target screen

This video game could literally train our brains to resist symptoms of disease

  • Some research already suggests that gaming can be good for our brains. Now, a study found that a specific type could help treat “brain fog,” also known as “cognitive impairment.”
  • Cognitive impairment is when the brain is slow at processing information. It’s a symptom that appears in people with Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia and other illnesses — but it also shows up in head injuries, depression, fevers or simply as we age.
  • Scientists asked a group of about 200 MS patients to play computer games for 12 weeks, or about 60 hours in total.
  • Some played regular puzzle games thought to sharpen the brain, such as a sudoku, while others played adaptive brain games developed by a group called PositScience.
  • The PositScience games use something known as “adaptive cognitive training.” The game adjusts its speed or difficulty level in real time, based on how well players perform on simple tasks like remembering a sequencing of numbers or identifying a target on the screen.
  • Patients who played the adaptive games reported significant improvement in their thought processing, leading Charvet to believe that these games could revolutionize how diseases are treated. Read more (5/18/17)
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You know, a lot of people don’t realize this but….

The animals at the zoo represent so many opportunities for biologists around the world to learn basic information about, well, animals! We get research proposals all the time from researchers, both among our own staff and globally, seeking permission to include the animals in their research. We approve the proposals that are of the greatest scientific value, that have potential to help us even further improve our qualities of animal care, and that are certain to cause no harm of any form to the animals. Recently two papers were published in major academic journals by scientists from regional universities that contribute some fascinating information to the global body of knowledge about animals.

Dr. Bonnie M. Perdue (Department of Psychology, Agnes Scott College) published: Perdue, B.M. 2016. The effect of computerized testing on Sun Bear behavior and enrichment preferences.            Behavioral Sciences 6, 19; doi:10.3390/bs6040019

The field of comparative cognition investigates species’ differences and similarities in cognitive abilities, and sheds light on the evolutionary origins of such capacities. Dr. Perdue realized that, while cognitive studies commonly are conducted with animals such as dogs, elephants, primates, and even giant pandas, many animals have never been studied. So, she applied some standard methods, using an ingenious rugged computerized touchscreen apparatus, to our sun bears. Bears typically use their tongues to explore and manipulate their environment and, she found that the bears actively engaged the touchscreen menus with their tongues.

The screens had dabs of honey on them in the earlier trials, to draw the bears’ attention to these novel objects. Once familiarized with the screens, the bears proceeded to learn to interact with specific color- or shape-targets on the screen in exchange for treats. Soon, the bears were preferring to interact with the computer screens more than any of the other enrichment items available to them. This study discovered a new method by which bears can be studied and showed that the experiments were preferred by the bears who actively involved themselves at every opportunity. This is fascinating stuff!

Alexis Noel (a graduate student in Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Tech) and her colleagues published: Noel, A.C., Guo, H-Y., Mandica, M., Hu, D.L. 2017 Frogs use a viscoelastic tongue and non-Newtonian saliva to catch prey.           Journal of the Royal Society Interface 14: 20160764. 

Frogs can capture insects, mice and even birds using only their tongue, with a speed and versatility unmatched in the world of synthetic materials. How can the frog tongue be so sticky? In this multi-faceted study that included some frogs here, used high-speed films of frog feeding to understand the behaviors involved in tongue-feeding. Then they used high-tech measurements and characterizations of frog tongues at Georgia Tech to investigate the structural properties of frog tongues and saliva.

They found that the tongue’s unique stickiness results from a combination of an incredibly soft and stretchable anatomy soft and a saliva that simply does not follow the normal rules of how liquids respond to pressure. The tongue acts like a car’s shock absorber during insect capture, absorbing energy and so preventing separation from the insect. The unique saliva spreads over the insect during impact, grips it firmly to the tongue, and yet it slides off easily once it is back in the mouth. This combination of properties gives the tongue 50 times greater work of adhesion than known synthetic material (such as everyone’s favorite, the sticky-hand toy). These insights offer many new ideas and models for applications in industry and engineering. Yet more proof that frogs are the coolest animals on Earth!
To learn more things people dont realize about zoos here ~>  Zoos Queues
Sleeping/Music/Touch - Riddler Headcanons

SO! I have finished exams and finally have some time off, so while I work up the muse to write more little ficlets, have some random Edward Nygma headcanons that I just wanted to get written down somewhere =P.


  • On his own, he moves almost constantly in his sleep, either from trying to get comfortable, or from reacting to his dreams, and generally wakes up with pillows and sheets kicked everywhere in the morning.
  • If he’s in a bed with someone else though, it’s very easy to keep him still - any contact at all and he’ll stop any thrashing in favour of it. Stroke his hair, let him lie on your stomach, keep hold of his hand while he sleeps, anything and he’ll be motionless all night.
  • In general, he will either barely sleep at all or he’ll be out for days. He can go for exceptional amounts of time without sleeping when he’s focused on a project, and if there’s something to look forward to the next day, he might give in to a couple of hours at most. BUT, if he’s between work, it will take an unbelievable amount of force to get him out of bed in the morning, and he will hiss like a vampire if you try and open the curtains to flush him out.


