Sarah Palin knows how old the Chinese gymnasts are.

calendar   Wednesday - August 19, 2020

Follow Me !

One of the benefits of our universally computer driven modern world is package tracking. Mated with theoretically optimized routes and warehousing, we now can get our deliveries much faster than in decades past. For the impatient, most of the deliver services allow you track your boxes or letters step by step as they wend their way in your direction. [ OTOH, this also allows you to watch the Post Office send your stuff all over the country willy-nilly, leave it at distribution centers for days or weeks at a time, and sometimes take days to move something just 7 miles from one center to the next, and then take a full week to deliver it a whole 42 miles away. Sorry, my pet peeve, after recently pulling my hair out when a letter took more than a month to get delivered. Just wait until the whole country tries to vote by mail this November. Guaranteed disaster. ]

Now UPS has brought out “Follow Me”, a real time, self-updating, GPS driven mapping application, that let’s you see the big brown truck driving all over with your package in it. Not sure if this is going to help or hurt, because most people won’t realize that there are 300 other boxes in that truck, and yours is almost guaranteed to be last in line. It was already a bit frustrating just following the data, watching my box go from Florida to Edison NJ in hardly over a day, but then on to Allentown PA, right past my home, and then have to go on to another truck to come back to NJ days later and to get delivered ... later today?  Maybe. “Out for delivery” for 3 days? Oy vey.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/19/2020 at 09:22 AM   
Filed Under: • Big BusinessDaily LifeHigh Tech •  
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calendar   Thursday - February 13, 2020

The Law Applies

Weinberg’s Second Law: “If builders built buildings the way that programmers wrote programs, the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization.”

case in point


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/13/2020 at 11:21 AM   
Filed Under: • Fun-StuffHigh Tech •  
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calendar   Friday - August 19, 2016

thanko yu for not sweating



Only in Japan!! Or by mail order!!! $42 at Japan Trend Shop

h/t to Stoaty the Weasel


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/19/2016 at 09:04 AM   
Filed Under: • High TechHumor •  
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calendar   Friday - February 06, 2015

The Flying Robo-Jeep

AirMule Gets Closer To Approval

70 years ago, the idea of a little flying vehicle that could get in and out of the most inhospitable areas was just science fiction. 60 years ago the “flying jeep” idea was tried, but ... ahem ... never got off the ground. Until about a decade ago, when the IDF realized it needed some kind of go-anywhere helicopter vehicle about the size of a pickup truck. Much R&D later, coupled with the latest advances in drones, and ta-da. Awesome. The future is now.


It’s a helicopter that mated with a hovercraft. It’s a swing wing ducted rotor lifting body aircraft with no wings and all the rotors inside. It’s an ambulance drone. It’s a small package delivery system that can drop off 1000lb of gear at a go. It hovers. It flies at 70mph 3 miles up in the sky. It’s for real. And a good chunk of it is already FAA approved.

Flying tactical robots also are taking off in new directions. Urban Aeronautics, an Israeli company, is developing a compact, unmanned single-engine vertical take-off and landing aircraft with internal rotors called the AirMule. The features mean it can fly into obstructed areas, such as jungles or urban environments, and land on steep hillsides without concerns about rotor obstruction. As military operations move away from open-desert battlefields to more congested locations, maneuverability will become increasingly important.

AirMule can evacuate two casualties or reconfigure for other payloads. The vehicle can carry loads of 1,000 pounds or more, making it unique in its field. “There’s nothing that’s the size of a Humvee and can take off vertically with a 1,000-pound load,” said Rafi Yoeli, president and chief executive officer of Urban Aeronautics.

Making these capabilities a practical reality has been a long road. Research on the concept began about 12 years ago. In December 2013, the first fully autonomous flight took place, and a full-fledged mission demonstration is slated for some time next year.


The AirMule ... is an unmanned flying car UAS designed by Rafi Yoeli and build by Tactical Robotics LTD., a subsidiary of Urban Aeronautics LTD. in Yavne, Israel. It will be used in search and rescue operations where it would be too dangerous or inaccessible for a helicopter, such as evacuating people from the upper stories of burning buildings, or delivering and extracting police and soldiers while very close to structures, narrow streets, and or through holes into confined spaces.
After the 2006 Lebanon War, the IDF realized that it needed a special vehicle that could fly unmanned behind enemy lines in order to rescue its wounded. While the helicopter is the best evacuation vehicle, it requires an area clear of trees or electricity columns in order to land without obstructing the rotor. Chances of it safely leaving a fire-heavy zone are small as it attracts all sorts of weapons fire. The advantages of a ducted fan propelled unmanned air vehicle are that it could offer the same capabilities as helicopters, but without the serious operating limitations. It could navigate in and out of creeks, city streets, next to big buildings, compact alleyways and refugee camp warrens, while the shielded rotor blades make the “Air Mule” tougher than a regular helicopter. Being unmanned, the “Air Mule” could enter situations too risky for regular helicopters. It could deliver supplies or cargo, evacuate up to two casualties from the battlefield and transferring them to a field deployed hospital for medical treatment. Some missions may require to be conducted up to hundreds of kilometers from forward operating bases (FOB) and medical care facilities with the only medical support available on scene being unit medics or fellow soldiers. The war reports have shown that moving an individual only a few hundred yards can take an hour or more.

