Archive

Posts Tagged ‘training’

Ben Heck builds WASD-replacement footpedals

Ben Heck builds WASD-replacement footpedals

Ben Heck’s footpedals, built in response to a viewer request, are designed to replace the traditional WASD control scheme in PC gaming.


Noted hacker and maker Ben ‘Heck’ Heckendorn has published details of his latest creation under Element14′s auspice: footpedals designed to ‘replace’ WASD gaming controls after their 32 year run.

The WASD control system, which uses the aforementioned letter keys in place of the traditional cursor keys, was first seen in the 1982 game Mazogs where it served to make up for the Sinclair ZX81′s lack of sensible keyboard layout. It caught on in the era of first-person shooters when mouse-look became the norm, allowing the left hand to sit at a more comfortable distance from the mouse-controlling right – unless you’re a sinister lefty, of course – while also providing easy reach to other keys that could be mapped to weapon changes, jumping, object usage or leaning.

WASD as a control layout has become so normalised that gaming keyboards typically come with replacement keycaps for those specific letters in eye-catching colours or with a deeply scooped design. Now, though, its days may be numbered – at least, if Ben Heck has his way.

Known for his innovative controller designs and homebrew laptops, including one based on a Commodore 64 and another on an Xbox 360, Heck is now the resident hacker at electronics giant Farnell/Element14 where he has created one possible successor to the WASD layout: footpedals.

A viewer of the Ben Heck Show, dissatisfied with the ‘finger-twister’ training required to excel at modern games, suggested the creation and Heck obliged. A pair of foot pedals provide mapping to four keys by responding to two levels of motion: a partial press activates one mode, while a heavier press activates the second. The result, Heck claims, is a natural-feeling control system that allows for forward, backward and strafing motion without the need to lock the left hand to the WASD cluster.

The entire project has been created from scratch, using a 3D printer for the pedal parts and the popular Teensy microcontroller – chosen for the ease at which it can be turned into a joystick, keyboard or mouse Human Interface Device controller – for interfacing with the PC.

If you’re curious how it was made, or how it works, Heck’s video on the project is reproduced below.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/bit-tech/news/~3/AZUEecnDKc0/1

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/GamingRipplesWeb/~3/qqrKFkp8geg/

Obama: We’re building Iron Man

A simple announcement to change the world.


(Credit:
CNN/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

The real news sometimes passes us by, as we eke out our survival and freak out at the state of our lives.

I am grateful, therefore, to have been sent this snippet that might just change the way you think and live.

For here, at a White House press conference earlier this week, is President Obama revealing a “secret project we’ve been working on for some time.”

What could this project be? A crowdsourced surveillance program? A health insurance Web site that works?

No, America is building Iron Man.

You don’t have to take my word for it.

For here the president began by saying that he would be joined by America’s finest researchers, digital cloud designers, and important people from the Pentagon.

He then uttered these words: “Basically, I’m here to announce that we’re building Iron Man.”

The journalists in the room erupted with laughter. In an attempt to quiet them, perhaps, the president then explained: “I’m going to blast off in a second.”

That didn’t work. So he had to add that this wasn’t really a secret project America’s been working on for some time. Or maybe it was.

“It’s classified,” he concluded.

This may well be, but in a world in which what is classified emerges through the recalcitrance of a 29-year-old with an old USB stick, there might be some truth in this joviality.

We really need to do something positive with our billionaire techies, whose priorities seem more skewed than a rapper’s hat.

We really ought to co-opt them into saving our culture, rather than let it disappear into the sinkhole of flappy birds and snoopy glasses.

Please imagine Sergey Brin and Mark Zuckerberg, with iron suits and will, soaring in to save us from our enemies and our own worst excesses.

We haven’t seen all that much of these young men lately. Might they already be in training?

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/d026vEezE-8/

Who needs 100-foot scuba limits with this 1,000-foot exosuit?

February 28th, 2014 No comments

Diver Michael Lombardi tests out the “exosuit,” which allows going to depths of 1,000 feet.


