Red Moon and Water on the Red Planet

supermoon-live-stream-click-to-watch-leadIt really was a big weekend for astronomy. Not only did that big supermoon lunar eclipse happen, but there is confirmation of water on Mars.

So what? Well, if we ever have to go there, then we don’t have to worry about bringing a big waterbottle with us. Yeah, we are nowhere near that point, at least so we don’t need to journey to Mars out of necessity.

mars-flowing-waterApparently, the proof of liquid water comes from narrow streaks in satellite images during the summer of the planet that lengthen during warm seasons and fade when it gets cold. This was discovered by Lujendra “Luju” Ojha, who is a death metal guitarist as well as a scientist.

There doesn’t really seem to be a clear source for wear the water is coming from, so it is condensing out of the thin Martian atmosphere or rising up from the salty aquifers or underground ice.

Whatever the case, I suppose it would be possible to live on Mars. Yeah, I know that won’t be in my lifetime, but shoot, I saw want to see that.

Source 1 and Source 2

The Backwards Brain Bicycle and how the human mind works

This is one of those times where I just couldn’t think of what to post today, as I just could find anything tech to write about, honestly. At least, not from my usual sources.

I went to church the other day and discovered this video that I thought was just very interesting. It is about a guy who had to learn to ride a backwards bike. Essentially, the bike would go left if you turned right, and vice versa.

At first it sounded easy to ride, but it is not. The man in the video above challenged people to ride 10 meters, and they couldn’t do it. However, as this man continued to practice, eventually, he got it. Somehow, something just clicked and he could do it. He said that it took him months, but the funny part is that he has a son who did this in weeks.

I guess kids can adapt quicker as their minds are designed that way, or something. So the real question is, once that mind has been programmed to act in a certain way without even thinking, can it be reversed again?

Fortunately, this man was able to adapt to riding a bike the normal way, and he did so in a short amount of time. Not only that, the way he said it happened he cannot explain. It is as if something just snapped into place.

I can’t help but wonder what this says about the human brain and the rest of the body. Is it possible that our minds can be programmed to do things, and then just unprogram them later? If so, is it possible that change can come easier for us then we thought? I mean, there will be some time to develop, but so what?

JFK Can Track Cellular Phones to Predict Wait Times

Blip systemsMost of us have been told that we should arrive at the airport a few hours early to catch our flights, because TSA lines take a while to go through. Personally, I never lost my patience, because I never wanted the TSA to take me out.

New York’s JFK Terminal 4, there is some new information in the form of some screens that show how long the wait time will be. The screens use Blip Systems’ wireless beacons that can record, encrypt, and timestamp a device’s MAC address. Then the system counts the number of mobile devices, and figures out an accurate wait time down to the minute.

In case you might be worried about privacy, the information is promised to be very secure, and it cannot be tied back to the user. It also uses Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to track mobile devices, so what about people with multiple mobile devices?

Well, if this works at JFK, I would imagine that we will see these at amusement parks, where we really want to know how long it will take to wait in line.

Source 1 and Source 2

John Nash, inspiration for “A Beautiful Mind” dies in car crash with his wife

John NashThis is a time that I am sad to report that John Nash and his wife Alicia, died in a car crash in New Jersey on Saturday. Apparently, the two were in a tax that lost control and hit another car.

If you have never heard of John Nash, he was a brilliant mathematician, and the only reason why I know him was because he was the subject of a film called A Beautiful Mind, which is one of my favorite films. In fact, I just mentioned the film in my review of Winter’s Tale, which was written and directed by Akiva Goldsman, the screenwriter for A Beautiful Mind. Russell Crowe portrayed Nash pretty brilliantly in the film, and he tweeted a tribute with: “An amazing partnership. Beautiful minds, beautiful hearts.”

A Beautiful Mind depicted Nash’s work and showed his struggle with schizophrenia. Even though the film won four Academy awards, including Best Picture, it is sadly not very accurate. The film shows Nash encountering delusions of cold war spies, but I’ve actually heard that his hallucinations were even more outrageous. Still, I admire the spirit of what the film was trying to accomplish, as it shows how debilitating schizophrenia really is.

The film also showed that John and Alicia were together after many years, and were still together after 60 years in real life. Sadly, there was some time apart, as well as adultery, but like the ending of the film, things seemed to work out for the couple, I believe. John will be remembered for his 1994 Nobel Prize as well as his work in game theory.


People actually spent 520 days inside to test going to Mars

NASA guysConsidering that I have written about people who are trapped within an enclosed space, I felt a need to report on these six test subjects who were locked in a module in Moscow for 520 days to test the effects of isolation on small group dynamics and individual psychology.

These people were selected from Russia, China, and Europe and they had to pretend that they were on some mission to Mars that would keep them in complete solitude from the rest of the world. They began on June 3, 2010 and the only way that they had contact with the outside world is when they had to place blood and urine samples outside the hatch. They didn’t even have Internet or phone calls, which I’m guessing you wouldn’t have if you went to Mars, right? Seriously, they can’t beam that back to Earth?