  • Thanks to Ed’s excellent memory, he can pick up tunes and lyrics to most songs after just one listen.
  • While occasionally useful for drunk karaoke competitions (which I am certain the Rogues have even if they were never exactly planned), this skill is much more of a hindrance than anything else, as after overhearing an annoying pop song on the radio, he can’t get it out of his head for hours on end because of how intimately he will already know it.
  • Harley finds this hilarious, and will constantly play songs near him, just so she can catch him humming them later and then getting irritated at himself for doing so when the added noise in his head is interrupting his work.


  • Having never gotten much in the area of hugs or just physical contact when he was growing up, Ed is perpetually touch starved, and subconsciously craves any form of contact from anyone around him.
  • It makes any form of intimacy a huge weakness for him, because a surprise kiss or a hand on his arm can have a far bigger effect on him than one would expect. This doesn’t just mean in a sexual way either; if a friend gives him a comforting pat, he will react just as strongly, and will probably attempt to maximise the duration of the gesture.
  • It’s also one of the few ways to shut him up when he’s mid-flow: if he’s talking non-stop about anything, as he is very prove to do, a surprise touch of his hand will usually be enough to at the very least make him pause (which is one of many reasons why he often prefers to do things from a distance and talk to his targets through screens and not in person - this little trick can’t be used on him then).

I should have seen the teddy bear violence coming, but i was blinded by the extreme level of Hyogi cuteness in the beginning. 

They don’t often need to, but when the Fake’s leave a calling card, claim a crime or issue a warning, they all leave the same image, the logo of the crew. It started, years ago, as a joke more than anything. A ridiculous idea they all relentlessly mocked Geoff about, using it only to amuse each other, but as their reputation grew the symbol gained power.

It became synonymous with the crew, the fear-inducing emblem it was always meant to be, and while Geoff is still too annoyed to use it himself the others latched onto its new purpose and never looked back. They each have their own twist on it, little preferences which through accident or design clearly indicate exactly who is responsible for each mark.

If the logo is scratched or carved it’s a sign from the Vagabond. Ryan carries a old knife (he’s not about to ruin one of his good ones thank you very much) and doesn’t hesitate to use it on anything from doors to walls to corpses. Depending on the medium his tag is often pretty rough, crude even, but always clear enough to make out.

Michael, Ray and Jeremy all favour spray paint, though each of their styles are decidedly distinct. 

Michael freehands the logo, large, messy and loud, and as often as not accompanied by vulgar insults or the clear image of a hand flipping the bird. Ideally Michael likes the message to be as destructive as possible, gleefully targeting flat-screens, priceless art and fancy cars as the canvas for his work.  

Ray uses a stencil, quick and efficient, and has on more than one occasion ghosted into the occupied bases of rival gangs and left a tag right out in the open without being noticed.

Jeremy turns a basic image into an art piece, totally different every time but always so outlandishly detailed that the others often have to drag him away. When Jeremy knows he’s going on a job they’re going to claim it’s not unusual for him to bring a backpack stuffed with supplies.

Gavin prefers markers, everything from chunky paint pens on walls to fine tipped sharpies on cooling skin. Gavin’s tags are rare, and often only left when a job has gotten personal; stark ink sharply intentional, elegantly simple, and always, of course, in gold.

Jack, forever prepared, has somehow managed to get fucking stickers printed, artistic things she always seems to have on hand just when she needs them, seeming to pull them out of thin air in the perfect size for any situation.  

Upcoming screenings for Chie Mikami’s award-winning documentary (featuring English subtitles)!

The 91-minute film focuses on the residents of Takae district (Higashi Village, northern Okinawa), their protests against the construction of U.S. military helipads, and the Japanese government’s attempt to silence them. The film’s bold title is influenced by Takae’s history with the U.S. military, which used their land as a mock target in warfare training during the Vietnam War.

