Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Spidey's 50th Anniversary and Comic Con!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

July 18th: Meet the New Captain Marvel (and her writer!)

The Marc Kane (Angela) really likes the edgy haircut! Okay, this is my equivalent of taking you in my pocket to San Diego Comic Con International 2012! (Mind the half dollar there next to you)! So, as I was saying in the Spider Panel post (which I pick up here and in the next): Cullen Bunn had just filled us in on Flash Thompson’s adventure in the Microverse (along with Scarlet Spider) in “Minimum Carnage” and we got to see the preview covers. The room’s buzzing over Dan Slott’s phone-conference discussion of Amazing Spider-Man as it builds up to #700, with the wall-crawler’s 50th anniversary and birthday (complete with more Lizardmania.
Now, we sing “Happy Birthday” to Kelly Sue De Connick, as she tells us about CAPTAIN MARVEL, announced at this year’s Wonder Con. Air Force pilot Carol Danvers is a classic Type-A personality; this high-achievement-oriented approach was inherent in her pro-feminist conception back in 1977’s MS. MARVEL: a career woman who excelled while pulling off a secret life of using her Kree-given powers to safeguard the world. Since she first appeared as an officer during the original Captain Marvel’s run, Molly Sue’s tying together a take based on long-standing elements. “Carol’s a pilot,” she explains, “and a pilot’s brain is geared towards keeping up with one’s surroundings at all times. She likes to be in control, and when she can’t be, she gets frustrated…and because of the chaos around her, she’s going to be frustrated a lot!” She chimed in with praise for Greg Rucka's "fearlessness as a writer---his courage in his ability to hurt his characters"---so expect a tough time! (There was a literal discussion about his detailed script descriptions of inflicting pain ;-D CAPTAIN MARVEL’s been getting great covers, like issue one’s variant by Adi (IRON MAN) Granov, or for the premiere issue two from Ed (World's Finest, Super Man) McGuiness and Dexter (AVENGERS: X-SANCTION) Vines. The series artist is "Dynamic" Dexter Soy. The newly christened Captain---and unlike many super heroes, her character WAS an Air Force Captain---appeared last year in AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #9. Her writer's first work for Marvel included a BLACK WIDOW limited series last year, for you fans of the femme Avenger out there!
When graciously asked, Kelly Sue also told about an upcoming non-Marvel project with Emma Rios. “I enjoyed our work last year on OSBORN, and asked if there was anything new she’d like to try with me,” she says. When Rios told her she’d like to work on a Western, DeConnick’s heart leapt! Her enthusiasm shines in the telling. After the panel, I told her how my wife and I had a weekly ritual in college where we’d drive down to Chuck’s in McFarlane Mall, pick up the latest Spider-Man offering and other comics, then grab a French fry or Frosty and read together. “She kind of fell out of touch after they first lost the Parker baby and then got rid of Mary Jane,” I told her, “but I like to think, with writing like yours, maybe we can enjoy a brand new super hero comic book together again!” This made Kelly Sue very happy: her husband and she likes to read together, as well as with their kids. “What that does in my heart to hear that---you just can’t know!” she beams. The Premiere issue, complete with a Spider-Man 50th anniversary variant as well, comes out TOMORROW, July 18th!!!! After that, CAPTAIN MARVEL’s out every month---maybe YOU know someone who’d enjoy reading one with you!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bonsai, it's a long and lonely climb (Post 400)

