The internet has given birth to yet another new medium: webcomics. Moving beyond the restrictions of print, webcomic artists interact directly with audiences who share their own unique worldview, and create stories that are often embedded in innovative formats only possible online. Sometimes funny, sometimes personal, and almost always weird, web comic creators have taken the comic strip form to new, mature, and artistic heights.
PBS Arts: Off Book “The Rise of Competitive Gaming and E-Sports”
As games have increased in sophistication, they have become a stage for ever higher displays of human skill and brilliance. The result is a tier of the gaming world filled with startling disciplined, talented, and highly competitive players. Born out of arcade tournaments and LAN parties, the world of competitive gaming is now entering a mature phase, featuring major global events attended by thousands and watched by millions online. With valuable sponsorship and prize money of increasing value, competitive gaming is claiming a space similar to that of traditional sports. This new industry is still in its early stages, developing broadcasting models and negotiating the culture of its widening audience. But whether it’s fighting games or MOBAs, the players and spectators are passionate, and individuals and leagues are working hard to elevate e-sports into the highest echelons of human achievement.
Is Futurama the Best Argument Against Transhumanism?
Transhumanism is a scientific philosophy that says technology will solve all our human biological constraints and that immortality is right around the corner (well not RIGHT around the corner, but WAYYY closer). They envision a world of endlessly euphoric robo-humans that represent the next step in evolution. And while this sounds super awesome, we had to ask, will this really make us happy?! If you watch Futurama, than you know that the answer is probably NO. While not an exact illustration of transhumanism, Futurama does show a future of vast technological ability, where today’s everyday problems are rendered moot, and yet the characters on the show still seem to find themselves in some very non-euphoric emotional states. Does this disprove what transhumanists expect for our future?
The internet is a powerful tool for communication, but it can sometimes be a double-edged sword. As most of us have seen or experienced, the internet can bring out the worst behavior in people, highlighting some of the cruelest and most hurtful aspects of humanity. Issues such as bullying online and trolling have garnered a lot of attention recently, prompting questions about who does, and should, regulate the internet, and what free speech means online.
Donald Scruggs, inventor of the screw-in coffin, profiled on PBS Inventors
Donald Scruggs knows being buried vertically in a coffin that screws into the ground is not for everyone. But he thinks his interment invention could save money and make better use of space than traditional burial. The screw-in coffin is one of many patents Don, a mechanical engineer, has to his name, though none of the others are quite as macabre.
For her 100th birthday, here’s “Julia Child Remixed”
This August 15th, super spy, inventor of shark repellent and long-time TV cook Julia Child would have been 100 years old. Public television station WGBH Boston made this awesome Julia Child supercut, with a little Guns n Roses to celebrate.
An interesting look at the mire on the Mir space station near the end of its life, and how the Russians tried to downplay an incident that almost killed several astronauts and took out the space station.