November 30, 2010
A video of a plane's propeller taken with an iPhone.
National Geographic's Photo Contest 2010
The Big Picture is showing 47 images from this contest. A great collection; it was tough to pick a single example.
A supercell thunderstorm rolls across the Montana prairie at sunset. (Sean Heavey)
7 more minutes of pratfalls
Here's mud in your eye
Drink more whisky. Save the Earth.
When Scotch whisky is distilled, it leaves behind two main waste products — a liquid called pot ale and draff, the remains of the grains used in the distilling method. These two waste products are being used by researchers at Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland to create a new biofuel.
According to the Guardian, the Scottish have a £4 billion ($6.2 billion) a year whisky habit, and that habit leaves "copious quantities" of both pot ale and draff that in the past has gone unused. This biofuel can be used in regular cars — meaning there's no need to adapt the engine as there is with some other biofuels. Researchers also say it's possible the biofuel could be used to fuel planes.
November 29, 2010
Earth as art
Here's an image from a collection of 22 images from Landsat 5 and Landsat 7, chosen for their visual appeal. This is the Mississippi river near Memphis, Tennessee.
The fierce Kingda Ka is the tallest coaster in the World, fastest in North America. This remarkable thrill ride breaks all world records for coaster speed and height, zooming from 0 to 128 mph in 3.5 seconds and catapulting you 45 stories into the sky.
Company creates sarcasm punctuation
MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich., Jan. 12 (UPI) -- A Michigan company announced the release of software Tuesday that introduces new punctuation to the typed word: The sarcasm mark.
Sarcasm Inc. of Washington Township said the SarcMark, which resembles an open circle with a dot in the center, can be installed on computers via a program that can be downloaded from sarcmark.com for $1.99.
November 27, 2010
As part of the Saturday Morning Science program by Don Pettit during Expedition 6 to the International Space Station, his video "Cities at Night; an Orbital Tour Around the World" is a video made from digital still images.
November 26, 2010
High-resolution panorama of London
Here's a snippet from an 80-gigapixel 360° panorama of London.. Impressive resolution; it looks like you could almost identify individuals.
From the mouths of babes
So to speak...
Roadkill calendar a surprise hit
A controversial roadkill calendar featuring squashed squirrels, battered badgers and dead ducks has become a surprise bestseller.
High street stores are refusing to stock the calendar but creator Kevin Beresford says he has been inundated with online orders.
Mr Beresford, 58, a courier, travelled around the country to take his photos of carcasses, some of which are so squashed they cannot be identified.
"Some people are finding it too controversial to stock, so I'm selling it online and it's going really well," he said.
November 25, 2010
Because I'm lazy (and this one has been pretty popular), here's a reprise from 2006.
After 50 days adrift, 3 teens rescued in S Pacific
Three teens who have been missing in the South Pacific for 50 days - and were already eulogized in a memorial service - have been found alive by a New Zealand fishing boat.
The boys, two 15-year-olds and a 14-year-old, disappeared while attempting to row between two islands in the New Zealand territory of Tokelau in early October and were given up for dead after an extensive search involving New Zealand's air force.
Their craft had drifted 800 miles (1,300 kilometers) to a desolate part of the Pacific northeast of Fiji, when the crew of a tuna boat saw them frantically waving for help on Wednesday afternoon.
"All they could say was `thank you very much for stopping,'" Tai Fredricsen, first mate of the San Nikuna, said.
November 24, 2010
Happy Thanksgiving (5)
With luck, your family photo will look better than the twelve in this slideshow.
A one-man quartet
Julien Neel is an accomplished singer.
But if you're like me, a little bit of barbershop style goes a long way. You may prefer a doo-wop tune like this one.
Don't text and taxi
Steve R. asks, "How does one tell the boss 'I couldn't see a 737 in front of me'?"
An Airbus 330 collides with a Boeing 737 on the tarmac. Seven more pix below the break.
November 23, 2010
Climbing the wall
An interesting rock-climbing contest held over a river. More about it (in Spanish) at this site.
This is one of fifty pictures of chipmunks stuffing their cheeks.
Train your hummingbird
From the UK's Daily Mail (via Steve R).
Photographer Michel Denis-Huot, who captured these amazing pictures on safari in Kenya's Masai Mara in October last year, said he was astounded by what he saw.
'These three brothers have been living together since they left their mother at about 18 months old,' he said. 'On the morning we saw them, they seemed not to be hungry, walking quickly but stopping sometimes to play together.
'At one point, they met a group of impala who ran away. But one youngster was not quick enough and the brothers caught it easily.'
These extraordinary scenes followed, as the cheetahs played with the young impala the way a domestic cat might play with a ball of string.
(Two more pictures of the cheetahs and their 'toy' at the site.)
Anyone else reminded of Isaiah 11:16?
