Recently in Around the Web Category

Mining the Twitterverse
May 4, 2014 6:23 PM | Posted in: ,

Most people I know don't understand how Twitter works or see its value, but I find it to be the most interesting and useful of all the social media choices, at least in terms of finding bloggable gems. The secret is to follow the right people: interesting, intelligent folks with specific expertise in subjects that interest you. Once you find those people, they'll can surprise and delight you with ideas and links you probably wouldn't have discovered on your own. Here are a handful of examples I've collected recently.
Julie is a writer and blogger and has a love/hate relationship with social media. When she links to a writing site, it's worth checking out. So, I dropped in and was motivated to submit an entry. I'm pretty sure that by sharing it here, I'm disqualifying it from being published over there, but the chances of the latter are slim-to-none, so here's what I sent:
The software keyboard was awkward at best; Siri was useless. When, he wondered, would someone finally make a decent input device for a dog?
Update: Just for the record, Nanoism does send rejection letters. *sniff*
Rebecca Onion is a blogger in the Slate Empire, specifically at the Slate Vault, a sub-pub that focuses on history. She writes some epic stuff. But not everything on Twitter has to be epic.
Even if you don't follow them on Twitter, the folks at PetaPixel provide some of the widest-ranging and interesting photography-related resources on the web. This tweet links to video and text explaining how a professional used an iPhone and Photoshop to replicate the results of a multi-thousand-dollar camera.
More from Rebecca Onion, this time a link to a new, improved axe, an invention the world has long cried out for. Some tweets are, indeed, epic.
We don't always eat carryout pizza, but when we do, we order it online from Domino's. In this tweet from TechCrunch, an aggregator of all things, well, techie, we learn about a potentially life-changing new app from the pizza dudes. Never again should you dismiss Twitter as being trivial.
TED, for those who have been living under a rock without wifi, produces videos of short talks on a wide variety of subjects (the organization's name reflects its original focus on technology, education, and design), like the one above in which we find that sharks won't eat you if you look like a zebra. Or something. Please feel free to test this theory and let us know how it works for you. Anyone?
Now, this is fascinating. Alert Gazette readers may recall this recent post about LED lighting for the home. As it turns out, it's not all sweetness and light (*ahem*) for LED switchers, because your tidy-whities might not be, after all. But at least you'll have a scientific explanation.
And speaking of scientific explanations, who hasn't reveled in and then wondered about the source of that amazing scent that comes after a downpour? (Other than those of us in drought-stricken Texas who have never experienced that mythical phenomenon known as "rain.") As it turns out, it's just bacteria poop, along with some other stuff. Way to ruin the romance, Jeff. (He's a science fiction writer, and a pretty funny guy.)

A little of this, a bit of that...
September 7, 2013 11:05 PM | Posted in: ,

In the past, this would be a Random Thursday post, but posting has been so random lately that Thursday no longer wanted to be associated with it.

First, the obligatory back yard hummingbird photo. The little guys will soon be leaving for southern climes, so let's enjoy them while we can.

Photo - Hummingbird and shadow on wall

I've heard a lot of chatter today about the truck tailgate decal depicting a woman apparently being kidnapped. I agree that it's in poor taste, but there's poor taste and there's this:

There are some beautiful blogs out there that manage to get by without a word. But, then, a picture is worth...well, a bunch of them. Take this one, for example, created and maintained by Azerbaijani designer Samir Sadikhov. It's simple a series of photos and illustrations, without context, selected apparently because Mr. Sadikhov found them remarkable in some way. You'll have to click around a bit to find where the images originate and some additional information about them. Think of it as online exploring.

And what, you might ask, can we expect from a designer from Azerbaijan? Well, how about an Aston-Martin concept car?

Speaking of beautiful blogs, this tumblr has one of the best collections of photos, illustrations, and animations you'll find in one place...and, again, no words to get in the way. Navigation tip: click on an image to see it in isolation, then click on it again to pull up the next one. [Warning: Site contains occasional artful nudity]

I think this speaks for itself.

