This might be the neatest thing I’ve ever read.
Scientists may have figured out a way to repair damage from traumatic brain injuries (via io9). They inserted neural implants into brain-damaged rats (poor rats) to see if they could reconnect the damaged areas artificially. . . and they did!
The researchers left this running continuously for two weeks, after which time the rats recovered nearly all function lost due to injury. In subsequent tests, rats were able to retrieve a food pellet nearly 70% of the time, which was just as good as uninjured rats.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Living in the future is awesome.
Kotaku shares that we don’t have to be worried about a robot apocalypse just yet. The robot in the frontrunning to be the real-life Terminator has yet to master walking over sticks. Phew!
Anyone else find robots a little creepy? Especially ones that are trying to mimic natural movement. There’s just something about them that makes me shudder. I know it’s the uncanny valley, a concept I first learned about a couple of years ago when I came across this video in an online article:
Though the term “uncanny valley” generally refers to robots that appear too human to be robots and too robotic to be human — putting them in this weird no-man’s-land of revulsion — it’s also frequently used to describe any robot that triggers a strong negative response through being almost-but-not-quite natural. Like the Big Dog robot above. It moves like an animal but it’s clearly not an animal, and it’s like my brain doesn’t quite know what to do with that information except go:
One of the greatest pleasures of writing, in my opinion, is having the story unfold at your fingertips. Now, for folks who don’t write, that sounds weird, doesn’t it? Like, I’m the author; I should know what the characters are going to do, how everything’s going to get resolved, and what’s going to happen next.
Except, I don’t.
There is no correct way to write a novel. It’s whatever works for you. I originally plotted out my stories more extensively, but I found I would get stuck on trying to force certain plot elements to happen instead of going with the flow, and as a result, I rarely finished anything.
Now, I’m a “pantser”. If you’re not familiar with the term, it comes from the larger saying “seat of your pants”. What it means is that when I start writing a new story, I don’t plot it out extensively (I’m not a “plotter”, I write by the seat of my pants). I create the characters and come up with a starting point or a concept for the overall story. Then I’ll brainstorm a few events I want to see happen. I might even have a vague idea of the end of the story, how everything’s going to be resolved, but the nitty gritty details? I wait for those to come out as I write.
As a result, my characters often surprise me. For example, on my current work in progress, the main obstacle between the hero and heroine getting together was supposed to be the hero’s hang-ups with a certain external element. Except, in writing it out, the hero’s decided that hell no, he’s down with getting together with the heroine; it’s the heroine who is having issues.
This is after the heroine has propositioned the hero in a scene that was supposed to be about watching a movie and getting to know each other more. Oh, and after the hero decided his business was having problems that I didn’t know about until I wrote it.
It’s hard to describe, but this is the magic of writing. This is why I do it. I have people living in my head who want me to tell their story. I’m just the fingers typing the words on a page.
I’m not a fan of boats, of any sort. Weirdly enough, I think that’s tied to my fear of heights (yes, I know, a psychologist could have a field day with that). Deep water is really just the same as open air, except there are fish living in it that might eat you.
Okay, moving on! Despite my lack of love for boating, I found this video quite amazing (via Gizmodo).
This is a US Navy Destroyer pulling an evasive manoeuvre. It’s no speedboat, but consider the size of the thing compared to how quickly it picks up speed and then turns at full speed. Wow. Engineering win, man.
If you check out the article, you’ll see some additional pictures, including some in the comments that help put the ship in scale.
As a mom of two and a romance writer (not to mention my staid day job), I’m probably the person least expected to love muscle cars. Yeah, I’m not talking sporty-but-dainty coupes that sound like lawnmowers when you put them in reverse. I’m talking full-on, engine-rumbles-the-neighbourhood muscle. Camaros. Trans-Ams. Mustangs. Challengers. Big, monstrous cars.
I love them.
Pretty sure my love of muscle cars started with Knight Rider back in the early 80s. I was six when that show first aired and I distinctly remember crying one night when it got pre-empted. Not because I would miss David Hasselhoff. I didn’t care about him. No, it was KITT I wanted to see, the talking, self-driving, turbo-boosting Trans-Am.
Slowly my love for all things mechanically muscular extended into enjoying the more classic muscle cars. Like Burt Reynold’s Trans-Am from Smokey and the Bandit (sadly lacking the ability to drive itself but with a kick-ass screaming chicken decal on the hood). Or Eleanor from Gone in 60 Seconds, a 1967 Shelby Mustang GT 500 and Memphis’s unicorn. I even tried to watch Steve McQueen’s Bullitt on the recommendation of my dad, purely for the car chase with the 1968 Ford Mustang 390 GT 2+2 Fastback, but I couldn’t manage it (I’m not a fan of 60s movies). One of the things I loved in Mercedes Lackey’s SERRAted Edge series of books was that the hero, Tannim, drove a 1970 Mustang Mach 1. A magic Mach 1 at that.
And then they did a remake of Knight Rider in 2008 and OMG, that Mustang was hot.
Then, in 1999, I managed to snag my own unicorn. Sort of. I bought a used 1995 Pontiac Firebird. It wasn’t a Trans-Am and it had a wee little V6 (3.4 L), but it had a t-top and it could move. The t-tops leaked and it was an automatic, but I loved that car. I paid way too much for it, but I loved that car.
I ended up trading it in on a Nissan Sentra. Practically outweighed fun and though it was the right decision at the time, I still miss the Bird. (And I hated the lemony Sentra with its screwed-up brakes, but that’s a whole ‘nother blog post.)
In the years since I traded it in, they’ve stopped making Firebirds. And then they stopped making Pontiacs altogether. My new dream is the car I pictured up at the top of this post: a Chevy Camaro ZL1. In purple. And I might rig it with a KITT sensor-light kit because why not.
Someday, I’ll recapture my unicorn. And hope I don’t get a speeding ticket.