The Geek Month in Review: August 2014

By JB Sanders

Is it still summer?

Live Inside a Volcano
This sounds like an ideal villain lair, and the pictures in the article support that claim.

Ape Selfies!
This is how the end begins: ape selfies. Read how a photojournalist, whose camera was pinched by a black macaca nigra monkey who then took thousands of photos (including a selfie), is now claiming that Wikipedia has no right to use the picture. Wikipedia is claiming that the copyright “belongs” to the monkey, and therefore is in the public domain.

The monkey’s lawyers were unavailable for comment.

Babylon5 on the Big Screen?
It could happen! Seriously, JMS is working on a script and seeking funding right now.

Self-Assembling Origami Robots
Sure, they start out flat and uninteresting, but they don’t stay that way. Watch as a robot assembles itself out of flat metal and walks away.

Glow-accented Shelving
Got a crack in that nice piece of lumber you bought for shelves? No worries! Fill it in with glowing resin. Not sure how that would look? Check out this album.

Neuronic Processors
IBM has released a chip that includes synapse-like elements on the chip. The coming future of AI? Probably. But it’s no photonics.

The Perhapsatron
So in the 50’s, this guy (scientist Jim Tuck) built what he hoped was going to be a fusion reactor, and it looks a lot like the arc reactor from Tony Stark’s lab. That’s Iron Man, folks. What a great kick-off to a scifi story, though. And he really did call it the Perhapsatron.

Best Birthday Present Ever? Secret Treasure Room
So these parents discover a storage space next to their kid’s bedroom, but instead of telling him about it, they hide the entrance behind a heavy dresser, wait until his 4th birthday, have it secretly renovated, and make it into his own Secret Treasure Room. Personally, I would have gone for more of a pirate motif in my Secret Treasure Room, but it’s not bad.

Dr Who Themed Restaurant
Who’d have thunk it? Tucked away in a sleepy upstate NY town, this eatery features “fish fingers” (french toast sticks) and pudding, plus a smashing decor.

Pyramids and Beehives of Mars
MakerBot (3D printer makers) and JPL (without rockets, it’s just science) solicited entries in a contest for a Mars habitat design that could be constructed using — you guessed it — 3D printers. Check out the three entries that one, including one pyramid design and one based on beehives.

How to Build a 1KB Hard Drive — In Minecraft
That’s right, build a virtual digital storage device inside the game (“game”) Minecraft. Essentially, this person builds a giant assembly of blocks and moving bits to create the drive. It gives me ideas for a way to “store” some kind of special encryption key — just encode it onto a virtual storage device you built inside a game, and let’s see someone figure that out.

Robot-driven 3D-Printed Hoverbike
I think we may have reached a nirvana of geek topics: 3D printed, robots, and hover bikes. Woo!

The Space Economy
What benefits there will be to mining the asteroid belt, in a handy bunch of info graphics.

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: