Saturday, October 28, 2006

Life with a Smart Bag

The LadyBag was developed by six students from Simon Fraser University in Canada, in a project that mixed students from the university's interactive arts degree and the information technology degree.
It is a purse with a built-in RFID reader - the bag displays an according icon with LEDs on the outside if any of a set of objects equipped with RFID-tags misses from it, like your cellphone or keys.

On top of that, the bag has force- and motion-sensors which help detect the owner's mood,
"For example, if the person fiddles frantically with the bag, the face with a worried look will light up. If the owner hugs the bag, a happy face emoticon will light up."

(via artfuture, thx Expertina!)

Life at War, Battling Plants

This one comes from Afghanistan via a Reuters article on CNN's offbeat-news ...
"... One soldier told him later: "Sir, three years ago before I joined the army, I never thought I'd say 'That damn marijuana'.""

Obviously Canadian troops have their troubles combatting "almost impenetrable forests of marijuana plants 10 feet tall":
"We tried burning them with white phosphorous -- it didn't work. We tried burning them with diesel -- it didn't work. The plants are so full of water right now ... that we simply couldn't burn them," complains General Rick Hillier.
The problem seems to be the weed-forests are hard to penetrate with thermal detectors, so that it's easy for Taliban fighters to appear and disappear in and out again.

A truly evil herb, evil, evil, evil.
But we would have thought the Canadians were much better prepared for confronting the plant's terrorist powers than that -
When on one rare occasion one of the cannabis-forests caught on fire "a section of soldiers that was downwind from that had some ill effects and decided that was probably not the right course of action," Hiller said dryly."

Our eyes certainly don't stay dry imagining the troopers experiencing those "ill effects" ...

P.S. An afterthought - maybe the fire-resistance of the plant could be used to prevent Southern California from those wild-fires.
Imagine belts of hemp forests placed strategically in the affected areas saving lives and property. Possible ill effects could be countered with medical marijuana.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Life, Coffee and Laptops

Yesterday, when I was decorating a window inside MQ's Electric Avenue with ROBOEXOTICA propaganda, I gave a demonstration why one should never, ever allow a cup of coffee to stand by itself next to a laptop ... in a chain-reaction that involved my hand, the cup and Stefan's mac-book.

The relief today when the dried laptop resumed function is almost indescribable.
Right after the incident we turned the mac-book upside down and used paper-towels to get liquid out of between the keys. We also removed the battery, there was coffee in the battery-compartment too, which had to be dried with towels.
Then we let it rest upside down and dry over night - voila.

Although in deep concern, I was being reassured yesterday night, when I googled "kaffee im laptop" and found reports of similar settings (coffee with sugar and milk) where drying was all that was required to restore functionality. One guy wrote he had his laptop in the oven for 8hrs - a procedure which was not chosen to repeat on Stefans mac-book.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Dream Life

A sheep for robots to dream of ...

This electric sheep has motion sensors in it's eyes and can turn it's head towards where the action is.

"Basically, it looks like any other stuffed animal, except that if you sit in the same place for a while, you will notice that it seems to be looking at you."
Here's the builders log.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Life, borrowing a cup ...

... of robots.

Brought to you via Borrowed from the irresistible Suicide Bots blog.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Life in West Vienna

When I walked home from Oskar's place on H├╝tteldorferstrasse yesterday evening, I had this nice view onto Sch├Ânbrunn's Gloriette, a building a bit uphill from the palace which is nicely lit during night.

Enjoy the view ...

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Life in Pink

Pink is the new pink!
Or so ...

Yesterday I got new and high-res photos of the pink Popelismus shot by Expertina with her elegant Sony - previously I only had shot photos of it with the lower resolution video-cam.

I started painting Popelismi 1997 and spent about five years with the first one, measuring 120cmX120cm.
When the painting was finished I sealed the surface with a standard colorless coating.
The smaller Popelismi which followed I also furnished with a layer of paint.
The pink one was first, black, blue and white followed, also one multi-colored white/pink/red.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Tormented Life

One of my teeth, the 3-6 in dento-lingo, or Wunderzahn as my current dentist at the University Clinic dubbed it has been a pain in the mouth since February ... when it received the first root canal treatment.
After the first two weeks in agony - despite around 8 visits to my now-ex-dentist/clinic, which it took before I received a medication that took away the immediate acute pain - weeks and months followed during which the tooth was in turn allowed to calm and would then be opened again just to hurt again when the root canals were probed. Which shouldn't have been so, legions of denitsts have attested since then.
Today after about 4 month at the new clinic it was finally examined under microscope, but no 4th canal has been detected, the source of the recurring pain (which has set in dramatically again yesterday, after the tooth had been opened again) is still a mistery ... which might make extraction the unavoidable final answer to this b*tch of a grinding tool.
Only about two years back extraction was the fate of it's symmetrical counterpart in my right lower cheek - which crumbled after month of opening and closing the root canals again as it still hurt during and after the canal treatment when it should have been dead - just like this one.

