Tuesday, November 28, 2006

So, being chased by the police? Jumping a wall will now ensure your freedom if it's a female officer behind you......


The three female police recruits hoping to join the local police academy recently passed a state-required physical abilities test, indicating that a changed climbing wall in the test may have mitigated possible gender bias. Two more female police recruits may take the test soon. And with Boston police — the only other department to send recruits to the test — seeing its female recruits pass at better rates than before, concerns that the test was discriminatory seem to have been resolved. “I think the adjustment made a big difference,” Police Chief Gary J. Gemme said.

At issue was a significant disparity between men and women recruits who passed the test, which includes an obstacle course and several other physical tests meant to reflect work police do. Statewide statistics show that 92 percent of the men who took the test in recent years passed, compared to 30 percent of women. In the last Worcester recruit class, none of the six women recruits passed. In Boston, 11 of the 23 women who took the test earlier this year passed. The statistics triggered concerns that the test discriminated against women, particularly at a time when police departments across the state are trying to diversify their forces by hiring more women police officers.

Police departments from Boston to Fall River and Worcester sent letters to the state calling for a review of the exam, and state Sen. Edward M. Augustus Jr., D-Worcester, led a legislative effort to help fund a review of the exam. Officials said they didn’t want to create advantages for women, but that any test with such a disparity in results needed a review. After the review, state officials changed the dynamics of a wall in the obstacle course. Concerns with the test had focused on the wall, and the adjustment seems to have allayed those concerns. Previously, the 5-foot wall had a straight, smooth surface. Women often had difficulty scaling the wall, and even those who could said it drained from them the energy needed to finish other parts of the obstacle course within the required time. Some women completed the course just seconds beyond the deadline. Those who complained about the wall said it gave men an immediate advantage because men generally have the natural upper body strength needed to pull themselves over it. The wall required upper body strength because its straight surface allowed for no foot leverage.

Those who criticized the test, led by Chief Gemme, argued that the wall was an immediate disadvantage for women. Plus, they argued that the wall was an unrealistic reflection of police work. Rarely do officers encounter a five-foot wall with no foothold. Chief Gemme even argued that he would discourage officers from blindly scaling a five-foot wall anyway. Chief Gemme contended that recruits shouldn’t be judged on their fitness for the job solely on a five-foot wall.

He said one of the female recruits in the last police class is a U.S. Army soldier serving oversees, even though she couldn’t scale the wall. The state review of the test led to a recent change in the wall. It now has two braces providing for foot leverage, making it easier to scale. A spokesman for the state administration said the wall is now a more realistic reflection of actual police work, because it is made more like a fence, something officers are more likely to encounter in their work settings. Boston police even endorsed the test after seeing 68 percent of their female recruits in a recent class pass.

Chief Gemme has endorsed the change, saying improved statistics, after one minor adjustment, shows there was a problem with the original test. The chief said he still has his concerns with the overall testing process, saying he should be able to train recruits before they’re required to take the test, which he said should be called a graduation requirement. He plans to express that idea at a statewide meeting Wednesday, called a “stakeholders” meeting with representatives from police departments across the state. The meeting is part of a continuing job analysis project to review the abilities test."

And so continues the dumbing down of America. If you can't do the job, don't do the job.

Can I make the Headshake tag boldface?


One person was injured this morning when a sport utility vehicle crashed into a school bus on the Near Southside.
No children were on the Indianapolis Public Schools bus when it collided with the SUV at Terrace Avenue and Madison Avenue, north of Manual High School, at 10:19 a.m., according to Marion County police dispatch.

Police closed Madison Avenue near Pleasant Run Parkway North Drive while firefighters worked to extricate the driver of the SUV out of the vehicle, dispatch said.
The victim was awake and transported to an area hospital, dispatch said. The victim’s name and condition were not immediately available.Mary Louise Bewley, spokeswoman for IPS, said the bus had dropped off students at Manual shortly before the accident. The driver did not have any serious injuries, Bewley said.
Do Hummers even get crash tested??Look at the damage. Wow, your hummer's tough.(looking)


This is a train track. Not for running.