November 22, 2010
The Blue Ocean
Howard Hall's personal "best of" from film he's shot in the last year. Full screen mode recommended for this one.
The Periodic Table of Irrational Nonsense
Very nicely done here. The author has no tolerance for religion (of any type).
How cats drink
For you curious cat fanciers. Now we know why they're not as sloppy as dogs are.
Hat tip: Ms M.
He didn't need Facebook - neither do you
Pastor who banned Facebook had three-way sex affair
The Rev. Cedric Miller didn't need Facebook to be part of an extramarital affair.
Miller, 48, who gained national attention this week when the pastor banned his church's leaders from using Facebook because he said it is a portal to infidelity, had himself engaged in a three-way relationship with his wife and a man a decade ago, according to testimony he gave in a criminal case.
November 19, 2010
Way back home
More info here.
LIFE in the lab
28 retro-tech images in a slideshow at Life.com.
other car is an airplane
October 13, 2010 - Steve Saint of I-TEC drove his road-legal flying car from Florida to Oshkosh this summer. Since then the FAA has also issued the Maverick a S-LSA aircraft airworthiness certificate. I-TEC hopes to be in production by EAA Oshkosh 2011.
H.T. Steve R.
Step away from the chessboard
Cops bust seven men playing chess in upper Manhattan park
Drop that bishop and come out with your hands up!
A squad of cops in bulletproof vests swooped into an upper Manhattan park and charged seven men with the "crime" of playing chess in an area off-limits to adults unaccompanied by kids -- even though no youngsters were there.
"Is chess really something that should be considered a threat to the neighborhood?" Inwood resident and mom Joanne Johnson wrote Mayor Bloomberg, the City Council and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly after the raid.
November 18, 2010
None of what you see is real.
Paper airplane released into space
Three British amateur aerospace enthusiasts have successfully sent a camera-equipped paper airplane to an altitude of 89,000 feet (27,127 meters), where it captured images of the blackness of space before gliding back to Earth. Project PARIS (Paper Aircraft Released Into Space) involved getting the plane into the stratosphere using a weather balloon before letting it go via a release mechanism.
This is basically a Sony infomercial - but think of the data visualization you could do with it.
Blow up your TV
Cops: Wisconsin man shoots TV after Palin dance
MADISON, Wis. -- Prosecutors say a rural Wisconsin man blasted his TV with a shotgun after watching Bristol Palin's "Dancing with the Stars" routine, sparking an all-night standoff with a SWAT team.
According to court documents, 67-year-old Steven Cowan of the town of Vermont in Dane County became enraged while watching Palin dance on Monday evening. He felt Palin was not a good dancer.
November 17, 2010
Out of the supernova
An interesting narration which reminds me of both Sagan and Feynman.
Tucson John sends some pictures of meeting a deer. (This is a much better way than my recent pre-dawn encounter with a fawn. I don't know about the fawn but it cost me $2500 at the body shop.)
And of a white moose.
No, I don't think they'll forget this trip
Pirates free British couple after year in captivity
NAIROBI, Kenya -- A British couple who had been kidnapped by Somali pirates and held in captivity in a remote, sweltering patch of central Somalia for more than a year was finally released, Somali officials said Sunday, apparently after a ransom was paid.
The couple, Paul and Rachel Chandler, were hijacked in October 2009 while sailing in a small yacht in the Indian Ocean in what they had described to friends as "the trip of a lifetime."
November 16, 2010
I wouldn't rely on it for instructions for disassembling your laptop.
A piece of art the size of a billboard that's titled Unsigned. (Linked page is in French.)
Even sneakier than the football play we had last week.
An interesting read when you have the time.
Max Hardberger: Repo man of the seas
May 1987. The day after the Naruda had finished offloading its rice cargo in Haiti, armed guards boarded the freighter. Moments later the captain, Max Hardberger, had a grubby, badly photocopied piece of paper placed in his hands. "Pour les dettes," the guard said.
"What debts?" Hardberger asked.
The guard shrugged and said: "It's a matter for the courts. In the meantime my men will remain on board."
There were no debts, but that was beside the point. Haiti was a law unto itself; a place where court officials could be bought. And one clearly had been. The Naruda was about to be stolen from under Hardberger's nose. [...]
Hardberger started the engines, switched off all the lights and sneaked out of harbour. If they were spotted, the Naruda would be seized, and he'd be slung in jail. Only when he was in international waters could he relax. Hardberger called down to the guards. He offered to set them loose in a lifeboat or take them to Venezuela; the choice was theirs. They chose the lifeboat."
November 15, 2010
The craft of Foley
The folks running the Lascaux cave site have very nicely done Flash version available. Great graphics, navigation and audio. Worth a visit if you have any interest in paleolithic painting.
The Dunking Devils
Visit 'em here.
