August 18, 2016

Historical Perspective

The U.S. shows up at 14:25. 



Note that during the time represented by nearly 15 minutes of this 15:56 minute video (which slows down a bit at the end), slavery was an ubiquitous institution except in isolated locations for fleeting seconds. The fruits of the enlightenment are an aberration in history that have survived as of now for a far shorter time than the vast majority of nations. This is far from mankind's natural state and we desperately need to grasp how precious and fragile this anomalous blossoming of knowledge and human rights is. 

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September 08, 2013

This...Ummm...No






UPDATE: Come to think of it, I've SEEN this movie.


UPDATE 2: Time actually named this one of the 50 best inventions of 2010. Inexplicably, 3 years on, there seems to be no implementation of this amazing idea.
I should also belatedly mention that I got this via Brian Wang,.

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October 19, 2012

Oh My! This is a Thing of Beauty!







The desmugification process will take years...So it's heartening to finally see someone take the first step.

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January 10, 2008

Volkwagen 21

A people's car designed under a rather more benign regime than the most famous one....It's nearly as cute and given its price it may well be as successful.

Of course there is another "peoples car" that it might also emulate.

Time will tell.

I'm rooting for the Tata's.
Wait...that's not what I meant!..er..to say out loud.

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November 17, 2007

Up Ship!

    Airship Ventures is planning to begin operating a small Zeppelin out of Moffet Field for tours of San Fransisco Bay.

    The Zeppelin NT airships have had a superb saftey record thus far and are quite fuel efficient. 

They are also fricking Zeppelins...which makes them trancendentally cool.

    This type of Zeppelin is interesting because it generally operates slightly heavier than air. It gains the few hundred pounds of lift it needs from its fins or its vectorable propellors, though by dropping ballast it can float like a balloon if necessary. The design allows for far better foul weather performance and, as a bonus, a ground crew of as few as 3 which is a huge improvement over previous designs. Because of their rigid construction and compartmentation, Zeppelins are more robust than Blimps (which have no internal bracing).  

    If approved by the San Fransisco city council, this will be the first rigid airship to be based in the US since the decomissioning of USS Los Angeles (ZR3), and the first to be comercially operated.

    Besides the retrocool cool factor, Airships, because of their fuel efficiency have a lot of undevelloped potential for ultra low pollution comercial air travel, although they are slower than planes (about 120 kts max). They can also cary fairly heavy loads to remote areas and so have some potential as freightliners.

    On the military side, airships have great potential for Search and Rescue, Airborne Early Warning, Antisubmarine and mine clearance both at sea and, interestingly, over land using a big ground penetrating radar and other sophisticated sensors. The mines could be destroyed with cannon or if detected near a civillian dwelling a BD team could be landed. I read recently that one company (Airship Industries of the UK I think) did some considerable work in this arera but there were no takers. This last option gives the potential to clear large areas of  landmines quite efficiently.

Pic via Modern Airships which has scads of links concerning...well...modern airships.

 

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October 24, 2007

Wolfpackzapgun!

Chizumatic links to this important development in super science.

more...

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July 31, 2007

i-Debt

Wow...

Don't go roaming with the i-Phone.

I'm glad I'm not rich...or I'd be broke.

HT: Jerry Pournelle

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Advertisements of Yesteryear

The sort of ads we never see anymore....

...probably because most of them just creeped people out.


HT: Rand Simberg

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July 17, 2007

My First Blogad??

No not really, but Lynn over at A Sweet Familiar Dissonance has stumbled on to a  seriously cool online store.

With a name like United Nuclear you know its gotta be good!

Europium paint!
Cloud chambers!
Aerogels!
Radioactive decontamination spray (?!)
FREAKING TESLA COILS!!!!*



And thanks to Don for pointing out her blog!

*tesla coils do not actually freak

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June 27, 2007

Microsoft Table

Via Twentysided:

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