Monday, December 24, 2007

This Cellphone Feels Empty

The New Scientist has an article about an application for cellphones that uses a phone's accelerometer (a relatively new feature) and vibrator to make the phone feel like it is partly full of liquid when you shake it. The phone can be made to feel more and more empty as the batter gets closer to flat.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Roads that Play Music

The Guardian has an article about some roads in Japan that play music as you drive along them. They use a series of rough strips across the roadway to play a song if you are driving at the correct speed.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


The New York Times has an article about swarming and how swarms can sometimes exhibit intelligent behavior.
By studying army ants — as well as birds, fish, locusts and other swarming animals — Dr. Couzin and his colleagues are starting to discover simple rules that allow swarms to work so well. Those rules allow thousands of relatively simple animals to form a collective brain able to make decisions and move like a single organism.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Panarama by the last men on the moon

Astronomy Picture of the Day has a panoramic photo taken by the astronauts of Apollo 17 - the last men on the moon.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

An Awesome Looking Bookstore

Coolhunter has a post (with photos) about a gorgeous looking bookstore in the Netherlands. The store is in an 800 year old church in Maastricht and won the Lensvelt de Architect Interior Prize 2007.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Thing we don't have a word for in English

The Mirror (not that I read the Mirror) has an article about words in other languages that can't be translated easily into English.

A few that I liked:
  • Spesenritter - German: a person who shows off by paying the bill on the firm's money, literally "an expense knight".
  • Pelinti - Buli, Ghana: to move very hot food around inside one's mouth.
  • Tartle - Scottish: to hesitate when you are introducing someone whose name you can't quite remember.
  • Prozvonit - Czech and Slovak: to call someone's mobile from your own to leave your number in their memory without them picking it up.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Demo video of exoskeleton

Danger Room has an article with a YouTube video of an experimental powered exoskeleton. They don't mention how much practice the operator has but some of the things he does with it are quite impressive.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

PeaceCorps is seeking older recuits

The New York Times has an article about how the American Peace Corps is actively recruiting older members. Traditionally seen as a post-graduation job, today more and more members are post-retirement.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Space Station over Greece

Astronomy Picture of the Day has a great picture of the International Space Station with the Ionian Sea in the background.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Lighthouse Photo

Astronomy Picture of the day has a nice picture of an old fashioned lighthouse in operation in a slight fog.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Maps of Ontario Traffic Cams

The Ontario Ministry of Transport has a Google maps mashup showing the locations of traffic cameras in various Ontario cities. You can click on the map and see the views from the cameras.

via Google Maps Mania (which has a bunch of other Canadian maps)

How To Get Up Early

Here is an entire blog that will teach you how to get up early. There are 41 tips at the moment some of which are interesting and some of which aren't.

I have been getting up early for the past month or so and one of the tips that I think works for me is drinking a big glass of water as soon as I get up.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Lego: Village on an Asteroid

A very cool Lego creation, this is an asteroid (which seems to be a Lego sub-genre) with a very small village on top. There are some great little details including a rooftop flower garden and a fellow filling a cup from a tap.

Smugglers' Submarines

Danger Room has a post about the increase in use of submarines by drug smugglers. 13 of the vessels have been seized in the last two years, some capable of carrying 5 tons of cargo.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Storing extension cords

The Unclutterer has a blog post, well mostly a picture, of a way to conveniently store cables using toilet paper rolls.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Did Unleaded Gas Lower Crime Rates?

The New York Times has an article that suggests that the drop in US crime rates may have been caused by the phasing out of leaded gasoline. You may recall that it has also been suggested that this drop was caused by the legalisation of abortion.

Colossus runs again

Yahoo news reports that Colossus, the early computer used to decode German messages during World War II, has been rebuilt and is running once again. Colossus was the world's first programmable electronic computer but was kept secret for many years after the war.

The BBC also has a good article with some pictures.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Looking for somewhere to land is a site that show airports and air strips throughout the US and Canada. It is a Google maps mashup so you can do the normal scrolling and zooming in and out.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Boat Lifts

DeputyDog is back with another post. This one featuring 8 huge boat lifts of the kind used for moving boats over dams and in places where locks won't work. The only one I've seen in person is the Falkirk Wheel which is certainly worth a visit if you are in that part of Scotland.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Make Your Own Comic Strip

The site will let you make your own three panel comic strip by dragging and dropping characters and objects.

