Energy, Media

Monday Photo: Power Plant

05.21.07 | Permalink | Comments Off on Monday Photo: Power Plant
Smokey Power Plant
Attribution & Location: Unknown

Let’s hope that the emission spewing into the atmosphere is steam (in plant operations this is a common case.) It’s time to start retiring these older plants in favor of newer, cleaner technology. The demand for energy is growing quickly enough, we never seem to be able to install enough new capacity to be able to retire them.

I like what the photographer has done in this image, great contrast. Here’s another great power plant image which is HDR and taken of the St. Louis Union Power Plant.


Two thumbs up for Maker Faire

05.20.07 | Permalink | 4 Comments

In an earlier entry I wrote about the upcoming (now running) Maker Faire in San Mateo. Yesterday, my daughter and I had the chance to visit and had a great time. There were sections on crafts, robotics, machine shop, electronics, aliens/occult, vehicles, disgusting spectacles, and all sorts of events (my favorite was the power tool drag races where we saw a metal grinder reach a speed of 19mph.)

My daughter loved, not liked, loved the robotic giraffe which had touch sensitive sensors on it’s nose and snout so that when pet, the giraffe would talk to you and tell you how much it liked being pet. See the image below of the giraffe in action at Burning Man:

Electric Giraffe at Burning Man

This is a little better shot from last year’s Maker Faire – but the sensors aren’t present on this version of the ‘bot:

Electric Giraffe at 2006 Maker's Faire

A distant second place to the giraffe were the hands-on projects where kids can make rainbow glasses, magnetic critters, and perform their own stop frame animation using clay and vegetables (you have to see it to believe it…) Other interesting bits included a monorail for transporting dogs, a Rube Goldberg inspired 12 ton mouse trap, “fire” engines (actually bleching fire from their hoses,) and of course, the giant hand that picked its nose powered by a human hamster wheel. This entry wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the robot fighting (we watched Texas Heat and another ‘bot who’s name escapes me) go at it for the full 3 minutes. Texas Heat shoots a 6 foot flame at opponents which garnered hoots and hollers. The bicycle carousel on the midway was also a fun distraction.

If you’re reading this on the day of publication (May 20) and you’re in the Bay Area, go check it out. Fun can be had by kids of all ages.

Innovation, Media, Technology & Science

A sucker surfs the ‘net every minute

05.19.07 | Permalink | 2 Comments

A colleague forwarded this along to me from eWeek:

People will click on anything.

That was evidenced by the 409 people who clicked on an ad that offers infection for those with virus-free PCs. The ad, run by a person who identifies himself as security professional Didier Stevens, reads like this:

Drive-By Download
Is your PC virus-free?
Get it infected here!

Stevens, who says he works for Contraste Europe, a branch of the IT consultancy The Contraste Group, has been running his Google Adwords campaign for six months now and has received 409 hits. Stevens has done similar research in the past, such as finding out how easy it is to land on a drive-by download site when doing a Google search.

In a posting about the drive-by download campaign, Stevens says that he got the idea after picking up a small book on Google Adwords at the library and finding out how easy and cheap it is to set up an ad.

Read more…

The point of this entry? Well, pay attention to what you click, not everyone on the ‘net has your best interests at heart. Be safe out there! Malware and spyware really are just a click away, often hidden behind things that look familiar or are misleading. Clicking is, of course, fun, but don’t forget to be a little skeptical, particularly if a site doesn’t look quite right.


Friday Funny: Designer Men’s Room

05.18.07 | Permalink | 4 Comments

Big Lips Urinal - Inspired by the Rolling Stones?
Attribution: Unknown
Location: Unknown (Perhaps in a Virgin Clubhouse?)

A picture is worth 1,000 words…I think I’ll just let the picture speak for itself. Or, if you’re inspired, use the comments feature if you have a suggested caption…If you enjoyed this entry, you might enjoy this book: Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader, a Wonderful World of Odd


Photo of the day: Great Lakes Region in ultra-high definition

05.17.07 | Permalink | Comments Off on Photo of the day: Great Lakes Region in ultra-high definition

Satellite Photo of Great Lakes in High Definition
Click the image to retrieve a full-sized file (3.7Mb)

There is an amazing amount of detail in this photo taken April 10, 2003 with a 250m resolution. Very cool stuff. With the large image (not the thumbnail presented above) you can zoom in pretty aggressively to see detail. Satellite photos are unbelievable now in their clarity – not so long ago, they were grainy black and white images that required magnification to get useful information. Makes you wonder what resolution of photo is available to intelligence services now…

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