Lasers for saving the Navy some money

If there is a task which would be better suited for sharks with frikkin’ laser beams on their heads than this, I don’t know what it is. Using a grant from the National Science Foundation, Professor Daniel Bubb and his team have come up with a new method for coating polymers. With this new approach, the Navy should be able to reduce barnacle attachments, which will result in less drag on ships at sea, which will reduce fuel costs. It’s pretty much a win/win all around. Except, maybe for the barnacles. And keelhauling will be less effective, I suppose.

As gas prices continue to soar, the Navy will be eager to learn of research underway at Rutgers University–Camden. “Barnacles that attach to naval ships are a huge cost to the Navy. Imagine if you drove a car with a parachute attached; this extra drag force requires more gas,” says Daniel Bubb, an assistant professor of physics at Rutgers-Camden, who has developed a new method for coating polymers.

Just put those sharks beneath the water line and let them start coating all the ships we already have. And they can even use the lasers to zap the barnacles already attached to the ships.

[tags]Lasers, Frikkin’ sharks with frikkin’ lasers, New polymer coating process using lasers (sharks optional)[/tags]

SimCity DS coming

(via Joystiq)
Word from IGN is that SimCity will soon be available for the Nintendo DS.  At least, it will be available soon in Japan.  This news comes from the Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu.

sc3k1b.jpgElectronic Arts may not be known for making major game announcements over in Japan, but here’s one for you: Sim City DS! That’s right! The original Sim is set for DS release through Electronic Arts, and the latest issue of Famitsu is home to first details.

There is no word on yet on a release date for Europe or the US.

I must admit, seeing this game and thinking about SimCity controlled via Stylus made me think about another game of yesteryear that I think might be good on the DS – Tempest 2000.  Maybe someday we’ll get that.  Also, the above screenshot is from the original PC version, and is not necessarily representative of what will be in SimCity DS.
[tags]Famitsu, SimCity DS, Nintendo DS, NDS[/tags]

Chuck Norris vs. Zombie Bruce Lee

I wish I had done this.  But I lack skill and imagination necessary to pull it off.  It’s a “The Movies” generated machinima of Chuck Norris fighting a zombified Bruce Lee.  As we all know, such a meeting must never come to pass, lest the very world on which we live be destroyed from that much awesomeness being in such close quarters.  But in machinima, anything can happen.

[tags]Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee zombie, Chuck Norris vs. Zombie Bruce Lee[/tags]

Yahoo music 2 years for the price of 1 offer

I’ve already mentioned this recently in another posting, but this is a big enough deal to get its own article.  If you are thinking at all about getting in on one of the online music subscription sites, consider Yahoo Music.  If you use your Mastercard to pay right now, and if you are a new subscriber, you get 2 years of service for the price of 1.  And given Yahoo Music’s low price, that works out to about $2.50 per month for unlimited downloading of music.  The big drawback to this for a lot of folks is that Yahoo Music is only portable to Plays4Sure compatible players, of which the iPod is not one.  And unfortunately for me, my Samsung YH-920 is not on the list either.

[tags]Yahoo music deal[/tags]

New laser trimming robot

To be shown at the upcoming IMTS (International Manufacturing Technology Show) in Chicago is the AccuTrim WJ-110 six-axis robot with Abrasive Water Jet from Robotic Production Technology (RPT).

At the show, RPT will demonstrate three-dimensional, abrasive water jet trimming of a stainless steel part. During the demonstration, the part will be approximately placed into the robot’s work area and an RPT AccuFind* Sensor will quickly locate the part and find varying critical feature positions to ensure the trimming occurs in the correct location.

. . .

laser_abrasive_water_jet_lr.jpg

“We’re excited to introduce yet another water jet trimming solution to the marketplace with more capability than has ever been available before,” said RPT CEO Chuck Russo. “By working with H2O Jet and FANUC Robotics, we’re able to offer abrasive trimming solutions that combine a high reliability robot and high pressure components with system design, software and process knowledge that maximize the productivity of the system and deliver world-class value to our customers,” Russo said.

No mention of shark use in future water jet trimming projects was made.  However, it is never wise to rule out the use of frikkin’ sharts with frikkin’ laser beams on their frikkin’ heads.  Just remember that.

