July 31, 2004

» A complete chronology of the Gerry Anderson universe
» Why was I not informed of this earlier? And could they not have made space for James Garner?

Titled ACTIONHEROES INC., the project is about three washed-up television action heroes that decide to start up their own private investigation film, using their remaining star charisma and experience playing make-believe heroes to fight crime in Los Angeles. What makes the show that much more interesting is that the producers have three real former TV action stars attached to play the characters, namely William Shatner (STAR TREK), Robert Wagner (HART TO HART) and Lee Majors (THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN).

July 29, 2004

» Finally, someone's actually making transparent holographic data storage. Of course, we all know where this is going. Now, about that personal helicopter ... (via)

holographic transparent storage

Bowman unplugs Hal

» Chupacabra? Mangy fox? Lost Nigerian pet?

The Chupacabra is part of Mexican folklore. It supposedly kills other animals by sucking the blood out of them.

Other people have written in with their guesses about what the Maryland mystery animal could be. A Baltimore veterinarian said he thought it was a dog with mange and an official from the Department of Natural Resources believed it was a fox.

However, e-mails from Australia, South Africa and Alaska have labeled the animal as a razorback hog, a hyena, an aardwolf, a coyote, a capybara, a Mexican hairless dog, a warthog, a wolf, or an African wild dog. Some people say the animal is a previously thought extinct Tasmanian Wolf.

Mystery Chupacabra candidate

» For years, people have sworn blind they've seen a picture of a dead Thunderbird with cowboys in the Old West. Now the original newspaper story has supposedly shown up — but there's no picture

After the first shock of wild amazement had passed the two men, who were on horseback and armed with Winchester rifles, regained sufficient courage to pursue the monster and after an exciting chase of several miles succeeded in getting near enough to open fire with their rifles and wounding it. The creature then turned on the men, but owing to its exhausted condition they were able to keep out of its way and after a few well directed shots the monster partly rolled over and remained motionless. The men cautiously approached, their horses snorting with terror, and
found that the creature was dead. They then proceeded to make an examination and found that it measured about ninety-two feet in length and the greatest diameter was about fifty inches.

» Hogzilla

The plantation's owner claims the hog weighed 450-kilograms and had 23-centimetre tusks. But few people have actually seen the hog — the only proof being a photo that shows the dead beast hanging from a rope.


» -- The Museum of Modern Art: Tall Buildings --
» The gravity drug (subscription required, relevant passage inside)

What do you hope to find out from that?

This is all part of NASA's artificial gravity programme, which is important because many of the problems with human space flight are associated with weightlessness and the effect on the brain, the muscles, the heart and so on, and the fact that the longer you are in the weightless environment the worse things get. Because Mars missions entail a journey of six months out and six months back, plus a stay on the surface for as much as a year and a half, you are talking about a thousand days where all of it is spent either in reduced-gravity or microgravity environments.

So what can we do to counter that?

Give the astronauts drugs, get them to do exercise. But none of these is uniformly effective as far as I can tell. The new thinking is we take our light, our heat, our fuel, our atmosphere - so why don't we take gravity as well? And then the question is how do you take gravity with you? There is the thought that you could use short-arm centrifuges, small enough to stay inside a relatively small vehicle at a radius of round about 3 metres, and spin people at around 40 revolutions per minute. Also you could give them a short but intense burst of gravity a couple of times - use gravity almost as a drug. If you can accept that concept, then you need to know if it would work and what the dose should be. And that's where the research programmes in Johnson Space Center are starting from. Later on this year if I'm really unlucky, I'll get to go on one of those centrifuges.

» Transportation Futuristics. Can't get enough of those crazy retro-techno vehicles. Apparently, people have been waiting for personal helicopters since before WWII ... (via)

July 27, 2004

» You Have Bad Taste in Music

July 26, 2004

» Yeah, because that's what the world was waiting for: RealPlayer files on iPods. Fish, bicycle ...