Photo - Sweet Potato Vine

Cruising the Interwebz
August 8, 2013 10:21 PM | Posted in:

Note: This is an old timey blog post, the kind you might have read in the early Oughts, where people were still sharing interesting finds on the web. It's not done much anymore. I'm not sure why.

I've been accumulating links over the past few weeks, primarily from Twitter but also from some random exploring I've done on my own. Here are some of them you might find worth checking out.

  • There's a guy named Bob Buckter who paints ladies. It's not what you think. He colorizes Edwardian and Victorian houses, and the results are stunning. Here's a gallery of some of his work; the before-and-after comparisons are particularly striking. But the obvious question is...who do you get when the need for repainting inevitably rolls around?
Closeup of painted house

  • I mentioned Twitter above. Twitter gets a bad rap, primarily from people who either have never used it, or never figured out how to use it properly. Here's a hint: pick who you follow on Twitter according to your hobbies and interests. You might then be surprised at its usefulness. But enough of the soapbox; if you use Twitter, you might find interesting. Granted, it's a hipster website (do we really need to see worldwide Twitter activity in realtime?), but it's also a very pretty one. And the world needs more pretty websites.

    Are you as shocked as I am that the interior of Africa has apparently not discovered the joy of the tweet? But see that pinpoint in West Texas? Guess who. Uh huh.

Closeup of painted house

  • At great expense to my emotional stability, I have resisted the urge to join the Johnny "Call Me Johnny Football But Only After You Allegedly Pay Me Some Money" Manziel imbroglio. And I'm still not going to waste valuable pixels at this point; I'm sorta over JFFM, especially after his parents tried to go all medieval on my alma mater. My message to them is simple: Don't blame A&M for your deficient parenting skills, mom and dad. You're the Chief Enablers of his ingrained penchant for boorish behavior. And read this article.
  • For those for whom one or two pictures of your awesome burrito at Freebirds just aren't enough, there's SnappyCam, a $.99 app that lets you use your iPhone 5 to take 20 full resolution photos per second. Even if you have an old-and-busted version like the iPhone 4S, you can grab 12 frames per second, according to this review on PetaPixel (which, by the way, is a recommended follow on Twitter for anyone interested in photography - @petapixel). 

SnappyCam screenshot

  • Speaking of photography, whatever you think it might be like to be the official presidential photographer, you're probably wrong. PetaPixel (there you go again) has a great interview with Dubya's photographer, Eric Draper. I had no idea his access was basically 24/7, which had to be simultaneously exciting and, well, creepy. 
George W. Bush and the First Lady

  • Finally, I can't resist throwing in a bike video. These guys have developed a shaft-drive recumbent, for reasons I don't fully understand (heavier? yep. more complicated? check. more expensive? you bet.), other than that's what engineers do. But they're still cool-looking bikes, and the world could do worse than have more cool-looking bikes.

You Ninja, Yu
April 28, 2012 7:02 AM | Posted in: ,

Scott Chaffin is one of my blogger heroes; The Fat Guy would be on my list of Blogs I'd Pick If Stranded On A Farm-to-Market Road Between Quitaque and Turkey (that's in Texas, ya'll). He writes with a deceptive country-boy self-deprecation that completely fails to obscure a wicked wit, sharp intellect, and laser-focused insight. He loves country music (the non-Nashville, Texas Outlaw kind) and is a cricket fan. I might also mention that he's currently putting a whuppin' on cancer.

Scott's a besbol junkie, a mutated mix of Yogi Berra and George Will, and reading Scott's insights on baseball is more fun than actually watching the game - there's about the same amount of spitting going on, but a bit less scratching. And so it is that I found myself inspired by his ode to Yu Darvish after the Rangers pitcher handed the Yankees their heads a few nights ago. I was particularly inspired by his riff on the description taken from this article of the young, extremely-well-paid Japanese pitcher as a "bad-a** ninja."

So, Scott, this one's for Yu:

Ninja Baseball Player
Image created via blatant ripoff and mashup of this, this, and this.
Once again, Photoshop trumps talent.

