Le Linkage #6: Just Plain Weird

For the first time in what seems like forever, this morning I was finally able to go through and read all my RSS feeds. It seems like today was one of those days when weird news just seemed to come out of nowhere, which means it’s time for another episode of Le Linkage! This one I’ll call the “Just Plain Weird” edition because a good number of the articles here are just plain weird. There are some, however, that make for spectacular reading, and one that will make every anime-lover reading this blog wet his/her pants in joy.

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ScienceBlog.com — Drunks Don’t See the Monkey: “It’s pretty difficult to overlook the proverbial 800-pound gorilla, or even an average-size person dressed in a gorilla suit. But a new study indicates that people who were given a simple visual task while mildly intoxicated were twice as likely to have missed seeing the person in a gorilla suit than were people who were not under the influence of alcohol.” Lesson: never try to spot a man in a gorilla suit while tipsy. Because if you can’t spot the gorilla, what good are you?

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Engadget — Korea to test 1,000 remote-controlled domestic robots: “The Ministry of Information and Communication … will begin placing 1,000 wheeled, cell-phone controlled automatons — dubbed URCs, or ubiquitous robotic companions — into households and kindergartens this fall as a trial run for new robot technologies. The URCs will do the usual handling of domestic tasks as we might expect (and some … like cleaning rooms and reading books to children), as well the usual hanging out, taking care of pets, [and more] … The only thing at all disconcerting about any of this is the fact that unlike normal household droids, these URCs will be operated wirelessly from a central computing center ala I, Robot.” Having just watched that movie agan, the thought of a remote controled robot companion isn’t one I’m at all too comfortable with.

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Akihabara News — The Wonderbra powered USB keyboard: Ok, uhm… hmm. How do I… err… geez, oh man… heh… I mean… Hmm. So, like, anyways, I uhmm… hmm… How do I put this? Uhm… What?

USB powered keyboard bra with USB powered camera tail that can be switched out with other USB powered items, such a lights and memory sticks. You have to see this for yourself [Angelkitty.jp]. I guess what I’m wondering is where exactly that thing is supposed to be plugged.

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KurzweilAI — Frozen Brains Awaiting Resurrection Day in Storage: (From St. Petersburg, Russia) “Kriorus, the world’s first cryonics company outside the United States, located in Alabushevo village in Russia, has two brains in cryonics storage so far. The price: $9,000.” Just what we need, Russian discount cryonics. “You want better brain? Lie down. We do operation, take out brain now. Give you new brain next week. We freeze brain now so if you want back later, you have. ”

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My Heart’s in Accra — Book review: “Globalization and its Enemies”: “This is the basic question development economists try to answer. It’s a question with profound practical implications – if we could suggest strategies that consistently helped nations grow wealth, we could address a huge range of problems in education, public health and state stability. It’s also a question that both development economists and political commentators are surprisingly bad at answering.” A very thorough book review and critique by Ethan Zuckerman. Good reading for anyone involved in economics or business.

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The New Yorker — How can someone live with only half a brain?: This week’s New Yorker features a particularly interesting article about the hemispherectomy operation. In this procedure, an entire side of the brain is removed as a treatment because of cancer or chronic seizures. The incredible thing is that if the hemispherectomy is done when a patient is very young, the remaining hemisphere does double duty and the child often develops normally. (This one also came by way of My Heart’s in Accra.)

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Index of 1,000 Full Length Anime On YouTube: (via Digg) “There are no ads or garbage clips to weed through, just 1000 anime episodes and movies. This index includes The Animatrix, Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell, Samurai Champloo, Serial Experiments Lain, Ultimate Avengers, and more.” Not weird and not news, but I’ll be damned if I don’t put this link up.

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