Spotted this over on BoingBoing, and thought it was suitably geeky to post. A pentatonic scale is a musical scale with 5 pitches per octave in contrast to a heptatonic (7 note) scale such as the standard major scale. What’s interesting about the pentatonic scale is it seems to be pretty much universally ingrained on theÂ brain, and is common across many many forms of music throughout the world. And Bobby McFerrin has an rather interesting way of demonstrating this to an audience.
BBC have a great article where they took away a 13yr old boy’s iPod, and gave him a classic Sony Walkman instead.
Born in 1996 (the year i graduated… i feel so old…) this was pretty much the first time young Scott Campbell had needed to deal with old analogue technology, particularly the staple of my youth, the humble home audio tape, producing my favourite remark from the article:
“It took me three days to figure out that there was another side to the tape.”
I first stumbled across the Improv Everywhere guys when they did their ‘freeze frame’ at Grand Central Station. In their latest experiments they’ve been cordinating large groups by getting them to download an mp3 file, meet in a location, and all start the mp3 at a designated time. You can find more on Improv Everywhere at www.improveverywhere.com.
Thanks to my programming friend Rich at Satechs for sending me the link.
The May 22 brings the arrival of the new Golf GTI, and to celebrate this the bods at Volkswagen have gone ‘old skool’ with a high tech twist. VW have constructed the â€˜GTI Project’. An awesome epic scale Scalextric track inside a hanger where you can take control of a 1:43 scale Golf GTI and race it against the clock from the comfort of your own room!
All the fun of Scalextric with out the hassle of covering the living room with track, and smashing lamps and ornaments every time the car flies off as you take the corner a little too quickly. You can still fly off on the corners, but if you do a helpful lab tech will pick you up and put you back on the track.
If you set a particularly impressive time, you’ll appear on the online global leader board, and could even be entered into the prize draw to win the chance of driving a new Golf GTI for three months.
To play the game, head on over to the GTI Project website and they’ll guide you through the virtual workshops of the modellers, then onto the race track itself.
There have been a few different varieties of electronic cigarettes knocking around recently, but Nicocig is the only one which is available from pharmacies, and is largest and official supplier of electronic cigarettes in the UK. I have a few friends that smoke, or who have been trying to get their partners to quit smoking, and they’d asked if these cigarette alternatives are any good. Have to say they seem rather impressive.
They were demoing it to me, and if your someone with a partner that smokes and can’t stand the smell, this could be a great compromise. Nicocig’s are better for the smoker, and the people around them. The Nicocig pretty much looks like a normal cigarette. The user inhales exactly the same why as he would when smoking ordinary cigarettes, however the ‘smoke’ that is exhaled is not smoke, but odourless harmless condensation.
Nicocig‘s don’t contain tar, tobacco, or any of the other 4000 chemicals that go into your average normal ciggy,Â just nicotine.
They’re also cheaper than normal cigarettes, and (as using an electronic cigarette is not smoking tobacco), electronic cigarettes are not prohibited by the smoking ban! So not more standing outside in the rain when you want to smoke.
Hop on over to Nicocig’s Website for more on electronic cigarettes.
In a return to our occasional series ‘Stuff Built By People With Way to Much Time on Their Hands‘, i give you the Portal Gun from the Valve’s brilliant game, Portal!
Emily, the recipient of the gun explains, “My boyfriend made this ASHPD for me for my upcoming Aperture Science Test Subject costume. It lights up both blue and orange along the tube and in the barrel, and the prongs light up red as long as the gun is on.”
Her boyfriend goes on to say “I tried to get the weathering as accurate to the gun in-game as possible. The idea here is that this gun has gone through Aperture labs several times by various test subjects, and probably has some mileage on it.”
Excellent work Emily’s boyfriend, you deserve some cake.