As of 2012 and into 2014, according to NATO STO TR-HFM-184 report, the “Air Mule” remains the only available design that meets NATO and IDF requirement for an unmanned MEDEVAC and CASEVAC vehicle.

Urban Aeronautics Ltd. has patented its design as Fancraft. The Fancraft technologies are supported by 37 registered (granted) patents and 12 additional are in the process.


The AirMule is a compact, unmanned, single engine, vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft capable of evacuating two casualties or lifting significant payloads into urban or mountainous terrain. It is part of a new family of internal rotor (ducted fan) aircraft known as Fancraft™.

Urban Aeronautics is the world leader in the design of VTOL utility aircraft. These aircraft are capable of operating safely in a vast, new and significant range of missions in confined areas. This is possible via the exclusive reliance on internally mounted lift rotors.

Urban Aeronautics has taken the lead in the development of the AirMule. Flying autonomously or controlled remotely without on-board crew, the AirMule can carry a useful load of 500 kilograms and fly under the radar to land within a minimal space of 40m2 without a runway. It is designed to meet stringent US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) manned helicopter safety standards, fulfilling all airworthiness requirements for future implementation as a safe transporter of casualties from the disaster area.

Dr. Rafi Yoeli, president and chief executive officer of Urban Aeronautics, said: “Responsiveness, reliability and, above all, safety are the key requirements we have when selecting tools and components for our UAS craft. Green Hills Software has a proven track record of providing operating systems, middleware and development tools that meet these standards and so we had no hesitation in working with them.”


What’s more, the thing isn’t even very loud. Ducting the prop blades and keeping the fans internal and behind guidance vanes keeps the noise down to the 87dB range. All that fanwork also results in a minimized heat signature. The AirMule is naturally stealthy as a side effect. Plus it’s small, and made from carbon fiber, for an even lesser radar signature. Nifty. Stick a cockpit on them and they might make a great personal urban vehicle. Aside from the $2.5 million price tag.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/06/2015 at 11:09 AM   
Filed Under: • High TechIsraelNeat Inventionsplanes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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calendar   Friday - October 03, 2014

looking for some information. where better than right here?

Something came up again tonight and it reminded me that I wanted to ask any of you who may know.

First .... I’m still running the version of Word I got with an old pc years ago. I don’t need spread sheets or any of the usual bells and whistles that came with it. Just the word processor.

Going back some years ago, I was able to quite easily insert a photo into whatever I was writing if one was needed.  Generally I don’t need them but, I wanted one tonight but ... after clicking on insert and hitting paste, there was nothing on the page but a blank white square with a black border.

I’m still using WORD 2000 btw.

Well, I said it was old.  Like old slippers or a frayed but comfortable old flannel shirt, I just got used to it.  I didn’t like the one that came with my (then) new pc with XP. So I installed my old version and been happy ever after.  Well, mostly happy.

I just don’t understand why something that worked for me once upon a time just stopped working. I didn’t change any setting that I am aware of.
File .. then insert then look for the file and click the image.  Easy. It was, once.

Any ideas.

And oh yeah I just thought of another thing I’m looking for.

Anyone have any good luck or good words for a Word like processor for a tablet?  There’s a bunch of them , free , at Google play. I know about those.
I downloaded a couple to try out and they just were not as easy as the old thing I have on this desktop.

Appreciate any advice

And much thanks too.


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 10/03/2014 at 11:59 AM   
Filed Under: • High Tech •  
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calendar   Saturday - July 13, 2013

“But I Just Bought This!!!”

UHDTV is coming to us faster than you think. Prices on the super high pixel count flat screen TVs are down 75% from just half a year ago, and now they are merely unaffordable, instead of costing as much as a decent new car. Plus this new Codec thing ... we could be seeing a new digital broadcast standard in 5 years or less.

I finished paying off my awesome 2 year old Samsung 3D LED TV just last month.

Following on the heels of Samsung’s announcement yesterday of its first smaller--and less expensive--Ultra HD TVs, LG is launching its own 55- and 65-inch sets in the LA9700 series, which will carry price tags of $6,000 and $8,000, respectively.


The sets will also be among the first to include a built-in HEVC (also known as H.265) decoder. HEVC is a new video codec that uses an extremely efficient compression scheme, so it can send higher-quality content--such as Ultra HD movies and TV shows--without requiring more bandwidth. In the future, we expect to see many content providers, as well as broadcasters and Internet video services, move to the HEVC format to deliver Ultra HD content. We also expect Blu-ray to adopt the HEVC standard in Ultra HD Blu-ray players sometime next year.

Well, maybe not the Blu-Ray thing, but maybe so. I think the trend is going to be to complete On Demand streaming media. High bitrate digital music, far cleaner and clearer than CD, SACD, or DVD-A, downloaded to your buffer box (a HD connected to your stereo plus lots of RAM). Any television show episode you want, whenever you want. Any movie ever made, and all the ones more than 10 years old for free. All at the click of a mouse or a tap on your tablet.