This is a running track. Not for trains.

Some people.....

Jogger hit by train survives

The Whig-Standard
Local News - Monday, November 27, 2006 Updated @ 11:33:26 PM

The Whig-Standard

A man using the CN Rail lines off Montreal Street as a jogging track yesterday morning was hit by a passenger train.

Kingston Police Sgt. Rick LaBrash said that around 10:30 a.m. yesterday, the 40-year-old man, whose identity was not released but who had been visiting the city with his girlfriend, was jogging along the tracks east of Montreal near Greer Street when he was struck by a Via train.

The track in the area takes a long sweeping turn and LaBrash said the train crew had time to see the man and sound the horn. The jogger was able to leap out of the way of the train just in time, but it clipped him as it went past and sent him flying into the brush.

The jogger suffered serious injuries and was taken to Kingston General Hospital.

“He lived,” said LaBrash. “We were very surprised, but he did suffer serious injuries, however.”

The Via Rail passenger train was halted for about 90 minutes while the man was taken to hospital and the scene investigated.

LaBrash praised the train crew, saying they did well to spot the man and slow the train as much as they could and give him enough time to jump aside.

“They did a really good job locking up the brakes of the train and slowing it down,” he said.

The track in the area takes a long sweeping turn and LaBrash said the train crew had time to see the man and sound the horn. The jogger was able to leap out of the way of the train just in time, but it clipped him as it went past and sent him flying into the brush.

The jogger suffered serious injuries and was taken to Kingston General Hospital.

“He lived,” said LaBrash. “We were very surprised, but he did suffer serious injuries, however.”

The Via Rail passenger train was halted for about 90 minutes while the man was taken to hospital and the scene investigated.

LaBrash praised the train crew, saying they did well to spot the man and slow the train as much as they could and give him enough time to jump aside.

“They did a really good job locking up the brakes of the train and slowing it down,” he said.


So, the latest design in boat hulls is a stepped design, that adds a boundary layer of air at the friction surface for less drag and higher speeds. There's more research on air injection, microbubbles, etc. ongoing. New Scientist had this article recently...

