· Jun 9, 2015 at 11:43 am
The robot apocalypse has been postponed. At DARPA Robotics Challenge in California, where the world’s best and brightest robots came to compete, the machines were far from invincible. They moved at a glacial pace, stumbled and slammed to the ground and lay there motionless until their teams of humans came with a rig to pick them up. But their falls and flaws revealed how vulnerable they are, and actually made them seem more human in the process. These machines exhibited grit, intelligence and dexterity that could potentially make them stellar first-responders in disaster situations in the near future.
DARPA launched the robotics challenge as a response to Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011. And the agency’s been putting robots to the test for the last couple of years. It’s their way of pushing robotics to create advanced machines that can go in as first-responders instead of humans. Despite their benefits, though, robots are often dreaded. But the machines at the two-day robotics challenge had the crowd cheering wildly, gasping loudly and jumping out of their seats in support and anticipation.
· Jun 8, 2015 at 1:43 pm
Don’t worry — it’s not another super yacht or party barge or some other contraption that will further pollute the ocean.
It’s called The Ocean Cleanup, and it’s a 1.2-mile-long system designed to collect and remove plastic from the ocean.
For two years, it will hang out in the ocean hopefully to begin undoing what we’ve done for decades: polluted the heck out of the water with plastic trash.
Might need to add some miles to that system with the amount of bottled water we drink.
· Jun 8, 2015 at 9:52 am
Thirty years ago today, one of the more important movies ever made specifically for kids was released. And yeah, it’s The Goonies. Hear me out. Richard Donner’s 1985 adventure film (how often do we describe films as such anymore, by the way?) about a band of misfit preteens and teenagers negotiating the perils of malfunctioning secret weapons, on-the-run mafiosos, aggressive land redevelopment, an unseen octopus, a lost pirate treasure, a series of life-threatening booby traps, a basement-dwelling, caramel- and peanut-loving man-creature, friendship, and puberty, among other things, stands as one of the best examples of a movie that you love as a child and then are pleased to learn is actually still good when you’re an adult.
· Jun 7, 2015 at 10:54 am
Friday night was a pretty wild night at Turner Field in Atlanta.
Not only did the Pittsburgh Pirates walk away with a big 10-8 victory against the home standing Braves, one of their biggest fans, actor Michael Keaton, was on hand to lend his support and at one point even bothered to trash talk a heckler who has been on Andrew McCutchen’s case all night long.
Keaton, we should hang out sometime.
· Jun 7, 2015 at 8:34 am
When the University of Rochester’s Eric Mamajek tells other astronomers about the object he and his colleagues discovered about 430 light-years from Earth, they tend to be skeptical—very skeptical. And no wonder: What he’s found is a giant ring system, sort of like Saturn’s, but some 200 times bigger, circling what may be an exoplanet between ten and 40 times the size of Jupiter. If you put these rings in our own Solar System, they’d stretch all the way from the Earth to the Sun, a distance of 93 million miles (150 km). And what’s more, there’s evidence that the rings are sculpted by at least one exomoon—something that also happens at Saturn, but not remotely on this scale.