Sunday, March 30, 2008

I have developed a strange lego technique over the past few days. Without realization i began creating a type of mechano-art pieces. The things i am build do stuff...nothing important--gears turn, armatures swing and a small piece of art is involved somewhere in the process---take this example that materialized last night---these objects just seem to appear out of my hands as i sit and begin attaching random technic parts together. There is no actual end product objective some point I will grab a "throw-away piece of something i did--kinda-sorta art" attach it and the piece is suddenly done..This ranks right up there with doggie stonehenge for mystery (see previous blogs). A new element in my operation of day to day life is now when confronted with one of those hysterically irritating day after day problems I seem to reach for Lego's, homemade engineering and my brain, in that order. Let me give you an example---I used to hang my ties on a plastic coat hanger in the closet. Of course, slipping ties and no method to search through the ties without terminal disaster was an everyday irratation. Fed up today i reached for the lego's simply deciding to "fix this". Twenty minutes and three prototypes later I had several, locking tie hangers for the closet, built out of lego technic parts...they work great..and i did it myself instantly.
I made the personal mpg record book this weekend with 55.7 mpg over a 38 mile distance..standard highway travel at the speed limit, 70 mph. I am completely beside myself with that capability..It was also interesting to note that regular unleaded gasoline in my area hit $3.99 9/10ths a gallon Saturday 03-29. This seemed to be localized in the one town i was passing through but still--once one set of gasoline price increases hit anywhere--all filing stations seem to follow, like a gas station alien hive mind, directed by some hidden big queen. Although i have the hope to purchase an all electric vehicle as soon as one becomes in working reality, available--the Prius is living up to any and all of my expectations and is the best possible solution of the moment.
I suppose i must now honestly admit that am a Terra Plana shoe junkie:
i currently own 3 pairs of Terra Plana's, with another pair on the way...These are the best shoes i've ever owned. Constructed of recycled materials which combined with a funky,geek,high self esteem design factor, Terra Plana shoes are beyond excellent. Bear in mind this comes from a guy who never gave shoes a thought before----shoes used to be one of those items not on my personal radar screen. I've learned the hard way that if i find a pair of terra plana's i like i need to buy them before they disappear or the company ceases manufacturing that particular style..TP styles change often---these shoes are a "if we have them you can have them kinda" thing. I just ordered a pair of "BIKE HI", well, TP sneakers. Your first thought might be 'Hey those are Converse's' but nothing could be further from the truth. Each shoe design is made from a variety of random recovered materials recycled into the manufacturing process of the shoe such as:leather from car seats, seatbelts, bicycle tyres and recycled rubber for the soles to parachute silk and tweed jackets. These shoes have sort of become my trademark at work. Wearing these rascals with a black suit, sorta makes a statement--ya think?
This will make everything alright:
Europe's CERN laboratory, home of the new super collider is being sued by American lawyers to prevent the possible destruction of the Earth. Yes,lawyers save the Earth??? You see, the CERN supercollider may be the most powerful instrument ever built, and the device may allow humans to understand the true nature of the universe and black holes...some say that the construction of an experimental black hole within the supercollider could destroy the earth---Lawyers will save us from those dangerous scientists! I can see the TV commericals now: "If you or anyone you know has been injured by Supercollider research call the number on your screen. Call now, don't delay!"
This is a guy the lawyers should be calling--this dude found that a good size piece of fused space junk slammed into his yard...shades of men in black eh? No wonder this dude is staring at it--i bet that would leave a mark if you were under it...
As a last item in the spooky action catagory, this is absolutely perfect--- the "National UFO Reporting Center" (which by the way is one dude) purchased a missle silo and is moving the center into is this perfect or what. I actually admire Peter Davenport the sole researcher, owner and libarian of the Center very much. In fact if it wasn't for him UFO sighting information would disappear over time. Mr. Davenport is planning on residing in the Silo as well but the idea of storing records photo's and having the center in a secure location is perfect. Apparently there is a great amount of work to be done to make the Silo liveable...i wish he had a little paypal button i'd send him a couple of bucks..

