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I should have posted her song Fashion Monster on Halloween, but I didn’t, so you get to see it now. Ever since Pon Pon Pon I have been fascinated by her relentlessly happy music and terminally kawaii clothing styles. As she continues to crank out tunes and designer outfits her popularity in Japan just keeps growing, especially among the Shinjuku crowd. One of Japan’s top rock TV shows, Music Station, reported this song being at number 8 on the singles charts during last Sunday’s program.

One of the modern holy grails in physics is the Higgs Boson, AKA The God Particle, and several weeks ago Cern announced they believed they had finally proven it exists. As in all such advances, some will only go so far as to admit that a Higgs-like particle has been identified, but even if it is not the elusive Higgs itself a major step along the road to understanding how the universe works has been taken. As complex as both the question and the means of answering it are, there is a simple explanation put forward by Assistant Professor Daniel Whiteson of the University of California that anyone can understand. And just to make it easier to follow, this excellent animation was assembled; thanks to Open Culture for the heads up on this one.

The Higgs Boson Explained from PHD Comics on Vimeo.

I wanted to break from my usual kind of entry for a moment and cheer on the MOD production process, meaning Manufacture On Demand. Warner Brothers, Shout Factory, MGM, and several others have done this with a lot of titles which have not been available for a while, and it is a great business model for the digital age. You pick one of the titles in their MOD catalog and put in your order, at which point they burn you a copy of the CD or DVD on their industrial grade reproduction gear, print out a label, and send it your way. For the customer, thousands of titles you could not previously get your hands on except possibly in very low quality bootleg format are now accessible. For the manufacturer, titles they own but were not previously making any money on can now turn a small but steady profit for them, without the loss incurred by going to a full press run when the demand for the product is not there. If it turns out the demand is there as evinced by the number of folks putting in orders for an MOD title, they can then release the disk or box set as a full press run (“press” being a leftover term from pressing vynal records, the original media distribution format).

Obviously this process is good for both music CDs and video DVDs, but it doesn’t stop there. With the advent of 3D printing, objects of all kinds can be put through the manufacture on demand process. Even better, they might be designed anywhere in the world, but you could have them printed locally and avoid the shipping costs, downloading the printing template across the web. Did you know this is the same technology Jay Leno uses to produce mil spec perfect replacement parts for his vintage automobile collection? This stuff is available today, and although it can be a bit pricy, there are also open source 3D Printing options worth looking into, such as the ongoing MIT research.

The folks over at NeuroSky have come up with a brainwave detecting headset about the size and shape of a pair of headphones, which plugs into your Android or iOS device. Right now it works with around a hundred Apps for some hands free control, and not all of them are games. It is a bit pricy, but at $130 it is hands down the cheapest and most portable EEG mapper you can buy. Thanks to the folks at Gear Patrol for the heads up on this one.