RealNetworks says it has created technology that allows songs purchased through its online music services to be played on Apple Computer's popular iPod player, just a few months after complaining that Apple was rebuffing attempts to form an alliance.

In an interview Friday, RealNetworks chief executive Rob Glaser said he did not know how Apple would react to the new technology. Apple, based in Cupertino, Calif., did not return numerous phone calls from The Associated Press seeking comment.

» If physics was your lovelife

Quantum mechanics is the girl you meet at the poetry reading. Everyone thinks she's really interesting and people you don't know are obsessed about her. You go out. It turns out that she's pretty complicated and has some issues. Later, after you've broken up, you wonder if her aura of mystery is actually just confusion.

July 22, 2004

» $40K for a Kitt car

The original, futuristic dash built by universal would only illuminate and was not intended to be functional; the owner commissioned Scrivani to make the dash fully functional, thus, the various non-functioning consoles were removed, cleaned up and made functional with pushable buttons, sound and visual effects. The dash received fully operational gauges and instruments, as well as an in-car camera tied into one of the two dash-mounted LCD monitors. The other monitor is wired into a trunk-mounted VCR for running and viewing tapes for future car show use.

» Steven Jay Gould on cancer: The median is not the message

July 14, 2004

» Historical Pirate Flags

July 13, 2004

» The Unimaginable Expanse of Everything Else: in praise of long-term art

I've decided that I want a gravestone that will have engraved on it the precise condition of Every Icon on the moment that I die. It will have nothing else, just the grid. Rather than defining my life within the boundaries of what I knew - from my birth date to death - my 'Every Icon' grid will show the unimaginable expanse of everything else.

» Seeing is believing

rotating snakes illusion

July 11, 2004

» The sound of Saturn's rings. (Also)
» A Kymean, an Abderite and a Greek walk into a bar (via)

July 10, 2004

» A dictator? Me?

Wackiness: 20/100
Rationality: 40/100
Constructiveness: 38/100
Leadership: 74/100

You are an SEDL--Sober Emotional Destructive Leader. This makes you a dictator. You prefer to control situations, and lack of control makes you physically sick. You feel have responsibility for everyone's welfare, and that you will be blamed when things go wrong. Things do go wrong, and you take it harder than you should.

You rely on the validation and support of others, but you have a secret distrust for people and distaste for their habits and weaknesses that make you keep your distance from them. This makes you very difficult to be with romantically. Still, a level-headed peacemaker can keep you balanced.

Despite your fierce temper and general hot-bloodedness, you have a soft spot for animals and a surprising passion for the arts. Sometimes you would almost rather live by your wits in the wilderness somewhere, if you could bring your books and your sketchbook.

You also have a strange, undeniable sexiness to you. You may go insane.

» Evidently, this happens more often than you might think

July 09, 2004

» Backup landing sites for the space shuttle. Including Gander — one of a number of ghost airports that you can only get to in case of emergency
» NASA's planetary imagery by RSS. Wicked.
» Kids prefer pop to fruit juice? Why not try this?

July 08, 2004

» Flowchart heaven: the Bible, African countries and more (via)
» Pac-Mondrian
» Physics. Explained. Finally.

July 07, 2004

» Automatic circumcisions. No. Not in a million years.
» There's one helluva Oort Cloud round Tau Ceti

A nearby star system thought of as a candidate for harbouring life has 10 times the number of asteroids and comets as found in our Solar System. The sheer number of bodies raging around the Sun-like star may mean that any potential life is choked off, say UK researchers.

» London Transport in 2016
» Barbie's going bust

"Barbie continues to struggle," he said in a note to clients. Though there's absolutely no proof that her much-publicized split this spring with longtime boyfriend Ken had anything to do with it, consumers are snubbing Barbie.

"According to our retail checks, sales of Barbie have remained sluggish. We also expect Barbie margins to continue to decline as Mattel attempts to reinvigorate sales of the line.

"The Barbie business is not going anywhere," he added.

July 05, 2004

» Poetic forms