"With the power available from nuclear reactors, whether fission or fusion, you can comfortably reach speeds on the order of 100 kilometers [60 miles] a second or so which allows you to go more or less anywhere you want in the solar system within a couple of years, maybe even quicker. But if you're serious, you really want to travel at something like half the speed of light, which is tens of thousands of kilometers per second. So, the amounts of energy you need are enormously larger, and neither fission nor fusion has that much energy. "--Freeman Dyson  
 
The traveling-wave thermoacoustic electric generator has the potential to power space probes to the furthest reaches of the Universe....The traveling-wave engine/linear alternator system is similar to the current thermoelectric generators in that it uses heat from the decay of a radioactive fuel to generate electricity, but is more than twice as efficient.  
 
Another description of said thermoelectric power is seen here.  
 
With such magic as an acoustic laser, the stereo refrigerator, and even possible emergent usage of thermoelectric to supplement the gasoline and electric hybrid engine; who knows what the future of something as simple as audio music and sound effects will be?
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS  
16. Despite an extensive review, I could find no source code in any of IBM Code that incorporates any portion of the Unix System V Code or is in any matter similar to such source code.
 
 
A quite reknowned MIT CS professor, Randall Davis, carried out a test using a program called Comperator, which searches strings for literal and near-literal matches, between the Unix System 5 source and the IBM Code. While SCO claimed a good thirty-thousand lines were identical, Professor Davis found evidence contrary of that boast.  
 
Next round: SCO CEO Darl McDouch- err... McBride versus C++ head designer Bjarne Stroustrup.  
 
"And C++ programming languages, we own those" -Darl McBride  
 
FIGHT!  
 
Note: link requires Adobe Acrobat. Get it here.
Enter: The Nouse
Posted by UnfathomableJ in the wired 13 years ago
A Canadian inventor has designed a computer mouse steered by movements of the nose and eyelids.  
The invention, dubbed a "Nouse," is meant to help people with a disability use a computer.
 
 
Question is, what happens when you get something in your eye while using the nouse?
This is Lady Guests' translation of the Mabinogion. The Mabinogion is a cycle of Welsh legends collected in the Red Book of Hergest, a manuscript which is in the library of Oxford University. Mabinogion means 'tales of youth'; although this appellation only applies to a few of the stories, Lady Guest appropriated it as the title of this book, and The Mabinogion is now used as the name of the entire collection. The stories are based on historical characters and incidents from the dark ages in Wales and environs, embellished with supernatural and folklore elements. Throughout there are echoes of primordial Celtic mythology and folklore, including the ancient gods and goddesses.  
 
The first five tales are Welsh versions of incidents from the Arthurian canon. The Mabinogion per se consists of the four connected narratives (called 'the branches') from Pwll, Prince of Dyved, through Math, the Son of Mathonwy. Following these are three additional stories, including the legend of one of the most famous bards of Wales, Taliesin.  
 
The Mabinogion is one of the masterpieces of world literature, and a must-read for anyone who wants to have an understanding of Celtic lore.
 
 
This text is the inspiration for many of the modern fantasy classic we still read today--, Tolkien's works... quite an interesting read, especially if you compare and contrast it to other epics throughout history.
Piet Mondrian was an artist who specialized in clean, artificial-looking art that was based on precise painting and geometric take on impressionism. His work was known as neoplasticism and was influenced by cubists such as Picasso and Braque.  
 
This link is much like one of lag's links but I prefer this one because of it is a bit more user-friendly to use and you can export it into a picture file much easier.
My work in a kindergarten classroom re-awakened my love for 1960's and 70's author and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats. The way he juxtaposed bright colors and the use of cloth and other textures made the illustration so appealing.  
 
My Dog is Lost, Keats’ first attempt at writing a children’s book, which he co-authored with Pat Cherr, was published in 1960. The main character is a Puerto Rican boy named Juanito who has lost his dog in New York and meets children from different sections of New York, such as Chinatown and Little Italy. Keats was innovative in his use of minority children as central characters.  
 
