Showing posts with label gadgets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gadgets. Show all posts

This Week in Geekdom

It feels so good to be back on a regular publication schedule. Rolling out our new look for the site has been pretty awesome too. Thanks to you guys, the site has been growing pretty much week over week. Given all this goodness, we thought that the interface and overall design could do with an upgrade. Most of what you see now is the handiwork of Kay Luxe Design. We're very happy with Kay's work and hope that you enjoy the new site. We may or may not be having too much fun rolling perpetual nat-20s on our 'Got a Game' dice widget. 

And, for once in what seems like far too long, it's not snowing! <> Ok, ok. Enough dancing and more This Week in Geekdom!


That yawp of joy you may have heard earlier this week was likely from fans of the animated TV series Invader Zim as they learned that their favorite characters will get new life in the form of a new comic series. The series is being published by Oni Press and the first issue will be available in July of this year. Certain authors here at the Care and Feeding of Nerds are doing a happy dance of their own.

Fight Club is getting a sequel, but not on the big screen. The story will continue as a comic. The comic run will be published by Dark Horse and will be available beginning in May of this year.


File this one under: Why would anyone do that? It's a paid app for your phone that plays an RPG by itself, with no input from actual players.

New streaming platform D! is trying to give Twitch a run for its money so far as broadcasting eSports is concerned? What's D!ingIt? It's this.

On Wednesday a group of Civilization V fanatics deployed their mod that would allow the game to play itself (via 42 different civs).

The long and storied history of one of the first major PC sports titles: Football Manager.

Paradox wants more Goat Simulator, less Call of Duty.


Cartoon Network has confirmed that it will be rebooting the animated series the Powerpuff Girls. The reboot is slated to launch sometime in 2016.

Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice is still over a year away, but we got another glimpse into the new DC movieverse this week with this promotional shot of Jason Mamoa as Aquaman.

Speaking of movies we won't be seeing for quite some time, 20th Century Fox has confirmed that it will be working with director Neil Blomkamp (Distrinct 9, Chappie) to develop a new sequel to Aliens. Bonus: this project is completely separate from Prometheus 2.


Toyota seems to be taking emissions control for its cars very seriously. The automaker has apparently been reviewing research into catalytic converters that have the ability to control car-formed pollutants at the quantum level.

Snow has been the source of more than a few complaints on here during the past month. It turns out that accurately forecasting snowfall is one of the most difficult things meteorologists can do. Here's why.

Real Life Superhero

Our proverbial hats go off to the University of Toronto, whose researchers have set up and provided a 3D printer in order to make cheap, but effective, prosthetics for Ugandans in need.

General Awesomeness/Feats of Nerdery

We will be getting a new Dr. Seuss book on July 28th. The posthumous title comes to us via a manuscript recently discovered by the author's widow and his secretary.

Though fans of Hellboy won't be getting another movie featuring their favorite character anytime soon, they can console themselves with this Hellboy-inspired beer.

Did you miss Toy Fair 2015 last weekend? No worries, Topless Robot put together this helpful highlight reel of all the best new toys.

For reasons we're still not clear on, the Canadian army has decided to build a real-life version of the Assault Rifle from Halo.

If the real-life Assault Rife isn't available to you, you can get yourself one of these street-legal Master Chief motorcycle helmets.

Well that's certainly one way to make it so. Star Trek fan ThePlanetMike went and built this warp core table lamp. Check it out in action:
Crowdfundables For Your Consideration

On Friday, we got a chance to talk with Dominic of Medieval Lords Games about the innovative secret roles assassination game Hitman Holiday. The campaign for the game is still open if you're up for a bout of sunshine and death.

Another of the active campaigns associated with projects from our Developer Dialogues series is the Kickstarter for Amino. You have 13 more days to get in on the molecule-building fun.

As always, best wishes for an excellent week ahead!
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Nomnoms! Apple Cranberry Crisp

You know what we haven’t had in half-past forever? A recipe. Amidst all the changes that have been going on in here, the poor Kitchen Codex has gone without any post love. Well that’s about to be remedied. Now that those of us in the Northern Hemisphere are in the thick of autumn, we have access to the ingredients for the cold weather version of this summer dinner substitute…er…I mean dessert.
Cranberries are one of those ingredients that easily grabs the eye, but tend to stymie many cooks. That discomfort is one of the reasons why the berries end up in the same three or four time-tested places year after year (namely in the form of juice or gelatinous sauce). Fear not though, for the cranberry is a fun fruit that’s also chock-full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and polyphenols. The active compounds in this diminutive berry have been at the center of a number of studies linking said compounds to an enhanced ability to fight the formation of kidney stones[1] and a possible diminished risk of developing certain types of cancer[2].