Here's a list of stuff that i'm working on or scheduling for examination to work on---rebuild my desktop and see if i can assign it to working for the Seti project and gaming...a new disc drive is in route for the asus laptop..finishing up opening boxes and sorting material from the move...finish painting the interior of the small house--find a solar contractor for installation of panels on the house/garage..still on the agenda are the birth control hubcaps for the prius--and a bunch of stuff too numerous to mention but that will probably wind up here---

Monday, March 24, 2008

It's been awhile since I've advised on what my recent reading has centered on i had alot going on and my reading has reduced by force...Te following is what I'm currently reading, these books are pretty much in process status all at the same time so here we go-- #1-"A World without time,the forgotten legacy of Godel and Einstein" by Palle Yourgrau...this book is simply excellent--Einstein stated that he stayed at the Institute for Advanced Study for the last ten years only because "he could walk home with Godel."
Godel, whom some say was the most brilliant mathematician of his generation, whose theories on time, and time travel, which are focused in this book, are only now becoming understood. Godel actually starved to death while at the institute of advanced study in princeton NJ. According to medical reports he weighed 68 lbs when he died. His wife had tasted his food for him for 40 years (he was afraid of being poisoned by unknown enemies). She became sick and hospitalized for a long term, and he died of starvation without her. At any rate the book is excellent if you are into math (lots of crazed math stuff in here be warned), quantum theory, and the true life weirdness of genius then i highly recommend you read this.
#2-"The Black Swan, the impact of the highly improbable" by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Advising that humans believe that there is such a thing as normalcy and predictability, and this is totally incorrect. That the improbable happens all the time changes history and human patterns, we simply do not see it or recognize the possibility or record it mentally as a species. Excellent...The author is excellent especially in detailing complexity with humor and candor...I think that no one else could actually have written this. I recommend this if you like to read something different and think about what you've read.
#3 "The Computer: an Illustrated History" by Mark Fraunfelter. I've just started this big book and it is perfect for me. Huge, extremely well,well illustrated....this book deserves more than a quick in reading review--i'll write more on this book later...but i can tell you this if you are at all wrapped around computers, their history and impact on humans you need this book...i found the mechanical and early analog/computer-calculators fascinating and i had a huge gap in my knowledge in this area...right now it's working as an excellent bathroom book, alittle huge but the perfect place for it..
well that's what's working on my reading list right at the moment...

In the laptop world i've got two items in motion--i am totally bummed that suddenly my portable disc drive for my asus apparently crapped out--can't figure it yet but i am working on it. The problem with computers is that once you have everything perfect the machine decides differently! A total upside tho is my recent acquisition of a time capsule perfect NEC750. I mean time capsule perfect. Right now i am working through utilization of this rascal..I'll take pictures of this time traveler and post them is however totally coolio.

A few random items that caught my interest over the past few days causing new thought patterns.
You know the FBI has got one thing they really never give up, besides bad suits and Mormon haircuts...36 years later they are still working DB Cooper--and they think they, no not they, a citizen may have found DB's parachute. Go here: Another bummer is that the inventor of the Egg McMuffin..just died..think of all the times you ate one while reading this...
and one continues displays how our national airlines are literally falling apart.
My faith is restored amazingly at the turn of the spring equinox my average daily commute mileage made a big increase! i believe that the prevailing winds changed direction allowing for an increase from 48.6 mpg for the most part to a high of 51.7mpg and an average of 50.6 mpg. This indicates to me what are the three major elements of mileage--vehicle design,operator technique and weather conditions...amazing...this is the kind of information you know, but really don't know, you know? This is a new site (to me anyway) lobbying for all electric autos. Anyone interested in electric cars should go here and support this
recently thought about underrated items and not just movies, and other stuff:
#1-The Hudsucker Proxy--a coen brothers movie of course but an under appreciated one! Worth watching simply because of the beautiful visuals of an internal brain New York City of the 1950's and of course it's inherent strangeness.Besides the board of directors of hudsucker remind me of this current administration.
#2-Gray primer spray paint: you can paint anything with it--especially things that do not want to be painted. I just painted plastic organizer boxes to match the items in the nerd cave and it worked great---made me appreciate it.
#3-libraries eliminating old computer books for resale. If you are into older computers and pda's the greatest source of "how-to" and/or can find.
#4- Amazon one click no need to elaborate on this one..where would i be without it.
#5-Aftermarket ashtrays for vehicles--without these i would now be screwed. Can't get a vehicle with an ashtray any longer. Thank you nanny state. Next attack will be on your cheeseburger.