In the two years that followed, Keats worked on a book featuring a little boy named Peter. An article Keats had clipped from Life magazine in 1940 inspired Peter. “Then began an experience that turned my life around—working on a book with a black kid as hero. None of the manuscripts I’d been illustrating featured any black kids—except for token blacks in the background. My book would have him there simply because he should have been there all along. Years before I had cut from a magazine a strip of photos of a little black boy. I often put them on my studio walls before I’d begun to illustrate children’s books. I just loved looking at him. This was the child who would be the hero of my book.”
 
 
[Source: another good Keats site]  
 
I think Maggie and the Pirates is one of my biggest obssesions of all time. Definitely an eerie book.  
Like web comics? These guys don't. In fact, they don't seem to like anything.  
 
On Applegeeks: Like a Tom Clancy novel on Darvon, it brings tears of tedium to the eye, and gives the reader the mental equivalent of Dupuytren's contracture. The "humor" is so far-adrift from any connotations of mirth, one can only assume that this is purposeful; why, I cannot fathom.  
Hawk's reaction to the article.  
 
On Men in Hats: Farber's art style has all the blank draftiness of a New Mexican midnight, but here, it's not a shortcoming. He hefts Illustrator's pen tool with a little too much carelessness, and it would be nice to see an expression on the character's Fisher-Price-meets-1970s-South-Park faces, but with a spate of new shows being rendered vector-style (among them, Cartoon Network's Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends), perhaps we will see the Men animated on the small screen.  
 
Apparently, the only thing MHA does like is Sexylosers (NSFW) and *shudder* Frontpage.
A simply wonderful site for learning the difficult, difficult tonal language known as Vietnamese, along with learning about their culture. They combine standard transliteration of the language and audio files (Real-Media format unfortunately) with native speakers illustrating how the text should be pronounced. There's entire dialogues of this:  
 
OÂng Ba: Chaøo baø. Xin loãi baø, teân baø laø gì?  
OÂng Ba: Hello, madam. What is your name?  
 
Baø Haø: Daï teân toâi laø Haø. Coøn oâng, teân oâng laø gì?  
Mrs. Haø: [Politely] My given name is Haø. How about you, sir, what is your first name?  
 
OÂng Ba: Teân toâi laø Ba.  
OÂng Ba: My given name is Ba.
How much does the drug of your choice hurt the economy as a whole when abused?  
 
More than one-half of the economic impact of drug problems is borne by or transferred to the nonabusing population. Out of the $97.7 billion in drug abuse costs, the nonabusing population bears an estimated $54.8 billion, or 56 percent, of the costs (see table 7.1). Abusers bear $42.9 billion, and arguably the loss by abusers may be lower than this because the financial burden is often shifted to other members of their households and because they participate in underground economies such as drug trafficking, gambling, and prostitution, which generate income. The estimated costs of alcohol abuse fall heavily on alcohol abusers (including their household members). About $66.8 billion (45 percent) is borne by abusers, but an even greater share, $81.2 billion, is borne by nonabusers. Alcohol abusers may bear less of the cost than this, because they, too, shift effects to household members.  
 
Total cost for alcohol abuse: estimated at $166.5 billion (1995)  
Total cost for drug abuse: $109.8 billion (1995)
 
 
I'm almost afraid to research the additional damage has accrued from about a decade of time.
Count Your Sheep
Posted by UnfathomableJ in fun & games 13 years ago
"Mom, why don't you put some milk in your coffee?"  
"This type of coffee doesn't go with milk."  
"Why?"  
"That's just the way it is. They don't go well together."  
"Why you... milkist!"  
"Lactose intolerant!"
 
 
Yet another cute and funny webcomic involving an anthromorphic sheep. This time, however, the sheep is an odd imaginary friend of Katie, the precocious little girl protagonist. Check it out!  
Able and Baker
Posted by UnfathomableJ in fun & games 13 years ago
'Would you rather be a big fish in a little pond or a little fish in a big pond?'  
'Little fish in a big pond. How about you?'  
'I'd rather be a mediocre beaver in an average stream.'  
'What does that mean?'  
'I could do any dam thing I wanted.'  
'I hate puns and I hate you.'
 
