Saturday, July 2, 2011

Programmers Anonymous notes, 1010

Duo Adept: An 8-bit computer designed and built by Jack Eisenmann, a high school student.
Jack Eisenmann, a programmer who just graduated high school, has built his own 8-bit homebrew computer completely from scratch using an old keyboard, a television, and a ton of TTL logic chips. No, he didn't buy some computer parts and snap them together; he blueprinted every wire and connection and then built it, wire by wire. After he finished construction, he had to teach it how to communicate, so he created his own operating system and wrote some games for it.

Arduino: The Documentary

Obsolete collective's monthly chiptune showcase in downtown L.A.

In recent months, a pool of innovative L.A.-based artists who create music in an electronic subgenre called chiptune have formed the Obsolete collective, and have commenced throwing shows to celebrate their lo-bit love affair.

Tibetan singing bowls give up their chaotic secrets

The water-filled bowls, when rubbed with a leather-wrapped mallet, exhibit a lively dance of water droplets as they emit a haunting sound. Now slow-motion video has unveiled just what occurs in the bowls; droplets can actually bounce on the water's surface.


Science is Beauty

The Curfew: All Your Rights Are Belong to Us

The Curfew is terrific science fiction, pretty good cinema, a nicely designed defense of individual liberty, and an okay graphic adventure. It also won the Learning & Education award at the 2011 Games for Change Festival.
Designed by Kieron Gillen and funded by Britain's Channel 4, The Curfew takes place in 2027 in a UK dominated by "the Shepherd Party," which plays on fears of terrorism to impose near-absolute control over its citizens. They do so through gamification; you earn "citizen points" for obedience, and lose them through disobedience. Earn enough, and you can be a "Class A" citizen; its not clear what this gets you, other than jumping the queue at fast food joints.


Northwest Passages: Ursula K. Le Guin

AIR DATE: Thursday, April 29th 2010
Oregon icon Ursula K. Le Guin writes science fiction, fantasy, poetry, and children's books. She has won multiple honors for dozens of works, starting with her early novel A Wizard of Earthsea, and including the Library of Congress' Living Legends award and several honors for lifetime achievement.
The Oregonian recently called her the "Queen Mother of Science Fiction." I asked her if she was, and she laughed.

Ursula Le Guin, Oregon Art Beat
She's been called the Queen Mother of science fiction, but today Usula Le Guin is finishing a book of poems about Steens Mountains country, and working with photographer Roger Dorband. We join them in Harney county as she talks about her new book and reflects on her life as a writer.

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