Sunday, October 31, 2010

Stars over a Wreck

A nice picture from Astronomy Picture of the Day.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Walt Disney's Mind Map

Peter Duke has a blog post linking to a mind map done in 1957 by Walt Disney (the person not the company) detailing his plans for his future empire and how the parts would relate to, and help each other.

Friday, October 29, 2010

You can't say that in English

I think I blogged about this sort of thing ages ago but here is another list of words that can't be directly translated into English.

I do like:
Tartle - Scottish – The act of hestitating while introducing someone because you’ve forgotten their name.
Ilunga - Tshiluba (Southwest Congo) – A word famous for its untranslatability, most professional translators pinpoint it as the stature of a person “who is ready to forgive and forget any first abuse, tolerate it the second time, but never forgive nor tolerate on the third offense.”
as well as the somewhat more modern
Prozvonit - Czech – This word means to call a mobile phone and let it ring once so that the other person will call back, saving the first caller money. In Spanish, the phrase for this is “Dar un toque,” or, “To give a touch.”

Friday, October 22, 2010

Facebook Now Lets You Download All Your Data

According to Lifehacker, Facebook now lets you download a copy of all of your information - including all of your pictures.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

How Much Exploring Did Apollo 11 Do?

Chart Porn has some images that show just how little of the Moon's surface was explored during the first lunar mission.  They have superimposed the routes followed by the astronauts onto a baseball diamond and a football field.

As a bonus, this site from the BBC will let you superimpose the moon landing area on your own address.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

An Abandoned Lego House

Here is an awesome Lego model built using only black and white bricks.

Google's Self Driving Car

The New York Times has an article with Google's experiments with self driving cars.  Their seven test cars have already driven over a thousand miles without human intervention.
Robot drivers react faster than humans, have 360-degree perception and do not get distracted, sleepy or intoxicated, the engineers argue. They speak in terms of lives saved and injuries avoided — more than 37,000 people died in car accidents in the United States in 2008. The engineers say the technology could double the capacity of roads by allowing cars to drive more safely while closer together. Because the robot cars would eventually be less likely to crash, they could be built lighter, reducing fuel consumption.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Royal Navy Field Gun Competition

This video is worth checking out especially if you've never seen such a thing before.  A field gun competition involves two teams racing to each pull an old fashioned field gun around a course and over and through various obstacles.  As you are watching, try to think about how heavy the various bits are.

Factoid: Great Pyramid was second tallest building until 1874

According to Wikipedia, the Great Pyramid of Giza was the second tallest building in the world until 1874.  It was the tallest until 1311 when Lincoln Cathedral was built.  The pyramid had been knocked out of the top three for a while but clawed its way back in in 1625 when the spire on St. Olaf's church in Tallinn burned down.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

How to Escape from a Sinking Car

Lifehacker has a post with videos from Rick Mercer and the Mythbusters to teach you how to escape from a car sinking in water.  There's nothing really earth shattering in there but I did learn that if you have to kick it is better to kick near the hinge side of the door windows.  Also the demonstration of the centre punch in the Rick Mercer video was pretty impressive.

Monday, October 11, 2010

They Make Their Own Ladders

Make has an article, with a video, about the San Francisco Fire Department's ladder factory.  For various reasons they still use wooden ladders and they make and repair their own.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Factoid: Carrots used to be purple

The blog Today I Found Out has a post that explains that carrots were purple until the late 16th century.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

New Model of Raytheon Exoskeleton

Tech&Gadgets has a post about the latest version of the Raytheon Exoskeleton.  There is a video with a demonstration involving, for some reason, one of the actors from Iron Man 2.  It is looking very cool but is still tethered to a base station, presumably for power.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Beer Chart

World Famous Design Junkies has a great chart that shows the interrelationship of the various types of beer - with examples of each type.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Getting People to Return Your Digital Camera If They Find It

Andrew MacDonald has a blog post with a series of photos that he always puts as the first pictures on his digital cameras.  The pictures form a funny story that lets him ask that anyone who finds the camera to get in touch with him.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The First World War is over for Germany

The Telegraph has an article about Germany making its last reparation payment imposed under the treaty that ended the Great War.

Followup: Time has an article with a bit more information.