Why Are Stars Star-Shaped?
Great new video from MinutePhysics that asks why we draw stars as star-shapes, when they’re really just spherical orbs of superheated plasma (and those are much easier to draw, by the way).
We know that stars twinkle because of the distortion caused by our atmosphere miles above your head, but that’s not what gives them their apparent star shape. If that were the case, then why do Hubble images also flare out? Unless J.J. Abrams works for NASA or something…
The actual answer lies in your very own eye. I won’t spoil the rest, but after my video this week (which looked into why goats have such weirdly shaped rectangular pupils), I have to know: What does the ungulate astronomer see?
PS - Which came first, stars… or stars?
Andrew Guscott makes custom game controllers! They’re beautiful.
Joan Truckenbrod: Poesis, 1975
"In my early work, I created a sense of presence of invisible forces in nature. For me, these forces in nature are metaphors for the interpersonal dynamics between people. I created algorithmic images, using mathematical descriptions of phenomena such as light reflecting off of irregular sur-faces, that embodied these dynamic forces. In these drawings, environmental phenomena that we sense, like the wind, were visualized and given a physical presence. Algorithmic patterns were also created on fabric using heat-transfer xerography. This mapping of environmental behaviors onto cloth propelled this algorithmic representation back into the natural world.
I began making digital drawings by programming the computer in FORTRAN programming language. These early drawings were created using an IBM Mainframe computer and a CalComp Plotter. The computer processing was done in Batch mode. My computer programs were processed and the resulting data for the drawings was recorded on a 16 BPI tape. I picked the tape up at the computer center and hand delivered it to the Geography Department at Northern Illinois University, who operated the large Calcomp drum. plotter.”
August 12th is the day that the IBM Personal Computer 5150 was introduced! This computer turned the entire industry on its head. Everyone and their hamster was making computers with most of them being their own bizarre idea of what a computer should be. Sure there was CP/M and the S100 standard, but there were no graphics, no sound, and no games.
Even the IBM PC seems bizarre when looking back on it. It has BASIC built into ROM and even has a cassette interface on the back! Like so many home computers of the day, you can turn it on and start typing in programs without any boot media. What is this, a Commodore?
To celebrate the IBM PC’s birthday, anyone posting a picture of their IBM PC 5150 will getone of these IBM PC stickers! You’ll also still be eligible for the Big Blue Week contest.
Happy Birthday PC!
A lumberjack video game music video called “Yelling In Sleep” by Rich Aucoin, written/directed/produced by Joel Mackenzie
Mercury and Gemini astronaut Gordon Cooper
(Source: Flickr / x-ray_delta_one)
The extracted, crushed game cartridges and gnarled packages reveal a stage in a product’s lifecycle beyond design, consumption, and utility. Brought to the surface, they prove intentional destruction: game software not as “revolutionary” invention but as discarded stuff along with mounds of plastic bags, bottles, cans, cardboard, newspapers, old Play-Doh, a porn mag, and domestic rubbish.
Read the full “Why We Dug Atari" on The Atlantic
io9 has revealed this Mondo Comic-Con exclusive. It’s a beautiful Kilian Eng Ghost in the Shell poster to celebrate Manga Entertainment’s re-release of Mamoru Oshii’s original 1995 film. Yes, if you’re in San Diego, you can head to the Mondo booth for your copy.
A Visual Guide to Robots & Cyborgs
In November 1981 in UK, Kenneth Baker, the Minister for Information Technology, proclaimed 1982 as “Information Technology Year, IT-82.” to support for the use of IT, like teletext and viewdata.