Fearless Dachshund Gleefully Pulls His Skateboarding Human Forward With an Abundance of Energy

A fearless dachshund named Calloway gleefully pulls Chad Otterstrom, his equally fearless human, along on a skateboard with an abundance of energy through a skate park in Silverthorne, Colorado. The event was captured with a GoPro camera attached to Calloway’s collar.

Of course a little dog like Calloway needs to recharge after so much exercise.

Sleepy Dog

image via Chad Otterstrom

A High-Definition Remake of the First Level of ‘Super Mario 64′

Computer science student Erik Roystan Ross made a high-definition remake of the first level of Super Mario 64 using Unity 3D. The level, Bob-omb Battlefield, is the first in the video game.

The short remake is actually a demonstration project for Ross’ Super Character Controller that, as Ross puts it, “got a little carried away.” The full details on the build are available on Ross’ blog.

Super Mario 64

Super Mario 64

Super Mario 64

Super Mario 64

images via Erik Roystan Ross

New Hello Barbie Doll Will Use Siri-Like Technology to Play Games, Answer Questions, and Converse With Children

The new Hello Barbie doll by Mattel will use Siri-like technology to play games, answer questions, and converse with children playing with the toy. Hello Barbie will have Wi-Fi capabilities and work with ToyTalk software that has previously been used to create interactive characters in the apps The Winston Show and SpeakaZoo.

A recent video by Chip Chick features the doll being demonstrated by a Mattel representative at Toy Fair 2015 in New York City. In the video, the representative explains how the doll will learn about its owner to become more interactive. The representative also mentions that the company will be able to push new updates and information to the doll.

Although the doll could be an exciting new development in toys, it’s not without some backlash by parents expressing privacy concerns over a toy that listens to their children and shares the information over the Internet with a large company.

via Chip Chick, The New York Times

The Two Johns of They Might Be Giants Discuss the Rebirth of Dial-A-Song on 100th Episode of the ‘RiYL’ Podcast

The Two Johns
image via They Might Be Giants

On the 100th episode of his RiYL (Recommended if You Like) podcast, fellow Laughing Squid tentacle Brian Heater recently sat down with John Linnell and John Flansburgh of They Might Be Giants to talk about a great many things, including the rebirth of their infamous Dial-A-Song, now on YouTube.

Dial-A-Song is the most literal manifestation of the phenomenon, an old answering machine purchase by the band to get its music out into the world as John Linnell healed from a broken wrist and Flansburgh recovered from an apartment robbery. The duo advertised a phone number in the back of the Village Voice readers could call to hear the band’s songs.The band resurrected the project this year, through the decidedly less intimate medium of YouTube, with the ambitious goal of releasing a new song each week for the full calendar year. In this 100th episode, we discuss Dial-A-Song, the importance of partnerships and the role of discovery in art.

RiYL 100th Episode
image via RiYL

submitted via Laughing Squid Tips

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 bishop in the Spanish town Chiapa Real banned chocolate during Mass because women kept having their maid 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) in which 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 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 http://www.bmsch.org/“>Boston Children’s Hospital. 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 all the 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