Game? On!!

I’m off to the E3 Expo! Somehow I’ve convinced the fine folks who sign my paycheck that spending a week drooling over next gen VR and immersive gaming technologies is “work” and in the service of educating people about science. Suckers!

I am stupidly excited about going. I certainly am not claiming to be a gamer, although I do legitimately know enough to distinguish between console and PC games. Over the years I have cultivated strategies to make the nerds feel like I’m one of their kind. For example: in a room full of gamers, remarking that the console version of the Halo trilogy is SO much better than the PC version will earn you the same mild street cred as making a BS statement at a Super Bowl party that the color commentary is so offendingly obvious you though John Madden came out of retirement.

Geordi LaForge, I ain't. It’s a sad day when you have to admit LaVar Burton can rock a look better than you can.

Geordi LaForge, I ain’t. It’s a sad day when you have to admit LaVar Burton can rock a look better than you can.

Bring on the mind-blowing awesomeness people! I’ve been practicing fitting in with the gamer set in preparation. Hopefully the next gen hardware doesn’t make me look like such a total dork!

Better? Maybe? No? okay fine....

Better? Maybe? No? Okay fine….

Bored in Study Hall? Fold a Microscope!

Print. Fold. Explore.

Print. Fold. Explore.

Foldscope: where have you been all my life?

This is just begging to be a science fair project: a group of scientists at Stanford have made an origami microscope! It’s crazy cheap, super portable and is capable of some pretty impressive magnification for something made of a scrap of paper, a cheap lens and an LED.

If you are in possession of a small child, have access to one (or merely behave like one), you need to shamelessly use him or her as an excuse to drop everything and make a Foldscope of your own.

Tech Review has a nice description of the project and the creators of the Foldscope published a write-up on it on

PS: If you’re the type who likes an over-abundance of detail with your cool science info and you’re not familiar with Cornell’s yet, you’ve been missing out. It’s an open access source for e-prints of technical papers on physics, computer science, math, quantitative biology, quantitative finance and statistics. (Personally, I could do without those last two, but that’s just me….quantum mechanics I can do. Finance scares the pants off me.)