Thursday, March 31, 2011

Stuxnet: 21st-century cyber weapon of mass destruction

Out of all over-the-top movies, Stuxnet actually makes the Die Hard 4.0 scenario less unrealistic:

McClane takes Farrell to the FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., where Farrell is questioned. FBI director Miguel Bowman (Cliff Curtis) is uninterested in his surmise: Farrell believes that the terrorists are mounting a "fire sale" (where "everything must go") attack, taking advantage of the vulnerability of the nation's computer-controlled infrastructure.

A more detailed description of Stuxnet @ wikipedia. Scary shit.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Statistisch onderzoek en de PVV

Monday, March 28, 2011

Flocking Starlings

Large flocks of Starlings flock above Utrecht these days. They already have a place on our blog, but I made a video of some small flocks above our house today,

This Utrechter did a better job and had a larger flock,

Festo SmartBird

Here is the inside:

Festo was featured before on the blog with their uber sleek flying helium penguins.

Rainbow reddit

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Man vs Robot - Earl, the Robotic Bowler

EARL, the Enhanced Automated Robotic Launcher

It's a fun contest but I think before you can really say machines > humans, the machines will have to operate at human scale and not as these huge powered robotics system.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Comparing deaths from energy production

This diagram from a NewScientist article shows how fossil fuels are far deadlier than nuclear.

A blogger has also compiled the following list which also includes renewable energy.

Energy Source - Death Rate (deaths per TWh)

Coal – world average - 161 (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity)
Coal – China - 278
Coal – USA - 15
Oil - 36 (36% of world energy)
Natural Gas - 4 (21% of world energy)
Biofuel/Biomass - 12
Peat - 12
Solar (rooftop) - 0.44 (less than 0.1% of world energy)
Wind - 0.15 (less than 1% of world energy)
Hydro - 0.10 (europe death rate, 2.2% of world energy)
Hydro - world including Banqiao) - 1.4 (about 2500 TWh/yr and 171,000 Banqiao dead)
Nuclear - 0.04 (5.9% of world energy)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Twist and Brush

Twist and Brush is a toothbrush that incorporates a toothpaste deposit. Simple and smart, me like specialy for vacation.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hans Rosling and the magic washing machine

Consistently one of the best speakers at TED.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Rainbowboys profesion stats on Ngram viewer

NGRAM viewer let you see how often phrases have occurred in the world's books over the years. Google Books has scanned over 10% of all books ever published, and now you can grap the occurrence of phrases up to five words in length from 1400 through the present day right in your browser.
An example of this tools, our proffesions in one grap:
here some intresting grap:
Hydrology vs geology think the peeks in geology are the goldrushes. To bad for the hydrology that it only goes to 2000 and the global warming hype isn't in there yet.
Another intresting graph is the anal sex and the porno graph:

First spacecraft ever to orbit Mercury

"For the first time, Earth has a regular orbiting eye-in-the-sky spying on the solar system's smallest and strangest planet, Mercury.
NASA's spacecraft called Messenger successfully veered into a pinpoint orbit Thursday night after a 6 1/2-year trip and 4.9 billion miles and tricky maneuvering to fend off the gravitational pull of the sun. It is the fifth planet in our solar system that NASA has orbited, in addition to the Earth and the moon.
"It was right on the money," Messenger's chief engineer, Eric Finnegan, said. Messenger is in orbit that brings it as close as 120 miles above the planet's surface. "This is as close you can possibly get to being perfect."
Mercury is not only difficult to get to, but it's has some of the most extremes in the solar system. Temperatures there swing wildly by 1,100 degrees.
Messenger, which cost NASA $446 million, was launched in 2004. Next month it should start transmitting pictures and investigate Mercury's mysterious magnetic field and unusual density." - read more...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Rainbow Win

Graphs of radiation levels in Japan

The graphs give the radiation level in µSv/hour. According to wiki the natural background radiation is 2.4 mSv/year, which is 0.27 µSv/hour.

It doesn't look too bad yet. See the rest of the graphs here.

A graph of radiation risks for comparison:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

impressive scaffolding

Sometimes / almost always, the scaffolding of a building is more interesting and impressive than the building itself.
Below some pretty examples:
for more see the link in the title name

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I shall play you...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Rainbow Flipbook

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Friday, March 11, 2011

The Don't Care Bears

Just something random that I found and find pretty cool. This is what I'll visualize in my head everytime I think "Care Bear" now. End of message. You probably #carebear.

Oh yeah, out of bi-directional courtesy, if you click the title you'll be taken to the T-shirt shop I found this at. You've been warned.

OCD much?

If you take pride in your OCD, this link will take about 30 minutes of your day: link.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Christopher Hitchens, still outrageous

One of my heroes. I hope, but doubt, he will get remission from his cancer.

Saturday, March 05, 2011's weed

Very nice photoshopping, see the original.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

The Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Global average NDVI over time

Plants strongly absorb red light and are highly reflective in infrared which keeps them from overheating. Other earthly surfaces don't show this behavior. NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) is based is based on the ratio of measured near-infrared and red light and therefor is a strong indicator of vegetation density and health.

This is a sequential slideshow I made of the bi-monthly global NDVI data averaged over the years 1981-2008. It plays from January to December (I should have added the months in the video) and you can clearly see the vegetation react to the seasons. The raw data comes from NASA GIMMS.

From these maps in combination with a global map of vegetation types one can calculate other vegetation parameters such as the Leaf Area Index in my case. LAI is the area of leaves per area of ground and is an important parameter in hydrology because it intercepts and stores rainwater and transpirates water which plants extract from the soil. The maps I generate will then be used in a hydrological model to see how it performs with respect to the current LAI implementation which uses standard vegetation 'curves'. This is the main subject of my thesis.

If you want to see the maps in higher resolution you can download the PNGs here.

Downhill Mountainbiking

Charlie Sheen v Muammar Gaddafi: whose line is it anyway?

The US actor and the Libyan leader have produced some choice lines recently.
Can you distinguish between them? Take the quiz here.
My score was 8 out of 10 correct.