A few items of interest this morning:
* The BBC had one of those fascinating yet frightening "2001: A Space Odyssey-the machines will one day kill me and then laugh" stories about increasing the realism of video games and ongoing efforts to make not just the characters' physical appearances more human but also their reactions. So on the day that Yoshi leaps out from the TV screen, I'm going to be totally impressed with the realism for that split second before he maims and eats me. Cool. [BBC story]
* If your taste in beverages runs more James Bond-y than Budweiser, Salon Magazine has an interview with a blogger who's devoted himself to the finer things in the cocktail world. As someone who always grew up wanting to host parties where Carole Lombard and William Powell would come over (and rise from the dead) to have highballs with me, I was intrigued. [Salon]
* Speaking of worldly sophistication, Wired has a nifty little item on curating your action figures. Yes, just like a real museum only with less boring stuff and more caped Darth Vaders! [Wired How-To]
* And if you'd like to see the ultimate skinny girl celebrity, the bones of Lucy -- the oldest humanoid skeleton ever found -- are being taken on a tour of the United States. Ethiopia, the country which has possession of Lucy, is sending them on tour to raise money for national museums. It's not been a widely applauded move, given the obvious rarity of the skeletal remains and the fact that even 3 million year old hominid bones are not safe in the hands of Northwest baggage handlers. The tour starts at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.[BBC]
* Finally, speaking of travel, if you have 10 or so minutes to spare today and feel like registering at Delta Airlines.com, my good friend Stephen is trying to win a contest which he describes as "half-reality show and half-dream vacation." The receiver of the most votes for their video entry will get to keep participating in the contest. His video (The Awesome Brothers) is very funny, he's a good fellow and he was one of the masterminds behind the urban legend that convinced thousands of people that Louie Armstrong originally wrote and performed Britney Spears' "Oops, I Did It Again." How can you not love that? Anyway, here are the instructions if you feel like exercising your voting rights:
1. Go to http://siteseerchallenge.delta.com
2. Register. You don't need a frequent flyer number, but you get free miles if you have one.
3. Watch the videos. You have to watch them all, but you can just have them running in the background if you need to.
4. Vote for The Awesomest Brothers (that's them.) Stephen says thank you and so do I!