(Credit:
American Museum of Natural History)

As anyone who’s ever been a recreational scuba diver knows, diving beyond a depth of 100 feet requires special training. So imagine being able to go down to 1,000 feet and stay there for hours.

That’s the goal of the deep-diving “exosuit,” a “next-generation atmospheric diving system” that will be on display at the American Museum of Natural History through March 5.

Exosuit lets divers go 1,000 feet deep (pictures)

  • jpg" width="220" height="157" />

The 6.5-foot-tall, 530-pound, hard-metal suit is designed to let a diver reach depths of 1,000 feet, where water pressure is 30 times that of the surface, and to conduct special scientific work there. Among those tasks, for which the suit will be used during the Stephen J. Barlow Bluewater Expedition this July, are things like imaging deep-water marine life with high-resolution underwater cameras, and sampling.

The exosuit is owned by the J.F. White Contracting Company, and the July expedition is meant to explore an area known as “The Canyons” off the coast of New England. There, depths drop to 10,000 feet. With the exosuit, scientists can study the so-called mesopelagic, or midwater, zone. According to a release about the museum exhibit, this zone is ideal because many different marine animals, including some that bioluminesce (using chemical reactions to generate visible light) pass vertically through it.

The suit will be used in conjunction with a special remotely operated vehicle known as the DeepReef-ROV, which can study bioluminescent and biofluorescent animal life in the deep.

To be sure, atmospheric suits like the exosuit have been in use for decades. But the hope is that the exosuit, which features four 1.6-horsepower thrusters and 18 rotary joints in the legs and arms, will allow scientists to broaden their ability to study the deep.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/VNY0_NFN2fU/

Who needs 100-foot diving limits with this 1,000-foot exosuit?

February 28th, 2014 No comments

Diver Michael Lombardi tests out the “exosuit,” which allows going to depths of 1,000 feet.


(Credit:
American Museum of Natural History)

As anyone who’s ever been a recreational scuba diver knows, diving beyond a depth of 100 feet requires special training. So imagine being able to go down to 1,000 feet and stay there for hours.

That’s the goal of the deep-diving “exosuit,” a “next-generation atmospheric diving system” that will be on display at the American Museum of Natural History through March 5.

Exosuit lets divers go 1,000 feet deep (photos)

The 6.5-foot-tall, 530-pound, hard-metal suit is designed to let a diver reach depths of 1,000 feet, where water pressure is 30 times that of the surface, and to conduct special scientific work there. Among those tasks, for which the suit will be used during the Stephen J. Barlow Bluewater Expedition this July, are things like imaging deep-water marine life with high-resolution underwater cameras, and sampling.

The exosuit is owned by the J.F. White Contracting Company, and the July expedition is meant to explore an area known as “The Canyons” off the coast of New England. There, depths drop to 10,000 feet. With the exosuit, scientists can study the so-called mesopelagic, or midwater, zone. According to a release about the museum exhibit, this zone is ideal because many different marine animals, including some that bioluminesce (using chemical reactions to generate visible light) pass vertically through it.

The suit will be used in conjunction with a special remotely operated vehicle known as the DeepReef-ROV, which can study bioluminescent and biofluorescent animal life in the deep.

To be sure, atmospheric suits like the exosuit have been in use for decades. But the hope is that the exosuit, which features four 1.6-horsepower thrusters and 18 rotary joints in the legs and arms, will allow scientists to broaden their ability to study the deep.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/VhP1jlkDaQg/

Chess app lets you get whupped by a child prodigy

February 27th, 2014 No comments

Play Magnus app

You might stand a chance against 6-year-old Magnus.


(Credit:
Play Magnus)

Most of us don’t have a child chess prodigy handy when we want to practice our game. The Play Magnus iPhone app puts the champ in your pocket, but with a twist. You can play against Magnus Carlsen at various ages, from when he started out at age 5, all the way up to his current kick-butt self.

Carlsen is a grandmaster from Norway and the current No. 1 chess player in the world. The 23-year-old says he launched the app, which uses a chess engine “tuned” from actual openings and games he’s played, to inspire young people to get excited about chess.

