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Satellite reveal ancient graves as crop circles June 29, 2009

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome.
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These burial mounds are maybe 6,000 years old and are interfering with crops in the best UFO tradition. From the National Geographic.

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Brian May talks about his homemade axe June 26, 2009

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Toys.
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Like all sentient beings, I love Queen perhaps better than any band (except maybe Pink Floyd).  Brian May, the surviving genius, has a Ph.D. in astrophysics and a guitar he made with his dad when he was just a lad.  This is the guitar you hear on most Queen songs.  In this clip he talks about making it.

Shameless fanboy, here.  Deal.

This clip is cribbed from Make Magazine’s blog, who got it from goddess knows where.

35,000 year-old flute June 25, 2009

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Toys.
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Made from the radius of a griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus) during the Upper Paleolithic in the Ach Valley, southern Germany (in the Hohle Fels cavern), the flute has five holes and two carved notches carved on one side of it (the embouchure, according to Nicholas Conard of the University of Tubingen).   It might have had more holes, but it’s broken as the picture clearly shows. The experts posit that it was made by modern humans, but no diagnostic bones have been recovered from the site.

This is awesome, if the dating is anything like accurate.  We’re talking tool-using for something besides killing, cooking and eating way the heck back in time.

It doesn’t fetch beer, though—what good is that? June 24, 2009

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Toys, Video.
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The robot is a reduced version of Kondo KHR-2HV using twenty digital KRS-788HV servos plus one GWS-PICO-STD servo motor, all controlled by a PCB located in the anime head.

It’s, um, <mumbles> $1300 </mumbles>.  Cute, though.

asofterworld.com June 22, 2009

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Webcomics.
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This sick little comic contains the best almost one-line jokes I have ever read, at least continuously.  I am still working backward through the archives, where I found these gems:

"I thought a psychic girlfriend would see the real me.  And she did.  I just didn’t think she would call the police."
"Now my kitty won’t eat regular food. If I had known this would be such a hassle, I would have just buried that kid I found."
"I love you like crazy. If anything ever happened to you, I don’t know what I’d do.  Turn myself in, I guess."
"If at first you don’t succeed, run."

Astronomy Picture of the Day June 18, 2009

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Photography.
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The Astronomy Picture of the Day is the most beautiful thing I see every day (except the Daily Kitten)

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My day in numbers June 9, 2009

Posted by stuffilikenet in Uncategorized.
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Stick around for the 5pm “shift change”.

Mathgeek comix-XKCD June 8, 2009

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Webcomics.
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XKCD is a must read for geeks and protogeeks. 

Web Comic Featuring Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage June 6, 2009

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Lovelace — The Origin tells the story of, well, the invention of the computer in the 1830s by Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage (not exactly; you know it was never built not built until the 1990s).  No, really.  It’s short, slick and smarmy (in a good way) and I hope there are sequels and action figures and a movie deal, almost as much as I want it for Agatha Heterodyne, Girl Genius.

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Naturally, there’s more to it than just that:

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The Thin H Line June 2, 2009

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Webcomics.
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The Thin H Line is disgusting, sick and wrong, and completely hilarious.  Mom, do not read this.  The following is probably the least sick comic of the bunch.

imageSee? I told you. The Thin H Line became Sexy Losers, and may no longer be updated, but a lot of it was archived a while ago when I was surfing more and had free time (some years ago, now).

My nephew waterskiing at age two June 2, 2009

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Video.
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Aden is only two, but he’s quite the athlete.  He also snowskis, and falls down really, really hard.  My stepdaughters adore him.

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal June 1, 2009

Posted by stuffilikenet in Webcomics.
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This is the most amazing and disturbing comic strip on the web (now that The Thin H Line is not available).

Maker Fair June 1, 2009

Posted by stuffilikenet in 3D Printing, Awesome, Toys.
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Better bloggers will tell you more about this annual pilgrimage, but as always I had a wonderful time, and don’t get enough mental stimulation, ever (although I now have a splitting headache.  I’m not sure it’s not related).

The one project (among many, many nice projects) that intrigued me most was titled “Rapid Prototyping of Rapid Prototyping Machines”, presented by two clever fellows from MIT, Ilan Moyer and Maxim Lobovsky (there were others there as well, but I didn’t get their names).  They built IP-addressable stepper motors which form the core of the rapid-prototyping machines they made from concrete, plaster and (my favorite) foam-core poster board:

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Bottom inside view

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Top inside view

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Back view showing support of Z-table

This CNC machine shows another nifty feature that I hadn’t noticed in other machines, the stepper motor shaft rotating within a wire stretched the length of the table tightly enough to insure reproducibility in the direction of travel:

S6301829Top view showing wire around stepper motor shaft.

The IP-addressable  steppers makes their control possible from any browser.  These guys made theirs in Python, but probably anything would work…their spokesmodel said they could use this kind of control on a bunch of different types of machines, and that in fact she was controlling one at MIT from the laptop at the table their in San Mateo.

Awesome.

Ilan’s descriptions and some very nice photos can be found at http://projectspace.sabertoothinvention.com/viewproject.php?pid=16 when it gets finished.  Sundry other of his projects can be found at http://web.mit.edu/imoyer/www/portfolio/index.html including the Holy Grail of technology, the AbsolutZero Rapid Beverage Cooler, which can cool a beer to 5C in under two minutes.

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