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.

Happy (banana) Pi Day!

Posted by ted @ 1:23 pm, March 14th, 2011

Banana Pi


Happy Pi Day!

We are celebrating with a delicious banana cream pi!

We made the banana pudding yesterday, so technically it is ‘day old banana pudding!’

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Banana Puddin by Southern Culture on the Skids




The Sound of Pi

Happy Pi Day!

Banana Peels Make Low Cost, Effective way to Remove Heavy Metals from Water

Posted by ted @ 4:19 pm, March 12th, 2011



Add ‘cheap, effective water filter’ to the growing list of uses for banana peels. A recent report in the ACS’s journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research says that using minced up banana peels is highly effective way to remove copper, lead and other heavy metals from water. Other methods of removing metals left behind from mining, farming and industrial waste can be expensive and often involve their own hazardous chemicals. The scientist’s work involved testing a number of plant waste materials as water filters including coconut fibers and peanuts shells. They found banana peels held some particular advantages:

The researchers found that minced banana peel could quickly remove lead and copper from river water as well as, or better than, many other materials. A purification apparatus made of banana peels can be used up to 11 times without losing its metal-binding properties, they note. The team adds that banana peels are very attractive as water purifiers because of their low cost and because they don’t have to be chemically modified in order to work.


[Science Daily] via [Gearlog]

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 buy.com 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 Amazon.com, but with a heavy bent towards kitsch. Unfortunately, unlike the amazing Japanese Gadget site dealextreme.com 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.

1959 Polymorphic Computing Video

Posted by ted @ 9:02 am, October 18th, 2010

This is a beautiful 1959 video explaining some basic distributed computing concepts which we take for granted today, but were a new idea then. Ramo is the R in TRW.
I love the pre-powerpoint presentation style.

Simon Ramo’s concept of “polymorphic” computing is laid out in stop-motion animation, accompanied by acoustic guitar.
The film anticipates parallel, distributed processing and the architecture of ARPANET and the Internet.


Panasonic Evolta Robot at it Again – This time to go 500KM

Posted by ted @ 9:41 am, September 10th, 2010

It 2008 the intrepid little robot climbed out of the Grand Canyon. In 2009 he completed the 24 hours of LeMans on a tricycle. This time Panasonic is going to showcase their battery technology with a 500KM journey for their little robot that could. His journey from Kyoto to Tokyo is set to begin on September 23. Apparently details (page in japanese) are still thin, and some recharging will be involved, but still it should be interesting to see what they manage to pull off.


Power Line Inspection Robot

Posted by ted @ 9:26 am, August 20th, 2010

Hydro-Quebec and BCTC have developed an awesome power line inspection robot that can transverse energized high voltage power lines and perform inspections and even some minor repairs. It is capable of moving past obstacles, keeping track of locations with a GPS unit, and transmitting multiple video feeds (including infra-red) to ground based operators. Although not as sexy as those high flying power line cowboys deployed form helicopters, this sounds like a fantastically practical idea. Watch the video below for a bit more information, though I sure wish it had more robot details and less talking heads.



Posted by ted @ 2:31 pm, July 29th, 2010


Photo by @dino

Faster than, sharper than.

Slower than, softer than.

A statue, a blur.

A cat pounces.

a poem by ObserveTheBanana

The Man With Exploding Bananas on His Face

Posted by ted @ 9:02 am, February 28th, 2010

Watch this video of a slow moving performance artist exploding bananas on his face. Go ahead, watch it, you know you want to . . .

Found on [BoingBoing]

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

How To Take A Really Great Photo of a Really Big Tree

Posted by ted @ 4:10 pm, October 1st, 2009

In my amateur photography efforts,  I have noticed over the years that trying to capture the grandeur of a beautiful tree can be a frustrating endeavor. I seem to end up with a boring little picture of the whole tree from a distance, or  give in to just capturing a piece of it in a closeup. More often than not my new strategy is to stop and just appreciate the beauty of the moment with my eyes, then move on to another subject to photograph. And I am usually dealing with normal run-of-the-mill size trees, not giant redwoods. When wildlife photographer Michael Nichols wanted to create a truly stunning image of a 300 foot redwood tree that would in some way capture is true size, he created a custom camera rig with a gyroscope and three camera aimed at different angles that was lowered from another tree capturing 84  individual images that were then stitched together into a giant vertical panorama.


The result is incredible. Look for a huge foldout of the image in the October issue of National Geographic, and here’s a video of Nichols talking about the process of capturing the image. Click on “More” to see a version of the final image.

[NPR via Gizmodo]

(click for more…)

September 21 Was International PARK(ing) Day

Posted by ted @ 8:08 am, September 22nd, 2009

On September 21 activist groups around the world temporarily took over single parking places on city streets and converted them in to small public parks complete with grass, trees and benches. Many of the groups accomplished this feat using only human powered vehicles (bikes) to carry in supplies. They pay the meter for one hour and get to work, then everyone is invited to enjoy a little green space until the meter runs out. Then they pack up and are on their way. 47 parks in 13 cities. Whether you consider this a “protest”, public performance art, or just a random act of kindness, this is totally awesome! Things like this make the world a better place to live.

Deep Green Pool-Playing Robot Ready To Take Your Money

Posted by ted @ 6:50 pm, September 18th, 2009


After you finish getting fleeced making unwise bets at the robotic air hockey table, you can move on to losing more money to a robot at the pool table. This project from the computer Vision lab in Queens University consists of an impressive combination of an overhead gantry robot and vision system that is already at a “better-than-amateur level”. It is named “Deep Green“, after the IBM Deep Blue chess playing computer. As it is sure to only improve over time, not only would it be unwise to bet against this robotic pool shark, but I would stay out of the way while it lines up its shot also. Another very cool branch of this project is an “augmented reality” pool system that allows you to line up you shots with real time laser projections that predict where your ball will roll and rebound. Looks awesome, though there is already some grumbling about it being “cheating”. Mute the sound and watch the video for a demonstration, it is particularly cool how the robot racks up the balls in perfect formation, without the use of a rack.

Deep Green

[Gizmodo] [TechCrunch]

A Different Way For A Cat to Get A Drink

Posted by ted @ 9:39 am, September 17th, 2009

This cat likes to drink from a running sink. Nothing too unusual there. But he has an unusual way of getting the water to his mouth. No cat I have known would do this. Very funny video, thought it is really too long, you can get the whole idea in the first minute.