Virtual Reality Gender Swap Puts You In Someone Else’s Shoes (And Underwear)

The video below is deemed NSFW for some women who go topless in the name of science. Science!

Take one part Strange Days and one part Brainscan, then mix them both with my state of mind after having three bourbons while watching HBO’s Girls. The result is the much more thought-provoking series of social experiments from BeAnotherLab, through their central project The Machine to Be Another. It uses cameras and virtual reality headsets to simulate being another person. While not earth-shattering in its approach, it’s pretty extraordinary stuff on a person-by-person basis. And if you were wondering why Brainscan is in there, it’s because I want to know what it’s like to murder someone without getting in trouble for it. A-duh.


3D Print Your Unborn Baby For The Worst Keepsake Ever

3d babiesWe’re used to the world of 3D printing hitting some pretty weird and grand places, from an entire car to functioning prosthetic body parts. But this one company, the crowdfunded 3D Babies, has finally uncovered the key to dismantling my subconscious by offering up 3D-printed versions of your unborn baby. I’m using the “universal you” in this case, because if I specifically knew any of you were planning on doing this, I would staple a restraining order to your face.

Combining the uncomfortable feeling one gets when looking at a fetus with the displeasure one gets from holding something fetus-shaped, 3D Babies are sure to be a hit at your next baby shower, the majority of which you’ll spend trying to explain your lack of decision-making skills. Is that why you got pregnant in the first place? What would your grandmother say, after she rose from her dead faint?

The figures are printed using a 3D or 4D ultrasound photo as a blueprint, or a blue-faced print if the umbilical cord happens to be a bit of a nuisance. And not only are they customized to look just like your little blob of heaven, but you can micromanage a little further. Choose from the $800 full-sized, eight-inch-long model, the $400 half-size, or the $200 mini for all you fucking wackoloons who are on a budget. You can also choose between light, medium, and dark skin tones, and whether you want it posed with its arms and legs crossed, as if it were cannonball diving out of a vagina, or with its arms and legs spread wide open, as if it were part of a fart-lighting ceremony, balls and all.


James Cameron And Avatar Are Still Undefeated At Copyright Lawsuits

avatarWith American Hustle and Dallas Buyers Club currently sitting high on moivegoers’ minds during this awards season, it’s not hard to think about what the award-nominated films will be 30 or 40 years from now. I don’t think it’s out of the question to assume some indie filmmaker will pen a script about the past three years of James Cameron’s legal dealings involving Avatar-related lawsuits. It’ll be turned into a super-dramatic movie and it’ll win something, probably in the same category as Avatar 7.

Last weekend, Cameron won yet another case, this time against Bryant Moore, who claimed Cameron had mooched some ideas from his own screenplays titled Aquatica and The Pollination, and that it was worth a $1 billion suit. Moore was the contender that lasted the longest when the Oscar-winning directed was first attacked with the three initial cases. Maryland U.S. District Judge Roger Titus ruled that Moore’s screenplays were different enough from Cameron’s screenplay and film that both were independent of the other. It’s like these guys think that someone like James Cameron didn’t spend all of his life building concepts and ideas to use at later dates, thus setting a precedent for a work’s originality.


Finding Water In Stardust Has Exciting Implications For Life Elsewhere In The Universe

star dustCarl Sagan enjoyed talking about “star stuff” and reminding us that we—and everything else in the cosmos—is made of it. “Star stuff” is really a synonym for stardust, which doesn’t sound quite as romantic, given the dust part. Regardless of what you call it, new findings show that stardust is even more enchanted and important than previously thought: it contains water.

A team of scientists from California’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory wanted to investigate the much-debated question of where water comes from (it doesn’t just come from clouds, it turns out—that’s just what we Earthlings might think) and whether solar wind can produce it. They did what researchers before them have done, which is to simulate the chemical reaction that occurs when tiny grains of dust floating around in the cosmos are blasted with solar wind. Such experiments have before revealed that this dust does contain organic compounds such as carbon, but this time when the team trained their ultra-awesome microscopes on these specks of desk, they found something else, water. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, details the first time scientists have found water inside stardust.


Particle Fever Trailer Tells The Large Hadron Collider Story

A physics-based documentary may sound yawn-inducing, but this trailer for Particle Fever, about the Large Hadron Collider, looks like a surprisingly good time. Seriously, this could be really interesting. I can barely multiply and I’ll go see this when it arrives at a theater near me. In a town like Boston, I won’t be the only geek munching on popcorn while watching a science flick.

For those of you who don’t know what the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is, let me try to explain. Or you could just wait to see Particle Fever, as I’m sure it provides a much better explanation. What the hell, here goes nothing. The LHC is the biggest, baddest machine ever built. Its construction at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) in Geneva, Switzerland took an entire decade, from 1998-2008, and it lives in a tunnel 574 feet underground that has a circumference of 17 miles.


Turning Cremains Into Diamonds

diamond ashesHere’s something we never saw on Six Feet Under.

A Swiss company called Algordanza helps people “keep your loved one[s] presently close to your heart” by hiring them to turn the ashes of the dearly departed into wearable diamonds. The company has a process that mimics the high-pressure, high-temperature geological conditions that produce diamonds.

Algordanza founder and CEO Rinaldo Willy first conceived this idea 10 years ago, and has been working ever since to transform it into a reality. As of now, Algordanza’s got customers in over 20 countries (25% of the customers are from Japan) and processes the cremains of 800-900 people per year. At the end of that process, customers get diamonds made from their deceased love ones, which they can keep or wear as jewelry. People can even set up arrangements ahead of time to have their own cremains turned into diamonds. As the website touts, “For a brilliant memory, a brilliant gem.”