Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Atheists FTW!

Air race pilot gets into a bit of a pickle

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tug of War With Nylon Stockings

Why can't our TV be this awesome?


Eindelijk ben ik er achter welke uitlokking wel en niet mag in Nederland. Vandaag heeft de Hoge Raad bepaald dat een (open) lokfiets plaatsen op plekken waar veel gestolen wordt wel mag [bron]. Een strafrechtspecialist legt uit dat het niet mag als je(politie) iemand op het oog hebt, de politie mag dus niet iemand benaderen met bijvoorbeeld drugs of een gestolen fiets(helen)  [bron]
Hebben we dat ook weer duidelijk.

Greenspan admits 'flaw' in ideology

"Alan Greenspan, the former US Federal Reserve chairman, has publicly admitted that the US free-market ideology that he and others have championed for decades is flawed. Greenspan, who headed the US central bank for more than 18 years, said on Thursday that he had "found a flaw ... in the model that I perceived is the critical functioning structure that defines how the world works". [...] "Do you feel that your ideology pushed you to make decisions that you wish you had not made?" Greenspan replied: "Yes I found a flaw. I don't know how significant or permanent it is, but I've been very distressed by that fact." [...] "Gone was the usual deference for the man considered chief architect of America's 80s and 90s boom years. Greenspan said he was shocked at the banks' inability to self-regulate and blamed over-eager investors for the sub-prime housing meltdown that led to the financial crisis, our correspondent said. Greenspan's critics had accused him of leaving interest rates too low in the early part of the decade, spurring an unsustainable housing boom which went largely unregulated."

Monday, October 27, 2008

Google Earth on iPhone and iPod Touch

Probably the best app for the iPhone yet, and it's free.
In depth article...

Interactive Mirror

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Posts per month statistics

average = 55 posts per month

A short history of optical electronic sensors

The image dissector was an early all-electronic television camera tube invented by Philo Farnsworth. Farnsworth's image dissector was successfully demonstrated and patent applications were made in 1927. This was the first successful demonstration of a fully electronic television system. Farnsworth continued making improvements to his system, and by 1929, image clarity and number of lines of resolution exceeded the achievements of the mechanical television systems.

Most experimental television systems in the 1920s and 1930s made use of an electromechanical system, usually a Nipkow disk combined with a single photoelectric cell for scanning an image and creating an electrical output. A similar device operating in reverse was used to project the image onto the picture screen. [wiki]

The Iconoscope invented by Vladimir Zworykin improved on Farnsworth's invention by combining the photosensitive material at each point with a capacitor so that all the electrons were captured. A separate beam of electrons was then used to scan over the image surface, resulting in an electrical current proportional to the quantity of stored electrons at each point.

The key aspect of the Iconoscope was that the image-sensitive target integrated, or collected the charge developed by the light hitting it between readout scans. [wiki]

The iconoscope was the primary camera tube used in American broadcasting from 1936 until 1946, when it was replaced by the image orthicon tube.

The image orthicon tube (often abbreviated as IO) was common until the 1960s. A combination of Farnsworth's image dissector and RCA's orthicon technologies, it replaced the iconoscope/orthicon, which required a great deal of light to work adequately.

While the iconoscope and the intermediate orthicon used capacitance between a multitude of small but discrete light sensitive collectors and an isolated signal plate for reading video information, the IO employed direct charge readings from a continuous electronically charged collector. The resultant signal was immune to most extraneous signal "crosstalk" from other parts of the target, and could yield extremely detailed images. For instance, IO cameras were used for capturing Apollo/Saturn rockets nearing orbit long after the networks had phased them out, as only they could provide sufficient detail.

A properly constructed image orthicon could take television pictures by candlelight owing to the more ordered light-sensitive area and the presence of an electron multiplier at the base of the tube, which operated as a high-efficiency amplifier. It also had a logarithmic light sensitivity curve similar to the human eye, so the picture looked more natural. Image orthicons were used extensively in the early color television cameras, where their increased sensitivity was essential to overcome their very inefficient optical system. An engineer's nickname for the tube was the "immy", which later was feminized to become the "Emmy" [wiki] A vidicon tube (sometimes called a hivicon tube) is a video camera tube design in which the target material is a photoconductor. The Vidicon was developed in the 1950's at RCA by PK Weimer, SV Forgue and RR Goodrich as a simple alternative to the structurally and electrically complex Image Orthicon. While the initial photoconductor used was Selenium, other targets -- including silicon diode arrays -- have been used. Prior to the design and construction of Galileo probe to Jupiter in the late 70s, NASA used Vidicon camera on most of their unmanned deep space probes equipped with the remote sensing ability. [wiki]

Mercury imaged by the mariner 10 spacecraft using a vidicon.

