Mar 092007

The military and the Energy Department chose a new design that was developed by the Lawrence Livermore National Lab, the other competing design came from the Los Alamos National Lab. These are the two premier nuclear weapons labs in the government and have had their proposals scrutinized over the past year.

This new design is supposed to eventually replace the aging existing arsenal of weapons, they should be safer and more robust which should increase their reliability compared to the current designs which are a maintenance nightmare when they’re expected to last decades (assuming nuclear war doesn’t break out in the interim).

It’s estimated that as the old warheads are replaced with the newer models, the total number of nukes will likely be reduced from 6,000 today to about 2,000 in the year 2012.

If you’re curious about the ‘why’ of the program you should read this 2 pager from the DOE ‘Reliable Replacement Warhead Program‘ (PDF).

Read the USA Today article on the event as well.

 Posted by at 6:33 am
Mar 082007

Ever take a test in school, have no clue what the answer is and wonder “should i just leave it blank or take a shot in the dark and hope for the best”?

Well, there’s a third option, it’s write in something you know is going to be wrong, but be clever about the response and hope you might get a point or two from the teacher for ‘creativity’.

Clayton Cramer has some real doozies to show you, i’ve copied two below to give you a taste. Check it out.

Find X Ramp - Elephant

 Posted by at 9:44 am
Mar 082007

Websurdity has an excellent summary of the uncomfortable questions about the Death Star attack that led to its destruction. Of course the premise is that Luke Skywalker was *not* responsible for blowing up the death star but he had a lot of help, from the inside.

A couple of choice questions posed in the inquiry:

- Why was the rebel pilot who supposedly destroyed the Death Star reported to be on the Death Star days, maybe hours, prior to its destruction? Why was he allowed to escape, and why were several individuals dressed in Stormtrooper uniforms seen helping him?

- Why did Lord Vader decide to break all protocols and personally pilot a lightly armored TIE Fighter? Conveniently, this placed Lord Vader outside of the Death Star when it was destroyed.

    Good stuff.

     Posted by at 6:16 am
    Mar 072007

    Okay, so who doesn’t like LEGOs?  If you raised your hand, begone with you!!  No, seriously…I’m kidding :)  Well, how about Star Wars?  Yes?  So lets put the two together!  Thats what LEGO has done, producing some very complex and intuitave Star Wars LEGO models that when viewed, spark memories of those stalwart heroes from that galaxy far far away.  By far, the most impressive model yet is the Millennium Falcon, the starship of the famed Han Solo. 

     LEGO Millennium Falcon

    This massive model, when built, is nearly 3ft long, with over 5,000 pieces (some designed specifically for this model) and very closely approximates all the classic details from the YT-1300 Corellian Freighter in the movie.

    Even though I gave all my LEGOs away a long time ago, I still dabble with my son’s collection once in a while.  Seeing this monument to LEGO creation makes me want to reach for my pocket book….but I fall short, once I realize the $500 pricetag ;(  So, no giant spaceship for me!  But I can still dream….

    Mar 072007

    Wait….what?  KTM made a car?  When I think of KTM, I conjure up memories of blasting through tight berms and pulling off a trick tabletop over a set of doubles on my old KTM 250 motorcycle at the local dirt track ;)  Well it seems those days continue, but with a new devision that has developed a snazzy new prototype car called “X-Bow“.

    KTM X-Bow Prototype

    KTM jumps into the performance car genre with both feet by revealing this stylish roadster.  Although it sports only a lightweight 700 kilos, it makes it up with its radical sleek design, a powerful 220hp Audi engine, and a finely engineered carbon-fibre frame.

    At first glance, it seems a bit ungraceful, not having the standard full sleek frame one is used to with a performance vehicle.  Yet, after reviewing its specs, and given the full 360 degree view, it kinda grew on me.  I’ll see how it does…KTM says only 100 will be produced through 2007, and see if there is a demand for their new creation.