SpaceX "successfully" lands Starship SN10 and it looks like CGI

March 4, 2021


SpaceX "successfully" landed a high altitude test flight of their Starship SN10 Wednesday morning and it was so incredibly done it looks like CGI. Like so much like CGI if it wasn't SpaceX you would 100% think this was faked footage.

Similar to the high-altitude flight tests of Starship SN8 and SN9, SN10 will be powered through ascent by three Raptor engines, each shutting down in sequence prior to the vehicle reaching apogee - approximately 10 km in altitude. SN10 will perform a propellant transition to the internal header tanks, which hold landing propellant, before reorienting itself for reentry and a controlled aerodynamic descent.

I put "successfully" in quotes because although it stuck the landing, it did eventually blow up about 8 minutes after landing while sitting still on the landing pad. It's unclear what caused the explosion, but I'm assuming it decided to celebrate its own accomplishment by turning itself into a giant firework.

Keep going for the full incredible test flight as well as footage of the explosion later. Skip to the landing at 11:40 and tell me it doesn't look like it came out of a low budget sci-fi movie.

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30 years of my life in 30 seconds

March 3, 2021


This is a great short by Russian animator Lazy Square, giving us a portrait of his 30 year life condensed into 30 seconds. Although as lovely as it is, I can't help but feel personally attacked right now. Sure, I could close my laptop and climb a mountain, but I could also look at a picture of a mountain on the internet so...pretty tough decisions all around.

Keep going for the full video as well as some other gems of his work including a Russian art film version of The Simpsons opening and a rejected Nike ad.

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Asking expensive home owners what they do for a living

March 2, 2021


Vlogger Aaron Vankampen has a series of videos where he goes around to expensive houses with opulent cars in the driveway and knocks on the doors to ask the owners what they do for a living. The incredible part is that these lunatics actually answer the door, during a pandemic, to a stranger with a camera pointed at their face. And they're rich. My apartment makes Oscar the Grouch look like a multi-millionaire and even I wouldn't open my door to a stranger for fear of being robbed.

Keep going for the full video as well as some other videos in the same series.

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AI learns to Speedrun QWOP and sets top 10 time

March 1, 2021


Wesley Liao trained an AI to learn to play QWOP using reinforcement learning and imitation learning and it managed to achieve a top 10 speedrun.

QWOP is a simple running game where the player controls a ragdoll's lower body joints with 4 buttons. The game is surprisingly difficult and shows the complexity of human locomotion. Using machine learning techniques, I was able to train an AI bot to run like a human and achieve a finish time of 1:08, a top 10 speedrun.

If you've ever played QWOP (you can play it here), you know how frustratingly difficult it is. Like creator Bennett Foddy's other game, Getting Over It With Bennet Foddy, it was designed to punish the player into wanting to kill themselves so it's only fitting somebody designed an AI to kill it first. It's kind of like the plot to The Terminator if The Terminator was stupid and I knew how analogies work.

Keep going for the full explanation video or read the writeup here.

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Unexploded WW2 bomb intentionally detonated in Exeter, UK

March 1, 2021


This is a video of an unexploded WW2 bomb being intentionally detonated in Exeter, UK after it was discovered by workers on Friday.

WW2 bomb gets detonated in Exeter in a controlled explosion. The bomb was discovered by workers yesterday which resulted in 2600 homes being evacuated and a no go cordon of 400m being set up. Well done to the Royal navy bomb disposal team and the huge manpower that co-ordinated the evacuation. I'm very fortunate not to live in a war zone.

We have self-driving cars and can send rovers to Mars, but when it comes to getting rid of old bombs the best we can do is just have them go off. You'd think there'd be a technological solution by now besides, "Let's just explode it."

Keep going for the full video as well as a drone shot. It already looks massive in the video, but the drone shot makes it look even more ridiculous. It's crazy these things were and are just being dropped all over the place because people can't get along.

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Clam freaks out a woman when it sticks out its foot

March 1, 2021


This is a video of a clam trying to walk and flicking its foot out, freaking out the woman in the background who clearly does not trust what she's looking at at all. That's the face of a woman who has watched Alien and isn't taking any chances. Also, the guy is spouting out a lot of wrong information, but the only thing you really need to know is that this is a clam and the wiener-looking thing it sticks out is its foot. Unlike the wiener-looking thing the guy on the subway sticks out. That thing is most definitely not his foot and you should call the police.

Keep going for the full video, as well as a a video of a clam "walking" along a beach.

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Fry's Electronics has gone out of business

February 24, 2021


In incredibly sad news, electronics retailer Fry's Electronics has gone out of business due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Yesterday they had a surprise firing of all of their employees followed by an announcement today that they've permanently closed.

After nearly 36 years in business as the one-stop-shop and online resource for high-tech professionals across nine states and 31 stores, Fry's Electronics, Inc. ("Fry's" or "Company"), has made the difficult decision to shut down its operations and close its business permanently as a result of changes in the retail industry and the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Company will implement the shut down through an orderly wind down process that it believes will be in the best interests of the Company, its creditors, and other stakeholders.

Fry's has been a staple of my younger years since it was one of the few places you could simultaneously buy motherboards as well as a vacuum cleaner and porn. Some of their stores also had ridiculous themes like a 1950's monster Fry's, an Alice in Wonderland Fry'sone, and even a Tiki's Fry's. Why an electronics store would be Alice in Wonderland or Tiki themed is anyone's guess, but they'll be sorely missed.

Daft Punk has broken up

February 24, 2021


Daft Punk posted this video on their YouTube channel on Monday and most people correctly suspected it meant they were breaking up. Their publicist confirmed the breakup, though it was pretty obvious from the video itself. I mean, it's hard to imagine a duo staying together after one literally blows up the other.

Keep going for the full video. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a Tron: Legacy soundtrack to play on loop for the next two months.

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