Our cable TV has a decent On Demand, and we live by it. But it doesn’t have all the current TV shows, and it doesn’t have every episode of every season. That’s just a matter of data storage, and data storage is very inexpensive these days. So expect this concept to really expand within a short time.

The new codec is the real key here. It’s an algorithm. A bit of computer code. If it does loss-less compression, or nearly loss-less compression, then it’s a winner: the algorithm can be expressed as a tiny circuit board or perhaps even a single chip (ie cheap cost), which makes upgrading easy, and that means it will happen much much faster than originally predicted. But it gets better! The current H.265 standard works just as well with “8K” pictures, 16 times the resolution of current HDTV. AND it incorporates 10 bit color depth, which increases the number of available colors from “only” 16.8 million to more than a billion. More than 6 times the gradation, and 4 (or maybe someday 16) times as many pixels. It’s going to look like real life. Maybe even sharper than real life. Wow.

And UHDTV? Fantastic. If you have a decent flatscreen monitor for your computer, it probably runs at the standard 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution. This is the same resolution, called 1080p, that your big flatscreen HDTV uses. But the pixels on the computer monitor are much smaller than the ones on the TV; I view my 23” monitor from about 24” away and nearly everything looks smooth, from fine fonts to giant graphics files. 1920 x 1080 is about 2 mega-pixels, so looking at any digital photograph of a higher density (4Mp, 8Mp, etc) requires scaling. If I had a 46” 3840p monitor that had the 3840 x 2160 UHDTV pixel resolution (which goes by the simple name of 4K), I’d have 4 times the viewing area with the same super fine pixel granularity as this monitor. Which means I could view 8Mp photographs full size, in a larger than life 40” wide format, and NEVER be able to detect a pixel, even from this close viewing distance. And a super hi-def 46” monitor would be mind blowing for video game junkies. So UHDTVs will be the same way. You’ll be able to sit much closer if you want, and get a really immersive wide screen experience, or you’ll watch shows at your regular distance and they’ll be 4 times sharper. Which will all but eliminate viewing fatigue, and make everything look nearly three dimensional because it’s almost as sharply rendered as real life, even real life viewed through young eyes.

Unfortunately, I’ll probably have to wait another decade until the price comes down to my level. But hey, by then cable TV will be a RIGHT, and I’ll just swipe my EBT and get my Obama-TV for free. But I’ll probably have cataracts and glaucoma by then no doubt.

The article says that a TV maker I’ve never heard of, Seiki, already has a 50” UHDTV on the market for $1400. So maybe the wait won’t be years, but merely a handful of months. Awesome. But I just bought this one!!

PS - that $1400 Seiki can be purchased right now for $966.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/13/2013 at 09:08 AM   
Filed Under: • High Tech •  
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calendar   Monday - April 29, 2013

To Infinity, And Beyond!

Virgin Galactic Ignites Rocket Engine In Test Flight

Breaks Sound Barrier, Returns Safely To Earth


The spaceplane being developed by UK billionaire Sir Richard Branson has made its first powered flight. The vehicle was dropped from a carrier aircraft high above California’s Mojave Desert and ignited its rocket engine to go supersonic for a few seconds.

Sir Richard’s intention is to use the spaceship to carry fare-paying passengers on short pleasure rides above the Earth’s atmosphere. His company Virgin Galactic has already taken hundreds of deposits. The rocket vehicle is known as SpaceShipTwo (SS2).

Although it has been in the air on more than 20 occasions, this was the first time its hybrid motor had been ignited. It was only a short burn lasting about 16 seconds, but it propelled SS2 beyond the sound barrier to a speed of Mach 1.2. Future outings should see progressively longer burn durations, enabling the plane eventually to reach sufficient velocity to climb more than 100km into the sky.

Monday’s mission began at the Mojave Air and Space Port at just after 07:00 local time (14:00 GMT). Test pilots Mark Stucky and Mike Alsbury were reported to be at the controls of SS2.  It took off slung beneath the WhiteKnightTwo aircraft, which does the job of lifting the rocket plane to its launch altitude - some 45,000ft (14km).

A little under an hour later, SpaceShipTwo was released, dropped a short distance to get clear of WhiteKnightTwo and then lit its engine, which burns a combination of a solid rubber compound and liquid nitrous oxide. After shutting down its motor, the vehicle then glided back to the Mojave runway, touching down just after 08:00 local time.

Sir Richard said in a statement: “For the first time, we were able to prove the key components of the system, fully integrated and in flight. Today’s supersonic success opens the way for a rapid expansion of the spaceship’s powered flight envelope, with a very realistic goal of full space flight by the year’s end.”

The flight did not involve a trip to space. Virgin Galactic says it’s ramping up to go beyond the atmosphere later this year and begin passenger flights shortly afterward.

SpaceShipTwo is the commercial version of SpaceShipOne, which in 2004 became the first private manned rocket to reach space.

