Gravity of Light LED hat is pretty flashy – Har!


Fashion designers are increasingly experimenting with new possibilities afforded by 3D printers…and ubiquitous electronics like LEDs. Now a group from South Korea has created an illuminated hat that combines these technologies with a tilt sensor, that is sure to turn heads.

The so-called Gravity of Light hat is an interactive wearable art project created by Younghi Kim and Yejin Cho, that was fabricated on a 3D printer with embedded electronics. It has a knitted appearance where each “knot” actually contains an individual LED that turns on and off depending on the tilt of your head, giving the impression they are flowing with gravity.

Its creators haven’t announced any plans to mass produce the hat, but such a venture seems like a great candidate for crowd-funding. The project received funding from the Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture, Seoul Art Space GEUMCHEON (as part of the 2012 Da Vinci Idea Competition Grant), and is supported by the Hongik University WCU Digital Media Public Art Lab.

I like it. I think it’s pretty trick.

Texas court must decide if RFID school ID card requires submission to the Antichrist


A Texas man told a federal court his daughter should be exempted from carrying a high-tech school ID card because it amounted to submission to the Antichrist.

Andrea Hernandez, 15, and her father, Steven Hernandez, are challenging the ID requirement because they saw the Radio Frequency Identification, or RFID, tracking chip in the ID badge as a “mark of the beast” that would jeopardize her salvation in the event of the biblical end of the world.

The San Antonio Express-News said Steven Hernandez teared up while reading from the Bible on the witness stand. He added supporting the RFID project “would compromise our salvation for NISD (Northside Independent School District) to make some money.”

District officials said they implemented the RFID system as a way to more efficiently monitor attendance and even locate specific students on campus. Superintendent Brian Woods said in court federal funding for school districts is based on daily attendance, which makes accurate head counts important.

The district said it had offered to remove the RFID chip from Andrea’s badge and ordered her transferred from John Jay High School to her neighborhood high school when she declined the offer. Andrea testified she wanted to remain at Jay because it offered specific classes that would help her with her aspirations for a career in Web design.

Look forward to the designs this young lass will come up with – if she sticks to the path ordained by her father’s religion? Like Twitter-based sites balancing the sum of sins and verities in an equation deciding if you fit through the Pearly Gates. Perhaps, the proper use of an RFID chip – located appropriately to let your father know if you’ve slid into the depths of non-virginity.

The future of gun control after the Newtown massacre

The brutal murder of 20 children and seven adults in Newtown, Connecticut, shakes us to the core as individuals and requires a response as citizens. The United States seems to reel from one mass gun killing to another – roughly one a month this year alone. Easy access to guns in the US leads to horrific murder rates relative to other highly educated and wealthy societies. America needs to find a better way.

Other countries have done so. Between the mid-1970’s and the mid-1990’s, Australia had several mass shootings. After a particularly horrible massacre in 1996, a new prime minister, John Howard, declared that enough was enough. He instituted a severe crackdown on gun ownership, and forced would-be gun owners to submit to a rigorous application process, and to document why they would need a gun.

Conditions for gun ownership in Australia are now very strict, and the registration and approval process can take a year or more. Howard’s government also implemented a rigorous “buyback” policy, to enable the government to purchase guns already owned by the public.

The policy worked. While violent crime has not ended in Australia, murders are down, and, even more dramatically, there has not been a single mass shooting since 1996 in which three or more people died (the definition used in many studies of mass shootings). Before the crackdown, there had been 13 such massacres in 18 years…

Yet the US still refuses to act, even after this year’s string of shocking incidents: the massacre in a movie theatre in Colorado, an attack on a Sikh community in Milwaukee, another on a shopping mall in Oregon, and many more before the ruthless slaughter of first graders and school staff in Newtown. The gun lobby in the US remains powerful, and politicians are afraid to counter it. Given the shooting of then-Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in 2011, perhaps they even fear that they, too, might be targeted…

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Landfill park saved lives and property in hurricane Sandy

During Hurricane Sandy, the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island absorbed a critical part of the storm surge. Its hills and waterways spared nearby neighborhoods like Travis, Bulls Head, New Springville and Arden Heights much worse flooding. The 2,200-acre site, which closed a decade ago and is being turned into a park, was also temporarily reopened as a transfer station, helping officials and relief agencies clear debris from around the city.

If many New Yorkers, Staten Islanders included, still can’t help thinking of the place as a mountain range of stinking trash, that’s understandable. But since its closing, Fresh Kills has become a model for landfill reclamation around the world, having been transformed into a vast green space full of wildlife. Now it is also demonstrating the role of wetland buffers in battling rising waters.

Maybe this will help push officials to ready what is known as Freshkills Park for visitors. James Corner, the landscape architect who helped design the High Line and heads the firm Field Operations, won a competition years ago to transform the site and imagined a decades-long, evolving earthwork of different grasses, grown, cut and replanted, creating a rich new soil and landscape.

It’s a visionary plan. But regulatory and financial hurdles, along with the usual bureaucratic conflicts, have stalled progress. The state environmental agency wants to make sure the site is safe, which makes sense. At the same time, the price tag — by some estimates, hundreds of millions of dollars — has clearly daunted city leaders and led officials to pursue a piecemeal transformation that could undo Mr. Corner’s concept.

Considering the unconscionable $4 billion (or more) that is being squandered on a new PATH station at the World Trade Center site for perhaps 50,000 commuters, the cost of Fresh Kills doesn’t sound quite so crazy. Now there’s word that the Metropolitan Transit Authority may need to spend $600 million to restore the South Ferry subway station, which opened just in 2009 and was flooded by the storm. It’s hard to say which is more scandalous, that the authority’s planners hadn’t anticipated flooding at a station on the water’s edge, or that subway fare increases will partly go to pay for their shortsightedness.

By comparison, Fresh Kills has come out smelling like roses.

Michael Kimmerman has written a lovely intro to the park. If folks manage to get past bureaucrats and beancounters – they may yet have a 21st-century post-industrial landmark worth visiting.

Texas nutball raises the bar on harming your kid for holy reasons

A Texas man told authorities he carved a pentagram into the back of his 6-year-old son “because it is a holy day” in reference to the numerical date of 12-12-12…

Brent Troy Bartel, of the Fort Worth suburb of Richland Hills, is in jail…on a $500,000 bond, charged with aggravated assault of a family member with a deadly weapon.

Police officers responded to an emergency dispatch call shortly after midnight from a man who said, “I shed some innocent blood,” according to an audio recording of the emergency 911 call, released by police.

When questioned by the dispatcher, the man said, “I inscribed a pentagram on my son.”

When the dispatcher asked why, the man responded, “because it is a holy day,” according to the recording. He then hung up.

Moments later, police received a call from the boy’s mother at a neighbor’s house, said Officer Sheena Parsons, Richland Hills police spokeswoman. The mother could be heard on that recording crying and asking for help.

Police arrived at the Bartel home and found the boy shirtless and shivering, with a large pentagram carved on his back. Officers also found a box cutter at the house, which is believed to have been used in the attack…

Why must dimwits decide enforcing their particular superstition on others is so important, so critical to some level of salvation or other – that violence and harm is always justified.