I suspect cows are going to become a theme here at WU. They're ubiquitous and silly and important. Those are three good criteria for inclusion here. Hey, if cows were good enough for Gary Larson humor, they're good enough for us!
The latest news is that they're demanding headphones as they graze! Not sure if iPods are included. Read the article here
Then watch the video of "The Cow Whisperer" here
The Looks Like A Robot
Flickr pool does not contain any photos of robots. What it does contain is over 300 pictures of objects that look like robots. Lots of fun to browse. (Thanks, Bob
Hitachi recently announced
that in 2010 they plan to unveil a 5TB hard drive. This led them to note that, "By 2010, just two disks will suffice to provide the same storage capacity as the human brain."
So, according to Hitachi, the brain has a 10TB storage capacity. But how did they arrive at this number?
There's been a lot
about the brain's storage capacity. The most popular method of arriving at an answer is to estimate the number of synapses in the brain and extrapolate from there. This has led researchers to come up with numbers ranging anywhere from 3TB to 1000TB. Hitachi evidently was using this method.
But there's a second method (noted on the Of Two Minds
blog). Psychologists have conducted experiments to measure how much information people are actually able to memorize. This produces much smaller numbers. They've concluded that it's only about two bits per second, or a few hundred megabytes averaged over an entire lifetime.
Of course, until scientists figure out a way to allow us to download our brains to computers, all these numbers are just useless trivia. And when that happens, we can all plug into the Matrix and live happily ever after.
Once upon a time, mechanical elephants roamed up and down the boardwalks of beaches. Check out the clip below from a 1950s newsreel. The elephant, built by Frank Stuart was "Gasoline Powered with a 4 cylinder English Side Valve Ford engine. Top speed 27 MPH!"
I found the clip on the blog of Eastcliff Richard
who reports that, "Astonishingly Britain used to lead the world in the production of mechanical elephants. This one was later sold to the late, great, dearly-departed Peter Sellers as part of his eccentric collection of automobilia."
Some more videos of mechanical elephants can be found here
The Grass Scanner
is a product (hypothetical, I believe) dreamed up by designer Alice Wang. She offers this description:
In wealthier neighbourhoods, the size of the house and how well maintained the garden is, often represents status. The Grass Scanner is a device designed to measure how green the grass is. It takes reading from 3 random patches of the grass and outputs a Pantone* colour code for one to reference and compare. With the codes, one can then refer to the PARKTONE** cards which contains true grass colours of Royal Parks and other green areas in the UK for people to match up with their own garden.
Where it might fail is on fake lawns, which are becoming increasingly popular here in Southern California. Though fake lawns aren't cheap, so having one might indicate a moderate level of status. (via We Make Money Not Art
If only you had been reading Popular Mechanics
magazine for February 1929! Then you could have purchased the same Purple Ray
healing device that Wonder Woman uses! Okay, so it was a "Violet Ray." Same difference, right?
Alex's Jesus Toilet post reminded me of this great WIRED article
from a few years ago, about toilet technology.
It so happens that toilet engineers need to simulate excrement for testing purposes. Here's just a couple of the things they use:
I came across two unusual photographs of gas masks while browsing in the library recently. The first is from 1939 (from the collection Photohistory of the 20th Century
). The caption reads:
This bizarre photograph of a scantily clad London chorus girl wearing her gas mask was used as part of the official campaign to take the terror out of wearing gas masks. One of the great British fears at the beginning of World War II was that the country would be attacked from the air, with poison gas. Gas masks -- 38 million of them -- were distributed to all civilians, men, women, children and babies. Government propaganda stressed the importance of becoming familiar with their use.
I doubt the image did much to take the terror out of gas masks, but I'm sure it made the fetish crowd happy.
The second photo is from Scientific American
(October, 1922). The caption reads:
This mask enables its wearer to work for half an hour in atmospheres laden with noxious gas.
Coincidentally, this very much resembles the uniform worn by the staff of Weird Universe while we work.
When I first saw the ad for this device in the pages of Scientific American
, I thought it was a joke. But it's true. For only 1.5 times the price of a 2008 Hyundai Accent--a whopping $14,615--you can buy a machine that does everything you can do with a jump rope, two cinder blocks, the branch of a tree and a bicycle tire inner tube.
If you can't wait to purchase it, visit Fast Exercise