The Big Think

March 31, 2005

GTA:LC

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 9:10 pm

Grand Theft Auto: Lego City.

Hilarious lego stop action trailer modeled on the PS2 game GTA: Vice City.
Reminds me of my childhood when my brother Ross and I made a 4 minute stop-action Lego film.

Back in the Shop

Filed under: Woodworking — jasony @ 6:12 pm

This time I’m building cabinets for our pantry. They’ll go above the washer/dryer and hold all the stuff that’s currently sprawled across other shelves and moving down onto the floor. It’s really amazing how much stuff you accumulate.

Of course, since the shelves are going in, that means that we have to paint the walls. And since we’re painting the walls, that means we’ll have to paint the trim as well, and install crown moulding and accent lights. And clean out the lint trap. And reorganize the pantry. And… and… and… It’s seemingly endless, but the end result will be a very nicely finished room that will hopefully add some value to the house for not much money.

Oh, and it’s a good excuse for shop time.

Do I Look Fat?

Filed under: Technology — jasony @ 10:53 am

World’s most sensitive scales weigh a zeptogram.

But now they’re trying to get really sensitive by developing a scale that can weigh a single hydrogen atom- a weight called a yoctogram (10-24)g.

I really like saying that word: yoctogram. yoctogram yoctogram yoctogram.

La Vida Robot

Filed under: Technology — jasony @ 10:39 am

I subscribe to Wired magazine. At only a buck a copy, for a magazine that I will read cover to cover, it’s a real bargain. I re-up my subscription every three years to get the best rate.

Whenever I discover a good article there, I usually pester Erin to read it and then pass it on to a friend. So I was very happy to discover they Wired posts many of their articles online. Now I can pester my dear readers!

Don’t miss this article in the current Wired mag. It’s about a group of underprivileged, undocumented high school students in Arizona who take on the well funded brain trust of MIT in an underwater robot building contest… and win! If you’ve ever worked with kids, you’ll be inspired by this story (Durb!)

Has “movie of the week” written all over it.

Approve This

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 10:03 am

Are you sick of having pre-approved credit applications mailed to you every day? Do you worry about them getting lifted from your mailbox and being the victim of identity theft? According to financial guru Clark Howard, the most common way thieves can get your personal info is by swiping a pre-approved credit application from your mail and posing as you to get the card. Clark recommended the credit card opt-out site found here as a way to get yourself removed from the pre-approved credit card listings FOREVER.

You see, by law, the four credit agencies (Equifax, Experian, Innovis, and TransUnion) have to maintain a list of people who do not wish to receive pre-approved credit cards in the mail. All you have to do is go to the site here, give them your information, and click “opt-out forever”. Just like that, you’ll never receive another unsolicited credit card again (doesn’t apply to businesses you’ve asked for one from, or ones you currently use).

The credit agencies and credit card businesses do not want this option to become well known because they make their money by selling people’s names and addresses to credit card companies so they can spam you with plastic. If you’re on this list, they can’t profit from you.

Just think of it as a “Do Not Call” list for credit card applications. It’ll reduce the amount of junk in your mailbox, increase your security against identity theft, and stick it to the credit companies: three very good things.

Oh, and if you’re worried that it’s maybe not a legitimate operation, or that it’s just another phishing scam to get your personal info, don’t be. Clark Howard vouches for it himself here (second or third paragraph down).

Use it! It only takes about sixty seconds to do, and you’re free forever.

March 30, 2005

Rock On!

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 2:45 pm

Don’t miss these beautiful and transitory rock sculptures. No, they’re not glued or fastened in any way. They’re balanced. Like I said, transitory.
I wonder if he sells these things, and just how he’d ship them. 🙂
dlDSC00137sm.jpg

Reading Overload

Filed under: Disclosure — jasony @ 2:42 pm

Whaaa! In the past week I’ve read six Wall Street Journals and the entire contents of the following magazines: Wired, Fast Company (2), Inc (3), Govt Video (2), Production Update, Business Week (2), and Cabinetmaker. Really good stuff there, but I feel like I’m drinking from a firehose.

Ideas

Filed under: Science — jasony @ 2:38 pm

The Year In Ideas A-Z

Longitude Complete!

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 1:53 pm

The Longitude Expedition is complete! Congrats to everyone who took part in the trip (including some, like my friend Rolf, who were part-timers). What a great achievement.

But why did we make this drive?
We did it because it was fun, because it was a challenge, and it taught us about resolve and what people are made of–but the main reason we did it is because our family members have Parkinson’s Disease and we were tired of feeling helpless. We were tired of asking ourselves the question that we all ask when faced insurmountable problems—“what can I do?” We’re not doctors. We’re not scientists. So Drive Around the World was formed as a creative response to helplessness. Using what we love to do—driving and traveling–we set off on the longest charitable drive-a-thon that’s ever been attempted. And using a satellite phone and a web site we shared every single day of the journey—hoping to inspire people to travel, learn about this disease, and support Parkinson’s research.

Selected superlatives from their site:

THE CHEAPEST GAS: $1.60/GALLON IN CHINA

THE MOST EXPENSIVE GAS: $8/GALLON IN ATACAMA DESERT, WHERE WE HAD TO GO DOOR-TO-DOOR SOLICITING GASOLINE.

WORST PLACE TO RUN OUT OF GAS: THE ATACAMA DESERT IN SOUTH AMERICA, OR THE ROAD OF BONES IN RUSSIA.

