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Category Archives: Geeky

Nerdy and weird articles and ideas.

Cold Fusion Shower Light

The Japanese amaze me. One of their latest inventions is the Cold Fusion Shower. It is a shower light made of LEDs that are powered by the water pressure. Even better, the LEDs change color with the temperature. No longer do you have to worry about jumping into a too cold or too hot shower. You can know visually the temperature of the water.

Sparkler Bomb

Matt sent me this wonderful article from Dan’s Data on how to build a Sparkler Bomb. It is the perfect at home project for anyone looking to blow something up in a dangerous and awesome way.

From the site:

Here you will learn the essentials of making an improvised firework which, while spectacular, is also both as predictable and as safe as something that blasts a mighty shower of sparks 50 feet into the air can reasonably be expected to be. I have made many of these things. I have been quite close to them when they went off. I have never so much as lost any hair, which is more than I can say about the results of some of my other half-baked pyrotechnic experiments.

And here is the description of the event:

Now the standard sparkler bomb ignition sequence will occur:

1. The fuse will burn right down to the level of the sparklers.

2. Some turkey will say “It’s not going to go off!”

3. After a short delay determined by how well you packed the sparklers, it will go off, and a large number of sparklers that would each burn for a couple of minutes will be consumed by the very fires of Hell in about one and a half seconds.

4. One and a half seconds later, the crowd will emit various whoops and whistles.

Happy burning.

LED Throwies

The Graffiti Research Lab came up with a wonderful little device that anyone can make: LED Throwies. From their website:

LED Throwies are an inexpensive way to add color to any ferromagnetic surface in your neighborhood. A Throwie consists of a lithium battery, a 10mm diffused LED and a rare-earth magnet taped together. Throw it up high and in quantity to impress your friends and city officials.

(via MAKE)

Google Sightseeing Logo

Last week, I found this wonderful sight: Google Sightseeing. The premise is simple. The site’s owners and their readers find the best tourist spots in the world via satellite images from Google Maps and Google Earth. Not only does the site catalog the images they find, but they link directly to Google Maps so you browse around for yourself. Needless to say, I fell in love with them right away. Here are a few of my favorites from the last couple of weeks:

Alien Crop Circles!

GS found a whole series of crazy crop circles that aliens (or farmer kids with too much time on their hands) could have created.

Crop Circles Crop Circles


Stonefridge is exactly what its names implies: a complete replica of Stonehenge made entirely of refrigerators. Apparently, the monument is now 2.5 fridges high and requires 60 more refrigerators to complete.


Winter Olympics 2006

And for you fans of the World Games, GS has cataloged many of the great sites marking this years events.

2006 Olympics Google

Super Bowl XL Stadium

For all of you not willing or able to sit through the Super Bowl to catch the million dollar commercials, Google Video is hosting all of them. From Bud’s superfan to the Go Daddy commercials that were not allowed to air, you can see them all.

But check this out: one ad was reused from a different brand. This video is the Degree deodorant commercial “Stunt City” that aired during the Super Bowl. This video is the same “Stunt City” commercial that Leaving Only Footprints found last year. It is the exact same commercial but with a different deodorant, Rexona. If anyone knows more about this, let me know.

Stunt City Degree Stunt City Rexona
Deodorants in the two commercials

Super Balls

What do you get when you drop 250,000 bouncy balls down a San Francisco hill? A wicked awesome viral from Sony.

Today’s eye candy semi-weekly (whenever I feel like changing it) video is an amazing commercial Sony made for their BRAVIA. Over three days, they kept tossing hundreds of thousands of bouncy balls down a hill and capturing the event from dozens of angles. Check out the official site. If you cannot view QuickTime movies, you can watch the viral on Google video.

Then check out the making of the commercial on Google video. I love the riot gear they use to protect the camera man. Someone on site took lots of wonderful pictures you can see on Flickr.

