Most updates through Facebook, and other information.

November 1st, 2012



I have resumed work on my Inverse Game Design project recently, attempting to solve some kinematic character problems and coriolis effect issues with rotating bodies. I have a video posted of some of the work to date here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwrzJ6_vUZI - It is a little easier to see full screen.

Participatory Chinatown wins Best Direct Impact Game, 2011

July 6th, 2011

Winner: Best Direct Impact Game, 2011 — Games for Change 8th Annual Festival

“Participatory Chinatown is a 3-D immersive game designed to be part of the master planning process for Boston’s Chinatown. Residents assumed the role of one of 15 virtual residents and worked to complete their assigned quest—finding a job, housing, or place to socialize. Sometimes the language skills, income level, or other circumstances of their resident made their task more challenging…”

http://www.gamesforchange.org/festival2011/awards/direct-impact/participatory-chinatown/
http://engagementgamelab.org/2011/03/participatory-chinatown/

Article on Caloric Restriction picked up by Alcor Magazine

April 2nd, 2011

“It is certainly something that is on our minds. The seasons have turned through another rotation of holidays, and we find ourselves contemplating our recent enthusiasm at the dinner table.

Caloric restriction, as you may know, is the limitation of food intake to produce positive health and longevity results. In a way, while it would seem similar, it is the opposite of malnutrition, since the focus of caloric restriction is the regulation of the proportions of certain foods, while maintaining proper intake of vitamins and micronutrients.

The average person…”

http://www.alcor.org/magazine/2011/03/04/an-apple-a-day-or-perhaps-several/

Motion Studies at 720p60

November 2nd, 2010

Update:
I just learned about Kronos, by the Foundry, and the Tokina 11-16 lens. Wow. Just wow. Perfect. They are on the list for production, certainly.

October 2nd, 2010:
I have some great particle motion studies from fountains that I am converting from 60fps to 30fps and will be posting soon. It is great to compare behaviors of real versus synthesized particles when doing your work - helps make things more convincing!

Atomic Medicine article published in H+ Magazine

September 10th, 2010

atomic medicine

My article on the potential behind a nano-technology based blood replacement (”nanoglobin”) has appeared at H+ Magazine. Read it and comment!

Attending H+ Summit @ Harvard!

June 11th, 2010

See you there!

My Depth of Field is Narrow (draft_edit)

May 13th, 2010

[Link for IE7 Users]

New Bretorium channel on YouTube!

May 12th, 2010

Infrared and You -

make a working infrared filter for photography and video with common household objects.

First of a DIY Science series for my MA thesis in 2007.



[Link for IE7 Users]

List of materials:
• pair of scissors
• electrical tape
• cardboard scraps
• toilet paper tube*
• 35mm exposed negative ends
• adhesive putty

* science project authenticator

Playable Demo of Aphelion 0.7b Posted!

April 25th, 2010

There is a playable demo of Aphelion now on the Unity3D development page.

Canon t2i, adapter ring, Bauch & Lomb objective

April 2nd, 2010

This is a Canon t2i HDSLR, with a EF-S adapter, connected to a 10x objective from a Bausch & Lomb binocular microscope. This also works mounted to the microscope, and will drastically improve the shooting I’ve attempted with the Nikon 4300 which I’ve done freehand.

It may also work for 18MP stills, but I am not sure if there will be enough light.

The results of shooting 720p HD @60fps have been promising, will need to load a better profile to shoot 1080p.

Alcor New England moved to Meetup.com, name changed.

March 29th, 2010

Cryonics Boston, or The Boston Cryonics Group is the new name for the Alcor New England mailing list and group that meets in Cambridge. The name change follows a discussion with members in February about better representation of the interests of the members, and to show that we don’t have any implied bias as the old name might imply.

The new site is organized through Meetup.com at:
http://www.meetup.com/Cryonics-Boston/

We try to meet monthly or so, and organize to not conflict with other area meetups such as the Transhuman H+ meetup or the Nanotech meetup, etc.

Getting Science to Say the “L” Word…

March 2nd, 2010

It has now been two years, and I am uncertain as to why no one has expressed intrest - well I mean chosen to emphasize - or rather “freaked out” on this particular bit of data that has come back from Enceladus, courtesy of the Cassini mission, circa March 2008. In fact, how the scientific media has not beaten down the door of every news outlet by now is quite beyond me.

Any science fiction instance of life being “detected” is pretty much summed up by the image above.

You see, most of the materials detected when Cassini flew through one of those plumes of water, are indicative of metabolization. Most of the things on the left, produce the things on the right, through respiration, whether it is simple, and producing gasses, or complex, building molecules or even - get this - Life.

Aside from plunking down a microscope, this is the closest we’re going to get for a while. Mr. Spock would not have any problem with this sensor reading, and I am surprised that no one has spelled it out as simply.

>> Image credit: NASA and the Cassini Ion and Mass Spectrometer

>> More Enceladus info at Wikipedia
>> Cassini Mission Home Page

Also see: The Potential for Fungal Life in the Asteroid Belt

Article on Ceres and Exogenesis at Universetoday.com

March 6th, 2009

Well this Hubble imaging of Ceres is incredible news. Most asteroids have always conjured imagery of Thistledown for me, being the hollowed-out asteroid/spaceship from Greg Bear’s Eon. This image however, is more likely to conjure thoughts of baobabs.

