Archive for September, 2012

How Warner Bros Could Reboot Batman – Part 1

Posted in entertainment with tags , , , on September 30, 2012 by SpenceG

Okay, let’s get down to business. Christopher Nolan’s Batman franchise trilogy has now come to an end with The Dark Knight Rises, and now Warner Bros. is going to need to reboot the series. The billion dollar question is, how?

I’ve already stated my opposition to the idea of rebooting Batman in a Justice League film. Now, I’m going to offer my explanation for how I think Warner Bros. should go about rebooting Batman’s franchise — and the kicker is, it involves both cinema AND television. So strap in, dear readers, for part 1 of “how to reboot Batman!”

read more (batman black & white figures jim aparo): http://www.forbes.com/sites/markhughes/2012/09/28/how-warner-bros-could-reboot-batman-part-1/

Dragon*Con: Billy West Dean Cain And Plenty of Cosplay To Go Out On

Posted in entertainment with tags , on September 22, 2012 by SpenceG

Dragon Con, Superman

Well, the costumes and weapons have been packed and put away, the host hotels have been sprayed down and sanitized to make way for the big Baptist convention that came in on the last day, and thousands of geeks are heading home to their normal lives. Dragon*Con 2012 may be over, but we still have a ton of coverage for you.

First off, here’s a little chat I had with Billy West (Futurama, Ren & Stimpy, Skeets on JLU) about comic books, being a geek before it was cool, and what sets Dragon*Con apart from other conventions.

read more:  http://www.bleedingcool.com/2012/09/04/dragoncon-billy-west-dean-cain-and-plenty-of-cosplay-to-go-out-on/

Why Hipmunk Is The World’s Best Travel Site – Forbes

Posted in travel with tags , , on September 17, 2012 by SpenceG

George Orwell said journalism is “printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.” Bully for you, Eric Arthur Blair, but you never had to book a flight from JFK to SFO for a family of four on a budget. Because I have run that gauntlet several times, I don’t feel bad writing a few paragraphs of unpaid PR for Hipmunk, a two-year-old travel-booking site. This post meets the Orwellian bar for journalism insofar as it’s not what Expedia, Orbitz, Priceline, ual.com and aa.com want printed: Hipmunk is the best travel site on the Web. Period.

Why? It’s smarter than all the others about presenting flight and hotel data. It doesn’t waste your time. It sacrifices ad revenue for a better user experience. It personalizes better than the others. It’s not trying to be anything other than a decision-making engine. “Our main philosophy,” says Hipmunk cofounder Steve Huffman, “is that we want you to spend as little time on our site as possible with the least amount of pain.” Completing the booking happens elsewhere, including on Orbitz and the airline and hotel sites. Hipmunk makes a few bucks for generating each lead. “Like a lot of people, when I get home from work, I don’t want to think. We started from that notion,” says Huffman. “You only have so many decision-making units in your head per day.”

via Why Hipmunk Is The World’s Best Travel Site – Forbes.

Who wants more public transit choices? Most Americans, it turns out

Posted in business with tags , , , on September 17, 2012 by SpenceG

Three out of four Americans are frustrated with the lack of transportation options that forces them to drive more than they would prefer, according to a new nationwide public opinion survey released today by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). According to the poll results, two out of three support government investment in to expand and improve public transportation and twice as many people favor new transit – buses, trains and light rail – rather than new highways as the best way to solve America’s traffic woes.

“Americans hate traffic and love transit,” said Peter Lehner, NRDC’s executive director. “Investing in public transportation eases congestion but for too long most federal funding has limited people’s choices, leaving them sitting in traffic.”

The survey of 800 Americans was conducted this summer by a bipartisan team — Public Opinion Strategies, which conducts polling for Republican candidates, and Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates, which specializes in polling for Democratic candidates. The nationwide telephone survey was preceded by focus groups in Charlotte, N.C., Raleigh, N.C., Philadelphia, Pa., and Cleveland, Ohio.

via Who wants more public transit choices? Most Americans, it turns out.

