The Lab Finds Its Own Use For Consumer Electronics

(with apologies to acb)

Fluorescent microscopy using a cellphone and lenses

UC Berkeley researchers have built a cell phone microscope capable of imaging malaria parasites, tuberculosis bacteria, and other bugs. The CellScope consists of compact microscope lenses attached to the phone's camera. Most impressive is the device's ability to do fluorescent microscopy. They showed that the TB bacteria could be automatically counted using image analysis software.

via Boing Boing.


Fuck my town.

I've been involved in two assaults in Melbourne now in the past ten years, neither of them my idea. (...)

If they'd happened five or so years later than they did, I could be dead, or worse, and that's just how it goes, right?

~ ~ ~

I stopped for a moment there because I was about to type 'fault', and, well, fault and blame and cause and effect are all interesting things to talk about aren't they. The first one, at Camberwell Station, a staffed, 'Premium' station, resulted in me filing a nice wordy police statement with the Plods, nothing. Anything on the station cameras? Dunno. Did he have any priors? Next please. More paperwork.

So this CUB is staggering around the platform, mouthing off, with a mate a few paces behind, his minder perhaps, his social conscience? Ready to hold him up if he falls towards the platform, or to hold off anyone this cretin might fire up seriously enough to overcome him. I interject verbally when he starts to get stuck in to two Gothy kids, who are, it seems, moments away from a couple of fast fives.

So, I pipe up, pick on someone your own size, and pick on someone else he certainly did. I recall the cops saying well you should have stood up before he came over and punched you in the face, well, stand up, that's body language for come on then ya cunt isn't it, not exactly the Adamsian I don't suppose you want to talk about it a little more first I'm looking for, but then again, no, he doesn't want to talk about it actually, he just wants some smart-arsed, four-eyed dickhead, who doesn't know when to shut up and mind his own business, to show who's boss, and well, shit, I'll do just fine.

After his first dusting of jabs, which send the glasses flying and damage my septum, I have the 'presence of mind' to grab the trouser around his knee and yank it up to throw him off guard, and eventually have him pinned on the platform just as a Flinders Street train accidentally, awkwardly rolls up. He's choking me, his mate's trying to drag me off, my blood's filling my nose and mouth, and I spray it all over his face, and that fucking stupid polo shirt. Hope you have a good night with the ladies now, you oaf. They run to the end of the platform, jump off, and clamber up to Burke Rd like the flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz. The goth kids shrug and step onto their train. I ask the driver to radio the cops, No radio the reply.

What is this shit.

What do you think this is, a prank?

~ ~ ~

Is this meltdown some kind of subconscious, semi-literate, systematic eradication and decimation of people who don't want to see their suburbs, and city, turn into something like a cross between Stone and Mad Max? Push me, push you. Oh yeah, says who? Says me, that's who. Who steps in when they're all shot, choked, or run over?

Who are the players in this? The media, the cops, the judiciary (currently deluged by a tide of nitwits and thugs through their chambers), the local councils, the state government, the federal government (whoops, bashed one too many Indian student, but it's okay, that expat says they have it coming), 'real' crims fuelling the whole shebang with e, ice, coke and speed, bikies helping them with their drops ... ? Pop that tinfoil hat on for a moment and ask yourself who is in bed with whom.

I watched 'The Signal' the other night. A signal, beamed into peoples' minds via TV, radio and mobile phone, gradually sends people insane, through varying degrees of psychosis, delusion and jealousy. Imagine a zombie flick where you can't instantly tell who's 'infected', whether or not they're about to kill you, whether or not you should kill them. It redefined a real mindfuck of a film and had eerie parallels to this sorry state of affairs. Is it Sherriff Root's 'martian niggers' doing this, like I first presumed? Whom the gods (must be crazy) (chariots of) would destroy, they first make mad. Or is it ... Kalle Lasn's consumerist dystopia, only with a Shaun of the Dead twist?

What are some anticipated outcomes for this predicament? More power to the cops, more toys, more tasers, more pepper spray, firearms, more fries with that? 'Tougher' laws, 24/7 blanket surveillance (didn't do much for that guy in the HJ now did it), (easily compromised) RFID drivers' licences or other 'mandatory' ID? Moar power to the police union? O HAI MULLET. 'Law-abiding' and 'peaceful' citizens begging to the State for more shackles, more punishments, longer sentences, more jails? A street 'arms race', with tonfa and homemade firearms making an appearance? 

~ ~ ~

the next one, perhaps, when it's not nearly four in the morning.

Kottke, games, and family

Earlier this week Jason Kottke mentioned the addictiveness of Crush the Castle, a game hosted at Armor Games, a 'casual gaming' site. The title of the game is a misnomer, as the goal of the game is to kill all of each castle's inhabitants. After a few games I realised this theme was not dissimilar to that of The Onion's recent FPS parody, Close Range - 'Here's some people. Kill them. Now kill these people. Now these.' And I lost interest. I wouldn't play a game where you had to hit kittens with a hammer -  flinging rocks at royals started to look the same. Flying shopping trolleys, on the other hand ...!

I wonder how palatable a game based on clearing slums or demolishing houses might be, either as a straight-out 'bad taste' exercise, or as a political act like MolleIndustria's Mcvideogame. PacMan with a bulldozer. Or Bomber Man. Once it was ready, of course, I'd want to let all my friends know about it.

After my mind drifted back, I noticed another game, also hosted at Armor, Morningstar. It's pretty polished for a point-and-click adventure, and if I had more time (and self-control) I wouldn't have referred to to the readily-available walkthrough. Having a fellow space adventurer, pinned to his seat by a metal beam in the crash, available on the radio for the occasional hint, was a nice touch.

It reminded me how I used to play old text adventures collaboratively with my sister, me on the keyboard (are you kidding me? I was older! and a boy!) and her riding shotgun, providing advice, reminding me where I'd taken a wrong turn -- first Mindshadow on the C64 and then The Hobbit on the XT/AT. (I ended up working for Melbourne House, albeit briefly.) I'll have to tell Fi about it.

I wonder if anyone will ever embarrasingly lament the clichés of alien interaction in videogames and fiction -- (start/stop the reactor!) -- or will they instead thank the authors for helping us overcome the alien menace?


cat abusers lynched

DV camera - $299 at best buy

balaclavas to hide identity - $9 at the local disposal store

getting lynched by the internet hate machine - priceless

there are some things money can't buy...


imma uncle.

Thomas Aubrey (still not 100% apparently on the middle name) SurnameTBA born 5.20am 7.12.2008 ... which makes him a Capricorn? Or a Sag? Or ... the sekrit thirteenth sign, Ophiuchus ... if you're into that kind of thing ... dan dan dannnn o/` o/`

According to the Wik, if he's a Sag he'll get on well with Aries and Leo ... like a house on fire? ;-)

Burnt the facebook account. Funny, because half of youse LJ frieeeends are in there as well. I just wanted out, that's all ... but still feel the need to share occasionally, obviously.

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