I loaded the app up and pitted my miserable chess skills against 5-year-old Magnus. It’s hard to boast about beating a 5-year-old who had just started to play chess and really preferred to spend his time studying geography, but I did manage to win the game with a checkmate.

I got ambitious and took on Magnus at 10. He ended up chasing my king around until I got bored. More advanced chess players will enjoy moving up the ranks and playing the prodigy as he gets older and savvier. People like me can look into the training side of the app. There are some free training videos where Carlsen walks you through upgrading your skills, but more advanced concepts cost 99 cents per video to unlock. Players can also earn points towards qualifying to play Carlsen live at an annual event.

The app can be a bit slow, especially at higher levels when it’s contemplating moves, but it’s the fun concept that sets it apart from other chess games. So go ahead, try your hand against the champ. There’s no shame in losing to a 12-year-old, especially when that kid is now the reigning world chess champion.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/LVOeKwxIwt4/

Can a simple app really give you superhero sight?

February 20th, 2014 No comments

UCR Baseball

UCR baseball players have a distinct edge thanks to a new app developed by university researchers.


(Credit:
Video screenshot by Michael Franco/CNET)

Crazy-good vision sounds like something a character in a game might possess. But a researcher at the University of California at Riverside has invented an app that promises to bestow users with the gift of super-sight — in real life.

Aaron Seitz, a UCR professor of psychology and developer of the Ultimeyes app, along with several colleagues, just published research in the journal Current Biology indicating that baseball players who used the Ultimeyes app for 30 25-minute sessions were able to improve their vision by an average of 31 percent. That’s impressive enough, but what’s truly amazing is that some players saw their vision go beyond normal 20/20 to 20/7.5, meaning they could see at 20 feet what someone with normal vision couldn’t see beyond 7.5 feet.

The best part of the news? While the researchers tested the app on baseball players, who can obviously benefit from being able to see a flyball clearly, anyone can download and use the app by visiting the Ultimeyes Web site, which I did.

Just enter your details and pay $5.99, and you’ll be sent a link to download the app either for a
Mac, PC, or
iPad. Start up the app and you’ll be asked if you want to improve your vision for reading, writing, or any other activity within 5 feet, or if you’d prefer to work on longer-distance vision such as that required while driving or watching TV.

I chose the long-distance option because it just seems like it would be super cool to be able to zoom in — a la Steve Austin — to the guitar player’s fingers at the next concert I attend.

Next, the app has you measure and enter the horizontal width of your computer monitor. I had a hard time seeing the numbers on the ruler, but I got there eventually. Finally, you’re asked to sit 5 feet from your screen, which might be tough because you also need to use your mouse to work the app. My wireless magic mouse came in handy.

Gameplay consists of clicking a series of targets that look like stuff you’d see on a microscope slide. Seitz told Crave these barely visible blobs are called Gabors.

“The game consists of clicking patterns called Gabors as they are made more and more difficult to see by reducing their luminance contrast,” he said. “These Gabors are derived from the patterns of light that we know optimally stimulate neurons in the visual cortex of the brain, and the idea is to exercise these neurons and make them perform better.” Seitz says this approach is different from many vision-enhancing programs because instead of training the ocular muscles, it actually trains the brain. “Our integrated training program is unique in that we focus on training the brain to better respond to the input it receives from the eyes,” he said.

Ultimeyes

It might not look like much, but Ultimeyes promises to give you better vision.


(Credit:
Ultimeyes)

Sometimes you’re required to clear the screen of all the insidious little Gabors, while other times, you click them as they appear, Whack-A-Mole style. I found the game oddly addicting, but while my vision might have been improving, my clicker finger was quickly cramping. Ah well, what’s a little carpal tunnel syndrome in exchange for superhuman vision?

I didn’t make it to the end of the game (I had an article to write after all!), but the researchers say that if you can give it 25 minutes four times per week for eight weeks, your vision will definitely get better.

