Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is two stories in one: a shitty one wrapped around a good one.

When I first brought this audio book home from the library my wife wanted to know why I was reading a "girl's book."  First, it was recommended by a girl (thanks, Carolyn).  Second...  Well, there is no second.  When standing in front of the racks of audio books at the library you just have to grab something and the recommendation was fresh in my mind.

The core story (the good one) is an enjoyable mystery, especially considering that I don't typically like crime dramas.  Henrik Vanger, an aging Swedish industrialist, chooses to spend a portion of his fortune on the services of disgraced magazine editor and reporter Mikael Blomkvist to solve the disappearance of his 16 year old niece, an event that occurred nearly 40 years ago.  Her unsolved disappearance has been Vanger's obsession, not only because she was his favorite and potential successor, but because someone has been sending him a pressed flower on his birthday - just as she used to do. When Henrik instructs Mikael to solve the mystery no matter the implications, there's no way for him to know how horrendous the truth can be.  Mikael is joined in his pursuit of the truth by goth hacker and freelance investigator Lisbeth Salendar, the title character and unappreciated genius.  I understand why a film adaptation starring James Bond actor Daniel Craig is in the works.  Would I watch it?  Sure, when it's on TV.

Now for the shitty story.  There's a lot to be said for novels in which disparate story lines involving multiple characters can spiral together toward a climax, where aspects of each story line provide insight into the other, where characters can build off chance meetings and revelations.  Like him or not, Tom Clancy's early fiction demonstrated this superbly.  That's not the case here.  Story line A begins (the shitty story), story line B begins and runs to completion, then story line A ends.  Weakly.  I would've been happier had story line A never been introduced at all and more time and effort had been spent adding richness and detail to the core storyline (the good one).  Story line A involves why Blomkvist is disgraced, how that brings him and Vanger together, and how Blomkvist eventually addresses the issue of his disgrace (with Salendar's help).  And it's not just that the story line is unnecessary, it's also poorly written.  The picture of Sweden painted in the early parts of the book is dry and dusty like your grandmother's curio cabinet, awkward and self-conscious like hacky sack-playing hipsters that have gone just a little too long without a shower, and faded and irrelevant like a creased Polaroid from the 1970s.

Thank goodness I listened to it on audio book because I didn't have to stumble over pronunciations of Swedish person and place names.  On the other hand, the long sections involving the history of the Vanger clan got a little mind-numbing at 70 mph.

To paraphrase Dennis Miller, that's just my opinion - I could be wrong.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Etiam oblivisci quod...

OK.  I get the Looxcie wearable camcorder - I can understand its potential uses.   But holy crap, what is NTT thinking with this camera-equipped bracelet?  "...the camera detects the color and other details of an object [in] one’s hand."  Uh, no.  I think not.

UFOs visited nuclear weapons sites.  At least that makes more sense than disemboweling cows.  I'm certainly repeating myself, but here's an image gallery from How to Photograph an Atomic Bomb.

 This photograph of firing an atomic cannon from 1953 looks unreal.

Be sure to check out Symscape's channel on YouTube including a CFD simulation of an F-1 race car.  And if you'd like to develop an F-1 car in SolidWorks, here are the documents and sample files.  For getting started with Rhino, Adam O'Hearn at the Otis College of Art and Design has posted an entire series of Rhino tutorial videos.  And MSC offers videos about MD Nastran Desktop.

The Echo Enduring blog takes on the issue of intuitiveness in interface design using Adobe Illustrator as an example.  The author makes a strong case for how both literal and figurative knowledge need to be addressed by an interface and pins Illustrator's failure in this case to the fact that "the symbolic implications of [the commands'] names and icons are not entirely analogous (at least in my mind)".  The key phrase in that statement is "at least in my mind."  A goal of a well designed interface is to reflect the user's mental model of the software's usage.  When that common usage model is shared between user and tool, efficiency is achieved.  Unfortunately, not all users have the same mental models of functionality for a variety of reasons including background, experience, area of application.  It's similar to something that happens in the CFD business when it comes to automatic mesh generation.  Automatic literally means "without human intervention" but that's not really what users mean when they say automatic meshing.  They mean "generate a mesh exactly the way I would've done it by hand" or according to the image "in my mind."  Since this mismatch often exists between mental models, another key goal of software design is to make functionality discoverable and it seems to me that's the failing cited in the case of Illustrator.  Finally getting around to the point of the article about intuitiveness, I adhere to Cooper's thoughts in About Face; the goal of the interface is not to be intuitive but rather idiomatic.  In other words, there's little about a bunch of buttons and menus on a screen that's intuitive so instead we should make the interface learnable.  See it or find it once - remember it forever.