More than 500 aspiring space tourists have paid $200,000 or plunked down deposits for a chance to experience several minutes of weightlessness.

Pretty darn awesome. Gizmodo has kept abreast of all the Twitter tweatings and has some more pictuers

Here’s the video -

Sir Branson’s little test sled looks a tiny bit familiar I think.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/29/2013 at 12:14 PM   
Filed Under: • High Techplanes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobilesSpace •  
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calendar   Thursday - March 28, 2013

A Different Kind Of Boomstick

Oh FutureBoy, Your Gun Is Ready


It’s an SW1 from the German company Steinkamp. It’s a two barreled bullpup with 24” barrels that’s probably too short overall to be sold in the USA. It costs about $5000. It weighs 7 1/2lb. It’s available chambered in 8x57, or custom ordered in any rimmed cartridge you want, up to one or both barrels as 20 gauge shotguns. It came out in 2008, so maybe they can make it in 12 gauge by now. Takes scopes or Aimpoint style sights. They’ll even build you one stocked in wood laminate if you insist. But you still only get 2 shots.

more info here.

company .pdf brochure.

Wonder if they could make one with a built-in laser? Kewlness! Somewhere, Buck Rogers is envious.

See More Below The Fold


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/28/2013 at 03:17 PM   
Filed Under: • Guns and Gun ControlHigh Tech •  
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calendar   Thursday - February 21, 2013

Our Continuing Adventures Across the 8th Dimension

To really loosely paraphrase Buckaroo Banzai, “No matter where you go, SciFi got there first.”

Vilmar posted on the latest crop of government drones - small as bees, and with the power to kill - and I realized that this was a song and dance I’d heard many years before.

Yes Mr. Peabody?
Set the Wayback machine for 1953. We’re looking for Robert Scheckley and his short story Watchbirds.

Thousands of watchbirds, trying to stop countless millions of murders—a hopeless task. But the watchbirds didn’t hope. Without consciousness, they experienced no sense of accomplishment, no fear of failure. Patiently they went about their jobs, obeying each stimulus as it came.

They couldn’t be everywhere at the same time, but it wasn’t necessary to be. People learned quickly what the watchbirds didn’t like and refrained from doing it. It just wasn’t safe. With their high speed and superfast senses, the watchbirds got around quickly.

And now they meant business. In their original directives there had been a provision made for killing a murderer, if all other means failed.

Why spare a murderer?

But Mr. Peabody! All the smart BMEWS readers know that Scheckley borrowed the name from a weekly comic of the era that was used to teach children how to behave!
Of course Herman. And they’ve read about watchbirds here before too.  The great illustrator Munro Leaf ran the comic for decades.

Aww Mr. Peabody, don’t be such a drone!
Don’t make me have to swoop down there and kill you Herman.
Yes Mr. Peabody.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/21/2013 at 05:13 PM   
Filed Under: • GovernmentHigh TechTyrants and Dictators •  
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calendar   Wednesday - December 26, 2012

Xmas Presents, From Us To Us

A Gift Of Personal Luxury


It’s getting tough to get a good shower in these days. Many municipalities have lowered the water pressure in an effort to make their aging system of pipes last longer. In an effort to conserve water, the government has decreed that no new shower head can be sold that flows more than 2.5 gallons per minute. Up until this year most manufacturers have complied with that law by inserting a flow restricting washer in their shower heads, which you can remove. I hear that such rebellious non-compliance will no longer be tolerated by our masters at the EPA, and that starting next year the flow restrictors will be built in. Which means we might need to buy some drill bits ...

All new toilets use less than 2 gallons per flush too, and new faucets are also limited to the 2.5gpm amount. Many of the modern, stylish, water saving loos actually do a very poor job of flushing, aroma control, and, um, targeting. You wind up flushing twice or more.

A “water saver” shower head can save even more water, but nearly always does such a poor job of washing away the soap that you’re left feeling a bit sticky. I can’t stand them.

When we moved into this condo the installed shower head was “OEM”, one of those simple old 70s heads that flowed a whole lot of water, but sprayed it out in a great wide ring. Huge blobby streams, but you could almost put your face right up to it and stay dry, because all the water was shooting out above you, around you, and down at your feet. No good. In the closet we found a brand new Moen brand head, a plastic thing shaped a bit like a flattened mushroom. It had 3 settings, so we gave it a try. The settings turned out to be Weak, Mist, and Tickle. There had to be something better.

We found a thing at Amazon called a Thunderhead. It’s a shower head that seems to be a cross between a power shower and one of those fancy rain shower heads, but at a fraction of their very spendy prices. For only $90 you get a plastic head on a plastic arm extension, and the jets are some kind of flexible synthetic rubber. The reviews were mostly very positive, but many people noted that they had to rub the jets all the time to clean them so they wouldn’t clog. And $90 for a hunk of plastic? Phooey. There has to be a better way.

Enter This is a little company that has looked at the entire shower head market, actually gone and tested most models, and elected to carry only shower heads that really work. But what if you don’t want a shower so strong that it feels like it could be used to strip paint? What if you want something fairly potent but also a bit luxuriously voluminous? They have that one covered as well.