We’ll “see.”

It certainly appeared to work for the UCR baseball players. In addition to being able to see an additional two lines on eye charts, the study says the 19 participants who trained with Ultimeyes on average had 4.4 fewer strikeouts than their 18 non-trained teammates. Plus, the team itself went on to score 41 more runs than projected for the season.

If you’re not sure you want to plunk down $5.99 in exchange for “Six Million Dollar Man”-like vision, here’s a little video that tells you more about the research…

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/nrnnu06z2Mw/

LA Confidential Magazine

February 20th, 2014 No comments

Jared Leto, long of hair and full of beard, is sitting in the lobby of The Bowery Hotel in Lower Manhattan in a chair so ornate it could be more accurately described as a throne. Tapestried cushions rest atop elaborately carved mahogany that pirouettes every which way, culminating in two lions’ heads, one on the end of each of the arms upon which his delicate hands currently rest. He surveys the dimly lit room: low-slung, velvet-covered sofas in rich burgundies and emeralds, assorted oriental rugs, low wood-beamed ceiling, leather-paneled walls, logs crackling in a massive stone fireplace, and, right in front of him, Deepak Chopra.

“You see that?” the 42-year old says in a hushed whisper. “Deepak Chopra!” His excitement at the presence of the holistic guru is as visible on his face as it is audible in his voice. “Hold on, this is hilarious. I gotta tell my buddy.” He fires off a quick text. In this hotel—a place where celebrities seem to love to be interviewed almost as much as they love to sleep—Leto seems to be the only one focused on Chopra; everybody else is more interested in him.

It’s just a week before he’ll win a Golden Globe for his astonishing performance as an AIDS-infected transsexual with a drug problem in Dallas Buyers Club. And although the subtle nudges and stolen looks and—in one particularly bold case—a request to sit on the couch next to him, are nothing new, this kind of attention is new, even for Leto. That is saying a lot for the man who, as the lead singer of arena rock titans Thirty Seconds to Mars, has sold 10 million records, holds the world record for longest-ever consecutive tour, recently played to 150,000 people in Brazil, and who, as an entire generation will apparently never be able to forget, was Jordan Catalano in the cult TV hit My So-Called Life. Leto is so hot, in fact, that Liza Minnelli even wants a piece.

“There was a luncheon today for the film, and Liza Minnelli hosted it. You know what she said to me?” Leto says, uncrossing his legs and planting his feet, clad in tight-fitting climbing shoes, squarely on the floor. “She said, ‘I haven’t felt this way since I saw On the Waterfront.’ And she stood up in front of everybody and said, ‘Jared, when I was watching your performance, I felt the way that I do when a friend is going through the hardest time of their life. I felt like I knew you and that I cared for you in the way I would a dear friend.’” His pride here isn’t tempered with arrogance. He says, “If I can support this film, then I’m happy to do it. Perspective and gratitude have a lot to do with it: I don’t make that many films. I don’t know when I’ll next make a film or when I’ll next be a part of this process. People have been rather lovely, supportive, and kind.”

Some of those people, like, say, the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have also recognized Leto’s accomplishment in the film in a more tangible way: As well as the Golden Globe, accolades he has racked up so far include a SAG win and an Oscar nomination. If he keeps up like this, Leto, who lives alone in Los Angeles (“One of my favorite things to do is go for a hike in California… I could get homesick for that”), is going to need a bigger mantelpiece.

“I think there are a number of reasons [Dallas Buyers Club is doing so well],” Leto says, after sending back his undercooked salmon. (“I want it like jerky, like cardboard, please,” he says.) “One is the story. Healthcare is an important issue. At the core there’s a classic fable there: A small group of people are willing to fight for their lives and refuse to say no. We all want to be the kind of person who says, ‘No. I’m going to find a way. I’m going to fight for my survival.’ The other reason is Matthew McConaughey. People love to watch him, he’s a huge movie star, and he’s doing really interesting work. And I thought if it was good enough for him to do it, then it was a good enough project for me to be involved with, because I know that he’s been making really smart choices.”