YOSHIAKI KODAMA is weaving a magic carpet large enough to carry a ship. Conjured up from thin air at the flick of a switch, this slippery blanket will help transport a fully laden tanker or container ship across the ocean at higher speed, and using far less fuel, than ever before.
Kodama is director of the Advanced Maritime Transport Technology Department at Japan's National Maritime Research Institute (NMRI) in Tokyo. His work is just one of several major programmes under way in the US, Russia, Japan and Europe that focus on how to make ships more slippery.
A craft that has less friction as it slides through the water will be far more efficient than standard ships. Slippery ships could travel across the sea much faster or carry a bigger load on the same amount of fuel, saving money and reducing pollution. This is crucial, considering that in 2003 more than 90 per cent of all goods that were sent around the globe went by ship - that's more than 6 billion tonnes, and the figure is set to increase.
A recent report from the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN), based in Wageningen, says that reducing the friction and hence the drag on a ship's hull could improve efficiency by up to 20 per cent. "There is currently no other technique in naval architecture that can promise such savings," it says.
But how do you make a ship slippery? So far researchers have tried using tiny bubbles, slippery polymers and trapped sheets of air, and it seems that which method is best depends on what you want to achieve. If you simply wish to haul more cargo at a sedate 14 knots or so, in an environmentally responsible way using less fuel, then creating a carpet of microbubbles beneath a flat-bottomed hull may be the answer. On the other hand, the best option for a cargo ship expected to knife through the sea at more than 50 knots could be to cover the metal of the hull with a wall of air, effectively creating a boat in a bubble.
The idea of drag reduction began when British engineer William Froude investigated the fluid dynamics of ships in the 19th century. As a ship moves through water it encounters three types of drag: wave drag, pressure drag and frictional drag. Wave resistance is mainly a problem at high speed, and can be minimised with a carefully designed hull. Streamlining can also almost eliminate pressure drag - the backwards pull generated by the pressure difference between the bow and stern as the water through which a ship passes divides and then recombines. The greatest component of drag, and the main problem to ship designers, is frictional drag. This comes from the interaction between the hull and the water around it. Its effect, says Kodama, means that a ship pulls a large body of water along with it as it moves.
The region of water affected by the passage of a ship, known as the boundary layer, is usually measured in terms of the impact on flow past the hull. Typically, any water moving past the hull at less than 99 per cent of unobstructed flow is counted as part of the boundary layer. While the impact of a ship on the water around it decreases the further you move away from the hull, there are also variations between the bow and the stern. For a 300-metre-long ship, the boundary layer might be about half a metre thick at the bow, say, but tens of metres thick at the stern.
Frictional drag has the greatest impact on the centimetre or so closest to the ship, where interactions between the metal hull and the water are the strongest. One possible way to reduce this was first attempted in the early 1970s by Michael McCormick and Rameswar Bhattacharyya at the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland. They coated a cylinder with small bubbles of hydrogen generated by electrolysis, and dragged it through water. The result was a significant reduction in friction. Over the next decade, researchers showed that such microbubbles could decrease frictional drag by up to 80 per cent. However, the effect was difficult to replicate on real vessels.
Now researchers in Japan have decided to tackle this problem, and plan to turn the promise of microbubbles into reality as part of a programme to develop the "Super Eco-Ship". Led by Kodama, the project aims to reduce a ship's greenhouse gas emissions by a quarter while increasing its cargo capacity by 20 per cent, through a whole series of propulsion, control and design changes. Japan has a particular interest here, given that most of its imports and exports travel by ship.
In theory, Kodama says, there is more than one mechanism by which microbubbles can help ships slip through water. First, the bubbles themselves form a sheet of air sandwiched between the water and the hull. Since the viscosity of air - its resistance to flow - is about 1 per cent that of water, the ship moves more easily.
Another mechanism modifies the turbulence that frictional drag creates in the water. The less turbulence generated, the easier the movement of a ship through the water. The researchers have found experimentally that the bubbles directly modify turbulence, Kodama says. "In turbulent flow, bubbles at the bottom of the boundary layer are under very strong shear forces, and become highly deformed and rather flat." This change in shape seems to reduce turbulence, so frictional drag drops.
Kodama's team thought that one way to coat the hull with microbubbles would be to divert a little spare power from the engine to generate bubbles near the bow of the ship by blowing compressed air through a slot or porous plate. These bubbles would be swept backwards to almost completely coat the flat-bottomed hull. The buoyancy of the bubbles would tend to hold them in place under the ship, and those that were lost would continuously be replenished.
To test the effect, Kodama's team and researchers at Tokyo and Osaka Universities dragged a large steel plate drilled with holes capable of releasing microbubbles along a 400-metre test tank. They even modified two ships to release bubbles from slots near the bow - a 6000-tonne cargo ship and a 10,000-tonne cement carrier. However, in sea trials Kodama saw a net drop in drag of only 3 per cent. With scale models, researchers at MARIN found reductions of less than 10 per cent.
These figures are nowhere near as great as theory and early tests might suggest. It seems there are all sorts of complications with applying microbubbles to real ships. For instance, there is a trade-off between the energy used to generate the bubbles and the energy saved by deploying them. Then you have to ensure that no bubbles reach the propeller. Propellers churning through air-filled water lack bite, and lose thrust. There are also many unknowns, such as where to locate the bubble ejectors, what bubble size and hull shape make best use of the effect, and crucially, how riding a carpet of air affects a ship's manoeuvrability and seaworthiness.
