Saturday, March 5, 2011

Give me chastity and continency...

I am outraged by this fundamentally flawed study that concludes men over the age of 40 can increase their life expectancy by 5 years by staring at large breasts for 10 minutes a day.  The obvious flaw in their findings is that staring at ANY sized breasts for is good for you.  "No ma'am, I'm doing this for my health."  At this rate I'm gonna live to be 150.

Are you one of those people who are always wondering "How would Tabasco taste on ice cream?", "How would the Beach Boys sound with Mick Jagger on vocals?", "How would I look in chaps and dreadlocks?"  If so, these two examples of transmutation are for you.  How would a film look as a barcode?  How would chess sound as a piano?

Etching a fly into the bowl of a urinal decreases spillage by 80%.  Hey, it doesn't aim itself.  As I tell my wife, it's easy to get a bullseye every time when you're shooting from point blank range.

American Standard used CFD in the design of a toilet than can flush 18 golf balls.  While I applaud the use of CFD in this service, I have other advice.  If you need to flush something similar to 18 golf balls you should add bran to your diet rather than buy a new commode.
  • 3Dconnexion has shipped 1,000,000 3D mice.  That's 3,000,000D!
  • Time dependent CFD of wind turbines.
  • Proctor & Gamble and the Ohio Supercomputer Center are teaming up on modeling and simulation.
  • CFD for combustion air systems design.
  • MCADcafe weighs in on Autodesk's acquisition of CFD software maker Blue Ridge Numerics. 
  • CT CoreTechnologie released 3D_Evolution 2011 for CAD data conversion.
  • Tech Soft 3D launched HOOPS 3D Exchange v4.0 for CAD data exchange.
  • Siemens PLM Connection Annual User Conference will be held 2-5 May in Las Vegas.
  • PTC's new product Creo is generating questions about why and how people should upgrade.  Here are serveral 1-minute video answers.
Do you collect sales leads for your business through your web site?  If so, listen to this: responding within an hour is 60 times more likely to result in a meaningful conversation with a decision maker than responding in 24 hours.  (The average response time is 42 hours.)

Other than use of the term "hipmunk" (to bring sexiness and simplicity into an existing industry), nine ways to disrupt an industry is a list worth reviewing.
  1. Find a process that consistently sucks.  Check.
  2. Simple and clean interface.  Almost complete.  Check.
  3. Make it sexy.  Easier said that done.
  4. Call out your competitor.  Scary.
  5. Deliver great support.  Check.
  6. Find an industry that rarely changes.  We are talking about engineers.  Check.
  7. Build fanatics.  We are talking about engineers.
  8. Be respectfully disruptive.  Never was one for revolution.
  9. Focus on power users.  Check.

 The four artists and their paintings from Disney's Four Artists Paint One Tree.  From left to right, Josh Meador, Marc Davis, Eyvind Earle, and Walt Peregoy.

Four Artists Paint One Tree is definitely one of my favorite Disney short films.  I've seen it precisely once, very late at night on the Disney Channel.   It's pretty much what it sounds like; four Disney artists setup easels around a tree out in a field and they all paint.  What I wouldn't pay to own only one of these four paintings.  Once of the artists, Marc Davis, is also featured in this blog post.  And as wonderful an artist as he is, Walt Peregoy is one salty old bastard, as this two-part audio interview proves.

The WSJ offered this nice review of the Rothko Chapel.  I recommend that you visit it (and the other museums in the neighborhood) the next time you're in Houston.  Quoting from the review: "When you sit still and focus, both the mind and what Wordsworth called "the inward eye" take charge. ... This is what concentration means. The art makes its own demands on the viewer." 

Air Force researchers have generated power using ocean waves with an efficiency of 99%.  One question: why isn't the Navy doing this?

"Nobody likes a grammar prig."  But this essay on vagueness shreds American English as currently spoken including this assessment from a college professor: "by the time today's students arrive on campus, they've been juvenilized."

Community Chest: Sell Monopoly game from 1933.  Collect $146,000.  Roger Ibars has a neato collection of joysticks and other controllers.  As you know, I have this thing for online clocks so you can find what the

An essay from an awkward Lothario:  When Making Love to Me: What Every Woman Must Keep in Mind.

 Never challenge a fighter pilot to do anything you don't really want them to do.

