The Scale of the Universe

I realized I missed posting in April entirely(!), and I don’t like the look of the gap in the archive calendar, so I’m back-dating this entry.

And you need to check this out, a Flash-animated Scale of the Universe that is simply mind-boggling. From the smallest structures known (quantum foam, the Planck length) to the largest (the size of the observable universe), that you can zoom in and out on, and it’s all to scale (relative to the zoom level). The coolest thing I’ve seen online lately.

Items of recent awesomeness

Some of these links aren’t as shiny-new as they were when I started this post, but even so:

The CDC’s zombie apocalypse preparedness plan: Yes, the CDC is all over the possibility of a zombie apocalypse. For real.

If zombies did start roaming the streets, CDC would conduct an investigation much like any other disease outbreak. CDC would provide technical assistance to cities, states, or international partners dealing with a zombie infestation. This assistance might include consultation, lab testing and analysis, patient management and care, tracking of contacts, and infection control (including isolation and quarantine).

Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn move trailer: I knew Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson were making a Tintin movie, but I didn’t realize just how OMGAWESOME it was going to be until I saw the trailer:

The Javascript PC emulator: pure amazing geekery. This is an x86 processor being emulated in Javascript inside a browser. And it’s running Linux. To be clear: what is essentially a full computer is running independently inside the browser. Which theoretically means you could run, well, anything inside of it.

Grand Theftendo

Via Slashdot tonight, this is totally amazing and cool: Grand Theftendo, a port of Grand Theft Auto III to the original Nintendo Entertainment System (an 8-bit machine!). (“Port” is a bit misleading; it’s all original, from the graphics to the dialogue to the code—it’s probably more of a tribute.) What’s more, the guy is writing the thing in assembly. Using an assembler and compiler he wrote himself to do the job.

Did I mention this is just a hobby that he works on in his spare time?

I stand in awe, and am half-seriously considering giving up this computer thing to become a potato farmer or something.

Paper Transformers

Via Boing Boing tonight comes a link to the PaperFormers, where you can print out the PDF files of cut-and-fold Transformer designs, and actually build working Transformers out of paper.

This takes me back; when I was young—probably around 12 or so—I used to create paper Transformers pretty much like these, though not nearly as elaborate. All I used was white paper, masking tape and small modelling sticks. Basically, I’d draw the design I’d want on the paper, usually in several pieces. Sometimes I’d color them. They were drawn to be foldable, with overlapping tabs for the tape and/or sticks to attach to. And they transformed, which of course was essential.

None survived to this day, of course. But they’re fun to do; maybe I’ll make some for the kids.