Bell Labs Announces Communication Technology Breakthrough

Posted by ted @ 1:39 am, April 1st, 2014

Bell Laboratories announced today an amazing new breakthrough in hands-free texting technology.


Product team leader Mr. A. Bell explained, “we saw that people were getting more and more frustrated trying to communicate through the tiny keyboards on their phone, so we stepped up to do something about it.”

Their breakthrough new product allows users to simply speak into a handheld device to send a message to another user. The advanced digital technology behind the scenes then converts their voice into electrical impulses which are sent to the receiving users device and then almost magically transformed back into audible speech. This wonderful new “speech-to-text-to-speech” technology also provides an incredible live two-way simultaneous communication experience. You will now be able to talk over each other, interrupt each other or even finish each others sentences in ways never before possible with old fashioned texting.

While freeing users from the confines of the tiny keyboard is amazing in it’s own right, they went one step further. Bell explains, “While we were reinventing handheld communication technology we saw the opportunity to also tackle one of the most common complaints of today’s phone users, battery life”.

They have developed a unique solution to this age old problem plaguing phone users. They use an advanced flexible strip of conductive metals, or “wire”, to continuously provide an uninterrupted supply of electrical power directly into the handheld device.

Using this breakthrough combination of technologies allows users to now speak directly in to a handheld device and communicate to a friend a long distance away, and continue that conversation for as long as they like. Teenagers are already scrambling to have the devices installed right in their own bedroom for endless late night conversations.

“It is so simple!”, one anonymous teen user gushed, “All I have to do is enter a 7 digit number and I am immediately connected to my BFF” . Another tech-savvy teen commented on the performance of the new system, “It has amazingly low latency with almost no lag at all and I have so far never experienced a single dropped connection! The audio quality is like I have never heard before and the possibilities for gaming are intriguing since the hand free system can be used while simultaneously holding a console game controller.”

Bell has high hopes for the future of his technology. “We can only begin to imagine the effects this breakthrough will have on modern society and businesses.”

Chuck Norris Protects Latvians from Junk Mail

Posted by ted @ 9:00 am, March 29th, 2014

Sticker seen on a mailbox:


It translates to: “Please! DO NOT THROW unaddressed items! Chuck Norris knows where YOU live. “

Notice how they Latvianize his name to Caks Noriss.

Confuse A Dog

Posted by ted @ 2:22 am, March 22nd, 2014

I enjoy watching this magician confuse these poor dogs with a simple disappearing treat trick. You can see their little doggy brains struggling to make sense of what happened. It is interesting how many of them instinctively look down suddenly, expecting the treat to fall to the ground. They don’t understand slight of hand, but they do know gravity.


[via Gizmodo]


Of course Cats are much smarter than dogs, so it takes a lot more work to Confuse A Cat


Posted by ted @ 1:58 am, March 18th, 2014

Number 5


It told her that I knew a secret about her.

She looked at me solemnly and answered quietly with a tone of hope in her voice, ” you don’t…”

“I do, but it is okay”, I assured her.

She stared silently with her little furrowed brow.
I went on.

“I met a boy. He was hiding behind a low stone wall under a gnarled old tree. As I crept up silently he turned and held a finger to his lips.  When I reached his side he pointed over the wall into the meadow beyond.  In the morning mists I could see the number 5.  He whispered carefully in the lowest of possible voices, ‘Its her favorite number'”.

Her eyebrows shot up in surprise.

“You know!”, and then after a short concerned pause, “What will you do with it?”

I smiled just a little, “Why, buy you 5 tulips in the spring, of course.”

She sat stone faced. “Will you tell?”

“No, of course not, then it wouldn’t be a secret anymore.”

“Oh, well, okay then”, and she allowed the barest trace of a smile to play across her lips.


How Oreos Are Unmade

Posted by ted @ 1:35 am, March 14th, 2014

An interesting and informative video showing how Oreo cookies are processed to recover their component parts. Did you know, “half the flour consumed in the United States is extracted from Oreos”? I did not know that. They also get cocaine, gunpowder, cocoa and sugar! So interesting. Watch and learn! It gets particularly good after the 3 minute mark when the wizards show up.

Bridge Demolition

Posted by ted @ 6:08 pm, October 4th, 2011

This time lapse video of an overnight bridge demolition is surprisingly beautiful in its own way. The track excavators look like insects devouring a leaf. It was made with a Canon 5Dmk2. over 18+ hours and 4,000 images.

A Bridge Too Far from James Miller on Vimeo.

