Friday, June 22, 2007

Brain Hat

I REALLY CAN'T DECIDE what my favorite news story of this last week is, because there's a lot of weird shit going on right now. I do have five candidates vying for the title of Most Awesome Story of the Week. Here is but one of them.

Japanese Researchers Control Toy Train With Their Brains!
Reasearchers at Hitachi have developed an attractive new helmet they call a "brain-machine interface" that allows the wearer not only to look awesomely nerdy but also to control a toy train just by thinking. Finally! Toy trains will do our bidding! Whatever we think, they will do! It's just like that awesome H.G. Wells story. What was that called again? Oh yeah, "The Man Who Controlled Trains With His Brain (The Toy Ones Not the Big Steam Locomotives...I Mean, Seriously, Control a Steam Locomotive With Your Mind? Even I Think That's a Bit Ridiculous, And I'm H.G. Wells, I Write About All Kinds of Crazy Crap)." I used to love that story.

You're probably wondering, "So how do you make the train go? Do you think forward or go to make the train move and halt or whoa! to make it stop?" Of course not! It's so much easier than that. You either do simple calculations in your head -- 4x2=8, 8x8=64 and like that -- and the train moves forward. When you stop doing them, the train stops! You can also sing a song to make the train go. You could even combine the two and sing a song about calculations to make it go. Might I recommend "Hey Little Twelve Toes" or "Three Is a Magic Number" from Schoolhouse Rock?

My second most favorite part about this story is how the author of the article first mentions that this technology could be used to control TVs, turning them on and off or changing the channels and whatnot. You know, instead of burning all of those additional calories using that heavy and cumbersome TV remote. Only after mentioning that use does the author add how this technology could assist disabled people. Because we should keep our priorities straight people. Let's help the laziest TV watchers first, and then worry about helping those who are actually disabled (or "permanently lazy," as I like to say).

But my most favorite part of this story is how much the "brainhat," as I like to call it, looks like the crazy hi-tech colander Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) puts on Louis Tully's (Rick Moranis) head in the original Ghostbusters. Oh yeah, many Zuuls knew what it was like to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day, I can tell you!

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