McConaughey and Leto deliver extraordinary performances in Dallas Buyers Club, which begins in 1985 and is based on the true story of Ron Woodroof, a heavy-drinking, bull-riding Texan who gets diagnosed with AIDS and starts to experiment with new treatments not yet available in the United States. Woodroof starts smuggling in drugs and sets up a club so others can have access to the unapproved substances. While in the hospital, Woodruff (McConaughey) meets Rayon (Leto), a transsexual who becomes his business partner and gets progressively sicker, largely on account of her continued drug use. But the impact of this conflicted redneck would be diffused, if not lost, if it weren’t for Rayon, who acts as the mirror in which Woodroof sees the error of his ways and his terrible, inevitable future. In Leto’s hands Rayon is never ridiculous, and even though she provides some comedic moments, it’s a sympathetic, insightful humor delivered pitch-perfectly.

“Rayon could have been played campier, more of what we think of as a ‘drag queen,’” Leto says. “Someone who’s very over the top, external, basically playing dress up. But I had met some transgender kids while on tour, and I learned about them—being a filmmaker, interviewing them. That was the beginning of Rayon for me,” he explains. “I remember sending an e-mail making it very clear that I saw Rayon as someone who wanted to live life as a woman, not someone who was a glam-rocking drag queen. I had no interest in playing that part, and if that would have been the case, I would have said, ‘No, thank you.’”

As it turns out, Leto says “No, thank you” quite a lot. Dallas Buyers Club is his first major film to be released since 2007’s Chapter 27, for which he gained 60 pounds to play Mark David Chapman, the convicted murderer of John Lennon. This time around, Leto lost 30 pounds (McConaughey dropped 50), consuming just 300 to 400 calories a day, and Rayon’s sinewy, emaciated body lends her character a tragedy that is evident in every shot of her hollowed eyes or concave stomach. “Losing weight like that changes the way you walk, the way you talk, the way you think, the way you breathe, the way you feel, the way people treat you,” says Leto, who has gotten back to a healthy weight now and is currently training to hike the entire length of the Pacific Crest Trail (when he will find the time to do this is anyone’s guess). “So that makes it a great asset. You set a bar for yourself where you say, ‘Okay, I’ve done this, so I’ve got to make sure I do all the other things well.’”

As for the gap between films, it wasn’t for lack of offers, but as the scripts piled up, Leto was busying himself with fighting a lawsuit (EMI famously and unsuccessfully sued his band for $30 million), making records, directing videos (he makes all of Thirty Seconds to Mars’s films under the pseudonym Bartholomew Cubbins), exploring technology with various ventures, including VyRT, Adventures in Wonderland, and The Hive, and, night after night, playing the biggest stadiums in the world.

“As a band, we had more success than we could have dreamed of, but on top of that, I was making things, making art, exploring entrepreneurial interests in technology; my life was full. The most important part of it all is that the time away made me a better artist. It gave me a fuller life to share. I feel like I’ve started again,” Leto says, pushing his hair back and removing the skin from his newly delivered and extremely well-done salmon. “I’ve never been in a hurry. I’ve always wanted to make the most interesting and challenging work and to be proud of it and to contribute to something special and meaningful. I’ve seen the world many times over. You live a life. But it’s a long race, so you learn to maybe run smarter.”

Such emphatic statements might seem slightly overwrought coming from a man who hasn’t achieved the kind of global, cross-platform success Leto has or who—let’s face it—looks a little less like Jesus. But there is a genuine sageness about Leto, who seems to have changed both emotionally and physically since I last interviewed him five years ago. It is hard to imagine a man with that spiky, Emo haircut accepting an Oscar; yet now, with a ponytail, it seems, somehow, entirely feasible. His demeanor is so calming that I suspect the guy across the room interviewing Deepak Chopra is having a far less philosophical time.