Worst headache ever
Unlucky buck: Deer loses head-butt with lawn ornament
A love-struck buck ran out of luck a week ago. The seven-point buck was killed when it rammed a 640-pound concrete statue of an elk in the backyard of Mark and Carol Brye's home in rural Viroqua. [...]
Brye claimed the buck with a tag from the Vernon County conservation warden. He laughed at the warden's tag note: "lawn ornament fight - lost."
Brye said the deer shattered its skull. The antlers were still on its head but were dangling.
H.T. Steve R.
November 13, 2010
This 7-year-old does a nice job on Carlos Santana's Samba Pa Ti.
November 12, 2010
Don't text while driving
Aerial views from all over the globe. (We had a link to a different collection of M. Arthus-Bertrand's photos a couple of years ago.)
That was fast!
What a virus
Man Paid Up To $20 Million For "Protection" In Insane Computer Virus Conspiracy Plot
Since 2004, Roger Davidson's basically been living in a twisted Dan Brown novel. It all started when a computer repair guy informed him that a virus on his computer was linked to Opus Dei, Polish priests, and death threats.
In August of 2004, Davidson, a wealthy composer, took his computer to Datalink Computer Products, a local computer repair shop. He was worried that a virus might destroy the music compositions he had saved on the gadget. Information from the shop's owner, Vickram Bedi, left him with far worse worries though: His life was in danger. [...]
For whatever reason, Davidson believed this inane tale and agreed to "pay the computer shop not only for data retrieval, but for personal protection." Since that time, Davidson has paid somewhere between six and twenty million dollars to Datalink Computer Products, Vickram Bedi, and Helga Invarsdottir, a Datalink Computer Products employee.
November 11, 2010
Swimming lessons (2)
Here's a double-barreled dose of cute about otter pups learning to swim.
About this first one, Steve F. says, "Too cute for words."
And here's how it's done when Mama Otter's not around.
Veteran's Day 2010
Joseph Ambrose, an 86-year-old World War I veteran, attends the dedication day parade for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in 1982. He is holding the flag that covered the casket of his son, who was killed in the Korean War. Photo credit: U.S. Census Bureau.
Step away from the clippers
I've had some bad haircuts but this is ridiculous.
Criminal barbering? Raids at Orange County shops lead to arrests, raise questions
As many as 14 armed Orange County deputies, including narcotics agents, stormed Strictly Skillz barbershop during business hours on a Saturday in August, handcuffing barbers in front of customers during a busy back-to-school weekend.
It was just one of a series of unprecedented raid-style inspections the Orange County Sheriff's Office recently conducted with a state regulating agency, targeting several predominantly black- and Hispanic-owned barbershops in the Pine Hills area.
November 10, 2010
Star Wars - another Lego episode
Durex markets XXL
Animated optical illusions
Made with Photoshop
The brief and wondrous life of a text
It's not technical at all; the animation's pretty interesting.
November 09, 2010
What a great parody
Via, thanks fo Bill F.
Here's one of four dresses using solid geometry designs.
How to win at Wheel of Fortune
Goat sacrifice fixes aeroplane
Officials at Nepal's state-run airline have sacrificed two goats to appease Akash Bhairab, the Hindu sky god, following technical problems with one of its Boeing 757 aircraft.
Nepal Airlines, which has two Boeing aircraft, has had to suspend some services in recent weeks due the problem. [...]
The goats were sacrificed in front of the troublesome aircraft Sunday at Nepal's only international airport in Kathmandu in accordance with Hindu traditions, according to an official at the company.
November 08, 2010
H.T. Paul B.
Subway history in pictures
The New York Times has a nice slideshow about the NYC subway, 85 images total.
The peasants are revolting
Hate your job?
India toilet cleaners stage protest over conditions
Hundreds of Indian workers employed to manually clean non-flush toilets have protested in Delhi against their working conditions. [...]
Government figures suggest that about 300,000 low-caste Dalits are still employed in such work.
They are estimated on average to earn less than $4 (£2.50) a month. [...]
Manual "scavenging" - removing human excreta from dry or non-flush toilets - is a centuries-old practice in India.
It is mainly carried out by the Dalits, formerly known as the untouchables, who are at the lowest rung of the Hindu caste system.
November 07, 2010
Damn you, auto correct!
It's pretty funny - check it out. I assume the posts are all submitted by real people.
November 05, 2010
How to trap shoot
H.T. Tucson John
The walls of Brussels
Murals in Brussels - many done in trompe l'oeil style. Full-screen mode recommended.
Nothin' up his sleeve
Alexander Anderson Jr. dies at 90; created TV cartoon characters Rocky, Bullwinkle and others
Alexander Anderson Jr., a pioneer television cartoonist who created the landmark duo of Crusader Rabbit and Rags the Tiger and two of TV's most enduring characters, Rocky and Bullwinkle, has died. He was 90.
