Saturday, February 5, 2011

Even a monkey...

Here is this week's way to spend even more time at your computer.  Google's Art Project does for art museums what street view did for maps.  You can explore museums around the world and zoom in so close to great works of art that you can count the brushstrokes.  I'm looking forward to expanded coverage of museums and paintings especially modern works.

 Up close and personal with Van Gogh's The Starry Night via Google's Art Project.

Timewasting Crap to Download
  • If you're into robotics or just like collecting CAD models, check out the FIRST CAD Library with its 3D geometry for the FIRST robotic competitions.  Similar content can be found here.
  • You can use Twilk to put your followers' avatars on the background of your Twitter page.
  • The latest version of Chrome supports WebGL, 3D hardware-accelerated graphics in the browser.
Places to Go
  • The Business of Software 2011 conference will be held 24-26 October in Boston.
  • The 11th FLOW-3D European Users Conference will be held 26-27 May 2011 in Monza, Italy.
  • Check out this who's who of participants at this year's COFES, Conference on the Future of Engineering Software.
  • Parallel CFD 2011 will be held in Barcelona on 16-20 May.
  • So close in time and space but yet we still missed it.  Isogeometric Analysis 2011 was held last month in Austin.  This event is not just an excuse to use the word differomorphism.  Here's a rather long snippet from the conference overview: "The CAGD—FEA interface gives rise to many problems. Perhaps the most significant of all is the problem of translating CAGD files into analysis-suitable FEA geometry and meshing, reputed to take 80% of overall analysis time for complex engineering designs."
Meanwhile, in China

 No, they are not.  These are sea cucumbers.
  • Maverick and Goose have apparently switched teams.  (No, not that way.)  But the Chinese apparently did try to pass off Top Gun footage as one of their air force exercises. 
  • What tastes like phlegm, breathes through its anus, and may be coming to a table near you? (I'm hoping my wife will exercise some restraint with this rhetorical question.)  Sea cucumbers! Yes indeed, some folks are going to place commercial sea cucumber farms beneath fish farms so the cukes will eat the poops and then be harvested and braised with mushrooms.  Guess where these are considered a delicacy?
Into the Pie Hole
Look Ma, No Hands

 If Northrop Grumman has their way this is what you may be flying home in for Xmas 2025.
  • Landing soon on an aircraft carrier near you, the Navy's X-47B unmanned combat aircraft flew for the first time on 04 Feb 2011.
  • It's been done again: paper airplanes dropped from space.  Doesn't that make them reentry vehicles? 
  • Submitted for your geeky reading pleasure - the transcripts of radio communications between Apollo 13 and mission control in Houston. 
  • NASA contracted design studies for the commercial passenger aircraft of 2025 and here are some of the early designs.
Wurd Up
  • Stanley Fish, author of How to Write a Sentence and How to Read One, offers five of his favorite sentences including Ford Madox Ford's "And I shall go on talking in a low voice while the sea sounds in the distance and overhead the great black flood of wind polishes the bright stars." 
  • What's the difference between England, Britain, and the United Kingdom?  (Not a joke.)
  • I again watched Al Pacino's Looking for Richard (excellent) on TV and so you get to suffer with this link to the entire play, Richard III.
The Naughty Bits

Here's science everyone can relate to: Belly Button Biodiversity.
  • Given a choice between a colonoscopy and having a dog sniff my poo, I'll choose the dog.   Apparently he's as accurate as the procedure for detecting colon cancer.
  • The 3 second rule for hugging.  Any longer would be creepy.  (Explains a lot.)
  • Rise in some cancers linked to oral sex.  (Oh those silly headline writers.)
Fun with Fluids
  • A video explanation of the Kaye effect aka leaping shampoo.
  • Bottle filing and sand drying with FLOW-3D.
  • When Velocite Bikes revealed their new Helios Aero they were quoted as saying "We chose not to do CFD since it doesn't show very well what happens when the bike is ridden."  Maybe they haven't seen the cool work done jointly by ACUSIM and Intelligent Light on aerodynamics of bike wheels.
  • Can a luxury yacht be good for the environment?   Yes, and in fact it can win awards too.  Mochi Craft's hybrid propulsion yacht was awarded UIM's Environmental Award 2011.  Of course, CFD was used to streamline the hull.
    Putting Pencil to Paper
    I find myself linking more and more frequently to posts on the Triangulation Blog.  In this case, the pen work of Thomas Briggs.
    • A quick demonstration of drawing Bugs Bunny by Chuck Jones.  
    • Preston Blair's Advanced Animation is the best how to book on animation ever published.
    • Chuck Jones' keys to success.
      • Perceive each character individually.  Not all coyotes are Wile E. Coyote.
      • Leverage your freedom.  Take advantage of opportunities to be subversive.
      • Identify with your creations.  Others see your creations, not you creating them.
      • Fuss.  Fog and smog are two different things.
      • Don't patronize your audience.  Build them up, don't talk down.
    Don't Label Me
    • Every time we'd drive by Buddy's house we'd try to catch a glimpse of him.  But no more.  Buddy the Zebra is dead at age 27.
    • The periodic table of Google's APIs.
    • Are you interested in multi-touch computer screens?  Remember back in 2008 when CNN followed the elections on their big touch-screen?  Then you need to check out Perceptive Pixel.
    • Convergence?  Juxtaposition?  Whatever, guitarist Jeff Beck's performance of the aria Nessun Dorma from Puccini's opera Turnadot is fantastic.  While we're on the topic, be sure to enjoy Pavarotti's performance too.
    • Call me conservative, but I don't think this proposal to modify Fedora Linux to use hot dog themed artwork is gonna fly.
    • If the acronyms UX and HCI mean something to you, then the Encyclopedia of Usability is right up your alley.
    • Maybe sp@m has its uses: text message blows up suicide bomber by causing vest to detonate early.
    • If you're one of those people who think a Rubik's cube is way too easy, check out this 17x17x17 cube.

    Naked Hucksterism

    ...sometimes falls from the tree.  (Saru mo ki-kara ochiru)


    Joel said...

    Seriously? Chinese sea cucumbers? Looks more like the remnants of a Charlie Sheen/Lady Gaga as Medusa meth bender.

    John said...

    With enough garlic butter they'll taste like escargot.

    Francis Shivone said...

    I'm getting the How to Write a Sentence Book.

    John said...

    Fran, I hope How to Write a Sentence is better than Virginia Tufte's Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style. I bought that book because of my respect for Edward Tufte's skills in the area of information design and display. (Virginia is his mother, I think.) Anyway, her book is so so so very technical and obtuse with sentence structure that only a professional grammarian could make any sense of it. (OK, it made me feel stupid.) It's one of the few books I couldn't finish.