“I learned a long time ago that, as a visual artist, the process informs the process in the same way that you can run on a treadmill and it’s never going to prepare you for a triathalon or a marathon,” Leto says. “You’ve got to get out to the street. You’ve got to learn about obstacles. You’ve got to make mistakes, because in doing that, wonderful things happen. You can sit around and plot and plan about Rayon or Thirty Seconds to Mars, but it’s not until you do it and fall flat on your face that you learn. Sometimes you don’t make mistakes. Sometimes you make an accident that’s beautiful, wonderful. There’s a moment in the film where I say, ‘I don’t want to die,’ and it’s improvised. I just said what was in my heart and in my mind. But that’s something you only get by doing, and I do believe that in the doing, we discover what things are.”

And with that, it’s time to leave, to go and do something else. Leto gets up, looks across the room at Chopra and asks, conspiratorially, if we should say hi. Before I can answer, he shakes his head, thinking better of it, and then says goodbye. He smiles, saying, “But it’s not really goodbye, of course.”

Article source: http://jaredleto.com/thisiswhoireallyam/2014/02/19/la-confidential-magazine/

Titanfall will have 15 maps, 33 weapons and splitscreen

February 17th, 2014 No comments

Titanfall will have 15 maps, 33 weapons and splitscreen

Titanfall will feature many more maps than just Fracture and Angel City (pictured) which we’ve seen so far.


The full release of Titanfall will feature 15 maps and 33 weapons according to data mined from the beta release.

A NeoGAF user used a hex decoder to interrogate the code included in the PC version of the Titanfall beta release, pulling out the names of new maps and weapons. Other users have since added to the post with introductory pictures of the maps and some artistic screenshots from them too.

There are also reports that the game will feature a splitscreen mode, though this contradicts what developer Respawn Entertainment has previously said so we’re a little more sceptical on that one.

The wealth of extra content will go some way to reassuring users, such as ourselves, that the full game will at least have the quantity of content to justify a full AAA-game asking price, even if we cant yet vouch for the quality of the content.

The full list of maps is Angel City, Colony, Fracture, Relic, Airbase, Boneyard, Corporate, Outpost 207, Lagoon, Rise, Smugglers Cove, Overlook, Nexus, O2 and Training Ground. Angel City, Fracture and Training Ground are included in the beta, leaving 12 other new maps to explore. Obvious potential highlights include Corporate, which includes a large skyscraper, Boneyard, which has masses of rock formations, and Smugglers Cove which appears to centre around a large wall, which could be great fun for wall-running.

As for weapons, the list is rather longer and less easy to read so we’ve reproduced it in list form below. Here the most intriguing additions are what appears to be a Titan sniper rifle and a Sentry Turret for Pilots.

Also revealed are the full list of game modes and a list of the perks available for Titans and Pilots, all of which are listed at the end.

The Titanfall beta opened over the weekend on both PC and Xbox One. After an initial limited release the Xbox One version was made available to anyone, suggesting the game is so far proving more stable than one of its likely big rivals (even though they’re both published by EA), Battlefield 4, whose launch has been plagued with issues.

The beta will be closing on 19th February.

Maps:

  • angel city
  • colony
  • fracture
  • relic
  • airbase
  • boneyard
  • corporate
  • outpost 207
  • lagoon
  • rise
  • smugglers cove
  • overlook
  • nexus
  • o2
  • training ground

Weapons:

  • p2011
  • p2011sp
  • p2011_auto
  • w1128
  • r97
  • b3wing
  • rspn101_carbine
  • m1a1_hemlok
  • lmg_hemlok
  • g2a4
  • car101
  • rspn101
  • at_rifle
  • rspn101_dmr
  • SMR
  • satchel_charge
  • data_knife
  • titan_vortex_blocker
  • xotbr16
  • thr_40mm
  • caber_shot
  • proximity_detonator
  • frag_grenade
  • defender_charge
  • shoulder_rocket
  • sentry_turret
  • auto_rocket_launcher
  • titan_triple_threat
  • titan_sniper_rifle
  • titan_rocket_pod
  • titan_arc_rifle
  • titan_sniper_rifle
  • titan_shotgun

