Wednesday, April 27

The continued success of the robot Spirit on Mars has allowed engineeers back on Earth to assemble movies of dust devils dancing across the planet's surface.

Tuesday, April 26

This is one of my favorite images from I wish they still built diners like this. It would be great to drive down the highway and see something like that on the side of the road.

Behold the 188 WallyPower. This stealth-looking yacht can do 60 knots and sleeps eight, plus four crew. The forward desk rises on hyrdaulics to expose storage for a tender and personal water craft.

Flickr find

I found this great image on Flickr of the Brazilian Air force putting on a demonstration off Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro.

A current crop of inventors have high hopes for flying cars (via Future Imperative). But then, they always have. Of course flying cars are the things of childhood dreams, so it would be great to see them become a reality. And it would sure help my commute.

Monday, April 25

It turns out TV -- well, some TV -- can be good for your mind.
For decades, we've worked under the assumption that mass culture follows a path declining steadily toward lowest-common-denominator standards, presumably because the ''masses'' want dumb, simple pleasures and big media companies try to give the masses what they want. But as that ''24'' episode suggests, the exact opposite is happening: the culture is getting more cognitively demanding, not less. To make sense of an episode of ''24,'' you have to integrate far more information than you would have a few decades ago watching a comparable show. Beneath the violence and the ethnic stereotypes, another trend appears: to keep up with entertainment like ''24,'' you have to pay attention, make inferences, track shifting social relationships.

Saturday, April 16

Dave Winer points to a post on something I noted a while back, the use of ASCII text for spam. This is making it through my Thunderbird spam filter, but overall I don't see a lot of it. I wonder how long until that changes.

Thursday, April 14

Russian flying saucers are headed to American skies. Or so says Russia's The aerodynamics of this plane look suspect, but who am I to judge? I just have a soft spot for airplanes that look like UFOs. (Via Partly My Fault).

A new blog devoted to Avian Flu.

Wednesday, April 6

NASA is continuing its roadtrip on Mars. The agency has extened the mission for rovers Spirit and Opportunity an additional 18 months. For a firsthand look at what it's like to drive on Mars, take a look at this animation compiled from Spirit camera images.

Tuesday, April 5

The Economist points out interesting new research that indicates fasting could lead to longer lives. Researchers suspect restricting caloric intake slows cell division and curtails the development of tumors.
Now, though, work done by Marc Hellerstein and his colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, suggests that it may be possible to have, as it were, your cake and eat it too. Or, at least, to eat 95% of it. Their study, to be published in the American Journal of Physiology—Endocrinology and Metabolism, suggests that significant gains in longevity might be made by a mere 5% reduction in calorie intake. The study was done on mice rather than people. But the ubiquity of previous calorie-restriction results suggests the same outcome might well occur in other species, possibly including humans.

This is just to prove what a beautiful evening it was in north Alabama today.

A great day. The first little league and softball games for my son and daughter were tonight. It meant for a long night at the park, but ball season is always a joy. To top things off I came home to find Virginia Postrel gave my patent design sites a mention. I am giddy and humbled. Life is good.

Friday, April 1

During a break in the rain this week I walked down 2nd Avenue South and got a picture of this Birmingham Electric Battery Co. sign. There are a number of old signs and ghost signs around downtown Birmingham that I hope to get a photographic collection of. This image is grainy because I took it with a Palm Zire 72.