Well folks, it’s been a while since I last updated this site, but after a long hiatus, here I am, still alive, slightly worse for wear, old enough to know better, yet still young enough not to care…
Now that I have your undivided attention, let me tell you about my most recent project which I refer to as ‘the most complicated and useless project I have ever finished’ (not a direct quote). Those of you who actually know me in person might ask yourselves if the final result of this project is actually more pointless than my Homer Simpson Chia Pet video. When people ask me dumb questions like that, I realize that when I have too much time on my hands, people tell me that I should get a hobby, and then when I get a hobby, people start telling me I have too much time on my hands. It’s just a classic example of ‘Haters gonna hate on my arduino powered useless machine’. I’m sure that it’s a common problem and that I’m not the only person it happens to.
So this is my Useless machine video. It really is quite the piece of equipment. A marvel of manufacturing ability that can be obtained without power tools, within the confines of my small bedroom. The project took me about 70 hours in total over the course of 4 weeks. Much of that time was spent sawing, sanding, gluing and nailing, but much of it was also spend soldering, tinkering, and programming the instructions for the Arduino Microprocessor which functions as the brain for the entire contraption. And when I say microprocesser, I mean that this little device is actually an intelligent robot which is capable of learning about it’s environment with the intention of performing a specific task.
I enjoyed working with the Arduino and figuring out the ins and outs of the various sensors. It’s quite interesting. In the very near future, I am sure that I will purchase another Arduino board. I am not entirely positive what my next project will be but I do have a few ideas that I am considering.
Much thanks to the people at http://saskview.com/ for sharing my video on their site. I’m getting an average of 60 views per day on this video, and quite a few of them are coming from you guys, so much thanks for that.
To me, there may not be anything more American than an outright vulgar display of power. In this video clip obtained through foxnews.com, NASA does a test firing of the Ares booster rocket that will be used to send astronauts into space, and eventually back to the moon.
NASA is developing new booster rockets, and new space capsules that are planned to replace the current space shuttle design that we have all seen for many years now. I don’t know what the new capsule will look like, or whether it will be reminiscent of the airplane style shuttle with the big red hydrogen tank and two booster rockets.
In the video below, NASA does a test firing in Promontory, Utah. The booster spits massive amounts of raw thrust for roughly 2 minutes. You can see dirt and dust being picked up from the thrust, even a few hundred feet in front of the rocket. I can’t even imagine how they mounted this rocket to the earth so it wouldn’t move. They must have a reinforced concrete slab that goes a mile down.
I hope they didn’t effect the rotation of the earth with this thing. I really don’t want to have to adjust daylight savings time again. Or then, maybe twice a year we should fire 20 of these bad boys all at once, adjusting the rotation of the earth by exactly one hour at 2:00am. It does make sense. There are about 750 billion clocks that need to be adjusted, but only 1 earth to readjust. I’ll let NASA do the math.
Click the icon to see full screen video without leaving my blog.
When you see this video, you might ask yourself, “How much did this outright vulgar display of power cost?” and you would be asking a good question. Good questions deserve answers. Some answers are probably classified. Either way, I don’t have that number for you. If you really care, go ahead and look it up and let me know, but I bet it’s a large number. Another good question is “Who paid for it?”. That one probably isn’t ‘top secret’ but I don’t have an answer for that either. Looking at my federal budget article I don’t see anything about 3.6 million foot pounds of thrust.
Some people are definitely asking the question lately, “With our current economy, should we really be spending money on this?”. The answer is yes. yes were should. As for space exploration, Rick Moranis put it best in the 1987 movie SpaceBalls when he said “We can’t stop. We’ve got to slow down first”. And he is right. We cant stop, but slowing down might not be a bad idea. Maybe they even have slowed down. Thats one of the things about “Top Secret”. It’s classified.
Do not attempt to adjust your monitor. The video is actually posted in fast forward. I appreciated it that way because I already know the movie. I’ve probably seen it a gazillion times. Watching the whole scene in just over a minute works for me. I know whats going to happen already and I still want to watch it again. It saves me time. Technology has actually increased the value of that particular movie.
Me, I like charts and graphs. In fact, off the top of my head, I can’t think of any systems I don’t like where numbers are presented to me as graphics, making them easier to read quickly. Even when the numbers being presented are really bad, I still appreciate the chart it’s self. Don’t hate the chart, hate the numbers, and if the person responsible for the bad numbers brought you the chart, then you can hate that person too.
