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Monday, August 13, 2007

The Amazing AIRTRAX Omni-Directional Wheels

The Godfather

The Godfather

Hypothetical child abuse, or just damn funny?

Came across this on some random blog out there - a hypothetical question (obviously):
The question: How many 5 year-olds could you take on at once?

The specifics:

- You are in an enclosed area, roughly the size of a basketball court. There are no foreign objects.
- You are not allowed to touch a wall.
- When you are knocked unconscious, you lose. When they are all knocked unconscious, they lose. Once a kid is knocked unconscious, that kid is "out."
- I (or someone else intent on seeing to it you fail) get to choose the kids from a pool that is twice the size of your magic number. The pool will be 50/50 in terms of gender and will have no discernable abnormalities in terms of demographics, other than they are all healthy Americans.
- The kids receive one day of training from hand-to-hand combat experts who will train them specifically to team up to take down one adult. You will receive one hour of "counter-tactics" training.
- There is no protective padding for any combatant other than the standard-issue cup.
* The kids are motivated enough to not get scared, regardless of the bloodshed. Even the very last one will give it his/her best to take you down.

I set my magic number at 30, but upon reflection, I think I could take on a few more. How many could you take on?

See 20+ pages of ramblings, musings, thoughts, and opinions on the subject here. I don't know why I found this so damn funny...

Popeye Doyle!

Chismillionare very anti Umbrella, but if he weren't he would go with this!

SENZ Umbrellas is proud to introduce the first game-changing innovations in umbrella design. The aerodynamic SENZ Original easily resists storms up to wind force 10! From now on, you'll experience rain as liquid sunshine! The SENZ Mini is unique for always finding the best position in the wind, which requires minimum force. Playing with the wind has become not only easy and comfortable, it's extremely fun too!

Suzuki B King- what the Stones were talking about in Sreet Fighting Man

Stanley FatMax FuBar II- who can't get behind this

4-in-1 tool for prying, splitting, board bending and striking jobs
2.5 lbs - fits easily in the hammer loop
One piece forged steel bar for increased durability
Board grabbing jaw sized for 2x lumber
Beveled nail slot for pulling & prying nails
Textured grip for excellent comfort & control, even when wet
Tempered steel that prevents chipping

The Amazing Avocado

GM plans to develop batteries with A123 Systems for its new electric vehicle

General Motors has announced it will work directly with A123 Systems, a start-up based in Watertown, MA, to develop batteries that are fine-tuned for the Chevrolet Volt, an electric vehicle scheduled for production in 2010 or 2011. The new agreement between the companies is designed to speed the vehicle to market.
The co-development deal is the latest in a series of announcements by the automaker indicating it is moving forward with plans for the Volt, an extremely fuel efficient hybrid. The Volt, first announced in January, will use batteries that can be recharged from a standard electrical outlet and is expected to get 40 miles on a single charge, eliminating trips to the gas station for average daily driving. While GM has not ruled out using batteries from another supplier, the agreement is a vote of confidence that A123's technology can meet the requirements for the vehicle, says Denise Gray, GM's director of hybrid energy storage devices.
A123 uses a new lithium-ion chemistry that allows its batteries to be much lighter and more compact than the nickel metal hydride batteries in existing hybrids today, and safer than the conventional lithium ion batteries found in consumer electronics

New Microscope creates 3D images of cells

MIT researchers have designed a microscope for generating three-dimensional movies of live cells. The microscope, which works like a cellular CT scanner, will let scientists watch how cells behave in real time at a greater level of detail. This new device overcomes a trade-off between resolution and live action that has hindered researchers' ability to examine cells and could lead to new methods for screening drugs.
Cells can't be examined under a traditional microscope because they don't absorb very much visible light. So the MIT microscope relies on another optical property of cells: how they refract light. As light passes through a cell, its direction and wavelength shift. Different parts of the cell refract light in different ways, so the MIT microscope can show the parts in all their detail.