[tags]Lasers, Laser trimming robot, Robotic Production Technology[/tags]

Super-size yellow jacket nests

I read about these giant yellow jacket nests last yellowjackets.jpgweek, but just didn’t feel the need to post about it at the time. Now that a co-worker has sent me an article with a good picture of one of the super-sized nests, I thought it might be time to share. Read over at The Montgomery Adviser about giant yellow jacket nests (giant nests, not giant yellow jackets, by the way) which host up to 100,000 yellow jackets. Typically, entomologists say, they see nests of around 3000 yellow jackets. These super nests, as noted above, have up to 100,000 yellow jackets, and have multiple queens in the hive.

MOBILE — To the bafflement of insect experts, gigantic yellow jacket nests have started turning up in old barns, unoccupied houses, cars and underground cavities across the southern two-thirds of Alabama.

. . .

At one site in Barbour County, the nest was as large as a Volkswagen Beetle, said Andy McLean, an Orkin pesticide service manager in Dothan who helped remove it from an abandoned barn about a month ago.

. . .

Entomologist Dr. Charles Ray at the Alabama Cooperative Extension System in Auburn said he’s aware of about 16 of what he described as “super-sized” nests in south Alabama.

Ray said he’s seen 10 of them and cautioned people about going near them because of the yellow jacket’s painful sting.

For the record, I don’t believe I have to be warned to stay away from a nest of yellow jackets that is the size of a car or a barn. I used to work with a guy who said yellow jackets were hornets with a bad attitude and a mean streak. That seems about right. Oh, and while these folks don’t offer guidance on dealing with 100,000 yellow jacket nests, at Do Your Own Pest Control you can get some guidance on ridding yourself of these pests.

[tags]Super-size my yellow jacket nest, 100K yellow jackets in a car[/tags]

Pre-war intelligence – what we knew and what we didn’t

I’ve been reading more official and unofficial accounts of what was known before the US went to war in Iraq. I’m trying to get a better understanding of what intelligence we had which we were sure was correct, what we had that was unverified (or unverifiable), what questions were or were not asked about our sources, and more. So far, I’m finding anecdotal evidence that warnings were made about how questionable some of the pre-war intelligence used to justify the war was. But I’m also finding official reports that indicate some intelligence wasn’t properly corrborated and investigated, but nothing to indicate there were doubts raised about the sources.

Continue reading Pre-war intelligence – what we knew and what we didn’t

101 Free games

These lists pop up from time to time.  I look at them when the do.  I always find a game or three I didn’t know about before seeing the list.  The games fall back out of my mind and I play whatever game I’m hooked on at the time (for now, that’s City of Heroes – over 2 years running now).  To check the latest free games, hit 1Up’s list of free games.

What you’re looking at is the result of countless hours spent searching for the best and newest free games. You’ll find some mods, a little shareware, and a couple Web games, but most of the titles on the next few pages are 100 percent free with no strings attached.

So have at the list. And when you are viewing the offerings, make sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of the page for your list of pages.  Clicking on the wrong next page marker doesn’t advance the list to another page.  Just a helpful little tip from Tour-guide Randy.

[tags]Free Games, 1Up.com, Gaming[/tags]

Eye candy – freaky chick looking freaky hot

Again, some of these are for my enjoyment.  Feel free to skip by any you don’t like.  For those that didn’t skip, can anyone tell me what this picture is from?  She moved up a couple of notches on my women I most want for things I shouldn’t talk about, at least not as a married man, list after seeing this image.
ricci-freaky.jpg

[tags]Christina Ricci, Eye Candy[/tags]

Long lost twins?

Maybe it’s just my imagination, but Ben Kingsley and Howie Mandel sure look a lot alike now.  Are they secretly related?  Images from the Emmy red carpet blah, blah, whatever it’s called.  Here they are, side by side.  Can you tell which is the now knighted man who played Gandhi, and who hosts the TV gameshow Deal or No Deal?
benkingsley.jpg howiemandel.jpg

[tags]Ben Kingsley, Howie Mandel, Long lost twins?[/tags]