Across The Ocean in a Pedal-Powered Submarine

Manned Submarine

Having served on fast attack submarines for 8 fun and stressful years, I keep my eyes and ears open to sub news from around the world. Today I found this inspiring New Scientist article:

Some men mark their 40th birthday by buying a flashy new car, changing jobs or finally getting started on that novel. Ted Ciamillo decided he would pedal across the Atlantic in a one-man submarine he has designed and built himself.

If the guy could pull it off, he would truly be a manly-man.


[via Blueflipper Diving]

Bumpy Start for BlackBerry Storm

Blackberry Storm

Like all other iPod posers (aka “iPod Killers”), the Blackberry Storm is having trouble out of the starting gate and that’s nothing new to previous posers to AAPL’s “Jesus Phone”.

Verizon Wireless and Research In Motion Ltd. have high hopes for the BlackBerry Storm, which they spent nearly two years developing as their big response to Apple Inc.’s iPhone.  —  But despite a marketing campaign that cost more than $100 million, the smart phone has gotten off to a bumpy start.

In other Blackberry news:

BlackBerry Storm ‘ideal for social networking’
Leaked BlackBerry Storm 9530 firmware adds portrait QWERTY keyboard

Are Scientists Overselling Climate Models?

Global Warming

The Washington Post asks whether society is leveraging global climate models properly in their decision making process to slow or limit the warming trends. The author talks to Lenny Smith, a statistics professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science:

They can yield information on plausible risks and minimize vulnerability, although not necessarily provide totally reliable estimates of the odds. As Lenny puts it: "When I cross the street, average statistics about cars and how they are driven are of less value to me than the sound of a bus heading my way. Models help us listen for that bus."

Link to the Washington Post article

The Week in News – 1-18-09

News Link - BSG  The Final Cylon revealed at last! Did you see it coming? – [Entertainment Weekly] See the video interview of the person that portrays the fifth cylon. Beware – the interview reveals a couple of very minor spoilers.

News Link - YHOO  The on-again off-again affair between MSFT & YHOO is on again? – [ComputerWorld] Fer crying out loud already, will it ever stop?!

News Link - Plane Crash US Airways  Mobile phone photo flashed around the world – [TimesOnline] – Someone twittered the first photos of the recent plane crash in New York.

News Link - Mars Life  New evidence of life on Mars spotted by NASA – [SFGate] Methane detected on the red planet may signal there is life. This life on mars theme is starting to get really old.

News Link - sexting  ‘Sexting’ surprise: Teens face child porn charges – [MSNBC] 3 school boys in Pensylvania, USA are facing sexual child abuse charges because they received nude photos via text messages of 3 girl schoolmates. The girls who sent the pictures of themselves are also accused of sending child pornography.

News Link - Youtube  YouTube Muting, Removing Videos Involving Warner Music – [Slashdot] YouTube has started muting videos uploaded by users that use ‘unauthorized copyrighted music’ in response to Warner Music’s threat over royalties.

News Link - FFXIII  FFXIII not coming West until 2010 "at least" – [arstechnica] Square-Enix has been extremely tight-lipped about Final Fantasy XIII. Aside from the odd scanned Famitsu page or brief recut trailer, very little is known about the new game other than the fact that it features some gorgeous graphics and will hit the PS3 and Xbox 360 simultaneously in the West after April 2010. – The Encyclopedia of Emulation

 wiki launched Jan 1 2009 and is already vying for the location of choice on everything related to software emulators. The admin for the wiki contacted me and provided some very interesting points about the site. The intent of the site is to:

  • Provide the user with quality information and quality emulators.
  • Preserve, collect and classify the artifacts of the emulation scene.
  • Produce interactive software that will allow browsing and analyzing the historical events that lead to the creation and existence of the emulation scene.

In the mail I received I learned the following about their focus on history:

So instead of just allowing leeching Emuz & Romz like most site, what I’m looking for is a true historical perspective on emulation. The Emulation Timeline is the part of the site where this perspective is most apparent; every event in emulation history is placed on a timeline… So I can ask : what were the news released about emulation on January 3rd 1999 ? What emulators running on Dreamcast were released between 2003 and 2004 ? What YouTube videos about NES were released in 2007 ? Of course the timeline is far from complete. As data is added to the encyclopedia through history pages of certain emulators like this one :, the data is automatically added to the timeline. So in 1 or 2 years, at my current pace and if I find some people to help me build the project, we should have a complete timeline of all emulation-related events from the 90’s, or even before, up to now.

