Wicked Lasers defeats the dark forces of George Lucas

Wicked Lasers are some of the most powerful and coolest lasers available to consumers.

Gizmodo’s writer Kyle VanHemert once compared the Spyder III Artic to a light saber. But this comparison upset George Lucas. The creator of Star Wars owns the trademark for light sabers.

Lucas threatened Wicked Lasers, but the company fought back and George Lucas eventually backed down. For standing up to Lucas, the Jedi Church award Wicked Lasers with the title “Jediism Master”.

Wicked Lasers defeats the dark forces of George Lucas

The Passion of Mel Gibson

Mel Gibson has fallen far since winning two Academy Awards in 1996. Gibson’s fall from grace began four years ago when he was arrested for drunk driving and allegedly made anti-Semitic remarks.

Gibson allegedly assaulted ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigoriev. They are fighting for custody of their daughter. He has been ordered to pay US$60,000 in child support.

The bad publicity has affected Gibson’s career. He was recently yanked from a cameo in ‘The Hangover 2.’

Chinese subtitles here:

The Passion of Mel Gibson

Paris Hilton avoids stint in jail

Earlier today, American socialite Paris Hilton appeared in a Las Vegas court to plead guilty for two misdemeanors after being caught with cocaine last month. She received one year of probation, a $2,000 fine and 200 hours of community service. She will be put away for a year if she violated her probation.

The 29-year-old has a knack of getting out of trouble, as she also has a history of blaming others. During the World Cup in South Africa, Hilton was arrested for marijuana possession but blamed her friend Jennifer Rovero. In Corsica, France, Hilton was caught with less than a gram of marijuana and was let go. In 2007, Hilton served 23 out of her 45-day sentence for reckless driving.

What kind of community service do you think Paris should do?

Paris Hilton avoids stint in jail

HK model Rosemary in strife over crash, drugs

Hong Kong model Rosemary Vandenbroucke is in hot water after being busted twice in two days while on vacation in the US. She joins the lines of beautiful people getting into trouble in Nevada. First, Rosemary was booked for possession of a controlled substance while attending the Burning Man Festival. Then, the next day she drove her rented RV in the Reno Arch. She was bailed again on three misdemeanor charges. If convicted on the possession charges she faces up to four years on probation.

Rosemary was born in the south of France in 1982. Her father is of French-Russian origin while her mother is Chinese. She has been a model on the Hong Kong scene since being discovered as a 14-year old. She also has a singing career.

Here’s an interview with Rosemary. But before you go and read up on juicy gossip, leave a comment and tell us about your experiences at Burning Man, or that last time you ran into a landmark in Reno.

Rosemary HK model Rosemary in strife over crash, drugs

Internet turns on Justin Bieber

The Internet may have made Justin Bieber, but there are millions of people out there who want to knock him down just as quickly as his rise to fame. See Justin survive a car crash, visit an STD clinic, dance with Kim Jong Il and get beaten up by the Jonas Brothers.

biebercut Internet turns on Justin Bieber

Asian pop star gets a facial (scan) at NMA

Singapore-born pop star JJ Lin (林俊傑) stopped by Next Media Animation’s studio in Taipei last week to get a full facial scan using the newest Light Stage X system. Lin, who speaks Mandarin, English, Hokkien and Cantonese, has fans in all regions of the Chinese-speaking world, including Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China. Based in Taipei, he was here to prepare videos for his upcoming world tour.

Light Stage X at the NMA studio is one of a kind. Developed by the Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) at University of Southern California (USC), the system is the newest model designed to capture facial scans and render them for characterization in animations. Previous models, which vary in size and capabilities, have been used to film the movies Spiderman, King Kong, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Avatar and more.

The system includes a computer set connected to a sphere that measures 2.5-meter wide and tall. There are 331 light units connected to the computer, each composed of 12 LED light sources. That’s 3,972 LED lights. 4 sets of scans are recorded during each session. Each set of scan consists of 4 seconds of sitting very still, while 2 cameras take 15 consecutive scans of the face. Characterization models that result from this can look so realistic it’s difficult to tell the difference.

“JJ Lin is the world’s first Chinese-speaker to use Light Stage,” he proudly proclaimed, speaking about himself in the third-person.

Read about our other cool gadget, facial motion capture, here.

lightstage Asian pop star gets a facial (scan) at NMA

The Mysterious Death of Marilyn Monroe

How did Marilyn Monroe overdose on barbiturates? Naked, who was she trying to call? Monroe’s friend Buddy Greco was with her the Saturday before she passed away. She was in a low spirit. She had much to drink. She said she was a piece of meat tossed around between Robert and John. She wanted to go public. This animation shows the last days of her life.