Wednesday, 26 December 2012

10 more miscellaneous "things" for you

Frank E. Kirby: 1910
via Shorpy Historical Photo Archive – Vintage Fine Art Prints by Dave
Frank E. Kirby: 1910
Toledo, Ohio, circa 1910
“Sidewheeler Frank E. Kirby at steamer landing”
8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company
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Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
What’s so appealing about an asexual, aloof character like Sherlock Holmes? It’s that Conan Doyle created a superhero, not a superhuman... more

Tesla Coil Fights Combines Electricity and Choreography
via How-To Geek by Jason Fitzpatrick

We’ve seen quite a few Tesla-coil tricks over the years but never choreographed fighting between two guys balanced on Tesla coils.
This definitely falls deeply into the don’t try this at home category – two guys in special suits are standing atop Tesla coils and directing the blasts of electricity at each other in a type of stylised combat. While their suits are clearly acting as Faraday cages to protect them from the electricity, we prefer our Faraday cages to be beefier and not attached directly to our skin.
[via Obvious Winner]

Paintballs may deflect an incoming asteroid
via Boing Boing by Mark Frauenfelder

Tim O’Reilly tweeted about this proposal to deflect pesky asteroids on a collision course with earth. I’m reading The Last Policeman so this is even more interesting to me than usual.
In the event that a giant asteroid is headed toward Earth, you’d better hope that it’s blindingly white. A brightly colored asteroid would reflect sunlight – and over time, this bouncing of photons off its surface could create enough of a force to push the asteroid off its course.
How might one encourage such a deflection? The answer, according to an MIT graduate student: with a volley or two of space-launched paintballs.
Paintballs may deflect an incoming asteroid [contains detail of the hypothesis]

Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
Tolstoy preached Tolstoyism, but there was no “Chekhovism”. Chekhov’s genius wasn’t for big ideas, but petty concerns – a small lie, filthy latrines, a slovenly manner... more

Raspberry Pi Powered Coffee Table Serves Up Arcade Classics
via How-To Geek by Jason Fitzpatrick
If your living room is boring for want of a plethora of arcade hits, this DIY project parks a Raspberry Pi powered arcade machine in a coffee table for at-your-finger-tips retro gaming.
Courtesy of tinker Graham Gelding, this build combines a 24-inch monitor, arcade buttons, a Raspberry Pi board, and a wooden coffee table to great effect.
The end result is a table-top style arcade that also doubles, courtesy of a wireless keyboard and mouse, as a web browsing and email station.

Hit up the link below for more information.
Coffee Table Pi [via Hack A Day]

150 great things about the London Underground: an unofficial birthday salute to a public transport titan
No 48: The “houses” in Leinster Gardens
The trains that first ran along the railway line that passes below Leinster Gardens were steam-powered. The locomotives needed somewhere to vent the fumes that built up inside the engines. But where to do this, in a neighbourhood jostling with upmarket residences for whom a large gap in the ground would appear both unsightly and undignified?
The answer, as with most tricks of the eye, can be found round the back.
From an age where engineering solutions could be figured out with a bit of front.
Fantastic blog. Check it out here.
And I found it on Guardian Technical

Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
Secret history of Monopoly. Known variously as Auction and Finance, the board game may have been invented as a paean to socialism... more

The Hobbit trilogy effect: More kids’ books that should be made into three movies
via TechRepublic
Ken Hardin offers a tongue-and-cheek look at three classic children’s books that Peter Jackson or a like-minded film maker could make into three movies.
Now I could, of course leave it there but no, I will tell you which three books and then you can go to the TechRepublic blog to find out why.
A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle
The Last Battle, C. S. Lewis
The Mouse and The Motorcycle, Beverly Cleary

How Brainless Slime Molds Redefine Intelligence
Ferris Jabr in Scientific American via 3quarksdaily by S. Abbas Raza
Single-celled amoebae can remember, make decisions and anticipate change, urging scientists to rethink intelligent behaviour.

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