The Fall of Gondolin is Finally Published


via Smithsonian

Though J.R.R. Tolkien passed away in 1973, he has never really stopped publishing. For decades his son and literary executor Christopher Tolkien has painstakingly catalogued and edited his father’s papers, creating new books out of unfinished and unpublished manuscripts. Most of those tales delve deep into the history of Middle-earth, the fantasy realm where Tolkien’s best known works, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings series take place. Now, it’s likely that work will come to an end with one last Tolkien book. Critic Andrew Ervin at The Washington Post reports that The Fall of Gondolin, which will be released tomorrow, is likely J.R.R. and Christopher Tolkien’s swan song.

While this story may be the last Tolkien book to be published, it is actually an early tale and foundational to the author’s entire concept of Middle-earth. It was first written in 1917 while Tolkien was recuperating in a hospital from trench fever after the Battle of the Somme. “It’s a quest story with a reluctant hero who turns into a genuine hero—it’s a template for everything Tolkien wrote afterwards,” John Garth, author of a book about Tolkien’s experience in World War I tells Alison Flood at The Guardian. “It has a dark lord, our first encounter with orcs and balrogs—it’s really Tolkien limbering up for what he would be doing later.”

Read more.

Power Clip Wins NYC’s Next Top Maker Award

NYCEDC: NYC’s Next Top Maker Is…

Capturing Three Dimensions with Kinect-like Sensor


Structure Sensor

A Kinect-like 3D sensor for mobile devices, successfully reaches Kickstarter target in a day – video embedded below:

Capture models of rooms, 3D scan objects, play augmented reality games, and develop mobile applications with 3D sensing. The world’s first 3D sensor for mobile devices.

The Structure Sensor gives mobile devices the ability to capture and understand the world in three dimensions.

With the Structure Sensor attached to your mobile device, you can walk around the world and instantly capture it in a digital form. This means you can capture 3D maps of indoor spaces and have every measurement in your pocket. You can instantly capture 3D models of objects and people for import into CAD and for 3D printing. You can play mind blowing augmented reality games where the real world is your game world.

If you’re a developer, Structure gives you the ability to build mobile applications that interact with the three dimensional geometry of the real world for the very first time. You can even launch your app on the App Store!

More can be found out about the product at it’s Kickstarter page here

All Too Common in Healthcare

All To Common in Healthcare$

: Will Healthcare Get a Double Whammy by Staying on Windows XP?

: Will Healthcare Get a Double Whammy by Staying on Windows XP?

Can You Hear Me Armadillo Aerospace? Can You Hear Me?

From the Big Bummer Archive: The demise of Armadillo Aerospace, one of the intrepid bunch of recent would-be rocketeers.


Space is Hard – After 13 years, John Carmack’s Armadillo Aerospace calls it quits. The space startup has laid off all full-time staff, and John himself has stated he does not intend to invest any more of his own money. Started in 2000, the company was aimed at developing suborbital space tourism capabilities, but now it looks like it won’t make it.

One day after speaking at the QuakeCon in Dallas, John Carmack—the famed video game designer and space entrepreneur—confirmed to Ars that he’s “winding down” his company, Armadillo Aerospace. The private space company began in 2000, and eventually began doing contract work for NASA, but it turned to developing reusable rockets in recent years. “I laid off most of the full-time employees,” Carmack told Ars on Friday.

“[We have a few doing some] minor part-time hours, and there’s one guy still on there. We still have the building, and I own materials there, and I don’t have the funding to continue development.” He said that he’d spent over $1 million a year of his own money to fund the company, which will now be cut significantly. “I’m spending [somewhere] in the couple hundred thousand [dollar range], we still have to pay accountants, lawyers, and pay for insurance. We’re talking to people and we hope that some money shows up, but if not we’ll wind down even further.”

I do hope that the Armadillo will come back from hibernation at some point in the future, but if nothing else this does illustrate the point that it is rocket science after all.

A Star is Born: Skywatcher Photo Captures Dark-Hued Nebula



This photo shows the cosmic region known as Sh2-239 and LDN 155, where star formation activity has caused the mix of dust and colors in the nebulas visible here. The deep colors and dark clouds in this image resemble paintings by some of history’s greatest artists.

The region lies near the southern end of Taurus located on the border of the constellations of Taurus and Perseus more than 400 light-years away. A light-year is the distance light travels in one year, or about 6 trillion miles (10 trillion kilometers).

Astrophotographer Adam Block of the Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter at the University of Arizona  was one of the first to capture the nebula in such detail. He took multiple exposures to collect enough light for an image that would otherwise not be evident to the eye.

Full Article

Credit: Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona