Category Archives: Just geeky

The World’s Smallest Thinker

Using lasers, Korean researches have sculpted the smallest work of art ever, here’s the Live Science article with all the details including the mechanical engineering process to create this proof of concept before moving on to more interesting scientific projects.

What the researches did was to replicate Rodin’s ‘The Thinker’, but its only about twice the size The Thinkerof a red blood cell, about 10um in width. Though it’s so tiny the researches still had the fidelity to replicate the muscles seen in The Thinkers back and also see individual toes!

The original masterpiece by Rodin is approximately 6 feet tall, this version is about 93,000 times smaller.

Word of the Day: Blibbet

Blibbet:

Blibbet is the name of the O-like symbol in the original Microsoft logo. A lot of old school Microsofties have fond memories of the blibbet. It’s been memorialized in the “Save the Blibbet” campaign and honored by the “Blibbet Burger” served in the MS cafeterias.

Here’s a mouse cake of the blibbet for ex-Microsoftie Rick Saada celebrating his birthday and some products of the time he worked on back in the day (like ‘Money for Bob’!).

From a cursory search of the net on the Blibbet, we learn that this was the second Microsoft logo and was itself replaced in 1987. Also, some blibbet fans like Larry Osterman recall thatwhen Microsoft announced that they would be retiring the blibbet, a number of employees mounted a fruitless “Save the Blibbet” campaign to retain the corporate icon.’

Microsoft Logo

Save Blibbet

Star Trek: The Animated Series, Remastered

Star Trek The Star Trek animated classic from 1973 is back, digitally remastered and features the voices by William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, James Doohan and George Takei. You can read the excellent and lengthy review on Scifi.com, then go out and drop your US$55 to get these 22 episodes.

Snippet from the review:
“Star Trek: The Animated Series is the last of Star Trek’s episodic television adventures to make it to DVD, and the resulting digitally remastered four-disc set is a time capsule—one with 22 more journeys of these legendary characters, frozen in time asST_TAS two-dimensional animation cells. The 22 episodes immortalized here offered a way for Kirk, Spock and McCoy to gallivant through the galaxy once more, before the events in the movies.”

Here’s the link to Amazon for the DVD.

An Introduction to Planetary Defense: A Study of Modern Warfare Applied to Extra-Terrestrial Invasion

Is an alien attack possible? Of course it is. Statistically speaking, almost anything is possible. The better question to ask is “what is the possibility of an alien attack”?

That is the beginning of a serious scientific book called “An Introduction to Planetary Defense: A Study of Modern Warfare Applied to Extra-Terrestrial Invasion (links to Amazon). It contains a lot of the strategies, tactics and alternatives to assemble missions to mount an effective defense on a planet-wide scale in the case of an alien assault.

The authors and contributors all have experience and/or degrees in aerospace and involvement in some aspect of the space program, from the SpaceLab to designing experiments in space for the Space Shuttle crews. So all four authors bring an incredible amount of serious space science to these questions. Dr. Taylor has a variety of experiences working for the Department of Defense and NASA. Dr. Boan has been an active member of the space community for over a quarter of a century. Dr. Powell is a professor with specialties including space trajectories, attitude dynamics, and numerical analysis

This book provides a serious look at defending the planet in the event of an extra-terrestrial invasion. Travis Taylor, et al, have written the definitive book on the defense of earth against a potential alien incursion. Whatever your beliefs on the subject, the book serves as an important primer on the potential future of warfare on every level. It is tightly grounded in current day realities of war and extrapolates thoughtfully but closely about future potentials. It should be on the reading list of anyone who is serious about national security and the future of war.

The authors carefully make their case from every angle beginning with the statistical probability of an alien invasion. Chapter two discusses possible weapons, tactics and strategies for defense. This is followed with a look at what might motivate such an attack. And finally, who should know about preparations for defense, what a first and subsequent responses should be, and how we should be preparing and funding our defense.

Planetary Defense

MySpace Gets Goatse’d!

