Saturday, February 23, 2008

Origami with your Tea

Another practical use of origami. This company has replaced the little tag on the end of the string on your teabag with a little origami boat. The boat floats in your tea so that you don't have to scald your fingers to take the bag out.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Stick to your Resolutions

The New York Times has a column by Steven Levitt, of Freakonomics fame, about a method to ensure that you will carry through with a resolution.
to write a check for a substantial amount of money to the American Nazi Party, seal it up in a stamped envelope, and vow to drop it in the mail if you break your diet.
He then describes a new website called that does a similar thing by essentially holding a cheque from you until you either complete or fail at a resolution. If you fail they send the cheque to a charity of your choice.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

New Lab on Space Station

Astronomy Picture of the day has a nice picture of the new Columbus Laboratory on the International Space Station.

Monday, February 18, 2008

How a Bobbin Works

I must confess I have always wondered how a sewing machine actually works. Now a post on Material Mama has an animation that shows exactly how the two threads get tied together.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Upside Down Demolition

Fogonazos has an article about a building being demolished in London. The difference here is that, due to the way it was originally built, this building is being demolished from the bottom up.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Superhero Suits

Always wanted your own superhero outfit? Well these folks will custom make one for you.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Pop-up Light

The perfect pop-up book for the bedside table. When you open it, a light pops up.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Where the Blondes Are

Strange Maps has another interesting map this one showing where in Europe blondes are predominant.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

"Terrorproof" Buildings

The Christian Science Monitor has an article about new high-rise buildings that are resistant to extreme damage. The article is specifically about Number 7 World Trade Centre which is billed as the safest building in the world.
"The biggest change in high-rise construction now is this sealed, hardened core," says Dr. Herb Hauser, president of New York-based Midtown Technologies, who worked with the architects of the skyscrapers that will ring the new World Trade Center. "This means that the structure around the core can go down, or be on fire, or be invested with a biological or chemical problem, but the actual core itself will be protected."
While I don't have any problem with improved buildings, I do think that the title of the article (which I have copied) illustrates the nature of the real problem. Since buildings can't feel fear they are inherently "terrorproof". A building doesn't care whether it is being damaged by an earthquake, extreme weather, bank robbers, vandals or terrorists.

Sniffing the Browser History

Another geeky one, this time a blog post about how a website can tell what other sites a user has visited.

The method depends on the fact that browsers show visited links in a different colour than unvisited links. The technique uses JavaScript to create a page (that you never see) with a bunch of links, then checks to see which links are in the visited colour. This seems to mean that he can only check if you've been to a specific list of sites rather than seeing the whole list of you've been. He has a demo page if you want to see it in action.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Lego Art

I normally go for smaller Lego models myself but this fellow has made some very impressive large ones.

Map of US Christian Denominations

Strange Maps has a map showing the distribution of Christian denominations across the US. The maps shows counties where more than 50% of the residents belong to the same religion. The interesting things were the number of such counties (ie almost all of them) and the contiguous blocks of the same religion in different areas of the country.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Adventures in Stacking

BLDG Blog has a post about stacking blocks. The posting links to a subscription only article but does have some nice diagrams.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Homemade Sunbeam

Popular Science has an article about a fellow who made his own flashlight. This particular flashlight though has 38 million candle power and can project a spot of light onto a cloud four miles high. There is a how it works gallery for those of you who want to build your own but keep in mind that the builder of this one sunburned his face when he looked into the beam.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Star Forts

Deputy Dog is back with another great photo post. This one is about the star shaped forts, that were built to defend cities after the development of cannons.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Good Looking Libraries

Curious Expeditions has a Compendium of Beautiful Libraries. This is a long post with a huge number of photos of the insides of fancy libraries. Some nice looking pictures if you are a book lover.