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Periodic Table of the Shower
From the folks at Think Geek comes the perfect housewarming gift for
your mad scientist friends: The Periodic Table of the Elements shower
It’s bold, bright colors and large fonts make it easy to read and
are sure to allay any anxieties about forgetting the atomic number of
Lawrencium while shampooing your hair. In fact, you may just be able
to find some of those strange ingredients listed on your shampoo
bottle on your new handy scientific reference tool/splash barrier.
Perfect for subtly making the not-so-scientifically-oriented person
seem just a little brainier to their visitors.
A very peculiar old man stopped me in the street yesterday. Amidst
the spitting and swearing, I made out the following words: "Watch
yourself sonny, fire and ice don't mix." "That's strange," I replied,
"I've just bought this new Mathmos lamp, which seems to state
otherwise." So, I invited him home, made him a cup of tea, and
together we filled the mould from the lamp with water. We then stuck
it in the freezer, and passed time playing scrabble while we waited
for the water to turn to ice. We then removed the ice from the mould,
and placed, as instructed, a little candle in the centre.
"Incredible," the man said with a toothless grin, "I guess they're
right." Mathmos are always right, I smugly thought to myself. With
that I waved him goodbye, and just as I was closing the door I heard
him shout at a neighbour, "Watch yourself sonny, fire and ice don't
mix." What an odd man.
The Mathmos Thaw is available now for £20/$50.
The Self Shelf
Is it magic?
The Self Shelf looks like a big paperback and attaches to the wall
via a hidden bracket, so books look like they're floating. Check out
the book on the bottom -- that's the fixed shelf. Clever, eh?
Available in Khaki, Turquoise or red spines, it's suitable for most
decors, and worth the $29.95 just for the look on your friends' faces.
Available from firebox.com.
Also, for the first week of the US launch of the firebox site, there
is promotional flat rate shipping of $9.99 no matter how much you order.
(Video) Steve Mark’s Toroidal Power Unit - Free Energy?
According to Steve Mark, the Toroidal Power Unit “supposedly
harnesses the power of the electromagnetic field of the Earth, via an
unconventional toroidal wire configuration, with no moving parts. The
device’s operation is accompanied by a slight gyroscopic mechanical
force, and slight noise.” Video after the jump.
Well narrated by Steve Mark, shows three devices. Small (6″ diam x
2″ high x 1″ thick toroid) solid-state prototype is shown powering
a 100W bulb directly, and through an inverter: a 3-amp drill, a
television, a vacuum. Harnesses power of electromagnetic field.
Larger unit puts out 7 amps; could power an electric vehicle
Sporting gloves and boots with 16X times more grip in the dry and 8X
in the wet
from Sports (68 articles)
October 25, 2006 There’s nothing as important as a competitive edge
in the high-stakes game of world class sport and the recent launch of
a new manufacturer in the sportswear industry with a seeming
significant advantage will be interesting to watch. Simon Skirrow has
spent three decades in the global sports industry, including many
years at Adidas in charge of global marketing, promotions, product
and sales, and his new company, SS Sportswear was established less
than three years ago to bring its Nomis grip technologies to market.
Independent tests show that Nomis Control Leather Technology gives up
to 16 times more grip and control on the ball in the dry and eight
times more grip and control when the leather gets wet. Not
surprisingly, quite a few professionals have trialed the technology
and a few have walked away from lucrative contracts with competitor
products to stay with the Nomis technology, most notably Liverpool
star Harry Kewell amongst more than 40 professionals that have begun
wearing the boots. Nomis is available in both boots and gloves in the
UK, USA, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the internet
and the company is seeking further international distributors.