I Want a (Lego) Unimog

Posted by ted @ 10:32 am, June 7th, 2011

File:Mercedes Benz Unimog Turkey exhibition side.JPG


The Mercedes Unimog is the quintessential go anywhere four wheel drive work vehicle. Developed in post war Germany for agricultural use, they were taken over by Daimler Benz in 1951.  Portal gears on the wheel hubs allow the axles and transmission to be higher than the tires center, giving the Unimog a higher ground clearance than the Humvee. They also have a flexible frame that allow the wheels a great range of motion. These combine to allow the Unimog to climb a shear vertical step several feet high. They are used by various countries military forces and when decommissioned are often imported to the US and used by extreme four wheel drive enthusiasts.  They have been made in a variety of variants including a radio box truck, ambulance, troop carrier, and snowblower and are now offered in a variety of modern construction job variants. If I had more garage space (and disposable income) I would love to own an old radio box or troop carrier.

Lego is . . .  well really, do I even have to go into how awesome Lego is? Combine awesome truck with awesome building toy and you get the new Lego Unimog model.

Lego has announced their largest model kit ever is going to be a 1:12.5 scale Unimog U400 truck, and what can I do but come down with a serious case of the “I wants”. It even has a working pneumatic crane.

I want it even more than this awesome VW Beetle set (the blocks just don’t do the beautiful curves justice) which was the previous lego model I drooled over.

Unfortunately at $250 I won’t be ordering one right away, but I will always keep my eyes open for a good sale or used set, and dream…. that is still free. Some more pictures to enjoy:

Born in a Digital World

Posted by ted @ 11:00 am, April 26th, 2011

Over at the (rather fascinating) blog The Technium they talk about what it means to grow up in a digital world. It is fascinating to witness how young children not only take to advanced technology so naturally, but also take it for granted as a basic and obvious part of the world around us. They illustrate the point with 3 humorous anecdotes. The highlight of my favorite one is :

One day he printed out a high resolution image on photo paper and left it on the coffee table. He noticed his toddler come up to up and try to unpinch the photo to make it larger, like you do on an iPad. She tried it a few times, without success, and looked over to him and said “broken.”


Find the rest at Born Digital


UPDATE: Over at the Kids.Woot blog Jason Toon responds. He wonders if maybe it is not such a good idea for very young children to have interact with these virtual environments so much when they are still struggling to understand the physical reality around them.

What happens to the human mind when, during the most crucial period in its cognitive and motor development, it encounters technologies like the iPad? We have no idea. I hate to pee in the virtual punchbowl, but it seems wise to at least consider the possibilities now. iPad-type devices are still only used by a relatively tiny number of people. If introducing children to iPads at an early age can harm their development, that’s a lesson we’d hate to learn after the devices have become as ubiquitous as TV.

Are iPads Good For Kids?

Awesome Banana Sculptures

Posted by ted @ 11:00 am, April 19th, 2011

Check out these awesome banana sculptures from Japanese artist y_yamaden. You can find the whole set of pictures here. (Japanese language)

[Geekologie] via [Laughing Squid]

Ground Quidditch is Real

Posted by ted @ 8:30 am, April 17th, 2011

Why are America’s best and brightest and leaders of tomorrow out running around in the mud with broom sticks between their legs, trying to chase a someone in a golden lycra suit? They are playing Quidditch, of course! Yesterday two championship games of the Prairie Cup Ground Quidditch tournament were held on the campus of the University of Minnesota Morris. The game rules are roughly the same as the game from the world of Harry Potter, with of course the exception of the flying around part. People run about with brooms between their legs trying to throw a quaffle through the goal rings while avoiding the beaters trying to hit them with bludger balls. (Truth be told, we had a hard time telling the quaffle from the bludgers.) All the while, a person designated the golden snitch runs about (in a wonderful shiny golden suit) trying to avoid having his tail removed by seekers. In the pickup game we watched there were not actually any seekers in evidence chasing the golden snitch, but he had a nice run about anyway (and yes, that is fresh snow on the ground on April 16th!)

You can find a few more of my pictures here, and campus news coverage here

It’s Not That Funny, So Why Are We Laughing?

Posted by ted @ 8:53 am, March 22nd, 2011

wierd food names


I keep struggling to figure out what is going on here, it doesn’t make sense. I keep think it is starting to make sense, but then no, it still doesn’t make sense. Then why is it so funny? (B has sneaking suspicion it is the word “mork”)

Click through for much more…

(click for more…)


Posted by ted @ 8:59 pm, March 21st, 2011


We were always too poor to write our own poems

And had to buy them at the store.