Game Modes:

  • AT – Attrition?
  • TDM – Team Deathmatch?
  • CTF – Capture the Flag?
  • LTS – Last Titan Standing?
  • HP- Hardpoint Capture?
  • VM – Variety Mode (a mix of all the other modes listed, sans campaign)
  • Campaign Multiplayer

Perks:

  • auto_eject – Auto Eject
  • build_up_nuclear_core – Nuclear Ejection
  • dash_recharge
  • dead_mans_trigger
  • defensive_core
  • doomed_time – Survivor
  • enhanced_titan_ai
  • fast_reload – Fast Autoloader
  • hyper_core
  • icepick
  • longer_bubble – Dome Shield Battery
  • marathon_core
  • minimap_ai – Minion Detector
  • ordnance_pack – Explosive Pack
  • power_cell – Power Cell
  • run_and_gun
  • shield_regen – Regen Booster
  • stealth_movement
  • titan_punch
  • turbo_drop – Warpfall Transmitter
  • wall_runner – Enhanced Parkour kit

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/bit-tech/news/~3/lk_LP3VJMMU/1

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/GamingRipplesWeb/~3/MNuJCv3sDsU/

How to give an albino alligator a CT scan

February 14th, 2014 No comments

Mr. Bones prepped for scan

Mr. Bones gets ready for his scan.


(Credit:
St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park)

Mr. Bones has an arthritis-related jaw condition. He can’t open his mouth as fully as an alligator normally can. Lately, he’s not even been able to open it as wide as usual. To find out what’s up, the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park in Florida had to take him in for a CT scan.

Mr. Bones is a large albino alligator. You can’t exactly sit him down and explain in English why he needs to keep still for his own good to have a successful CT scan. He had to be fully restrained, but without the use of sedatives, since administering drugs can be a risky endeavor with potentially dangerous side effects for alligators.

Mr. Bones was transported to the University of Florida for his scan. It required quite a few industrial-size tie-downs to hold the gator in place on a wood board. He had to be completely strapped down for his expedition into the scanning machine.

As far as alligators go, Mr. Bones seems to display a fairly even temperament. He had previously gone through training to teach him to stop on command while swimming, and also to “shake hands.” Just don’t try that on your own with any old alligator you come across.

The staff at St. Augustine hopes the CT data will help them diagnose and work to improve Mr. Bones’ jaw issue. At least you’re not likely to spy Mr. Bones crawling up into the tree tops.

Alligator and CT machine

Mr. Bones is immobilized for the CT scanner.


(Credit:
St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park)

(Via Boing Boing)

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/D-n14deHdTA/

Learn to exercise like an astronaut

February 5th, 2014 No comments


(Credit:
Video screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET)

Going into space does havoc on the human body.

One of the biggest problems is muscle atrophy. When the body isn’t working against the forces of gravity to move, or even stay upright, thereby putting weight on the muscles of the legs and back, those muscles can waste away pretty quickly. To combat this, astronauts in space have to work out for two hours a day to keep their muscles in check.

As you can see in the video below of astronaut Colonel Michael Hopkins training aboard the International Space Station, it’s pretty intense.

If you’d like to be able to do what he does, Colonel Hopkins will be taking to Google+ on Thursday, February 6, at 9:15 a.m. PT to share some of his astronaut-training tips. He’ll be joined by fellow astronaut Rick Mastracchio, and the pair will be streaming from space, onboard the ISS. Joining them Earthside will be astronaut Jeanette Epps, US Olympic bobsledder Curt Tomasevicz, CrossFit Games champion Rich Froning, Houston Texans football player Jared Crick and Peter Moore of Men’s Health magazine.

To check out Colonel Hopkins’ Train Like an Astronaut program, head over to the Facebook page. You can join the Google+ Hangout here. And don’t worry if you’re not awake in time to catch it — you can submit questions via Google+ beforehand, and the video of the event will be available afterwards via NASA’s Google+ page.

(Source: Crave Australia)

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/QGTp9vWmPrU/