Here is an example that I put together in about a minute:

Monday, October 29, 2007

Great Elevators of the World

Another post from DeputyDog, this one about seven amazing elevators.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

A Beer Bottle that is also a Brick

Here is an interesting idea, apparently back in the 60s Heineken tried the idea of making beer bottles that could be reused as bricks. I'm not sure how environmentally friendly that would be compared to modern day recycling but it is interesting especially since the second use wouldn't get in the way of the first.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Comic Covers

For the comic book fans out there here is a site that has the covers from a large number of old (and not so old) comics. They even have links from each cover to check and see if there are any for sale on ebay.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Band in Flash

For those of you who have always wanted your own band, here is a flash site that lets you control a drummer and singer/accordionist. Amusingly, I found this app while flipping through a magazine at a friends house.

The Oldest Domains presents a list of the 100 oldest .com domains.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Lunar Landing Licenses

Slate has an article that answers the question of whether or not a private company would need permission to land a spacecraft on the moon. The short answer is no but they need permission to take off from Earth.

Holes of the Day

Deputy Dog has a blog post with pictures of seven amazingly large holes. I have seen a few of the pictures before but it is neat to see them all together.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Frog photo

National Geographic has a nice picture of a tree frog. There's nothing more to it than that - I just like tree frogs.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

NASA is hiring

According to the Houston Chronicle NASA is hiring a batch of new astronauts. The job requirements are list as well in case any of you are interested.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Things You Can Print

Today we have a blog post with a huge list of things that you can print out and use. I really liked the paper toys and of course I am a big fan of the hipster PDA but there are all sorts of fun, and some rather odd, things on the list.

A Whack on the Head

Danger Room has a blog post that links to a video demonstrating a new gel that can be used to protect against impact. It looks like an interesting material but it is a bit disconcerting to see the guy being hit on the head with the shovel.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Will People Use the Passage? has an article arguing that even with reduced amounts of ice, no one will actually use the northwest passage.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Myth of the Flat Earth

A short article about the mistaken belief that people used to believe the world was flat and how that belief came about.

Friday, September 28, 2007

That's not a Lego set, this is a Lego set

Gizmodo has an article about a new set from Lego. The set is a model of the Millennium Falcon which has 5000 pieces. It is the largest set Lego has ever made and costs $500.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Who Owns Toronto's Air Raid Sirens?

The Toronto Star has an article about the air raid sirens installed in Toronto in the 1950s. A building owner recently found one and wanted to include it in a new building so he tried to find out who actually owned it. This was more difficult than you would think.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Airships over Manhattan

The blog Fogonazos has a post with some great pictures of airships flying over Manhattan back in the 1930s.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

China Bans Unauthorized Reincarnation

MSNBC reports that the Chinese government has banned Tibetans from reincarnating in Tibet without permission. While this initially sounds laughable it seems really to be an effort to control the succession of the Dalai Lama. In Tibetan Buddhism sufficiently enlightened beings, such as the Dalai Lama, can control who they are reborn as.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Japanese Lights

Dark Roasted Blend has a post about, and with lots of pictures of, the huge neon signs that are found on Japanese streets.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Forgotten Canadian Weapons Block UK Runway

Danger room has a blog post about a World War II Canadian weapon that has blocked a runway in the UK. The Canadian Pipe Mine (also called a 'McNaughton Tube') was a device planted under airfields so that the runway could be destroyed if attacked. This would have been very useful in WWII when gliders were used by airborne troops to carry heavy equipment and supplies.

In the case of Daedalus Airfield in Hampshire, the weapon was forgotten about and never removed after the war. It was discovered last year and had to be carefully removed by the Royal Engineers.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Wright Brothers' Tent

The HistoryNet picture of the day has a neat photo of the Wright brothers' tent at Kitty Hawk where they worked on their first plane.

What Osama Said

Slate has a translation of Osama bin Laden's recent news release. I was surprised that in addition to global warming, he believes that American business interests killed JFK to stop him from ending the war in Vietnam.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Light and Crime

Bruce Schneier has a short blog posting on the effects of lighting on crime rates. It seems that once again less is more.

