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Monthly Archives: August 2005

How many of us thought you could buy an R2-D2 heliodisplay during our lifetime?

R2D2 Heliodisplay

Well, now you can. IO2 Technology has officially created the marvel.

Heliodisplay Showing Car

The Heliodisplay Free Space Display is capable of displaying any video source in high-resolution without the need for a screen. You can walk around, or even through, the floating image. The best part, however, is that you can interact with the object. No longer will we be limited by touch screens. Your finger can act like the cursor without any need for special gloves. Possible uses include advertising, entertainment, design, teleconferencing, and hiding secret messages that could be used to save the galaxy.

Perhaps, George Lucas knew what was really going on…

Modified PriusTired of spending $2.85 on gas every other day? Perhaps, you should invest in a Toyota Prius hybrid and a soldering iron.

Ron Gremban, an electrical engineer and committed environmentalist, modified the electrical system in his Prius to achieve an incredible efficiency of 250 miles per gallon. With $3,000 and a few months of tinkering, he added a ‘plug-in’ feature to his car that allows him to store energy while it is parked in his garage.

Hawaii BeachWell, Matt Kelley is back in town, which means bars, putt-putt, and computers for me. I like to tell myself that he’s here to visit me, but I’m sure that his lovely girlfriend, Erin, has something to do with it. Speaking of girlfriends, I would like to send out a warm happy b-day to my lovely significant other, who just turned 23 last Saturday.

It’s been a pretty awesome week with lots of good food and good friends. Friday was the beginning of Rach’s celebration with dinner at TGIFs and a little Silverton Café afterwards. For the record, I believe Silverton is the coolest bar in Cincinnati. Not only do they do non-credit carded tabs, they have ski-ball bowling, mini-shuffle board, an old-school ice cream machine that uses a suction pump, kwazy karaoke, and a juke box you have to hit to make it work. Best yet, during the week, they lock the front door at 11pm. This way, only the regulars who know where the side entrance is are allowed in.

Saturday held more good birthday food at Cancun and was followed by amazing desserts at Prima Vista, an amazing restaurant that sits upon a hill overlooking all of Cincinnati. The rest of the week has led Matt, Erin, and me to other great Cinci places including Nothing But Noodles, PRC, Western Hills Putt-Putt, and a second trip to Silverton.

Good luck to all those starting classes, whether you’re taking ‘em or teaching ‘em!

Well, I gotta lot of cool new gadgets to post about, but before I do, here is a little something for you from John Lavelle. He sent this to me in an email entitled ‘WTF……seriously, WTF.’ All I’ll give you are the title and the links.

Naked Woman Jumps Onto Car to Stop Thief: I’d watch the video and then read the article.

On March 20th, 2003, I was in El Mozote, El Salvador, when the bombing of Iraq began by the United States and the United Kingdom. That evening, my group saw the first visuals of the war on a small television in our hacienda. I believe it was Mary O’Malley who made the comment, “It’s like a video game.” As green explosions dotted the screen through infrared lenses, it did seem like many of the video games I played growing up. Followed by red and blue dots marking military progressions, it was hard to believe, much less understand, what was really happening.

I find it quite often difficult to remember the people fighting in Iraq. More often than not, I feel like the war has become a bipartisan issue for candidates to use to get themselves elected or fuel for pundits to increase their ratings.

Last week, I found this posted on dKos and it really had an impact upon me.

Mr. Northern:

I am a Veteran of the Iraq war, having served with the 4th Infantry Division on the initial invasion with Force Package One.

While I was in Iraq,a very good friend of mine, Christopher Cutchall,was killed in an unarmoredHMMWV outside of Baghdad. He was a cavalry scout serving with the 3d ID.Once he had declined the award of a medal because Soldiers assigned to him did not receive similar awards that he had recommended. He left two sons and awonderful wife. On Monday night, August 16, you ran down the memorial cross erected for him by Arlington West.

One of my Soldiers in Iraq was Roger Turner. We gave him a hard time because he always wore all of his protective equipment, including three pairs of glasses or goggles. He did this because he wanted to make sure that he returned home to his family. He rode a bicycle to work every day to make sure that he was able to save enough money on his Army salary to send his son to college. At Camp Anaconda, where the squadron briefly stayed, a rocket landed inside a tent, sending a piece of debris or fragment into him and killed him. On Monday night, August 16, you ran down the memorial cross erected for him by Arlington West.

