A Veritable Onslaught of Nerdery!

February 15th, 2008 by Fweeb

Alright, this is an accumulation of a few of the awesome things I’ve stumbled on or been directed to across the interwebbernet… and because I’m finding this stuff out via Slashdot, BoingBoing, Digg, or Hand Turkey’s resident Belligerent Internet Nomad, Warren, it’s all nerd/geek-related stuff.

We’ll start this with a YouTube video featuring musical tesla coils playing a tune from Super Mario Brothers. There are no speakers used in it; it’s literally a laptop PC that’s outputting a MIDI channel to each coil, which, in turn, play the respective notes back… with bursts of electricity that have noise levels around 110 dB! (direct link here, if the embedded video doesn’t load)

Following that, here’s a set of very intricately carved pencils. I cannot read any of the text on the site (curse my non-multilingual background!), but I think “awesome” is a universally understood concept. I want to try doing this.

Pencil Carving

Now for this one… I first saw this on Slashdot a few days ago and then, just yesterday, BoingBoingTV did a story on it. It’s a new nerdy competitive sport: Speedcabling! That’s right, IT geeks compete at untangling Ethernet cables that have been knotted and placed in a dryer for 30 seconds. The prize? Why, it’s a $50 gift certificate to a local Italian restaurant (spaghetti, anyone?). Check the Slashdot and BoingBoing links for photos and video.

And you guys know that the Writer’s Guild has ended their strike, right? Well, apparently not everyone is pleased with the tentative agreement that’s been made. Harlan Ellison, in particular, minced no words in giving his opinion on the matter (link is to a repost on Warren Ellis’ blog). A choice quote:

You are their bitches. They outslugged you, outthought you, outmaneuvered you; and in the end you ripped off your pants, painted yer asses blue, and said yes sir, may I have another.

Contact lens with a circuitAnd I’ll leave you with this little bit of the oncoming future (yeah, the article was posted a month ago, but some folks still haven’t heard about this). The University of Washington has developed biologically safe contact lenses which incorporate integrated circuits and lights. They don’t currently have anything wired to them or powering them, but this is a huge step forward toward the possibility of having a heads-up display directly in our vision… or enhanced vision. Think about it like a removable bionic eye and marvel at the fact that we do indeed live in the future!

Alright… back to work I go!

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