Fresh cranberries are often sold loose by the pound/kilo or in pre-packed bags. In either case, you’re almost certain to find the berries in the produce section of your local market (usually between late September and late December). A good berry will have a vivid red hue, unblemished skin, and will be pretty firm to the touch. The firmness part is the biggest determinant of whether or not you’ve got a good berry on your hands. A very healthy, tasty berry will bounce if you drop it onto a hard surface. This is actually a method that cranberry farmers still use to test their crops!

Bouncing berries aside, this is a recipe that’s low on the difficulty but big on flavor. It tempers sweetness with tartness and packs plenty of crunch. Bonus: it will leave your kitchen smelling spicy and delicious for hours after the crisp has finished baking. It makes for a nice pick-me-up on dark and rainy fall days.
Difficulty: Easy
Availability of Ingredients: Seasonal
Gadgetry: None
Feeds: 4-8 nerds
Time Till Noms: About 30 minutes of preparation and an additional 25-35 minutes of baking time
Required Equipment: a cutting board, a large glass bowl, another small bowl, a sharp knife, a wooden spoon/spatula, a cheese grater, a medium-sized glass or ceramic baking dish
Optional Equipment: an apple slicer, a food processor, a fruit zester, a citrus press


For the Filling

5-6 large-to-medium sized apples
2/3 cup of chopped cranberries
The zest and juice of half of 1 lemon (potential substitution: the zest and juice of half of 1 orange)
1/4 teaspoon of each of the following spices: cinnamon, nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon of fine salt
Non-stick cooking spray

For the Topping

1 cup of brown sugar
1.5 cups of whole, rolled oats
A few shakes of cinnamon and nutmeg
¼ teaspoon of fine salt
4 Tablespoons of melted, unsalted butter

**Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (218.33 degrees Celsius)**

Step 1: Cut all of the apples into slices approximately ¼” (0.64cm) wide. An average apple should yield 20-24 slices. Put all of these into your large glass bowl, then add the zest and juice of your lemon (or orange).

Step 2: Using either your sharp knife or a food processor, chop the cranberries into coarse pieces, then add the pieces to the apple slices. Add the salt and spices to the mix, then stir the contents of the bowl until the berries and spices are as uniformly distributed as possible.
Step 3: Coat the bottom of your baking dish with a thin coat of non-stick cooking spray. Transfer the apple-and-berry mix to your baking dish, smoothing the mix with your wooden spoon so it lies evenly in the dish.
Step 4: Add the brown sugar, rolled oats, and spices to your smaller bowl and, using a fork or other utensil, toss the contents together so the resulting mix is as uniform in consistency as possible. Gently shake the mix over the apple cranberry base, covering the latter with the former as evenly as you can.

Step 5: Melt the butter* (you can do so either on your stovetop or in a microwave), then drizzle it over the crisp. Place the crisp in the oven and bake for 25-35 minutes (until the topping is a golden brown). Let the finished product cool for at least 10-15 minutes before serving. Woot! You have yourself some apple cranberry crisp!

*Alternatively, you can break up your butter into small pieces, then toss them together with the dry ingredients of the topping. Either method will produce a yummy, crunchy top layer.

Does it matter what kind of apples I use?
Not particularly. I’d recommend using apples with firm flesh (these may be labeled as ‘great for baking’ at your market) or at least making firm apples the majority component of your mix. Using more than one kind of apple can be a fun way to experiment and add depth to your flavor.

Do I have to use apples? Can I use pears instead?
You can definitely substitute pears so long as they’re hearty enough to hold up to baking. Most varieties of pear pair well with cranberries (sorry, couldn’t help myself). D’Anjou pears are a good starting point if you’re thinking of going this route. Also, mixing apples and pears can be an interesting take on this recipe.

Do you peel the apples/pears before slicing them?
I don’t peel any of the fruit in this recipe, but that’s a personal preference rather than a necessity. If you don’t like the taste or texture of the peels, feel free to remove them.

Do I have to use whole oats? Can I use minute or steel-cut oats instead?
Definitely, though you may have to add 5-10 minutes to your baking time or blend rolled/minute oats in if you're using steel-cut oats. After a bunch of trial-and-error, I've found that most types of oats will work and you could probably attempt this recipe with other types of whole grains.

