Monthly Archives: January 2006

Symptoms of fatigue

Kathryn, who woke up for a while last night due to Iris screaming, tells me at the gym today that she’s “looking forward to going home to relaxate.”

Reminds me when I was sleep deprived in college, riding the bus to campus and thinking that everyone was speaking a weird new language that only makes sense again when you get enough sleep.

But one of the best is Jim’s boot camp story, wherein he reached out to receive candy offered by the fatigue-induced vision of a woman in a blue dress. He was supposed to be practicing hiding in a ditch with his machine gun. Apparently his drill instructor was not happy to be seeing him jumping out of the ditch for treats.

Sunday funnies, the remix

Click for info and full comic.

Spam subject du jour

The subject of some cheesy Web marketing scam I received in my inbox recently:

“My Darling, Is That Manure Stick You Have On?”

Geckos with friggin’ LASER BEAMS!

I and several other BKA folk are working on some SBIR proposals to try to fund some research and development in our little shop, and I found some interesting proposals that were already awarded.

DARPA, which has a reputation for funding some freaky stuff, awarded one to a company with some interesting wording in their abstract: “The ability to efficiently utilize the large surface area of entities such as buildings, tanks, and ships as active, intelligent skins will allow these assets to become part of a larger, highly-responsive, complex nervous system in mission critical scenarios.”

This title won the funding award despite breaking trademark: “Printed Electronics Processing for Structural Integrity (PEPSI)”.

And CES would have been a much more interesting consumer electronics conference with items such as the “Highly Scalable Low Loss Fast Tuned True Time Delay Module Based on Dispersion Enhanced Photonic Crystal Fibers”.

Science fiction? “Distributed Collaborative Planning and Control for Undersea Surveillance using Swarms of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles.” Big Brother goes swimming!

And who would have thought the humble gecko could inspire the next generation of robots? “An essentially new research thrust on studying the climbing capability of the gecko has been of major interest. The ability to not only climb walls but also hang upside down from the ceiling has postulated many research questions. In addition to this, the gecko has the added advantage of having dry, self-cleaning, dynamically modulated adhesive feet. These advantages give unlimited life in sticking ability, unlike modern adhesive materials (i.e. tapes, glues, etc.). Recent studies indicate that this is actually achieved by small intermolecular forces known as van der Waals forces. This force, which occurs when unbalanced electrical charges around molecules attract each other, is individually miniscule, but the effect of several million collectively produces a powerful adhesion. An effective adhesive material would probably have to utilize a multi-level micro structure design that would engage the surface so the naturally occurring van der Waals forces could be maximized. The development of this new material would incorporate understanding at the nanoscopic scale of the fibers and/or microstructure of both the gecko feet and the proposed adhesion material. The major technical risks will be in the development, fabrication, and adhesive efficiency of this type of material.”

Today, on “Internet”, part 2

(15:41:11) Dave: i think i typed a bush-ism accidentally
(15:41:24) Dave: writing up some sbir crap on the wiki, i tried to type “easily”
(15:41:29) Dave: and ended up typing “easible”
(15:41:38) Jon: HAH HAH HAH
(15:41:58) Jon: see? modern society makes ya dumbpid!
(15:42:01) Dave: it’d be a good name for a company 🙂
(15:42:07) Dave: Welcome to Easible
(15:42:32) Jon: that’d be a good name for a ranch out in nevada…
(15:42:29) Dave: oh, i saw an ad for some meds for bi-polar patients
(15:42:34) Dave: it had the worst drug name ever
(15:42:38) Dave: it was called “Abilify”
(15:42:47) Jon: oh yeah, that stuff
(15:42:59) Dave: it makes you able! so it abilifies you!
(15:43:00) Jon: pharmaceuticals have all kinds of stupid names like that now
(15:43:28) Jon: “Ask you doctor about Pubella!”
(15:43:32) Jon: “No, I don’t think I will…”
(15:44:39) Dave: LOL

Today, on “Internet”

(13:04:32) Jon: internet thread of the day:
(13:04:59) Jon: I noticed a news headline about Philly celebrating Benjamin Franklin’s 300th birthday this month
(13:05:07) Jon: So I looked him up on wikipedia
(13:05:20) Jon: read through all this stuff about him that I either had forgotten or didn’t know
(13:05:35) Jon: at the end there’s a fiction category
(13:05:40) Jon: one of the lines:
(13:05:51) Jon: “Franklin surprisingly appears as a character in Tony Hawk’s Underground 2, a skateboarding video game. Players encounter Franklin in his hometown of Boston and are able to play as him thereafter.”
(13:05:54) Jon: o_O
(13:06:09) Dave: ROFL
(13:06:12) Dave: that’s awesome 🙂
(13:06:25) Jon: didn’t expect to read that line ever 🙂
(13:06:41) Dave: that rules
(13:06:55) Jon: it does sound pretty cool 🙂
(13:07:11) Dave: now i wanna play that game
(13:07:24) Dave: and, they should make a spinoff that lets you play as all sorts of historical characters
(13:07:31) Dave: sigmund freud shreddin’ up the asphalt
(13:07:34) Dave: with his wicked moves
(13:07:43) Jon: don’t forget socrates!
(13:07:49) Dave: hehe
(13:07:57) Dave: he’s a sk8 poseur
(13:08:26) Jon: they should do a contemporary version too, where you can play Bill O’Reily, Jesse Jackson, Jerry Falwell, etc.
(13:08:36) Dave: hahaha
(13:08:39) Dave: jery falwell
(13:08:42) Dave: i’d buy that game
(13:08:46) Jon: hells yeah!

This says it all

The International Coal Group executives celebrating their initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange in November 2005; a precursor to today’s news of the 12 West Virginia miners that perished.