Shang Chi here, at 47 days, is the only survivor from our pine seeds. Shang Chi appears a little lighter in some photos due to camera flash. He's grown with a curve about half way up his trunk, then continuing upwards, to a present height of nearly three inches.
You can see the early plants retain the seed over their budding branches for a few days (the "hat" falls off or can be eventually removed by spraying or light grooming).
Here we see the cutting has drawn the water successfully enough to sprout a leaf!
We believe that the transplanting process, from the germination container to pot, was too much for the plants. With six of them sprouting successfully, the safe transplanting of each one became problematic.
I later included an attempt to cultivate a magnolia from a cutting; it has remained green but has not shown root development. We keep it in a coffee mug.
Shang here was taken up as an entire "root ball" from the container, intact with his seedling soil surrounding him, and transplanted without root hormone. He gets sunlight every day that the sun comes out, which is 90 % of the time.
From our second batch, brought out of germination on May 1st, Captain Fantastic made it the longest. I still have his wilted form but do not expect the plant to recover. He was initially broken off at the root, then re-planted. Despite this, the plant outlived its fellows and grew to be about an inch high. Then, after his first trip to the window, he was placed again on his bedside table. Later the next day he seemed to be pushed over at a thirty degree cant; we don't know why. We massaged the soil beside him so he could stand up straight again, but his limbs wilted over the next two days. One, dubbed "Analogy," was distressed at 7/8" because he was pressed against the side of the container and couldn't spread out and grow. Two more became entangled with one another in the container. I tried to leave them in to grow stronger and pulled them out seven days or so after they sprouted from seeds. The additional time did not make them appreciably stronger for transplanting. There is growth in the center of every viable young pine, spreading out radially from a node; Cap and all of the plants initially achieved nodes. I did not record the specific amount of water we used but we kept the soil moist at a depth of half an inch.
We are still trying a climbing vine, which has developed some white mold at the base, and another tree I'm still trying to identify, a cutting from a street tree outside. It's possible the substance is just Root Boost coalesced above the surface.
Our stick man came up with leaves only after he was in water, from basically being---a stick! He took in water from the cut point, and surprised us with leaves before he had roots. We didn't have him a bowl yet; he was just an experiment in a bottle! He may need another season to come up with more leaves, though. Or he may be a stick; I don't want to uproot him to find out so long as there's capillary action. We'll see. He had an unlimited source of water through the cut, and planting him limited the water supply to what's in the soil. He didn't have roots when he sprouted those leaves! We applied root hormone and planted him.
A root, being treated with Root Boost and re-planted.
From today: Billy the Kid, Shang Chi, and Buddy, my cactus. Buddy was transplanted a little late from his small container, so he leans, and his cactus leaves, the large bottom ones, came off. Billy the Kid---the cutting---came with leaves, which were external to his sustaining growth process and possibly damaged by the bottle in which the tree waited, in water, to be moved to soil upon signs of capillary action (water moving through the tree). All three show signs of life.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Baby Lyuba: Woolly Mammoth Meets the World

Lyuba has become the world's best-preserved woolly mammoth, and an exhibition in Hong Kong has brought the creature out to the public eye!

As mentioned in the Huffington Post, this find actually dates back to 2007, when a reindeer herder found the one-month old baby's body---frozen for 42,000 years. The frigid river muck kept the mammoth so well preserved that during its Chicago exhibition in 2010, one observer remarked it "is almost perfectly intact, right down to its baby fat." All moisture is now removed from the body by means of specially designed "dessicative packaging."

Another mammoth named Yuka, with strawberry-blonde hair was found recently as well, frozen after a cliff fall, apparently, in Siberia. This one is about 11,000 years old. Its body contains signs of being cut upon by ancient people. If well-preserved sperm can be recovered, it's possible scientists will be able to clone this long-extinct creature.

The Russian reindeer herder found the older mammoth sticking out of the permafrost. Four years after the find, the carcass was recovered, brought to regional capital Salekhard, and preserved from further decay.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

First new Bonsai sprouts

Marc is overjoyed: the five seeds germinated for three weeks yielded a sprout noticed Easter Day!

For thirty two days, these seeds were planted and kept in the refrigerator.

Cold stratification is the process of activating a seed's germination. The process feeds the seeds the information that they have experienced season hibernation; by bringing it into warmth, sprouting occurs quickly. The condensation of the greenhouse gave her much excitement; the plant is taking root.
She asked me what to name it; I was in the mood to sing the words "Monster River" like an imitation of "Old Man River" I suppose. This was the ninth day of results after taking the soil into sunlight.

