Saturday, July 17, 2010

Potpourri CXLVI

Too bad Blogger thinks I'm too "obscene" to make money, because this really is a fun gig. They refuse to answer my question on what, specifically, caused them to block me from making money via their assorted sponsors. Pity. Anyhow, the frivolity continues. There's some wacky stuff out on that-thar interwebs thang, so allow me to share more of what I've found.
Science, Technology, and Space

A bladeless fan maze, courtesy of Dyson. I won't even pretend to understand how they did this.

A clock that knits a scarf once a year.

Graphic: how we subsidize fossil fuels. My comment: this does not include the hundreds of billions we spend keeping soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines in the oil-producing regions protecting our access to said fuels. Are we ready to say yes to nuclear power, space solar power, and other high-density, low-carbon energy sources?

The upper atmosphere appears to have collapsed somehow, and even NASA doesn't know why. More to the point, what are the repercussions?

A history of the jet-powered car.

SpaceShipTwo has had its first flight with a crew aboard.

NASA's Lori Garver addresses the Senate authorization bill.

From D2:
Add this to the list of reasons spam is the World’s Most Annoying Modern Invention: It destroys the Earth.

According to a new infographic by Antonio Lupetti for Woork Up, spam spews more than 20 million tons of CO2 a year. The biggest polluter is, of course, the United States, which cranks out 20.8 percent of the world’s spam, amounting to 11.4 k/ tons of CO2 a day. India comes in a distant second, with 7.5 percent of global spam production and 4.12 k/ tons of CO2 a day.

Ferris Buehler meets Fight Club. No, really.

From various sources, but the Old Spice guy (the man your man could smell like) has morphed into a YouTube phenomenon. And now word that the Old Spice Guy has retired.

A kid came up with a creative way to get out of answering a quiz question.

For Doc: a giant dip pen.

What was the need for a movie about Facebook? Never mind, I'm still trying to figure out why someone decided to make a Brady Bunch movie.

An iPad-only novel is coming out.

It’s becoming interesting to me that some of the links I find could fit into either the Culture or Sci/Tech/Space section. Consider the following:
  • This item of art
  • This article about my pal Dar
  • A story about Star Trek’s website getting a makeover. Got to say I'm not impressed.
  • A social fundraising website.
  • Twittering habits during the World Cup.
  • A science fiction movie about “dream security.” Oh yes, and Widge has a Wayhomer review of said movie. He calls it a "mind grope" and that "it will make your brain hurt." Make of that what you will, but he definitely recommends seeing it.
Bottom line, I guess, is that technology is the culture…or a good chunk of it.

An 18th century ship was found at the World Trade Center site.

eBay crashes as millions of unwanted vuvuzelas going up for sale. What, you think I'd kid about this? Side note: I really hope my fellow Americans take decisive action against importing such things into this country.

Tom Olson had a recommendation on a place you can buy silver online.

A one-man Lord of the Rings is being presented off Broadway.

Here's a slogan from Doc, courtesy of Mike Tyson.

Corvette has a new ad that references the space program. I like it, actually.

Steampunk Mr. Potato Head and gas mask.

A bin Laden satire film has been banned by a Pakistani censor board.

Evil fortune cookies? Yes.

A women-only frustration booth has opened in China. Reminds me of the glass-breaking rooms in Fahrenheit 451.

Your daily dose of Disney: paper sculptures for Disneyland’s 55th anniversary.
Okay, so this was weird: someone has created a site where, if you plug in a sample of your writing, it will tell you what famous author's style your stuff most resembles. A piece of my actual fiction came back as Dan Brown, author of The DaVinci Code. Ick. But just for fun, I also plugged in a sample of my conference paper writing from work, and it came back H. P. Lovecraft. I'm trying to imagine juxtaposing transcendent, nameless horrors and launch vehicle development, and the mind just reels. But then some of my nightmares over the past month have kind of gone that way, so I guess maybe I can see it. Anyhow, plug in a swatch of your writing and check out the results. Charles Dickens came back Charles Dickens (amazing!), but Robert A. Heinlein came back Isaac Asimov, so their analytical engine is not comprehensive. Just a fair warning.

Here was an interesting question from the TED discussion group in LinkedIn: "Who are you? Could you tell the 'story of you' in six words?" My answer? "Born broken, he got better. Really."


lin said...

A government subsidy is a grant. The author of the original paper claims that the “vast majority of subsidy dollars to fossil fuels can be attributed to just a handful of tax breaks.” The failure of government to tax to the extent that the author would like is not a subsidy.

If taxes should be levied according to the amount of expected pollution produced by a product, perhaps we should add a tax of $10,000 to each motor vehicle with an internal combustion engine in it.

Bart said...


I had that very discussion re: tax breaks equalling "subsidies," and I wasn't able to make my point sufficiently. I appreciate the reminder: it is the people's money, not the government's.