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5 games to think about

16 years and 1 month ago · listen

Still alive after last week home experiments? Good. Now is time to think about some issues (political & ecological) the best way I know how: by playing with it.

The following is a short compilation of web games from Water Cooler Games and Social Impact Games websites. Play it, share it, think about it:

  • Home Water Conservation - "Waterbusters" - A game to teach tips for water conservation around the home;

  • Darfur is Dying - In partnership with the Reebock Human Rights Foundation and the International Crisis Group, mtvU launched the Darfur Digital ActivistContent, a competiton briging together student technology and activism to help end the genocide in Darfur. The game is a narrative-based simultaion where the user, from the perspective of a displacedDarfurian, negotiates forces that threated the surevival of his or her refugee camp. It offers a faint glimpse of ewhat it's like for 2.5 million who have been internally displaced by the crisis in Sudan;

  • McDonald's game - The McDonald's game from Molleindustria. Be sure to try out the Italian version of the website, as a Pope Speaking Generator can be found here;

  • Cyberbudget-France - The French government has taken a gaming approach to try and find a solution to the country's financial challenges. Budget Minister Jean-Francois Cope has launched an online Cyberbudget game that allows people to balance the books. The challenge is to ensure the €300 billion budget is spent wisely and that if tax cuts are made then services do not fall into deficit. There are a range of tests to face, including having to present the budget to a virtual parliament;

  • "Madrid" - An online game expressing feelings about the March 11, 2004 train bombings. The game was online less than 48 hours after the incident.</ul></p>

Music for free

16 years and 1 month ago · listen

Totally legal, more than 190.000 licensed Creative Commons tracks.

Jamendo allows artists to promote and publish their music. Artists have the opportunity to show their creativity, and the public has a place to listen to, download, and share new music.

If you find an album that you like, you can share it on your blog, write a review, or donate directly to the artist. Some artists will even include the list of people who donated in the booklet of their forthcoming albums. A great site for both artists and fans. Everybody wins, except for the big record labels of course.

Fun materials

16 years and 1 month ago · listen

To keep us amused during the holidays, Tom from the New Scientist Technology Blog has compiled a short list of fun materials - stuff that behaves a little bit outside the norm - with instructions to do it at home.

Here goes a short version of the original article:

  • Dilatants, also knows as Non-Newtonian fluids, so named because it's properties cannot be described in terms of the concepts of classical fluids. For instance, they get more solid when stressed;
  • Auxetic material - materials that get thicker when stretched. Pull them in one direction and they expand in another;
  • Superfluids - liquids that flow without friction. They can effortlessly flow through the tiniest of cracks and will even flow up the walls of a beaker and out the top;
  • Ferrofluids - magnetic fluids that can look spectacular. They're made from nanoscale magnetic particles suspended in a liquid;
  • Dry ice. Carbon dioxide freezes at -78.5 °C and it's fun and versatile stuff: