Technology

Pharyngula

Category archives for Technology

Techno-lust

This 1925 Bugatti Brescia was found in a state of profound neglect in a garage, and was auctioned off for almost a million dollars. It’s a beautiful work of art. It doesn’t run, but still…that would be a fine vehicle for a Sunday drive, once it’s restored. But it’s the wrong model! Way, way back…

For people with missing limbs, here’s a prosthetic interface that allows them to customize it…with Lego. Hoping to build the confidence of children living with a missing limb, Carlos Arturo Torres Tovar, of Umeå University in Sweden, has designed a prosthetic arm that’s compatible with Lego so kids can swap its gripping attachment for their…

Crazy, obsessed, weird, perverse

Sometimes those are good descriptors. I read a happy story for a change this morning: it’s about Arunachalam Muruganantham, an Indian man who embarked on a long crusade to make…sanitary napkins. Perhaps you laugh. Perhaps you get a little cranky at a guy who rushes in to meddle in women’s concerns. And there’s some good…

Halos in the sky

I just got back from this evening’s Cafe Scientifique — where were you guys? — and I got to see lots of pretty pictures of halos and sundogs and light pillars. One of the nice things about living in Morris is that we actually get a lot of that weird atmospheric phenomena here, because we…

The mirror test is a well known indicator for some degree of self-awareness: surreptitiously mark an animal’s face, show it a mirror, and see if it recognizes that the reflected image is of itself by whether it reaches up to touch or remove the mark. We see that behavior and infer that the animal has…

Not just Sally Ride

I had never heard of the Women in Space Program before, but apparently, after the Soviets sent Valentina Tereshkova into space, there was actually an effort to train American women as astronauts. The participants of the Women in Space Program experienced tremendous success. “Nineteen women enrolled in WISP, undergoing the same grueling tests administered to…

And everyone gets a robot pony!

Oy, singularitarians. Chris Hallquist has a post up about the brain uploading problem — every time I see this kind of discussion, I cringe at the simple-minded naivete that’s always on display. Here’s all we have to do to upload a brain, for instance: The version of the uploading idea: take a preserved dead brain,…

Worst lag ever

How can you possibly play video games with 14 minutes worth of lag? There’s some awesome engineering behind landing a rover on Mars.

Fortify Biofortified

That most excellent blog on plant genetics and scientific agriculture, Biofortified, is having a fundraiser to maintain their eucational and reporting efforts (there’s a full breakdown of where the money goes on the site). They’re not asking much and they produce so much more — help ’em out if you can. (Also on FtB)

Steve Jobs is dead

I’m typing this on a Mac laptop. I heard about it while browsing the news on my iPad. I have an iPhone in my pocket. There’s an iPod in my bedroom that we use for alarm and music. I bought my first Mac in 1984; I wrote my Ph.D. thesis on an Apple II. Maybe…