Sloop v. Xebec

It’s been many years since I read Master and Commander, but I distinctly remember the battle between Lucky Jack Aubrey, newly made Commander of a sloop (was it called Sophie yet?) and an Ottoman xebec far larger and more capable. I need to read those books again!
But I never knew upon whom this story was based, and today, pretty much randomly, I stumbled across the Wiki entry for Thomas Cochrane, clearly one of the inspirations for Aubrey.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Cochrane,_10th_Earl_of_Dundonald

RC Heli with Mind Control

How cool is this? When I first saw the title, I was like “right” but the video explains practically exactly how it works. I’ll have to search around to see if there are any videos of extended flight or fine control. (I have enough experience with macros to know that they can be very limiting.)

Hiding Fine Art Inside Popular Art

I came across this piece in the New York Times today: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/11/arts/design/woody-woodpecker-and-shamus-culhanes-animation.html

I’ve long known about animators inserting cameos in their work. But this was quite new. And the idea of inserting different kinds of art as transitional backgrounds or tonal matte paintings is a great one. I’ll have to think on that a bit!

Egg Decorating Robot

Evil Mad Scientist's Egg-Bot.

Evil Mad Scientist's Egg-Bot.

Toddling around an Instructables email (totally wonderful daily distractions!) I came across the EggBot. This dandy device can do awesome decorations on eggs. Just in time for Easter! More info at Evil Mad Scientist’s site.

What About the Home Page?

I want to be like this guy. Got the web chops, just need the microphone and autotuner.

Auto Tuning from Casey Donahue on Vimeo.

I Love OKGo

The guys in OKGo are so amazing for their videos. And I think their music is pretty fine, too. But the videos really make them something special. I just watched “This Too Shall Pass” again after stumbling across a YouTube video of Notre Dame’s marching bang paying homage. What it is about this video that I think is so incredible, I can’t really say. It’s a simple idea, and not nearly as complex as their previous videos. So perhaps it has something to do with the fact that they are doing something live and so outside of genre, with a teensy bit of Souza built in. It’s four years later, but it’s still great.

And this newer one is pretty awesome, too, for an entirely different reason!

Facebook in the Same Vein

Saw this one a few weeks ago, but in an email someone had sent me. Didn’t take long to find it on the internet.

What I wondered is whether this guy set up fake accounts to create these? 😉

http://www.vinniev.com/if-facebook-existed-years-ago

YouTube if it Existed in 1911

What Are These Interesting Barcodes?

Terrific BarcodeI recently found this page at TidBITS—a Mac-focused e-zine whose founder and editors are unapologetic technophiles. They have often tried new things in their newsletter and online to see how they fare. One such thing is 2D barcodes. And they’re completely worth a read!
http://tidbits.com/article/10616

Berkeley Ranks 4th in International Reputation

The irony with this study, however, is that even many of my fellow East Bay residents — living in the shadow of Cal — barely mention it when talking about elite schools. “Ivy League” carries a huge amount of weight for some people. But clearly, schools don’t have to be private to enjoy great reputations and to produce excellent graduates.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/mar/10/world-top-100-universities-reputation-rankings-reputation-times-higher-education

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