One of my Soldiers was Henry Bacon. He was one of the finest men I ever met. He was in perfect shape for a man over forty, working hard at night. He told me that he did that because he didn’t have much money to buy nice things for his wife, who he loved so much, so he had to be in good shape for her. He was like a father to many young men in his section of maintenance mechanics. They fixed our vehicles with almost no support and fabricated parts and made repairs that kept our squadron rolling on the longest, fastest armor advance ever made under fire. He was so very proud of his son-in-law that married the beautiful daughter so well raised by Henry. His son-in-law was a helicopter pilot with the 1st Cavalry Division, who died last year. Henry stopped to rescue a vehicle belonging to another unit on what was to be his last day in Iraq. He could have kept rolling – he was headed to Kuwait after a year’s tour. But he stopped. He could have sent others to do the work, but he was on the ground, leading by example, when he was killed. On Monday night, August 16, you took it upon yourself to go out in the country, where a peaceful group was exercising their constitutional rights, and harming no one, and you ran down the memorial cross erected for Henry and for his son-in-law by Arlington West.

Mr. Northern – I know little about Cindy Sheehan except that she is a grieving mother, a gentle soul, and wants to bring harm to no one. I know little about you except that you found your way to Crawford on Monday night in August with chains and a pipe attached to your truck for the sole purpose of dishonoring a memorial erected for my friends and lost Soldiers and hundreds of others that served this nation when they were called. I find it disheartening that good men like these have died so that people like you can threaten a mother who lost a child with your actions. I hope that you are ashamed of yourself.

Perry Jefferies, First Sergeant, USA (retired)

I feel that it is incredibly important for us to continually reevaluate our reasons for entering this war, as well as our strategy for stabilizing Iraq and exiting it. During these examinations, I find it very important for myself to listen to the stories of the soldiers in Iraq. For more information on the reasons we began this conflict, CNN is airing ‘Dead Wrong: Inside an Intelligence Meltdown’ this evening (Sunday) at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET. It presents the chain of events that led to the intelligence the presidential commission described as “dead wrong.”

If you are interested in getting to know the people in Iraq, I recommend reading the military blogs, known as the milblogs. Many of the stories and pictures are incredibly moving. I would begin with this articled in Wired detailing both this new phenomenon as well as the major players. Good resources for finding milblogs include Web of Support by Christopher Missick and the Iraq Files.

KrikalevLast Tuesday, August 16th, Russian Commander Sergei Krikalev became the human with the most cumulative time in space. Since 1988, Krikalev has spent more than 752 days floating around the globe. Currently aboard the International Space Station, he will continue to rack up zero-g points for the Guinness Book of World Records.

It makes one wonder what would be missed most from a gravity-saturated environment. Drinking straight out of the carton? Water balloon fights? Not using a suction pump to do one’s royal duty? Having a side of the bed to wake up on? Being able to ask the question ‘What’s up?’

While research scientists around the globe are trying to find the cure for HIV, the answer might be right in the biodiversity at our local zoo. Scientists in northern Australia have discovered that a crocodile’s immune systems kills the destructive virus. Not only deadly to HIV, crocodile serum destroys a wide range of bacteria including those resistant to penicillin, such as golden staph. The animal’s immune system might actually be too strong for a human body and may need to be synthesized for our consumption. The scientists say it could take years, however, before anything is ready for market.


iStampedeWhat do get when you combine a mob of over 1,000 people and a sale for $50 Apple iBooks? An iStampede!

Last Tuesday, a rush to purchase cheap laptops from the school system in Richmond, VA, turned into a violent stampede. CNN states:

People threw themselves forward, screaming and pushing each other. A little girl’s stroller was crushed in the stampede. Witnesses said an elderly man was thrown to the pavement, and someone in a car tried to drive his way through the crowd.

Next time anyone says Apple users are more sensible or intelligent than PC users…

Check out the video here.

ElephantsAs if it was not hard enough looking out for deer crossings, what about an elephant crossing?

A group of prominent ecologists suggests relocating endangered African species to North America. Since protection is inconsistent at best within the African countries, the idea proposes creating a large wildlife preserve in the plains of the United States. While none of the species will be native to the area, scientists argue that it will help restore biodiversity closer to what it was 10,000 year ago before humans came to this continent.

Sorry that I haven’t updated anything recently. Between trips to Duff’s, yummy Chinese dinners, and that work thang, I’ve been unable to fill your computer screen with ridiculous things. But, now that I’m back from running through life, I believe this to be fit:

Apparently, California is more dangerous than I thought. Shortly after 5:00am on August 9th in Antelope Valley, CA, two different sheriffs offices received calls from dozens of people reporting a shooting. Apparently, they all awoke to a loud bang that they assumed was a gun.

In reality, they experienced the earth shaking double sonic boom caused by Discovery’s landing. One boom woke the townsfolk from sleep and the other frightened the hell out of them. Now, Californians have to worry about gang wars and shuttle landings.

Discovery Landed