OMG, long paragraph about serious stuff.  Phew.  Time for cuteness.

For those of you interested in the creation, exchange, and storage of 3D CAD data, the next Collaboration and Interoperability Congress will be held 23-25 May 2011 in Denver.  In the wake of NVIDIA's GPGPU conference, I suppose it's fair to start following their nTersect blog.

Stack Overflow asks "What's the best source code comment you ever encountered?"  While certainly not best by any means, the oddest one I've been involved with was something along the lines of "We agreed it'd be neat to eat the sweet meat."  (Don't ask.)  World Wind, an open-source platform used to display NASA and U.S. Geological Survey data on virtual 3D globes of Earth and other planets developed at NASA Ames, won the 2009 NASA Software of the Year award.

1-click simulation in CFdesign - the problem with clicks is that it all depends on when you start counting.  Exa released PowerFLOW 4.3.  Here's a brief presentation on high performance computing applications of OpenFOAM.

Another cool HTML 5 canvas plaything: kaleidoscope.  Git yer design on with Before & After magazine.  Did you know you could do math on the web with MathML?  More language and typography pr0n: the evolution of Arabic type since the 1930s.  Instead of learning great presentation design just steal from great examples from folks like Garr Reynolds (aka Mr. Presentation Zen) and TED.

Rothko's Phalanx of the Mind (1945), was included in his first solo exhibition at the Betty Parsons Gallery in 1947 where prices for his works were generally in the $300-$500 range.

You have to a true art geek to find the Archives of American Art's collection of Betty Parsons Gallery's records interesting.  For example, how about this series of documents about Mark Rothko, Writings on Art, 1951: "He [Rothko] has a partiality for sonorous chords that flush and fade with the rich, rigid solemnity of strongly held organ chords."

WeFollow says that Pointwise is the 3rd most influential CFD tweeter!  (That's computational fluid dynamics and not contract for difference, some financial derivative.)  Beta Machinery Analysis and SimTech-CFD both provide CFD consulting services.  And BAE Systems has their own suite of CFD tools.  Go 1,000 mph in a car: Bloodhound SSC.

Rob offers a list of lesser known traits of business founders (#2 How flexible are you?).  Regardless of whether it's lesser-known or not, my addition to this list would be "Are you able to make decisions based on little or no data?"  I am a firm believer in a business' right (and obligation) to protect its intellectual property but perhaps Apple's 837-page brief to the court about its rights to the word "pod" has gone too far.  Forbes' list of the richest people in America includes Mark Zuckerberg (Mr. Facebook) at #39 with $6.9B, Robert Bass (Fort Worth oilman) at #74 with $4B, and Sid Bass (Fort Worth oilman) at #182 with $2B.

Leave it to the Brits: gravy wrestling.  On the other hand, scientists at Imperial College London have developed spray-on clothing.  Imagine your favorite person in spray-on clothes.  Think about it.  Slowly.

Read about Poopy-Time Fun Shapes.  Feign disgust.  Chuckle self-consciously.  Imagine if they were real.

...scis interdum expedit.  (It is sometimes expedient to forget what you know.)  --Publilius Syrus

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The aim of the wise is not to secure pleasure...

This tilt-shift video of the Fighting Texas Aggie Band makes it look like one of those old football toys with the vibrating surface (where you had to pound on the table when the motor quit).  Plus, the video is sped-up 4x so the entire show only takes 1 minute 30 seconds.

Swift Engineering's blog describes their work on applying CFD to the design of race cars.  CFD Solutions Ltd. is a consultancy focused on engineering hydraulics. is a CFD consultancy.  Symscape upgraded their Caedium CFD solver to the OpenFOAM 1.7.x release and they issued their September 2010 newsletter.

R.I.P. Billie Mae Richards, the voice of Rudolph in the Christmas classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

If you enjoyed Google's interactive logo a week ago, you'll enjoy dotty-dots.   Here's a practical application of Edward Tufte's sparklines (including free code!).

Bill Bruford recalls King Crimson in 1974: "This was going to be more than three chords and a pint of Guinness."   I was introduced to Slow Dancing Society this week.  The entire 2008 documentary Kraftwerk and the Electronic Revolution is available on YouTube.

Boeing and Northrop Grumman will hold the 2nd joint Interoperability Summit on 08-11 Nov 2010 in Chandler, AZ.  The folks at Intact Solutions offer Scan&Solve, a meshless way to perform FEA.