Japanese tooth patch may reduce decay › News in Science (ABC Science)

Posted in health with tags , , , on September 17, 2012 by SpenceG

Scientists have created a microscopically thin film that can coat individual teeth to prevent decay or to make them appear whiter.

The “tooth patch” is a hard-wearing and ultra-flexible material made from hydroxyapatite, the main mineral in tooth enamel that could also mean an end to sensitive teeth.

“This is the world’s first flexible apatite sheet, which we hope to use to protect teeth or repair damaged enamel,” says Professor Shigeki Hontsu of the Kinki University’s Faculty of Biology-Oriented Science and Technology in Japan.

“Dentists used to think an all-apatite sheet was just a dream, but we are aiming to create artificial enamel,” the outermost layer of a tooth, he says.

Researchers can create film just 0.004 millimetres thick by firing lasers at compressed blocks of hydroxyapatite in a vacuum to make individual particles pop out.

These particles fall onto a block of salt which is heated to crystallise them, before the salt stand is dissolved in water.

The film is scooped up onto filter paper and dried, after which it is robust enough to be picked up by a pair of tweezers.

via Japanese tooth patch may reduce decay › News in Science (ABC Science).

What’s behind the bald Bratz dolls?

Posted in entertainment with tags , , , on September 17, 2012 by SpenceG

bald bratz dolls
The “bald doll” movement actually came about as a result of an online campaign from a young cancer patient who wanted to see a bald Barbie. After hemming and hawing, Mattel finally complied, but only with 10,000 limited edition dolls that are being sold to U.S. hospitals. The company has been widely criticized for missing out on a great opportunity to make a difference and help children with cancer. Even the Vatican’s official newspaper jumped on the bandwagon. The Bratz line is being praised because the dolls are widely available in retail stores. But does it deserve congratulations or some questions?

The biggest question is whether this effort is really dedicated to helping the cause, given that only a small portion of proceeds will go to charity. The criticisms are similar to those lobbied at the pink ribbon movement, in which products are branded in the colour pink while only a fraction of profits actually go to charity. The Pink Underbelly draws the comparison in a post written earlier this year that says “if MGA really wanted to be an ‘active supporter’ in pediatric cancer treatments and research, they’d donate more than $1 from the sale of each doll …”

read more (temporary tattoos for kids): http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/the-hot-button/whats-behind-the-bald-bratz-dolls/article4540937/

Nissan Leaf Nismo RC First Drive – Motor Trend

Posted in cars with tags , , on September 7, 2012 by SpenceG

nissan leaf nismo rc
The Nissan Leaf Nismo RC might be powered by the same 107-hp electric motor that propels the consumer-oriented Leaf, but that’s where the similarities end. With its purpose-built carbon-fiber body, monocoque chassis, race-tuned suspension setup, servo-less brakes, and powerless steering, the Nismo RC is a race-ready EV on steroids.

Nismo has created about a dozen Leaf RCs. Equipped with a huge Super GT-style wing and sitting ultra-close to the ground, it certainly looks the part, but does it drive the part as well? To see if the hype is real, we jumped behind the wheel of the experimental race car at Nissan’s Oppama Grandrive proving ground, about one hour south of Tokyo.

The spec sheet tells the initial story. The RC is nearly 7 inches wider than the standard Leaf, but 13 inches lower, and, at a featherweight 2050 pounds, some 1300 pounds lighter. Though its powertrain retains the stock car’s output of 107 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque, the lower curb weight considerably improves the RC’s power-to-weight ratio. All of the critical hardware — electric motor, inverter, single-speed reduction gearbox, and sizeable 192 lithium-ion battery pack — is located just behind the cockpit, giving the car an ideal 50:50 front-rear weight distribution. The rearward shift also allowed Nismo to reroute the power from the front wheels to the rear.

via Nissan Leaf Nismo RC First Drive – Motor Trend.  Also, check out diecast plymouth road runner superbird.