Some problems are easily solved. Special deflectors or careful design of the rear of the hull, for instance, will ensure bubbles don't reach the propellers. Others issues are still under investigation. When the cement carrier was rigged for tests early last year, for example, the slots emitting the bubbles were placed on either side of the bow. But the bubbles did not stay under the ship. And in other experiments the bubble carpet was effective for less than 50 metres downstream of injection. The vessel has been contracted for further experiments in 2007. This time, Kodama says, the team will inject air under the hull at two or three places along its length.
The good news is that there appears to be little problem with seaworthiness. In fact, according to the researchers in Japan and a series of experiments using models at MARIN, in most sea conditions, microbubbles either make ships more stable or have little effect.
But one problem seems intractable - microbubbles are only effective at relatively low speeds. "The higher the flow speed," says Kodama, "the greater the magnitude of turbulence. And that turbulence tends to drive the bubbles away from the hull." If they move further than a centimetre or so from the ship, all drag reduction is lost.
That's a major problem for the US navy, which not only wants good fuel efficiency, but also high speed. In 2000, the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) began a programme to halve friction drag. Only this level of improvement, its researchers argued, could give meaningful increases in speed.
Instead of full-scale ship trials, DARPA is focusing on developing numerical models and computer simulations that will reveal how drag can be cut. Two teams are competing to produce the models, one at Stanford University in California and the other led by researchers from defence contractors General Dynamics. The results of these models are being validated by large-scale experiments at a huge US navy water-tunnel facility in Memphis, Tennessee, by a third team led by engineer Steve Ceccio at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. This tank is capable of testing sections of ships 3 metres across, in flows of more than 35 knots.
This programme aims to look at microbubbles, but also at the idea of coating hulls with slippery polymers by pumping them out through holes in the side of a vessel. Polymers are used to assist oil flow in the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System, for instance.
It is still early days, but trials at high flow rates using microbubbles revealed much the same difficulties that the Japanese teams encountered. For the first metre or so downstream from bubble injection "the friction-drag reduction is unbelievable", says Marc Perlin, a researcher in Ceccio's group. "You get to near-zero drag. But then shear forces throw the bubbles out of the boundary layer." This reduces the effect significantly. But, Perlin says, microbubbles could work well for slow-moving tankers. "Here the bubble effect would persist for a long distance."
At high speeds, polymers seem much more effective. The compounds the team has investigated include polyethylene oxide, which is used to make edible capsules for drugs, and polyacrylamide, which is employed as a flocculant in sewage treatment plants. The polymers probably won't damage the environment, Perlin says, "but the navy isn't keen on polymers because you have to carry them, and that reduces a ship's payload."
Another form of lubrication is also generating interest. An air film of a few millimetres thick can be formed by pumping air across a super-water-repellent coating on the hull. The air becomes trapped next to the coating in preference to water, helping to reduce the friction between water and hull.
Yet Perlin and other researchers think that the best solution might come from a concept already explored by Russian engineers: air cavities. Although there has been little comment from DARPA, this idea is clearly under scrutiny at the agency, judging from the title of one of its latest research programmes: Air Cavity Drag Reduction (AirCat).
Boat in a bubble
The plan is to look at ways to inject air into large cavities in the side and bottom of a specially designed hull (see Diagram). Air pockets sandwiched between the boat and the water should make a highly effective lubricant. Tests on models show it is possible to create stable cavities that cut drag by a factor of 5. Yet the project aims to reduce hull contact with water by a whopping 80 per cent, and to sustain these air cavities at all speeds and in all sea conditions. An AirCat-equipped ship could use sensors to monitor its air cavities, say, and optimise their shape using motors attached to movable panels.
The idea of air cavities has much in common with supercavitation, in which a submerged object such as a torpedo creates a single large bubble around itself. This slashes skin friction, bringing remarkable speeds within reach (New Scientist, 22 July 2000, p 26). Perhaps not surprisingly, Russian engineers who first developed supercavitating torpedoes have not only done plenty of research on air-cavity lubrication for ships, but have also put their ideas to work.
Since the 1980s, Russian shipyards have delivered at least 50 vessels, including patrol boats, ferries and landing craft, that are equipped with cavities in the hull. Pump air into them and they reduce drag by up to 40 per cent, yet require just 3 per cent of the vessel's power to maintain. Most of these craft incorporate a stepped or notched hull to create a V-shaped cavity into which air is pumped. One of the advantages of this technology is that it can be retrofitted by fixing wedge-shaped segments across a hull to create steps. Engineers at the Krylov Shipbuilding Research Institute in St Petersburg say they can build low-speed ships that save up to 20 per cent in fuel, and high-speed ships that save even more. And you can already buy a high-speed motor yacht equipped with this technology.
But would it be money well spent? MARIN used models to compare air cavities, air films and microbubbles, and found that all resulted in net energy savings. "In our experiment," says Cornel Thill, a senior project manager at MARIN, "microbubbles were the least efficient, saving just a few per cent. The air film was better, and the air cavities performed the best." Thill thinks that this ranking could easily change as research progresses.
Whatever the details, drag reduction is an idea whose time has come, says Thill. He and his colleagues plan to build an air-lubricated motorised barge by 2009. And the Rotterdam-based DK Group, a company aiming to develop air cavity vessels, is working with Danish naval architects Knud E. Hansen to develop an air-cavity system for cruise liners, tankers and container ships. Eventually it aims to build a high-speed freighter that can cross the Atlantic in two-and-a-half days, about a quarter of the time taken by conventional ships.


