Deadly Computer Blog

the robots are coming

In Case You Get Lost

Lots of posts this month about getting lost, or mazes, and things like that.  It seems like April is just that kind of month doesn’t it?

Did you know that there are giant concrete arrows all in a line across the country?

giant arrow 1

In the early 1900s, air travel wasn’t what it is now (or even what it would become in 30 years).  It was dangerous, and primitive, and slow.  But it was still the fastest way to get mail from New York to San Francisco.  So after WW2, the surplus air planes that survived, and the pilots that flew them took up jobs with the US Postal Service flying mail across the country.  This was before the times of Google Maps, before every kid had a globe in their class room, or even a well detailed map of the state they were in.  It was hard, bordering on impossible to fly in an accurate route across the country.

So, the US government installed giant concrete arrows along with 5 story light house lookout towers along the main air mail routes.  The towers were visible for miles around, and helped guide the pilots along the thousands of miles of flying they had to do.

Air Mail Map

With the advent of radio in the 1940s, and then the jet age, and commercial planes flying more and more, these became less necessary.  Actually, most of the towers were dismantled and used for scrap for the WW2 War effort.  But the arrows themselves are still in the ground in some places, and you can follow them if you choose.

I wonder now, in 2,000 years if America is no more, what the future inhabitants of the land will think of these arrows.  They will be America’s Stonehenge, no one will know for sure, but lots of theories.

{Messynessy Chic}

Caving – For Real

Remember Ted The Caver, that was one of the best short stories I ever read on the internet.  If anyone knows of any other stories that are similar, please, let me know.

Robbie Shone is a real life caver, who actually spends his time going deep down into the bowels of the earth in natural, and man-made caverns.  His photographs don’t show the constricting, creepy nature that Ted’s story had, but still offer a sense of amazement.  I wouldn’t want to be in any of those places, especially since they are all artificially lighted.

Cave River

Why would you want to go in there?  That looks horribly like a death trap.  Holding onto a rope for your life while (what looks like) fast moving water is pushing you towards certain death.  It looks like a great photo, but that’s about the extent I’d want to see.

empty cave

That looks pretty cool.  Still eerie looking if you ask me.  It also looks like there’s a giant cliff that that guy is standing on.


cramped cave

That’s more like it if you ask me.  Has the Ted The Caver look and feel to it.

{This is Colossal}

Alternate History Thursday – Birthdays & Anniversaries

In our current reality, yesterday marks the beginning of the American Revolution.  However, as we have so easily showed, this is not the case in our alternate version of historical events.

In case you don’t remember, our version of America is not free, (it pains me to write this), but they are communist.  From sea to sea, and pole to pole, the largest empire in the solar system, and 2nd most powerful.  Today, the 20th of April, marks the anniversary of start of the American Revolution.  But it’s not that that makes us remember this faithful day, that’s due to the birth of the European leader that helped usher Europe out of the depression, and fight the dangerous Americans from making any progress onto European soil.


That’s right, I’m speaking of Adolf Hitler, who today would be 125 years old.  In our alternate reality he really did leave for  The Moon, but not to flee, to expand the European presence in our solar system, and prevent the spread of Communism.  So far he has succeed, but ever day we are at war against the Commies.  Every day we fight them.

Gas Chamber Art

I am above the inappropriate jokes that can be made from the title of this post.  The video blow is pretty fun to watch.  Even if it is a weird modern art piece.


The 3-D effects are pretty well done, but then again, it’s all just a matter of prespective.  And 21 HD projectors pointing onto the inner surface of the 384 foot tall gas tank.  It’s over in Germany, which is pretty far away from me, so I’ll have to settle for the video above to get an idea of what it’s like inside it.


The Expanse


It’s not very often that a great book series gets turned into a great Television Show, or great Movie series.  Lately, (thanks to the success of Harry Potter), more and more beloved books have made the jump.  The latest series is one I only just started reading a last summer, and one I’m eagerly awaiting the next installment of come June.

SyFy just announced that they have a 10 episode season ordered for The Expanse universe.  The Expanse series currently consists of Leviathan Wakes, Caliban’s War, and Abaddon’s Gate.  The story of those books is set in the future when humanity has colonized the outer reaches of our solar system, and like we always do, we hate each other.  The Martians hate the Earth, and all the old money & power there.  The Belters hate the Earth and Mars, and the security of the planet’s provide with unlimited food and air, but would never be caught dead on a planet (mostly because from growing up in zero-g, the gravity would kill them).  Eathers just want to live as usual, as kings of the known universe.

It’s a rather interesting series.  In the first one each chapter alternates between the point of view of 2 characters as they race across the solar system towards the same things, not knowing they’re on a crash course into each other.  The next 2 books add more characters, and more points of view.  While this unique perspective on the story telling does force you to re-read, and re-visit parts of the story multiple times, it provides alot of insight as to what happened, and lets you see the whole picture.  I really liked it.

How this will translate onto the small screen is unknown.  I think they could do the same unique outlook on it too.  Have each episode be told through the eyes of one character.  However, while fan’s of the books might be able to follow, others would have no idea what’s going on, as the two main characters don’t meet each other until about half way through the book.  Maybe that’s an idea they can pick up in Season 2.

Anyway, for those looking to catch up on the series, buy the books.  And then watch the show, so that we can get a 2nd season out of it!

{Engadget|Daniel Abraham|Deadline|twitter}

Stellar Mechanics

stellar mess

Well, technically it should probably be called Orbital Mechanics, but I like the ring of Stellar better.  And I’m no scientist, but an American, so I’ll call it what I want.

Anyway, if you want to try your hand at building a stable solar system, go right ahead with the aptly named Super Planet Crash.  With a name like that it would seem that the outcome is to not fulfill the game’s name.  See, you have to try and build a stable solar system of anywhere from 1 to 12 stellar bodies that can last for 500 years.  I’m not quite 100% sure what a year consists of in this game.  I mean, it seems consistent across the couple hundred tries I’ve made, but it’s hard to tell exactly when starts, and where it ends.  Either way, you have to get 500 years of game time.  Which is harder then it looks.

I managed to get it, but with a super boring solar system:

stellar win

As you can see, I only had 4 planets.  And somehow, magically the Dwarf Star I placed didn’t screw everything up as so far I’ve always seen it do.  As you can see from the top picture on this post, crazy things can easily happen to the planets rather quickly.

I don’t know exactly how realistic the science is behind the coding, but I do find it amazing to see those once every dozen years or so alignments of the planets that cause everything to go haywire.  It almost makes you think about when our own solar system lines up like that, and if anything will happen.  And then just remember that there’s not a damned thing you, or I, or anyone could do about it, so stop worrying, and try and beat this game.

{Super Planet Crash}


Animated Masterpieces

B E A U T Y – dir. Rino Stefano Tagliafierro from Rino Stefano Tagliafierro on Vimeo.

Rino Stefano Tagliafierro has used some nifty computer work to give an animated look and feel to old school paintings.  Some of them are pretty good and lifelike, while others are just OK.  I like the landscape ones best, because those are easy to loop with minimal effort, it’s hard to loop a person moving their hands up and down and make it look natural.  Regardless, it’s something that I wouldn’t be able to do, so you should at least respect that.


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