... Since February ... !!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

N.K. Life under Surveillance

Dear U.S. Dept. of State,
in my habitual spy missions along the North Korean embassy in my neighbourhood, I checked their showcase for updates on the supposed nuclear test yesterday - and you guessed it: no sign whatsoever of any atomic activities there!

However some of the trees on the property have been choppedy-chopped, someone seems to have had an urge to impose control onto the creatures of nature.

Alas, my crappy mobile-phone wasn't good at capturing the cars parked inside, but maybe you can send me a proper spy-cam?

Your's sincerely, I

Life Assimilated

Another occurrence of a robot eating a human kid has been brought to our attention by Make:blog - this time with a shockingly detailed coverage of the assimilation process.
Fig. 1 shows the assailant before the attack, Fig.2 depicts the endresult - the robot-shell inhabited by the eaten-alive child.

This is especially sad as the attacks had decreased a bit lately (despite alarming signs of a higher level of organization among the robot-insurgents) - we're curious to hear from Human Resistance Headquarters (formerly known as Boingboing) on this! (x)

Previous robots vs. humans-coverage:
[8],[7], [6], [5], [4], [3], [2], [1]

(x)Update: Xeni sez: "Ohnoez! Robots return to to recruit more earth-children for dastardly Halloween fun and destruction."

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Documented Life

I was visited by eSeL last week, who shot some photos of my still-in-progress latex-man(-alien?) and some of the Popelismus-paintings.
Lorenz managed to capture when I posed with the (magnetic) latex-sculpture picking up a magnet from my hand - I also love the one where I can see myself in the reflection on the TV in the background, especially in the original sized picture.

Talking of the original sized pictures, I am wow'd by how on the Popelismi you can see every pore of the canvas magnifyed ... booger bigger than life!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Old Age Life

This week Boinboing made me aware of author Robert Anton Wilson's condition, which is: he has no money, has a few months left to live, and was facing eviction from his apartment.
Gladly a few days were enough to collect about 68.000,- from well-meaning people on this planet, which gives this sad story a happy turn.
It's a shame the author of works like Cosmic Trigger or Illuminatus should die in poverty! Is this the 16th century, people?

I have to admit I'm not in a situation where I could notably contribute financially to Bob's final days, but you all should be buying a few of his books quickly, so the royalties get to him in time!!

P.S.: When you browse Bob Wilson's webpage, DO check the "jokes"-page! You'll find gems like this one:
"Three Texas surgeons were playing golf together and discussing surgeries they had performed. One of them said, "I'm the best surgeon in Texas. A concert pianist lost 7 fingers in an accident. I reattached them, and 8 months later he perfomed a private concert for the Queen of England." One of the others said, "That's nothing. A young man lost both arms and legs in an accident. I reattached them, and 2 years later he won a gold medal in field events at the olympics."
The third surgeon said, "You guys are amateurs. Several years ago, a cowboy, who was high on cocaine and alcohol, rode a horse head-on into a train traveling 80 miles an hour. All I had left to work with was the horse's ass and a cowboy hat. Now, he's president of the United States."

Life, Breaded

When at Tacheles extern last weekend, I had the opportunity to admire (and photograph) Pjotr Riedelsperger's Breaded art - various objects breaded in the tradional "Wiener Schnitzel" crumb, a series called History Breaded (german page -> translation).

Among the objects: cross, crescent, mousetrap, books and a VHS-video-tape.

Poisonous Life

Makes you wonder!
In Austria a rather unusual contamination of 1-kilo-packs of millet already in retail has been noticed in routine tests - with thornapple-(Datura-)seeds, on average 17 pcs. per kilo.

The highly hallucinogenic seeds don't look like millet at all, so they should be easy to spot, but experts are left wondering how the contamination could occur, thorn apple usually not being part of farming.

(Source: DerStandard)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Robotic Life is Sexy

I just realized that a snip from the article on a japanese beer-pouring bot in New Scientist I was interviewed for in January, made it onto Suicide Girls' geek-news ...

How cool is that!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Blorg Life

From the web-comic Brewster Rockit:


The Blorg-episodes:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5.