A Periodic Table of Data Visualization Techniques

Here is a Periodic Table of Data Visualization Methods. I'm not entirely sure how the arrangement into a periodic table works but the individual entries are certainly interesting. Note that hovering over each cell will show an example of the cell's method.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Art that only Cellphones can see

An interesting blog post about some t-shirt designs where the part of the pattern can only be seen in digital photos. I'm not sure how useful this is but you could certainly get some amusing results.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Hiding an Aircraft Factory

The Think or Thwim blog has a posting about efforts during World War II to hide an aircraft factory in Burbank, California. They seem to have used some giant tarps - there are pictures in the article. I'm not sure why they thought Burbank was at risk of air attack but it is still an interesting article.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Very Expensive Pocket Change

Bruce Schneier has a blog post about a fellow who had to transport a rare dime, worth $1.9 million, across the US. What did he do? He put the dime in his pocket and took a plane.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


The always interesting blog Cabinet of Wonders has a post with links to a number of YouTube videos of 18th century automata. The videos are in French (except for one that is in Japanese) but you don't really need to understand what the narrator is saying to see how the machines work. I was surprised that they all seem to be programmable, usually by changing metal disks.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Flash Game: Covert Front

Covert Front is a fun little adventure game with very cool graphics. It is similar in play to the old text adventure games but in this case you do everything by clicking with your mouse. The game isn't very long as it is the first (hopefully) of a series but it is a lot of fun and the art and music fit the genre perfectly.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Shrinking Americans

Two articles, one from and the other from AlterNet, talk about how Americans are losing their height advantage over the rest of the world. Historically Americans have always been taller than people in other places. In 1850 for example, the average American was 2.5 inches taller than the average European. Now the situation has nearly reversed with the average Dutchman being 2 inches taller than the average American.

It's not that being tall actually makes you smarter, richer or healthier. It's that the same things that make you tall -- a nutritious diet, good prenatal care and a healthy childhood -- also benefit you in those other ways.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The double fisherman's knot

Lifehacker links to a video showing how to tie a double fisherman's knot. The video refers to the knot as the impossible knot due presumably to how difficult it is to untie.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

A binary counter made of wood

This one is a bit geeky but it is a YouTube video of a binary adder made using wood and marbles.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


National Geographic has a good introduction to swarm theory.
"Ants aren't smart," Gordon says. "Ant colonies are."

Followup: the article is discussed in this slashdot article

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

US tries to simulate the world

An article on The Register describes the US Department of Defense's effort to create giant simulations of the world. They aim to have one "node" in the simulation for every person on earth.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Bank Machine Turns 40

According to this article on the BBC, the banking machine has just turned forty. The first machine was installed at a Barclay's branch in Enfield north London in 1967.
"It struck me there must be a way I could get my own money, anywhere in the world or the UK. I hit upon the idea of a chocolate bar dispenser, but replacing chocolate with cash."

Friday, July 06, 2007

Gooble Maps: Cool New Feature

Google maps has a new feature on its driving directions. After you enter the location that you want directions between, you will get a map showing the route between the two points. Now, if you grab hold of the route you can drag it to include any places that you want to pass though on the way.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Photo: The International Space Station

Astronomy Picture of the Day has a photo of the newly expanded International Space Station.

Friday, June 22, 2007

How to fold a bag of chips

It may not be origami but Instructables has an article on how to fold closed a bag of chips.

Video: Folding Furniture

A video showing some interesting folding furniture. The chairs are ok but I really like the table.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Getting Real - Web Development the 37Signals Way

Getting Real is a book (available free online) from the folks at 37Signals that describes their development methodology. The scheme is similar to Extreme Programming but seems geared more specifically to web development. 37Signals are the people who brought us Backpack, Basecamp and the more recent Highrise.

An Alternate US State Map

Here is a map of the US with the state names replaced by the names of countries that have a GDP similar to that of the state.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A Robot to Rescue Wounded Troops

The BBC has an article (with pictures) about a robot called the Bear that is being developed to evacuated wounded soldiers from combat. I'm not sure I buy it - I would have thought a lower, perhaps four legged, robot would have worked better for this - but it is worth a read.

A more practical Grandfather Clock

Here we have a very thin grandfather clock that you can hang on your wall.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Travels of Humanity

An interesting animation of the movements of humans around the world after their origins in Africa.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Learn languages by podcast

Open Culture has a blog post with a list of podcasts that will help you learn another language.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Cool Photos: Underwater Tiger

The Daily Mail has an article with some amazing pictures of a tiger swimming underwater.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

A Cunning Combination

Network World has an article about a new scheme to replace those somewhat annoying CAPTCHA screens with something that does useful work. In this case the user is invited to help with the digitization of a scanned paper document.

