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Tuesday, October 29, 2002 :::

Hmmmmm, I wonder what this technology will primarily be used for in the future?

Scientists 'touch' via Internet
Technology could allow people to feel others over Web

LONDON (Reuters) -- Scientists in Britain and the United States shook hands on Tuesday.

No big deal, one might think, but the men in question were 5,000 km (3,000 miles) apart, connected only by the Internet.

In a technological first, two scientists -- one in London and one in Boston -- picked up a computer-generated cube between them and moved it, each responding to the force the other exerted on it.

The devices allowing them to do it are called phantoms, which re-create the sense of touch by sending small impulses at very high frequencies via the Internet, using newly developed fibre optic cables and high bandwidths.

"The experiment went very well," said Joel Jordan, part of a team of scientists at University College London (UCL) which has teamed up with colleague at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to conduct the experiment.

"You can actually feel the object being pushed against your hand," he told Reuters. "We can feel each others' forces."

They plan to conduct a second experiment across an even greater distance -- London to California -- later on Tuesday.

UCL said the secret behind the technology is the speed at which the successive impulses are sent.

"In much the same way that the brain re-interprets still images into moving pictures, the frequencies received by the phantom are similarly integrated to produce the sense of a continuous sensation," a UCL statement said.

Not only can scientists feel the force being exerted by colleagues across the Atlantic Ocean, they can also feel the texture of the object they are feeling.

"You can feel how rough something is, or how springy the side of the cube is," Jordan said.

The implications of the experiment could be vast, said UCL, which described the event as the world's "first transatlantic handshake over the Internet."

For example, trainee surgeons could use it to practice operations via the Internet.

Recreational uses seen [Really? Who'da thunk it? - dan.]

It would also have recreational uses, allowing people to touch and feel each other over the Internet.

"There are certainly strange aspects to this," Jordan said. "You can hit each other hard enough to leave little bruises, and there are bigger versions of the equipment we're using which could really cause some damage."

However, don't expect to find touchy-feely computer software in the shops before Christmas. "I don't think it'll be available to the public for years -- at least five years," Jordan said.

::: posted by dan at 1:35 PM :: [ link ] :: (0) comments Social Bookmark Button


Thursday, October 17, 2002 :::

The big apple that never sleeps
You can now view pics of my New York City trip in my 'pics' section. There were too many for me to write a colorful commentary about each one, so you'll just have to click through the list of images yourself. If you want to know more about any picture, just email me.

::: posted by dan at 10:22 PM :: [ link ] :: (0) comments Social Bookmark Button


Sunday, October 13, 2002 :::

Dan bumps into MIKE WHITE in NYC!
My exciting celebrity sighting while visiting NYC the other day was MIKE WHITE! Ok, so maybe that isn't exciting to you, since you probably don't even know who he is, but I'm a pretty big fan of the movie Chuck & Buck, and his new movie, The Good Girl, is the best movie I've seen so far this year – if you haven't seen it yet, you really really should. He was standing next to me at a street corner and I instantly recognized him and did a doubletake. I must've stared at him all giddy for too long because he returned my glance with his own frightened look and promptly averted his eyes. I clammed up and he took off down the midtown sidewalk. Regretfully, I didn't get to say anything to him, but I did nudge Kristina to get her to look and then I snapped this photo of him walking away while Kris pointed excitedly for me. Yeah, it's blurry and far away, but I know it's him.

Anyway, I can't imagine anyone cooler to bump into. The funny thing – and some of you know this about me – is that I often fantasize about being friends with famous screenwriters and directors. We chat and stuff and I come off as intelligent and wise. Sounds a little childish, but I gotta entertain myself somehow. I used to do it about Steven Soderbergh a lot. The Coen brothers. Even Woody Allen. But the other day after catching Chuck and Buck on the sundance channel a few days after I saw The Good Girl, I did my little fantasy thing about being friends with Mike White and telling him how impressed I was with his unconventional screenwriting abilities. But of course, given the opportunity to tell him that in real life, I was more like a star-struck school girl than an intelligent and wise colleague to filmmakers. Oh well. My fantasies are better than realities anyway, I'm sure.

::: posted by dan at 11:31 PM :: [ link ] :: (0) comments Social Bookmark Button


Tuesday, October 08, 2002 :::

It just wasn't meant to be * sniff *
I want to go see Beck in concert really a lot very badly. I didn't even realize he was coming to town until it was too late – all tickets sold out. So I've been checking every day, hoping beyond hope that they would release more tickets. Today I requested two tickets and to my surprise, they were available. It gives you five minutes to enter your payment/address info, which I probably did in under 30 seconds. When I clicked Submit, it crapped out and told me I had taken too long and the tickets went back into inventory. When I went back and tried again, they were gone. No Beck tickets for Dan, despite his nimble, fast-moving fingers. Ticketmaster is a bunch of bitches.

