The Crow Vending Machine

American Crow

I’m a big fan of crows, they’re all around me in the Pacific Northwest, they’re intelligent and I love seeing them solve puzzles. Most geeks are probably already aware that crows are pretty unique in the animal kingdom known to create tools and use them (if you’re not aware of this, you can see a short snippet of this tool creation in the following video).

Hacker and writer Joshua Klein is fascinated by crows. (Notice the gleam of intelligence in their little black eyes?) After a long amateur study of corvid behavior, he’s come up with an elegant machine that may form a new bond between animal and human.

After watching the video, check out these links if you want more on this vending machine:
-Gizmodo did a review of the device
-A paper written about the concept
-Josh is also seeking support to make this device more readily available, he needs electrical and mechanical engineers to join him and needs a little funding to support it.

Stumble of the Day

WolframAlpha is Wise

 

Question posed to WolframAlpha knowledge engine:image

Answer…

 

 

 

via GWS

Computers

2011: The Year in Pee and Poop

Treehugger gives us a recap of the year in innovative solutions to the sanitation issues facing us here on Earth and in space. The slideshow covers systems purifying human pee so astronauts can stay hydrated, to mushrooms that decompose diapers to the DIY rainwater-flushing toilet.

There’s some cool stuff in that presentation, check it out.

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Green / Eco Friendly

Another New Military Aircraft Mistaken for UFO

From Wired’s Danger Room:

Note to the Navy: When trucking a giant flying robot with a rounded fuselage across the country, people are going to think they’re looking at an artifact from Area 51.

As the local news coverage above shows, residents of Cowley County, Kansas, were freaked out to see a truck rumbling down U.S. 77 towing what looks a whole lot like a 32-foot spaceship. “People were calling in saying, ‘Oh they think they found a flying saucer,’” Donetta Godsey of the Winfield Daily Courier told the ABC News affiliate

If I saw this I wouldn’t think it was a UFO because surely the gov’t has been doing an outstanding job keeping their alien discoveries suppressed from the public view and they wouldn’t have been stupid enough to truck it through a town in broad daylight….or would they?

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Conspiracy, Military

Top 10 Reasons Why Darth Vader Was an Amazing Project Manager

I’m a few months late in recognizing this good article from Geek Wire, it takes a look at the Project Manager skills that Darth Vader exhibited. Since I’m currently training my team to prepare for a transition to Agile software development model, I got a particular kick from thinking of Vader as the Product Owner in a SCRUM project. Smile 

Number 8: Vader made commitments, and worked hard to keep them. If you think of the Galactic Empire as something of a SCRUM project, the Emperor would have to be playing the Product Owner role. Of course, in SCRUM/Agile, the team makes commitments to achieve predefined goals over the course of any given sprint or iteration. Darth did this with the Emperor many times, and he worked REAL hard to make sure those commitments were met. I mean, how did he manage to get that second Death Star operational so quickly anyway? Hard work, that’s how. Vader understood the importance of commitments, and more importantly, the significance of fulfilling them. Trust in teams is built on commitments.

Just geeky