Geek Month in Review: November 2013

by JB Sanders

On to Turkey Day!

Castle for Sale — Cheap!
At only $179,000, I mean cheap. Nestled in the Helderberg mountains of New York State, this little artistic ruin is a perfect get-away retreat.

Tiny Robots
Here’s a company making modular robot parts you fit together to create any robot you can imagine. And have a module for. Check out the video, it’s pretty cool.

Interactive 3D Interface
Behold another glimpse of the future — or a really odd off-shoot that never goes anywhere. Tough to say sometimes. Scientists at MIT’s Media Lab have developed a primitive interface for interacting with digital objects in 3D — not holograms, actual physical moving objects. Watch the video.

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop Supertrain
New York to Montreal in 35 minutes? Yes, please.

Dr Who at 50
The show started 50 years ago, and is still going, making it the longest-running SciFi show on Earth television. Here’s a nice retrospective of the show, focusing on the TARDIS, from the BBC.

Real Photos, or Miniatures with Perspective?
Take some very cool model cars, add some fake terrain, and then get the perspective JUST right in front of some real buildings: what do you have? Some amazing photos.

Not the Most Ideal Writing Situation
Still, the data collected should be interesting. A Dutch writer is donning a cap full of electrodes every time he sits down to write his latest novel. Scientists plan on pouring over the data collected this way, and then doing the same thing to 50 readers as they peruse the novel. What will they find?

Thousand-Year-Old Forest Discovered Under Glacier
In Alaska, scientists have uncovered a forest that last saw the light a thousand years ago.

Full-Scale Millenium Falcon Built for Star Wars VII
What do you call that? It’s not a model — maybe a “replica”? Anyway, JJ Abrams had it built (so the rumor goes) for filming. It’s a 1:1 scale set.

Abandoned Sites Ready-Made for Your Villainous Lair
Yeah, ok, it’s another Cracked article, but it’s so, so much fun! Villainous HQs nearly ready for move-in. Just need to add that laser fence.

Amazon Brings the SciFi
Want that really cool new smart-phone? Don’t want to wait for it? Order it with Prime Air shipping, and watch the helicopter drone drop it off in 30 minutes. Think I’m talking about some futuristic science fiction world where electronics, books or any other smallish item can be delivered in the same time the pizza delivery ninjas can get you a hot pizza? Nope. Amazon is really actually working on delivery drones, and a promised 30 minute delivery time. Watch the video.

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: