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Was the emoticon created in 1648?

- April 14th, 2014

Blogger Levi Stahl believes he may have found the first use of the emoticon. And it’s in a 1648 poem?

In a post on his blog, Stahl writes that 17th century English lyric poet Robert Herrick uses what appears to be a smiley face in the second line of his poem To Fortune.

Robert Herrick

Sketch of Robert Herrick. (Wikimedia Commons/The Hawthorne readers/Edward Everett Hale/HO)

The poem appears in his collection Hesperides.
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Marvel costumes come with virtual powers

- March 27th, 2014

Don’t lie; you’ve always wanted an arc reactor embedded in the middle of your chest.

Marvel Morph Suits are now providing that chance for millions of people who want to dazzle at the next Comic-Con, or simply prance around as Tony Stark for the day.

Developed by Morph Suits, the company behind some of the most technologically advanced costumes on the market, customers will be able to pick a Marvel super hero of their choice, and with the help of a dedicated mobile app, make the costume come to life.

The costumes have been decked out with augmented reality aspects that give the costume wearer “virtual superpowers.”

According to Morph Suits official launch video, the virtual powers can be activated –and seen- when viewed through the mobile app. Everything from Iron Man’s short, fiery palm bursts to Spider-Man’s webs being slung around the room can be accessed and executed.

Gregor Lawson, co-founder of Morph Suits, told Digital Spy that it had been a dream of the company’s to design Marvel outfits, and they were easily the most requested costume pieces on the site.

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“…we’ve had over 50,000 searches for Spider-Man alone on our website,” Lawson said.

Lawson further added that he and his team would like to see other well known super powers, like Spidey senses and Wolverine’s accelerated healing, become a part of the costumes as the technology progresses.

“We have added augmented reality markers that bring super powers to life – enabling wearers to virtually sling webbing from Spider-Man’s hands, fire repulsors from Iron Man’s palms or unleash Wolverine’s Adamantium claws. We haven’t quite cracked invincibility, Spidey senses or accelerated healing yet, but we’re working on it.”

As of right now, customers have the option to purchase an Iron Man, Spider Man, Wolverine, Captain America, or fan favourite Deadpool costume from the online store.

The costumes are already available to purchase, and run for approximately $90.

This could (or could not) be the world’s first hoverboard

- March 4th, 2014

The world has its first hoverboard, or rather, its first HUVrboard.

On Tuesday, the group of MIT graduates behind HUVr released a video starring Christopher Lloyd, Tony Hawk, Schoolboy Q, and NFL player Terrell Owens riding, or rather gliding, around a parking lot on hoverboards.

In the four minute video, Doc Brown himself pulls up in a Delorean and announces that the hoverboard concept he and Michael J. Fox made popular in Back to the Future, is now a reality.

“I am proud to announce that thanks to the clever folks at HUVr Tech, the technology has caught up,” Lloyd says in the video.

Hawk, Owens, and Schoolboy Q all take the board for a quick ride, unanimously proclaiming they’ve never felt anything like it before.

“I feel like I was out of this world for a second, and I looked down and my feet are off the ground. I’m like, this is really happening,” Owens says.

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Which segways perfectly into the ongoing debate occurring at the time of this writing on Twitter and, quite frankly, over every forum online. Is it real or just an elaborate hoax?

According to the company’s official website, the hovercrafts will be available for purchase in December, although there’s currently no date set in stone. If they’re truly marketing a hoverboard, point HUVr.

But more than likely, and I truly am sorry that I need to disappoint all the Back to the Future diehards out there reading this, it’s one of the most elaborate, well crafted marketing gimmicks about to go viral.

From the looks of it, the “trailer” has probably set in motion what could be the biggest online advertising campaign a skateboard retailer has ever attempted, but that’s just a hunch.

For now, we’ll have to trust the team behind HUVr – a group of Physics graduates, apparently – who may have found a way to defy gravity for the boarding enthusiast in everyone.

Dalai Lama joins Instagram

- February 27th, 2014

The Dalai Lama is about to get filtered.

The Tibetan spiritual leader announced Thursday that he had joined Instagram, and would be posting images of his various expeditions and teachings as they occurred.

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The Dalai Lama announced his Instagram account to followers over Twiter, but from the looks of it, he’s had the account running since Feb. 1st and has already started building up his collection of photos.

During the time this piece was written, the Dalai Lama was sitting at just over 9,000 followers, and had posted images with big name celebrities including Larry King and President Obama.

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While that doesn’t compare to his 8.5 million followers on Twitter, his two social media accounts have one common feature: he’s not following anyone on either.

The Dalai Lama told tech website The Verge that social media can be great in the hands of a strong person, and disastrous in the hands of a weak person.

“If the person, himself or herself, has a certain inner strength, a certain confidence, then it is no problem. But if an individual’s mind is weak, then there is more confusion. You can’t blame technology. It depends on the user of the technology,” he said.