Finally, a Rain shower head that delivers superb pressure!

Brass, fully-skirted body with individual solid brass nozzles that deliver near-laminar flow for outstanding pressure. Face is 5.5 inches in diameter, just large enough to look great but small enough to deliver much more pressure than larger rain shower heads with 8” or 10” heads. This is the only true Rain-style shower head we’ve found that meets our requirements for pressure and quality construction. Water flows through individual cast brass precision nozzles, not just dimples or holes like many inferior models. Be sure to click on the photo to get a better view! It’s a really attractive shower head.

The pressure is so strong that this shower head provides far greater pressure than most standard size shower heads on the market. Unusual for rain shower heads, ours can be mounted directly on traditional shower arms.

In accordance with the law, this one comes with a 2.5gpm flow restrictor installed. It also comes with instructions on how to remove the restrictor. And a handy little wrench in case you ever need to remove one of the machined brass nozzles for cleaning, or replace it’s individual O-ring seal. The quality of the head is quite good, and it isn’t even made in China.

After we got home Christmas night and she went right to bed and fell asleep, I swapped in the new head for the disappointing plastic Moen one. After first removing the restrictor washer, bad boy. The whole job took me about 3 minutes, and that’s with applying some new Teflon tape to the threads. I didn’t say anything. She goes in this morning to take a shower. I hear the water start running, and about 4 seconds later I hear “WOW!!” She was done in far less than half the time too. The head projects large individual strong streams of water; plenty enough jet pressure to give you a moderate “blasted clean” sensation, but also plenty enough water to give you that nice soaking downpour feeling you want a rainshower head for. Why choose one or the other when this one gives you both?

Rainshower heads are usually designed to hang from a vertical arm. Not this model. I installed this one on the standard shower arm so that the water projects at the typical downward angle. I’ve read that a completely vertical shower can make it difficult to clean certain nooks and crannies, which the angular spray handles. The can part of the shower head holds a cup or more water, so it drips quite a bit from the lowest nozzle when you’re done. The head comes mounted on a ball joint, so it’s an easy solution to just point the thing down afterwards, and all the water drains out from all the nozzles in just a couple seconds.

Best $60 I’ve spent in a long time. It comes in 4 finishes to match any bathroom decor.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/26/2012 at 10:30 AM   
Filed Under: • High TechHolidays •  
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calendar   Sunday - February 26, 2012


In no shape to be at a computer. not sick, but have a few aches to cope with. BUT

With an ice pack on my left neck and upper shoulder and ribs (I think it’s that) on the left that just won’t quit aching, and chair in a slight recline, I was reading one of our Sunday newspaper magazines.  LIVE, from The Daily Mail.

Not too easy keeping the small pack in place and pound a keyboard but when I saw this I just knew I couldn’t wait for Monday. It HAD to be today.

I LOVE this.  Believe it or not, there was a time, once upon a time, when I could have bought this and not missed a penny of it. That was before the tech bubble burst.  So when I see something like this it just makes my gut churn, my head spin and it’s another reminder where greed leads us. Darn. Being greedy and stupid sure has a high price tag.


The £150,000 desk that dreams it’s a Bugatti

(more then $200,000.00)


Inspired by the Bugatti Type 35 racer and equipped with a set of its blueprints, Midlands furniture-maker Luzzo Bespoke spent 3,000 hours designing this desk

To raise its height, you turn the ‘starter crank’, which drives a mechanism scaled up from old Winfield carburettor synchronisation quadrants. The drawer fronts use the same honeycomb grille as the Bugatti, and the aluminium undersides are based on the car’s oil sump, which is finned to aid cooling

The men who designed and built the Bugatti Type 35 racer of the Twenties approached their work with enthusiasm and panache.
Chaps who design desks aren’t necessarily known for that. But what if you made a desk the way Bugatti made the car?

Inspired by the Bugatti Type 35 racer and equipped with a set of its blueprints, Midlands furniture-maker Luzzo Bespoke spent 3,000 hours designing, machining, joining, riveting and polishing sheet aluminium into a workstation worth nearly as much as the car itself: a Type 35 goes for about $396,887, the desk costs $201,707

Tan leather finish (left); each desk is numbered, and the builders credited (centre); and drawers are locked with an ‘ignition key’ (right)
The racing-blue finish is actually seven layers of paint and lacquer and the tan leather writing area is based on a shade used in the car.
Oh yes, and the iMac slides out of sight at the touch of a button.




Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 02/26/2012 at 07:35 AM   
Filed Under: • Art-PhotographyHigh TechOUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTSuccess StoriesTalented Ppl.UK •  
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calendar   Friday - February 24, 2012

Two From The K, and a PS

Yeah, Rich K is still around. Every blog needs a lurker or two, right? These links are from him. Thanks Rich!

Thick as a brick, and just as dead: fully drain the battery in your electric Tesla and it’s game over. Until you spring $40,000 for a new set of batteries!