I own a Honda lawnmower.  I used to drive a Honda Accord.  Someday I might get to fly on a HondaJet which just got its FAA certification.   Aaron Koblin makes art out of aircraft flight patterns.

Enjoy fluid dynamics on your Android-based phone with Fleya.  Everyone's going digital, even Michelangelo.

In Business Relationships are Personal, marketing blogger Jeff Korhan reminds us that our customers are customers second but people first.  This is the level of engagement that social media marketing is intended to reach: "be more personal, more relaxed, and maybe even a bit weird."  I'd add "be genuine."  The Gaping Void jumps into the social media fray with a membrane analogy - the role of social media is to create a highly porous membrane that aligns your internal conversations with those in the marketplace.  In other words, it doesn't matter if you're talking about how great your products are if the conversations in the marketplace are saying the opposite. 

The Profanity List is a socially-generate list of profane words, presumably to be used for sp@m filtering and such.  In reality, it's a game to see how profanely literate (literately profane?) you are.  It's getting harder to find a unique word now that they're up to 2,994 3,005.

All hail the 5 new inductees into the Meat Hall of Fame.  God, would that look good on a resume.

What every job-seeking college student should dream about: your resume goes viral.  I know one skeptic in particular who'll ask "But did he get any offers?"

Here's an interesting idea that you can contrast with currently popular ideas about having engineers work with marketing or business students.  To make a better engineer maybe we should bring together form and function - have engineers study with designers.

The danger of forming opinions about engineering (or anything) from TV.  These stereotypes lead students to develop behaviors that are counterproductive in the workplace like trying to do everything themselves rather than working with a team as directed.

I had never heard of the Order of the Engineer, an organization that fosters a spirit of pride and responsibility in the engineering profession.  But as soon as I read the regulation about wearing a pinky ring I suddenly lost all interest.

Scott McNealy says his single biggest mistake at Sun was not hiring a COO.  Hmmm.

Harvard professor and author Clayton Christensen will open this year's Business of Software conference.  If you're curious about BoS, here's one person's summary of BoS 2010, "truly an amazing experience."

Ground-based photo of the ISS.

Astronomy pr0n: time lapse photo of the Milky Way over Lake Tahoe.  Do you remember the scene in The Godfather Part II where Michael confronts Fredo about his collaboration with Roth?  The scene is in the boat house of their Lake Tahoe home.  It's snowing outside and the sky and water are this deep, gorgeous shade of blue.  It's perhaps my favorite scene from the movie.  Maybe that's because the rest of the movie has this overall sepia, earth-toned hue and by contrast this blue is so startling.  I wonder if you could see that if you converted the movie into a barcode.

Believe it or not, this guy took a photo of the International Space Station from the ground using manual aim and only an 8.5 inch telescope.  Instead of a photo something far away, this tropical island infinite photo is a photo mosaic that you can drill down into layers and layers of detail about the life on the island of Mo'orea.  I clicked down 26 levels and still there was no end in sight.

Why have American workers generally become more satisfied with their jobs over the last decade?  (48% were "completely satisfied" in 2010.)   Top factors influencing happiness are physical safety, coworker relations, schedule flexibility, vacation time, boss relations, and workload.  Stress and pay are in last place.  On a related note, a survey shows that employees spend 50% of their time doing nothing.

Altair opened an office in Huntsville in order to expand their aerospace business but also to have access to good barbecue.  Also quoted in the article, their business is growing 35% annually.   Mark Burhop, social media maven and former product manager at Siemens PLM, is now director of the 3rd party ecosystem for Siemens PLM's Velocity Series.

Remarkably, this flow chart What baseball team should I root for? is accurate.  I should root for the Texas Rangers.

How would you like to do 3D modeling in your web browser?  With an HTML5 WebGL enabled browser with OpenCASCADE behind it Benjamin Nortier has done just that.  And it does 3D printing too.  Speaking of WebGL, the folks at GraphicSpeak think it's the dawn of a new age.  SolidSmack also presents this triumvirate of 3D technologies that may soon be on a CAD screen near you.

If Autodesk is granted a trademark for DWG what's going to happen?  The author of this article thinks nothing bad.  However, it is an interesting case of trying to trademark a term that's become generic.  The reverse is usually true: a trademark is lost when it's not enforced and becomes generic.