 western sydney gothic

  • you are walking down the street. there are gunshots in the distance. nobody moves. there are sirens. nobody moves. a woman comes sprinting past, shrieking “WESTCONNEX IS COMING! WESTCONNEX IS COMING!” everybody screams.
  • there is a wallaby on the side of the road, bouncing, bouncing, bouncing. red taints its paws. red taints it maw. it is watching you. the sun dips lower over the horizon.
  • you drive west out of liverpool. you keep driving. the houses fall away. there is grass. there is field after field. there is a cow in the middle of the road, staring at you. its eyes are the void. you are in badgerys creek. no one can help you now.
  • the trains are quiet, for once. the trains hum and rattle. 2770 is scrawled in black marker above your head. you look away. 2770 is scrawled in black marker on the seat in front of you. a baby is crying. 2770 is scratched into the windows. somewhere, laughter. 2770 is all over the seat you are sitting on. 2770 is scrawled over the arm rest. 2770 is scratched into the plastic. 2770 is scratched into you. 2770. 2770. 2770.
  • a girl stands at the cross roads in a too-small tee shirt with her backpack slung low over her shoulders, one thumb stuck out, pointing south. she stares through the cars that slow down, like she can’t see them. she is waiting.
  • you are in the line at target. the screens above you are playing their newest ad on a loop. it has been three hours. a cashier is weeping.
  • it is well after midnight. the neighbour’s speakers have just started up, beginning with a stirring rendition of bon jovi’s livin’ on a prayer that wails deep in the darkness. you step outside for a smoke. they are standing in their backyard, passing a joint between them, their glassy eyes shining from the verandah light. nobody waves.
  • a magpie swoops down and tugs something free from the sharps bin. it flies away with its shining prize, adding it to the growing pile you can see in the eucalyptus. its nest drips blood onto the pavement below.
  • mt druitt station is empty bar you and two lads arguing over smokes. a train screeches in, covered in graffiti. you pretend you don’t see the knife reflected in the windows as you step onto the train.
  • you step out of the RSL after a night of drinking, triumphant and free, both arms raised to the darkened sky. you stumble your way down the road, looking for your car, but then it starts. a giggle. a cackle. you stop, and look around. the street is empty. a laugh. a laugh. soon it is all around you, the laughter. you look up. the trees are full of gleaming-eyed birds, grinning at you. they keep on laughing.
  • there is a mural on the ceiling of camden library. adam and eve look down at the floor, blinking slowly, faces frozen in wide grins. lucifer is wrapped around the argyle street sign, hissing quietly. there are so many cows in the garden of eden. the bookshelves are bare. god stares disapprovingly from a nearby wall.
  • the wanderers chant haunts your dreams.

Chapter 01 | Chapter 02 | Chapter 03 | Chapter 04 | Chapter 05

summary: During a routine recon mission turned ambush, Lance and Blue must take drastic measures to ensure their survival. The aftermath leaves Lance lost and dreaming, and the team helpless to the possibility that, without a guide, he won’t make it back. 


Blue growled. Lance breathed. “We got this. We – we’ll be fine. Ready, girl?”

Blue’s head snapped up and to the side. Alarms blared and Lance brought up the screen, gaze darting over the barrage of red dots as they turned to track them. He swallowed. ETA of the rest of the team was still twenty minutes, and that was if they weren’t intercepted. Focus. No time to worry about that. His fingers danced over the controls, Blue humming her agreement as she turned to face them, her hackles up and roar gathering deep in her chest.

The back of the chair hissed as a targeting screen pushed forward and sighted in front of Lance’s left eye, the controls on the arms of the chair changing to triggers. Lance lined up the shots with the ones on the screen, quick calibrations scrolling through the HUD display on his helmet. Inhaling, he held his breath as green lights flashed across the board.

Exhale. Fire.

Read the rest here!


May 9th, 2014

Enter the Dragoon!

While it was briefly shown in the last Direct, the Dragoon from Kirby Air Ride is highlighted even further today by its original creator Masahiro Sakurai. Functionally, the legendary Air Ride machine has remained the same, as players must collect 3 of its parts in order to train the Dragoon. Aesthetically, however, it has changed dramatically, especially the targeting screen which looks like the bloodshot eye of an angry, fiery dragon. Additionally, today’s post also gives us another great quote from Sakurai:

“I wanna get on it. I wanna get on and ride it.”

So do we, Sakurai. So do we.


Scientists have developed an app to give you superhuman vision

A commonly misunderstood brag is to mention that you have 20/20 vision. While that’s great because it means that you have healthy eyesight, it’s actually possible to have up to 20/7.5 vision. And yes, there’s an app for that.

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have created a two-month training program that is designed to boost the average person’s eyesight significantly. The program consists of 25-minute visual “workouts” that are done on an iPad every day, and tasks users with tapping a series of on-screen targets as quickly as they appear. As the game goes on it gets harder by introducing a series of decoys and progressively dimming the screen. This app, called UltimEyes, pushes the players’ vision to the limit.

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Hello Ship-Aholics, I hope all of you had an amazing start in 2014!

A new year has begun and we all know what this means: New Ships and a loooooot of Feelz.

Anime-wise 2013 was the year of titan-slaying soldiers and a group of water obsessive swimmers, so I am rather excited what’s about to air this year. There’ve been a lot of cool games too (my personal highlights: The Legend of Zelda - A Link between worlds (Oh god that pun! XD) and Pokemon X & Y). So yeah, looking forward to this years surprises!

But hey, last time I promised to show you the target screen for our ship wars game- And here it is!

This target screen is supposed to show how we imagine our game to look like. It gives information about the UI (user interface), which is pretty important for our gameplay, and it gives an idea of the perspective for example.

This thing also serves a lot of design-related purposes: It answers Questions such as “What’s the style of the game?”, “Do the different objects work together?” and “Are the ratios fitting our expectations?”. So for example this is how we imagine our battle screen to look like. You can see the players ship, as well as the ship of an other player, and how they’re attacking each other. You get an idea of the cartoony, playful style we’re aiming for and what kind of different UI-Elements will be implemented (compass, map and -of course- a health bar). They’re placeholders and of course we will draw own pictures of the ship-able characters |P

Haha, so yeah, next time I am going to talk about the ships (literally) you guys can get in the game and I will tell you more about their features.

Stay tuned and set sail into the shipping adventures of 2014! ♥