The required array consisting of CCD (charge-coupled device) technology was invented in 1969 by Willard Boyle and George E. Smith at AT&T Bell Labs. The lab was working on the picture phone and on the development of semiconductor bubble memory. Merging these two initiatives, Boyle and Smith conceived of the design of what they termed 'Charge "Bubble" Devices'. The essence of the design was the ability to transfer charge along the surface of a semiconductor. As the CCD started its life as a memory device, one could only "inject" charge into the device at an input register. However, it was immediately clear that the CCD could receive charge via the photoelectric effect and electronic images could be created. Today, they are most widely used in arrays of photoelectric light sensors, to serialize parallel analog signals. Not all image sensors use CCD technology; for example, CMOS chips are also commercially available. [wiki] Two important characteristics of CMOS (Complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor) devices are high noise immunity and low static power consumption. Significant power is only drawn when the transistors in the CMOS device are switching between on and off states. [wiki]

Most horrifying rifle ever made: M 107

Wiki: The M82 (also more recently known as the M107) is a heavy SASR (Special Application Scoped Rifle) developed by the American Barrett Firearms Company. It is used by many units and armies around the world, including the American Special Forces. It is also called the "Light Fifty" for its .50 caliber BMG (12.7 mm) chambering. US Marine sniper kills with the M107 Barret (quite disturbing): (edit: not a sniper video, it's a few scenes from this hunting video, on this site)

Apparently a good spot for lunch

Joe McCain calls 911 because of bad traffic

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Cool Color Changing Mushroom

Boletus Subvelutipes
Due to rapid oxidation when exposed to air this mushroom rapidly changes color.

Friday, October 24, 2008

UN: Major inequality in US cities

Levels of economic disparity in major US cities, including New York and Washington DC, are comparable to those of African cities, a United Nations report has concluded. [...] The world's most equal cities are located, on average, in western Europe, it said. Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Slovenia were among those with the lowest levels of inequality, it said. Full Story...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Memories Selectively, Safely Erased In Mice

Targeted memory erasure is no longer limited to the realm of science fiction. A new study describes a method through which a selected set of memories can be rapidly and specifically erased from the mouse brain in a controlled and inducible manner. New and old memories have been selectively and safely removed from mice by scientists. [...] Much as a war veteran remembers a fateful patrol when he was fired upon, mice can establish a very long-lasting emotional memory about a place if, for example, they receive a mild shock to the paws while there. The researchers showed if they over-expressed αCaMKII, this powerful memory was rapidly erased as the animals tried to retrieve them while other memories remained intact. A similar approach was taken with object recognition memory, giving mice a couple of toys to play with then erasing their memory of one of them. "You will feel like every time, it's a new toy," says Dr. Tsien. Full Article...
Quite scary that this is possible. Though it has uses for traumatic memories it could also be misused. And what if you use it and remember the wrong memory, bye bye memory.

The hypocracy continues...

Onze Christelijke regering blijft rustig en stilletjes doorsnoepen. "Het gedoogbeleid wordt vanaf februari in ieder geval strenger. Dan kan per klant nog maximaal 2 gram hasj of marihuana gekocht worden in plaats van 5 gram. De handelsvoorraad gaat omlaag van 500 naar 300 gram. Als één van die regels wordt overtreden, zal de coffeeshop direct dicht gaan." Het is tijd voor de Randstad Afscheidingsbeweging! edit: Dit gaat waarschijnlijk alleen over gemeente Bergen op Zoom en Roosendaal. Was mij eerst niet duidelijk.

Siderail Fail

Nice design :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Say Hello To Captain Newscycle

dominating the newscycle:

Landmarks Replaced By Souvenirs

He arrives at the destination, visits the nearest souvenir and buys the cheapest souvenir. Michael then takes up to 50 photographs with a wide angle lens on a digital camera until he has the ornament positioned in exact proportion to the landmark. More photos...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Palin gets floored

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Zoetrope

A zoetrope is a device that produces an illusion of action from a rapid succession of static pictures. More @ wiki. Some modern zoetropes work with spinning set-ups of physical 3d models and strobe lights to produce very impressive 3D animated illusion effects. Pixar made a very cool zoetrope based on Toy Story:
The quality isn't too good because the camera and strobe lights are out of sync it's very flashy, but you get the idea of how it works. This video shows how the Toy Story zoetrope should look: (For some reason you need to copy/paste this URL in your address bar otherwise it doesn't seem to work) Here is a very nice zoetrope at the Burning Man festival:
And finally something very cool similar to a zoetrope, the Phonographantasmascope. This one works by syncing only the camera with a moving vinyl LP record. Its explained in the video:
I'd really like to see one in real life now.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Waste from gut bacteria helps host control weight

Physorg: A single molecule in the intestinal wall, activated by the waste products from gut bacteria, plays a large role in controlling whether the host animals are lean or fatty, a research team, including scientists from UT Southwestern Medical Center, has found in a mouse study. [...] The researchers disrupted communication between the bacteria and the hosts in two ways: raising normal mice under germ-free conditions so they lacked the bacteria, and genetically engineering other mice to lack Gpr41 so they were unable to respond to the bacteria. In both cases, the mice weighed less and had a leaner build than their normal counterparts even though they all ate the same amount. The researchers also found that in mice without Gpr41, the intestines passed food more quickly. They hypothesized that one action of Gpr41 is to slow down the motion that propels food forward, so that more nutrients can be absorbed. Thus, if the receptor cannot be activated, food is expelled more quickly, and the animal gets less energy from it. Full Article...

