Soviet Air Force’s First All-Female Bombing Squad

Nachthexen

#Art

Wed, Mar 29th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Animated in a style similar to Russian propaganda, by The Animation Workshop showcases the impressive skills of a team of 3rd year Character Animation & CG Art students from Denmark. Yes, it was a slow news day for me.

An elderly, soft-spoken veteran recalls when she joined the Soviet Air Force’s first all-female bombing squad. She reminisces about her friend Katja, and how they made the best of their antique equipment, struggled with being ostracised from their male comrades, and earned the fearful German nickname 'Nachthexen'.

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The Spaceship Propulsion Compendium

How to get to where no man has gone before

#Space

Tue, Mar 28th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Isaac Arthur, who I seem to constantly cover here on CoN, has this video showcasing all kinds of propulusion systems for space ships: from the ones we are using now, to the ones we will be using in a few years, all the way to those that are nothing more than theory.

An in-depth survey of the various technologies for spaceship propulsion, both from those we can expect to see in a few years and those at the edge of theoretical science. We'll break them down to basics and familiarize ourselves with the concepts.
Note: I made a rather large math error about the Force per Power the EmDrive exerts at 32:10, initial tentative results for thrust are a good deal higher than I calculated compared to a flashlight.

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Reviewing Counterfeit Toys Made in China

leokimvideo's dark side toys

#Scams

Mon, Mar 27th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Aside from what the digital antenna picks up, all the watching done in this house is Netflix and YouTube. While the latter has a plethora of pretty irrelevant or incredible poor content, there are often gems worth following that could easily be their own television shows. In this case, leokimvideo, a toy collector (and spider killer), who also explores the interesting world of clone toys made in China. I've seen some of these in Europe, but they are nearly impossible to find here in Canada. Leo's witty commentary and excellent video editing give us a fascinating look into China's questionable practice.

Thomas the Tank gets some new friends via a very special look into the dark side of the illegal toy industry making Thomas & Friends toys. If you can't stand the sight and sounds of some very distorted Thomas…

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Unboxing a Factory Sealed IBM Compatible PC from 1988

I guess this counts as an unboxing video?

#Technology

Sun, Mar 26th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Lazy Game Reviews takes us for a trip down memory lane — at least, if you are as old as me — as they unbox a vintage yet never used before IBM PC 5170 built in the year 1988, sporting a whopping 286 Mhz in computing power. This was an era of serial ports, IRQ configuration and EGA graphics.

I was fortunate to be able to buy a sealed, new old stock IBM PC 5170 built in the year 1988! What a rare treat. Join me in savoring each piece of retro tech as I set it up with PC-DOS 3.30 and EGA graphics.

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“The release of methane from hydrate may be apocalyptic.”

The Arctic methane timebomb

#Environment

Sat, Mar 25th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Albeit getting little to no attention by the media, a scientific study published in the December issue of Palaeoworld journal warns that if the so-called Arctic methane timebomb were to go off, it would release "the equivalent of at least 1,000 gigatons of carbon dioxide." Combined with the 1,475 gigatons of carbon dioxide produced by humans since the year 1850, the release of methane hydrate would render this event apocalyptic. Meanwhile, this happens.

"Global warming triggered by the massive release of carbon dioxide may be catastrophic," reads the study's abstract. "But the release of methane from hydrate may be apocalyptic."

The study, titled "Methane Hydrate: Killer Cause of Earth's Greatest Mass Extinction," highlights the fact that the most significant variable in the Permian Mass Extinction event, which occurred 250 million years ago and annihilated 90 percent of all the species on the planet, was methane…

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"Fossil fuel executives want to get a piece of the clean-energy business."

Big oil erecting wind turbines at sea

#Environment

Fri, Mar 24th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to Bloomberg, with fossil-fuel alternatives limiting growth in oil demand, Big Oil is using its experiences in building off-shore oil rigs to anchor massive turbines on the seabed. Reportedly, with the clout oil companies possess, they will be able "to finance projects more cheaply than many of their competitors."

Shell, whose CEO Ben van Beurden has said oil demand may peak in the second half of the next decade, has set up a business unit to identify the clean technologies where it could be most profitable. The company began more than 180 years ago importing shells from Asia and needs to adapt to ensure it’s still around in another century, according to Sinead Lynch, the company’s chair for U.K. businesses.

Wind farms are especially interesting to Shell because they can power electrolysis reactions that make hydrogen, which the company says may be a major fuel for cars in…

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Nerf John Wick

John Wick with Nerf guns

#Video

Thu, Mar 23rd, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Corridor Digital has this action-packed video featuring a John Wick-like character, shooting it out with... Nerf guns. Really well done.

