Of course this is a Japanese television program, and is an uneasy mix of cruel, touching, and funny all at once. It’s your birthday party, chimp, and all your guests are human, and you are the center of attention and lone source of amusement for all the humans.
It is amazing to watch this young chimpanzee, she reacts very much like a human child, except she is more attentive and affectionate, constantly kissing both the magician and the owner or handler. Surprise and wonder show in her eyes and actions. If anything this video demonstrates how well she understands how things usually work. It seems unfair how much her trusted companion is in on the tricks. Without his adding to the her confusion she would have busted the magician’s tricks a couple of times, for sure. And the owner’s lame attempt at a death rattle during the sword in his neck bit, was a too cruel addition. Her relief when it is revealed he is safe was palpable. But then, after these mind-fucks she does get to eat the watermelon she won earlier.
Without the cheesy music, sound effects and crazy cutting and zooming, it could be a video featured on Nova. In an episode like the ones featuring they crazy psych experiments of scientists now dead, gone and discredited. But those episodes were in black and white and the chimps had wires coming out of their heads.
I think they call her Pongo in the video, and it seems the word ‘miracle’ works in Japanese. I have no idea if Pongo is a boy or a girl. But I can tell that she is still too young to tear your arm out by the socket.
The latest version of Phun is due out today. It is now called Algodoo Phun. I had the pleasure of being asked to participate in the beta testing. The feature you will notice most is that you are now able to apply textures (png image files) to the objects. Aside from these textures this virtual puppet could have been made in the old version. But Phun5.25, has a lot of new features including attraction and repulsion, and celestial gravity. The drawing tools are greatly improved you can now have hollow or “holy” shapes. There is a cut tool a gear tool, and you are able to add and subtract shapes. Also improved are your selection option. Everything now has a context menu, which is pretty slick once you get used to it.
I use Camstudio a free open source video screen capture app. The results are pretty pixelated, and both programs require a lot of RAM, resulting in the Phun simulation playing sluggishly on my computer, while it is being recorded. So this robot dancer looks a lot better in Phun than it does in this YouTube clip. The frame rate is much higher and the vector graphics are really sharp. Plus the puppet really can dance, it’s scary how alive it seems when you have the right beat behind it.
Get Agodoo Phun at phunland.com. (they are having server problems, but will probably be fixed soon)
Most of the sun’s energy on earth is absorbed by water and the movement of water. Michael Bernitsas, professor of naval architecture, has been fighting the destructive effects of vortexes on underwater structures for years. These vortexes are similar to the wind effect that destroyed the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. His devices can produce energy at a much lower flow rate than is required by turbines, and because of their slower movement, they are not likely to harm fish as turbines do. Also, as the devices can be put far below the surface, and will not be an eyesore or interfere with recreation or navigation. “Small vortexes are created when currents flow over a cylinder. This motion causes vibrations which means that there is a lot of energy waiting to be harnessed.” A pilot project will be installed in the Detroit River.