RaaD Movies, News and Technology

Dany's RaaD Roundup

Honda Will Make Us Fatter

I know it is not Honda‘s intent to make us an even fatter world than we already are and are becoming, but it’s hard to not see this as an unintended consequence of a device that looks like it could do so much help for those who are physically disabled.

Just wait a few years, those thin women on the Honda U3-X Personal Mobility Prototype, if they won’t even walk around even for the simplest of activities like an art exhibit will just balloon up in weight over the years. Hopefully this will get marketed to those that physically can’t move around on their own as a means of mobile freedom and not just a mobile La-Z-Boy. This may be the first step on the road towards a Wall-E type future of human laziness. THANKS ASIMO!

If I am off the mark, let me know.

Enjoy

Dany

U3-X  wPersonal Mobility Prototype

June 16, 2010 11:01 am Posted by | clips, health, Japan, movies, robots, technology | Leave a comment

This Daily Show Roundup and the DEKA Prosthetic Luke Arm on Stephen Colbert for the week of April 8th, 2010

Just about a year ago 60 Minutes did a story on the DEKA Arm, this week I found out from Engadget that Dean Kamen appeared on The Colbert Report.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

The Obama health care bill is less than a month old and insurance companies are already finding their loop holes, let’s see how well that works out for them…
Vodpod videos no longer available.

I think the longer any politician is in office, the more they change their views, but I just wish that John McCain had remained true to his words from around the year 2000, but it’s difficult when he has a Republican primary challenger, J. D. Hayworth,  who is running more conservative than he has ever been.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Lastly, the biggest story of the week probably came out of the Vatican. The Pope got in trouble when some details about his past while he was in charge of investigating child molestation charges against church officials hit the news. The news doesn’t quite make him the worst Pope in history, but he seems to be going in the wrong direction.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Enjoy

Dany

April 10, 2010 2:21 am Posted by | clips, health, Law, medicine, politics, Religion, robots, science, technology, tv, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

Neuroscience, the Human Brain Theory and Conscousness Brought to you by TED

I just spent over an hour watching these three TED talks and I’m completely enamored with the human brain right now. It has been an extremely fascinating hour. Seeing these three extremely smart scientists, Jeff Hawkins (talking about creating a brain theory), Dan Dennett (explaining consciousness) and Michael Merzenich (neural plasticity) have some engrossing views on our current state of knowledge, how that knowledge has changed and what we can do to expand and better understand what we already know about our brain and each lecture is smart, funny and entertaining as well!

Thanks to the SGU Neuroscience Society for getting me started with the lecture explaining consciousness!

Enjoy

Dany

November 10, 2009 8:05 pm Posted by | brain, clips, lectures, medicine, robots, science, technology | Leave a comment

District 9 Review

District 9 is the latest Peter Jackson production, directed by Neill Blomkamp. It has gotten mixed reviews and after seeing the film, I can see why. If you have a faint stomach, I would skip this film, there are a lot of bodily functions on screen (vomiting and urinating) along with violently graphic death depicted with lots of goop.

On the other hand, those with fortified stomachs will find the film an interesting look at racism and inhumanity in the form of speciesism. It is interesting to watch the story unfold, especially throughout the beginning, where you’re just trying to figure out where the story is going and at the very end, where they really seemed to hit the right note on how the film should end. I also thought it was quite comical that they decided to include subtitles for a number of South Africans and Nigerians as they were speaking ENGLISH!

The special effects revolving around the “prawn” aliens is seamless throughout the film, but once the film got into more mechanical object related special effects, things seemed to get a bit less realistic. The other problem with the film, I thought was that it was shot in a documentary style, with interview footage, but there were so many scenes that were shot that could not have been caught by any documentarian, I wish that if they were going to film a movie in that way, they would keep a consistent style.

Thanks to A Subtle Knife for the pics.

Enjoy

Dany

October 6, 2009 11:59 pm Posted by | guns, movie reviews, movies, robots | Leave a comment

DARPA and the DEKA Arm from the Creator of the Segway

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I found this 60 Minutes news story about the recent advances in prosthetic limbs from Dean Kamen‘s (the inventor of the Segway) company DEKA. It totally floored me just how far this new upper limb technology has come.

Regardless of your politics, this is an amazing new advance coming out of the DARPA funded research.

Enjoy

Dany

April 14, 2009 5:07 pm Posted by | clips, medicine, politics, robots, science, software, technology, tv, Washington, Washington DC | 1 Comment

WALL-E Review

Before Wall-E came out, I thought the robot was a ripoff of Johnny 5 for kids too young to remember Short Circuit and Short Circuit 2. After seeing the movie though, I can admit that I was wrong… the good thing is that I am not usually this glad to be wrong about something. There were also some great nods to classic science fiction and technology fans, with callbacks to 2001: A Space Oddyssey and the classic Mac startup chime, to just name a couple.

I consider myself a jaded New Yorker and that’s why I was so surprised to be emotionally knocked on my ass for many scenes in this film. I even teared up during some of the scenes between Wall·E and Eve (the slick white robot that resembles ASIMO), which was the most surprising thing for me. I was NOT expecting to be hit so hard by the love story and the ability of Pixar‘s animators to imbue that much emotion into robots that say less than 5 words to one another.