Have fun with your kitchen experimentations! Also, don’t hesitate to give us a shout if you have any questions or if you’d like to share photos of your finished dishes.

[1] McHarg, T., Rodgers, A., and Charlton, K. (2003). “The Influence of Cranberry Juice on the Urinary Risk Factors for Calcium Oxalate Kidney Stone Formation.” BJU Int. 92(7): 765-8. DOI: 10/1046J.1464-410X.2003.04472
[2] MacLean, MA. Scott, BE., Deziel, BA., Nunnelley, MC., Liberty, AM., Gottschall-Pass, KT., Neto, CC., Hurta, RA. (2011). “North American Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) Stimulates Apoptotic Pathways in DU145 Human Prostate Cancer Cells in Vitro.” Nutr Cancer. Jan; 63(1) 109-20. 

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This Week in Geekdom

How is it June already? Seriously, where has this year gone? We'll be getting back to Lorenz transformation territory if this pace keeps up. No complaints here though, as this phenomenon brings Gen Con 2014 much closer. Can't wait. In the meantime, let's get down to the Week in Geekdom!


Gaiman v MacFarlane was one of the single most followed comic book legal battles to date. This week, the transcripts of this epic courtroom struggle were released to the public.

The top 10 DC/Marvel villainesses of all time. Do you agree? 


Nintendo has had a rough go of things lately and this week was no exception. Ubisoft announced that it had no plans to create games for Nintendo's maligned Wii U console for next month's E3 convention, essentially confirming that third party game developers as a whole would not be embracing the Wii U.

The Ubisoft announcement detracted a fair bit of attention away from the fact that on Friday Nintendo released what is, by all reports, an excellent game in Mario Kart 8. While the game is getting favorable reviews, the guys over at Digital Spy put together this psuedo-nostalgic look back at the top 10 Mario Kart tracks you loved to hate.  

Valve also had a setback this week, albeit not at the same disastrous level as that suffered by Nintendo, when it announced that its highly anticipated Steam Machine PC gaming controller would not be hitting the marketplace this year as originally forecast. The updated release schedule is disconcertingly amorphous, with Valve providing only the year 2015 as guidance.

Are you eagerly awaiting the next installment of Call of Duty? Sledgehammer Games has these tidbits on hand to help tide you over until November 4.

The stereotype of the stoner-gamer has persisted for decades, but few have attempted to parse out the reality from the fiction until, well, this 'study'.


The single biggest story of the week came out of the latest edition of the journal Science, in which Dutch scientists provided the details of their experiments which indicate that they may have achieved quantum teleportation.

Speaking of quantum goodness, this week brought us a new theory of reality that melds classical and quantum principles into a single paradigm.

It has been 40 years since Soviet researcher Vitaly Efimov attempted to use quantum equations to explain the behavior of atomic particles, but his work has finally been proven to be true.

Our favorite real-life Tony Stark, Elon Musk, keenly captured headlines on Thursday with this press release detailing the new Dragon V2 reusable space capsule. If you missed out on the live announcement, you can view the full video here. 

The US military, not to be outdone in the realm of near-future Stark Industries-esque technology, announced that it will be testing its 'Iron Man' suit as early as this summer. 

Apple, in the unfamiliar position of playing catch up, appears to be building this entry into the burgeoning smart watch market. If all goes according to estimates, the watch will be available for purchase in the third quarter of this year.

We have smart phones and smart watches, but smart bikes? A 20-year-old Canadian entrepreneur has set his sights on bringing two-wheeled transit into the information age. 

Bringing us closer to universal, real-time translation is...Skype? Microsoft debuted this future feature on Wednesday and the potential applications are pretty astounding. 

How many stars are there in the universe? Astronomer David Kornreich offers this response. (spoiler alert: many zeros ahead)

Sunsets, gorgeous cyclical atmospheric display or valuable source of data? Well, when the celestial body experiencing said sunset is Titan, the answer might be both.

NASA has become increasingly adept at re-establishing contact with decades-old orbital devices. The latest entry on their list of recovered hardware is the ISEE-3, which came back into the proverbial fold on Thursday.

The concept of a black hole has featured in both science fiction and viable research for decades, but these galaxial maws may only be half the story. Meet its sibling, the white hole.

Feats of Nerdery/General Awesomeness

Droids who can speak binary sold separately
Moisture farming is now no longer just a feature of the Tatooinian economy but, thanks to this invention, is a pragmatic way for denizens of remote locales to draw clean drinking water from the air.

Is that gentleman riding a suitcase? For one devoted farmer from China's Hunan province, the answer is yes. The motorized scooter/suitcase hybrid is the result of 10 years of trial and error by the farmer.