Although the article is intriguing and makes for some sort of Treasure Island type musings late at night, I find personally that the theory of Panspermia and theories of exogenesis in general are highly academic; imho the origin of life anywhere is exactly where it originated.

Panspermia presupposes that life is somehow difficult to evolve. This despite the fact that amino acids, PAHs, water in some form, respirable chemistry (whether CO2, methane, salts/perchlorate, acids) are pretty much everywhere we look.

I think we will find - especially with The Dawn Mission - that life is not the exception, but the default state of anywhere significant resources can be leveraged in a location with energy and chemistry to warrant it. The ingredients for life will simply be expressed as a chemical/energy gradient that indicates there is an advantage to be had, that life will show up to exploit.

>> Image credit: Hubble ACS
>> More Ceres info at Wikipedia
>>Dawn Mission Home Page

Also see: The Potential for Fungal Life in the Asteroid Belt

Domain is down. Domain is up.

March 4th, 2009

Ok, that lasted perhaps ten hours and never fully propagated. I didn’t see some errors until right at 12:00 GMT.

Updating the update, and a backlog of entries.

February 26th, 2009

Well I’ve scribbled a small heap of things over the past few months and this software simply refused to yield, update after update. As a result I undertook to delete the database and everything, and re-install from scratch, meticulously checking everything from cyrillic use to my customized template for flaws that would spoil the site’s function. The site is up, again, alas. ~]3

Snark: Russian heavy industry gives up rubles, takes payment in barter-goods

February 10th, 2009

Russian heavy industry gives up rubles, takes payment in barter-goods
POSTED BY CORY DOCTOROW, FEBRUARY 8, 2009 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

Boingboing citing an article that Russia has gone inliquid to the point of resorting to barter, with tractor factories paying their debts in tractors and the like…


“In Soviet Russia - The Buck Stops YOU!

~]3″

I have no idea what this is.

October 7th, 2008

But it does a little scissor-step sort of dance at the end. I’m trying to use my Nikon4300 to record what I am seeing through the new microscope. It is a bit of a hassel, since I don’t want to spend money on a proper mount. Will look in to PVC.

Its a microbe.

It's a microbe.

Here is also a video, I apologize for the quality. Working on that.
Click to play clip of microbe.

Robert A. Heinlein Centennial 07/07/07

July 7th, 2007

This weekend is the Heinlein Centennial, commemorating what would have been his 100th birthday.

Robert A. Heinlein’s wikipedia entry.
List of works by Robert Heinlein.

Robert and Virginia on the set of Destination Moon

The Potential for Fungal Life in the Asteroid Belt

May 24th, 2007

Something I push on now and then is the literal interpretation of the 1950’s “Life in Outer Space” Here I’d like to talk about recent findings about (dark, dusty) fungus, and correlate them to the specific albedos (measurment of shiny or dull) of asteroids.

Certain asteroids are very dark and dusty. Certain fungi that greatly enjoy high levels of radiation are very dark and dusty. Given that the high melanin levels make the fungus even darker, I think we could soon stop saying “soot” and start saying “life”.

>> Ionizing Radiation Changes the Electronic Properties of Melanin and Enhances the Growth of Melanized Fungi

>> Asteroid albedos: graphs of data (from IRAS)

Be sure to note the density of ~3AU that is beneath .2e (!)

I would like to further add: the second graph, starting just over 2 astronomical units, and going to just past 3, could be indicative of preferential advantage gaining activity based on asteroid composition, factors such as pH or specific mineral content. I’m not saying predation, just preferencial activity.

>> Dawn mission homepage at Nasa.gov

PixelNation4 at the Huret & Spector Gallery - Updates!

May 10th, 2007

Project X - Inverse Game Design

Follow this link to view my work appearing in PixelNation4

inverse_game_design_diagram

A few new pics…

April 19th, 2007


I have added two images to the photography section.

Another Ice Season Ends…

March 5th, 2007

The end came quickly for our ice-covered body last week. One rainstorm later and we’re back to raucous waves and starting a healthy Spring Turnover.

Speaking of which, the underwater ice probe/camera/etc tests have come to a halt for the year, or at least until perhaps December. I will post the footage here when I get some time to compress what I’ve taken so far.

One step closer to 24/7 access to our lakeside biome. Interfaces between different environments always make for the most interesting observations - they are where most of life’s activity takes place, where there is most advantage to be gained. Where water, land and air meet is chock full of diversity!

Piece of Discovery’s external tank at ET separation, or ?

December 9th, 2006

Not sure what this was that came off Discovery’s external tank during external tank separation, and the strut seems to block the view. Sorry for the moire pattern, I am pulling this off screen to save time, may get a better d/l from the source later -this was fastest.

Here is the clip


Celebrating Sagan

December 9th, 2006

I remember the lead-in on PBS. There was going to be a show. A special series. The 30 second spot had music that was eerie and beautiful. I was, like so many others at the time, ten years old.

