Square Kilometer Array: Africa


How far back in time can the Hubble Ultra Deep Field IR see? About 10 billion years, that’s approximately half a billion years after the Big Bang. Want to look back further? Try the SKA. That stands for the Square Kilometer Array.

The vision for the SKA will be an array of ~3000 dish antenna radio telescopes with a collecting area of about one square kilometer. This will make the SKA about ten times more sensitive than the largest single dish telescope at Arecibo, Puerto Rico.

The International SKA Steering Committee has whittled the possible locations for this array to one of two locations: South Africa and Australia are the finalists. If Africa wins the SKA bid, the core of this giant telescope will be constructed in the Karoo region of the Northern Cape Province near to the towns of Carnarvon and Williston, linked to a computing facility in Cape Town. Reasons why South Africa make an ideal location are:

  • Low levels of radio frequency interference and certainty of future radio quiet zone.
  • Best imaging – an ideal physical environment (little water vapor, calm stable weather conditions)
  • Very little light pollution
  • Affordable – Required land, labor and support services available cheaply

For a full list of facts on the SA bid, this SKA Africa site has all the details.

I’ve got my fingers crossed they win the bid 🙂


SKA Africa
Wikipedia: SKA

Two Planets Found Sharing One Orbit


Cool news from NewScientist on the discovery of two planets on the same orbit:

The two planets are part of a four-planet system dubbed KOI-730. They circle their sun-like parent star every 9.8 days at exactly the same orbital distance, one permanently about 60 degrees ahead of the other. In the night sky of one planet, the other world must appear as a constant, blazing light, never fading or brightening.

Super Bowl Ad Stories: How a 12-Year-Old Rescued This Coke Ad

“That ending is terrible. This is a Coke ad. We can’t do that,” they told him.

Curtis walked out the meeting, somewhat dejected. He had no ideas for alternative endings.  … Curtis went home and sat down to dinner with his wife and his two high-school-aged children. His wife asked how the day’s presentation went. He told them about his predicament. Then his son, Will, who was about 12 at the time, piped up with a suggestion.

That was it. Curtis went back to Coke with the idea, and they loved it.

via Fastcompany

Inside the San Francisco Fire Department’s Ladder Shop

San Francisco has some unique requirements that lend it to needing wood ladders in place of aluminum ladders like most cities.

The shop that makes them today has been doing so since 1919, and some of the earliest ladders are still being refurbished and kept in use. These craftsmen in the shop take their job seriously, for instance, they keep the wood on site for 15 years before using it so the wood can acclimate over time to the local climate!

Inside the Ladder Shop at the San Francisco Fire Department from AdamKaplan on Vimeo.

Porn-Unboxing the Boxee Box

Don’t worry, there’s no nudity. 🙂

I’ve been getting into Home Theater PC (htpc) in an effort to reduce or eliminate my dependency on Comcast and also reduce my TV bill. While looking for information on the HTPC world, i came across this funny but informative video  unboxing of the Boxee box.

If you have trouble with the video, here’s the link.

Found via Paul Roberts, it seems he’s a Boxee tester which is cool.

Reimagining Frankenstein With A Steampunk Twist

Kevin Mowrer has a fantastic imagination and also has artistic skills to pull off a really cool idea. The idea involves a Frankenstein-world with a steampunk aesthetic, he’s also sharing his sketches and artwork. Kevin describes the aesthetic he’s going for here:

I’m looking for a metal-heavy, sooty look with forms and shapes that aren’t just barrels and brass but suggest a more profound alternate industrially based technology that has reached a high level of functionality and power but isn’t plastic and electronic nor wood and horses. There’s two levels of technology in this story. One that is almost magical in it’s ability to make things move and another that is much less sophisticated. This “steamier” technology is still created by the same folks who make the amazing technology but is purposely dumbed down to keep control of the larger population

If you enjoy Steampunk, you should follow Kevin’s efforts to develop this world, it’s very cool stuff.


Bizzaro Toy Story 3 Scenes

Woody the serial killer?

My new friend Amy Leigh has a penchant for Toy Story 3 and I wanted to turn you onto her latest post ‘10 Bizarre Depictions of Toy Story 3 toys‘ .

In the post she wonders what the Toy Story 3 characters are doing with their free time when the camera stops rolling. She’s pulled together her top 10 favorites like the one above where Woody is happily carving up someone’s head.

As if that wasn’t bizarre enough, she takes us down the road of Cross Dressing Woody and Woody takes an interest in girls, both quite funny. 😉

Check it out.

What is That?

Hey folks!  Well guess what?  I found some new images for you guys to check out and scratch your heads over!  I got them from all over the place, some are old tech, new tech..macro shots…you name it.  One thing is for sure, you will have fun trying to identify them =]  This first image is local for me, taken right here in the evergreen state…


Please lease your interesting or creative responses in the comment section!

Churchill Banned UFO Report to Avoid Mass Panic

Via Yahoo! News (yeah, i’ve had this in my queue for 2 weeks, i’m lazy busy):

Reports given to Churchill claimed that a reconnaissance aircraft returning to Britain from a mission was shadowed by a UFO as it crossed the British coast.

The plane’s crew were reported to have photographed the object, which they said had “hovered noiselessly” near the aircraft, before moving off.

According to the letter describing this alleged incident: “Mr Churchill is reported to have made a declaration to the effect, ‘This event should be immediately classified since it would create mass panic among the general population and destroy one’s belief in the Church.'”