Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Wanted: Dictionary

The New York Post highlights a new toy:
It will be if the reaction from 5-year-old "Star Wars" fanatic Ryan Mogg is any indication. Mogg tried out the Force Trainer at a recent "Star Wars" toy fair. In less than a minute, he was controlling the rise and fall of a pingpong ball in a clear tube -- with his brain waves.

"It's like what Obi-Won Kenobi and Darth Maul do!" he said afterward with a big grin.

Scientists call the technology BCI, or Brain Computer Interface, and more sensitive, medical-grade versions are used to help amputees move artificial limbs and victims of paralysis communicate using a computer and software that reacts thought.
All very cool, yes. But take a look at the video posted at the bottom:

It might be time to buy a dictionary:


1[breyk] Show IPA noun, verb, braked, brak⋅ing.
1.a device for slowing or stopping a vehicle or other moving mechanism by the absorption or transfer of the energy of momentum, usually by means of friction.

3.any significant or sudden advance, development, achievement, or increase, as in scientific knowledge or diplomacy, that removes a barrier to progress: The jet engine was a major breakthrough in air transport.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Weapons Grade Sarcasm

Christopher Hitchens celebrates the end of a long, dark era:

Here it is nearly the first of July and all racism has disappeared as well and there are no more red, no more blues states. I know that because Justice Sotomayor has assured me that I could never, with all the legal training in the world, be as good a justice as someone of her race and gender. Eric Holder, thank God, taught me, a mere typical white person who clings to my guns, that I was cowardly in keeping silent about race. Michelle reminded me that Princeton must have been something like Guantanamo for once tormented poor souls like herself and Justice Sotomayor stranded on an Ivy-League atoll-always forced to look over their shoulders as they endured all those nasal-voiced Buffys and Brents scurrying around in their V-neck sweaters and Gucci shoes on their Friday-night way to Nantucket or the Hamptons. I now know by this fall that Acorn, “comprehensive” immigration reform, the “race on the table” discussions with Hugo Chavez in South America, the Senate apologies for slavery, and more to come have made us a more racially tolerant society in a way George Bush with his inauthentic Powell, Rice, Gonzales, etc appointments could never imagine.
It is an incredible time. We all feel in our legs, in our souls this new lightness of being, in which the old burdens-that tired jobless recovery, those billion-dollar deficits, the hatred of the world, the old stegosauruses GM and AIG, those nasty energy shortages, the old unpatriotic, won’t pay their fair share misers, that trumped up GWOT-have godlike, magically been ordered to go, and so they just vanished. We have become ever so happy, ever so light as never before.