MySci Round-Up, November 15: Japan’s New Pop Diva is a Hologram

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Back in the late 1960s, America had a hit pop group called The Archies, who actually made it to Number One on the charts with the single “Sugar, Sugar”—a remarkable feat for a band composed of animated cartoon characters. (The Archies’ instrumental music and vocals actually were performed by an assortment of studio musicians.) We always saw that as the ultimate metaphor for the dehumanization of modern culture—that is, until Hatsune Miku came along. Japan’s latest pop diva, who sports knee-length blue pigtails and Walter Keene-kid eyes, is an Anime character who is totally fake, down even to her vocals, which are created with Yamaha’s Vocaloid software. She’s the closest thing to the “Simstim” entertainers envisioned by Cyberpunk novelist William Gibson in his 1980s Sprawl trilogy. Here’s a YouTube concert video of Miku in hologram form, performing her hit, “World is Mine.” We guarantee it’ll leave you yearning for the authenticity of Lady Gaga’s meat dress.

Okay, now for the news.

Bubbles of energy are found in Milky Way. They’re each 25,000 light years across and contain as much energy as 100,000 supernovas.

Saudi government temporarily blocks Facebook access. 
Officials would only say that the social-networking site somehow “crossed a line” and offended their country’s conservative sensibilities. Or else maybe somebody un-friended King Abdullah.

New iPhone app tracks users’ daydreams. 
Fortunately, it doesn’t actually allow you to watch them on the screen, like that gadget in Wim Wenders’ movie “Until the End of the World.” That would be too strange.

Study says global oil supply will run out before alternative energy sources are available. 
Not a good time to go out and rent the movie “Road Warrior,” unless you want to get totally despondent about the future.

Researchers find that seeing meat makes people significantly less aggressive. 
Maybe that’s the explanation for Lady Gaga’s wardrobe choices.