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#TheGeekShow Series 3 Episode 9 – The Portrait of Women

14 Oct 2011

written by Harry Bentley

Series 3 Episode 9 – The Portrait of Women

In this episode we discuss how women are portrayed in various media. What makes a strong female character? How much ‘sexy’ is too much? And what is womanufacturing? Includes a great [Interview] with Susan Arendt, Managing Editor of The Escapist magazine

Download The Geek Show Series 3, Episode 9

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Neutrino a-go-go 2: Space-Time Bugaloo

For the uninitiated, a neutrino is pretty much the smallest particle that isn’t theoretical, there are literally trillions of electron neutrinos passing through you right now. They are so small that their charge is negligible, and their mass is even negligible, in practical terms they don’t even exist.

Suddenly however, neutrinos have become the biggest news since meat dresses – as at CERN, they have managed to travel faster than light speed. A beam of muon neutrinos was fired through the LHC at high-speeds to see how many would engage in the neutrino’s tricky habit of changing types, and becoming tau neutrinos (they come in many flavors). Completely by chance, CERN managed to observe something far more interesting; heat the neutrinos were arriving 0.00000006 seconds early. Which is impossible of course, as it would involve them travelling faster than light. As men of science, the scientists and CERN checked it again. And again. And again. Until 16,000 repeat tests later they had no way of denying it – all evidence points towards neutrinos being capable of faster-than-light travel.

Which may have broken physics as we know it, as the thing about light-speed is that the closer you get to it, the more time slows down. And if you surpass it, then it will theoretically reverse. These tiny particles may have just put a giant ‘?’ over that old chestnut E=mc^2, but I want to wait for more results before I rule out my dream of owning a TARDIS.

 

Brain-o-vision: Reconstructing your minds eye

Imagine for a moment the potential life enrichment that could be found in seeing the thoughts of a coma patient, or the commercial/ therapeutic applications of being able to see your own dreams. Looks pretty interesting huh? Well it’s not as Sci-Fi as you might think, as neurologists from the University of California (Berkeley) have found of way of doing it.

The technology is still very incomplete as the video shows, but basically they use an MRI scanning technique then decode and reconstruct the visual experiences of the test subjects. Currently the reconstructed images only make these blurry shapes though because they amalgamate multiple similar images – we can’t discern images that are that similar yet.

 

The UK’s 1st Hyroden refuelling station opens! (actual car to pending…)

Thanks to BOC, Honda and the Forward Swindon initiative, the UK has now gained it’s 1st hydrogen refuelling pump! Huzzah!

Now some may say that there is now only 1 place in England where you can refuel your hydrogen car, or that no car manufacturers actually offer a hydrogen fuelled car to the UK, and that we for some reason aren’t in London the place with an actual pollution problem… … what, why the hell are we doing this!?

This was meant as a kick-start and a call to action for car manufacturers and governmental bodies to start promoting and distributing hydrogen cars and pumps to the UK, but you are gonna need a lot more than 1 pump to start this. Also Honda, as the big sponsors of this, why haven’t YOU put out a hydrogen car for England?

 

Making your own games just got easier!

So there are a lot of freeware Level Editors out there, but StencylWorks has gained a special mention by being incredibly intuitive, shiny, having an art assets store, a windows, mac and iOS version – and most notably,

As the video describes, StencylWorks takes all the focus off of programming – allowing total novices who want to ‘have a go’ at game making to give it a try without having to learn scripts. Now on the show we worried for a bit if this is part
of an oncoming Internet-created wave of tools that will ween out programmers. But very quickly decided “No, it means that the programmers will be paid handsomely when these level-editor devs get to a certain level and need programmers”. It’s all good.

 

You don’t have to be a Castform to absorb rain!

I cycle a lot; so I know that weird feeling of being both wet and thirsty – fortunately for me the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design have developed a raincoat with a difference: It takes water in via the collar, then purifies it and makes it available to drink through a tube. Pretty perfect for saturated nature of living in Blighty.

Also Castform is a Pokemon whose attributes and abilities change dependant on weather abilities. Just in case you were wondering.

 

Project Overkill: BEST. DRM. EVER.

Certain people were so eager to get their hands on a copy of Dark Souls, the sequel to the notoriously difficult player-murdering psychotic-girlfriend-that-you-just-can’t-leave-because-the-sex-is-too-good of a game Demon Souls. Some were so eager in fact, that they purchased it from certain retailers who where just as eager to sell the game – before it’s release date.

This made the devs down at From Software a mite cheesed off, so to vent their rage they decided to use the ability to enter other players worlds to mutilate the players using level 145 Black Phantoms. Creatures you could not possibly beat given how long you could have played the game so far.

Personally I LOVE that this happened. Given the amount of “we bought it, we own it” philosophies that have cropped up in this age of piracy, it’s great that we can see the ultimate retort “yeah well we made it” being used as punishment. I for one am looking forward to a possible future where devs in .hack style build insane characters to moderate and destroy evildoers.

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About the author

Harry Bentley

Lead interviewer, co-host, editor, writer, YouTube manager and graphics designer for The Geek Show... Also a workaholic. A stand-up comedian with a love of making people relaxed and have a good time, I make the Meandering Mic content for the site.

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