Saturday, September 11, 2010

Work like you don't need the money...

On a significant date like today's, perspective is important. The actions of Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, first living recipient of the Medal of Honor from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, are important.  And I believe Sgt. Giunta when he said "I did what I believe anyone would have done."  But the fact of the matter is, he actually did it.  And did it well.

Slowly chipping away at the reasons for actually going outside: a mixing board for nature sounds.

Here's a blast of CFD applications: lid driven cavity flow, contaminant flow in hospital rooms, personal air purifier, designing a hydroelectric plant.

When A Smart Bear makes the case that authentic is dead, he doesn't mean we can't or shouldn't be genuine.  What he's saying is that the word itself along with other words and phrases like "simple" and "secure" have been misused to death.  Instead, writers, especially marketers, should remember "if you have to say it, it probably isn't true."   I'll end by stealing another of his quotes: "Often great ideas are just putting into words what others sense but cannot articulate."

Remember recently when the folks at XYZ Scientific had a eureka moment and that within three years they would release a fully automatic hex grid generator?   We'll see the first fruits of their breakthrough later this year when they release AutoQuad, an automated quad grid surface generator. 

Pointwise released new overset grid capabilites in Gridgen.  CEI released EnSight 9.1.  The Harpoon folks have built a CFD environment called Submarine around their auto hex mesher into which you can plug OpenFOAM, Fluent, or other solvers.  Points to mesh to CAD: how to choose your 3D point cloud scanning software.

Cape Horn Engineering is a CFD consultancy specializing in marine applications including the Americas Cup.  Bionic Surface Technologies also does a lot of CFD focused on drag reduction.  If you have about $1,000 burning a hole in your pocket, you can purchase the report Global CFD Market 2009-2013

The Dot and The Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics is a wonderfully beautiful, Academy Award winning, animated film directed by legends Chuck Jones and Maurice Noble that's worth 10 minutes of your time.

 I'm the proud owner of original art from The Dot and The Line that appears at the 9:08 mark of the video linked to above.

Because I caused the death of two frogs this week, I'll make it up by sharing another fantastic Chuck Jones animated short film, One Froggy Evening. Steven Spielberg called One Froggy Evening "the Citizen Kane of animated film."

What do you say about a list of ten tips for presentations that don't suck when it has to be split into two parts of 5 tips each?  You say not only is the author providing tips but documenting them with tools you can use to avoid them.   (#7 Avoid the bullet point plague.)  All in all, these tips are very Tufte-eque.

Check out this presentation on and resources related to maintaining efficient CSS.  If you'd prefer something more automatic, try this Instant CSS code generator.  Regardless of how you get it, you can prettify your CSS with ProCCSor.

Blogs, headings and SEO: what you need to know.  Or if you just want to know about SEO (search engine optimization), here's a beginner's guide to SEO.  Hmmm.  I bookmarked PostRank but now that I'm looking at its home page I can't figure out exactly what it does or why I would want to use it.

This university study of what women find attractive in a man's dancing ("Women were most excited by men who danced vigorously, making large movements of their upper body and head") was extensively covered by blogs this past week leading me to conclude that teh interwebs are full of men desperate for any tip on meeting the ladies.  Personally, I am a devoted follower of zefrank's How to Dance Properly.

This sounds boring: "SlipstreamFX employs unique and patent pending technology in order to solve the Navier-Stokes equations on an adaptive tetrahedral mesh."  This video is not.  Here's a more detailed analysis of SlipstreamFX from VEKTORRUM.

Watch this teaser video of SlipstreamFX.

It seems that I'm not white, at least according to this study of what white people really like based on user profiles at OkCupid.  (Caveat: I do like Tom Clancy.) provides list list of the 41 most popular startup blogs.  One programmer's list of things they wish they knew earlier.  (#2 If Linux can do it, you shouldn't.)

The future of reading is digital, or so says this Wired column.   The author tries to make a case that perhaps e-books, while improving perception, will result in a loss of understanding and goes into some neuroscience about ventral and dorsal brain pathways to back this up.  The crux of the matter being that even literate people resort to the dorsal pathway when something in the writing's complexity breaks the ventral path.  However, that's not ink and paper - that's syntax and structure and vocabulary.  Regardless, I still don't read e-books and don't plan to start doing so any time soon.