I admit I'm not a designer or CAD guy.  But I am surprised by the results of this CADalyst poll about the use of 2D versus 3D CAD.  Only 18% of respondents claim to use 3D either totally or mainly.  The gray area where 2D and 3D are used equally is 22%.  That leaves 60% of the folks using 2D most of the time or more.  I come from the analysis side of the fence and our software has been 3D since 1984.

Start with a computer running MS-DOS 5, upgrade to every version of Microsoft Windows one after the other, video the results, and you have Chain of Fools.  The name is a little harsh considering that you can still play Doom II on every version of the OS through the upgrade process (except Windows 2000).

Where SysAdmins go to chat: ServerFault's new chat feature.
    Hooray!  I've read precisely none of the top 10 business books of 2010 as chosen by Small Business Trends.  Maybe I should read The Mesh: Why the Future of Business is Sharing at least for the title.

    My only quibble with these 13 tips for delivering the speech of your life is that they should be tips for delivering any speech.  Or perhaps every speech should be the speech of your life.    #2 Memorize your speech.  OMG, please don't read the slides.

    Like burgers but aren't too hungry?  Check out the world's smallest authentic burger meal.

    With In-N-Out Burger coming to Fort Worth it's important to start learning how to order.  I'm already drive-thru impaired but having a secret menu is going to drive me nuts.   I mean c'mon - a Flying Dutchman Animal Style with two minute fries?  Really?

    At last there is a legal precedent.  In the case of Pennsylvania v Fennie the judge ruled that pizza is a solid.

    ...but not yet.  ~St. Augustine 354-430


    Jim said...

    Alas, I keep hoping to become a study participant, but snopes says it just ain't so. But this has got to be true.

    John said...

    Oh, no. A fact checker. Why burst my bubble? Or at least why not find that the wave energy thing is a hoax? Just when I think I have an excuse to ogle.

    Jim said...

    I don't think I was saying it was untrue as much as I was saying more research is needed.

    Jim said...

    The fly image in the urinal is brilliant - a step up from the "bullseye" cake holder.

    Jim said...

    I swear I'm not trying to spam - there's just so much blog goodness in this posting.

    Clayton Christensen also delivered the keynote at Supercomputing 2010. There, he went over some of the material in his Innovator's Prescription. (I finally finished this blog entry, though I'm pretty sure you're already familiar with his books.)

    Sun is an interesting company whose strategy towards the end was a bit fragmented. Ars Technica had a diagram of the strategy spinner. (Fake Steve Jobs used to also poke fun a them for this.)

    Francis Shivone said...

    First, the breast. Fascinating, and if true, those wasted years I spent at the Caberet may not have been wasted.

    2. I haven't joined unjoinable realities like chess and piano since the hemp-filled College days.

    3. Great scene from Godfather2. I had noticed the earth-tone hues but never caught the change at the lake. My kids used to make fun of me because I watched 1&2 so many times.

    Could you make anyone look lonelier than Michael by the time he puts Fredo away? Really is movie-making at its finest.

    John said...


    Regarding breasts, don't read Jim's comment above - keep the dream alive.

    Embrace the mashup, whatever it is.

    The films in the Godfather trilogy are perhaps some of my most favorite films of all time. (Seven Samurai is awesome too.) I like to think of the Godfather as a story of the American family in the 20th century, especially the father figure. Michael is a good person but his efforts to protect his family ensnare him. He holds on too hard. Yes, in the end he is terribly alone. There's also the fathers and sons aspect which is important to me as the father of two boys. I just love Pacino's acting. Watch his hands.

    Francis Shivone said...

    Concerning Godfather -- couldn't agree more.

    People are always surprised when I tell them I didn't care for Goodfellas or the Soprano's, thinking that they are the same thing. But they aren't. They are alike in that they feature Italians and the mob.

    Godfather is about a family and honor, Goodfellas is dark and hopeless, and Soprano's is 1990's psycho-drama.

    People say Goodfellas is the most realistic. Maybe, at some higher level, but I grew up around people connected with non-gov't gambling and they were just like every other family in the neighborhood.

    Just my opinion, of course.

    Also, my son talks about Seven Samurai and its director, I need to watch it.