How will the white house look like if Sarah Palin would be elected as president?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Danny Macaskill : Next level street trials

He makes it seem so easy.

Adobe Announcement

Funny Obama (and McCain)

Obama and McCain spoke at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner. You need to follow the US presidential elections to understand most of it.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Map of science - different nations

TED: Apes that write, start fires and play Pac-Man

For those of you who haven't seen this TED talk yet. It's old, but I missed it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Food Art

An artist by the name of Carl Warner has created some stunning scenes all completely made out of food. If you don't believe it's all food he explains some techniques in this video:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

WoW Uber Geek Plays 36 Accounts Simultaneously

A lot have asked me, why create so many? The main reason is to invade Stormwind and Ironforge when they reach top level. I'm sure the Alliance will put up a big fight when that happens. We'll see how it goes. If they don't make level 70 before Wrath of the Lich King, then it will be at level 80. That is my main goal. That will probably happen after I've got some PvP gear from the battlegrounds. I'm also planning to do some 25 and 10 man raid instances but that is secondary to my PvP goal. Of course I'll be doing arenas too to build up PvP gear but I'm not expecting to do that great there because I'm way behind in gear right now. I need to get to level 70 first, then level 80 and by then I will probably have all green gear while most others have been doing the battlegrounds and arenas. It costs me exactly $5711 in subscription costs per year with 36 accounts on the 6 month pay schedule. Not bad considering I'm looking at it like it's a hobby and there are more expensive hobbies out there than World of Warcraft. :) 32 of my shaman are level 61. One shaman that I had before I started the 32 is at level 70 along with 8 other level 70 classes that I had. My mage, priest and druid are in the center of the circle of shaman in the pictures but they are kind of hard to see. I've also got some mages and priests that I'm currently working on that are level 23. Once they are at level 31.9, I will stop working on them, get 16 of them to level 60 with the recruit-a-friend bonus levels and work on the shaman again. When Wrath of the Lich King is released, I plan to be at the store when it opens and will purchase 36 copies of it. With tax, it should be about $1500 for all of them. Then the shaman are on their way to level 80 along with the priest, druid and mage.
This guy uses a technique called multi-boxing to play all these accounts simultaneously. This tutorial kind of explains it. This guy is to nerds what nerds are to normal people.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Five Myths About John McCain

Rolling Stone: Make-Believe Maverick. A closer look at the life and career of John McCain reveals a disturbing record of recklessness and dishonesty. Full Article... (Very, very long)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I cleaned my keyboard!

US debt clock runs out of digits

BBC News: The US government's debts have ballooned so badly the National Debt Clock in New York has run out of digits to record the spiraling figure. The digital counter marks the national debt level, but when that passed the $10 trillion point last month, the sign could not display the full amount. The board was erected to highlight the $2.7 trillion level of debt in 1989. The clock's owners say two more zeros will be added, allowing the clock to record a quadrillion dollars of debt. Douglas Durst, son of the late Seymour Durst - the clock's inventor - hopes to replace the Manhattan clock with its lengthier replacement early next year. For the time being, the Times Square counter's electronic dollar sign has been replaced with the extra digit required.