File this under Epic Replicas: this full scale version of the ED-209 from Robocop.

As always, best wishes for an excellent week ahead!

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This Week in Geekdom

Happy Sunday nerderinos! It's snowing right now and, while the precipitation itself looks very dramatic, there's been minimal accumulation. Despite this, the GIR and I have been treating the weekend as though we've been snowed in. The past two weeks have been chock full of changes (all of them good, some of them fuzzy) so it's been very nice to have the opportunity to sit back and enjoy a mellow, cozy few days. Being at home has also allowed for some progress to be made on my costume for PAX, which is especially excellent given that we're now less than three months out from the convention. There will be posts on that over the next few weeks but, for now, on to the Week in Geekdom!


If you've been reading the blog for a little while, you may recall that Klei Entertainment is one of our favorite indie developers. So it was a special treat to get not one, but two announcements from the studio this week. First on the docket is this brief regarding the first DLC for Don't Starve.  The expansion, titled Reign of Giants, does not yet have a definite release date, but Klei assures us that we'll get our clicky paws on the material later this year. Until then, we'll have to console ourselves with the base game and this preview video.

The second of the Klei announcements centered around its forthcoming turn-based tactical espionage game. The game, formerly known as Incognita, was officially renamed Invisible, Inc. after the latter tested better with focal groups. We also got a glimpse of the alpha for Invisible, Inc., which is also now available for pre-order at a 20% discount.

In a move that had gamers alternately shaking their heads and asking "Where was this last year?", Maxis finally admitted that they committed a number of hubristic mistakes with the launch of SimCity. And we all know just how well that turned out. In a belated corrective act, the studio will release Update 10 for the game in the next few weeks. The update will allegedly allow for a wholly offline single player experience, but the damage to Maxis and the Sim City brand is likely far from mended.

This fan-made brawler game based on the He-Man/She-Ra cartoon series is both beautiful and brilliant.


Asteroid mining is one of those sci-fi tropes that has always orbited the realm of the pseudo-plausible. Well, a new Harvard study tips that notion more towards the psuedo and away from the plausible.

In a delicious melding of archeology and biomolecular studies, researchers believe they have identified the ingredients that comprised the ancient Nordic libation known as grog. 

In another probable instance of climate change, scientists at the British Antarctic Survey believe that the Pine Island Glacier, one of Antarctica's largest, has now entered a self-sustaining retreat.

Oh Pluto, it's about time you got some attention. NASA's fast-moving spacecraft New Horizons is nearing the planet dwarf planet with just over a year to go before it reaches apsis. Armed with LORRI, one of the most powerful long-distance imagers ever made, New Horizons may show us an entirely new side of this snubbed member of our solar system.

Colony Collapse Disorder has been a problem of increasing severity for bee species around the globe. The CSIRO, when not occupied building dragons, has developed these tiny bee-mounted sensors in the hopes of shedding some light on this conundrum. 

Nuclear pasta: Homer Simpson's lunch or a wholly new state of matter found in neutron stars?

On Tuesday, the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) Collaboration announced that they had measured the universe to an accuracy of 1 percent.

Speaking of the vastness of the universe, it took the prime supercomputer at Germany's Max Planck Society's Supercomputing Centre a month to complete, but researchers at the Centre now believe they have the best possible data concerning the evolution of the 20 million galaxies that make up the known universe.

The past few weeks have been brutally cold for much of North America, but Earth is certainly not alone in its ability to produce polar vortices. Check out these images of polar vortices as they occur in our solar system compatriots.

Yesterday Paramount Studios uttered what will likely be the death knell for physical film with their proclamation that they will henceforth only produce movies digitally.


It's been more than a year since Peter Parker got himself body snatched by the mind of Otto Octavius, but that's a situation that's about to be corrected.


What if the Dr. Who 50th anniversary special was actually an episode of Friends?

Season Four of Game of Thrones is coming:

General Awesomeness/Feats of Nerdery

File this one under: astounding things made during downtime at work. A Japanese university janitor spent seven years drafting this, one of the most complex mazes ever seen. Love it? The janitor's daughter is selling prints of her father's work here.

Detroit hosted its annual auto show this week and, while many companies sought to garner attention with flashy, impractical concept cars, Volkswagen took a decidedly different tack. Frank Herbert fans rejoice, for the newest Volkswagen creation is this Dune-inspired Beetle.

These 360 degree storybooks are simply jaw-droppingly gorgeous.