The great thing about this particular wiki isn’t just that it’s your typical user-generated content site. It’s also hosting thousands of emulators, videos, documents, archived news items and more:

And at the same time of being a good tool for historical preservation, EmuWiki is just a huge emulation website for the everyday user. I’ve been working on it pretty much by myself for a year, and it only opened officially on January 1st, 2009, but the encyclopedia already contains 4280 archived emulators, 839 documents, 500 videos, 1869 current emulators, and 1321 Emulation Camp news archived (we’re trying to archive and classify all news of emulation websites that are not online anymore and emucamp just disappeared so we started with this one). Of course this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Drop And Give me CAT5, Soldier!

Ever wonder what your company IT’s are up to in their spare time?  Bored, and have some extra CAT5 to play with?  Well this guy was quite ingenious with his time, creating an army with weapons to behold!  Check out the gallery HERE.


So in my opinion, this is badass, and quite imaginative.  I think I see some CAT5 stripping in my future!  Have you ever done anything like this?  Drop us a note in comments and tell us all about it 😉

Burger King vs. Facebook, Who Ya Got?

Burger King vs Facebook 

Wow, that Burger King marketing team really knows how to get publicity. Last month it was the cologne(“Mmm, Smells Like Beef (New Burger King Cologne)”. A lot of people turned up their noses at that one, but it seemed to generate a lot of buzz.

Now they’re offering free burgers to Facebook users that delete 10 online friends. Guess who’s not liking that joke?

From Computerworld:

A Burger King spokeswoman today told Computerworld that Facebook took exception to the Whopper Sacrifice campaign and after days of negotiations, the fast food chain halted it. On the Whopper Sacrifice site, Burger King now says simply: "Facebook has disabled the Whopper Sacrifice after your love for the Whopper sandwich proved to be stronger than 233,906 friendships."

Watch the MST3K Cast….Live On The Web Jan 15


On January 15th, 2009 at 6:00 PM PST and 9:00 PM EST, RiffTrax will be hosting its inaugural RiffTrax Live! Webcast, featuring the former stars and writers of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Mike Nelson, Kevin “Tom Servo” Murphy and Bill “Crow” Corbett) doing what they do best—sitting in front of a terrible movie and making fun of it.

With all luck, viewers around the country and the world will get a free, live look at how these three comedians practice their craft, courtesy of’s webcasting technology.

The film to be screened is the 1951 short, “Self-Conscious Guy,” one of those unintentionally hilarious informational films. Afterwards, Mike & Co. will participate in a live question and answer session with viewers.

Full details and the event itself will be available at:

Fans can also submit advance questions for Mike to the RiffTrax Facebook page.

Klingon Keyboards Are Here, Bring On Vulcan

Klingon Keyboard

The Cherry Keyboard blog tells us that they’re making available a fun accessory in the form of a Klingon keyboard that carries the letters of the Klingon alphabet.

Other than the unique characters, this is a standard 105 key, PS/2 keyboard. But I’m sure a lot of Star Trek fans or Klingon enthusiasts familiar with the language would love to have this novelty.

The blog article teases with:

Rumours of Romulan, Vulcan and other variants are not without substance – though time will tell…..!

Gotta have one? It’s £43.99, order it here.

[via boingboing]

Dick Tracy Watch Phone Appears At CES 2009

Dick Tracy Watch Phone

In 1964 Detective Tracy upgraded from a thirty year old 2 Way Wrist Radio to a 2 Way Wrist TV.

Here we are 45 years later from CES 2009 and the arrival of the LG Watch Phone. It has a touch-screen user interface, stereo Bluetooth, a speakerphone, a built-in music player, and a not-at-all-unattractive design, with tempered glass and metal casing.

Tracy himself would be jealous.

 LG Watch Phone

Latest Science News – 1/12/09

It was a productive week in Science. From a medical use for Tetris, to bizarre behavior in Mars rocks and a female Pharaoh recently pulled from a new pyramid interested in a cure for baldness.

News Link - Tetris Doctor: You’re medically traumatized? Play Tetris – [FOX] Playing Tetris, rated one of the greatest video games of all time, immediately after traumatic events appears to reduce flashbacks that plague sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder

News Link - Mars Strange rock formations on Mars explained – [MSNBC] Rocks on Mars in some areas are scattered in a strangely uniform fashion, puzzling scientists for years. Now they’ve figured it out. And believe it or not, they’re rolling *against* the wind.