And the Number 2 country in the world for having the most firearms in private hands ... may I have the envelope please ... and the winner is ... INDIA!!! Not that getting a gun legally there is all that easy, nor is the number of legal civilian guns anywhere close to the number in the USA, although illegal guns in India outnumber the legal ones nearly six to one. 40 million guns in total. Few can afford to buy one, new or used. But hey, in India, if you want a gun you MAKE one. Awesomeness. And the money quote is just priceless:

“All that Gandhi stuff is for tourists ... They should go off to Varanasi, see the holy cows.”

Holy cow!

Don’t worry, my good Desis. There is one way to get your license fast-tracked: have a vasectomy.

And you thought paying an arm and a leg for a decent rifle was bad!


Ok, this one is not from the K-man, but from reader PS. Sweet.

If there’s someone strange
In your neighborhood
Who Ya Gonna Call?

image image image image image
image image image image image
Don’t you get a DFC for being a double ace?

“Progress So Far… 10,” reads the banner. To date, mosques in Blackpool, Bolton, Ealing, Huddersfield, Kirkless, Luton, and York have been fought off by the Mosquebusters. A mosque in Uxbridge, stopped initially by a Mosquebusters community petition, has now landed back in court under appeal from the local Muslim community. It threatens the Mosquebusters’ otherwise flawless record.

The Mosquebusters, or the Law and Freedom Foundation as they’re officially known, are part of a new wave of anti-Islamic campaigners in England with links to more established anti-immigrant groups such as England Is Ours and Stop Islamisation of Europe. Like many of these groups, the Mosquebusters fear that traditional British culture, laws, and values will disappear with the changing face of Britain and worry that extremist interpretations of sections of the Koran urge Muslims to kill non-believers and take slaves.

Until mid-February, the Mosquebusters advertised for volunteers, under a campaign called “No More Mosques,” on the website of the ultra-nationalist English Defence League (EDL), a group that organizes anti-Islamic street marches that often decend into brawls, riots, and arrests. The EDL and other anti-Islamic groups have no problem convincing their members to parade in public yelling insults like “Muslim bombers off our streets!” and “Allah is a pedophile!,” but the Mosquebusters have a quieter, perhaps more insidious approach: In offices and city halls, they are crafting legal cases against mosque construction applications across the country. It’s a war against Islam, but one that often resembles a bureaucratic turf battle more than a clash of civilizations.

Mosquebusters no longer advertises for volunteers through the English Defence League; a disclaimer makes clear that the two groups have no official association.

Still, Boby isn’t backing down from his crusade against Britain’s creeping Islamicization. “Authorities need to know that the wind is shifting and that when it has blown away the politically correct fog, they will be left in full view,”



Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/24/2012 at 10:32 PM   
Filed Under: • High TechHumorNews-Briefs •  
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calendar   Monday - December 05, 2011

New Panamax Green Solution

Just because I’m a Conservative doesn’t mean I’m not in favor of green technology. The ones that work, I’m all for. Here’s one that might be able to cut the mustard.

Carbon Neutral Oil Tanker In The Works


covered in solar panels and using 20 high tech sails, this New Panamax tanker has 75% less carbon footprint

You may have heard that the Panama Canal is being enlarged. It’s a multi-year project that is well under way. A new set of locks, much larger than the original pair, is being built on both sides. The project seems to be running on time. These new locks will allow much bigger ships to transit Panama. One ship builder is using those new size constraints to design a far more efficient VLCC oil tanker, and while they’re at it they’re adding on everything they can find to add to that efficiency.

The smallest dimensions of the [current] locks are 110 ft (33.53 m) wide, 1,050 ft (320.04 m) long, and 85 ft (25.91 m) deep. Because of clearance issues, the usable sizes are somewhat smaller (for example, the maximum usable length of each lock chamber is about 1,000 ft (304.8 m). The maximum size of the ships that can transit the canal is known as the Panamax.
The new lock chambers will be 1,400 ft (426.72 m) long, by 180 ft (54.86 m) wide, and 60 ft (18.29 m) deep. They will use rolling gates instead of miter gates, which are used by the existing locks. Rolling gates are used in almost all existing locks with dimensions similar to those being proposed, and are a well-proven technology.

imageIn late August [2009], traffic jams at the Atlantic and Pacific entrances to the Panama Canal impeded a healthy chunk of the world’s maritime commerce. Each day, on average, more than 40 massive ships, many of them three times as long as a football field and piled high with cargo, rode at anchor in impromptu fleets that stretched across the horizon. On the Atlantic side, most of the ships carried grain from the American heartland, bound for markets in Asia; the vessels on the Pacific side from the Far East were jammed with cars and electronics destined for the U.S. East Coast. Some ships with daily operational costs of $40,000 waited as long as a week for passage.

Ninety-three years after it first opened for business, the Panama Canal is finally maxed out. Designed before the Titanic was even on drawing boards and while the Wright brothers were still learning to fly, the canal today handles more traffic than its builders could have ever imagined. About 14,000 vessels carrying 5 percent of the world’s ocean cargo—280 million tons—pass through the waterway each year. Despite running the canal around the clock—at close to 90 percent of its theoretical maximum capacity—canal officials are struggling to keep up.

