Mad Quickies

Mad Quickies 12.5

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from the page

Track: HECQ “Enceladus” (with Skyence)
Taken from HECQ’s album “Enceladus” (adn149)
Originally released by Ad Noiseam

“Consumed” is another self-initiated personal project that I’ve written, designed and animated.
It’s a 3D short film about a not so distant future, where extreme overpopulation has become a global crises. The population growth has reached a critical tipping point and there’s food and water shortages all around the world. The story revolves around a “Food Replicator”, or a so called molecular assembler, a device that can rearrange subatomic particles and guide chemical reactions with atomic precision. In an attempt to prevent mass starvation, this device is used to synthesize nutritions with the ability to self-replicate. But during the initial tests something goes wrong and out-of-control self-replicating compounds starts to spread, consuming all matter while building more copies of them selves.

This is very similar to a hypothetical end-of-the-world scenario called “Grey goo”, a term coined by molecular nanotechnology pioneer Eric Drexler back in 1986. He illustrates exponential growth and the dangers of self-replication is his book “Engines of Creation”:

“Imagine a replicator floating in a bottle of chemicals, making copies of itself…the first replicator assembles a copy in one thousand seconds, the two replicators then build two more in the next thousand seconds, the four build another four, and the eight build another eight. At the end of ten hours, there are not thirty-six new replicators, but over 68 billion. In less than a day, they would weigh a ton; in less than two days, they would outweigh the Earth; in another four hours, they would exceed the mass of the Sun and all the planets combined — if the bottle of chemicals hadn’t run dry long before.”

Well, obviously my scenario is all science fiction, since the required technologies to create this kind of self-replicating matter won’t be invented until.. hmm.. no sooner than 2014?

There’s a short breakdown video here:


Naza failsafe auto-landing
Read more about Quadcopter flight videos at boing boing.

from the page

Flailing around in the air over Smith Cove park in Seattle.

At the end, right after your hear the battery alarm start to beep, the FPV video completely cuts out. I have the failsafe on my radio RX set to throw the Naza flight controller into it’s failsafe mode when it loses signal, so I made a split-second decision to just turn the radio off and let the autopilot land the ship.

The second set of beeps that you hear is the lost model alarm going off, which also happens when the radio goes into failsafe.

It auto-landed pretty well, but it did tip over and keep grinding away for a while, which burned out a speed controller. It was probably the wrong choice to force a failsafe. I should have just ripped the glasses off and landed it manually, since it was pretty much right in front of me anyway, but oh well. Not too bad a crash really!

You can read more background info about my quadcopter project on my blog.


Featured image is an excerpt of a house cat by paleoartist John Conway.



Geologic Universe, vault-keeper. Sheer Brick Studio, principal. Empty Set, designer. Bethlehem Mounties, media. WDIY 88.1FM NPR station programmer. Skepchick.

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  1. I need that dinosaur book. NEED IT.

    Love the illustration style. And it touches on something that drives me batty about a lot of paleo-art. Predator images are always that claws out, mouth agape, unnatural leaping thing that parallels exactly none of the wildlife footage I’ve ever viewed. It’s like a video still of someone mid-sneeze. If an artist really wants to give the viewer the sense that this was a real animal, show it doing something mundane and familiar. I’d love to see a dust-bathing archaeopteryx, or raptors loafing around like a pride of lions at midday, but it’s rare to come across work like that.

  2. I’m so glad you liked it! How much did you love the cow?! And, yes, thanks to chebutykin/Melissa, I now have another book that I MUST have. {shakes fist}

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