by Grayson

Man Im so Bad I make Medicine Sick

March 21, 2012 in Beer, David, Misc, Music by Grayson

Awesome Ali Documentary, he has some one liners that are brilliant. Also Boxing is being completely taken over by MMA and this is not good, boxing is class and more people need to be up on the sport.

http://www.boxing.com/when_harry_met_ali_documentary.html

From Norah Jones new album Little Broken Hearts (May 1st). That voice is special.

If your looking for a cool news site on Beer and Craft Beer check out http://www.reddit.com/r/beer

If you have one eye just blink it

 

by Grayson

Centipede Shuffling and Human Charleston 3 (or something like that)

March 3, 2012 in Film, Grayson, Misc, Music by Grayson

Just awesome. Also Redfoo from LMFAO is 36 years old. Crazy, I just assumed he was a 20 something frat dude. Keep partying.

In film news the two former lead villains from the Human Centipede series are reuniting for the 3rd and (hopefully) final chapter of the series. Link

In music news the new Norah Jones single from the album produced by Danger Mouse is excellent. Check it out here.

A new single from the Gorillaz called “DoYaThing ft. James Murphy and Andre 3000″ is also floating around, including a crazy 13 minute version that would make the Flaming Lips proud. Check it out here

 

by Grayson

Bear, Bear Grylls

March 3, 2012 in Grayson, Misc, Nature, Travel by Grayson

I have just watched Bear Grylls “Top 25 Moments” and when drinking the juices from fresh elephant dung doesn’t even break your top 10… just wow. His number one “his favourite” was the time he used filthy water and tubing to give himself an enema while on a wooden raft… while yelling “Think of England”. Apparently he doesn’t even live in a regular house, no he lives on a barge anchored by a bridge on the river thames (wiki). Also he has his own knife line (by gerber) available at MEC. I feel that when you reach a point in your life when you have a line of knifes made with your signature on the blade well you have achieved something.

That all being said Bear Grylls needs to be the new James Bond. Even his official site has this:

If you were offered the part of James Bond would you take it? You would be perfect! Yep, that would be a really fun part to play. It’s not a million miles away from Worst Case Scenario, which is why that particular show was so fun to make. Bond was also an Old Etonian, ex SAS, Naval Commander which makes me smile! Link

Read the rest of this entry →

A 3-D Revolution

February 19, 2012 in Chris, Technology by cbanmann

I do not consider myself to be very old, but in my short lifetime I can say I have witnessed several amazing technological advancments. I have seen video games progress from 2-D, side scrolling adventures, to 3-D, high production value works of art. I have witnessed the cellphone go from a not so portable brick like device with crappy reception, to a sleek and sexy phone that connects us with everything we need to know. And most importantly my generation has witnessed the ridiculously rapid advancment of computing power and the effect this has had on society. However the next technological advancement will undoubtedly trump all of these and it is something I only recently have become aware of. It’s called 3-D printing.

A 3-D printer lays down material

If you are not aware of this a 3-D printer, like the name suggest, can create a three dimensional object. It does so by laying down material, one layer at a time until a product is completed. The technology for this has been around since 1984, but only recently have the printers become advanced enough to actually be useful. Originally you could only print simple objects using a wax-like plastic material but now complex three dimensional objects can be created using a variety of materials, including metal and most recently living cells. The implications are this are of course massive, if you broke a part for your blender you could potentially just print a replacement, using a couple cents worth of plastic, instead of buying a whole new blender (because companies these days have apparently given up on the idea of selling replacement parts). Or if your printer was big enough you could just print an entire blender in the first place, crazy! And if research continues, soon hospitals could start printing replacement organs for transplant patients instead of waiting for a donor. However the effects this will have extend far beyond your personal life, many economists are now saying this could change the very foundation of the industrial societies we live in.

The term economists have applied to 3-D printing is”additive manufacturing” which contrasts with the most common form of production today, “subtractive manufacturing”. Currently, if you wanted to produce a complex product you would most likely need a factory with multiple assembly lines creating each component. Then at the end you would combine all the pieces into your finished product and then send it off to market. While this process if efficient, it usually involves a huge initial cost which means you can only produce things that you know will sell quite well. Using additive manufacturing you can create a complex product (some 3-D printers have no troubles printing internal circuitry or even switching materials while printing) with ease and it is completely economical to produce a very small number of products. This idea has some manufacturers bursting with excitement while it has others running scared. The biggest consequence will be the newfound power placed in average joe’s hands, in other words we are seeing the exact opposite of what happened in the Industrial Revolution when production went from cottage industries to massive factories.