Jason Scott of textfiles.com found some happy go-lucky folks were hotlinking to a picture (see below, i’m not hotlinking 🙂 ) on his site of a cheery Grim Reaper and figured, no big deal and considered the bandwidth to be a little donation back to the community.

Around April it was d/l’d 16,000 times, June 118k, July 150k, August 212k….December it was up to 414,000 times. That’s 414,000 in just December alone. Obviously it was going to get much much worse if something wasn’t done.

Read his account of what happened, it’s fairly long but his analogies of the situation, the fallout and effect he’s potentially had on thousands of newbs is just hillarious. I giggled and snickered throughout.

Enjoy. (oh, and if you’re reading this Mom, for the love of all that’s holy, be careful of the links you click on if you read his post :-))

Grim Reaper

French Space Agency To Post Its UFO Archive Online

Jacques Arnould, of the French Space Agency called ‘National Space Studies Centre’ (CNES), said they will post their database of approximately 1,600 UFO incidents.

They are planning to post this UFO archive in late January or February of 2007. This archive consists of statements and documents collected over the last 30 years in their studies of this phenomenon.

These 1,600 incidents in the database comprise about 6,000 documents.

It’s expected that the database would be posted to their web site, here’s the English version of CNES.

A Directory By Any Other Name

There’s an interesting article by Raymond Chen on Technet; it’s mostly interesting trivia and backstory explaining some of the commonly asked questions about folder names in Windows.

For instance, why is it ‘Program Files’ instead of ‘Programs’? And why were the docs and settings moved out of the Windows folder into its own ‘Documents and Settings’ root folder, and why was the Ampersand (‘&’) removed from ‘Documents & Settings’?

If you’re interested in more like this, check out Raymond’s blog. He’s a wealth of knowledge with Windows history.

BG3 coming Jan3

BG3 is not Battlestar Galactica season 3 (that’s ‘BSG3’, duh), we all know it’s on hiatus in its mid season break. I’m referring to the “Beauty and the Geek 3” reality show is back Jan 3 for probably another 7 episodes. You can see some of the previews and interviews. I’m rooting for the kid that recited Pi for over 2 hours as part of his audition tape. 🙂

If you’re not familiar with the show, here’s the deal –

This cycle will remain true to the series’ format – pairing eight gorgeous but academically impaired women with eight brilliant but socially challenged men to test intellect and social skills – for a chance to win a $250,000 grand prize. Among the challenges, the guys will be required to deliver a stand-up routine in a comedy club and test their artistic abilities when they sketch a drawing of a nude model. The women will brush up on current events for a television newscast and research history books when they act as museum tour guides.
During each competition, the geek tries to pass brains on to the beauty, while the beauty helps the geek overcome social awkwardness. At the end of the eight-week series, each contestant comes out a changed person, and one couple will walk away with a quarter of a million dollars.
Beauty and Geek

Word Of The Day: Cyber

Norbert Wiener (1894-1964) was an American theoretical and applied mathematician. He was a pioneer in the study of stochastic and noise processes, contributing work relevant to electronic engineering, electronic communication and control systems. Wiener is perhaps best known as the founder of cybernetics, a field that formalizes the notion of feedback and has implications for engineering, systems control, computer science, biology, philosophy, and the organization of society.

The word cyber, used in such terms as cybernetics and cyberspace, was coined in 1948 by Wiener when he wrote a book titled ‘Cybernetics’. He derived it from the Greek ‘kubernetes’, or steersman, which is also the root of the word ‘govern’. Here’s a quote from the book describing his new word:

We have decided to call the entire field of control and communication theory, whether in the machine or in the animal, by the name Cybernetics.

Wiener may have based his word on an 1830s French usage of cybernétique, which meant the art of governing.

Savvy Squirrels Outwit Trees

MSNBC science article:

To help ensure the survival of their species, spruce trees may try to starve off local squirrels by supplying them with very few seeds (eaten by squirrels as food for their own survival). When the squirrel populate is supposedly reduced to the point where the trees can be assured of some cones surviving to plantation for future trees, the trees will suddenly and unpredictably produce *thousands* of cones.