The kinds that they sell always rhyme too well,

But the images tend to bore.

Someday when I am rich,

I will buy great words

And write poems about dragons and swords.

The kinds that paint pictures of far away places,

And taste so much better to read.

How Does Paper Beat Rock Anyway?

Posted by ted @ 11:00 am, March 10th, 2011

Ever wonder just how paper beats rock in the Rock Paper Scissors Game? Well someone else out there not only wondered, but outright disagreed and even went one step further – they made this funny sign about it:

Paper vs Rock

[CSLACKER]  via [Stumbleon]

but wait, there’s more!

Speaking of Rock Paper Scissors: If you feel like losing a few games to a smarty-pants computer program, check out this “You Vs Computer” rock paper scissors game at the New York Times. I will give you one for free, he leads with rock the first time, after that, prepare to be humbled…but at least it won’t punch you in the face for playing paper.


Decaf Coffee Explained

Posted by ted @ 8:48 am, March 10th, 2011


I always wondered about that, nice to get it cleared up finally.


[Fake Science] via [Endlesssimmer]

Slow Loris with Tiny Umbrella equals Extreme Cuteness

Posted by ted @ 11:00 am, March 9th, 2011

And now for your moment of cute :


The Sound of Pi

Posted by ted @ 6:59 am, March 8th, 2011

Just in time for the upcoming Pi Day (3/14), YouTube musician Michael John Blake has created a lovely song by interpreting the first 31 digits of pi into musical notes. While there is certainly a lot of creative input involved to get from pi to this song, the connection is still fun, and don’t forget to notice just how many different instruments this guy can play. Enjoy!



Suggestions for Sailors Stuck at Home

Posted by ted @ 9:44 am, March 7th, 2011

Just in time for all you sailors stuck at home during these cold winter months:


Some suggestions you can do at home, if you miss being aboard your boat!

1.Sleep on the shelf in your closet.

2.Replace the closet door with a curtain.

3.Four hours after you go to sleep, have your wife whip open the curtain,
shine a flashlight in your eyes, and mumble, “Your watch!”.

4.Put a wall across the middle of you bathtub and move the shower head down
to chest level.

5.When taking showers, shut off the water while soaping.

6.Put lube oil in your humidifier instead of water and set it to high.

7.If your basement floods, durning a sudden thaw, go down and start bailing.

8.Bring inside some type of gas motor(lawn mower, garden tiller, etc),
start, and leave running while trying to listen to favorite CD, or having an
in-depth conversation.

9.If the wind, outside, is howling, race around the house to make sure all
windows and doors are secure (at night, everyone takes a turn on ‘watch’).

10.Place all none edible garbage in small plastic bags, and store in other
half of tub (edible garbage to be thrown out the window).

11.Wake up at midnight and have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on stale
bread. Cold canned ravioli or soup, is optional.

12.Make up your family menu a week ahead of time without looking in the
pantry, ‘fridge, or freezer.

13.Once a month, pick a major appliance, take it completely apart, and put
it back together.

14.Use 18 scoops of coffee per pot, and allow it to sit for 5 to 6 hours
before drinking.

15.Put a fluorescent light under the coffee table, and lay there to read a

16.Every so often, throw the cat in the tub(hot tub, large sink, etc.) and
shout, “Man overboard!”.

17.Run into the kitchen and sweep all the pots/pans/ dishes off of the
counter onto the floor, then yell at the wife for not having the place
“stowed for sea

18. With every major wind shift, have your alarm go off so you can reset your address.

19.Periodically throw some sand about the house.

20.Cut two legs shorter on each chair.

21.During a squall, wake up – go to the front porch – throw a bucket of cold water in your face – go back to bed.


-This list is found in various forms and versions on numerous boating and navy sites across the web

The Current Situation in a Nutshell

Posted by ted @ 9:24 am, March 2nd, 2011

A CEO, a Tea-Partier, and a union member at a table with a plate of 12 cookies.

The CEO takes 11 of the cookies, turns to the Tea Partier and says,
“Watch out for that union guy. He wants a piece of your cookie.”