Grancrete – could a new concrete solve many of the world’s most
from Good Thinking (222 articles)
Page: 1 2
October 20, 2006 The United Nations estimates there are almost a
billion poor people in the world, 750 million of whom live in urban
areas without adequate shelter and basic services. An ingenious new
building technology from scientists at Argonne National Laboratory
and Casa Grande LLC could help alleviate and perhaps even solve that
major humanitarian problem by providing affordable housing for the
world's poorest. A tough new ceramic material that is almost twice as
strong as concrete may be the key to providing high-quality, low-cost
housing throughout developing nations. The ceramic is called
Grancrete, which, when sprayed onto a rudimentary Styrofoam frame,
dries to form a lightweight but durable surface. The resulting house
is a major upgrade to the fragile structures in which millions of the
world's poorest currently live. Using conventional techniques, it
takes 20 men two weeks to build a house. A five person crew can
construct two grancrete homes in one day. There’s also plenty of
commercial upside in developed nations, making low-cost buildings
viable for a variety of purposes – we can see inflatable technology
marrying with Grancrete construction to evolve an entirely new way of
building lavishly complex structures that would be impossible any
Stratellite first structural float test
from Aero Gizmo (265 articles)
October 20, 2006 Sanswire’s vision for mass deployment of its
specialized Stratellite airship have moved a step closer when its
Sanswire 2A technology demonstrator completed its first outdoor, low
altitude, float test. The company’s concept of placing a
communications platform into the stratosphere can fundamentally
change how the world delivers wireless telecommunications, and the
way we communicate. Advances in composite structures, photovoltaics,
man-made fabrics, electric motors and energy storage technologies
have propelled today’s stratellite far above the great, rigid
airships of the early 20th century from which it is descendent, and
have put the near-space altitude of 65,000 feet within reach. The
solar-powered Stratellite is an advanced rigid composite lighter-than-
air vehicle designed to operate either as an unmanned autonomous or
remotely piloted system at stratospheric altitudes in geostationary
locations. Due to their operating altitudes of 12-13 miles from
earth, as opposed to satellites that operate from a distant 22,000
miles away, Stratellites can provide a superior and fully reclaimable
method for operating advanced wireless communications and monitoring
services. With payload capacities measured in tons, and the ability
to return to its base station on command, the Stratellite provides a
cost-effective delivery system for broadband voice, data and video
services, reducing reliance on “near real time” capabilities of
satellites and the slow download speeds of copper based terrestrial
I SPOKE ON THIS ONE BEFORE.... ITS STILL A BAD IDEA:
Residential Cruise Ships - how to change the scenery outside your home
from Holiday Destinations (32 articles)
October 20, 2006 We’ve looked at luxury homes on wheels (A, B, C, D,
E), relocatable homes that get delivered to the location of your
choice (A, B, C, D), mobile homes that float (A, B) and even
relocatable homes that hang in the trees (A, B). As the world becomes
geographically untethered, we expect the market for taking it with
you will just grow and grow. If you love the serendipitous discovery
of travel but long for the creature comforts and space of home, the
Residential Cruise Ship option might be for you. One of the first
such concepts we covered in our first print issue four years ago was
the Freedom Ship (A, B) and the first fully-operational residential
cruise ship was the Residensea. Now there’s a US$650 million dollar
private residential cruise ship project underway named the Magellan.
The Firefly – handy if you never use it
from Outdoors (77 articles)
October 19, 2006 This product is simple, cheap and effective. Guyot
Designs’ Firefly costs US$22 and converts any standard wide mouth
bottle into a lantern. It's perfect for any outdoor adventure,
whether in the backyard or in the backcountry. The Firefly's unique
design allows it to be used right side up, upside down, or hanging
from the nearest handy branch. The lid contains an LED light which
creates a warm glow throughout the bottle and as light levels can be
varied, it can double as a low level night light for those nights
when the moon is obscured yet it’s bright enough at its highest
setting to read by. The electronics are sealed, so you can even turn
it upside down or let it swing in the breeze from a nearby tree
branch without fear that the electrons and water will fizzle it all
out. The good thing about having kit like this is that you still win
if you never use it, cos it means you’ve never been stuck without a
ready supply of electrons.