This could soon be a thing of the past

The advent of 3-D printing brings with it an interesting problem, physical product piracy. It is only natural that major companies will begin selling “product plans” for a reduced price instead of manufacturing and shipping products to the consumer, after all this will greatly increase profits. But what is to stop someone from taking the plans or creating a 3-D scan of the product and then releasing them online for free. In fact the ever innovative minds at The Pirate Bay have recently created a category for what they call “physibles” which are objects that can be created on a 3-D printer. This in turn has caused manufacturers to brainstorm ways to mark products as “authentic”, in the same way Digital Rights Management was created to distinguish legally acquired music from pirated music. Even more interesting is that MP3 players were not really popular until the file sharing program Napster made MP3 files widespread and attainable. Many fear that a file sharing network for physibles will be what drives 3-D printers into the mainstream.

With a 3-D printer, this is all you would need

Alas, while I have spent the last 600 words bragging about 3-D printers there still remains many things they cannot do. Practically sized printers remain quite expensive (although not unreasonably so) and it is still difficult to print a device as complex and filled with so many different materials as a running shoe. But this is a rapidly changing device in a rapidly changing world and we are just seeing the beginning. In the next couple decades we will see an effect on society that will be positive for some, and devastating for others. Life in many ways will become easier, cheaper and more customizable, yet undeniably, some jobs will be lost and entire industries will crash. Still, I am excited to see what this new piece of technology will do.

 

 

To read more about the economic impacts of additive manufacturing: http://hplusmagazine.com/2011/02/14/adding-our-way-to-abundance/

Wanna get a 3-D printer? Start here:  http://www.makergear.com/products/mosaic-3d-printers or here http://desktopfactory.com/

Wanna see a company already making good use of 3-D printers:  http://www.shapeways.com/

 

by Grayson

Chinese Bullets, Machete Kills, and Osombie!

February 7, 2012 in Misc by Grayson

Chinese shoot em up getting a domestic release… soonish.

http://www.slashfilm.com/machete-kills-danny-trejo-talks/

Machete (Danny  Trejo) is coming back in Machete Kills.

—–

And finally if you ever wanted to see a zombie Bin Laden.

by David

Adventures in Jailbreaking

February 6, 2012 in Misc by David

 

A few weeks ago I discovered something you can do to your iPhone called “Jailbreaking”. I am apparently a few years behind the times because people have been doing this almost since the first iPhone came out, but hey, I guess I’m just not “down” with that hip techie stuff yo.

Anyways.

I thought I would give it a try, but was concerned about the potential to mess up the software or void warranties. So I waited until my warranty ran out in December, when there would be no reason not to. I Downloaded the special program that free my little phone from the tyranny of Apple’s security polices and ran it. It was just great. My phone was truly MINE. I customized the hell out of it with themes, Played all sorts of Apple unapproved games, and just had an all around fantastic time.

 

More fun than a barrel of monkeys. Which, based on this picture, is not a high standard to overcome.

My iPhone and me were making the most out of life. It was like having a phone from a hollywood movie, able to do anything and get you anywhere. Then I noticed that you could download Game Boy emulators onto your iPhone, effectively making it into the greatest machine ever: A machine that could be a phone AND allow me to play all the Pokemon games without having to carry cartridges around.

By the gods...

I was on that shit like Sarah McLachlan on super depressing Ad campaigns. I had an Emulator downloaded instantly and was searching for ROMs withing minutes. I like was a kid in a candy store. A nerd at Comic Con. A priest in a daycare. Finally I found what I was looking for: Pokemon Red (In English). I was going back to basics. I tapped “download” and had just started thinking about starter Pokemon (Charmander? naw to easy. Definitely going with Bulbasaur.) When the screen went black. I tried to keep myself from panicking. “It’s ok, they said there would be some instability in the operating system when you jailbroke it. I’m just a reboot away from button mashing my way through Professor Oak’s stupidly long intro speech.”

I quickly plugged in my iPhone and started the reboot program. Nothing. Just a black screen.

 

Fuck.

I had really started panicking when finally it started to respond. A few hours and some unfortunately corrupted backups later, I had an iPhone back to factory specs. It was upsetting.

I hate you basic iPhone background.

So I’m back to having a locked iPhone. It’s a sad sad state to be in, but I have yet to gain enough courage to try again.

Someday...

Until then I guess I’ll just.. you know… play it on my Gameboy.

...like today.

 

 

 

 

The Real King(s) of the Jungle

January 29, 2012 in Chris, Nature by cbanmann

Sadly this will be my last travel post for quite some time as I am now officially back in Canada for at least four months. After returning from Asia I went on a family trip to Costa Rica over the Christmas holidays. We stayed in a resort in the middle of the rainforest for seven days and it was just fantastic. I will admit that my first day in the Rainforest was kind of disappointing, but as I discovered that is because I suffer from the North American misinterpretation of how a Rainforest works. Most people far from the Rainforest think they will run into something like this….

