Since the beginning of time, mankind has been bored and annoyed by the moon. It's a big dumb sky booger that inhibits beachfront development with its constant tide shenanigans; is the chief cause of werewolfism; and has a perpetual and unwarranted "O-face." Just horrible. Sadly, scientists have yet to devise a technology capable of pushing the moon into some other unfortunate planetary body's orbit (despite some promising overtures from the political class). So, people of Earth, it looks like Potmarked McCheeseface won't be going anywhere anytime soon. I suppose we might as well try to learn some things about our common global irritation. Here we present some little known facts about the big stupid moon that, if nothing else, you can use to score points in pub trivia and impress strangers with your random and needlessly extensive moon knowledge. Enjoy.
The Matrix is a groundbreaking, visually arresting Singularity opera about our species' precarious balancing act between the myths of old and the technologies of tomorrow. But for all the film's many achievements (we'll leave Reloaded and Revolutions out of the mix for now), The Matrix is far from perfect. Leading man Keanu Reeves' unique brand of anti-acting comes to mind, as does the issue of the film's dialogue. The silly horrible dialogue. The Matrix brims with unfathomable fauxlosophical babble like "The answer is out there, Neo, and it's looking for you, and it will find you if you want it to." Just ridiculous. But how ridiculous is it exactly? Back when the film was released in 1999, we didn't have an easy way to answer this important question. Thankfully, technology has advanced to the point where great cinematic queries such as these can finally be fulfilled!
As it turns out, crime does pay — with lots and lots of stats! Civilization has a vested interest in keeping tabs on uncivilized activity. Crime statistics have been collected all around the globe for centuries to various degrees of precision. These stats paint a clear, data-guided picture of a universal (if unseemly) aspect of humanity. Crime is one our species' most thoroughly documented activities, and therefore one which we can most accurately attempt to grasp. The truth is made of numbers. We've picked through the vast reservoirs of facts and figures from around the world in an attempt to make some order of the number jumbo. Some of these findings may challenge your conceptions, while others will reinforce them. But in the end, they are the only authority that matters because detached steely statistics never lie. Here we present a big ol' serving of hot steamy number porn. Enjoy.
If his company's historic IPO filing and Google+'s meteoric rise are foremost on the mind of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, a close third is surely the inexplicably expansive collection of online fan fiction in which he is a featured character subject to all manner of bizarre scenarios and nonsensical predicaments. The strange little corner of the Internet known as "fanfic" offers a venue for anyone to craft stories based on their favorite books, movies, TV shows, and even video games. Within this vast layman's dream factory, you will find everything (ev-er-y-thing) from treatments for unfilmed episodes of According to Jim to imaginary meetings between former American Idol competitor Adam Lambert and Buffy the Vampire Slayer right on through to torrid bouts of erotica in the world of Stargate SG-1 (NSFWly linked later, if you're interested). You know who else gets the fanfic treatment surprisingly often? Mr. Facebook himself, Mark Zuckerberg.
Back in the early 1990s, I kind of just assumed I'd have a pet dinosaur by now. I probably would have enjoyed naming him something ironic, like Peanut. Or maybe Dino Gillespie. But that's all beside the point because scientists have apparently all been spending their time discovering exoplanets and making dancing robots instead of working on cloning some friggin' dinosaurs. But before resigning ourselves to a decidedly undinosaured fate; there are some faint beacons of hope that may yet result in something resembling a real live rawr-ing dinosaur! I guess better late than never, right? We'll see. Just make with the T. rex, scienceface.
Even among those of us who aren't fluent in geek speak, most are at least casually familiar with the concepts of software and hardware: the digital ghost and the shell. But there is a third computer component without which the other two would be meaningless. We're talking about meatware,* or the tech that connects computers to the meaty organic components, aka you. Today, we access the digital world various types of user interfaces (or a UI): keyboards, touchscreens, Kinect; anything that facilitates information transfer between flesh and silicon. And this tech works well enough. However, compared to the connectivity within a computer or within the brain, contemporary UIs are little more than annoying speed bumps along the road to the Matrix. But fear not, future human batteries in training! Researchers from around the world are hard at work developing ways to mainline the virtual world directly into your brain. No middle man required. Here we present some of the coolest upcoming technology that will collapse the divide between meat and machine.