Sub-$500 LaptopDo you love the Earth? You'd better, or she's gonna
kick your ass. To save yourself a Gaia ass-kicking, consider the
Everex StepNote NC1500, a laptop with a 15.4-inch screen and a 1.5-
Ghz VIA C7-M processor. This, Everex claims, makes it the world's
most energy efficient notebook. While it's not going to win any speed
contests, it's pretty efficient on the bank account at $498.The cute
puppy is an optional extra: consult you're local humane society for
prices. – RICHARD BAGULEY
Everex NC1500 [Everex]
Everex StepNote NC 1500: $500 Green Laptop [CrunchGear]
Ruby meets AppleScript with RubyOSA
Posted Oct 26th 2006 10:27AM by Jordan Running
Filed under: Developer, Macintosh, Apple, Open Source
Most days I'm totally happy with my Windows PC, but some days I want
a Mac.* I've got a thing for scripting of all kinds, and the days I
most want a Mac, it seems, are when I see someone doing something
really cool with AppleScript, like RubyOSA. To quote its web site,
"RubyOSA is a bridge that connects Ruby to the Apple Event Manager
infrastructure. In big words, it allows you to do in Ruby what you
could do in AppleScript." It fetches information from OS X apps about
their components and then maps them directly to Ruby classes and
methods. While AppleScript isn't exactly fugly, I'm a big Ruby fan
and seeing it do stuff like this really gets my vitals up. I would
love to say "I wish someone would do this kind of thing for Windows
apps," but the tragedy is that Windows has no standard scripting
interface like AppleScript, and certainly none that is widely
*For the record, some days I want to ditch everything for Ubuntu
instead. And now, back to your regularly scheduled not-quite-so-uber-
How to Hack the Vote and Steal the Election
Posted by CmdrTaco on Thursday October 26, @12:06PM
from the vote-early-vote-often dept.
"Many people have asked for it so that the government will have to
deal with it. So here it is: a guide to stealing an election that
uses electronic voting machines written by Jon Stokes over at
Arstechnica. From the article: "In all this time, I've yet to find a
good way to convey to the non-technical public how well and truly
screwed up we presently are, six years after the Florida recount. So
now it's time to hit the panic button: In this article, I'm going to
show you how to steal an election.""
COOL SOFTWARE FOR ALL YOUR HARDWARE HACKS:
Temperature & Environmental Monitoring
e-puck Open Source Robot
by Alan Parekh @ 5:01 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets
￼These are open source robots called e-puck, look like lots of fun.
A little out of the hobbyist budget at $700, but for a research
platform that is cheap!
“The main goal of this project is to develop a miniature mobile
robot for educational purposes at university level. To achieve this
goal the robot needs, in our opinion, the following features:
* Good structure. The robot should have a clean mechanical structure,
simple to understand. The electronics, processor structure and
software has to be a good example of a clean modern system.
* Flexibility. The robot should cover a large spectrum of educational
activities and should therefore have a large potential in its
sensors, processing power and extensions. Potential educational
fields are, for instance, mobile robotics, real-time programming,
embedded systems, signal processing, image or sound feature
extraction, human-machine interaction or collective systems.
* User friendly. The robot should be small and easy to exploit on a
table next to a computer. It should need minimal wiring, battery
operation and optimal working confort.
* Good robustness and simple maintenance. The robot should resist to
student use and be simple and cheap to repair.
* Cheap. The robot, for large use, should be cheap (450-550 euros)”
Via: Robot Gossip
Best knot teacher
All knots are knotty and hard to visualize the first time. This free
website is the best knot teacher yet. It beats any of the beginner
books I've seen, as well as all the other knot websites. The key here
is the stepped animations synchronized with instructions, which you
can run at any speed. Replay them till you get them right. Animated
Knots is the next best thing to having old Pete next to ya. Once you
get the basic ones down, try some of the harder ones. There are 75
cool knots animated in total.
Available at Animated Knots
Histomap of World History
Compact timeline of global history
Not a map really, but a 5-foot-high chart showing in one glance 4,000
years of human history on a global scale. Thirty years ago I saw this
on the wall of someone's dorm room and it flipped me out then, and
every time I've seen it since. Its beauty is how Mr. Sparks divies up
world power (somewhat crudely) into its main factions graphed in each
increment of fifty years since 2000 B.C.E. Different civilizations
are color-coded so one can easily trace the flow and ebb of culture
over the centuries.