H.T. Steve R
Scariest traffic camera ever
Scariest speed camera of all...
It checks your insurance, tax and even whether you are tailgating or not wearing a seatbelt
Even the most law-abiding driver might feel a shiver down the spine when spotting this speed camera at the roadside.
For as well as detecting speeding, it is packed with gizmos that check number plates to make sure insurance and tax are up to date.
It also measures the distance between vehicles to spot tailgating and takes pictures of the inside of the car – to make sure you are wearing a seat belt.
November 04, 2010
A normal day
This is the third in a series.
This is a pretty thin client
With the Jack PC, the computer's in the wall!
The Jack PC from Chip PC Technologies offers a neat and novel thin-client desktop computing solution where the computer doesn't just plug into the wall, it is the plug in the wall. Running on power provided by the ethernet cable that also connects it to the data center server, the computer-in-a-wall-socket supports wireless connectivity, has dual display capabilities and runs on the RISC processor architecture – which gives the solution the equivalent of 1.2GHz of x86 processing power.
Don't ask, don't tell, just dance.
She'll need a very good grade on the final
Woman stabs classmate in anger-management class
Talk about a teachable moment.
A 19-year-old Bellevue woman has been charged with second-degree assault after she allegedly stabbed a classmate Saturday during an anger-management class.
Bellevue police say Faribah Maradiaga "blew up out of control" and stabbed the classmate's arm and shoulder several times after the two women exchanged words.
Police said Maradiaga, who already has a pending assault charge, told them that the other woman had threatened her first, according to charging documents.
November 03, 2010
"Just the thing for a late-night snack," says Ms. M.
New Imaging Technology Shows Animal Insides, Python Digesting a Rat
Science is inherently cool, but gross science is even better.
Using a combination of computer tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), scientists Kasper Hansen and Henrik Lauridsen of Aarhus University in Denmark were able to visualize the entire internal organ structures and vascular systems (aka "guts") of a Burmese Python digesting a rat.
A compendium of acrobatics (some of which we've seen in longer form). The one that caught my fancy was the little girl parking her bicycle.
They can get elected too?
Dead state senator reelected in Long Beach
Jenny Oropeza, who died after a long illness last month, was reelected to another term in the state Senate on Tuesday. With more than half of the vote counted, voters in Oropeza's Long Beach district gave her more than 54% percent of the vote. Republican John Stammreich trailed with 40% of the vote.
This reminds of the 2000 election, when Missouri elected the late Mel Carnahan to the US Senate.
November 02, 2010
Just for kicks
I was at this Montreal Allouettes vs. Toronto Argonauts game last night [Friday, Oct. 29 - JdJ]. Here's how it ended. At the start of the video the two teams are tied 30-30 with 8 seconds left on the clock. Here are a few differences betweeen Canadian Football League rules and NFL rules to make this a bit clearer: 1) We have massive endzones. If a field goal is missed, but the ball goes through the endzone without being returned to the field (either kicked clean through, or ran or kicked out) then 1 point is scored (called a rouge). 2) There is no "fair catch rule". A play must be made on every kicked ball. To facilitate this, the kicking team must give the receiver a five yard radius of clear space, marked at the moment that the receiver first touches the ball.
I haven't seen a play like this since high school, which is about thirty years back for me.
A nice collection of pictures of planes.
Cop Blocks Bike Lane To Ticket Cyclists For Not Using Lane
Sometimes the NYPD's inanity is so perfect, so immaculately risible, that you just want to burst into applause and toss a bouquet of roses onto the hood of a squad car. Today is one of those days. According to a tipster, a cop parked in the bike lane on First Avenue near 23rd Street proceeded to write tickets for cyclists who weren't using the bike lane, because they had to ride around him to get by.
November 01, 2010
This is an entertaining short (7:30) in its own right but the most interesting thing is that it was "shot entirely in mobile HD on the Nokia N8 smartphone."
Small World 2010
Nikon announces the winners of its Small World photomicroscopy competition for 2010. This one was number 12 (of 20).
Driver thanks man who hit him on purpose
Driving to a Mariners game, Duane Innes saw a pickup ahead of him drift across lanes of traffic, sideswipe a concrete barrier and continue forward on the inside shoulder at about 40 mph.
A manager of Boeing's F22 fighter-jet program, Innes dodged the truck, then looked back to see that the driver was slumped over the wheel. He knew a busy intersection was just ahead, and he had to act fast. Without consulting the passengers in his minivan — "there was no time to take a vote" — Innes kicked into engineer mode.
"Basic physics: If I could get in front of him and let him hit me, the delta difference in speed would just be a few miles an hour, and we could slow down together," Innes explained.
So he pulled in front of the pickup, allowed it to rear-end his minivan and brought both vehicles safely to a stop in the pull-off lane.