January 25th, 2010

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Writer's Block: Back from the dead

If you could experience being dead for one day to learn what happens in the afterlife, and were guaranteed to return to life the following day, would you do it? Why or why not?

No, that's how you get zombies.  Even if someone doesn't find my body and start autopsying or embalming, it'd still go through rigor mortis and decay.  My clothes would require laundering, and I'd really have to take a shower.  After a day of no oxygen, my brain would be useless.  (Shut up, Imaginary Heckler.)

I'll eventually find out anyway.  I can wait.
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And now, here's Coyoty with the weather...

When I was coming in to work this afternoon, a reporter with WTIC-61 (Fox 61) was at the entrance of the college, interviewing people about the weather and conditions.  They interviewed me, and said it will air on the 10 p.m. news.

EDIT: I checked the station's website, and here's the video.  I've got to stop doing television interviews.  It's true the camera adds ten pounds.  ("No, your Friday pizzas add ten pounds."  Shut up, Imaginary Heckler.)  I'm the first guy interviewed.

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China renames mountain after "Avatar" floating mountains.

China apparently has a love/hate relationship with the movie "Avatar".  They pulled the movie from its 2-D theaters to make room for a biography about Confucius, but have renamed a mountain after the floating mountains in the movie.  Saying that the "Southern Sky Column" in Zhangjiajie was the inspiration for the movie's Hallelujah Mountains, they have renamed it to "Avatar Hallelujah Mountain" in the hopes of generating tourist revenue.  I think I like the old name better.

Reuters story.
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NASA developing personal VTOL suits.


NASA is developing Vertical Take-Off and Landing vehicles that people would wear.  The user would step into the 12-foot body of the suit, take off like a helicopter, and then fly horizontally.  The suit would be powered entirely by electricity.  As with the Segway, the expected impact of the suit on transportation would be significant, with landing pads and repowering parking spaces being incorporated into building designs.  As with the Segway, I think the impact won't be as great as expected.

The named it "Puffin", probably because of the way it looks when landing.

New York Times story.