Monday, June 04, 2007

US Intelligence now has its own DARPA

Yahoo News has an article (via the AP) about the IARPA which is a new research agency for the American intelligence agencies. The new agency is similar to the Defence Department's DARPA.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

A Robotic Fence

Another robot blog post describes a robotic electric fence that is designed to move cows slowly around a field so they eat the grass in different areas evenly.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Firefox tip: the spacebar

Lifehacker points out a Firefox tip that I have never heard of before. If you hit the space bar while browsing a long page it pages you forward in the document (as if you had hit page-down). Similarly shift-space takes you back up a page.

Wanted: A Robot that flies for 5 years

According to this blog post, the US defence research agency DARPA has announced a new robot technology contest. They want people to come up with a flying robot that can remain in the air for 5 years. Nuclear power and lighter than air flying are not allowed.

Friday, May 25, 2007

What's up with your car? has an article about how to find technical service bulletins (information about recalls and other faults) for you car.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Pop can fridge

For those of you who like to keep a cool can of pop handy by your computer, here we have a USB powered single can mini-fridge.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Who are all those people at the coffee shop?

SF Gate has an article that tries to find out who all those people are that you see sitting on the patio at the local coffee shop when you are at work.

Full disclosure: I am one of those people.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Practical Origami

Today we have several examples of useful (ish) things that you can make using origami:

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Smart Drugs

The BBC has an article on smart drugs. The British Department of Health has asked the Academy of Medical Sciences to assess these drugs. Interestingly the article claims the drugs, including Modafinil - an anti-sleep drug, are widely used in the US.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Right Number

A web comic by Scott McCloud, author of Understanding Comics. The comic uses Flash but isn't really animated. There isn't any sound for those of you who should be working.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Longevity Gene Found

According to this article on the BBC website, scientists have found a gene that may explain why caloric restriction works as a method of prolonging lifespans. Caloric restriction has been known to work(at least for animals other than humans) for many years but the reason it works has never been understood.

It is hoped that knowing the responsible gene will allow the development of drugs that can mimic the effect of caloric restriction without having to be on a starvation diet.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

PC in a Gameboy

I'm not sure why anyone would want to do this, but according to this blog post, someone has put an entire PC into the case from an old Nintendo Gameboy.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Timeline viewer

MIT have developed a very cool looking timeline widget that lets you display a series of events in a web page without having to worry about horizontal scrolling. The example is of the events around the Kennedy assassination.

I haven't tried it but there doesn't seem to by anything on the server side to get this working so you just need to make an XML file of your data.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Keep dress shirts wrinkle free in a Fedex envelope

A blog post describes how you can replace one of those fancy fabric and Velcro packing boards that keep your shirts from getting wrinkled with a Fedex envelope and an old clip board.

The post is from a bog called The Rucksack Life which is about a fellow who is trying to simplify his life by ensuring that all of his possessions will fit inside his rucksack. He even has a post where he lists all 101 of his possessions and another with a photo.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Global Incident Map

Another Google Maps mashup, this one displaying "incidents" - such things as terrorist attacks, or natural disasters. It is a bit of a heavy load on the browser but is worth checking out.

Walmart has its own intelligence agency

According to this article in Business Week, Walmart is hiring intelligence officers for a unit in its global security office.

The job description includes collecting information from "professional contacts" and public data to anticipate and assess threats stemming from "world events, regional/national security climates, and suspect individuals and groups."

"Familiarity with a broad spectrum of information resources and data-mining techniques" is listed among the skills sought, along with a foreign language, preferably Chinese or Spanish.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Veteren dies of wounds recieved in WWII

The Times has an article about Leslie Croft, a British veteran who died recently at the age of 86, from the effects of a shrapnel wound suffered during the Allied invasion of Italy in 1943.

Croft served with the 6th Battalion of The York and Lancaster Regiment but never returned to combat after his injury. The wound to his stomach caused the growth of scar tissue which eventually lead to his death.

According to the Rotherham coroner:
“I rather suspect that Leslie Croft will be one of the last men to die of a wound suffered in World War Two.

“Mr Croft died from broncho-pneumonia consequent on a war wound which he suffered when fighting in World War Two in Italy in 1943.

“He had undoubtedly made what appeared to be a miraculous recovery because he went on to work in the coalmines and he must have enjoyed quite a long period of retirement.”

cross posted on my military news blog

Monday, April 30, 2007

Spying on LCDs

We all know that it is possible to read the display of a CRT display remotely via its electro-magnetic emissions but now the New Scientist has an article about a new technique to accomplish the same thing for an LCD display.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Country Connections

I'm not quite sure how to describe this one. It is basically a diagram showing how the various countries of the world are physically connected.