It has three uses for me: whenever I am reading about some historical
event I can instantly see what else was going on in the world at that
time (for instance, what was happening in France during the Ming
Dynasty). I also get a very intuitive sense of the rises and falls of
civilizations, a pattern that no other chart or book has been able to
give me. And hanging on the wall, it never fails to elicit gaps of
shock when visitors recognize our modern place in the chart. At ten
bucks, it's a bargain education.
Rand McNally Histomap of World History
John B. Sparks
1952, 66 x 11 inches
($17 with shipping)
Available from North American Montessori Teacher's Association
Chamba Ware for the Kitchen
October 26, 2006 12:48 PM - Kara, Newport, Rhode Island
We’ve expressed our feelings on Teflon. We also brought you the news
earlier this year about eight U.S. companies eliminating the harmful
chemical from their products. In addition to the good ole’ cast iron
pieces we found some new cookware recently at VivaTerra. Handmade
from clay, this Chamba ware dates back to the age of the Incas. It's
unglazed, lead free, heats evenly and a great multi-tasker - going
from stovetop to oven to table with style. It cleans easily and can
be used for years and years to come. Available at ::VivaTerra
WORTH WATCHING THE LAST 2 SECONDS:
Flight of the Pole Dancer
Welcome to PopSci's newest blog feature, "The Breakdown." Each week,
we'll pick a YouTube video that involves a minor crash, explosion or
other nonfatal mishap and invite one of our experts to explain, in
scientific terms, what went wrong. In this week's edition, physics
whiz Michael Moyer analyzes the case of the tumbling pole dancer...
Newton’s First Law of Motion states that bodies in motion tend to
stay in motion. The same holds true for rotating bodies and, as we
see in the video below, doubly true for rotating, gyrating bodies.
Consider the body of the body in question. After a quick shake of the
head right and left, she leans backward to begin her rotation around
the pole. Her pivot points include her right hand, held fast to the
pole, and her left foot (disastrously clad, we will soon learn, in
three-inch heels). She now has a sizeable amount of angular momentum
moving counterclockwise around the pole, and this can be halted only
by an external force.
Unfortunately for our young dancer, the outcropping of wall her rear
end soon encounters does not provide that force. Instead it simply
serves as a new fulcrum, shifting the center of rotation from her
hand to her hip. This does two things: Like a figure skater pulling
her arms in, shifting the center of rotation closer to her center of
mass acts to speed the rotation up. More important, it also means
that her right hand must begin to rotate around the wall as well.
The outcome is predictable. A hand rotating away from the pole cannot
continue to hold onto the pole, and without that grip, our dancer
loses her balance in a most sudden and undignified fashion. Lesson
learned: Newton can still represent. Can you think of a YouTube video
you'd like explained? Send us a link in the comments section. —
SNOW CRASH IN THE ONLINE WORLD.....
Braving a new world
Real world fashion and music companies have already established
footholds in the 3D virtual reality world Second Life. Now publishers
are moving in and creating a virtual literary scene, discovers
Michelle Pauli (aka TeaAndOranges Snookums).
hursday, October 26, 2006
Snow Crash comes to the Metaverse
Penguin Books has launched an in-game publishing venture in the
online world Second Life, leading with Neal Stephenson's seminal Snow
Crash -- naturally, since Snow Crash's Metaverse inspired Second Life!
"It was the obvious entry point," says Penguin's Ettinghausen (avatar
name Jeremy Neumann) as he shows me around the virtual sampler of
Snow Crash. "We are always looking for new ways to connect with
online communities and Second Life is undergoing a huge amount of
growth. However, it is still a small community when compared with
MySpace or iTunes and we wouldn't want to bring authors in who didn't
have a connection with that world yet."
Penguin worked with the London-based virtual world design agency
Rivers Run Red to create an in-world version of the book - this
offers readers excerpts of the text, an audio clip and a link which
clicks through to a dedicated Second Life page on the Penguin
website, complete with the opportunity to buy the book at a discount.
They are now developing a virtual bookshelf of other Penguin titles
for the Second Life resident.
Link (via Futurismic)