More Recursive Searches
February 7, 2012 6:30 AM | Posted in:

I got to thinking about yesterday's post and decided I probably gave Google short shrift regarding its placement of its competitors in the results for a search on "search." After all, if someone comes to your search engine and searches for "search," chances are pretty good that your service isn't really the one they're looking for, so it makes sense to present them with the top competitive alternatives. That's not condescending; that's trying to anticipate what your customers want, and give it to them.

So, how do Google's competitors do in this regard. Bing does pretty well, actually, putting Yahoo and Google in the top three. Yahoo isn't quite as egalitarian, placing itself at #2.  Google comes in third, but Bing doesn't show up until the ninth spot. A little professional jealousy, perhaps?

Screenshot of search results page
Screenshot of search results page

Now, since both of these services listed Metasearch in first place, does Metasearch reciprocate?

Screenshot of search results page

Yeah, pretty much, although I assume that Google's top spot is a paid listing (note the subtle indentation and not-so-subtle marketing pitch).

I could go on and on (there are hundreds of search engines) but at this point, I've pretty much forgotten my original point.

File this under "C" for "Condescending"
February 6, 2012 11:55 AM | Posted in:

Google must be feeling pretty cocky nowadays. Do a G-search for "search" and see if you get the same thing I do, namely...

Screenshot of search results page

Perhaps this is a way to show regulators that Google is not evil, after all. But when you're so big that you can afford to give your competitors top billing, well, I guess you're just pretty big.

Staggering through the Blogosphere
February 2, 2012 9:28 PM | Posted in:

Hey, I know! Let's pretend like it's 2006, back when bloggers still linked to each other and stuff. Kewl, huh?

  • My pal Scott over at The Fat Guy is doing heroic battle with the Big C, and will definitely kick its butt. He's also finding time between rounds of chemo to identify silly stuff that you suspected was going on, but never took the time to confirm.

  • My favorite NoDak blogger, Julie of Lone Prairie fame, not only has tips for the "creatively challenged" (also known on this blog as "everyday life"), she even has a worksheet for it. Go forth and be unblocked. (Sorry for the laxative image. It was purely unintentional.)

  • Jen's blog, Lintefiniel Musing, has been on my blogroll pretty much since day one. I even remember when she wasn't married. She's collected a whole family now, but she still manages to keep writing, a happy circumstance indeed. Love those book, TV, and movie reviews/previews.

  • Closer to home...just down the street from you, in George Johns, a Midlander who keeps his finger on the pulse of the wild and wacky times in West Texas. His latest Sleepless in Midland post is about the importance of using Redbox video rentals to quantify important demographic and sociological issues.
Hey, this was kinda fun; let's try it again, real soon.

Sliding Into Place
August 11, 2011 8:25 AM | Posted in: ,

This is for anyone who's ever struggled to parallel park, as if we needed yet another reason to feel inadequate.

This attempt set the world record for tightest parallel parking (is there anything for which a world record can't be established?), said record measured by the clearance between vehicles. This attempt was 26cm. However, according to Neatorama (the source of the link), a Chinese man now owns the record at 24cm.

I'll be more impressed when I see this feat duplicated with a Ford F-250 King Ranch.

Rocking the Boat
July 8, 2011 6:14 PM | Posted in: ,

Twisted Sifter's Friday Shirk Report is a guilty pleasure, a weekly compilation of 20 amusing (usually) images, 10 fascinating (usually) articles, and 5 interesting (usually) videos. The following caught my eye in this week's report

I've never spent much time considering how new ships are launched, beyond the traditional smashing of the champagne bottle against the bow. I guess I assumed most of them were simply rolled backwards into the water from a gently-sloped ramp. But as this video demonstrates, at least some of those big boats are simply tumped (look it up) into the water sideways, in a sort of sink-or-swim maneuver. 

This is a pretty dramatic and violent action, and I wonder what kind of engineering computations go into deciding whether the height and draft of the ship, and the angle of entry into the water will result in the vessel staying upright. I'd hate to be the guy who punched the wrong button on the calculator that results in a new hundred million dollar boat becoming an even newer artificial reef.