You've probably seen Cold War-era images of nuclear detonations, but this New York Times article explores the stories of the atomic camermen.

The Illumos Project is a community effort to take over OpenSolaris.  If you use vim (no comments from emacs junkies, please) these advanced vim tips might come in handy.  How posting less can improve your blog (think quality not quantity). 

For the astronomy geeks: The Known Universe is like the classic film Powers of Ten but comprised of actual satellite observations from moons to galaxies and Real-time Satellites shows the source of those observations.  (videos unrelated)

I hate eating alone in restaurants when on business travel.  Now someone has gone and documented this sad state of affairs in table for one.

I'm trying to decide what I think of artist Mark Bradford's work.  After learning about him on the Modern Art Notes blog I've been poking around online.  I see comparisons to Motherwell, Kiefer, and Fisher among others.  Right now let's just say I'm interested.

Value 35, 2009, Mark Bradford, from the Sikkema Jenkins & Co. Gallery.

Earrings + necklace = Simple Bridge.    (I don't know why, but I actually like this.)  After a dearth of anatomy-friendly garments, please consider Belly Armor - definitely feminine but with a hardcore masculine side too.

...but to avoid pain.  --Aristotle

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Influencer Project Summary

Back on 06 July 2010 I listened to The Influencer Project. Billed as the shortest marketing conference ever, 60 influential marketers spoke for 60 seconds each. What follows are my even briefer notes on the event consisting of a single sentence from each speaker.  If that intrigues you, you can click through to their web site.

“What you need to do is stop talking about your products and services.”
David Meerman Scott,

“Improve the conversion rate of your landing pages and websites by improving your buttons.”
Anne Holland,

“What it takes to be transparent, and how transparency helps build you as a though leader.”
Mike Volpe:

“Increasing your digital influence from one perspective: consistency.”
Michael Port:

“You have to know where you’re going.” “Being about someone else” is second most important.
Liz Strauss:

“Follow better people.”
Robert Scoble:

“The best way to build influence online is by aligning yourself with outstanding strategic partners.”
Carol Roth:

“Make connections with people online and then go and meet them in person in the real world.”
Scott Porad:

“We’ve got to create content that stands for something.”
Joe Pulizzi:

“You need to look under the hood at the shiny new technologies coming out.”
Laurel Touby,

“The future of marketing I believe is what I call ‘social object’.”
Hugh MacLeod,

“So instead of sticking to one niche, thing bigger: what other social circles are related to yours?”
Chris Guillebeau,

“My biggest tip is just start talking to people.”
Laura Roeder,

“It’s important to have a story that’s worth telling.”
Michael Margolis,

“Find people who have your audience already, but are not selling them the kind of things you’re selling, and co-create some products with them.”
Dave Navarro,

“The best way to establish influence on the internet is to go one of two ways: either complete honest or really just lie.”
Loren Feldman,

Regarding your content, “give it wings and give it roots.”
Ann Handley,

“Consider Facebook advertising.”
Jim Kukral,

“To develop your online influence, get offline and meet people in real life.”
Joselin Mane,

“Get very, very good at filtering and aggregating content.”
John Jantsch,

“Try to be early in the news cycle on any conversation of general interest.”
Marshall Kirkpatrick,

“My biggest strategy for you is web video.”
Shama Kabani,

“Feel passionate about what you’re writing about.”
Terry Starbucker,

“Defy convention where appropriate.”
Johnny B. Truant,

“Share good content.”
Jason Falls,

“Let your passion shine.”
Robbin Phillips,

“Learn how to talk more about other people.”
Yaro Starak,

“Get on Facebook, get on Facebook now.”
Michael Stelzner,

“Make people around you more successful than you are.”
Erica OGrady,

“You’ve got to talk about things you know.”
Gary Vaynerchuk,

“Don’t worry about getting attention from other people – make something worth talking about.”
Nathan Hangen,

“Get yourself properly interviewed.”
Danielle LaPorte,

“Repeat your tweets.”
Guy Kawasaki,

“The first thing I would do to get influence online is to move offline.”
David Bullock,

“Understand your audience and what their needs are and what they’re trying to accomplish.”
Vanessa Fox,

“Find one specific niche and master that niche, become the owner of that niche on the online social media space.”
Lewis Howes,

“Think about what gifts, what passion you have, what expertise you have in your chosen field that you can leverage to be helpful to others.”
Valeria Maltoni,

“Invest more time mapping a strategy for not just using social media, but for integrating social media with other tactics.”
Sergio Balegno,