The cool thing described in this article is that the squirrels are counteracting this through behavior not quite understood by scientists yet. Read the article for details. Like good stock brokers, red squirrels  predict when the market will be flooded with seeds and then invest big by producing a second litter of young, a new study finds.

ASUS Releases New “Commando” Gaming Motherboard

Asus announced their latest offering for the gamer community. It’s the ‘Commando’;  the Commando provides extreme overclock ability for enhanced performance, and unique features to jazz up the gaming features and simplify the DIY process.

The Commando provides unmatched overclockability, taking FSB to 2.28GHz and memory up to 1,300GHz!!

Specification summary
CPU: LGA 775 Core2Duo, Quad-Core CPU
DDR2: 800/667/533
FSB: 1066/800
Chipsets: Intel P965 + ICH8R
6 SATA II 3Gb/s
Supports ATI Crossfire Graphics
SupremeFX Featuring ADI 1988b
Extreme Tweaker
LCD Poster
8 phase capless power design
Onboard switches 

 

    Asus Commando board

Do You PikiPimp?

Pikipimp allows you to pimp your pik. Upload a picture of a person, maybe yourself or your friend. Next, pimp it out with a beard, glasses, funny hat, scars, bruises, tattoos, body jewelry and much more.

Then you can preview it, download or save it to the gallery along with all the other buffoons.

Here’s mine. Link to yours in the comments.

Addictive World Map Game

I know you’re probably tired of the zillions of Flash based games on the net, for the most part I am too.

But here’s one I recently heard about that I find fun. Well I find it fun ’cause only a geek would really find something like identifying countries on a map of the world fun: World Map.

I knew I was pretty weak with the African continent, but looks like I need to bone up on my geography in Eastern Europe due to the many new states that arose from the USSR.
World Map Game

Ring! Ring! It’s the Bananaphone!

Bananaphones

San Francisco prankster Laird Rickard has figured out a way to make obnoxious cell phone use funny: he makes it look like you’re talking into a banana. Laird’s company Nanaco produces Cellfoams, squishy foam covers in wacky shapes that protect your phone, and more importantly, make you look silly when you’re talking on your phone instead of rude. Nanaco’s premier product is the banana shaped cell phone cover, playing off that classic gag of pretending a banana is a phone. It was hilarious when Groucho Marx did it and the joke is still, ahem, appealing today. Attractively priced at about $12 bucks at a variety of local retailers, this is a great way to make light of a technology whose convenience barely compensates for its invasiveness. If you were looking for a way to say “I’m just bananas about talking on my cell phone!”, this is it.

Geek Gift #6 – Astromech Droids

Star Wars Astromech Droids

Brought to you by Entertainment Earth, now you can save the galaxy with the help of your trusty droids! Entertainment Earth collaborated with Hasbro to bring us this Star Wars Exclusive.

Set #1: R3-T6, R3-T2, R2-C4, R4-A22, R2-Q2
Set #2: R3-Y2, R2-M5, R2-A6, R4-E1, R2-X2

You’ve never seen Droids like this before! Never before made as toys, these new figures incorporate some of the finest Droid designs out of Hasbro and the engineers of Industrial Automaton. Each droid has several points of articulation, with articulated “feet,” moving domes, retractable third legs, and all sorts of light-up eyes, clear domes, and other features that bring these unique droids to life!

It’s in stock now and is only US$69.99.

Astromech Droids

Scientists Piece Together da Vinci’s Fingerprints

Anthropologists said they have pieced together Leonardo da Vinci’s left index fingerprint, a discovery that could help provide information on such matters as the food the artist ate and whether his mother was of Arabic origin. Aspects of his fingerprint apply to 60% of the Arabic population indicating his mother may have originated from that region.

The reconstruction of the fingerprint was the result of three years of research and could help attribute disputed paintings or manuscripts whose creators are under dispute.

   davinci_fingerprint

Read details on MSNBC.