Sunday, May 29, 2005

BOFH: Lucky in computing... | The Register

BOFH: Lucky in computing... | The Register

It's that time again

USAF seeks space weapon mandate | The Register

USAF seeks space weapon mandate | The Register

can these guys learn for the movies that "star wars" weapons always end up being used for evil.

Supreme Court okays net wine sales | The Register

Supreme Court okays net wine sales | The Register

so run to to otherwise know as Warwick Valley Winery and order a case of Doc's hard cider

the main grinding wheel. Posted by Hello

The grinding wheel powered by the mill also... Posted by Hello

Part of the old mill that shelled corn for feed and ground it for corn meal.  Posted by Hello

It's a ground hog and she's (baby was not far away) not seeing her shadow. Posted by Hello

Batsto, NJ is the town that almost didn't exist. While once a thriving Iron, timber, and concrete industrial village for generations, but by the earlier 1900's it was fading into the pine barrens. But a man called Wharton bought it all and then NJ state bought it as part of a State forest preserve. Cool place to visit. Lots of history and a very nice guided tour. Learn about what village life was like back in the 1800's. Posted by Hello

Just the beginning of the blooming. Looks like there are hundreds of bulbs around the yard.  Posted by Hello

Monday, May 16, 2005

Friday, May 13, 2005

Park-map brochure from Michael Jackson's Neverland


Cory Doctorow: Who needs a show trial when you can just download this map of Michael Jackson's backyard theme-park, Neverland. Link (via Danny's Land)

Update: Matthew sends in a link to a satellite photo of the ranch courtesy of Google Maps.

[Boing Boing]

Carousel of Progress scale model on eBay


Cory Doctorow: Disney is ebaying this hand-built, meticulously accurate scale model of the old Carousel of Progress (which is still running at Walt Disney World, but which is long gone from Disneyland), one of the 1964 World's Fair exhibit that Walt built, bankrolling his animatronics capacity with budgets from pavilion-runners anxious to bring in the suckers with singing, dancing robots. The Carousel is hands-down my fave 1964 ride, with its paeans to American ingenuity and the largesse of General Electric. Link (Thanks, Amanda!)

Update: Scott points out that they're also selling off a detailed model of the Monsanto House of Tomorrow!

[Boing Boing]

Obscure Disneyland factoids


Cory Doctorow: As part of the PR blitz leading up to the 50th anniversary of Disneyland this July 17 (which is also my 34th birthday and no, I won't be able to go to the celebration, thanks for rubbing it in!), the San Francisco Chronicle has a good piece on Disneyland trivia featuring 50 interesting and little-know Disneyland factoids:
21. As a teenager, Steve Martin worked in Merlin's Magic Shop in Fantasyland...

24. An early Tomorrowland attraction was Monsanto's House of the Future, made entirely of plastic. It had the requisite picture phone and other Jetsonsonian appliances, but the most talked-about feature, according to "Mouse Tales," was the microwave oven. "Nobody believed you could bake a potato in 3 minutes," said attendant Dick Mahoney. Years later, when Disneyland tried to tear down the plastic house, the wrecking ball just bounced off it.

25. On Star Tours, the short, squat robots you pass while waiting in line are the audio-animatronic ducks from the old "America Sings" attraction, with their feathers and skin yanked off. One still has its webbed feet.

Link (Thanks, Jeffrey!)

[Boing Boing]

Thin Firefox optimized for USB keychains


Cory Doctorow: Dave sez, "Portable Firefox is a fully functional package of Firefox optimized for use on a USB key drive. It has some specially-selected optimizations to make it perform faster and extend the life of your USB key as well as a specialized launcher that will allow most of your favorite extensions to work as you switch computers." Link (Thanks, Dave!)

Update: Skippy mentions a version of Thunderbird (the Mozilla mailer), with GPG crypto protection also optimized for USB thumb-drives.

[Boing Boing]

Darth Vader rotating lawn-sprinkler


Cory Doctorow: This Darth Vader lawn sprinkler, you can "let the Dark Side defend your lawn from the ravages of summer heat" as Vader "spins around with water spraying action, wielding his lightsaber in a furious battle to save your lawn!" Link (via Wonderland)

[Boing Boing]

Space Needle to be converted to WiFi antenna


Cory Doctorow: Three ISPs have teamed up to mount a Wi-Max (citywide WiFi) antenna on top of Seattle's white-elephant Space Needle, a fading futuristic building that is to be put to a cutting-edge futuristic use.

