December 30, 2003

Art meets Topology

Math Trek : Sculpting with a Twist, Science News Online, Dec. 20, 2003

Japanese artist Keizo Ushio demonstrates some beautiful integration of math, science, and art his pieces. Using massive rings of granite, he drills and chisels them apart with surgical precision to reveal physical embodiments of mathematical concepts - Mobius strips, Mobius rings and split rings, etc.

One of my favorites is the Dream Lens - and to understand it better, a mathematical puzzle that shows it's scientific beauty.

The artist's homepage shows his latest work.

Posted by answerguru at 06:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 29, 2003

More Art Robots and Machines

SRL - Survival Research Labs

Some more terrific exploitations of "big science" by "Survival Research Labs". In particular, they have attempted to create a Flame Hurricane with a five (150 lbs thrust) pulsejets and a gasoline injection of 1.5 gpm at 1000 psi.

Also, a Pitching Machine that hurls 6 foot 2 X 4s at 120 mph, powered by a 500 cubic inch engine.

Finally, how about rebuilding a V-1. Yes that V-1 rocket / missile which the Germans built during WW2.

Posted by answerguru at 08:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


WONDERMAGNET.COM - NdFeB Magnets, Magnet Wire, Books, Weird Science, Needful Things

A ferrofluid is a stable colloidal suspension of sub-domain magnetic particles in a liquid carrier....basically it's a magnetic liquid. When it's exposed to a magnetic field the very small particles within it take the shape of the magnetic field. Accordingly, the fluid becomes more dense as the flux increases and vice versa.

Also used as a dampener, often in loudspeakers and on CD / DVD laser heads.

They also have it for purchase.

Posted by answerguru at 01:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 26, 2003

Yerba Mate

Yerba Mate

Forget your coffee! Forget your Starbucks! The same pickup from caffeine, but without the jitters!

Yerba Mate is an herbal (tea) drink (served hot or cold) that tastes great and has a nice boost to it....but it's not caffeine. Native South Americans have been drinking this stuff since the 16th century. It's really cheap in bulk and is pretty healthy as well.

Drink up!

Posted by answerguru at 08:39 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Hacking OnStar

Access your Onstar

With these instructions, you can be on your way to OnStar freedom! No more $400 a year fees, just unfettered access to the GPS signal and the mapping software of your choice. I always assumed that this was possible....just never did any research into it.

Posted by answerguru at 02:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 24, 2003


Welcome to Retro-Gram.Com Purveyors of Internet Telegrams

No more plain email - send a Retro-Gram! The style and class of a vintage telegram...the speed and convenience of e-mail. There are 6 fun styles to choose from -- just the ticket for that email that needs attention!

Posted by answerguru at 03:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I Robot Now

I Robot Now

Website for the forthcoming, I Robot. Coming in July 2004 - order yours today!

Posted by answerguru at 03:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 23, 2003

Cube House

Cube House

This guy turned his cube (as in office cube) into a little house, all decorated up for Christmas. Fun.

Also the Slashdot Commentary is pretty funny.

"I for one do not think that this is "cool." This is the sort of rampant individualism(1) that can create havoc in an office. This is the sort of thing that happens when they let people post comics outside of their cubicles."

"Not only that, the ornaments hanging off the eve's are a clear OSHA violation. I sure the paper used is a fire hazzard. Did you get a building permit? I thought not. Oh, your woes have only just begun! "

Posted by answerguru at 05:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Threat: Internet Maps - Net map services spark stalking fears - Dec. 23, 2003

This article comments on how some people are now "spooked" that others can find them online so easily. Single women stop giving out their phone numbers - worrying that potential suitors will appear on their doorsteps after a quick search and a MapQuest/Blast/Point direction query.

The problem is, we could all do this before - it's just easier now with the Internet. If you don't want someone to find you, then have an unlisted phone number (only to make it harder - of course you can still find someone this way).

The real annoyance of this article though, is that people are worried about others publishing their addresses....for malicious purposes. What - has no one ever used a regular map before? When I was an EMT we used them all the time and had no problem finding someone's house.....and this was before the Internet was pervasive.

There is no worry, it's all in your head.

Posted by answerguru at 05:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 21, 2003

High Altitude Robotic Glider

High Altitude Glider Project

Home built, high altitude robotic glider -- ascend to 75,000 feet (via helium balloon), release, glide down (via computer control), taking photos and sending back telemetry data. When it hits 500 feet or so, pop a shoot and land safely....

Nice work - except he recently lost it on the latest flight (high winds, mountains, etc).

Posted by answerguru at 11:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 20, 2003

Atomic Zombie: Extreme Machines

AtomicZombie - Extreme Machines!!

This guy has worked on some great projects...I personally like his bicycle work the best. He's built the worlds tallest bicycle (Guinness Book certified) at 15 feet tall, a really nice recumbent style, and some other crazy bike inventions. More importantly, he's published a book about how you can do it too!

Regarding his "robots" - not really my style of things. They are nicely built and heavy duty, but appear to lack the intelligence / programming aspect of real robotics. Basically, well crafted remote controlled beasts.

Posted by answerguru at 06:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 18, 2003

Sony QRIO Robot

The new QRIO Robot from Sony has really made some amazing strides.

First, it can walk and "run" (more like a slow jog) with dynamic walking motion - which means it's center of gravity is not restricted to a safe zone within it's footprint. Basically, it walks much more fluidly like a human than like a typically robot (with a static based walking program).

Second, it's able to respond intelligently to being pushed or having the surface under it's feet uneven. If you give it a push, it will take a step in the same direction to counteract the force. If you push it too hard, it will sense an impending fall and immediately switch to a safe mode so it can fall in a controlled (safe) fashion. It will then right itself back to a standing position.

Third, it can go up and down stairs. Granted since the little guy isn't so big, the stairs can't be that big...but still another nice *step* forward.

I think you'll see more intricate robots of this nature in the next few years....

Posted by answerguru at 08:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 17, 2003

Oreilly Hacks: Book Series -- O'Reilly Hacks Series

Some of these books got some good press recently. I haven't checked any of them out personally (yet), but I think the Spidering Hacks and the Google Hacks could prove interesting.

If you've hacked some stuff yourself, submit it to Oreilly, and maybe get it published in a future edition...

Posted by answerguru at 10:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 03, 2003

Rodent Power

Hamster-Powered Night Light

Fun report on how to build a low RPM alternator so your hamster / mouse / rodent can power little lights all by himself...

Posted by answerguru at 06:39 AM | Comments (0)

December 01, 2003

85 Rules of Boozing

Modern Drunkard Index

86 rules and points of etiquette while drinking...

Posted by answerguru at 07:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack