Drive-By Fruiting

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Drew Magary from Deadspin takes an in depth look at what the best fruit to murder someone with is. Enjoy!

What Is The Best Fruit For Committing Murder?
by Drew Magary

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… I must first remind you that you should never attempt to kill someone with fresh fruit, lest they have basic training: “When you’re walking home at night and some homicidal maniac comes after you with a bunch of loganberries, don’t come crying to me!”

Anyway, there are any number of poisonous fruits out there, if you’re looking to kill someone in the most passive-aggressive manner possible: nightshade, jimsonweed (“horrific symptoms, including dilated pupils, racing heartbeat, hallucination, delirium, aggressive behavior and possibly coma or seizures”), and more. But that’s not the kind of fruit-related murder we’re talking about. You’re looking for a more aggressive kill, a face-to-face, “I am now ending your life” kind of weapon. You’re looking for…THE DURIAN FRUIT.

The hard spiky shell allows for expert bludgeoning, and should the fruit crack open, the rotting stench inside will stun your opponent and allow you extra time to pulverize his face. I would also recommend coconuts. Very hard, much more so than a pineapple, which could split open upon impact. Raspberries would be a last resort.

By the way, ever prick your finger on a pineapple or an artichoke? It really hurts. I don’t like any fruit or vegetable that’s so hostile to your fingertips. It’s just an artichoke. It doesn’t even taste good. Artichokes are bullshit.

Bandit:

Would you sit in your car for two weeks straight if it meant you’d never have to wait at a traffic light again?

Ground rules:

1) We’re only eliminating the waits at traffic signals. All other forms of traffic backups are still in play (wrecks, presidential motorcades, Tracy Morgan running down the street naked, etc.).

2) You are not allowed to leave the driver’s seat of your car for any reason whatsoever. You will have medical staff monitoring your health during the process and making sure you keep the blood flowing (don’t want any Deep Vein Thromboses). You will be given a temporary catheter and a temporary colostomy bag for your evacuation needs. Barring any serious health issues during the two-week span, you do not leave the car.

3) Your car will be parked and stationary for the entire two weeks, so you can spend the time however you choose. Read books, listen to music, learn a new language. Whatever. The world is your oyster.

Do you do it?

It’s not worth it to me if the two weeks don’t also eliminate traffic from my life forever. The average stoplight wait is under a minute. That’s not terrible, plus it gives me a second to yell at my children or check Twitter alerts for my name because I’m a disgusting person. Now, I say that knowing that some rogue traffic lights will keep you waiting for hours on end. There’s an intersection in my vicinity that’s so busy, you have to wait for the three opposing points of traffic to get their own light before you finally have your turn. It’s the worst.

But it’s still not as bad as traffic. You underestimate just how much worse traffic is than any other road obstruction. I go into any road trip FEARING it. That’s how awful traffic is. It has a grip on your psyche, the way death and sexual rejection do. I can hear my life being wasted when I sit in traffic. I can picture everyone else at my end destination already there, happy and free from their vehicles. I want to burst out of my skin and become a rampaging monster when traffic happens. I’d happily stay in a car for two weeks to banish it from my life forever. But just stoplights? Not worth it. Although it would be fun to live in your car for two weeks and see if you could do it. Friends could bring you pizza and weed. You could listen to the radio all day. By the second week, you’d smell like a hobo. Oh, how I’ve dreamed of being a homeless person living in a car—to hit rock bottom and wind up squatting in the back of an old van … so romantic. It would be a real experience.

Jimmy:

Full disclosure, I’m a Texans fan and work in Radiation Oncology. Is it just me or is the ChuckStrong shit out of control? I mean, the team had like two months together before he was diagnosed. How strong could the connection have been? Also, it’s the most curable form of cancer.

I know I’m an ass going to hell but come on already. Also, fuck Jim Irsay that guy sucks.

You better watch your back, Texans fan. The people at BIG WRISTBAND do not take kindly to such cynicism. Anyway, I know Chuck Pagano wasn’t the Colts head coach for very long before he received his diagnosis. I’m sure there were players on the roster who barely knew him. But you’re discounting the affection that Pagano engendered AFTER his illness, and the graceful way that both he and Bruce Arians handled the situation. Remember: Coaches are fucking weirdoes. If it had been Bill Belichick getting a leukemia diagnosis, he would have issued a gag order to his oncologist, wiretapped Josh McDaniels’s phone to make sure he wasn’t getting TOO comfortable in his interim position, and he would have kept on banging your aunt.