I looked at Google’s Federal Unemployment Utility today, I didn’t spend any time comparing the different states, or dwelling over the past 2 years. This time I actually unfocused my eyes a little and looked at the whole chart. I looked at it and said to myself, “Self, the last time unemployment was close to where it is now was 18 years ago back in 1992. Then I said to myself, “Self, wasn’t George Bush Sr the president in 1992?”. Sure enough. Bushonomics I do believe.
Not to intentionally bring up the concept of socialism or any flavors of communism but when I saw this chart, my immediate title for the article was “History repeats itself”. The full quote from Karl Marx was “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce”. I think most people can grasp the concept that if the September 11th disaster on Bush’s watch was a tragedy, then clearly the re-election of Bush through questionable circumstances in 2004 is the farce. Not to mention that he was originally elected in 2000 though questionable circumstances in the first place. Neither of those events have much to do with what happened in the early 90′s though aside from DNA.
I intentionally didn’t include Barack Obama in this little chart because those of you who follow my blog have been informed that the 2009 financial disaster was already planned before Obama even won the election. We wont know what Obamonomics means for at least a year but I am glad that I told you 2009 isn’t his fault. The value of the US dollar and the federal unemployment rate are measurements of two different systems, but there is a relationship between them, especially in early 2009. Inverse is the only word to describe it.
I didn’t put this article together to draw up hatred towards the Bush’s. At this point it would only be counter productive. There isn’t a lot more damage those two can do anymore, though it *might* be a good idea if the family stops reproducing just in case. I was more interested in just sharing what I happened to come across tonight, and what better a place to do it than a blog.
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The Govinator is doing some end of summer cleaning on California’s proverbial closets and garages. Items will be placed on EBAY over the next few days. To boost sales, good old Arnold is autographing many of the auctioned goods.
To me, Arnold’s signature on the visor of a 2002 Ford Focus isn’t all that tempting of an offer. Granted it *is* a piece if history, but not the most exciting artifact I can think of. The car has a suggested retail value of $4,885, if it’s in “excellent” condition. That particular vehicle sold for $3,550.01. It’s combined gas mileage is estimated at 28 mpg, and Arnold’s signature may have actually lowered the sale price by about $65, which coincidentally is the c0st of replacing the visors.
Now Arnold, are you really trying to tell me that there aren’t any of those huge SUV truck things laying around from last year when you could afford them? You must have a few 2008 Ford Apocalypse’s laying around with DVD players and Navigation Systems built in. You know the one’s I’m talking about. The one’s that came with that 14 mpg option from the factory. I know your Caliafornia and all, but seriously, selling just one of those behemoths would have the same impact as selling 10 of these jokes your putting on Ebay, and from what I can see, it looks like there are only 6 cars on the auction block.
Original article here.
You have to love the midwest.
In Chesterfield, Missouri, the countries ‘largest’ HUMMER dealer has started selling firearms in the same showroom where they sell the 6,000 pound SUVs.
At first thought it seemed like an ill conceived plan to me, but then as I looked into it I began to realize that guns and trucks make perfect sense together, depending on the population density. I wouldn’t recommend setting up this shop in Brooklyn or Queens, but a suburb of Saint Louis might be OK. Judging from the info that I looked up about Chesterfeild, MO, it might be ok. I didn’t look into it’s greater area at all for demographics and stuff, but I do know that St. Louis is in the midwest.
A friend of mine once told me that when it’s Thursday in New York City, it’s 1987 in Missouri. This seems like a very progressive step for 1987. I’m still not sure if I like it or not though.
Today a small engine plane and a helicopter collided in mid air over the Hudson.
Following the mantra that lightening never strikes twice, and considering the incident back in January where ‘Sully’ landed the Airbus A320 in the water, I would have thought that the Hudson would be a real safe place to fly a plane for at least the next few years. Of course I would have been wrong had I been putting any thought into that. I wasn’t thinking about that though because I had other things on my mind, aside from FAA regulations over the Hudson. I can definitively say that I wasn’t the only one.
Immediately I asked myself, “How does this happen?”. Terrorism immediately seems far more likely than stupidity, but this really doesn’t have any of the earmarks representing a terrorist attack. If this is the best the terrorists had for today, then it would be definitive proof that we are winning the war. It probably wasn’t though.