A VLCC tanker is an oil tanker built to carry about 2 million barrels of oil. That turns out to be the largest practical size for these giant ships; a few ULCC ships have been built but they are too large for most waterways, including the English Channel. Crude oil is a liquid, and 2 million barrels worth is a fixed volume. The new locks on the Canal will allow ships to be built that carry that same volume, but in a longer, shallower, relatively slimmer hull design, and that immediately translates into increased efficiency, even with the same basic shaped hull. Use a modern high-tech super hull design, like the ones used on racing yachts, and the efficiency increases even more. Now use the latest generation of pod propulsion motors and you’ve got a huge ship that’s fast and nimble with significantly reduced operating costs. Want to go further? Cover the massive ship in solar panels, and stick on a couple of dozen super efficient dynawing sailmasts, and it not only produces a large part of the electricity needed to run those motors, it also uses the wind to help move the ship along. Lastly, install high efficiency engines that run on LNG to help run the generators, and put a set of scrubbers in the smokestacks. Bottom line: a faster tanker that sails across the world for a whole lot less time and cost, and produces only a fraction of the pollution that the current ones do. And that’s exactly what Sauter Carbon Offset Design came up with. Nice going. Now build one and prove your concept.

Richard Sauter of Sauter Carbon Offset Design released his design for the “solar hybrid supertanker” today. If the ship is ever built, you can bet that some big oil company will be using it to tout its “green” credentials in short order.

Sauter’s certified carbon offset projects are aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from super yachts and ships. His design team, Sauter Carbon Offset Design creates ships reducing greenhouse gas emissions down 50-100 percent by using all the technology available.

SCOD Presents Deliverance, a DynaWing Solar Hybrid Supertanker that qualifies as the Largest and by far the Greenest Post Panamax Vessel to be built and as such is the most Economical form of Crude Oil Transport to and from any part of the Globe.

To reduce fuel consumption and GHG emissions by up to 75% this superior fluid dynamic Emax Supertanker obtains half of her power from LNG and the other half from the latest advances in Solar and Wind Power Technology.

The Emax Deliverance is a 2 million barrel 330,000dwt Supertanker designed specifically for the newly enlarged locks of the Panama Canal which will accommodate vessels that have a maximum length of 426m, a beam of 54m and a draft of 18 meters.

Being longer, narrower and having less draft than previous 2 million barrel VLCC’s, the hull of the Deliverance produces less drag which in conjunction with twin CRP Hybrid Propulsion Pods reduces fuel consumption and GHG emissions by 35%. An additional 20 to 30% reduction is achieved her 5,000 sq. meter
DynaWing Boom Furling sails and another 15 to 20% reduction by her Solbian Solar Power generating array. The realization of up to a 75% reduction is made possible by Mitsubishi’s Bubble Hull and Wartsila’s Coded Hybrid power system.

Generally speaking the total power requirement for a conventional 330,000dwt Supertanker is 30MWs.By comparison the total power requirement for the advanced 330,000dwt Emax Solar Hybrid Supertanker is 20MWs; 10MWs from LNG, 10MWs from the Sun and Wind.

Nice. Even when the sails are furled, the material that they’re made from will work as Fresnel lenses to concentrate light on the solar panels, making them that much more efficient. And lest you think this is all some kind of daydream, it isn’t. It’s pretty much built using off the shelf parts. The ‘bubble hull’ already exists. So do the engines, the solar panels, and the propulsion pods. Even the high tech Dynawing thing is proven tech - it’s the kind of sail used on the latest America’s Cup racing yachts.


The Dynawing design gives the same amount of thrust as a more conventional sail on a mast 25% taller. Shorter means sturdier, and sturdier means cheaper in the long run. But with 20 of these on the Deliverance, totaling half a million square meters of sail area, what it really means is quite a lot of thrust that took no fuel whatsoever to create. Sailboats don’t have exhaust fumes.

Roll it all up and you’ve got a supertanker that can save as much fuel cost in 4 years of operation as it took to build the ship in the first place. Which means it pays for itself, even if the thing cost 15% more than regular ships to build. And with a 25 year lifespan, that means 3 million tons less CO2 in the atmosphere. Nice. Why pollute if you don’t need to?


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/05/2011 at 11:31 AM   
Filed Under: • High TechOil, Alternative Energy, and Gas Pricesplanes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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calendar   Saturday - October 29, 2011

Pollution? Solution!

Frack This!

New large scale efficient water purifier could silence Greenie objections to deep shale gas drilling

And save the rest of the world as a side effect

File this one under Why We Win. Via Eaglespeak.


A new desal [desalination] technology has emerged that not only can desalinate water at an affordable cost, but can also simultaneously remove harmful chemicals and disease microbes from the water.

It all started years ago when a scientist working in a small lab at a university in Arizona, had an idea. Dr. Jim Beckman, a professor at Arizona State University, asked these questions: Why couldn’t desalination technology avoid using pressure, metal parts, and large amounts of electricity? Why couldn’t the technology use no pressure and instead rely on plastic parts to avoid corrosion, and thus use almost no electricity? So Beckman went to work – and after years in the lab, he produced a system that can do just that. In order to treat the water, Altela technology uses the simplest of Mother Nature’s processes, making rain.

