't fool a flight of stairs" - Marlene Dietrich

Fact Of The Week: Electric eels stun their prey by matching their electrical discharges with the motor neurons of their prey. When hunting, they can induce an involuntary twitch, causing them to give away their position. They can then go in with a full discharge, causing whole-body muscle contraction (tetanus) rendering them unable to escape. {For more information}

------------------------------------------------------ non-contemporary stuff

'Charlie Brooker's 2013 Wipe'
'2014 Wipe' is expected to be broadcast, later this month

Very realistic indeed :-D

If you like Richard Herring, then you will find this very funny. If you don't, you will find it bemusing. But i'm sure now's not too late to get enthused into the wondrous world of Me1 vs. Me2 Snooker?? :-P

'Me1 vs Me2 Snooker'

Here's the aforementioned Squirrel:

'Sunday Night Truckin' (Song)'

It's not all truckin' from Squirrel. He's previewed some really interesting games, over the last few years:

'The Vanishing of Ethan Carter'
This is a fantastically-themed investigation game, which has a brilliant ending. Even if you don't play it yourself, the walkthrough's still a good ride. Except for Squirrel's incompetence with logic puzzles :o)

'The Forest (Alpha)'
The still-unfinished 'The Forest' is a Robinson Crusoe like game... with added Mutants.

If you like cars, you'll like one or both of these:

'Let's Play Bridge Project'
And this game is more exciting than the fishing one :-P

There are many more, on Squirrel's channel, besides these :-D

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