Yesteryear's Sci-Fi Is...

The obligatory link: How things work: Electromagnetic catapults

As usual, it's exceptionally cool to watch things I've appreciated in the past as science fiction in the process of becoming science fact. Now, if we can just get the anthopomorphic robots to use with the EM catapults, we'll have something.

Meanwhile, elsewhere, we have this: Metamaterials found to work for visible light

The upshot here, amongst the many possible application of such things? Two words: Cloaking technology. C'mon, if that can't get the geek in you going, what can?

Can We Build And Staff A Wall NOW?

The obligatory link: Guardsmen overrun at the border

Yeah, we don't need to effectively patrol our borders. Nothing bad'll happen if we don't. The people jumping it just want a fresh start in the land of opportunity...

Gimme a friggin' break. The sad part of this is that I have no illusions about the fact that it won't wake up anyone who didn't already realize that there's a problem with the porousness of the border to begin with.


Food For Thought

The obligatory link: Frozen in time

I'm not going to try to comment on this one, primarily because I'm not sure how to go about doing so yet. However, it's certainly worth seeing and thinking about, so please read it.

Improving On Practice

The obligatory link: Robot mother helps South Koreans prepare for birth

No doubt about it, technology is cool. Be it searching out medical cures, flying halfway around the world in a couple of hours, or training doctors for delivering babies. The unfortunate part, of course, is that it's not any kind of remedy to the falling birth rates in the developed world. Still, with all the circumstances that can be simulated with this, without a doctor ever having to encounter it during an actual birth, the bonus to skill and knowledge is obvious.


Please Make It Clear

The following is the definition of a "please make it clear" moment:

Going out with my little brother to grab a bite of lunch today, we got stuck behind a taxicab. Usual taxicab markings, numbers to call, various regional sports paraphernalia, and so forth. But, on the left end of the trunk were two words... "Police Interceptor".

So, is the cab moonlighting as a police interceptor, or is the police interceptor moonlighting as a cab?


Sickened By Music

Back on the 27th of December, I made reference to a story that some British busybodies were talking up Christmas music as torture. Well, I'd almost forgotten about the following story... probably would have if I hadn't bookmarked it, which seems to bookend it pretty well.

The obligatory link: 59-year-old woman given longer prison term for sickening neighbor with music

Of course, it wasn't Christmas music, to be best of my knowledge, but it's probably close enough for the standards of people who'd like to use international law in their decisions. Quick, somebody get Justice Breyer on the line... we could use his informed opinion.

Japanese of the Week

Another easy pick for the week:

明けましておめでとう (akemashite omedetou) int. - Happy New Year

from 明ける (akeru) v. - To dawn, to become daylight