Adorable Litte Girl Shows Off Her Unique Skill at Juggling Oranges

Posted by ted @ 1:00 pm, February 26th, 2011

Very cute. And silly me trying to juggle with three oranges at once, and wasting time with all that ridiculous throwing-them-in-air nonsense…

(Did you notice the) Animals On The Underground

Posted by ted @ 12:05 pm, February 25th, 2011

In 1988 a gentleman named Paul Middlewick was looking at the (so wonderful) London Underground map when he saw something new and different hidden in the routes. It was an elephant. Since then, he has discovered many other animals from all branches of the animal kingdom hiding in that iconic subway map. He has made a series of clever drawings showing them and is selling them in a book and on T-shirts on his web site Animals On The Underground. I really like the idea of this kind of “hidden art” lurking everywhere around us. You can see a few more below, or click over to his site to see the whole collection.

found on [Whitezine]

Dance of the Books

Posted by ted @ 9:08 pm, February 23rd, 2011

Don’t forget to spot the banana!


A Very Different View of Wind Turbines

Posted by ted @ 8:58 pm, February 22nd, 2011

Here is an amazing video of someone playing chicken with giant wind turbines with a RC plane with a pilot-view camera in it. Amazing stunt, which I am guessing the wind turbine company would not appreciate at all, though I wouldn’t think he would be capable of actually hurting one with his little plane. Some of the close misses made me gasp…

Playing Chicken with a Wind Turbine FPV from aaron_gx on Vimeo.


When Real Life Becomes Indistinguishable from a Monty Python Sketch

Posted by ted @ 2:01 pm, November 12th, 2010

Parkour for Lazies: The Bizarre British Lying Down Game

Monty Python Royal Society for Putting Things on top of other things

Amazing Japanese Giant Shopping / Poetry Site

Posted by ted @ 9:48 am, October 18th, 2010

The other day the daily email from included an ad for a Japanese Shopping site called Rakuten – “Now Shipping to the USA” – so I decided to check it out. It is apparently one of the biggest shopping sites in Japan, almost like a Japanese, but with a heavy bent towards kitsch. Unfortunately, unlike the amazing Japanese Gadget site which offers free shipping to the USA, the shipping to the USA from Rakuten looks pretty cost prohibitive right now, but the poorly translated product descriptions are wonderfully entertaining and worth a look.

Some are just the somewhat cliche awkward English translations (sometimes referred to as “Engrish”), like the text on this wonderful Asimo Costume which I wish I could afford to buy:

Robottoasobo costume
Product Description ?
The newest robot costume design.
ASIMO ASIMO can also be used for imitation.

* The one who is not compatible.
* Please read the instructions available.
To 180cm tall. Adult
Urethane, leather, polyurethane, PVC, use film
* After use, I highly recommend I use deodorant.
* You can not wash.
The set includes ?
Mind, body parts back, hands, gloves, feet

Some others though enter into a whole different realm of surreal beauty, like product haiku’s or love poems.

The title on the product page for a basic iPod sock is
“Like a rice cake! Whoops stretched Gyu cover Pitatto”

Check out this wonderful description / poetry:

ipod while carrying in a bag, against various things,
Imperceptibly that I’ve hurt for?
At that time, it is useful to have a cover too.

mochi is made up of a soft knit fabric has stretch.
Pita Innovation cover stretches Gyu ?.
ipod protection against scratches and shock.

The body, so that a snug fit,
Unchanged in size but covered.
When carrying, I am happy that the bulky!

And, ipod besides the variety of usage.
Compact and vulnerable part of the LCD cover and even cell phones.
Inorganic electronic devices, is surrounded knit, friendly atmosphere.
Watch and removed, ? also soaking in the small items into

The perfect gift item!
Packages like the sweets, there is impact
Some people were gifts will surely surprised me.

In all color 8color!
Bibittokara a bright strawberries.
I hesitate because there are a lot of tea!
Ipod usual, but by changing the color of the cover, it becomes a different color.
ipod will not hesitate to get a new one but not,
If you cover, you can enjoy lots of color.

Even with friends and lovers and matching different colors good!
Oke covered in it,
“Which one do it, she’ll not know!”
No more of them.
I may use both the mood of the day!

In addition, ipod or mobile phone, and each item
Once you have a different color cover,
Obviously useful even when removed from the bag!

Does introduce one color.
Your favorites, please find it.

“Even with friends and lovers and matching different colors good!”  yes,  indeed.

With over 17 million products in their catalog, it could keep you amused for a long time.

Let Me Passing Through The Fine Time With You

Posted by ted @ 12:40 pm, February 15th, 2010

Love the text on this toy box:

-Game Attention
Do not play outdoors during thunderstorms
– Handsome appearance
modern techniques
radio control
– Flat out most
Let me passing through the fine time with you