“Instead of thinking about my influence, it should be about our influence.”
Hank Wasiak,

“Get active in other people’s communities.”
Mitch Joel,

“Show me as many different sides of yourself or your business as you can.”
Tamsen McMahon,

“Listen to the conversations taking place around you. Then engage within those networks.”
Justin Levy,

“Network with other influencers and make sure that everybody is aware of the value that you provide.”
Chris Garrett,

“Think about the authenticity of your voice and the consistency of your entire offline and and online presence.”
Cathy Brooks,

“You need to start by trying to change the world.”
Todd Defren,

“You need to learn from mass media and apply it in the context of social media.”
Brian Clark,

“Accountability and letting people know that you’re up to can make all the difference.”
Scott Belsky,

“Being influential for influential’s sake doesn’t have a lot of ROI in it.”
Wendy Piersall,

“Have a consistency in compassion for people’s struggles. Connect the practical with the profound. Listen for silence.”
Mark Silver,

“Focus on a specific niche.”
Dan Schawbel,

“Connect with your customers first.”
Shashi Bellamkonda,

“Engage readers in a conversation.”
Gretchen Rubin,

“Demonstrate a mutually beneficial relationship.”
Muhammad Saleem,

“Think about social media not as its own strategy, but a strategy to enhance your existing marketing and business goals.”
Aaron Kahlow,

“Be systematic in your approach to getting to know the individuals who have already been on the entrepreneurial path that you are on and who have been successful.”
Alexandra Levit,

“Come alongside up-and-comers and become their advocate.”
Steve Woodruff,

“Become a thought leader.”
David Siteman Garland,

“Online influence is a slow burn, and it’s not something that you can really manufacture.”
Amber Naslund,

“Take advantage of your existing benefits which you already have.”
Julien Smith,

“Distill what it is that you feel you bring to the table in terms of value and expertise.”
Brian Solis,

Mr. Q Cumber - Sparkling Cucumber Beverage

I know what you're thinking: "not another review of cucumber soda."  Well, I don't get out much so this is new to me.  New as in I came home from work one day and the food fairy had left one in the refrigerator.

Twisting off the cap and releasing the seven ounces revealed a virtually colorless beverage with light carbonation and a subtle but undeniable cucumber nose.  Think of a summer afternoon at your mother's side as she slices a fresh, home-grown cucumber for a picnic dinner.  She hands you a fresh slice, still dewy with the gourd's own juice and you bite into the firm yet yielding white flesh.

The first sip is coy.  The taste is at first light, clean, and slightly sweet and the carbonation is gently refreshing and teases your moist lips.  The bouquet reveals itself slowly, the nectar only timidly giving up its light summery taste.  But as you and the sparkling drink get to know each other better, he reveals his full self, the unmistakable flavor of cucumber in all its velvety glory.

Too soon my seven ounce experience came to an end.  I've never had a cucumber this way before nor do I know when I will again.

This reviewer did not receive compensation of any kind from Global Beverage Enterprises, Inc.

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.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

There is more wisdom in your body...

I thought Art of Noise's 1999 album The Seduction of Claude Debussy was the best musical work I had heard during the entire decade of the 90s and it remains today one of my favorite albums.   This video press kit for the album's release is a nice introduction to the band and this particular work.

The Seduction of Claude Debussy by Art of Noise - Highly recommended

Ryan Allis shares the ten most important business lessons he's learned.  (#1 - Have a bias toward action, don't get stuck in analysis paralysis.)  Paul Pedrazzi shares his four favorite talks from Business of Software 2009: Kathy Sierra, Geoffrey Moore, Don Norman (my favorite), and Paul Graham.

RoundedCornr is an on-line tool for generating HTML and CSS and images for rounded corner effects on your web site.

Airventure 2010 is a video salute the world's greatest airshow at Oshkosh.  Lockheed Martin posted a video of the F-117's first flight on 18 June 1981.  Super cool photo of a double rainbow in the wake of an F-22 Raptor.  And the last of this week's aircraft pr0n: a photo of a C-5 being transformed into the C-5M.

They don't make 'em like the B-17 anymore but the C-17 comes close.

World history for the internet generation: World War II on Facebook.  (It's actually funny.  "Germany: headed to Poland's in T-0 days, partay bitchezz.  England: srsly wtf dude!... we gotta talk.")

This is going to need a closer look: OpenDocMan, a standards-based open-source document management system.

If you're trying to choose between UserVoice, GetSatisfaction or other tools to create an on-line customer forum these posts on OnStartups may help you make up your mind.  Do you know your Twitter BFFs?

