Saturday, July 31, 2010

Apollo Astronauts Insurance has an article about an unusual form of life insurance used by the Apollo astronauts. Since they were unable to get normal life insurance what they did was sign postcards that would be posted (and hence postmarked) when the rockets took off. The theory was that if the rockets crashed the cards would be worth a fortune.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Lego: Castle in the Sky

I love the fake perspective in this model.

Camel on a sand dune

I'm not sure why but I like this photo from National Geographic of a camel on a sand dune.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Factoid: There are two ATMs in Antarctica

According to this article there are two Wells Fargo banking machines at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. Interestingly they don't have to send new money to the continent as the cash just circulates around on the base.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Real Life Superheroes

Wired Danger Room has an article about the sub-culture of real life superheroes. These are people who dress up in costumes and go out to do good deeds.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Factoid: Bomber Costs

According to this Danger Room post:
Every time the Air Force sends a B-1B bomber on a mission over Afghanistan, it spends costs $720,000 in fuel, repair, and other costs. And when the plane comes back, it has to spend 48 hours being repaired for every hour it was in the air.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

First Flight of Full Sized Robot Helicopter

Wired has an article about a US Army test of a fully autonomous flight of a full sized helicopter.
While on-the-fly autonomous navigation is a first for a full-sized helicopter, the technology developed by Sanjiv Singh and his team from Carnegie Mellon is not so different from what they used to outfit a Chevy Tahoe to win Darpa’s 2007 Urban Challenge. “It’s not as if we started from scratch,” says Singh. “A lot of the technology was there already.”

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Time Usage Graphic

Information is Beautiful has an amusing graphic that compares TV watching with writing wikipedia. (Note that one is per year and the other is total.) This is an example of the so called cognitive surplus.

Monday, July 19, 2010

More Scripts of the World

If you liked the earlier post on Scripts of the World, Smashing Magazine has the second part of the article.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Eclipse over the Andes

Another cool eclipse photo, this time over the Andes.

Eclipse Over Easter Island

I always like those giant stone heads they have on Easter Island. Astronomy Photo of the Day has this great shot of the recent solar eclipse behind some of those heads.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Webcomic: Rupert and Hubert

I've only just started reading the Dresden Codak web comic but I really liked this one.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Lego Fireworks

A bit late for Canada Day but here we are.

Video: A Tiny Cannon

Make has a post with a video demonstrating an extremely small (1 inch maybe) black powder cannon. It is amazing how destructive such a small thing can be.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Special Forces Powerline Tap

Here is a cool gadget. It is designed to let special forces teams tap into power lines to get electricity.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

How Long Will You Live

Wolfram Alpha will show you how long you have to live and what the chances are of you living to various ages. For example, I have a 98.7% chance of living past age 50 but a 98.8% chance of dieing before age 100.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

An Escalator for Bikes

This is an interesting idea, an escalator for bicycles. It runs along the side of a set of stairs and lets people walk their bikes up more easily.