Free comic book day coming this week-end

Don’t forget to get up early so you don’t miss out on free comic book day offerings at your local comic shop this Saturday. I missed it last year because the site was broken on free comic book day, and I hadn’t checked on participating comic shops before the event. So head over there now, look up your local shops, and make sure to drop in to get your free comics.

[tags]Free comic book day, comics, free, FCBD[/tags]

Optimus keyboard

optimus_maximus.jpgYou can finally order your Optimus keyboard from ThinkGeek for a mere $1600. Well – you can kinda… While checking this to make a post, I noticed it is currently out of stock. But this is a bit of forward movement from the last 2 years of story-without-substance.

Just some of the highlights/features of this keyboard:

  • Revolutionary Keyboard Features a tiny OLED screen on each key. 113 screens total.
  • Play a GIF animation or Quicktime movie on a Key
  • Key sets can be linked to an application, so whenever you open that app the appropriate keys come up
  • Built in USB hub

More features listed on the product page at ThinkGeek. One suggestion I’ve heard is encoding your favorite pr0n and setting it to play across all keys, but honestly that sounds rather infeasible. I *would* like to have one and set it up with animations and key images for the kids when they are playing their games. But I’m going to have to wait until one of these comes out for under $100 before trying anything like that. Probably in 2-3 years, we’ll have that reality, though, right?

[tags]Optimus, Keyboard, OLED, ThinkGeek, YouTube, video, Stuff I want, $1600 keyboard[/tags]

Dead Like Me – the movie

While trying to find out who one of the actresses is on an episode of the television show Dead Like Me that the wifey-person and I watched tonight, I stumbled on the IMDb listing for the Dead Like Me movie. According to the IMDb listing:

After the departure of Rube Sofer, a new head reaper named Cameron Kane takes over. He’s a slick businessman who couldn’t care less about helping the newly dead. Chaos ensues and brings out the worst in Daisy and Mason who begin drinking anew. George and Reggie re-connect for the first time when George reaps a new friend of Reggie’s.

Sadly, it looks like Mandy Patinkin will not be in the movie. I really like him. I have heard from others that he is difficult to work with, and that’s why he doesn’t stay on shows for very long, but I don’t know that to be anything other than rumor.

No word on the actually release date other than this year. Now I have to make sure to see the movie in theaters when it hits.

edit: See the comments for additional information, including reference to the movie delay, a straight to DVD release, and link to an Ellen Muth fansite you should visit.

[tags]Dead Like Me, Ellen Muth, Rube, Reapers[/tags]

Record-setting high-intensity laser beam

You’ve got your laser.  You’ve got your high intensity.  You’ve got your awesome name – HERCULES.  What missing?

If you could hold a giant magnifying glass in space and focus all the sunlight shining toward Earth onto one grain of sand, that concentrated ray would approach the intensity of a new laser beam made in a University of Michigan laboratory.

That’s the instantaneous intensity we can produce,” said Karl Krushelnick, a physics and engineering professor. “I don’t know of another place in the universe that would have this intensity of light. We believe this is a record.”

. . .

The record-setting beam measures 20 billion trillion watts per square centimeter. It contains 300 terawatts of power. That’s 300 times the capacity of the entire U.S. electricity grid. The laser beam’s power is concentrated to a 1.3-micron speck about 100th the diameter of a human hair. A human hair is about 100 microns wide.

Sadly, no mention is made of strapping these suckers to the frikkin’ heads of any frikkin’ sharks.  Nor is there any word on the available ramp-up possible with a whole mess of these (say, perhaps, an ocean full of frikkin’ sharks, with, well, you know) and harnessing the power of a Dyson sphere.  But some mad-genius will make it happen some day, I am certain (sans popcorn, most likely).

A paper on this research, “Ultra-high intensity 300-TW laser at 0.1 Hz repetition rate,” is published online in the journal Optics Express. The full text is available at Yanovsky and Krushelnick are authors of the paper.

Yup – 300 Terra-Watts.  Make’s ol’ Doc Brown’s Flux Capacitor look pretty miserly with the power, doesn’t it?

[tags]HERCULES, Laser, Frikkin’ sharks, 300 Terra-watts, 1.21 Giga-watts[/tags]

Eye Candy voting

I haven’t posted a good eye candy picture in a while, so I feel a need to rectify that. However, I can’t quite decide which subject should make my next Eye Candy focus. I’ve just started watching the new Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles show, so I have Summer Glau on my mind (along with many admittedly unclean thoughts). But I also have been watching the revival of American Gladiators with my kids lately, and have to admit a bit of a crush on, ummmm, Crush (shown below out of gladiator gear).


Please let me know what you want to see more of next.

[tags]Eye Candy, Mmmmm, Summer Glau, Gina Carano, Crush, American Gladiators, Terminator, Sarah Chronicles, Come with me if you want to live[/tags]

Typing tracker

Think you can type fast, hot shot? Put your skillz (you know we’re serious, because of the ‘Z’ we use) to the test with the USB typing speed tachometer.


Sure, the seller calls it a USB WPM speedometer, but we’re a bit more advanced here — we know it’s a tachometer of a sort. (via boingboing gadgets)

[tags]USB, WPM, Typing, Tachometer, Speed meter[/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]