To keep from getting bored, these men did a lot of “housekeeping” stuff, you know, pretending to do what they would do if they landed on Mars. They also played a lot of Counter Strike, which I am going to assume doesn’t require an Internet connection. Apparently, they had small and medium term objectives to survive, and I am assuming that is what I would do.

I just can’t believe that this was done, and why in the heck did no one make a reality show out of this?


Nintendo working on a Theme Park with Universal Studios

Nintendo Theme ParkIn case you don’t know, Nintendo is very picky about how much it lends out its intellectual property. Yes, the eighties had the Nintendo cereal system, but you might notice that there was not a Legend of Zelda movie after Super Mario Brothers was released.

I have to admire Nintendo for that, but the company has inked an deal with Universal studios to have a theme park based on Nintendo properties. You know, this is really interesting, as I have recently heard a review of Universal’s theme park from “Some Jerk with a Camera” (he’s on Channel Awesome with the Nostalgia Critic) saying that Universal has no rides devoted to its intellectual property since they closed down the Back to the Future ride. Not only that, they replaced the Back to the Future ride with the Simpsons ride, which is Fox property.

Okay, so if Universal wants to make exhibits based on Nintendo properties, then it should bring a real life Mario Kart. Come on, why would you not do that? With turtle shells that you can fire and lots of speed? Oh man, please make that a reality Universal.


Gillette has Avengers-themed razors?

Gillette AvengersI know that with Avengers: Age of Ultron coming out in May, there is going to be a lot of toys for it. And there are with Lego and Hasbro, but Gillette has some Avengers toys for adults.

Okay, it isn’t what you think with that “adult toy” comment. Basically, they are razors with themes of the Avengers. They include Iron Man with an Arc Reactor, Captain America with a shield, Thor with a hammer, and the Incredible Hulk, which is…green.

Okay, everything that I have seen seems to show that these Avengers razors are a joke. Still, I think it is interesting that there are toys marketed for adults, like Game of Thrones action figures, for example.

In other words, for something that is a joke, I don’t see why Gilette would market these razors for adults. Of course, it would put down those who are starting to shave. However, I just can’t resist the coolness of this idea, and there could be a Black Widow model for the lady legs.


What color is the dress? Is the cat up or down? Why does the Internet obsess over stuff like this?

cat on stairsNo doubt you heard of that photo captioned “what color is the dress”, which made its way all around social networks. In all honesty, I can’t remember if that was so…last month or so…last week, but it leads me to wonder why certain things get so much attention.

The one that happened this week was from, and it shows a cat who is going up stairs. Or is that cat going down the stairs? I have to admit that I don’t really have a straight answer, but my Source states that a Warwick Business School professor says the confusion is the optical illusion of whether or not the gray square at the top of the picture is a ceiling or floor.

Personally, I think that what makes this work is the unknown. Current comments from my Source state that there are some marks on the wall where the load bearing stair tops go in, so that cat is going down. Also, the wallpaper on the steps, maybe. Not only that, if the can is going up, that means that the steps are uneven.

So that is several votes for the cat going down. But there is a person saying that if the cat was going down, then its tail wouldn’t be up.

I suppose that I could end this article asking what you think. I suppose it is as good enough ending as any.


Uber Safe posts could start a new trend

Uber SafeI have to admit that I have no experience using Uber or Lyft, other than they are reducing San Francisco’s cab traffic by 65 percent. Still, I liked seeing this development with Uber Safe.

This Uber Safe is a kiosk that is part of a test profram in Toronto Canada. Uber Safe promises to give a a free ride if you do not pass the breathalyzer test.

So far, Uber is “thrilled” with the response, and believes that there will be more on the way. I would imagine that it would cost the company a lot for these, and hopefully you can use the breathalyzer without getting any germs.


Robin Williams was smart not to exploit his image

Robin WilliamsI’ve been feeling a little sad about Robin Williams lately, I think after seeing The Angriest Man in Brooklyn on Netflix. I just wish that he was still alive because I simply hate suicide, and his will was just read.

Thanks to Robin Williams Trust, Williams bequeathed rights to his name, signature, photograph and likeness to the Windfall Foundation, a charitable organization set up by Williams’ legal representatives at the law firm of Manatt, Phelps. The Trust restricts exploitation of Robin Williams’ right of publicity for 25 years after his death.

This means that you will not be seeing CG images of Robin Williams on commercials trying to sell you stuff. You also won’t be seeing any holograms of him like Michael Jackson, and this was incredibly wise. After all, after Williams’ success in animated films like Aladdin, it would be very easy to put his voice on dialogue for a newer animated film.

After all, Marlon Brando appears in the movie Superman Returns years after his death, and there is also a CG Sir Laurence Olivier in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. I’m not looking forward to an era where you can just cast anyone in a film thanks to digital technology. Nice to know that Robin Williams won’t be a digital actor until 2039.