But then, a nice surprise. Monster River has two siblings! Since the Rising and Advancing of the Spirit is making Marc Kane so happy, I thought I'd call one "Shang Chi"; the other's called "Zeitgeist" for now. Here they are, noticed today.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Devil Slayers!

This is the second scene preview to my Mystic Order of Defenders pitch coming up this summer at Comic Con. I'll link to the first scene last summer.

Scene two
Devil-Slayer steps from his swirling Shadow Cloak into a well-kept, modestly-furnished office. His clothing becomes a simple dress shirt and pressed pants, and with a flourish, he snaps the cloak once, revealing a doctor’s coat, which he dons.
“Blessed toothache,” he thinks, as he puts his hand to his jaw. “No reason I couldn’t heal this, myself…but there’s just been no time to stop between my secret war…”
“and my responsibilities.” He stands in profile beside a plaque, certifying Eric Simon, Psychiatric Doctor. He closes his eyes, focusing his energies inward to cease his pain. “There really is little time for pain…and less so for Eric Simon Payne…that lost soul…”
He touches a calendar page, featuring a Matisse flower. “…who would celebrate, today, his wedding anniversary, in a saner world. But a mercenary, a cultist…a mystically-trained assassin…if the man Corey needed is somewhere inside such a morass of complications, it is nonetheless too late for such recriminations.”
Outside, a gaunt, white-haired man in his late fifties, glances up at a windmill in the daybreak as leans over a wooden fence for a bucket of goat’s milk left a moment before. He passes into a red barn, where he eyes a somewhat abused 1959 Triumph motorcycle standing in filtered sunlight, sitting on the tarp next to a tool box. “Looking good, Rosie,” he says to the vintage bike. He puts a handful of pesos into his battered blue jeans from the dresser of a small converted loft, adorned with a mirror and a silver crucifix. A made-up twin bed sits in the corner. An antique book sits on the pillow.
On his way through the yard, an eight year old boy comes up to him. He seems to have Down’s syndrome. “Senor Quijano!” he says. “Vamos a pescar?”
*”Soon, Emmanuel, “he replies. “I am glad you are using your words now! But you remember the promise I made you. If you will use the bathroom like a big boy, and keep using your words to talk to your mom and dad, I will take you fishing again with your brothers. “
“Bueno,” says Emmanuel, smiling lightly. “Trabajo con mis palabras hoy?”
“After lunch,” Quijano replies, “like every Thursday.” *
*En Espanol; es translado---Ed.
He walks into the back entrance of the kitchen, where a cook puts on a huge stew pot to boil. “Buenos dias, Al,” he says. “Buen mattina,” he replies genially, sitting the pail down on a counter. He reaches for a plate, which he fills thoughtfully with hash browns, chorizo and a corn cake made with sun-dried tomatoes. He slips two cups of black coffee onto the tray, then slips into a panel in the wall, revealing a dumbwaiter. He crouches inside it, tittering, then pulls a rope that releases a counter-weight, taking him up a floor, inside the wall. “Every since I began helping here at St. John’s, I have discovered more than one fun little secret passageway,” he thinks. He steps out of the wall with the tray, just outside Dr. Simon’s office.
Dr. Eric Simon picks up a file and sighs. “My present to those time-lost newlyweds comes late in years, but the gift of a saner world…a different viewpoint on my powers, my approach to the demons haunting everyday life…”
Simon exits his office, still musing :“if it is no redemption, perhaps it is a light to …”
“Buenos dias, Doctor,” says Al, smiling.
“Ah! Well! Good morning, Senor Quijano! How are you?”
“I had noted you arriving so early lately---or, at least, found you already hard at work, without note of your entry---breakfast begins by sunrise, and while everyting is hot and fresh…?”
“How thoughtful of you,” replies Simon, taking the cake in his hand. He thinks: “without fail, Alonso Quijano has been a faithful addition to our community efforts as well as some aid in the daily functions of the clinic…yet never have I been able to get a “fix” on his thoughts, as if he lacks…”location” in a conventional sense…and that is highly unusual, for one of my…perceptions."