Timehop: Go Back In Time Sans Flux Capacitor…

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In the interest of full disclosure I should mention that, although your brain is kind of time travelling, it’s not going back super far. My reference to the Flux Capacitor may have conjured up images and comparisons to Doc Brown’s Delorean, but I assure you that Timehop isn’t capable of taking you back anywhere near 1955.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s take a stroll down memory lane:

Timehop’s premise is pretty simple; as is its interface and its entire philosophy: “A time capsule of you.” See your photos and updates from this exact day in history. Timehop helps you celebrate the best moments of the past with your friends!

Once you setup your social networks and permissions within Timehop, the program provides you with a daily look back at what was going on within your networks on this exact date a year or more ago. How does it know what you were up to? It scrapes old photos and posts from Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Instagram, Flickr and your camera roll photos.

Check it out! You can get started at the Timehop website and receive your daily blurbs by email, or you can do it all from your iPhone or iPad with the official App here. For more info check out the video below from Veronica Belmont at Tekzilla…

Musser’s Giant Shopping Cart…

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It took Brent Musser two years to build! and with an old Chevy engine, it boasts upwards of 350hp… Oddly enough, there’s a lot of these monster buggies out there!.. Well, a lot more than you would expect anyway. It took a bit of digging on YouTube to find the actual Musser’s model:

Christopher Nolan on the Difficulties of Making a Superman Flick…

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It’s double or nothing for Christopher Nolan… Well quadruple or nothing I suppose. After rebooting and refurbishing the Batman movie franchise, hitting a homer with all three at bats, Nolan has taken on Superman.

Given the fanboyism that comes with anything of comic origin and the inconsistent level of quality fans have had to endure with the superhero film genre in recent years, Nolan’s success with all three Dark Knights has always felt to me to be extremely fortunate… Can he capture that magic a fourth time with The Man of Steel?

Sure, why not? It won’t be easy though. Here, Nolan discusses with Clevver Movies why creating a Superman flick is more challenging than the Batman instalments:

Questions I Don’t Have the Answer For: Why do mirrors reverse left and right, but not top and bottom?

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There’s really no breath of fresh air fresher than when someone answers a question you never even thought to ask. That’s what Robert T. Gonzalez from io9 did when he asked

Why do mirrors reverse left and right, but not top and bottom?

check it below or see the original here:

20121226-191140.jpgPosition yourself in front of a mirror and you’ll notice it immediately. The text on your sweatshirt is reversed. The part in your hair has switched to the other side of your reflection’s head. The mole on your left ear stares back at you from your mirror image’s right earlobe. Before you stands a bauplan reversed; what was once left is now right, and vice versa. And yet, up remains up and down is still down — as though the mirror knows to switch left and right, but not top and bottom.
This, of course, is not the case. The mirror doesn’t “know” anything about your position; it simply reflects the light that hits it, doing so as objectively as any inanimate object knows how. Why, then, when that reflected light reaches the photoreceptors in your eyes, has your mirror image been reversed from left-to-right?

The short answer is that it hasn’t. In fact, the question of what makes the horizontal axis so special in the context of mirrors is itself flawed. That’s because a mirror does not reverse images left-to-right or top-to-bottom, but from front-to-back. In other words, your mirror image hasn’t been swapped, but inverted along a third dimension, like a glove being turned inside out.

Here’s a thought experiment to help illustrate the concept of front-to-back reversal. Assume, for a second, that you are capable of squeezing your body perfectly flat. Imagine, also, that your body is able to pass through itself, without damaging any of its various tissues. When you stand with the tip of your nose pressed gently against a mirror, it’s easy to assume that the image you see looking back at you is the result of non-mirror you turning in-place 180 degrees and stepping backwards, through the mirror, into mirror-land. This is not the case.

In actuality, the back half of non-mirror you has been pressed flat in the direction of the mirror. As your form began to pancake, the front half of your body (that is, all parts of your body situated behind the tip of your nose, but still in front of the back half of your body), the back half of your body and the tip of your nose all came to reside within the same plane (i.e., the plane occupied by the mirror). But then your back half kept pushing, continuing on its journey through the plane of the mirror and passing right through your body’s front half before re-acquiring its “normal” shape on the other side of the mirror (probably with a satisfying *POP* sound). This new, inverted you is symmetrical to you, but your two bodies cannot be superimposed. In chemistry, such entities are said to be “chiral.”

Here’s another way to think of it, widely popularized by physicist Richard Feynman (see the interview response featured here). Stand in front of a mirror, and note which direction you’re facing. For the sake of this thought experiment, let’s assume you’re facing North. Point due East with your right hand, and your reflection points East as well. Point due west with your left hand, and your reflection gestures in the same direction. That’s because these directions both lie along a plane parallel with the mirror. Similarly, point up or down and your reflection will follow suit, motioning in the same direction.

But deviate from that parallel plane even a little and thinks go wonky. Remember: your image has been reversed along the axis perpendicular to the mirror. Try pointing directly at the mirror, such that your fingertip is now directed due North. Your reflection is now pointing directly at you — not North, like your finger, but South.