The music was haunting, and the imagery brilliant. The evolution chalk-board style drawings. The spaceship imagination. Starfields, and of course the synonymous head-on imagery of galaxies, quasars and clusters slowly passing by - all hallmarks of a voyage I was about to take with Carl.

I was easily distracted, I didn’t care much for school. I played a lot at home, by myself, with modeling clay and the omnipresent Legos. I raked Legos all over the floor from a trunk I would dump out whenever I was home. It made a noise like a parakeet. We had a parakeet that would yell in response to my raking. See what I mean by easily distracted?

Yet somehow, I never missed an episode. When I discovered that they were re-airing at some ridiculous hour early in the morning, I would schlep into the room with our little tv at 4 am and watch it with the sound off, listening first to the music. I would turn it up at the beginning and the end, also to hear Carl sign-off on the episode with his wonderful summaries and haunting visions.

When I met the woman that would one day be my wife, I took her on a “college priced” date one night, between projects and finals and the like. I asked “have you ever seen these?” She had not. We ate pizza and watched as many cassettes as we could before passing out. She was intrigued. We eventually watched the entire series. I knew she was the one.

I cannot remember where I first heard it, if it was an episode of Cosmos or not. It might even be a paraphrase, but it remains one of my favorite quotes attributed to Dr. Sagan.

“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”

We are always on a precipice, perched just above the dark, reaching up toward the stars. The nature of learning will always put humanity in this position. Now more than ever we need Carl Sagan, and in all of our futures that observation will forever ring true. We will always need him. Carl will always be remembered and a part of our journey.

Anousheh Ansari, Space Explorer, Blogs from Earth Orbit

September 23rd, 2006

a safe return: 29 September 2006: the crew takes Хлеб и соль .

Safe return of Soyouz crew Safe return of Soyouz crew Safe return of Soyouz crew

Anousheh Ansari is a successful Iranian-born American entrepreneur whose family provided the backing for the Ansari X-Prize. Anousheh is currently on-orbit in the International Space Station, and maintaining a blog with a slogan that states “Imagine. Inspire. Be The Change.” What a great opportunity to share between communities of interest in this person’s adventure, while bringing together politically diverse people.

My understanding is that she is also making contact to amateur HAMs around the globe. I will update with that info shortly.

The downlink is 145.800 Mhz, and her call sign is RS0ISS
The uplink is 437.800 Mhz

More info is available at:

ARRL website “Success Tips for Using the ISS Voice Repeater
http://www.arrl.org/news/features/2004/10/06/1/?nc=1

http://www.rac.ca/ariss/oindex.htm
http://www.issfanclub.com/node/5440

A sound file on her pass over Iran is also available:
http://home.twin.at/swl-chmy/Downloads/Frau_Ansari_via_RS0ISS.wav

Things that go beep in the night.

September 16th, 2006
It’s starting to get cold. Time to start DXing again!The cool night air reduces moisture. This helps with optical astronomy as well.What is DXing? Simply put, DXing is the reception of distant transmissions. It comes from the radio broadcast abbreviations for transmit, tx and receive, rx. For me, it is about receiving space-based transmissions from manned and unmanned vehicles, in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) or beyond.

Is There Anybody Out There?
DXing is a relatively inexpensive hobby, that I find fascinating. An antenna of the right configuration and a radio scanner is all you need to get started. Below I have added links to a bunch of resources related to DX, including the Amateur Deep Space Network - a great group that is very informative.
I joined last year, and have learned a great deal, even just sitting and listening. To the group I mean.

Aurora Borealis, Lakeville MA

August 30th, 2006


Aurora Borealis on October 31st, 2003

August 1st, 2006

SOFTWARE UPDATE - This server software is about to be was swapped out with something less processor intensive. I have completed the install 8/1 and anticipate having the configuration done in the next day or so. THANKS for your patience!


Actually legible in browsers that recognize the PNG format, such as Mozilla and Safari.
announcement: The “Intel Optimizers” have struck again. LingoSpaceExplorer has a bug on WinXP in browsers, but will run in Director. Project X RPG has its normal amount of personality, with full feature in the download version, and many capacities in the online version. (12/13/05)This site is almost completely up again, while I build out other components, pieces and parts. After a brief hiatus I am working on Inverse Game Design and Project X again, and look forward to a posting in the new year. I will be re-adding the photography page without Coppermine CMS as well since it has quirked itself out of utility. ~Bret

Middleware (more like middlewhere?)

May 20th, 2006

Middleware, Middlewhy, Middlehow
This is the presentation that I use for the talk on the purpose of Middleware and also use to pitch the Maya/Lingo middleware community. Note that I don’t talk my bullets, so it is lean on text. You can view the material here.

Kulakovich Damacy

April 10th, 2006
Kulakovich Damacy
I had to empty my old filing cabinet. It was too much opportunity for me to handle. Though technically a panorama, it was only about the day’s rolling.Rolling the Dice: The Risks and Rewards of Developing Katamari Damacy

~ Takahashi’s session from this year’s Game Developer’s Conference.

Life Immitating Art Immitating Life Immitating…

If they had just told us where this was… … Sarah’s assassin could’ve gotten him…