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Google Glasses; wear your phone on your nose

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/05/google-glasses-parody-project-glass_n_1406274.html Haven't had time to give you a science update as yet; I have, however, started writing prose again! Enjoy the article, if I get to nothing else with this.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spread your wings and fly. Really!

My new Facebook friend Jarno is all up in the air over his latest project.

As of this past December, Jarno Smeets, a mechanical engineer from the Netherlands who enjoys outdoor activities, has created his own set of WINGS, and they have taken him over 100 yards. To be specific, he's created a "wing-suit," which he's tested and developed on over 500 jumps. He's in a three man "wing suit" team called FlyLikeABrick; flight formation group jumps are called "flocking". Each team member drops down into his or her "slot" one at a time, in a process that calls for "awareness," as pilots describe it: awareness of the time of the flight, surrounding conditions, one's own limits, the relative height, and other factors. He's been consulting wing-suit pilots at drop points since his inaugural 2003 flight.

Jarno writes: "there is a famous saying,
that 'with great power comes great responsibility' (I've heard that somewhere) and this perfectly describes the dive, or 'swoop' as it's called.

You can look up the group at their site and read all about it, or look for the "Top Gun" Birdman Factory team.

What Jarno's done here is create a "semi-human-powered flying device," based on his wing suit diving. He uses applications of what's called "haptic technology," which is sensitive to tactile (touch) feedback. Ever had a video game controller with a "rumble pack" ? Then you've experienced haptic tech, which feeds sensations back to its user. You may experience it in some graphic design programs, too. Their possible applications include "remote surgery," where information's fed back to the surgeon, reducing fatigue and making micro-surgery more precise. Haptic systems use actuators "to apply force for touch feedback," as Wiki states. Over the past four years, Mag-Lev, or Magnetic Levitation, has been used to produce this "realistic" feedback.

While no one welcomes an albatross around one's neck, Jarno studied the albatross in order to learn about graceful take-offs. Slingshot Fuel Kite makes up his outside material, mounted on aerodynamic support ribs. He flaps his wings utilizing a system built upon a relay between his HTC phone and a Wii controller. His self-designed human bird wings have been featured in several Dutch journals, and I recommend his blog http://www.humanbirdwings.net/ to read his own words: how he went from work space and sketches to success in about half a year. He spent the summer working on the physics of his project.

Here's Jarno's successful run:

Are the human bird wings a hoax? Is the ten horsepower necessary to get them flapping---according to one hang glider pilot---possible to generate? I'm not the hang gliding expert, believe it or not, and if it IS, they fooled the Huffington Post, too. Me, I plan to ask Jarno more about it personally; feel free to weigh in. He's certainly shared his process and sketches, as well as his fourteen test videos.

Has humanity achieved a historic dream? I certainly hope so. Congratulations, Jarno Smeets!

Friday, February 10, 2012



Casimir Effect: the secret of real levitation

Photo from UK Telegraph article, listed but not linked here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1559579/Physicists-have-solved-mystery-of-levitation.html

Can a hidden effect that causes things to stick together like dry glue on a tiny scale be the secret to levitation---of objects...even people?

Consider the gecko, walking on the ceiling---how? There's a molecular force that creates a friction allowing the feet to adhere without incident. (We could just as easily be excited here about the possibilities of scaling the wall like Spider-Man!)

ON the tiny level, one might construct nano machines, with parts invisibly small to the naked eye. These microelectrical machine systems, however, can encounter friction. When you are building circuits at the micro-chip level, it's here the Casimir effect becomes a problem to be studied. This is probably a major factor in the evolution of processors, which were doubling in speed every eighteen months by the turn of the millenium.

Great. So...how levitation?

Researchers at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland have explored this quantum phenomenon. The process of reversing the Casimir polarity would result in the nanomachines operating together in a fluid state. You see, the parts would basically levitate in place. If nano-machines can levitate, so can larger objects, possibly.