 
Definitely a quirky webcomic. Able and Baker highlights the astronautical careers of Able the monkey and Baker the sheep (named after the first pair of animals to survive spaceflight.) Able is eccentric and a risk-taker while Baker is a level-headed sheep. This character clash makes for an anthromorphic Laurel and Hardy in the NASA test labs and the silent confines of the spaceship. Hilarity almost always ensues.
"Patrick Sheridan has been enthusiastically received as a solo artist around the world. He made his solo debut playing an arrangement of The Blue Bells of Scotland accompanied by his mom, Diana, when he was just 8 years old, only months after he had started playing his chosen instrument, the tuba! He made his solo orchestral debut at the age of 15 playing a Mozart Horn Concerto on the tuba. Since then, Patrick has rocketed to success as a solo performer in venues ranging from the White House to an NBA half-time show to the Hollywood Bowl."  
 
 
One of my favorite musicians of all-time. His rendition of Flight of the Bumble Bee, Arban's arrangement of Carnival of Venice, Grand father's Clock at euphonium pitch, and El Manisero. I have had the pleasure to play the second and last pieces in concert, and Pat's arrangements of these songs are nothing short of insane.  
Not to mention the pure hilarity of his bee get-up: he has a penchant of dressing up colorfully for his concerts.
"Players will explore a vast map of Germany with a party of four adventurers created from the likes of nobles, swordsmen, mercenaries, thieves, alchemists, monks and several more. Millions of different character types will be possible by choosing from 26 attributes and skills. The ultimate goal of the game will be to achieve fame and immortality on multiple quests, many of them simultaneous. Quests will be created by an "adventure generator" for endless replayability."  
 
A wonderful historical RPG set in 15th century Bavaria. I've provided some sites below to help you experience this extremely good RPG:  
* Download it!  
* Check out the Gamefaqs.com page for it.  
* Get Dosbox in order to play it. Commands needed: "mount c C:\[darklands dir]" followed by "C:"  
* Finally, pick up any files needed to play it. Patches not needed for the HOTU copy.  
 
Have fun!
Memorable portions include:  
 
x In 1995, for example, when he became the junior senator from Missouri, he was anointed by friends (in the style of "the ancient kings of Israel," he has noted) with Crisco oil from the kitchen.  
 
x However, it would have helped, for example, if more people had realized that Ashcroft routinely compares himself to Christ in his 1998 memoir, Lessons from a Father to His Son, in which he refers to his campaign victories as "resurrections." Conversely, his political defeats are compared to "crucifixions." Ashcroft's determination to liken his political career to the life and death of Christ is a sign of "narcissism — without question," says Washington, D.C., therapist William Demeo.  
 
x Missouri state senator Harry Wiggins, a Democrat and the spokesman for a bipartisan group trying to get funding restored for a Kansas City home for AIDS patients, met with Ashcroft in the governor's mansion. The Good Samaritan home, as it was then called, had received a $900,000 state grant, but, says Wiggins, "Governor Ashcroft vetoed it. I think twice."  
Wiggins tried to explain the home's purpose. "This is a place they go, Governor, but they don't come back," he began. "Many of them, their families have rejected them."  
"I understand. You got my attention," Ashcroft said with interest. "This is the place where it is cheapest for me to send them to die."  
"Governor, these are human beings who have to have a place to live," protested Wiggins, "or they'll live in boxes under bridges."  
Wiggins remembers Ashcroft's reply: "Well, they're there because of their own misconduct, and it wasn't very reputable misconduct, either."  
Wiggins was puzzled. "When does misconduct become reputable? When disreputable?"  
"That's beside the point," snapped Ashcroft.  
 
Quite scary. Give it a look, along with his rotten.com biography if you will. I'm not prejudiced against fundamentalists. I am however, concerned that we are electing religious fundamentalists hellbent on creating a totalitarian, militarist government WHILE attempting to eliminate foreign governments that are (yes, indeed) run by religious fundamentalists hellbent on creating totalitarian, militarist governments.
Originally broadcast live from NPR's studio  
4-A, this special edition of All Songs Considered features a performance by jazz trio The Bad Plus. Critics say the band's latest CD, These Are The Vistas is "one of the freshest sounding albums of the year... ...single handedly making jazz relevant again.  
 
One year dated, but just having found them after hearing they did a cover of an Aphex Twin song, I prompted discovered their take on Smells like Teen Spirit... which kicked ass. Recommended for jazz fanatics and cover listeners (i.e. DJ Dangermouse) alike.