Please Take a Moment of Disco for the Late Rasputin…

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On this day in 1916 the Mad Monk himself, the ultimate Russian lady killer Grigory Efimovich Rasputin was murdered. Typically, right around here, would dive in to a dry and vaguely engaging history of Rasputin, but instead let’s keep things a little more relaxed… This is especially hard for me because I love Rasputin.

Nevertheless, let us indulge on this the awkward weekend between Christmas and New Years, and on this the anniversary of the death of a very hairy and presumably stinky faith healing hobo called G.E. Rasputin, with the soothing sounds of Boney M:

SIDE NOTE: This is apparently also an early example of green-screening… Clearly still a work in progress:

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Mashable’s Science Fiction Dreams That Came True in 2012…

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One of my favourite parts of the end of the calendar year are the many lists that everyone and their grandma seems to produce… As it turns out, this is something a lot of people hate about the new year… Nevertheless, here’s more!

From Mashable, here’s a list of scientific dreams that came true in 2012:

20121226-214608.jpgBionic Limbs
The term “cyborg” was coined in 1960 by Manfred E. Clynes and Nathan S. Kline, in an article they wrote for the journal Astronautics. Since then bionic limbs have been a trope in many pieces of fiction -– The Six Million Dollar Man of the 1970s, the Borg of the Star Trek franchise, and even Darth Vader. In 2012 for the first time, a paralyzed woman was able to control a robotic limb and feed herself directly with her brain. Continuing work with primates demonstrated that it’s possible to make the brain-computer interface efficient enough to design more realistic movement into the limbs. The bionic limbs so far don’t look anything like their fictional counterparts, as they are still connected via external electrodes to the skull. But that dream seems to be a lot closer than it was even a decade ago.

Quantum Teleportation and Communication
While it’s not possible — yet — to “beam” an object around as in Star Trek, new records for zapping photons instantly from one place to another were set this year. Quantum teleportation has been done in the lab for some time, but the distances were on the order of a few yards. In 2012 the new record was 89 miles. In addition to teleporting, scientists built the first quantum Internet. It’s only a beginning, but teleporting photons for miles would enable communications that can’t be hacked or eavesdropped.

Genetic Disease Prevented
Genetic engineering for “better” humans is a theme that’s appeared repeatedly ever since Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World in 1931 — although at that point nobody knew what DNA really was. Later, films such as Gattaca and novels such as Beggars in Spain explore the implications of widely available genetic alterations. In 2012, we saw a proof-of-concept for mitochondrial diseases. About one in 200 people are born with a disorder of the mitochondria, the energy factories of cells. For the first time scientists were able to transfer the nuclear DNA of one human egg cell to another. Two groups independently found a way to transplant nuclei between human egg cells, leaving behind the mitochondrial DNA, which is passed from mother to child. The finding means that mitochondrial disorders could be cured before a child is born. Such techniques won’t cure something like Down’s syndrome, which involved nuclear DNA. But it shows that some manipulation of the human genome is not only possible, but happening.

The Universal Translator
Most of the time when intrepid explorers in fiction meet aliens, they always seem to speak perfect English. Doctor Who’s TARDIS generates a field that allows travelers to be understood, while the crew of the Enterprise never seem to need a dictionary. Kim Stanley Robonson’s Mars trilogy features one, but he didn’t think it would appear until late in the 21st century (the novels were written in the 1990s). While they won’t let you talk to aliens, in the last year several speech-to-speech translators have managed to reach real consumer devices — and even one type that uses your own voice. Most of the apps require an internet connection, though some, such as Jibbigo, can store their dictionaries locally. (If they ever add Klingon I’m taking it to the next ComicCon).

Head-mounted Computer Glasses
Readers of Charles Stross’ novel Accelerando would have eagerly anticipated Google Glasses — the Internet giant’s foray into augmented reality. In the novel, “venture altruist” Manfred Macx carries his data and his memories in a pair of glasses connected to the Internet. Google Glasses allow the wearer to access data, the Internet and capture life via a head-mounted digital camera. Memories will have to wait.

Private Space Flight
In many science fiction stories, space travel is private. In Ridley’s Scott latest movie, Prometheus, the Weyland Corporation funds an expedition to follow a star map to the distant moon LV-223. In real life, Elon Musk’s SpaceX launched the first of a dozen planned missions to the International Space Station. The Dragon capsule is designed to resupply the ISS, but Musk, who made his fortune as founder of PayPal, has bigger plans: a colony on Mars. Is 2013 going to be the year human spaceflight becomes an enterprise like railroads? We won’t know that for a while, but SpaceX is a heck of a start.