::: posted by dan at 3:41 PM :: [ link ] :: (0) comments Social Bookmark Button


'I love to dance country'
Not that I think anyone is actually reading this weblog, but if any old Quikpager comes across my ramblings, you might remember this guy:
That's him dressed as a pirate/stevie-nicks on the top of the page. He used to call every day to update his site with leopard print furniture pics and celebrity site links. He was the type of guy that would insist that 'shop' be spelled with two P's and an E. Shoppe. Also notice that he likes to 'dance country.' Good to see his site is still up and running. Dude was awesome. Ahhh, good times.

::: posted by dan at 2:58 PM ::


Sally and Conrad better watch out
Why did the makers of the Cat in the Hat movie make him look like a post-op Michael Jackson?
I think it's all the white make-up and red lipstick.

::: posted by dan at 12:35 PM :: [ link ] :: (0) comments Social Bookmark Button


Monday, October 07, 2002 :::

The Cher concert on Friday was more Cirque du Soleil than Musical Extravaganza. There was more ribbon-twirling and acrobatics than actual singing by Cher, which I suspect was more lip-syncing than singing anyway. Plus, all the costume changes and don't-you-just-love-cher video montages stretched her 8-song performance to almost two hours. I also thought it strange that she opened with a U2 song. Cyndi Lauper was definitely the highlight. I had a great time, despite the shitty $10 Excel Center turkey sandwiches we force-fed ourselves as "dinner".

::: posted by dan at 4:17 PM :: [ link ] :: (0) comments Social Bookmark Button


Friday, October 04, 2002 :::

Dan's new digs
I spent March to October of this year re-drywalling, repairing, painting, carpeting, and decorating my upstairs. I finally finished this week. I may not have done the best job in the world, and there are some areas where my workmanship is definitely sub-par, but it turned out pretty nice if I do say so myself. Anyway, there are a few pictures of it in my 'pics' section if you want to check them out. Lotsa grey goin' on.

Muchos gracias to my papa for all the hard work.

::: posted by dan at 3:57 PM :: [ link ] :: (0) comments Social Bookmark Button


Thursday, October 03, 2002 :::

Dude accidently made his skin permanently blue while trying to boost his immune system for Y2K. Seriously.
Read all about it – and see a picture!

::: posted by dan at 1:29 PM :: [ link ] :: (0) comments Social Bookmark Button


World's funniest joke found
A yearlong poll in London has concluded that out of 2 million votes for 40,000 jokes, the following rib-tickler is the funniest (most funny):

A couple of New Jersey hunters are out in the woods when one of them falls to the ground. He doesn't seem to be breathing, his eyes are rolled back in his head.

The other guy whips out his cell phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps to the operator: 'My friend is dead! What can I do?'

The operator, in a calm, soothing voice, says: 'Just take it easy. I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead.'

There is a silence, then a shot is heard. The guy's voice comes back on the line. He says: 'OK, now what?'

Not bad, I guess.

::: posted by dan at 1:17 PM :: [ link ] :: (0) comments Social Bookmark Button


Wednesday, October 02, 2002 :::

This is the real fortune we got after eating a greazy, fatty plate-full of Peking Chicken at Eddie Cheng's. I think he is rubbing my nose in it.

( bed.)

::: posted by dan at 9:42 PM :: [ link ] :: (0) comments Social Bookmark Button


Jessica Lange: ‘I hate Bush’ [tee hee hee! - dan]

Add Jessica Lange [hometown pride! She's from Minnesota, ya know. - dan] to the growing list of celebs speaking out against George W. Bush’s policies. The star of “Tootsie” — receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award at the San Sebastian film festival in Madrid, Spain — declared that she “hates” the U.S. president and said his call for an attack on Iraq is “unconstitutional, immoral and illegal.”

“I HATE BUSH. I despise him and his entire administration — not only because of its international policy, but also the national,” Lange told the audience, according to various reports coming from Spain. “It makes me feel ashamed to come from the United States — it is humiliating.”

“Bush stole the elections and since then we have all been suffering the consequences,” Lange told the enthusiastic crowd.

Although Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg have recently spoken out in support of Bush’s proposed attack on Iraq, Lange joins a growing list of stars who have questioned or condemned it, including Barbra Streisand, Susan Sarandon and Alec Baldwin. [so Tom Cruise likes bush and Alec Baldwin doesn't? I would've thought the opposite was true. - dan]

And speaking of Streisand, here is an excerpt from the wordsmith's letter to democrats:

We should have one goal, and that's to win back the House, Senate and Presidency. Unless we win, we'll be consistently on the defensive with our fingers holding the dyke [sic] against the Republican revolution. We should draw attention to the differences in our parties, hold accountable those currently in power and make them pay for their actions on Election Day. This is not a time to be weak. Read the full text here.

She later made a statement apologizing for her poor grammar and spelling, citing that the proof she is not a bad speller comes from the fact that she is a former spelling bee champion. She truly is a jack of all trades. Fingers holding the dyke, indeed.

::: posted by dan at 1:19 PM :: [ link ] :: (0) comments Social Bookmark Button


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