Geek Month in Review: July 2012

By JB Sanders

Is it hot yet? I can’t tell…

Higgs-Bosun Explained
Confused as to what the Higgs-Boson is all about? Here’s a handy animation explaining everything. More or less.

The “British Atlantis” Found
So really what they mean is some underwater archaeologists have found remains of the civilization that existed on the land bridge between Britain and Europe 6500 years ago. Which is still really cool.

Light-Speed Baseballs
What would happen if you tried to hit a ball traveling at 90% the speed of light?

Self-Destructing Poem by William Gibson
More than 20 years ago, William Gibson helped create a poem called “Agrippa (a book of the dead)”, and it was included on a floppy disk (along with some art). After you viewed the poem, the contents of the disk, including the poem itself, were scrambled and unreadable. Now a PhD student is working on the problem, and before he could even work on the disk, he: compiled a disk image of the floppy, a System 7 emulator (Mac OS 7, that is), and most of the source code of the application which displays the poem. Now he’s sharing it online and offering a copy of every book Gibson wrote (NOT including the Agrippa poem) if you can figure out how Gibson did it. You have to show your work!

Movie Posters As If They’d Been Done 1000 Years Ago
You know, Medieval.
Warning: these will seriously warp your brain in amusing and baroque ways.

A Lamp Grown From Salt
Interesting idea in making new light fixtures.

Behind-the-Scenes Photos from Godzilla 1954-65
Because nothing gets your geek juices flowing like Godzilla pics. I’ll reserve the comments about guys in rubber suits.

Star Wars Figures Do the Movies
I know that sounds redundant, but in this case it’s Star Wars minis posed and shot mimicking famous pictures or movie posters.

Trojan Power Strip
It’s a power strip that hides a small computer inside, designed to “test” network vulnerability. Basically, you walk this thing into a company, plug stuff into it, and hack away.

Minecraft and 3D Printing
What’s not to like? It’s a six-minute video on the post-scarcity economy. And it’s way cooler than that makes it sound.

LEGO™ Robots and Wargaming
You probably already clicked on the link, but here’s the deal: it’s a slew of pictures of LEGO™ robots, which are being used to play a war-game. Anyone can play, they just need LEGO ™ robots.
Here are the rules:

About John:
John’s a geek from way back. He’s been floating between various computer-related jobs for years, until he settled into doing tech support in higher ed. Now he rules the Macs on campus with an iron hand (really, it’s on his desk).

Geek Credentials:
RPG: Blue box D&D, lead minis, been to GenCon in Milwaukee.
Computer: TRS-80 Color Computer, Amiga 1000, UNIX system w/reel-to-reel backup tape
Card games: bought Magic cards at GenCon in 1993
Science: Met Phil Plait, got time on a mainframe for astronomy project in 1983
His Blog: