The issue with Babylon 5, however, isn't with its live-action scenes, but with any moment in the show that requires special effects. These days, no TV show is made without a lot of cosmetic enhancement from a small legion of CGI experts. But the early '90s were a different time, and most effects-heavy TV shows relied on expensive and time-consuming practical effects.Babylon 5 used CGI a lot because it was the only way to make the show with its very tiny budget. And it was the early days of CGI, so early that the pilot episode's visual effects were produced on a network of Amiga computers. For the first three series, effects house Foundation Imaging used 12 Pentium PCs and 5 DEC Alpha workstations running Lightwave 3D.Now, according to some sources, Foundation Imaging lacked the time, or the resources, to produce widescreen CGI effects. But that was okay, because the production process for Babylon 5 was to shoot 1.78:1 footage, crop it to 4:3, and then edit it with the CGI footage and … [Read more...] about ‘Babylon 5’ is great, so why does it look so bad?
Why does post nasal drip cause bad breath
When people see machines that respond like humans, or computers that perform feats of strategy and cognition mimicking human ingenuity, they sometimes joke about a future in which humanity will need to accept robot overlords. But buried in the joke is a seed of unease. Science-fiction writing and popular movies, from "2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968) to "Avengers: Age of Ultron" (2015), have speculated about artificial intelligence (AI) that exceeds the expectations of its creators and escapes their control, eventually outcompeting and enslaving humans or targeting them for extinction. Conflict between humans and AI is front and center in AMC's sci-fi series "Humans," which returned for its third season on Tuesday (June 5). In the new episodes, conscious synthetic humans face hostile people who treat them with suspicion, fear and hatred. Violence roils as Synths find themselves fighting for not only basic rights but their very survival, against those who view them as less than human and … [Read more...] about Why Does Artificial Intelligence Scare Us So Much?
We've all experienced it. You walk into your kitchen or your office breakroom, and the smell assails you: savory, buttery, toasty. Someone's been microwaving popcorn. Yum — or ick, depending on your sensitivity. Google searches for the smell of microwave popcorn lead to threads that mention all kinds of odors, from buttery heaven to vomit to urine. (More accurately, it smells like a bearcat's butt, scientists say.) Love it or hate it, the smell of microwave popcorn is distinct. So, what's the chemical behind the aroma? In most cases, it's one of several artificial flavorings known for their oily, buttery vibe. These flavorings have occasionally appeared in the news, mentioned as health threats, but there isn't evidence that they hurt the casual popcorn-popper; they instead pose a danger, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), to workers who inhale them in large quantities at facilities where microwave popcorn is made. [9 Snack Foods: … [Read more...] about Why Does Microwave Popcorn Smell So Bad?
OnePlus announced today that the OnePlus 6 will be its first phone with a glass back. LG went this route recently with the V30. Apple just did it with the iPhone X, as did Huawei with the P20. HTC also turned to glass after the HTC 10 with its HTC U Ultra and U11. Samsung, well, they’ve been all-glass since at least the Galaxy S6. All of these manufacturers refer to glass as being premium while suggesting this is a move that truly advanced their industrial design, and I can’t help but ask – why? You see, dating back to that just-mentioned Galaxy S6, glass has been all the rage. In fact, I hilariously referred to the S6 as being “strong, elegant, and premium.” I mean…come on, Kellen. I don’t think I’m alone it such a eyeroll-worthy statement because glass is shiny, see-through, and offers this sort of gem-esque experience with depth that metal just can’t do. Glass does look pretty! Look at the P20 Pro and that gradient colorway! But … [Read more...] about Why Does Everyone Think All-Glass Smartphones are Premium?
An international team of researchers has identified a cause for chronic bad breath (halitosis), with the help of gene knockout mice from the UC Davis Mouse Biology Program. The results are published Dec. 18 in the journal Nature Genetics. While most cases of bad breath are linked bacteria growing in the mouth, up to 3 percent of the population have chronic halitosis of no obvious cause. "It's important to identify the cause of persistent halitosis, and differentiate that cause from relatively benign causes (e.g., gum disease) and the more morbid causes such as liver cirrhosis," said Professor Kent Lloyd, director of the Mouse Biology Program at UC Davis. Researchers at Radboud University in The Netherlands have been studying families with chronic bad breath for several years. They found that these people produced a lot of sulfur-based compounds in their breath, especially methanethiol which has an unpleasant boiled-cabbage smell. Methanethiol is normally produced during digestion but … [Read more...] about Knockout mice help find gene for bad breath