Monday, April 21, 2008

Attack of the Clones

Police in South Korea have started training up the world's first cloned sniffer dogs. We've all watched science fiction movies, and I think we all know how this is going to end.

Friday, April 18, 2008

How many five year olds could you take in a fight?

We've all thought about it. When the apocalypse comes (zombie, meteorite or other), and the world's five year olds turn on us, how long will you hold out? Finally, a site to answer your questions -

The rules:

* You are in an enclosed area roughly the size of a basketball court
* There are no weapons or foreign objects
* Everyone is wearing a cup (so no kicks to the groin)
* The children are merciless and will show no fear
* If a child is knocked unconscious, he is "out." The same goes for you.
Incidentally, I'd only take 20 of them down before they got me. Blame it on my lack of willingness to use a small child as a weapon.


Now this is cool. László Kozma, a grad-student at the Helsinki University of Technology, has created WikipediaVision - a site that lets you see anonymous edits to Wikipedia as they happen on a map of the world. It's strangely therapeutic to sit and watch as the world updates its online knowledge base, one anonymous edit at a time.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Top five maddeningly addictive flash games

You know how it is... you stumble across a new flash game, you start playing - hours later you collapse in a heap exhausted and demoralised by the fact that you've not yet managed to reach anything like the top 10 high scores. It's clearly possible, you just need to keep playing. Aaargh!

So in order to ensure that it happens to you at least another five times, I present you with Roflplexicity's top five maddeningly addictive flash games:

1. AAHHH! - Thats the title of the game, and after five minutes of playing it, that's what you'll be shouting. The object is to avoid hitting the walls of the box with the rotating, ever longer line attached to your cursor, my current best is 17s and even that temporarily cost me my sanity.

2. Curveball - Crazy addictive ultra-3d-pong style bat and ball game, just one more round, one more!

3. Copter - A classic, needs no explanation.

4. Redsquare - Can't touch this! Don't let the blue squares get you.

5. The Missile Game - Fly the missile through the gaps in the rotating sheets. Play a few levels and you'll be hooked.

It's probably a good idea not to ask how long this took to write up.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Zombie Apocalypse

Continuing the apocalyptic theme from the previous post, some thoughtful person has designed a simulation to show just what would happen in a zombie attack. From extensive testing of it, I've discovered that if we all just go for the first zombie when it appears, there's a 50% chance the world will be saved, and a 50% chance we'll all just rise from our graves as the zombie lord's first servants. Hey, it's a win either way, right?

13 year old kid increases chances of global apocalypse a hundredfold - wait, apparently he doesn't.

As a worrying addendum to the previous post, apparently a 13 year old German schoolboy has just revised NASA's 1 in 45,000 estimate of the asteroid Apophis hitting the Earth in 2036 to 1 in 450, and NASA have accepted the correction. Hmm. Great. Well I'm sure we're all glad that NASA are watching out for us.

Via Slashdot.

Edit: According to The Register, NASA deny having confirmed his results, and state:

[The asteroid will pass] within the distance of Earth's geosynchronous satellites. However, because Apophis will pass interior to the positions of these satellites at closest approach, in a plane inclined at 40 degrees to the Earth's equator and passing outside the equatorial geosynchronous zone when crossing the equatorial plane, it does not threaten the satellites in that heavily populated region.
So there's no need to sell all your long-term stocks yet.

A bad day

So you wake up one morning, grab a coffee or tea, maybe some toast or cereal and look out your window... Oh look! What's that coming at us very fast? Really very, very fast! I know, I'll call it Bob the Asteroid. I wonder if it'll be friends with me.

On a slightly more serious note, this is a cool animation of what a large impact event would do to our planet. The scary thing is that it's reasonably accurate, only missing a few extras here and there. Luckily, we've got our eyes peeled for nasties such as this - the more realistic danger is from smaller events with impactors of around a tenth the size of this one, which are unfortunately very much harder to detect.