On the surface, Understanding Shakespeare's goal of visualizing dramatic structure by mapping words and characters seems pretty cool.  But it's going to take some time to make sense of all this.  Neal Stephenson and friends have launched The Mongoliad, a new kind of serialized, experimental novel.

Deceptively simple but absolutely cool: interactive, online cloth simulation.

If you'd prefer that Twitter were a little more old-school, turn it into a newspaper using  Here's my daily newspaper.  Plunder this list of resources for adding image galleries and slideshows to your web site.  Or if you want to plaster social media icons all over your site, here are 50 free social media icon galleries.  Test your web pages using the tools at Pingdom.  I wasn't even aware that you could get an award for using social media in product development.  Introducing the Spike Awards.

Quoting liberally from Wired magazine, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that the so-called first sale doctrine does not apply to those who are only licensed to use copies of copyrighted works.  More concisely stated, copyright owners may prohibit resale of their wares.  Yet more simplistically, you don't own the software you bought.  This is actually a big deal.  Think about it.  If the shrink wrap license for CraptoSoft's 3D Widget Maker 2.0 you bought at Office Depot last week only grants you the right to use that copy of the software, you can't put it on eBay next year when you no longer need it because you have no resale rights.  Think carefully, then debate.

Jon Beesley, Lockheed Martin's chief test pilot, talks about flying the F-35.   The story of the Canadian Avro Arrow is an interesting chapter of aviation history.  Hi-res photos from WWII.

Kids love dinosaurs but how many want to grow up to be a paleoscatologist?  (Insert "fossilized old turd" joke here.)

According to paleoscatologist Andrew Jones, “This is the most exciting piece of excrement I’ve ever seen. In its own way, it’s as valuable as the Crown Jewels.”

Stuff for the sci fi geeks: the United States of Star Wars, Australians create Star Trek tractor beam (albeit a tiny one), Robot snake climbs tree.

These would make the winter Olympics more interesting: bacon skates.  And in the same cold bacon vein, a maple-bacon milkshake.  (Do not question why I'm reading Woman's Day.)  No time to cook?  How about an inflatable meatloaf.  Three firms control 89% of U.S. soft drink sales.  As reported in the UK, deep fried beer was invented in Texas.

You've probably heard of the X-Prize and its awards for space exploration and other achievements.  Now there's a $1 million Oil Cleanup X Challenge for recovering oil off the sea surface.  Need something visual to understand user experience?  Here are 8 UX diagrams to get you started.  Or you can download a card deck about influencing behavior through design.

The actress who played C.C. Babcock on TV's The Nanny is a U. Texas Arlington graduate and a current assistant professor at Texas State U. in San Marcos.  How can I turn this information into an autographed 8x10?   In other TV news, Gomer and Goober only appeared together twice.

Ever wonder how a mechanical wristwatch works?  I know - you're asking a) who wears a wristwatch? and b) why isn't it digital?  This list of the most valuable U.S. coins (ranging from $2.1 million to $47 million) is a little out of my price range.  Gravity is pretty freakin' fast (like 3x10**8 m/s) which explains why I'm always dropping stuff.

 Carbon stars, binary systems, etc.  But all that matters is this cool image of the star's spiral.

When I was a kid my neighbor and his dad built a spaceship cockpit in their basement complete with reclined seats, toggle switches and lights.  We'd sit in there for hours flying to the moon and back.  At the time it felt as realistic as these cockpits and dashboards.

Dammit I'm mad.

...and dance like no one's watching.

1 comment:

John said...

I realize only a jerk is the first to comment on their own blog post, but PC World (Oct 2010) has some interesting data on the e-reader issue.

e-reader shipments will more than triple between 2010 and 2013, from 6 million to 19.2 million units.

e-book sales have already increased 207% in 2010 relative to 2009.

amazon claims that e-book sales have outpaced hardcover sales by 80%.