Step off the trail and your odds of being eaten rise 5000%

When in reality, you will run into this

Don't get any closer, it might!....Run away?

Now I know what you might be thinking, what about Jaguars, Anacondas and Crocodiles? Are these not dangerous? The truth is while they are dangerous they exist in extremely low densities because their prey (specifically large delicious mammals) exist in low densities and the odds of running into one is very low. This is because a rainforest does not support large animals very well, its difficult to move through the terrain and most of the food is either out of reach in the treetops, or in the form of indigestible wood. The reality is most animals have adapted to be very small to exploit hard to reach food sources, and there is one animal family that does this far better than any other. I am of course referring to ANTS! They are so successful in rainforest habitats that they compose up to 25% of the animal biomass. In other words if you weighed all the ants in the forest they would outweigh all the mammals. Their success has led to the evolution of thousands of species but three in particular stood out to me.

This, you will definitely run into, and it wont run away

#1. The Leaf-Cutter Ant

This species is probably one of the most well known because of scenes of their charismatic ant highways filled with ants bustling to and fro with massive leaves in their jaws. What is less well know is that this species is inarguably the dominant herbivore of the Central and South American rainforest. When leaf-cutter scouts locate a suitable tree they create a pheromone trail back to the nest and workers immediately clear a road to the tree and begin cutting. They start at the top of the tree and work their way down sometimes climbing hundreds of feet in the process. In this manner they can remove 80% of a tree’s foliage in a manner of days, depending on the size of the tree. Now what prevents them from gathering the remaining 20%? Absolutely nothing. The ant colony does this on-purpose so as to not kill their food source. This way they can move onto another tree and return to the original tree when the leaves have returned, which is a sign of strangly intelligent behaviour.

However, some ants are slow to learn what a "leaf" is

I was able to see their intelligence first hand when I first noticed a leaf-cutter ant trail by the pool. This trail only ever appeared at night so naturally I made the assumption that leaf-cutters must be nocturnal. However when I asked the resident naturalist about this he told me that leaf-cutters are usually active 24hrs a day. The colony by the pool had learnt that foraging during the day was dangerous, due to human traffic, and had changed their behaviour accordingly. Now thats smart!

 

#2. The Azteca Ant

Unlike leaf-cutters the Azteca Ant spends its life viciously defending trees and the story of how that happened goes like this….Once upon a time the Cecropia Tree had the misfortune of being too delicious. It had evolved leaves that were not only big and tasty but packed with nutrients, making them irresistible to birds, mammals and insects. While most trees species would choose to deal with this problem by creating toxins, the Cecropia tree took a new approach. Underneath its bark it grew a series of small chambers and on top of its bark it secreted sugar from special glands. This in turn made it absolutely irresistible to the Azteca Ants. The ants made the tree their home and in turn viciously defended it from herbivores. Any herbivore that landed on the tree or attempted to climb it was instantly swarmed by tiny biting ants. Due to this adaptation the Cecropia tree went from the brink of extinction to one of the most numerous tree species in the rainforest, after all every tree basically has its own army.

Go on! Touch the tree!

 

#3. The Army Ant

I will say very little about this species except watch this video and be horrified!

I saw one of these hunting columns myself and it was truly impressive. From a distance all you can see is a 3mx1m square moving through the forest before you realize it is made up of thousands of ants. I also got bit by one when I stepped on a scouting trails and they give quite the painful sting.

Oh, and they build nests by linking their bodies together, fun!

There is no doubt in my mind that in the far future ants such as these will dominate the animal kingdom, but that is a topic for a future post.

by Grayson

Quick Music Rundown / Prometheus Trailer

January 25, 2012 in Film, Grayson, Misc, Sci-fi by Grayson

Hopefully by now everyone has already seen the trailer for the wicked new sci-fi film/Alien prequel from Ridley Scott “Prometheus” But incase you haven’t here it is. This has the potential to top Moon and become my favourite modern sci-fi flick.

Here is some music I have been listening to lately

Sam Roberts Band – Pretty Ugly (from Collider)

For more

Read the rest of this entry →

by David

FIGHT CENSORSHIP!

January 18, 2012 in David, Politics by David

Today the many sites on the internet are on strike to protest the SOPA and PIPA bills that are being passed in the United States. These Orwellian bills will give the entertainment industry the right to censor anything that they see as piracy on the internet. Piracy is illegal and companies should have the right to protect what is legally theirs. However, the SOPA and PIPA bills are so loosely worded that they will basically give any corporation the power to sue, censor, or otherwise destroy any website that they see as a threat to them. Giant sites like YouToube and Facebook aren’t even safe from these new laws.