One of the most interesting aspects of the film though was the first 40 or so minutes of the film on Earth, first with WALL·E alone and then with Eve. This was some of the best pantomime since Charlie Chaplain and what really moved me was the interaction between WALL·E and Eve reminded me of Chaplain‘s City Lights. I liked the juxtaposition between Fred Willard‘s live action scenes from the past and the animated humans who are now blubberous blobs of laziness and a shell of their ancestors, played to a tee with voicework from Jeff Garlin John Ratzenberger and Kathy Najimy.

This movie is a definate must see, even the silent animated short with a hungry bunny and an obnoxious magician was entertaining to watch and I know I’m going to be looking for this movie when it is finally released on dvd. Thanks to MoviePatron for the above pic.

Dany

July 6, 2008 3:58 pm Posted by | apple, cartoons, dvd, movie reviews, movies, New York, NYC, robots, technology, toons | 4 Comments

Research Robots Powered By Gecko Knowhow

There were two videos released on CNET TV (get the CNET News podcast here) where Kara Tsuboi interview the researchers at Stanford, who have been studying how geckos are able to scale walls without falling (watch the video here) and have taken that and adapted a robot they call Stickybot (watch that video here).

Maybe some day the idea of seeing Spiderman scaling walls will not just appear in comics and movies, a person could go to a store and pick up a gecko inspired suit and could add this to their set of rock climbing equipment or something.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Thanks to Stanford for the above pic.

Dany

April 2, 2008 12:23 am Posted by | cartoons, clips, college, nature, podcasts, robots, technology, toons | Leave a comment

March Robot News via Attack of the Show

Attack of the Show‘s amazingly beautiful and quirky host Olivia Munn gives a great wrap up of all the current public robot projects going on. My favorite is the Modular Snake Robot.

Enjoy the higher quality video here, get the podcast here and thanks to G4TV for the above pic.

Dany

March 23, 2008 12:03 am Posted by | clips, podcasts, robots, technology, tv | Leave a comment

Boston Dynamics Releases Newest Big Dog Robot Video With a Bit of DARPA Help

After watching the latest episode of Geekbrief.tv, I had to find the latest video released by technology firm Boston Dynamics, in which they were showing off their most advanced quadruped robot, Big Dog, which moves in such an amazingly fluid way. It is able to walk up a snowy hill, along a rocky path, along a sheet of ice and even be kicked HARD by a person, all the while, maintaining it’s balance and not falling down.

It’s both amazing and a bit scary to watch. This project was supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). I can’t hardly believe just how advanced robotics technology has come, this robot can even do this while carrying a payload larger than its own weight. The most impressive moments are at 35 seconds, 1:25 and 3:06 minutes (which are based on the youtube version of the video) into this three and a half minute video.

Enjoy

Dany

March 19, 2008 10:56 pm Posted by | Boston, clips, podcasts, politics, robots, technology | 1 Comment

A Month of Engadget News Just Before CES

I just got done going through the humongous backlog of unread Engadget stories I hadn’t had time to read over the past month (995 to be exact) and I wanted to highlight a few of the more interesting ones that caught my eye just before the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) kicks off.

First there’s the potentially fetishistic and definitely creepy/weird vibrating bluetooth bracelet.

Then President Clinton, while speaking in Iowa was heckled by a robot protester! Don’t worry though, he can handle himself.

How about a 10+ inch, 10mm thick, color plastic LCD display?

Lonely? Ever thought about building a creepy $30 android for that needed companionship?

Hey, wow look at that, Former President Clinton is BACK and this time reveals he uses an iPhone… the man even signs it too!

You know, there are some days when I’m so lazy I wont walk across a room to charge my cell phone… look at what some people in India go through for their cell phones. It makes me exhausted just thinking about it.

My handwriting is already illegible as it is, I can’t imagine writing any smaller than I already do, so seeing the whole Bible written on something smaller than a grain of rice is pretty daunting.

Now, for the winner in vaporware keyboard technology, Art Lebedev and his LCD touchpad keyboard.

I also want to try the pillow that relaxes you, using light and sound, but yet manages to look like a whoopee cushion.

I am very excited that you can now order a mac tablet computer here through pretty much the only official 3rd party Apple builder. It’s called the Modbook and it uses Wacom tablet technology.

Are you tired of those prankster scientist friends of yours, always putting ink on your microscope viewfinder, giving you raccoon eyes? Well, no more, enjoy the newest LCD view microscope.

Get the Pinnacle Video Transfer if you want to bring ANY analog video onto your portable usb video player (that means you iPod and PSP).

Now, saving the BEST for last, learn how to REALLY play the guitar using a REAL guitar with Guitar Wizard! Stop wasting your time with Guitar Hero! At least with Rock Band, you can learn to play drums.

Thanks Swiftpage for the picture.

Dany

January 5, 2008 2:57 am Posted by | clips, commercials, crazy celebs, politics, robots, software, technology, tmi, vaporware | 1 Comment