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Friday, August 21, 2009

Star Wars Fails Engineering

This is awesome:

Sure, he's cute, but the flaws in his design are obvious the first time he approaches anything but the shallowest of stairs. Also: He has jets, a periscope, a taser and oil canisters to make enforcer droids fall about in slapsticky fashion -- and no voice synthesizer. Imagine that design conversation: "Yes, we can afford slapstick oil and tasers, but we'll never get a 30-cent voice chip past accounting. That's just madness."
-- John Scalzi's Guide to the Most Epic FAILs in Star Wars Design

Even more awesome, though, is the fanboy responses on Slashdot which fail even more miserably at having any kind of sense of humor about their dear fictional universe.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Math Of A Zombie Attack

“An outbreak of zombies is likely to be disastrous, unless extremely aggressive tactics are employed against the undead,” the authors wrote. “It is imperative that zombies are dealt with quickly, or else we are all in a great deal of trouble.”

Having spent a fair amount of time mixing science with beer in the wee hours while trying to finish a thesis, I’m guessing that at some point, a graduate student who had spent far too many hours tweaking a mathematical model of infectious disease in the basement of a Canadian university said something like this: “What would happen if we made it so they could come back to life?”
-- Mathematical Model for Surviving a Zombie Attack