The applications of levitation could have enormous influence in engineering, medical, and exploration. To the point, if it could be done economically, the draining of fossil fuels could taper.

Here's a three minute explanation of the Casimir effect if you want it.

Here's a video introduction to Casimir effect.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Richard Rorty, philosopher

I was just reading about Richard Rorty's critique of analytical philosophy and the continental school--chuckling over the possibility Steve Gerber had him in mind when he selected a name for his disc jockey and friend of swamp dwellers, Richard Rory. I came to Dr. Rorty's views through looking up Quietism, and got THERE from Discursive Meditation, which is not the same thing but is apparently elided with it historically. Let me share with you this from his last essay, Life with Fire (2007)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Kudzu Mountain Gypsy Cave Makes the News



Two new looks for Valentine's!

Cave Spring's newest original art contribution made the Rome newspaper! The wine bottles, repurposed into evocative canvasses, make great room show pieces to enliven your mantle, desk or shelf. Contact them at kudzumountaingypsycave@gmail.com or if you're in Rome, stop by Imagine Hair Salon and Art Gallery on Broad Street!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My first day programming Integr8d Soul.com

Well, first I had to get the original password again. Always make sure you have your stuff backed up!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Opening the human story with science!

There's more knowledge in this little girl's pinkie than some people have in their entire head!

Your body is full of information: about your environment, about your daily routines and habits, and about your parents. Pains and scars tell about experiences---even if we're not sure just WHY we have a particular hurt, like my friend Rick and his mysterious ache in his side, which the doctor couldn't illuminate.

So what is a 40,000 year old pinkie tip able to tell us about the human race---long before any written record?


Sunday, January 29, 2012

HTML: beginning the code journey (a tutorial)

HTML has not been around for many years. November 1990 marks the day of the first web page and back then there were little to no HTML standards to be followed. A group called the World Wide Web Consortium was then formed and have since set the standards that are widely accepted and we will base our teachings around them.

Since my initial plan to get into my own integr8dsoul.com was foiled for now by a lost password, I took up Semeicardia's idea: go to Tizag.com and try programming tutorials there on notepad.

Mostly, I copied code and pasted it into the notepad, saving my changes. Tizag has a link straight to a notepad; you can also access your computer and search for "notepad" and you'll get one.

My next option was to download something called "Crimson Editor" as a more sophisticated substitute for the notepad, which I can also continue to use.

My next lesson told me two things about code: is a necessary command, and so is . I was asked to examine these closing tags. They tell the browser certain tags are ending. Tizag tells me:

The "/" that is placed before the tag's name informs the browser that you would like to stop using the specified tag. is used to begin a tag and is used to end a tag.

The order that opening tags appear and ending tags appear follow an important rule. If an HTML tag is opened within another, for example the body tag is opened inside the html tag, then that tag(body) must close before the outer(html) tag is closed.

We ended the body tag first because it was opened most recently. This rule of "closing the most recent tag before closing older tags" applies to all HTML tags.

Then, I'm given some more code to copy, and paste onto my "index.html" notepad document.

The next new tags are: < and "head" and>, then < then "title" then >, < then a "p" and close with >, and < then the letter "h" then a >.

I can't type these in without messing up my blog post! It's < then h then 2 then > but if I type it like the others, it will not publish my blog---because it's code, and the blog reads it as code. In fact, typing any of these, code style, affects my post!

Head tells the browser useful information like title and topic. Title is where the title bar will be. H2 represents one of the six different sized headers; h2 is the second largest available, good for distinguishing your title.

goes at the beginning of a paragraph;

ends a paragraph.

(I actually typed a bracket <, then the p, then the > but it disappears, as does < then / then p then >. Typing the commands within the blog post causes the browser to read them like code, which they are! This is an example of how code is used every day to compose these blogs and give them special features, using other code commands, inserted into the text. It just complicates me showing you the terms on a blog, doesn't it? LOL)

Now, it seems, we're heading for REAL html coding!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Deadline - Blue Öyster Cult - YouTube

Deadline - Blue Öyster Cult - YouTube