Monday, November 27, 2006

I'm NOT putting an image with this post......

"If Internet porn is your "self medication," think of this pink slip as cognitive behavioral therapyTo IBM, James Pacenza's penchant for surfing sex sites and hanging out in chat rooms during work hours was grounds for termination. To Pacenza it was a cry for help unanswered. Which is why he's suing the company for wrongful termination. In court papers filed in the U.S. District Court for New York, Pacenza claims his chat room addiction is a form of "self medication" for the post-traumatic stress disorder from which he suffers and says IBM should have offered him counseling instead of sacking him. Employees "with much more severe psychological problems, in the form of drug or alcohol problems ... are allowed treatment programs" at IBM, Pacenza argues in his suit. He's demanding more than $5 million in punitive and compensatory damages from IBM for its indiscretion, which presumably would allow him to "self medicate" for some time to come without worrying about employer intrusions. "


The Habanero chile is the most intensely spicy chile pepper of the Capsicum genus. Most habaneros rate 200,000–300,000 Scoville heat units (SHU), and the Red Savinas variety, at 580,000 SHU, holds the record for being the "World's Hottest Spice".

Scoville's original method for testing hotness was called the Scoville Organoleptic Test, which he developed in 1912. As originally devised, a solution of the pepper extract is diluted in sugar water until the "heat" is no longer detectable to a panel of (usually five) tasters; the degree of dilution gives its measure on the Scoville scale. Thus a bell pepper, containing no capsaicin at all, has a Scoville rating of zero, meaning no heat detectable even undiluted. Conversely, the hottest chiles, such as habaneros, have a rating of 300,000 or more, indicating that their extract has to be diluted 300,000-fold before the capsaicin present is undetectable. The greatest weakness of the Scoville Organoleptic Test is its imprecision, because it relies on human subjectivity.


Runaway stars are massive stars traveling rapidly through interstellar space.

Like a ship plowing through cosmic seas, runaway star Alpha Cam has produced this graceful arcing bow wave or bow shock - moving at over 60 kilometers per second and compressing the interstellar material in its path.

The bright star above and left of center in this wide (3x2 degree) view, Alpha Cam is about 25-30 times as massive as the Sun, 5 times hotter (30,000 kelvins), and over 500,000 times brighter.
The bow shock stands off about 10 light-years from the star itself. What set this star in motion? Astronomers have long thought that Alpha Cam was flung out of a nearby cluster of young hot stars due to gravitational interactions with other cluster members or perhaps by the supernova explosion of a massive companion star.


Well done series of ads from National Geographic Kids magazine....click on them to make them big.



Two shots that got my attention from the motorheads over at Pashnit.com....


"Hey!!! How much did you have to drink tonight, sir?"

"Just one glass, officer."

A whole bottle


Two ads for wrinkle cream that made me smile.....


“The numbers all go to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and... “

“Oh, I see. And most amps go up to ten? “

“Exactly. “

“Does that mean it's louder? Is it any louder?”