News Link - RacismStudy: Non-blacks silent toward racism – [UPI] You as an individual help define society’s values. It takes conviction in your own values to stand against racism, but according to a report on a recent study, we’re not likely to do that.

News Link - Mummy4300 Year Old Female Pharaoh found in newly discovered pyramid -  [Bloomberg] While her name was not found anywhere in the tomb, all the signs indicate that she is Seshestet. Queen Seshestet was the mother of King Teti, who founded the Sixth Dynasty and is believed to have ruled Egypt for over a decade. In papyrus texts referencing this queen, she apparently made a request to doctors to find her a cure for hair loss.

News Link - MedicalClimbers log lowest blood oxygen levels – [The Age] British doctors scaling Mount Everest have measured the lowest human blood oxygen levels ever recorded, according to a study. This data could help critical care doctors re-evaluate treatment for long-term patients suffering from respiratory distress syndromes, cystic fibrosis, emphysema, and other serious illnesses, many of which force their hosts to adapt to low oxygen levels in the blood.

News Link - Astronomy Astronomers view heavens through Galileo’s eyes – [Register] Astronomers are celebrating 400 years since Galileo made his famous observations, which were fundamental in proving the heliocentric hypothesis, by pointing a replica of one of his original telescopes at the heavens to recreate his original stargaze.

Yellowstone Quakes May Be Supervolcano Awakening – Everybody Panic!

Dont Panic

Hundreds of small earthquakes at Yellowstone National Park in recent weeks have been an unsettling reminder for some people that underneath the park’s famous geysers and majestic scenery lurks one of the world’s biggest volcanoes: the Yellowstone Caldera.

Begin the countdown, begin the evacuations, this may be one of the signs of the apocalypse. To give an indication of what a supervolcano is capable of, when the Lake Toba supervolcano erupted 76,000 years ago it plunged the Earth into a volcanic winter, eradicating about 60% of the human population.

Physorg has the full story.

Playmobil Security Check Point Toy? WTF?

How in the world a toy company thought this would make for an interesting plaything I’ll probably never know. But here it is, available on Amazon for US $55 in all it’s Homeland Security glory. The only thing missing is the ATF, the cavity searches, the torn locks on the luggage and the latex gloves.

The review comments are simply hilarious! Here’s just one great sample where some serious flaws were uncovered:

I was a little disappointed when I first bought this item, because the functionality is limited. My 5 year old son pointed out that the passenger’s shoes cannot be removed. Then, we placed a deadly fingernail file underneath the passenger’s scarf, and neither the detector doorway nor the security wand picked it up. My son said "that’s the worst security ever!". But it turned out to be okay, because when the passenger got on the Playmobil B757 and tried to hijack it, she was mobbed by a couple of other heroic passengers, who only sustained minor injuries in the scuffle, which were treated at the Playmobil Hospital.

You like this, eh? That’s nothing, how about the Playmobil Safe-Cracker?!

Plymobil Security checkpoint

Robotic Submarine Explores Antarctic Ice Shelves on 5000 D Cells


The British have developed and are deploying a robotic submarine, called Autosub, under the Pine Island ice shelf in Antarctica.

The Autosub has a top speed of 3.4 knots and can dive to 1,600 meters and oh by the way, is powered by 5,000 batteries. Yes, that right, it’s powered by 5,000 D cell batteries. As in  the kind used to power flashlights!

The unmanned boat can travel up to 400km before requiring a return trip to pick up 5,000 fresh batteries from the mother ship.

Get the full story from Reuters.

[via UberReview]

Rolling In Style

It’s been a while since we’ve posted anything related to table gaming, so I thought I’d drop these in here. I saw this in a forum where interesting and unusual items are displayed.  How awesome would it be to have a set of six siders like these at the gaming table?  Being Diamonds, I’m sure the cost of these would be astronomical….but who said fun didn’t come without a price? :)


The dice (total weight 32 carats) and solitaire (just under 4 carats) not only look fantastic but roll very well! The dice are an exclusive design by Coster of Amsterdam.
The black diamond, also known as Carbonado, is a natural polycrystalline diamond found in alluvial deposits in the Central African Republic and Brazil, they look black and are highly porous. A study by Stephen Haggerty and Jozsef Garai, both of Florida International University, analyzed the hydrogen in black diamond samples using infrared-detection instruments at the Brookhaven National Laboratory and found that the mineral formed in a supernova explosion.

Bragging rights for owning a set of these would be enough to seal the deal 😉  Could you imagine having a full set…d4,d8,d10,d12,d20…..that would rock!