Ball of Mud that Shines

Apparently, the latest craze to hit Japan’s shores is hikaru dorodango, balls of mud that shine. A few years ago, a Japanese educational theorist, Fumia Kayo, came across the strange objects while researching children’s play at a nursery school in Kyoto. Impressed with the design and with a little help from an electron microscope, he devised a method so simple that even children could do it. And they have! All over Japan kids are spending hour making dirt balls that shine. Here are his simple instructions:

1. Pack some mud into your hand, and squeeze out the water while forming a sphere.
2. Add some dry dirt to the outside and continue to gently shape the mud into a sphere.
3. When the mass dries, pack it solid with your hands, and rub the surface until a smooth film begins to appear.
4. Rub your hands against the ground, patting and rubbing the fine, powdery dirt onto the sphere. Continue this for two hours.
5. Seal the ball in a plastic bag for three or four hours. Upon removing the sphere, repeat step 4, and then once again seal the sphere in a plastic bag.
6. Remove the ball from the bag, and if it is no longer wet, polish it with a cloth until it shines.

Qing Vases

A few weeks ago, a regular visitor to the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge tripped on his shoelace and fell down a staircase, breaking three priceless Qing Dynasty vases in the process. Dating from the 17th or 18th Century, the 1948 donations to the museum were among its most well known artifacts. The museum’s assistant director, Margaret Greeves, said, “They are in very, very small pieces, but we are determined to put them back together.”

It turns out that the visitor was Nick Flynn and was luckily unharmed in the accident. Glad Flynn was uninjured and knowing he could never pay for the vases, the museum has asked that he not “visit the museum again in the near future.”

Listen to your mother. Always tie your shoelaces.

Golden Fronted Bowerbird

A team of research scientists exploring isolated jungles of Papua have discovered an untouched paradise They found dozens of new exotic species of insects, birds, and plants in their initial study and say they have barely scratched the surface. From LiveScience:

The team also found wildlife that were remarkably unafraid of humans during their rapid assessment survey of the Foja Mountains, which has more than two million acres of old growth tropical forest, Bruce Beehler, a co-leader of the monthlong trip, said in announcing the discoveries on Tuesday.

Two Long-Beaked Echidnas, a primitive egg-laying mammal, simply allowed scientists to pick them up and bring them back to their camp to be studied, he said.
“There was not a single trail, no sign of civilization, no sign of even local communities ever having been there,” said Beehler, adding that two headmen from the Kwerba and Papasena tribes, the customary landowners of the Foja Mountains, accompanied the expedition.

The area is so rich in diversity and teaming with life that they barely had to leave their base camp in order to conduct their research. Luckily, the error is protected from logging, but the growing timber demands from China and Japan worries the scientists. Check out their press release.

So, it seems as Leaving Only Footprints continues to get more and more popular, so does its images. Last month, I noticed that my visitor stats were kind of funky and discovered dozens of sites linking to just my pictures. This is called direct linking or hotlinking. Instead of hosting an image themselves, other websites and blogs simply link to the images on this site. This equates to stealing because hotlinkers use bandwidth paid for by other people. For example, in the previous month of January, I received thousands of direct links from sites. If the average image size used was 50KB, over 100MB of my bandwidth was stolen.

After doing a little research, I found this website that explains how to prevent other sites from hotlinking your images. Well, the good thing was that these other sites could no longer use my images. The bad news is that no one removed the now broken links to me on their sites so my stats are still getting messed up. Also, I noticed new people continue to hotlink to me even though the images are not showing up on their site. Not too bright.

So, I decided to follow in the footsteps of Switcheroo and Cockeyed.

Not only can I prevent my images from showing up on a hotlinker’s site, I can make any image I want show up on their site. With inspiration from Matt Kelley, J-Luv, and a poster inherited by Alicia, this is what I came up with:

Burt Reynolds Cosmo Holtinking

If they’re going to link to me, I might as well get some free advertisement with a little help from Burt Reynold’s and his famous Cosmo picture. Also, I hope that it encourages them to take down the links.

Check out what it looks like to this MySpace holtinker stealing my squirrel image before:

Hotlinking Example Before


Hotlinking Example After

Check out these other sites. I took screen shots for a permanent memorial.

Spider-Man Official Forums: Before and After
MySpace Person 1: Before and After
MySpace Person 2: Before and After
MySpace Person 3: Before and After