“Well, it's one louder, isn't it? It's not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You're on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you're on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where? “

“I don't know. “

“Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do? “

“Put it up to eleven. “

“Eleven. Exactly. One louder. “

”Why don't you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder? “

”These go to eleven.”


Friday, November 24, 2006

Didn't wash your hands? Die!

"FORT WORTH — A man at a bar, apparently angered when another customer didn’t wash his hands after using the bathroom, hid in the parking lot and stabbed one of the men’s friends during a brawl early Thursday, according to police.

Morgan Jackson, 25, who was stabbed three times in his left torso and once in his back, underwent surgery at John Peter Smith Hospital. He was listed in good condition Thursday evening.

When police arrived at the Tumbleweeds Sports Bar, 1008 Northeast Loop 820, shortly after 2 a.m., several men were holding Eric Jennings Kisiah, on the ground.

Kisiah, 27, was arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He was being held in the Mansfield Jail on Thursday evening with bail set at $20,000.

According to a police report, Jackson and two friends were at Tumbleweeds when Kisiah confronted one of Jackson’s friends, upset that the man had not washed his hands after using the restroom.

One of the friends told police that Kisiah called the men names and told them that they were dirty. Before leaving the bar, he threatened to “slash their throats,” the friend told police.

Kisiah hid near a shrub and charged the three friends when they left the bar,, the report states.

All the men fell to the ground during the fight. The friends then realized that Jackson, whose shirt was soaked in blood, had been stabbed, the report states.

By a nearby fence, police found an 8-inch Winchester knife that had what appeared to be dried blood on one side.

Kisiah refused to tell police his name at the scene, saying only that he wanted an attorney. He later gave his name after being taken to the police station and fingerprinted, the report states."

Welcome to Texas.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

These guys are a band called Metric. I like their songs, "Monster Hospital", "Soft Rock Star", "Combat Baby", "Dead Disco", "Raw Sugar", and "Down", which is my favourite. I tried embedding it below, but I need to find a bug. Stay tuned.


Random sprinkling of ads that caught my attention....


Yes, its a book. I like the mullethead graphic.


Earlier this month, Mercury passed between us and the sun.
Astronomer Phil Jones recorded this detailed image of the Sun. Along with a silhouette of the innermost planet, a network of cells and dark filaments can be seen against a bright solar disk with spicules and prominences along the Sun's edge. The composited image was taken through a telescope equiped with an H-alpha filter that narrowly transmits only the red light from hydrogen atoms. Such images emphasize the solar chromosphere, the region of the Sun's atmosphere immediately above its photosphere or normally visible surface. Left of center, the tiny disk of Mercury seems to be imitating a small sunspot that looks a little too round. But in H-alpha pictures, sunspot regions are usually dominated by bright splotches (called plages) on the solar chromosphere.


The Peekskill meteor of 1992. Documented as brighter than the full Moon, the spectacular fireball crossed parts of several US states during its 40 seconds of glory before punching through this car in Peekskill, New York. The resulting meteorite, pictured here, is composed of dense rock and has the size and mass of an extremely heavy bowling ball.


So, I'm doing a rare thing the other day, watching TV. I'm watching a docudrama on Mt. Everest. I'm getting more and more disgusted at the "climbers" who so adamantly state they've "climbed" Everest, how tough it is, the whining, the breaking down, blah, blah, blah, when all they've actually done is pull their pale butts up a rope that's been placed by sherpas, all the while sucking oxygen from gas cylinders carried up there by sherpas, eating food and sleeping in tents that are placed there by, you guessed it, sherpas. These guides die regularly, it's seen as no more of a problem than having a mule keel over. The show is focusing on the emotional challenges and triumphs of the men. I ended up turning it off. Might as well been Oprah or Dr. Phil. Left a bad taste in my mouth.


Got an odd set of symptoms? Don't want to go see a real doctor?

Simply put your symptom list in


and voila, your answer.

P.S., apparently I have lead poisioning.

P.S.S. I don't want to have to say this, but please put NO weight into the diagnostic skills of this, or any database.