NUMBER OF REPLACED WINDSHIELDS: 5

NUMBER OF OIL CHANGES: 1

THE BIGGEST BRIBE AT A BORDER CROSSING: $400 Russia

THE LONGEST BORDER CROSSING: CHINA. IT TOOK 10 DAYS. (They impounded our vehicles!)

I CAN’T BELIEVE WE MET THE DALAI LAMA.

CANS OF RED BULL CONSUMED: 2,125

INTERESTING FOOD CONSUMED: GUINEA PIG (CALLED CUYEA), RAW HORSE MEAT, SEA SNAILS, CRICKETS, SILK WORMS AND MAGGOTS.

NUMBER OF DOCTOR’S VISITS: 15 (No connection with the interesting food, we think.)

HOTTEST DAY: 128°F (53°C) Mojave Desert, California USA

COLDEST DAY: -58°F (-50°C) Yakutka, Russia near Oimyakon, aka ‘The Pole of Cold’

HIGHEST ALTITUDE DRIVEN: 18,640 feet (5682 meters) OVER KHARDUNG LA PASS IN LEH, INDIA (Himachal Pradesh)

LOWEST ALTITUDE DRIVEN: -505 FEET IN TURPAN, CHINA (Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region)

OUR TOP OF THE WORLD/HIGHEST LATITUDE: WE CROSSED THE ARTIC CIRCLE IN PRUDHOE BAY, ALASKA. (USA- North 70° 19’ West 148° 18’)

OUR LOWEST LATITUDE: 100kms SE OF USHUAIA, TIERRA DEL FUEGO, ARGENTINA, (South 54° 58’ West 66° 44’)

I CAN’T BELIEVE IT TOOK SO LONG: ONE DAY IN MYANMAR, IT TOOK US 15 HOURS TO DRIVE 75 MILES. (Monywa to Kalewa)

THE MOST DESERTED: WE DROVE THREE DAYS IN AUSTRALIA WITHOUT SEEING ANOTHER MOVING CAR. (Gun barrel Highway)

ARE WE THERE YET? LONGEST DRIVING DAY: 40.5 HOURS. (FROM ARICA, CHILE TO SANTIAGO, CHILE.)

NUMBER OF TRAFFIC TICKETS: 3

Quoth

Filed under: Quoth,Science — jasony @ 1:28 pm

Politicians fret that American kids are lagging in science. Well, maybe that’s because “many adults put boundaries on children. They’ll say, ‘No, you don’t have these prerequisites, you can’t do this until you have this and this, but when children are interested, they should have access to wherever they want to go.”

Fast Company, March 2005

Houson, We Have a Podcast

Filed under: Space — jasony @ 11:27 am

Nasa is Podcasting!

Grace

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 11:22 am

I know it’s a few days late, but Andrew Sullivan has a great Easter post.

*Update* Sorry about the link. It should be fixed now.

Hackers (the good kind) Returning to the Mac

Filed under: Macintosh — jasony @ 11:12 am

Here is a good, short article from a hacker’s point of view on why the Mac is making a strong resurgence. Buy! Buy!

Comments Return!

Filed under: Computing — jasony @ 10:43 am

Okay, I think I have a handle on the comments now. Unfortunately, sometimes when you submit a comment, you’ll get a warning page that says a bunch of computer gibberish. Don’t worry, and don’t re-submit your comment. The first one goes through. It may take a minute or so, but it should work.

I’m going to get with Giles and try to figure out the error soon. I also want to turn on the submission approval system so that I don’t have to deal with spammers. If it gets bad, I may go to a login system like Sean has. It’s not too much of a pain and keeps the #$#!@ spammers at bay.

March 29, 2005

The New Apple

Filed under: Macintosh — jasony @ 10:41 am

What’s Next for Apple? Business 2.0 thinks it knows.

Is Microsoft Toast?

Filed under: Computing — jasony @ 10:27 am

Thomas Hazlett has the story.

Powerful Stuff

Filed under: Technology — jasony @ 10:20 am

Toshiba has introduced a new LIon battery that charges to 80% in 60 seconds. Very cool.

Quoth

Filed under: Quoth — jasony @ 1:10 am

“If you can run one business well, you can run any business.”
Sir Richard Branson

March 28, 2005

Hot Rod

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 2:58 pm

Luxist has a post here about an auction of a bright orange Lamborghini Diablo. There are reportedly only six in the world, and Nicholas Cage owns this one:

0253716515972351.jpg

Here is the relevant information page.

Here is a picture of a bright orange lambo that I took when Erin and I were visiting Erin’s best friend Anne in Omaha:

L&A.jpg

At first I thought that this wasn’t the Cagemobile because it was in Omaha, not California. But a close inspection of another picture shows a license plate plainly marked “Beverly Hills, California”. So it’s not impossible that his Nickness owned this one and, I don’t know, drove it to Omaha to eat one of those wonderful Midwest steaks.

Either way, it was cool to see such a nice car up close, and funny that Anne’s outfit matched it so perfectly.

(on an even closer inspection, the for-sale car has black brake pads, and the Omaha model has bright orange, matching pads, so unless they’ve changed brake pads in the last 7 months, this isn’t the same car. Oh well.)

Daleks attack Parliament

Filed under: Technology — jasony @ 11:18 am

From the “Join us or die” dept. The Daleks return.

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