 A pair of electrical engineer friends set out to build a model of one of the most successful supercomputers ever made. This is the story of their unique quest.

There are the paper planes you made as a kid and then there's Luca's version of a paper plane. The latter took five years and hundreds of manila folders to complete.

I leave you with this awesome video of a Chrono Trigger run by Awesome Games Done Quick that netted a million dollars for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. As always, best wishes for an excellent week ahead!

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This Week in Geekdom

And 2014 is off and running! It's been a very snowy start to the year, but these Hoth-like conditions have provided ample opportunity to catch up on quite a bit (not least of which being a return to a regular posting schedule). It's not quite a resolution, but I'm determined to not let all the purchases of the recent Steam Winter Sale sit uninstalled and idle in my library and being snowed in is a perfect excuse to game with impunity. Next week will kick off the cosplay posts for 2014 but, for now, This Week in Geekdom!

Happy New Year from Mars! (courtesy of Curiosity)

To say Wolverine is well-known in the world of comics would be just a bit of an understatement. But, was the concept for this infamous member of the X-Men stolen and the creator left unaccredited for the past 4 decades? Bleeding Cool sought to find out.

2014 is shaping up to be a pretty big year for the Merc with a Mouth. On Thursday Marvel released these teaser images from what appears to be Deadpool's upcoming wedding. Whether this legitimately part of the overarching Deadpool story arc or an elaborate prank on readers (given the character and the non-specific April release date) remains to be seen, but we'll learn the truth soon enough.

It was only a matter of time. The proclamation came down on Friday afternoon from Disney/LucasFilm that the license for Star Wars comics was being withdrawn from long-time publisher Dark Horse and given to the 'in house' producer of graphic novels: Marvel. Marvel will start releasing Star Wars comics beginning in 2015 to coincide with the release of Episode VII.


Antarctica has gotten quite a bit of press recently, but the frozen continent has yielded up more than ship-entrapping ice in the past week. Technicians associated with the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust have processed and carefully restored an unearthed (or un-iced) set of 100-year-old negatives. Click here to glimpse some of the results.

Speaking of the frozen bookends of Earth, let's transition over to the opposing hemisphere for a moment. The newest edition of the journal Nature describes the work of researchers in Greenland who discovered a colossal aquifer 'lake' within the world's second largest ice sheet. 

The parliament of the United Kingdom is close to enacting legislation that may change the makeup of human DNA forever. The bill in question would essentially allow for a new type of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) that utilizes genetic material from three parents. Read here to see how such a process is even possible.

As mentioned last week, 2013 was a pretty significant year for many scientific fields. Archeology was no exception to this trend and the BBC has compiled this synopsis of the year in excavations.

While it's widely known that, 14 billion years after the Big Bang, the universe is still expanding. However, the fact that this expansion is taking place at an increasing rate has long been a source of consternation to physicists. Researcher Craig Hogan may have solved at least part of this mystery. Read here for his conclusions, which may delineate where quantum physics ends and cosmic physics begins. 

It may not look like any gecko that traipses this planet, but the European Space Agency has adopted the nomenclature for Abigaille, their new horizontal-to-vertical 'gecko-bot'.

Ford made waves in the auto-making world this week with their announcement that they will be engineering and releasing a hybrid concept car that will be at least partially powered by photovoltaic cells. Additional details on this would-be solar car will be released in the next few days during the International CES.

Pancreatic cancer is incredibly challenging both to effectively detect and to treat. However, these difficulties may soon be a thing of the past. The latest edition of the journal PNAS details the potentially groundbreaking findings of scientists at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute.  

General Awesomeness/Feats of Nerdery

It took DeviantArt user Unrellius 14 months to create this poster-style depiction of every character to ever appear on Futurama. Bonus: the image is 100% free to print!

When it comes time to tender your resignation you could compose  a letter or go outside standard protocol. Avid Trekkie David Waddell chose the latter, announcing his departure from the local legislature of a North Carolina town with an announcement in Klingon. 

Artist Luke Jerram's latest collection is a unique blend of stunning visuals and harrowing pathology. Jerram re-created some of the deadliest and most virulent microorganisms in delicately hand-blown glass. The results are more than a bit surreal.  

The snow on the ground right now is too light and fluffy to make snowmen, but nerds in other cold weather locales are not so afflicted. Check out these 30 snowmen based on characters and scenes from Calvin & Hobbes.

I leave you all with this smile-inducing image of Sirs Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart celebrating the new year together. As always, best wishes for an awesome week ahead!

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