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Mr. Wizard passes away

Mr. Wizard from 1951 Mr. Wizard recent

July 10, 1917 – June 12, 2007

I wanted to post this because, in the same way that our comic book superheroes and the characters from mainstream media inspire us to strive toward a goal, Mr. Wizard inspired countless people with his television shows in the 50’s and the 80’s.

Below are a few snippets from the write-up at MAKE.

Donald Jeffrey Herbert “Mr. Wizard” (July 10, 1917 – June 12, 2007) brought science and fun to millions in the 50s, then again in the 80’s.

Watch Mr. Wizard (1951) had 547 live episodes. The show won a Peabody Award. Mr. Wizard’s World (1983 -1990) was the longest running show on Nickelodeon. In 1955 there were about 5,000 Mr. Wizard Science Clubs nationwide with more than 100,000 members.

You can see more at Mr. Wizards Studios and there are plenty of clips on YouTube from shows.

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The Future of Cinema Has Arrived…didn’t you know?

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When Disney’s “Meet the Robinsons” achieved the largest digital 3-D opening in history, people witnessed what could become the future of cinema. Joshua Greer, the President and Co-founder of Real D had this to say during a recent interview with IGN,

“…what’s really happening now with the filmmakers that are being turned on to 3-D is we’re seeing a new creative renaissance. And at the end of the day it’s about the story, but even more importantly how you tell the story, and what’s happening with these filmmakers is the way they’re thinking about 3-D now, as opposed to being just a gimmick, but actually as a storytelling device, is really, frankly, going to reinvigorate the experience of cinema again. So 3-D in and of itself, if we do our job right, in the next 10 years it’ll be as ubiquitous as colour or sound. It’s not like anyone goes out now looking for a black and white television. It’s just a natural part of the world.”

The technology is quite interesting, and seems to be well within the reach of any major multiplex. I’m not sure how much I like the idea of having a box full of special, ‘Real D’ glasses from every movie I’ve seen, but if they have come this far in the last 10 years, who knows what the future holds. If Real D can engineer a version of this tech that does not require migraine inducing specs, Viva la Revolution!

I’m still of the mindset that this new medium is going to need a mainstream blockbuster in order to thrive and become a viable format. Attn: Peter Jackson, I believe a re-release of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy is in order.

Additional “Real D” enhanced movies:
Lions 3D – Spring 2007
U23D – Fall 2007
Sea Monsters – October 2007
Beowulf – November 2007

For the full feature, click here.

Real D Homepage

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HD-DVD’s Key Hacked, Runs Wild

digghddvd.jpgIn a bold display that proves you can’t control information, social news network Digg.com has been over run with the code to decrypt HD-DVD, the high definition video format.

The code went up on digg mere hours ago, and the site was served a cease & desist order. Digg CEO Jay Adelson let it be known Digg would comply with the order to avoid the lawsuit. This level of censorship of course drove the millions of nerds who basically run Digg without much actual control or supervision all day completely crazy and the code began appearing in virtually every story submitted and gained millions of hits. In case you didn’t know, on Digg, users submit links which are then approved by other users when they “digg” them. A few hours ago, over 50,000 digs had been counted toward various HD DVD code submissions.

Now Digg Founder Kevin Rose has bowed to his users. Digg will go down fighting.

Gutsy move, sure, but the only option Digg had unless they wanted to monitor all stories and have them go through an editorial process. I hope it works out for the best.
[Read the rest of this entry…]

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Superman Beware – Kryptonite is Real

Kyrptonite!Ever wish something from the comics would just jump out into the real world to bite you in the ass? Well, your wishes could be closer than you think, or at least if you’re a Superman buff.

The BCC news reports that a new mineral was discovered in Rio Tinto, Serbia that has the same elemental properties as the fictional Kryptonite from DC comic fame. Dr. Chris Stanley of London’s Natural History Museum reports;

“Towards the end of my research I searched the web using the mineral’s chemical formula – sodium lithium boron silicate hydroxide – and was amazed to discover that same scientific name, written on a case of rock containing kryptonite stolen by Lex Luthor from a museum in the film Superman Returns.

“The new mineral does not contain fluorine (which it does in the film) and is white rather than green but, in all other respects, the chemistry matches that for the rock containing kryptonite.”

Read the full article here.

So rejoice, Lex Luthors of the world. Your quest for world domination and ridding yourselves of pesky flying strongmen in tights is one step closer to realization.

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Folding@Home@PS3

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Cure for cancer, cure for AIDS, make a gamer want to not play PS3 for days.

Distributed computing has been done for years on PC. Sci-Fi nerds spare cycles and bandwidth to help the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence for example.

Now with the super powerful Cell processor combined with a current lack of compelling software, Stanford University’s chemistry department has released a version of their Folding@home software on Playstation 3. Basically you can turn it on, and let it run while you’re not playing games and Stanford will use your game machine’s horsepower to run simulations of protein folding. Understanding the hows and whys is beyond me, but the research is currently being used to explore cures for various ailments, including some cancers and Alzheimers.

So go ahead and download it on PS3, you’ll find it on your XrossMediaBar under the network icon. Or if you like the idea you can toss it on your PC, Mac, or Linux box.

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