Yearly Archives: 2011

Awesome Technology

Poetry! They should have sent a poet. So beautiful. So beautiful… I had no idea.

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You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, “Look at that, you son of a bitch.

— Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14 astronaut, People magazine, 8 April 1974.

High res original footage available from NASA.


Gil Scott Heron and #OWS

Excellent remix from one of the greats.


The Intuitive Mind is a sacred gift.

and the rational mind is a faithful servant.




Steve Jobs

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

—Steve Jobs

2006 Stamford Commencement Address

This quote changed my life when I heard it two years ago. You will be missed, Steve, but damn, well done.


Oh When The Saint Go Marching In.


Richard Feynman on doubt, uncertainty and religion


Update: Feynman on Beauty

Awesome Random

Pleasure in Intelligent Dissent

Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent that in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.

– Bertrand Russell


Print Your Own Gun At Home

Anyone with a 3d printer, available from several different sources at prices close to or under $1,000, can now print out parts for an AR-15 assault rifle.

The AR-15 lower receiver and A 3d printable model for a 5 round magazine .

The Lower Receiver is the frame that holds together all the other pieces of the firearm. In the States, all the other pieces can be purchased without a permit – over the counter or through the post. The Lower Receiver is the only part which requires a background check or any other kind of paperwork before purchase.

Typically this part is made of aluminium. A rifle with a Lower Receiver made of plastic can be perfectly functional.

The revolution will be printed at home.

Awesome Technology

What Does It Feel Like to Fly Over Planet Earth?

Photographs from ISS the stitched together into a fantastic short video.

This movie begins over the Pacific Ocean and continues over North and South America before entering daylight near Antarctica. Visible cities, countries and landmarks include (in order) Vancouver Island, Victoria, Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, San Fransisco, Los Angeles. Phoenix. Multiple cities in Texas, New Mexico and Mexico. Mexico City, the Gulf of Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula, Lightning in the Pacific Ocean, Guatemala, Panama, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, and the Amazon. Also visible is the earths ionosphere (thin yellow line) and the stars of our galaxy.


Remember Kids: Safety Third

Awesome Technology

Moore’s Law vs. Processor Power Efficiency

As CPU clock speeds start to level off, researchers have noticed that another power law has appeared in the electronics industry: power efficiency doubles every 18 months.

If you look at any human endeavor that enjoys the benefits of the application of tremendous amounts of determined brainpower, the metrics by which that endeavor is considered a success have a tendency to obey power laws. The periodicity of each, however, varies from field to field. See Kevin Kelly excellent research on the subject of Moore’s Law and air speed records. Processor power efficiency is the key now that portability is of the utmost importance and the rate of growth of battery storage capacity, while itself is also obeys a power law, the chemical nature of the endeavor leads to a much longer doubling time. This leads to all sorts of fun facts such as:

Imagine you’ve got a shiny computer that is identical to a Macbook Air, except that it has the energy efficiency of a machine from 20 years ago. That computer would use so much power that you’d get a mere 2.5 seconds of battery life out of the Air’s 50 watt-hour battery instead of the seven hours that the Air actually gets. That is to say, you’d need 10,000 Air batteries to run our hypothetical machine for seven hours.

Via Alexis Madrigal of the Atlantic.


You can hold yourself back from the sufferings of the world

You can hold yourself back from the sufferings of the world, that is something you are free to do and it accords with your nature, but perhaps this very holding back is the one suffering you could avoid.

– Franz Kafka

Awesome Politics

Lt. Heather “Lucky” Penney

Steve Hendrix, reporting for the Washington Post:

Late in the morning of the Tuesday that changed everything, Lt. Heather “Lucky” Penney was on a runway at Andrews Air Force Base and ready to fly. She had her hand on the throttle of an F-16 and she had her orders: Bring down United Airlines Flight 93. The day’s fourth hijacked airliner seemed to be hurtling toward Washington. Penney, one of the first two combat pilots in the air that morning, was told to stop it.

The one thing she didn’t have as she roared into the crystalline sky was live ammunition. Or missiles. Or anything at all to throw at a hostile aircraft.

Except her own plane. So that was the plan.


Awesome Technology

Real World Side Scrolling Game

These guys managed to build a side scrolling game in a brown box.

It’s a video game in a box!
Using a Teagueduino and a few inputs and outputs, we put together a physical side-scrolling video game. To control it, there’s a knob on the side. As time advances the game gets faster and faster — can you avoid all the obstacles and make it to the end?



I can’t escape from you by Brendan Byrne

Every time the train stopped, I thought they were going to take me off and shoot me.  And we stopped often; oh shitgibbering loveless god did we stop often.  For the work crews to lay down new tracks, the old ones shoddily made and never maintained.  New, new, make it new; everything has to replaced, don’t you know.  Otherwise, nothing works.

I Can’t Escape From You By Brendan Byrne.