Geek Month in Review: March 2012

By JB Sanders

Is winter over yet?

There is No Pink
Seriously — the color doesn’t actually exist. It’s not in the light spectrum. What we perceive as pink is actually a gap color. Watch the video in this article for the explanation. It’s Sciency!

Headless Cheetah Robot
It’s faster than you!

Icy Finger of Death
See ice descend into the ocean and freeze creatures in ice. Also, the word “brinecle” (that’s brine and icicle mushed together). This is real nature footage, not scifi.

Noah’s Ark Island
Floating island-city for the future.

Titanic Map
I didn’t realize this, but apparently there’s never been a full, comprehensive map of the full Titanic wreck site. Previous efforts concentrated on specific bits, like the bow or the stern. This all-new map shows everything, including what looks like debris from when it hit.

Las Vegas Sprawl
A time-lapse view of Las Vegas from 1972 to the present, from the perspective of an orbiting satellite. Watch the sprawl happen like it’s some kind of giant fungus.

Darth Vader Bagpipe Unicycle
You already clicked on the video link, didn’t you?

Let the Cloning Begin!
South Korean and Russian scientists are setting their sights on cloning the wooly mammoth.

Abandoned Places
Cities without people. These are places all over the world where humanity was once a vibrant presence, but now lie abandoned. Picture essay.

Connect It ALL!
It’s the “Free Universal Construction Kit”. This set of 82 pieces can connect any construction kit toy with any other construction kit toy. Want to make something out of Tinker Toys™ and an Erector Set™? No problem! LEGOs™ and Lincoln Logs™ ? Got it! Best of all, the “Free Universal Construction Kit” is a set of downloadable plans you can plug into your 3D printer — which doesn’t make them terribly free, since you have to have your own 3D printer, but hey — there you are.

The Jamesburg Earth Station
Long, fascinating article about the ground relay station that hooked up the Apollo 11 broadcast, countless other telephone calls and TV broadcasts, and is now for sale for $3M. It has a few amenities. It’s own backup batteries. It’s own giant satellite dish (90 fee across). Fourteen T-1 lines. Two-foot thick solid concrete walls. It’s own orchard. Oh, and it’s zombie-proof, of course.

Mysterious Booms
It’s never good when everyone in a town hears strange booming sounds, feels the ground shake and yet no one can figure out what’s causing the noise. Town officials are going to pay a company to put 4 seismometers around town to find the epicenter of the disturbances. It all sounds like the start of a great movie.

Behind the Scenes Photos: Metropolis
See some photos on the making of the first scifi movie.

It’s Dr Who Crochet!
You just can’t make up stuff like this. Some of it is even disgustingly cute.

I’ll Take Two
How would you like a bottle of Champagne from 1829? Sparkling wine goes bad after that much time you say? Not if it’s stored at a constant temperature of between 39 and 43 degrees Fahrenheit — 150 feet under the Baltic Sea. That’s right, it’s Shipwreck Champagne. And it’s going for around $40k a pop.

Wind Map
Want to see an active map of the current winds all across the lower 48 states? Got that. Also, it’s pretty.

Archaeology From Space
Scientists have come up with an analysis technique that looks at pictures of the ground taken by satellites, and figures out where there were ancient cities. So far they have about 14,000 sites covering over 8,000 years of human history.

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: http://glenandtyler.blogspot.com