With another year come and gone, things aren't looking any better for the U.S. Postal Service. The beloved bearer of pre-approved credit cards and last minute birthday gifts purchased on the Internet is teetering on the verge of bankruptcy. There are various factors contributing to this centuries-old institution's decline, but the portliest albatross around the agency's neck is the precipitous decline in demand for first-class postage due to the faster and cheaper nature of electronic communication. This damning technology-fueled obsolescence only promises to accelerate. Engineers and basement tinkerers are tirelessly exploring the wild nerdish frontiers of 3D printing, and should we ever perfect a true Star Trek-esque transporter (which is not a completely nutso concept BTW), there will be zero need for any form of parcel service, public or private. But the lowly post office isn't the only government function on the verge of a tech-laden death knell. This century may render a number of traditional governmental roles wholly obsolete. Some of these moribund functions are obvious, while some may seem surprising. But they are coming. Here's a short list of public institutions that will be completely outmoded by the time today's preschoolers hit retirement — if not much sooner. (Note: we're looking at this trend in the scope of the U.S. system, but international readers will find parallels — this is a global thang).
Fact: the majority of people who have ever existed are dead. Therefore a large percentage of those reading this right now are probably ghosts — that's just basic math. And while we value the support of our spectoral readers, we would like to posit a simple request on behalf of the living: please stop being so spooky. We don't like it. Now, we're not asking for a complete kibosh on your Beetlejuiceing. We just ask that you relocate your phantom business away from non-dead population centers to some decaying, uninhabited (i.e. "ghost friendly") structure. Abandoned buildings are ideal for ghosts — you can lurk around hassle-free for all eternity, but still enjoy the occasional visit from one of basic cable's many fine ghost investigation programs. Now, you're probably asking yourself "there are so many scary abandoned buildings, which one is right for me?" Well, since you are reading DVICE, we assume that in addition to ghost stuff, you maintain an interest in the latest developments from the world of technology. That's why we've profiled some of the freakiest abandoned tech facilities from around the world that will satisfy both your ghostly and geekish leanings.
Zombie movies almost always work. Maybe because they are a perfect metaphor for our latent fear of civilization's disintegration. Or they're just good at playing up our repulsion of the icky-yicky that is the inside of our bodies. Whatever the reason, we're fascinated with all-things-zombie. For example, the blog-o-nets were recently all abuzz with a real-life-creepy scientific paper regarding "zombie caterpillars." Specifically, the report detailed how a virus infects a gypsy moth caterpillar's brain and forces the insect to climb to the top of a tree and remain there (a healthy moth will only ascend at night). The virus then "melts" the poor creature into a drippy goop that litters the forest floor to infect more unfortunate victims. It's part Body Snatchers, part Living Dead — and real. But this oozing zombie moth is far from the only example from the annals of science that feature once-living creatures that still mange to lurk about. Here, we present some strange, but true examples that might only be described as the living dead. Or the dead living. Whatever--it's freaky real zombie stuff. WARNING: If you are a squeamish person do NOT watch any videos linked or embedded in this post, but feel free to read on--words won't damage you. Too much.
Previously on DVICE, we examined once-secret FBI documents from the Bureau's investigations into freaky, unexplained phenomena. These glimpses into the real-life X-Files were made public via various Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) requests and subsequently posted for all to peruse on the agency's online "Vault". As it turns out, the FBI isn't the only government body with a history of investigating mysterious activity. FoIA-liberated documents from the Central Intelligence Agency show how America's stealthy strike force has had a keen interest in strange "aerial phenomena" from all around the world. We're talking UFOs!