A Delectable List of Little Known Facts About Chocolate

On the most recent episode of The List Show by Mental Floss Video, host John Green lists 30 delectable facts about chocolate, the ambrosial treat that some might even call “the nectar of the gods” for which they might give away all they own or even resort to nefarious deeds.

A 2004 study found that 70 percent of people would give away their computer password when bribed with a single chocolate bar. …A 17th century a bishop in the Spanish town Chiapa Real banned chocolate during Mass because women kept having their made to bring them hot chocolate during services. Suspiciously soon afterwards the bishop died and many believe that he had been poisoned

Mario & Toad Go Too Far With Their Mean-Spirited Pranks on Luigi in an Animated ‘Super Mario Bros.’ Short by Dorkly

Andrew Bridgman of Dorkly has created a new animated Super Mario Bros. short (previously) where Mario and his accomplice Toad go way too far with their mean-spirited pranks on Luigi. A flaming bag of poop on Luigi’s doorstep turns out to be the last straw. Luigi lets his cruel brother Mario know that he’s fed up with the stunts by putting his foot down… literally.

This is what turns Mario Bros. into Mario foes.

OneShot, A Simple Mobile App For Editing and Sharing Screenshots

Screenshot Screenshot

OneShot is a new app created by San Francisco developers Ian Ownbey and Jason Goldman that brings simple screenshot editing and sharing to iOS. The app lets users crop the screen, highlight text, delete sources and share shots over Twitter.

OneShot OneShot

via OneShot

‘The Huggable’, A Plush Interactive Robotic Companion That Provides Comfort to Young Cancer Patients

Emotion is the 4th Vital Sign

The Huggable is a plush interactive robotic companion developed by the Personal Robotics Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), that seeks to help mitigate stress, pain and the anxiety of medical treatment for pediatric cancer patients and their parents at Boston Children’s Hospital. In doing so, becomes part of their medical care team. In providing this kind of comfort, The Huggable becomes an important addition to the young patient’s team.

Children and their parents may undergo challenging experiences when admitted for inpatient care at pediatric hospitals. While most hospitals make efforts to provide socio-emotional support for patients and their families during care, gaps still exist between human resource supply and demand. The Huggable project aims to close this gap by creating a social robot able to mitigate stress, anxiety, and pain in pediatric patients by engaging them in playful interactions. In collaboration with Boston Children’s Hospital and Northeastern University, we are currently running an experimental study to compare the effects of the Huggable robot to a virtual character on a screen and a plush teddy bear. We demonstrated preliminarily that children are more eager to emotionally connect with and be physically activated by a robot than a virtual character, illustrating the potential of social robots to provide socio-emotional support during inpatient pediatric care.

The Huggable currently uses Android smartphone technology, which controls allof bear’s movements and reactions in a small space. According to Research Specialist Sooyeong Jeong “That’s how the robot became smaller and more mobile so we can actually put it right by the bedside.”

It is featured with a full body sensitive skin with over 1500 sensors, quiet back-drivable actuators, video cameras in the eyes, microphones in the ears, an inertial measurement unit, a speaker, and an embedded PC with 802.11g wireless networking. An important design goal of the Huggable™ is to make the technology invisible to the user. You should not think of the Huggable™ as a robot but rather as a richly interactive teddy bear. The actuators are designed to be silent and back drivable so as the Huggable™ moves, you do not hear or feel gears. The movements, gestures and expressions of the bear convey a personality-rich character, not a robotic artifact. A soft silicone-based skin covers the entire bear to give it a more lifelike feel and heft, so you do not feel the technology underneath. Holding the Huggable™ feels more like holding a puppy, rather than a pillow-like plush doll.

The Huggable actually started out as a traditional brown teddy bear before settling into its current blue and green visage.

early version
image via Lawrence Dunkin

The Huggable and Girl
image via Wired

Huggable Side by Side
image via Wired

Huggable Closeup
image via Wired

Huggable on Table
image via Wired

via Wired

Autonomous Robotic Ants and Butterflies Designed to Operate in Cooperative Groups

German automation company Festo has created a pair of impressive autonomous robotic insects capable of operating in large groups. BionicANTs are six-legged bots designed to work in groups to solve complex tasks as a cooperative network. The ultralight eMotion Butterflies, meanwhile, fly in coordinated, collective groups with the help of infrared cameras.

Ten cameras installed in the room record the butterflies using their infrared markers. The cameras transmit the position data to a central master computer, which coordinates the butterflies from outside. The intelligent networking system creates a guidance and monitoring system, which could be used in the networked factory of the future.

Festo

Festo

Festo

Festo

Festo

Festo

images via Festo

via IEEE Spectrum

Minneapolis-Saint Paul Meteorologist Leaves the Hanger in His Suit Jacket and Pulls It Out on Air

During a recent broadcast, KMSP-TV Minneapolis-Saint Paul meteorologist Steve Frazier realized he left the hanger in his suit jacket and pulled it out on air to the amusement of his co-hosts. In the clip, Frazier explains that he realized the suit was fitting a little tight after putting it on, but he wasn’t quite sure why.

It is typically recommended that suit jackets not be hung on a wire hanger because of the way they can misshape the garment, and it’s also common practice that any hanger be removed before the jacket is worn.

via reddit

Special Effects Video of ‘Action Movie Kid’ Jumping Into a Hazardous Water Puddle That Teleports Him to Disney World

Dreamworks animator and father Daniel Hashimoto has created a new special effects video for his ongoing Action Movie Kid series that shows his three-year-old son James jumping into a hazardous water puddle at a store that teleports him to the magical Disney World theme park. This is continuation of his special effects-filled video “Danger of Wet Floors” from 2014.