When I was learning to play the cello in high school, my cat Stella used to hide under my bed and yowl pitifully. I like to tell myself we just had different tastes. And there's probably something to that. Whereas humans like music to fall within our vocal range and have a tempo similar to a human heartbeat, those noises probably sound like demonic torture rituals to a cat.
Recently, on a cold, solitary evening, I decided to reprise one of my teenage pastimes: I played Super Mario 64. At first it was a little different than I remembered—the picture grainier, the music tinnier, my computer keyboard unnatural as I tried to put Mario through the classic moves I would have completed with finesse with an old-school Nintendo controller. But as I got my bearings in this uncanny digital world, I looked up at the clock and an hour had passed. I thought it had been ten minutes.
Every time a new action film or animated movie comes out, we marvel at the amazing computer-generated effects. But those effects can be even more impressive on a small, quiet scale. Artist Benoît Dereau has created a 3D walkthrough of a Paris apartment that's mind-blowing in its sheer attention to detail and subtlety.
A new site is attempting to put the enthusiasm and knowledge of amateur archeologists and historians to work on current archeological projects, with the help and guidance of professional academics. MicroPasts, a joint project of University College London, the British Museum, and the Arts and Humanities Research Council, is a new hybrid site combining citizen science and crowdfunding under one umbrella.