Source: National Geographic

Apparently, research into octopus arme may point the way to new robot designs.

Earlier research funded by the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research (ONR) suggests that, to keep the arms from constantly tangling themselves up, each arm has an independent peripheral nervous system and neural circuitry (see related-story link below). This allows the brain to essentially give a command—”Arm Four, fetch that tasty crab crawling by”—and have the arm carry out the order without the brain thinking about it again.

Tycho and Gabe have the info up for the next Penny Arcade Expo (PAX). They’ve added a lot more space to the convention (36,000 square feet and a Theater), so they can handle a lot more gamers this year. If you plan on being in this area in August, you may as well have some fun.

Just saw a little blip on the Variety RSS feed about Fox pushing the release of the “Fantastic Four” movie back a week to July 8th leaving the 4th of July spot to “The War of the Worlds”. Think they saw the trailer and went, “Ah crap. What the hell were we thinking trying to go head-to-head against Spielberg and Cruise? We were drunk that night, weren’t we?”

I guess they sobered up.

[Edited to add more to this.]

Since I can link to the Variety story, I’ll link to the Hollywood Reporter story (I don’t think I was logged in at HR, so it should be available to the public…for now). Apparently, they weren’t intimidated in the least by “War of the Worlds.”

“We are not running from ‘War of the Worlds,’ ” Fox president of distribution Bruce Snyder said. “This (new) date just works better for us.”

“We’re not running. We’re walking calmly toward the exit in an orderly fashion.” Well, that new date might be better, but then they’ll be going up against Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell in the “Bewitched” remake. Sure, it’s not Spielberg/Cruise, but those Kidman and Ferrell characters do have pretty wide fanbases themselves. It’s gonna be tough…Nicole Kidman as a witch or Jessica Alba as an invisible blonde? Or a second dose of alien war machines? I think war machines might win out, but we’ll see (if Fox releases another FF trailer, I’ll give it a look and make my decision then).

Anyways, Fox probably should have just stuck to their guns with July 4th just for marketing. I mean, how much catchier can you get than “Four on the Fourth”? Besides, they’re probably getting their powers in the movie through exposure to mystical fireworks instead of cosmic rays, so it would have fit right in with the holiday. ^_^

Scott Kurtz is back from the Emerald City ComiCon in Seattle and left a cryptic message on his blog:

You also may have noticed that the Penny-Arcade site it temporarily down. You know they’re local to the Seattle area right? I’m not saying I’m responsible, but I ain’t saying I’m not.



Those Penny Arcade boys are always on the cutting edge. Check out this sample from their new lo-bandwidth site:

Not sure what happened to them, but I think they mentioned something about getting some performance issues fixed…if that’s not the case, I hope it’s not too bad. On the bright side, this’ll cut a nice little chunk out of their bandwidth. Okay, maybe just a teeny-tiny chunk.

But I know I enjoyed them. ^_^

For the fantasy fans out there, the trailers section of the Apple website has a small behind-the-scenes look at the making of the upcoming Chronicles of Narnia film. The featurette is from WETA (the special effects crew from Lord of the Rings, the new King Kong, and I believe they’re also supposed to be working on the Neon Genesis Evangelion movie).

Info/link via SciFiDaily.

CBR With News from the Emerald City (ComiCon)

Some highlights:

  • Bendis insists that he hasn’t seen a correct guess to the identity of the “Mystery Avenger.” Let’s see… it’s kind of an all-star cast of the Marvel Universe with Cap, Iron Man, Spidey, and Wolverine. The mystery Avenger appears to know martial arts. He’s holding his hands on the cover in a way that could be a martial arts stance… or like a mystic would as he casts a spell. Without the Witch, they are a little light in the magic department. And that Dr. Strange fella is a martial artist, and he did pretty much wrap up and finish everything in Avengers Disassembled. So, I’m thinking all the signs point to…Dr. Doom (what other world class mystic would need to cover their face?). ^_^
  • Interestingly enough, the longest line of the convention was for Jhonen Vasquez (creator of “Johnny the Homicidal Maniac” and “Invader Zim”). He also wins the prize for the most rabid fans. I even heard one of the bigger publishers say, “Damn. We’ve really got to get some of that Goth money.”
  • “Golden Agers”–a retirement home heroes mini-epic by Robert Kirkman and Scott Kurtz.
  • Kurt Busiek’s working the Conan series toward the adaptation of Howards’ “Tower of the Elephant.”
  • DC recently “found” a Batman/Clayface story written and drawn by Mike Mignola sixteen years ago. How the heck do you lose something like that?

And there’s a lot more at the CBR article.

  • Batman Begins is off to a decent start. At least the trailer made me want to go see it, which is the primary goal of a trailer. It’s odd…I’ve seen trailers out there that seem to forget that. It can’t be that hard to look through some footage and think to yourself, “What would make me want to go see this movie?” Could it? Oh well, I’ll have to investigate that another day.
  • Also on the trailer front, Brian Frey chats with Comic Book Resources about the “Battle Hymn” trailer being used to promote this new Image mini-series by that B. Clay Moore writing/marketing fella.
  • Super Bowl. Close game for a moment there at the end, but the game itself felt weird. Was it just me or did it seem like the teams weren’t really hitting that hard in the game? Maybe I’ve just grown numb to the violence.
  • Speaking of the Super Bowl and it’s halftime show by Paul McCartney… February 7th (today in my little corner of the world as the clock rolls past midnight) was the day the Beatles first arrived in the United States waaay back in 1964.
  • Spook’d #11 is up. Probing documentarian Alastor uncovers some secret footage of the Monster League’s cruel attempts to increase their popularity.
  • Vampire Hunter D manga gets the translation treatment and will be published here in the U.S. by Dark Horse.
  • Wish I could have made it to this convention this weekend. Maybe next year…
  • Black Canary…Green Arrow…Justice League Unlimited…pretty fun episode. For television animation, that Canary fight scene at the beginning of the show was really good. If you missed it, I recommend giving it a watch if they replay the episode this week.
  • Opening a soda bottle while driving down a twisty, curvy, hilly backroad isn’t really a safe thing to do.
  • Super Bowl prediction: Philadelphia – who cares?, New England – meh. Sure, these teams can make things happen, but this doesn’t really “feel” like an exciting matchup to me…call it a hunch. I am a fan of running backs though, so It’s good to see Westbrook uninjured and taking part in the playoffs this year. And after all those productive (though seemingly volatile) years in Cincy, Dillon’s in the big show. That’s gotta feel good. I think one of these two will be the person that wins the game for their team.
  • Today in history…1891…The Dalton Gang attempts their first train robbery. They failed. And the big secret to how their robbery was thwarted? By a heavy door on the cash car and a guard locked inside that refused to open the door. I like a story where common sense wins out.

Ever wind up waiting in line (for a lengthy amount of time) and had someone behind you that wouldn’t shut up? It’s not so bad…usually people are easy to tune out. Unless they’re doing nothing but whining. Loudly. Whine, whine, whine. And the whole time it dealt with one particular subject…her diet. If she would have switched to some other topics now-and-again, the variety would have made it easier to deal with, but nooo, it had to be all about dieting.

“I had the doctor check for one of those metabolism problems, but he said I was fine. How can I be fine when I’ve been gaining all this weight ever since I started my new job after college? I’m gonna get a second opinion.”

“He said I should get some exercise. Exercise? I wouldn’t need any exercise if he was competent enough to fix my metabolism problem.”

“Yeah, I tried that whole low-carb diet for a while, but grocery shopping’s always so inconvenient. I just eat out all the time, and it’s tough to keep to that diet because restaurants don’t have that many low-carb options on their menus.”

“And those jerks at the counter are always pushing fries in my face. How am I supposed to stay away from them when I hear, ‘Would you like fries with that?’ two or three times a day?”

And on and on and on. Sure, we’re in a Subway, and that’s a common topic in this joint…but constantly whining and bitching about some big conspiracy out to make you fat? And the real reason for the weight gain has to be everyone else’s fault but your own? It grates on my nerves…but what’s a guy to do? I could take the path of goodness and light and offer some good tips and advice on healthy eating and sticking with a diet. Or I could succumb to the really bad week I’ve been having and stride down the path of darkness…

…like getting up to the counter and ordering the most outrageous sandwich I could think of just to get on her nerves. Italian BMT…no, wait…meatball. Better yet…both. Salami, pepperoni, ham, and meatballs…and double cheese…and bacon. With non-light, non-fat free, non-carb friendly ranch dressing. An no veggies.

I could have done that…but I didn’t. I ordered my ham & turkey (on a low-carb wrap) with plenty of veggies and oil & vinegar. I was tempted…but I kept to neutral ground. The path of darkness wasn’t quite alluring enough. This time.

And as far as the girl whining about her diet…she got a meatball sub.


Double cheese.

And a bag of chips.