When the price on an assassin's head goes up each time he kills, it's Nerf or nothing.

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"This very internationalism that contributed to the apocalyptic disaster that ended the Bronze Age."

The first collapse of globalised civilisation

#History

Wed, Mar 22nd, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

In this video, Dr. Eric H. Cline of The George Washington University examines the rise and fall of the Bronze Age — an era defined as a "complex cosmopolitan and globalized world-system" — and compares that to our current time in history. The lecture is explained in laymen terms, allowing those not in the know to follow along.

From about 1500 BC to 1200 BC, the Mediterranean region played host to a complex cosmopolitan and globalized world-system. It may have been this very internationalism that contributed to the apocalyptic disaster that ended the Bronze Age. When the end came, the civilized and international world of the Mediterranean regions came to a dramatic halt in a vast area stretching from Greece and Italy in the west to Egypt, Canaan, and Mesopotamia in the east. Large empires and small kingdoms collapsed rapidly. With…

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"Most of what kids currently learn at school will probably be irrelevant by the time they are 40."

Drugs and virtual reality

#Future

Tue, Mar 21st, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

With robots coming and government being warned about the rise in unemployment resulting from it, Yuval Noah Harari of TED wonders what to do with the unworking class, workers made redundant by the AI revolution.

Since we do not know how the job market would look in 2030 or 2040, today we have no idea what to teach our kids. Most of what they currently learn at school will probably be irrelevant by the time they are 40. Traditionally, life has been divided into two main parts: a period of learning, followed by a period of working. Very soon this traditional model will become utterly obsolete, and the only way for humans to stay in the game will be to keep learning throughout their lives and to reinvent themselves repeatedly. Many, if not most, humans may be unable to do so.

The coming technological bonanza will…

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“There was not only automation but where the suggestion that humans had any control [...] was absent too.”

World not ready for mass unemployed caused by automation

#Workplace

Mon, Mar 20th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

The Guardian's Greg Jericho asks what will happen when automation raises mass unemployment to 20%. Albeit he presents various options as to what could be done to deal with it, he notes that by not tackling this issue we can expect to see "massive gaps in inequality and a pretty horrific change in the look of our society." In comparison, the 2008 market crash reached a plateau of 10% unemployment.

While watching the latest X-Men movie, Logan, one scene that particularly stood out for me was when the characters drove along a highway featuring driverless trucks. The trucks have no cabins and are essentially just containers on wheels. It was a particularly soulless vision of the future, in which there was not only automation but where the suggestion that humans had any control of say steering wheels or windscreen wipers, was absent too.

The path of automation is…

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Feb 18"It's the equivalent of being able to see a grapefruit on the surface of the Moon." #Space
Feb 20“Mark Zuckerberg's manifesto [...] is a scary, dystopian document.” #Internet
Mar 15“That glazed-over look a grandma has at a Vegas slot machine is the same look Facebook chases in its users scrolling the feed.” #Privacy
Feb 24"Would we be forced, one day, to give machines rights?" #Robots
Feb 22“It will be very disruptive and very quick.” #Robots
Feb 23Documentary on Toronto's Subway at the End of the Service Day #Travel
Mar 01“Think 'Terminator riding on a hoverboard' and you’ll have a pretty good idea of the impression Handle gives off.” #Robots
Mar 13“It was weeks later that she was at a party and realized she'd been texting with her dead friend's bot for 30 minutes.” #Death
Feb 21“The cost of carbon fibre could drop, dramatically and be seen in far more applications.” #Technology
Mar 14“The use of AI assistants may dramatically accelerate and broaden what might be looked back on as a global period of cognitive decline.” #Future
Mar 11I Laid Down my First Piece of Track #Games
Mar 02“The startling warning issued by the oil giant Shell more than a quarter of a century ago.” #Environment
Mar 27Reviewing Counterfeit Toys Made in China
Mar 28The Spaceship Propulsion Compendium
Mar 22"This very internationalism that contributed to the apocalyptic disaster that ended the Bronze Age."
Aug 30The Unknown Reader
Mar 29Soviet Air Force’s First All-Female Bombing Squad
Feb 18Termite-Inspired Autonomous Robotic Construction Crew
Aug 13Alfie's Home
Mar 20“There was not only automation but where the suggestion that humans had any control [...] was absent too.”
Mar 26Unboxing a Factory Sealed IBM Compatible PC from 1988
Mar 21"Most of what kids currently learn at school will probably be irrelevant by the time they are 40."
Jul 01James Charles' Pop Culture Dollars
Mar 25“The release of methane from hydrate may be apocalyptic.”