Milky Way from a cave

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Inflatable Bag Monsters

Grapje van Bassie versterkt beurscrisis

Clownkrach op Damrak na geruchtenstroom over slippertje Een nieuwe tegenslag voor de AEX. Het vermeende slippertje van clown Bas van Toor zorgde voor scherpe dalingen op de Amsterdamse effectenbeurs. Vlak na de moeizame reanimatie van Fortis en het afgewezen noodplan voor de Amerikaanse kredietcrisis is dit opnieuw een fikse domper voor de effectenhandel. Dat het uiteindelijk om een grap bleek te gaan, bracht de gemoederen niet tot bedaren.
Juist toen de AEX-index zich na ‘zwarte maandag’ weer leek te stabiliseren, sijpelde het nieuws door. Bassie zou een ruim veertig jaar jongere getrouwde vrouw hebben bezwangerd. Het gevolg: algehele paniek en een beurs die ruim in het rood afsloot. “Het lastige aan deze kwestie was de onzekerheid” aldus effectenhandelaar Gerben Minrebroeder. “De vrouw beweerde dat Bassie haar zwanger heeft gemaakt, maar de clown ontkende dit in alle toonaarden. Er was sprake van een DNA-onderzoek. Zoals u zult begrijpen, zat de financiële wereld in spanning over de uitslag.”
De paniek na het bekendmaken van het nieuws was veelzeggend. Handelaren probeerden massaal hun aandelen te verkopen, terwijl de prijzen met de minuut daalden. “De beursvloer werd een slagveld”, aldus Minrebroeder. “Ik probeerde de boel nog te kalmeren. Maar mijn adagium ‘wat er ook gebeurt, altijd blijven lachen’ had een averechts effect.” Professor Bernd Schlick, hoogleraar psychoanalyse verbonden aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, geeft een verklaring voor de beursval. “De basis van hechting, veiligheid en zekerheid wordt gelegd in de jongste jaren. De televisieseries van Bassie en Adriaan waren een betrouwbare jeugdherinnering van de huidige generatie beurshandelaren. Een icoon van geborgenheid, zoals Bassie dat was, valt nu van zijn voetstuk. Het onderbewuste raakt dan in paniek. In feite een hele normale en gezonde reactie, ware het niet dat deze nu wat ongunstig uitpakt voor de economie.”
Inmiddels is bekend geworden dat het gaat om een reclamestunt van verzekeringsmaatschappij Ohra. Veel economische commentatoren maken zich zorgen, omdat de beurs zich maar moeilijk lijkt te herstellen van de ‘Clownkrach’. Minrebroeder blijft positief. De effectenhandelaar verklaart hoop te putten uit het scenario van 2003. “Toen brak eveneens paniek uit op de beurs nadat bij Adriaan speekselklierkanker was geconstateerd en de verhouding met Bassie verkilde. Na zijn genezing brak een periode aan van rust, stabiliteit en gestage economische groei.”
Bron: De Speld

Friday, October 10, 2008


Stone vs iPhone 3G

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Tameer to develop world's largest LED screen in new project

Dubai: UAE development company Tameer Holding will develop the world’s largest LED screen to be embedded on an intended commercial tower in the Majan district of Dubailand, the company announced on Monday. Termed ‘Podium’, the development will be a world first, boasting a 33-storey high LED media facade that will be visible from a distance of 1.5 kilometres.
full article here

Evolution stops here: Future Man will look the same, says scientist

Some have argued that we are destined to evolve into super-beings, others that we are turning into dim-witted goblins incapable of anything more demanding than watching TV. But according to a leading geneticist, both visions are wrong because human evolution has ground to a halt. Professor Steve Jones, of University College London, says the forces driving evolution - such as natural selection and genetic mutation - no longer play an important role in our lives. Full article here

snail lovescene

maybe some of you already saw this but it's still beautiful

Monday, October 06, 2008

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Friday, October 03, 2008

Real-time Satellites in Google Earth

The video shows all satellites, this includes active satellites, inactive satellites, debris and rocket bodies. The picture only show active satellites. You can click on them to get more info. Here is the kml file for Google Earth.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Typography

Though it follows the line of the document, it is not the actual document, this can be found here.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

People Punched in Slow Motion

1000 FPS

A girl who spontaneously bleeds from her pores is baffling doctors

"She has even undergone transfusions after pints of it seeped through her eyes, nose, hairline, neck and the soles of her feet. Sometimes her condition is so bad she wakes up with her entire body covered in dried blood. Villagers near her home in Uttar Pradesh, India, believe she must be cursed and shout cruel things in the street. Indian medics now believe her condition is an extreme version of a rare blood platelet disorder for which they cannot find a cure. However, a ray of hope has been offered by a British specialist, who believes Twinkle may have a different clotting disorder, for which treatment will be possible. Last year, Twinkle was a normal 12-year-old who enjoyed school, painting and playing with her friends - but then she suddenly started bleeding between five and 20 times a day."

Google 2001

Amazingly enough, hidden in a corner beneath Larry's and Sergey's original lab coats, we found a vintage search index in mint condition. We dusted it off and took it for a spin, gobsmacked to see how different the web was in early 2001. "iPod" did not refer to a music player, "youtube" was nonsense, and if you were looking for "Michael Phelps," chances are you meant the scientist, not the swimmer. "Wikipedia" was brand new. Remember "hanging chads"? (And speaking of that election-specific reference -- if you're a U.S. citizen, it's not too late: please register to vote.) We had so much fun searching that we wanted to put this old index online for everyone to play with. We thought it'd be even cooler if we could actually see the full versions of the old web pages, so we worked with the Internet Archive to link to their cache of these pages from 2001. Step into the time machine and try a 2001 Google search.