Two warmup posts before I try to set my head straight.

Dec 14, 2008

I'll spare everyone my usual apology for not posting anything lately and jump right into a catch-up post as a warmup for a longer, hopefully more interesting entry later today.

First of all, earlier this week a cultural icon passed - Bettie Page, queen of the pin-up, died of pneumonia at the age of 85 following a heart attack suffered earlier this month. Page was well known for her line of 'naughty girl' photographs, which featured nudity, lingerie, implied lesbian trysts, and even light bondage (the latter two scandalous for their time). Page stopped modelling in 1957 and all but disappeared from the public eye, and turned to religion as a way of finding meaning in her life. Interestingly, later in her life she was known to make appearances at conventions, though she rarely gave interviews and would not allow herself to be photographed.

We'll miss you, Betty.

In other news, the video game music remix and cover site OC Remix has announced that it's been collaborating with video game company Capcom on a soundtrack for their new game, Street Fighter II Turbo: HD Remix.

Come on, Capcom. You used to be able to come up with good titles for games.

At any rate, this is a ground-breaking even because it marks the first time that a commercially offered video game has ever had a soundtrack produced by the fans. Over twenty video game loving musicians, including Big Giant Circles, Malcos, DJ Pretzel, and McVaffe have contributed their time and effort to this project. Also, you can legally download the entire soundtrack gratis from OC Remix piecemeal or using their BitTorrent tracker.

And now, some topics near and dear to my hearts which you probably didn't think went together: coffee and alternative energy.

Researchers Mano Misra, Susanta Mohapatra, and Narasimharao Kondamudi, who are based out of the state of Nevada, have discovered a source of organic waste which is ideal for making biodiesel in industrial quantities: coffee grounds. If you're not familiar with the substance, biodiesel is a non-petroleum based fuel very similiar to diesel which is manufactured from other oils, such as soybean oil, vegetable oil.. or in this case, the lipids and oils left in used coffee grounds after disposal. Coffee grounds after brewing average out around 16% oil and other lipids, it should be noted. The three researchers, as an experiment, collected used coffee grounds from an unnamed multinational coffee house chain (gee.. wonder who that could be), separated the oil from the grounds, and brewed up a batch of fuel. The resulting diesel fuel, which smells strongly of coffee, was found to be unusually stable due to the high concentration of antioxidant chemicals in the resulting fuel. The leftovers from the synthesis process are said to be safe and can be used as compost for farming or small-property gardening.