Rewriteable Holographic memory

By using lasers to etch data onto fragments of a microbial protein, researchers at the University of Connecticut may have demonstrated a way to produce rewritable holographic memory. Holographic memory stores data in three dimensions instead of two and could make data retrieval hundreds of times faster. The first holographic-memory systems have recently come to market, but they do not yet feature discs rewritable in real time.
Researchers at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, led by Jeffrey Stuart, head of the university's Nanobionics Research Center, based their holographic storage system on reengineered versions of proteins produced by bacteria-like organisms commonly found in salt marshes. Simply shining blue light on the proteins erases any data stored in them.

A Cleaner, Greener, Badass Hot Rod

Autobahn Turns 75, Reveals Cultural Differences in Safety

American libertarian drivers would have you believe it's safer than U.S. freeways (likewise false). The German Autobahn opened on August 6, 1932, a small spit of about 12.5 miles between Cologne and Bonn. Since then, it has been one of the most important testing grounds for automakers in the world. It's not just for the lack of speed limits that this infamous highway is known. It reveals great cultural differences in the ways that car safety is perceived. After you crest one blind hill into Frankfurt, for example, the skid marks are akin to those you'd find on a runway at JFK airport, from cars confronting backed-up traffic. This is at least one reason BMW and Mercedes Benz began work on one of the first anti-lock brake systems. American automakers and regulators, by contrast, tend to be fatalistic, focusing on reducing death and injury rather than preventing them. Even the "Wall Street Journal" recently griped that mandatory fuel mileage standards would force vehicles to lose weight, which would result in rising highway death tolls. The "Journal" failed to note that you're more than four times as likely to be involved in an accident in the first place while driving a 4,000 pound SUV as you would be driving a vehicle weighing 1,000 pounds less with a lower center of gravity. The left lane of the Autobahn is strictly for passing. To wander into it, cell phone in hand, without a clear sense of your car's dimensions and capabilities is to risk suicide from approaching vehicles. The Autobahn demands a driver's engagement with the road. While Americans constantly bemoan our dumbed-down highways by comparison, we seem unwilling to raise the IQ of our cars or the standards for our drivers.

Happy Birthday Mr Wenkel, born this day in 1902

1902: Felix Wankel, inventor of the rotary engine, is born in Lahr, Germany.
Lacking a degree, indeed a university education of any kind, Wankel nevertheless possessed a first-rate technical mind. While still in his early 20s, he conceived of a rotary engine that he hoped would replace the more complicated and less efficient reciprocating piston engine.
Wankel received the first patent for his engine design in 1929, but events were about to overtake him.
On the political front, Wankel couldn't catch a break. After an early flirtation with National Socialism, he ran afoul of the Nazis and was tossed into prison for a few months. Following his release, Wankel spent the prewar years working on rotary valves and sealing technology for several German firms.

Chismillionare's like latest business model- taking money from children!

The latest toy craze in North America are stuffed animals called Webkinz that blend the comfort of teddy bears with the addictive challenges of online role-playing games.
Webkinz look like Beanie Babies, but come with a code to unlock a digital doppelgänger children play with in a Sims-like digital world. The combination has proven as habit forming as the Tamagotchi phenomenon, but with a stuffed animal that sleeps in your child's bed. And it might be the ploy that saves the toy industry.
Sold only at specialty stores like Hallmark, more than 1 million Webkinz stuffed animals have been snapped up since their April 2005 debut, making the toy by Ganz a sensation. In February, the Toy Industry Association named Webkinz the Specialty Toy of the Year for 2007.

Dresden's World-Class Art Gallery Duplicates Itself Online

If you can't make it to Dresden this summer, consider teleporting. The pearl of the city's museum collection, the Old Masters Picture Gallery, recently opened a virtual version of itself in Second Life. Second Life representatives say it's the first real-world museum to "clone" itself online, although virtual versions of other collections (most famously "Second Louvre," which has no official ties to the Paris museum) have popped up.

All 37,700 square feet of the 150-year-old building, plus the grounds outside, have been recreated, down to the trash cans and fountains in the courtyard and ceiling moldings, staircases and furniture within. The highlight, of course, is on the virtual walls: 750 paintings spanning 300 years of European art.