Quinn Norton first observed that looking at some big weird chunk of metal (say, a Stanford radio-telescope) and saying "That would make a great WiFi antenna" is the twenty-first century equivalent of pointing at every hollow object and opining "that would make a great bong."

I'm sure I'm not the only geek to step through Seattle, look up and say, "Goddown that Space Needle would sure make a great WiFi antenna."

Antennas and radio equipment are being installed 605 feet up at the top of the Space Needle and in four other spots around the city. It'll beam wireless Internet signals over a 5-mile square mile area of Seattle.
Link (via /.)

[Boing Boing]

Sea Shadow photographs


David Pescovitz: My earlier post about Trevor Paglen mentioned that one of his tours is the San Diego home of the Sea Shadow. BB reader John Worthington responded with a link to several interesting photographs of the Sea Shadow taken after it was declassified a decade ago. From the Federation of American Scientists site:
 Man Dod-101 Sys Ship Sea-Shadow-Pc029-056-1 Sea Shadow is a test craft developed under a combined program by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), the Navy, and Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space Company. The Sea Shadow program was begun in the mid-1980s. Its purpose is to explore a variety of new technologies for surface ships, including ship control, structures, automation for reduced manning, seakeeping and signature control. In 1993-1994, the craft was revealed to the public and underwent daylight testing. Since 1994, Sea Shadow has been maintained in a lay-up status and is currently homeported at Naval Station San Diego. In anticipation of conducting future ship research and development testing, the U.S. Navy reactivated the Sea Shadow craft in early 1999. Sea Shadow will support risk reduction for future surface ship platforms such as DD 21, the Navy's 21st Century Land Attack Destroyer. The platform will allow the Navy to explore and test, in a realistic at-sea environment, important DD 21 advanced information and automation technologies that support reduced manning and ship survivability.

UPDATE: BB pal Jim Graham was the public relations person at Lockheed when the Sea Shadow came out of the black. Jim writes:
"A couple of interesting things about the Sea Shadow was how low-tech it was on the inside. The entire ship was controlled by what I think was a 286 computer and, once inside, it looked like an ordinary ship. The SWATH design (Small Water Plane Area Twin Hull) made it remarkably stable in rough seas - you could sit on top of it and drink a cup of coffee cruising through the Potato Patch outside the Golden Gate Bridge.It was also very stealthy and, in some tests, they had to add reflectors to it so that other ships in the area could detect it on radar.

It "launched" on Easter Sunday morning and I had to beg an AP photographer and Aviation Week reporter to leave their families to get on a boat to see something, but I couldn't tell them what it was. The Weekly World News had the best headline "Top secret 'Batboat' carries enough nuclear missiles to blow every major city on Earth to kingdom come!" Can't believe I missed the nukes. :)

The Sea Shadow was/is housed in the Hughes Mining Barge, which previously had been used to store "Clementine", a giant claw used by the Glomar Explorer to retrieve a sunken Soviet submarine out near Hawaii in the mid-70s."

[Boing Boing]

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Finger food: the case of the custard


David Pescovitz: A man in North Carolina found a finger in a container of gourmet ice cream from Kohl's Frozen Custard in Wilmington, North Carolina. Customer Clarence Stowers discovered the digit when he dug into his chocolate desert at home. Fortunately, the finger in this case was quickly identified. ("Finger food: Wendy's chili" backgrounder here.) The right index fingertip formerly belonged to an employee who severed it in a custard-dispensing machine accident. From WWAY NewsChannel 3 in Wilmington:
"I said 'Gosh this ice cream is good.' Then I said, 'Gosh, there's something hard in my ice cream," said Clarence, remembering the moments before he found the finger. Clarence said he wished he'd realized it was a finger before he tried to eat it. "I proceeded to put the object in my mouth. Got all the ice cream off of it, spit it in my hand, said 'God, this ain't no nut!' So I proceeded in here to the kitchen, rinsed it off with water, and realized it was a human finger, and I just started screaming," he said.

[Boing Boing]