Monday, 27 October 2014

Evolution! Beautiful! Engrossing! ... and gross.

Nothing makes science more fun than a catchy song.

You might recognize this tune.

Monday, 26 May 2014

A University Education

Father Guido Sarducci was a famous character from ... like ... the 70s.  Here's a great analysis of what a student gets out of a traditional University Education.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Creature Comforts

Nick Park is famous for his Wallace and Gromit claymation movies.  He also did Chicken Run.  There's a series called "Creature Comforts" which uses the voices of people on the street around which claymation characters are set.

Here's one that includes evolution.

Friday, 11 May 2012

The uncanny valley

For human simulations - especially androids - there's a term that's used to describe the creepiness in seeing a mannequin that's recognizably human but falls short:  The Uncanny Valley.  Usually the term describes situations where the automaton is really, really close to being a human and is "wrong" in subtle ways (kind of like that old motion-capture movie, The Polar Express).

This video features original music and the simulation mannequins for medical science students.  I would say they're identifiably "human" and not very close.  But the Uncanny Valley here is going strong.  Suuuuuuper creeeeeepy.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Monday, 30 April 2012

B. R. A. D.

That stands for "Berkeley Ridiculously Automated Dormroom" by Derek Low.  He even elected to go with that strange Google Glasses soundtrack.

Horrible Histories - Natural Selection

I got my first "Horrible Histories" book when I was in London for a conference.  I loved the authors' instincts about how to make corny - but not too corny - jokes about history and provide a lot of facts of daily life that aren't captured in traditional history materials.  They use alliterative titles like "Rotten Romans" or "The Terrible Tudors" (the latter is the book I bought).

Well, they have a TV show that is based on snippets taken from the various books.  The TV show bounces through the time periods more than I'd like, but they caught the irreverence and wit of the books.

Here's Charles Darwin.  Singing.