Here are 27 suggestions on how to write better for the web.  (#22 Triple check that every proper noun is spelled correctly.  Does that meen anything gos when it cums to verbs?)  And Hubspot shares their advice on how to write a whitepaper.

There are a lot of fun ways to play the theme music from Super Mario Bros. but playing it on a pair of Tesla coils is gamer-science nerd mashup awesomeness.

The Symposium of Solid and Physical Modeling, co-sponsored by ACM SIGGRAPH and SIAM Geometric Design, will be held 01-03 Sep 2010 in Haifa, Israel.  A similar but different conference, the joint SIAM/ACM conference on Geometric and Physical Modeling, will be held in Orlando in late 2011.

Blue Ridge Numerics released CFdesign 2011. Red Bull Racing uses FieldView to help make the most out of CFD.  OpenCFD released OpenFOAM v1.7.1.  Pointwise pals ISCFDC designed aeroservoelastic trim tabs for an unmanned seaplane.

This is so calming I could look at it all day and if you're also anal-retentive or OCD you may feel the same way.  Things organized neatly

Copyblogger suggests three key elements of email subject lines but I got confused about exactly how many suggestions they were making.  3?  4?  5? 10?  Regardless, IMO the article cites four key elements: useful, ultra-specific, unique, and urgent.  Putting their ideas to use, an email announcing this blog post might be "[Horse Bits] This week's gibberish to delight and amuse is now online."  They do a bit better with a brief guide to whether your headlines are good or bad.

The folks at Regus are offering you the chance to win an office makeover in their Show Us Your Office contest.  Start by sending them a photo of your current office.  (Hmmm.  Who do I know that does that?)

Not a double rainbow but sweet nonetheless.  This photo of a complete rainbow over Fort Worth is from 02 Sep 2010, the day on which we received the most daily rainfall of the year so far: 1.77 inches.

This list of developer productivity tips had me going (#1 Get seven hours of sleep each night) until the author recommended using Emacs for everything.  Go vim!  (Note: this is a joke and not intended to start an editor flame war which my experience has shown can evoke more vitriol than arguments about religion or politics. (Actually, I just wanted to use the word vitriol.))

Whoever decided to post this list of the lamest Godzilla foes (#3 Mothra) is entirely missing the point.  They were all lame - that's part of the movies' appeal.  How many hours of my childhood are represented here?

Stack Exchange now has a User Interface forum on which the current hot topic is "What objective qualities make a user interface intuitive?"  I tend to follow Cooper's lead on this: a UI isn't (and perhaps cannot be) intuitive - rather it should be idiomatic.  (No, this is not just an excuse to use the word idiomatic.)  Not to be outdone, there's also a Stack Exchange for Wordpress.

Skip this paragraph if bodily functions disgust you.  Everything's going green, even urinals.  This award-winning urinal design features a sink at the top so the waste water from washing your hands flushes away your pee.  At the other end of the spectrum, Slate brings us this article on the age-old dilemma: sit or squat.  This is not the first time I've read about this.  Back in college in my mechanical design class I recall reading about why the throne is too high.

Serbia hosted this year's World Testicle Cooking Championship.

Students: avoid repeating these job hunting mistakes.   (#1 Emails with no content but just an attached resume.)  Let me distill a lot of these mistakes into one idea: your resume is used against you as a rejection tool.

Uncrated is the Dallas Museum of Art's blog.  The Toledo Museum of Art won the America's Favorite Art Museum tourney run by Modern Art Notes.   I checked out selections from their modern collection and wasn't really blown away.  Next time I'm back in Ohio it's probably worth a visit.

Brian Eno has a new album, Small Craft on a Milk Sea, coming out in November!  Wired has the supposed track list but I'd pay money for a 30 second mp3 preview.

Expedition Titanic is worth visiting if only for its excellent home page.  I love this almost as much for its description as for its content and visualization: the modern science subway map presents "500 Years of Science, Reason & Critical Thinking via the medium of gross over simplification, dodgy demarcation, glaring omission and a very tiny font."

Do you know how I know these six little known facts about The Dick Van Dyke Show are good?  They stumped the TV Queen even though the show is one of her favorites. Got a tune stuck in your head, otherwise known as an earworm?  Get it out with Unhear It.

Perfect use of teh interwebs #3.1415927: vintage calculators.

News flash: Osama bin Laden is a U.S. spy.  Source: Fidel Castro.  You do the math.

...than in your deepest philosophies. ~Friedrich Nietzche