The Tiger Z100.

Shape of a Lotus Seven, powered by 2 bike engines. 0-60 in 3.1 seconds. Thats QUICK.


Ben Underwood, bats, dolphins, cows.

One of these doesn't belong. Watch the vid.


" You could lay out about a yard of duct tape and just put some worms on it, that's not a gift. "

This and plenty more advice at AskaNinja.com.

YouTube has MANY vids..., like......



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So, My Honda Valkyrie motorcycle's been out of commission for several weeks as I've been waiting for a replacement U-joint to arrive, and I had to find the time to fix it. When I got it apart, here's what I found.

Below is the new part. I was frankly surprised at how easy it was to replace, took only a few hours, most of it spent scouring the recesses of the swingarm to ensure no tiny bits of shrapnel remained inside to grind away at the new part. Speaking about grinding away at the new part, I spent a good hour rounding and smoothing the rough, sharp angles on the new piece, increasing the range of motion and reducing the likelihood of another failure. We'll see how long it lasts.

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Ever gotten an elbow in the face from your sleeping bedmate? How about the endless tug of war over the covers? Not enough room to stretch out? Slumber parties cramped and uncomfortable?

This is the solution. Extreme Ultraking Bed.

Made to order, if you have the cash and the space, this could be the next big thing. Or a big thing, anyway.

Ultraking.com has this monstrosity, and lesser, yet still large alternatives to tiny beds.


Blendtec makes blenders. And they're proud of them. So, to show how great their products are, they have videos of the blenders trying to blend various things you and I might not put in a blender. Like a rake handle, marbles, a can of Coke. Will it blend?


Check out the "Don't try this at home" section.


So, Lamborghini goes ahead and DONATES a Gallardo to the Italian police.


There's a newish mountainbike video out there called "Elemental", getting some good reviews. These pics, courtesy of NSMB.com, are from the sessions filmed. Impressive stuff.

There's more pics and a little video teaser at NSMB.com


If I say, "Wine in a box", chances are you think about a product like the one above. I.E. gets the job done.

There's a company trying to change that thinking, though. They are
BlackBoxWines.com. They cite less oxidation, bigger quantity, and packaging economy as big reasons to bring home a box.

It'll be interesting to see if it catches on. I doubt it, principally because well-defined perceptions are hard to change.


Here's a boosted monster...

A Triumph Rocket Three, not a wimpy thing even stock, has been turbo'ed and intercooled all the way up to 335 HP.

Echo Cycle
did it.


This guy has spent a lot of time in a plastic tube. Kinda cool, though.


New screenshot of Halo # 3, the excellent first person shooter game from the guys over at

Should be fun. I'm a big fan of the first two.


Ever have an annoying phone call? Wish something could bail you out of the situation without resorting to being rude?

Have I got a site for you...


Lists of mp3's you can play to provide a convincing aural alibi/excuse.

I think my favourites are " Fire Drill" and "Kitty is a little upset".

Good stuff.


Contact lenses check blood sugar

BALTIMORE, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- A scientist in Baltimore has developed a contact lens that can provide diabetics with a non-invasive way to monitor blood sugar.

Instead of using blood, Dr. Chris Geddes of the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute has produced contact lenses that change color in response to the glucose level in the wearer's tears, KENS-TV in San Antonio reports.

Tears have a tiny concentration of glucose, about 1-10th of that of blood and there's a lag time of about 15 minutes before the eye registers the level.

"We've developed very special molecules that sense glucose at very low levels," said Geddes. "We've incorporated these inside commercially available contact lenses. The test is completely non-invasive and it's continuous."

A person wearing the glucose-sensitive lenses would see a small translucent dot on the left side of the visual field. That dot would change color, warning the patient of dangerously low or high blood sugar levels.

Before the lenses can be commercially available, further testing is needed.

The Baltimore scientists are also working on contact lenses that sense cholesterol levels.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.


I think I found a new favourite vodka, I have to get my hands on some of this. I especially like one of the recipes.... 2 oz vodka. ice. shake. pour.

Van Gogh Vodka