Chinese Inventor Builds Oil Barrel Submarine

Submarine

Tip o’ the hat to the ingenuity and sheer guts it takes to build your submarine out of a couple of oil barrels and then try it out yourself.

I served on submarines for almost a decade, so i have some respect for what it takes to make those pig boats work. I’ll stick to the 688s over the oil barrel any day.

Via the Escapist which has more of the fun details, via China Daily.

BTW, in other submarine news – Christopher Fitzgerald died today. Who’s he? He’s the CIA agent that worked with Howard Hughes’ team to secretly raise the sunken Soviet sub K-129 off the Pacific Ocean in 1968. It was referred to as Project Jennifer, it’s a fascinating story, read about it on Wikipedia.

Just geeky

The Math of Golf

Solheim Cup 2009

I took up golf late last year and I’m slowly becoming a golf geek. After playing a par3 course first thing in the morning and then watching 4 hours of the Golf Channel to see the US team of women defeat the European women in the Solheim Cup today, I did a little searching through Youtube for golf instructional videos.

One of the gems I stumbled upon is this one from a high school physics project of an amazing golf shot. This is essentially the algebra behind the golf shot. Watch the video through the credits to see outtakes of the golf pro as he tries and tries again to make the shot.

Just geeky

New Marvelous Mars Pics of Victoria Crater

Click through to the Daily Mail and see some marvelous new images of Mars.

Mars Crater

Science

Yet Another Online Dictionary

definr

I stumbled across a site that describes itself as an “incredibly fast dictionary”. It’s known as definr (http://definr.com/).

The first question I asked myself is whether we need yet another online dictionary. Some folks use Wiktionary, much like Wikipedia it’s only as accurate as the folks making the entries want it to be, so most folks probably leverage something they trust: Compact Oxford, American Heritage, Merriam-Webster’s to name a few.

Yes definr is fast, blazingly so partly because it caches the top 10,000 definitions in memory. It also tries to guess what you’re typing as you’re typing a word to search, by the time you click Enter it’s got a definition at the ready.

The quality of the answers is ok, nothing to write home about when I compared some sample words to three dictionaries I trust listed above, but it’s better than some. While it’s not the best, it is worth taking a look at in my opinion. The value of seeing it propose possible words as you’re typing is interesting because it offers me an opportunity to discover new words previously unknown to me and that gets me excited because I’m a word geek. For instance, when I tried testing it’s ability to handle Gen Y lexicon such as “Fark”, by the time I got to the ‘k’ it offered the word farkleberry. Where the heck else would I have been offered an opportunity to learn about the farkleberry and sparkleberry bushes from eastern United States? :-)

BTW, ‘Fark’ was not in the definr dictionary, this is a good thing. The database is based on Princeton’s open WordNet 2.0, believe it or not you can download this lexical database yourself.

The verdict? I’m going to stick with OneLook as my first stop for dictionary searches, but I’m adding definr to my browser’s search plugins as a quick/available alternative because I think it has promise and it offers me a learning opportunity.

Stumble of the Day, Web

Oh Pikachu, How You’ve Changed

Cosplay from ComiCon 2009:

pikachu

[via That Girls Site]

Just geeky