Another Filipino prisoner dance performance

A little less synced with the song and video than last time around, but I guess there wasn’t a video of hundreds dancing in sync to Hammer’s music.

They sure can dance and handle large-scale choreography, can’t they?  But they need baggier pants to reallllly fully pull off that song.

[tags]Filipino prisoners, Dance, Hammer, Can’t touch this, Hammer don’t hurt ’em[/tags]

CryENGINE2 vs. reality

See how powerful the CryENGINE2 is, assuming you have a sufficiently powerful machine to drive this.

[gametrailers 31022]

Not as good as looking out real-world locations, but extremely impressive for a game engine.  Most of the engine driven stuff is flatter or duller than the real-world video, but I’m still looking forward to being able to run something with CryENGINE2 when I make my next system upgrade.  (via Joystiq)

Domino homebrew

I can’t recall having seen any moderate or large scale domino setups lately, but recall them being quite the fashion when I was much younger.  Below is a video done by some kinetic artists for a museum.  The real action starts at around 3:30 mark, with leadup showing the already set up domino string, a bit of interview time with the artists, and a few stills of final domino break inserts (when setting up long domino strings, it is typical that one leaves some large holes in case of an accident along the chain and then fills them in when everything else is finished).

The whole action section gets started by the young attendee who guessed closest to the actual number of dominoes used in the display.  (via boingboing)

[tags]dominoes, museum, kinetic artist[/tags]

Lasers are old, you know?

I’m not really sure when the brilliant hybrid of frikkin’ sharks and laser-beams came about, but it’s pretty clear from this 1963 article on cutting wood with a beam of light that the frikkin’ sharks didn’t yet have frikkin’ laser-beams on their frikkin’ heads – at least, not in popular culture. There was probably an underground cult-like movement with such creatures. I envision them hosting frikkin’ shark fights in frikkin’ pools in frikkin’ secret underground cabins. All before Michael Vick was even born, most likely.

mm-med_laser_cut_wood.jpgA new technique in woodworking may be on the way. The University of Michigan has developed a tool that cuts through maple and other hardwoods with bursts of light that act like the science-fiction writers’ disintegrating-ray gun. The experimental drill operates with a laser (light amplification by stimulated electron radiation) head that contains a coiled xenon flash tube and a ruby rod. It builds up intensely hot light pulses, focuses them through a lens to vaporize a hole in a block of wood instantly without leaving char. It’s not ready yet for the home workshop.

I have a theory, in fact, that the young man pictured there is the inventor of the frikkin’ shark/laser hybrid, although I haven’t worked out all the details yet.

[tags]Sharks, laser-beams, cutting wood, wood, laser, frikkin’, Modern Mechanix[/tags]

World’s biggest ferris wheels


Honestly, sometimes I even surprise myself with the subjects that I find interesting.  Quite randomly, I recently found this very short, but very cool article on work around the world (well, at least a couple of locations) to build the world’s largest ferris wheel.  A ride that had fallen out of favor some years ago, the ferris wheel seems to be suffering, you might say, a resurgence in interest since the London Eye opened a few years ago.

The larger these monstrous rides become, the greater their capacity and potential profit—and the more seriously builders take them. To start, they don’t call them Ferris wheels. “We categorize them as ‘observational wheels’ because of the capsules,” says Alexander Pieper, spokesman for the Great Wheel Corporation, which developed the Singapore, Dubai and Beijing wheels.

My bad.  The world’s largest observational wheel.  It’s hardly an article, being no more than sidebar length for any magazine publication, but I found the accompanying illustration (captured in part above) to be chock full of useless cool knowledge. For instance, the original ferris wheel, the Eagle 16 noted in the illustration, made a revolution in a mere 12 seconds.  Now, it’s around half an hour start to finish on the giants.  To borrow a phrase from Keanu Reeves – Whoa.

[tags]Ferris Wheel, Observational wheels, Singapore Flyer, London Eye, Beijing Great Wheel, Extreme Engineering[/tags]

Wii-remote head-mounted virtual-room tracking

This is simply awesomesauce in a little controller.  While catching up on my Penny-Arcade reading for the day (and by the way, might I recommend the PennyPacker extension to you if you are a Mozilla user), I caught this video of a project to make a head-mounted device to give a user the visual sensation of a truly three-dimensional image on a monitor.

The first minute or so of the video might seem a bit boring, but it’s a setup for a really neat demonstration of the effect of real spatial movement effecting the display.  I tried snagging some images from the video to show the effect, but it’s the motion and not the image that makes the effect so cool.  In motion, parts of the image do appear to stand several feet out from the screen, and moving forward will put you behind those parts of the view so you don’t see them any more.

[tags]Penny Arcade, Head mounted display, 3D enabling technology, Wii, Nintendo, Sensor bar[/tags]