You see this guy? the one who can't even work a VCR? He's the kind of person who thinks he knows whats best for the internet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You see that picture? All I did was copy and paste that from a Google search for “congressman”. Under the SOPA and PIPA Acts I wouldn’t be allowed to do that, and could potentially be punished for it because that is not MY picture. Even as Canadians these laws will directly affect us. How many CANADIAN sites do you go to? Probably only a few, so the majority of your internet experience will be affected. And because of our Conservative and USA ass-kissing Prime Minister if these bills pass it won’t be long before a Canadian version gets written up. “But who cares?” You ask, “Just don’t do illegal things.” Heres why you should care:

The Internet is a method of communication that instantly connects the world. Yes, Piracy occurs, but so does massive amounts of free and creative expression. The spread of Ideas, Art, and even just basic communication has all been revolutionized by the internet. Communication is the most important aspect. The first thing an oppressive government will do is censor the internet. Communist countries like China and North Korea have heavy censorship on their countries internet connections to prevent their people from getting too many good ideas. In the Arab Spring of 2011 the ideas of revolution and revolt spread through the internet and the internet helped the people organize and stay in communication with each other, so that they could overthrow their corrupt and oppressive governments. I used the term “Orwellian” before because it fits perfectly to this situation. SOPA and PIPA are just another step towards a controlled state with little freedom for expression or thought.

Educate yourself. That’s the best way to preserve freedom.

Here are some links for more information. (Brought to you by a Website that relies on freedom of expression)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:SOPA_initiative/Learn_more

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Online_Piracy_Act

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PROTECT_IP_Act

http://sopastrike.com/

http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-s968/show

http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-h3261/show

 

by TeeCue

Haggis a Scottish delight that surprised my tastebuds (In a good way).

January 5, 2012 in FOOD, Misc by TeeCue

 

As far as regional foods go, I have tried to experience each and every one I could. This led to me having some very tasty things. This also led to me having black pudding. I will get to that in a later post. First up I want to discuss haggis. Face value, given just the list of ingredients in haggis, one may shy away from ordering such a thing. I made a promise to myself and to Sir Ian Mackellen (though he is, was and never WILL be aware of said promise) that I would try haggis. Also a dude from new Zealand recommended I try it. (He isn’t a stranger though, we drank plenty of beer together. Drinking beer is like a magical bond between men. Share a beer with a man, and suddenly it’s “sure! I trust you with my children, you convicted child molester/murderer. This Coronita certainly hit the spot amigo. Or should I say cerveza? Or should I say pour favor? My Spanish is pretty terrible. Which one of those means ‘hot’ again?”.  ”uhh none?”)
Okay, I let that one get away from me a bit. Reeling ‘er back in, decided that I would try haggis.

Haggis is a traditional Scottish dish made with sheep’s Pluck (Heart, lungs and liver) as well as oatmeal, spices, onion, Suet (Hard fat from around the kidneys and loins). Originally this concoction was boiled in the sheep’s stomach for 3 hours. Now I can only IMAGINE the early attempts of cooking this, until they found that balance of ingredients and cooking time.

And I thought they smelled bad..................................On the outside!

I had haggis in two forms. Once on a burger, and once with the traditional “Haggis Neeps and Taties” or, for normal English speakers: Haggis, parsnips, and mashed potatos.

Hard Rock burger:

You can't really see it, but there's haggis under that cheese.

Look at that masterpiece. A delicious burger- topped with tasty haggis, two slices of cheddar, and I can only assume blessed by the gods before being sent out to your face hole.

This was the first thing I ate in Scotland. It was wonderful. The flavours and textures that dance around your tongue are miraculous. You have this wonderfully soft bun, and a hefty beef patty, and you have cheese. They serve the toppings on the side (Lettuce, pickles, tomatoes), so dress it up however you want. The thing that makes this burger TRULY unique and delicious in my mind is the haggis they add on top.

It kicks it up a notch. There are some burgers that change you forever- a burger so divine, your mouth weeps and your eyes salivate (and no I did NOT write those backwards). This burger was- pretty interesting. It gets the job done. (I have yet to find that life-changing burger, but when I do, I’m sure I will write about it. Or maybe it will cause me to forsake all technology and modern lifestyles and I will live with monks in the mountains, spending the rest of my days contemplating the infinite capabilities of the world and spirituality)

It’s a filling burger, perfect for those cold, rainy Edinburgh days. (I mean its meat with meat products piled on top, plus cheese-That. Is. Awesome.) As far as I can tell Edinburgh is always cold and rainy, therefore, always haggis burger time.

 

Haggis is not a dish that I would eat every day, but all in all a solid taste adventure that I would recommend to anyone who ventures to Scotland.

 

Overall 8/10 (partially due to the fact that I was expecting something truly awful)

 

-Taylor