In an interview, Bloomberg was asked by a reporter, “Can you, as a pilot describe the airspace and how aircraft indeed have to navigate it.”
Bloombergs answer consisted of a few key statements that stood out to me.
There is a corridor here where aircraft can fly uncontrolled by air traffic.
There is a common frequency used on the Hudson river.
Pilots that fly in this area all the time pretty much always use those frequencies to announce where they are.
Helicopter pilots pretty much always describe where they are, what altitude they are and which direction they are going.
There's no requirement that they do that although common sense says, and the maps do show what those frequencies are.
The term that caught my attention was “pretty much”. The first time he used it, I saw his face cringe a little. The second time he said it, he used it with authority. No looking back.
Basically, to sum up his response, he said that there is no FAA control over the Hudson River airspace, nor is there any controll over the East River airspace. He did note that there is regulation of the airspace requiring airplanes not to go near buildings, but he didn’t mention the governing body responsible for enforcing the requirements that do exist.
To me, this sounds like the helicopters are flying somewhat ‘willy nilly’ over the Hudson, and are required to provide their own communication between pilots. As for airplanes, this particular plane took off from a NJ airport roughly 7 miles west of Manhattan. The airplane was flying south to Ocean City New Jersy. I’m not a pilot, but I don’t see why the airplane would have needed to fly over the hudson at all.
Bloomberg Interview obtained through FoxNews.com
No, I’m not talking about the Bush administrations federal budget.
Early this morning both Twitter and Facebook were victims of Distributed Denial of Service attacks. (DDoS) The attack seems to have hit Twitter first, bringing the social network site to it’s knees. Shortly after Facebook also began experiencing intermittent issues, though it seems that the Facebook system handled the attack better than Twitter.
In theory, the attackers could have executed a buffer overflow attack by sending packets with 141 characters to the web servers. Ok.. that’s a lie, but if you know what it means then it’s probably pretty funny. At a minimum I amuse myself.
Personally, I don’t tweet. I am even bothered by the SMS protocols restrictions. For non tech speaking readers, that means I wish text messaging supported more than 160 characters. 140 is just absurd. Now the Extended SMS protocol does support up to 1000 characters *i think*, but for the most part, cellular carriers don’t use XMS (eXtended Message Service). Especially if your texting to a cell phone using another carrier.
I read one report about the twitter attack where a marketing executive in Manhattan complained that she couldn’t get to twitter, and didn’t know where to go to find answers because she gets all her news from twitter. wait.. you get ALL of your news in 140 characters or less? seriously? The average news report i read is about 2 pages long, but hey, whatever suits you.
Speaking of the inherent limitations of communicating in such short bursts. Did you know that Congressmen and Senators tweet with each other while in session? Yeah, so the people who are running our country are sharing their opinions with each other this way. I’ll say it one more time. 140 characters or less.
Below is an actual simulated tweet from the congress floor.
Ithink th $ 4 Kulnkerz iz huge sucess the $ alocated wuz sposd2 last 3 mnths and we ran out in 1week Oh wait the black guy iz taking again.
140 characters or less is fine for me because I don’t actually have anything important to say! This morning twitter was down when I was trying to tell everyone that I bought a pumpkin that looks just like my butt.
Ok, I’ll stop now. Please click my advertisers.
In recent news AT&T was under fire from the web site operators at 4chan. Over the weekend, AT&T began blocking traffic to www.4chan.org, do to what it called a DDoS attack being launched from 4chan servers. Today, 4chan argued that the AT&T was intentionally blocking the sites content from its subscribers.
I’m sure you have heard of AT&T, but if your not familiar with 4chan, then I don’t recommend visiting their site at www.4chan.org. Even if you just did go there, you won’t think it’s very interesting at first glance. From visiting the site, I would assume that they are based out of Japan. Traceroute tells me the server is being hosted in California by a company called xeex Communications.
During todays report, a false report of Randall Stephenson’s death showed up on a website affiliated with CNN. The website, at IReport.com is “a user-generated site” and that stories are not “edited, fact-checked or screened”. Basically, the site appears to serve as a bulletin board for real news. In this case, the report never made it into the national news, but in the past these pranksters have managed to get these stories through.Read the whole article here.