SCIENCE

VIRTUAL WINDSHIELD

Jaguar Land Rover is developing a virtual windshield system complete with interactive heads up display, ghost car navigation, and a 360 degree unhindered view of the road and I want it in my PT Cruiser CONVERTIBLE (playa’s gotta play) yesterday. The windshield system displays useful information like speed and rpm and also eliminates blind spots with video screens embedded in vehicle pillars. Check out the demo video:

ROBODUDE

That’s right folks the future is nye. A team of researchers at John Hopkins have fitted Les Baugh, a double amputee of nearly 40 years, with two robotic arms that he is capable of controlling with his mind. Les underwent an operation to reassign nerves in his chest to the mechanical devices which enable him to intuitively control the arms with 30 degrees of total motion. Ok sure we’re a few years away from seeing full on Robocop-types, but a man can dream.

If you want to skip the gobbledygook and get to the real (somewhat anticlimactic) meat jump ahead to the 2:25 mark.

ORION LAUNCH TOMORROW

NASA’s new space pod Orion is scheduled to fly to orbit on an unmanned test flight tomorrow at 7:05 EST from Cape Canaveral, Florda, and you can watch the action live on NASA TV here. The space capsule is designed to take astronauts deep in to space and will pave the way for future manned missions to Mars. 4.5 hours after its initial launch it will be recovered from the Pacific Ocean, along with an odd array of cargo which includes a Star Trek action figure, a Marvel challenge coin, a dinosaur fossil, and a Muppet….which when combined seem suspiciously like a mad scientist’s idea of a good fun.

STEPHEN HAWKING WARNS OF AI TAKOVER

Like I’ve been preaching since the invention of the Tamagotchi, Artificial Intelligence is one day going to destroy humanity, and now I have pre-eminent scientist Stephen Hawking to back me up. In an interview with the BBC, Hawking reported that intelligent machines may soon have the capability to takeover the globe and threaten human existence.

“The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race…..It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate,” he said. “Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.”

A.I. takeover is a threat that Hawking has been trying to bring public attention for several years now. This most recent warning came in response to a question about an update to his voice-communication technology which utilizes a very simple form of artificial intelligence. His concerns are shared by other prominent members of the scientific and technological community like renowned SpaceX founder Elon Musk, who once warned that we are “summoning the demon” with A.I.

How many more Terminator films and tragic TV spin-offs do we need before the message is clear?

EVERY VEHICLE INVOLVED IN HUMAN SPACEFLIGHT

Redditor Heaney555 has compiled this chart of every vehicle involved in the history of human spaceflight. The chart provides an illuminating sense of the scale of the various spacecraft built to help us explore the cosmos; if you zoom in close enough you can see tiny astronauts drawn to provide perspective on the sheer size of these things.

The full-size image can be found here.

THE PHYSICS OF SPACE BATTLES

Here at GeekOut we embrace both Sci-Fiction AND Sci-Not-So-Ficion news, but occasionally the line between the two gets blurred (and that’s before the 10 A.M. Scotch pour). In this vid, It’s Ok To Be Smart highlights the physical inaccuracies of sci-fi space battles.

HAPPY AUTUMNAL EQUINOX: HERE’S SOME SCIENCE

September 22nd marks the fall equinox, where day and night are each about 12 hours long. For those of you who live on the beach like I do (in a cardboard box my mom built me), we don’t get to see the full wonder of color change that follows the seasons. Fortunately for us, Andy Brunning of Common Interest shares the chemical detail of the process in this lovely infographic.

SERIOUSLY CONCERNED: CHEETAH ROBOT

Mad scientists Researchers at MIT are apparently on a mission to destroy humanity because they are developing a cheetah-like robot that will eventually run at speeds of up to 30 mph. For reference, that’s faster than record-holding sprinter Usain Bolt. Key to the machine’s speed is an algorithm that controls the amount of force exerted by each leg of the robot as it hits the ground. The faster the speed, the more force must be applied to propel the robot forward. Not only is the cheetah robot fast, but it can even jump over obstacles, ensuring that when Skynet goes live we won’t stand a chance.

The project is being funded by the military branch DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) for god knows what reason so I’m going straight to work on my bunker.

WHAT THE WHAT IS THAT?

Captured on video by marine biologists exploring the depths of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, the siphonophore is like something straight out of the Pokédex. This bizarre creature is actually a colony of several organism grouped together to serve functions like locomotion and preying on food, or most likely blending in like a trash bag on the sea floor. You can even hear the “experts” in the video mistake the Pokémon for a piece of garbage.

Siphonophores are extremely fragile and usually fall apart in mesh netting, so I wouldn’t count on adding one to your collection.

TOTAL BUZZ KILL

Here’s a video of a group of wasps that decided to settle down and build a nest on YouTuber Vang Tsal’s window. A rare peak into the world of a wasp colony to be sure but why don’t you put down that camera and prep the frickin’ home-made flame thrower.