There are a number of other diagrams on the site as well including a rather complicated summary of Wall Street scandals.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

AJAX tutorial

This one is a bit more techie than things I normally link to but here is a tutorial on AJAX programming. AJAX is the name for a set of techniques that allow a website to become interactive - Google maps is the classic example.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

A road race in Kandahar

The Torch has a blog posting about a story that hasn't received much media attention in Canada. On the 8th of April a 10K running race was held in Kandahar Afghanistan. Not only did the local people feel safe in participating in the event but most of them wore shorts - which were of course banned under the Taliban.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Hidden Kitchen Drawers

For those of you with small kitchens, here is an idea for more storage space. Put drawers under the cabinets.

Monday, April 09, 2007

The View from the top of the World

Astronomy Picture of the Day comes through again with this panaromic picture of the view from the top of Mount Everest.

A New Online TV Listings Site: Couchville

couchville is a new TV listings site that uses AJAX to let you move around the schedule. You enter your zip / postal code and TV provider and it shows you the listings with a moving bar that represents the current time. You can also edit the list of channels to remove ones you never watch.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Comet over Patagonia

Astronomy Picture of the Day has a great photo of Comet McNaught with three galaxies in the background.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Tech Nomads roam San Francisco

SF Gate has an article about San Francisco technology workers who work from coffee shops using wi-fi. Calling themselves "bedouins" they wander from cafe to cafe holding meetings and sending email.

If you are interested in the bedouin lifestyle, Computer World has an article with tips on what you need to succeed.

Cooler Soldiers

Wired has an article on experiments to improve the performance of soldiers by cooling their blood. Interestingly the cooling is done by a handheld device nicknamed "The Glove".

A second article talks about use of the device by athletes and includes a picture of it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Lego: Go

A Lego vignette featuring the game of Go.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Send your Robot to work

This article describes a spin on telecommuting where you stay at home but you send a robot to your office and control it remotely. Could be handy if you spend a lot of time traveling to different work sites.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Build your own Steampunk keyboard

It looks like a lot of work but this article shows how you can build a Steampunk style keyboard for you computer.

via Slashdot

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Regrowing Fingers

Yahoo has an article about medical advances that can allow people to regrow fingers. Eventually they hope to be able to regrow entire limbs.

They also have a related article on growing teeth.

via slashdot

Follow up: the first link seems to be broken but this one looks like the same article.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Ice Highways

An article in the Seattle Times, of all places, describes the ice highways that are constructed across frozen lakes in the Canadian north to allow resupply of isolated communities and installations.

"Once you're on the ice, you're committed," said Pashovitz, 35. "You've got to keep going. If you stop, little by little, the weight of your truck would sink into the ice."

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Bridge Construction

An excellent blog post, with pictures, about the construction of the huge, and some would say magnificent, Millau Viaduct in the south of France.

via reddit

Monday, February 26, 2007

Another firefighter gadget

Technology Review has an article about another gizmo for firefighters. This one pulls them, and their equipment, up a rope. The article says it would be useful on Batman's utility belt but at 20 pounds it seems a bit heavy.

Followup: You can see a video of the device in action here. It is also easier to see how large the unit is. Still it moves pretty fast.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Nova at Night

The Astronomy Picture of the Day has a photo of a nova that could be seen with the naked eye. It isn't the most impressive of photos but I like the idea of it.

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Edison

A very interesting looking theme bar / restaurant in Las Angeles. Built in an old power station it has a steam punk / industrial feel.

The website is well done but a bit annoying in that it is just a giant Flash app.

via Brass Goggles

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Tissues in a Coffee Cup

I was in a store the other day and saw a huge display of tissue dispensers specially made (and priced) to fit into a car cup holder. Today I encountered this article on how to make your own from some tissues and a cup.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Victorian Tea Machine

A photo and article on a real Wallace and Grommet style machine. Clockwork powered, it will automatically make your morning cup of tea for you.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

A Knife for Firefighters

I've always liked special purpose gadgets. Here is an article reviewing a knife specially made for firefighers. In addition to being designed to be used while wearing heavy gloves, it has a spike for smashing windows and a hook cutter for cutting clothing.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

PCMCIA Wi-fi phone

A blog post about a cool looking gizmo. It is a wi-fi phone that charges inside the PCMCIA slot on your laptop. In the photo it looks like it would fit completely inside the card slot.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Make VOIP Calls from your Browser

Still on the VIP front, lifehacker has an article about a new Flash app from Gizmo that lets you make phone calls from your browser for free. Note that I haven't actually tried this out.