What does this mean, in practice? It means that all water coming from the Marcellus Shale natural gas wells, known as “frac water,” can be made cleaner than drinking water before going into the river. It means that runoff from a landfill, water that pollutes the streams, rivers and oceans ultimately can be treated on site before it is released. And it means that every village in Africa can have a small water treatment plant to stop the deaths of 3.5 million people every year from a lack of safe drinking water.

In fact, Altela’s facility in Albuquerque is busy churning out modules to do just that. Its AltelaRain® 600 systems have also been installed in Pennsylvania and are processing water from natural gas wells to keep the industry going, despite new regulations, and sustaining 156,000 jobs in Pennsylvania alone.

“We set out to revolutionize the desal treatment, and we ended up finding a solution to water treatment all over the world, from the Marcellus Shale, to the smallest village in Africa,” said CEO Ned Godshall

Altela has redefined the fundamentals of water purification, which has world-changing implications, yet the AltelaRain® technology has entirely practical and realistic applications. In straightforward terms, it takes the simplest of nature’s processes for purifying water (making rain) and through revolutionary technology, re-creates that process using readily available materials and low energy compared with conventional thermal distillation.

Because it is so simple and elegant, the technology can treat the most highly-challenged water in almost any application. And it meets or exceeds even the strictest U.S. government environmental protection (EPA) standards for discharge of the purified water.

Even the DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) validated that Altela’s system can successfully treat the water stream onsite, providing distilled water as the product.


The AltelaRain® 600 is a revolutionary modular-based water desalination system that excels at treating highly challenged wastewater. Each Module consists of twelve Altela Rain Towers and one center chase that contains all the water, air and steam plumbing to and from the twelve towers, along with the required controls, steam boiler and pumps.
The Module treats approximately 25,000 gallons per day, the equivalent of 600 barrels per day.

It looks like each module can come in on 3 flatbed trucks and be assembled on site. Each module consumes either a moderate amount of natural gas (12,000 cu ft /day) and electricity (1 Kwh); they can be run on solar power. The modules are scalable, and require only 5 hours of maintenance per week. All the dirt removed from the water is collected in tanks that can be easily swapped out and emptied or trucked away. It’s a liquid; approximately 10% of the input water. A smaller model (the ARS-4000) exists that can be shipped on a single flatbed truck and produces 4,000 barrels a day.

The AltelaRain® technology recaptures energy 3 times, and thus makes 3 gallons of pure distilled water from the energy required to make 1 gallon from conventional thermal distillation. And, Altela is the only water desalination company in the world that uses no pressure (and therefore 99% of the energy is NOT from the electricity required to operate high-pressure pumps.) It is therefore perfectly married to the burgeoning sister industry of Solar Thermal (ST) – passive solar – because Altela uses (for free) the two-thirds energy of passive solar that presently now gets wasted as low-grade low-temperature waste heat.

Such low-grade waste energy is available for water desalination when co-located with such an ST location throughout the southwest U.S. in states like New Mexico, Arizona and southern California, as well as abroad in areas such as the Middle East.
Through the use of its proprietary patented AltelaRain® technology, Altela desalinates and decontaminates highly challenged water using an evaporation/condensation process like nature’s own process: clean rain water from undrinkable ocean salt water. The technology is simple, elegant, and disruptive. 

I like it. Fresh water from the oceans. Mine water put back into streams that’s cleaner than what comes out of your faucet. Altela is a publicly traded company. If I was a player in the stock market, I’d give them a serious look ‘n see.

As for those anti-fracker folks who cry that a) this extraction process will steal all our drinking water, and b) even if they use produced water (water found underground at far deeper levels than the regular water table), dumping such waste water back on the surface will pollute the world and kill us all ... it looks like Altela has them beat. With a nice heavy stick. Every hour on the hour. Their system removes all the oil, dissolved gas, heavy metals, and dirt. It can even remove radioactive particles.

Produced water is water trapped in underground formations that comes to the surface during oil and gas exploration and production. It occurs naturally in formations where oil and gas are found and is millions of years old. When oil or gas is extracted, they’re brought to the surface along with this produced water as a combined fluid. The composition of this produced fluid includes a mixture of either liquid or gaseous hydrocarbons, produced water, dissolved or suspended solids, produced solids such as sand or silt, and recently injected fluids and additives that may have been placed in the formation as a result of exploration and production activities.

Nice. Now all we need is another company to produce bags of minerals to add to the distilled water, to make it proper drinking water. A little salt, a little calcium, maybe a little fluoride, whatever. Just the good ones. Heck, mineral packs could come in flavors to imitate your favorite blend of bottled water. Great Bear. De Sani. Deer Park. Poland Spring. Evian. Your choice. Those water softeners already exist. So do some of the salts. Carbonation not included.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 10/29/2011 at 06:47 AM   
Filed Under: • EnvironmentHigh TechOil, Alternative Energy, and Gas Prices •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.


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