That's it----------

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Singularity is nearer than we may think--- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute researchers have developed an artificial intelligence which is currently operating through the medium of "second life". According the the very,very brief information (posted on the link below) the created AI has both the cognitive capability and social sense of a 4 year old human child. Information on this breakthrough is sparse-- a plus factor. My own personal equation for web announcements is that the probability ratio of truth of is directly related to a reverse ratio of the hoopla in an intital web announcement. Therefore we may have made a breakthrough.
This is truly unbelievable-- Senator Prescott Bush, daddy of GB the first and granddaddy of the current Bush----actually, truthfully, historically proven accurate in other words: NO LIE AMIGO--was a deeply involved ringleader in a conspiracy to enact a coup against F.D.R. in 1932. Called "the business plot" the conspirators were investigated by the McCormack-Dickstein Committee of the US House of Representatives. However "good-ole-boydom" can never be underrated or beaten by honest justice since NONE of the participants were ever indicted...nah--say it ain't so...
There are many reasons why i enjoy the Japanese...first and foremost is the contradiction of their being the most socially restrained, conservative individuals but at the same moment they are the most bizarre, techno, futuristic society as a whole. Here's a link to an article on a subterranean farm/garden built in a deep underground former bank vault in Tokyo..the Japanese are so William Gibsonesque it always stuns me. Apparently the underground zone is computer controlled for light, temperature, rainfall etc. The concept is based around teaching the homeless and young people that careers in agriculture may be for them...well it's actually cooler without a purpose.
Not everyone seems to "get it" about the Japanese--it will take the rest of the world awhile to catch up to the future 'now' japan---UNICEF recently wrote a nasty letter to the Japanese Government comparing their national art forms of anime and managa to child pornography...UNICEF asked the Japanese to do something about this --(whatever that means) i'm sure the Japanese will treat this with the same profound concern they do about whaling restrictions...
a recent purchase which has turned out to be a source of wonder-- is our new sensor equipped auto opening lid, kitchen trash can. When your hands are full this item works most excellent. The lid automatically closes after 3 seconds...This is almost an expansion of the nerd cave into the wife and I both love it... This is not quite the breakthrough the 4 yr.old AI is but opening the garbage can with your hands full of trash.
I received my mindstorm nxt kit..i've built the easy to do, start up, robotic sample...I ordered 2 more technic kits,for display, the fork truck, and the motorcross bike for a reasonable price. I've been prowling for interesting Lego photo's. Here's two i found somewhere? i can't remember-- but my favorite is the perfect lego model of the "Stargate" from the movie of the same this cool or what? i am becoming outside of myself at the sight of both the art, engineering and talent involved in the construction of these "i thought it up myself" category lego builds. I'd love to know if these architects started with a plan, or just started snapping pieces together and suddenly discovered that they were producing something wondrous. I've found that simply attaching random pieces together can be very, very restful to me. Don't ask why?
Vice President Chaney advised Monday that the Invasion of Iraq was a success?? Well if you call 5000 dead guys, the economy in the toilet, and the entire world despising us a success then I'd hate to actually observe what the republicans call a failure--but i suppose Katrina displayed that to the American public...I should list this link under science fiction but here it is:
discussing our government brings me to another link delineating the Rise of American Incompetence. This is an interesting article on the decline of American management. You should really read this.
American teenagers, according to interviews apparently believe that "tinfoil" makes an excellent condom! But if you're caught without a piece of tinfoil, use a sandwich baggie! So much for the conservatives "war on sex education" --- they apparently won it. It's just an interesting read regarding this study.
All these items and more have been swirling around in my brainpan. I wish there was 50 hours in a week just to study the world around me and learn something new every minute. What's coming up? New News in the laptop dance, the nerd cave, some comments on dvd's that have come out recently, lego building, hybrid boy, and small footprint living.
"be careful out there amongst those english" (very obscure movie reference here..)