Fun with Gravity

Here is an amusing little Flash app that lets you play around with gravity. Basically you move the dots around and see what happens.

via reddit

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Google Maps Google Books

An interesting blog post from Google about a new feature from Google Books. They have generated maps from various books showing locations mentioned in the book.

A few examples:

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Economics and the 18 year old Criminal

Slate has an interesting article about an economist trying to find out if harsh prison sentences have a deterent effect on crime. He looks at whether people commit fewer crimes when they turn 18 and the sentences increase dramatically. The short answer is they don't.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Walking on Doodles

A strange flash game. It is basically a side view platform game where you have to move you character from one side of the board to the other. The interesting thing is that, using the mouse, you draw in the surface that your character walks on. Note that you don't have to do all the drawing in one go - you can draw, walk along the line, then draw some more.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Uses of Security Theatre

Bruce Schneier usually disparages what he calls 'security theatre' but in this article he discusses a situation where the appearance of security is actually useful. I'm not sure I buy it myself but I do see his point.

A Low Tech Game

Here is a game for those times you have some time to kill and not much in the way of gaming materials. All you need is a nickel, three pennies and a table to play on.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Word Clouds

I'm not entirely sure what this actually is but will build what they call a word cloud from your blog or website. They will then sell this to you on a T-shirt.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Online Comic: Agnes Quill

An interesting comic about a girl who lives in a slightly magical city with a bit of a Victorian feel. Agnes can see ghosts and makes her living by doing jobs for them in the real world. There are a couple of full length stories and a few shorter ones.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Death at Sea

The Guardian has an article about people mysteriously vanishing from cruise ships at sea. Some of them at least seem to have been murdered but the police and the cruise companies don't seem overly interested.

via rebecca's pocket

Password Cracking

Bruce Schneier has an article on choosing passwords and the techniques used to break them.

One method he recommends is using computer generated passwords, ones that will presumably be hard to crack, and storing them in a encrypted file for when you need them. That way you only have to remember the password for the encrypted file.

Friday, January 19, 2007

The Evolution of Spammers

An interesting article about how spammers, and other internet baddies, have evolved over time. The increasing professionalism and sophistication is a bit worrying.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Secret Underground Tunnel Expedition

An interesting blog post about an expedition to sneak into the old hydro tunnels under Niagara Falls. With photos including one of the tunnel in its 1906 construction and one of the equipment required for the expedition.

Game: Driving on Gears

If you have some free time try this Flash game. You basically have to drive a little dune buggy across terrain made of moving gears.

via Brass Goggles

Monday, January 15, 2007

A Comet over Catalonia

The Astronomy Picture of the Day has a beautiful photo of Comet McNaught in the sky over Spain.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Scotland wants you: To Wash your Hands

Apparently the Scottish Government paid GBP 2.3 million to develop this website to teach people how and when they should wash their hands. While I do like the domain name ( and I can't fault the message, it does seem a bit expensive to me. On the plus side I suppose this means that no other government will have to make an English language site about hand washing - unless of course there is something special about Scottish hands.

via Reddit

Saturday, January 13, 2007

DIY Steam Powered Spinning Candle

Make has a great how-to video that shows how to make a very simple steam engine that will cause a floating tea light to spin.

The mechanism is the same as that used in put-put boats.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Postal Rates

Slate has an article about how payments work for international mail. Interestingly a country (developed ones at least) can get in trouble if they aren't quick enough handling the mail.

Cool Clocks

Some very interesting looking clocks. They are a bit expensive and the website is a bit annoying but they are worth a look if you like that sort of thing.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Deciphering barking

Yahoo has an article on a security system that interprets the barking of guard dogs. The goal is to let human guards know if the barking is worth investigating.

The New Blogger

To celebrate the new year I have upgraded to the new Google version on Blogger. Hopefully this won't make any difference.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Year at a glance

The folks at DIY Planner have a potentially useful PDF file that contains a one page calendar for all of 2007 that fits on a single page.

If you haven't checked out you may want to have a look. They have all sorts of forms and other potentially useful things you can print. They are probably most known for the Hipster PDA.