Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Ages ago now I promised I'd dig out some links for Mother Wasted about Alex the Amazing Thinking Parrot. I enjoyed re-reading the articles so I figured why not put 'em on here too. Alex is an African Grey parrot who can count, recognises shapes, colours, and materials, and has the emotional sophistication of a young child. There is another more technical article on him here. Having seen Alex on TV and Charlie (Mother Wasted's own African Grey friend) in the flesh, I'm convinced there's something there that isn't merely rote learning but not everyone agrees. For myself, after watching Charlie quite obviously trying to trick me into sticking my finger in the cage so he can eat a chunk of it, then laughing at me when he almost manages it, there's no doubt. The little bugger not only thinks; he has a wicked sense of humour too.
posted by Mark 12:20 PM

Friday, January 23, 2004

I thought this was a joke, but it turns out it's the real thing.
posted by Mark 3:26 PM

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Penguins can't fly, or so I used to believe. Now however, I know of at least one way to get them airborne . . . my best score was 318.3 and I spent far too long doing it.
posted by Mark 2:04 PM

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Poke The Penguin
posted by Mark 10:55 PM

Check out the training wheels on this beast! I like the wooden Harleys better.
posted by Mark 10:41 PM

We keep chucking stuff at Mars, and here, at last, is the Scorecard. The rules are deadly simple; if we got any useful information back, we get a point, if we don't, Mars wins.
posted by Mark 10:36 PM

On 29th January 2004, cannabis will be reclassified from a Class B to a Class C drug across the UK. As a controlled drug, production, supply and possession remains illegal. So what does change exactly then? A presumption against arrest is the one most people will be interested in; The Man shouldn't arrest you for posession unless you're really making a nuisance of yourself in certain well-defined ways, but he'll still confiscate your shit. Conclusion? Don't take all your stash with you when you go out, don't smoke openly in the street, and you'll be fine.

Editors Note: I'm not a lawyer, and neither are you probably. Don't just take my comments as being all you need to know - read the damn links!
posted by Mark 10:30 PM

Pavement Art that really is Art! Who'd a thunk it? I just know that next time I see one of those guys doing yet another cute puppy or tiger or eagle (on a piece of card and not even the pavement even!) I won't be able to resist asking if he's familiar with the work of Kurt Wenner. I know it's a smallminded kind of fun, but hey, you take the good times as they come, right? Just look at this stuff!
posted by Mark 10:13 PM

Making the Mind is a fascinating summary of how to build a brain and what DNA has to do with it all. It made me go "wow" several times. You might want to grab a coffee before clicking it however, it's not just a 3 minute skim. The writing is great, nice and straightforward, and it's just bulging with information; you'll learn how some african butterflies "choose" their colours based on their environment, how basic digital image compression works, and learn a good deal about how DNA functions in shaping your body. Wow.
posted by Mark 10:05 PM

Sunday, January 11, 2004

I know it's late, but Happy New Year anyway.
posted by Mark 10:37 PM

I've not seen anything quite like the Kinetic Sculptures by David C. Roy before. They are beautiful and abstract, but precise and kinda technical.
posted by Mark 10:01 PM

The Vos Pad is a bit of an experiment; a flat in London lit entirely with LEDs. I think it looks great, but I'm not convinced I'd want to live there. And if you aren't a fan of purple, forget it.
posted by Mark 9:47 PM

This essay is about heresy: how to think forbidden thoughts, and what to do with them.
posted by Mark 9:44 PM

Slow Wave is a wonderful comic strip by Jesse Reklaw, or as he describes it, "a collective dream diary authored by different people from around the world, and drawn as a comic strip". This is a terrific idea, and makes for some truly bizarre, funny comics, as well as a look at what other people's brains get up to when left to amuse themselves. Brilliant.
posted by Mark 9:40 PM

Okay, I know it's geeky, but Toshiba's 0.85 inch Hard Disk is really cute. No, honestly, hard drives can be cute.
posted by Mark 9:32 PM

Computers are replacing much of our traditional toys, and here's proof; Etch A Sketch
posted by Mark 9:29 PM