Anyway - as the guy yelled to his buddies - hey, watch this!

If, like me, you aren't sure about the difference between a ship and a boat, perhaps this article will enlighten you. I scattered the terms around willy-nilly, hoping to cover all the piers.
That would be fact, in fact, and it's none other than founder and gazillionaire Jeff Bezos who's backing the project. 

The clock, as designed, will tick once a year, have a century hand that moves once every 100 years, and a cuckoo that, well, cuckoos once every 1,000 years. And the whole shootin' match is being assembled in a ginormous tunnel in the Sierra Diablo mountains, on land that Bezos owns and for which there isn't really any other good purpose so...why not?

This is dramatic scenery, by the way, laying just south of Guadalupe Peak, and about as rugged a stretch of landscape as you wouldn't want to traverse without a healthy supply of water and some good snake-guards.

I guess I somehow missed the fact that Bezos spent some of his formative years in Houston, and his family has ranched in South Texas for many years.

Also interesting to note is that the general contractor for this project is listed on the website as Swaggart Brothers, Inc., headquartered in Oregon, which is presumably how Bezos found them. But their website doesn't list this as one of the projects they're involved in. You don't suppose they're a little bit embarrassed by this job, do you? It's not exactly the sort of thing you brag about to your fellow hardhats in the local bar, unless it's to crow about the huge amounts of dough you're no doubt extracting from a certain eccentric billionaire.

I guess this project makes about as much sense as the Blue Origin spaceport Bezos is building in Culberson County.

Tip of the hat to Neatorama

Underwater Flight
May 20, 2011 7:20 AM | Posted in:

It's been years since we've been scuba diving, following a period where we took a dive trip for seven or eight consecutive years. We enjoyed the sport immensely, but other priorities - financial and otherwise - took over, and our gear is probably slowly succumbing to dry rot in our closet.

It's hard to explain to a non-diver how amazing it is to "fly" through the water, over and around reefs, inspecting aquatic flora and fauna whose diversity boggles the mind. When properly weighted*, one can move in three dimensions almost as effortlessly as a bird in the air (notice that I didn't say as gracefully; that's still a stretch).

That's why I find the photos on this website so compelling. The context of being underwater, yet over areas that people normally walk, ride bikes, or sit and read books or have conversations adds a unique psychic perspective to the sport. Conversely, it would be equally interesting to hike through the area having once dived it.

I'd love to dive this spot, but for one detail: the water is probably frigid, given its source is melted snow! The diver in the photo appears to be wearing a dry suit, a must for cold water diving.

Link via Neatorama

*A scuba diver fights a continuous battle between the body's natural buoyancy and the weight of the gear, with the goal being neutral buoyancy - the ability to hang motionless in the water. Depending on body type, one may need as much as 30 pounds of lead weight to achieve neutral buoyancy. On the other hand, the last time I dived, I wore no additional weights.

Playing with Uranus
April 6, 2011 2:34 PM | Posted in: ,

Hey, they started it!

Nevertheless, I think you'll be impressed by this interactive 3D model of the solar system.

What did you think I was talking about?
I don't know what possessed someone to do an in-depth comparison of the new Ram 3500 Heavy Duty pickup with a Delta IV Heavy rocket...but I like it!

The truck actually compares very favorably with the rocket when it comes to payload, defined for the pickup as towing capacity (25,400 pounds) and for the rocket as, um, payload (28,650 pounds). Of course, the rocket is delivering that payload to a thousand miles above the earth, and on one fuel fill-up.

And speaking of fuel, you might also want to choose the Ram based on this comparison, as the rocket gets only .00087 miles per gallon and costs $600,000 to fill up. I'm thinking the cash pay-at-the-pump option won't get used much by rocket owners. On the other hand, the rocket's tank holds 483,500 gallons of fuel (liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen...take those warnings about static electricity serious, bubba) which means you're paying less than $1.50 per gallon. Of course, that's probably without taxes.

So, what kind of performance do you get for the >$100 million price (MSRP, of course; options like running boards and chrome wheels extra but it comes with a killer GPS, standard)? Try 17 million horsepower per engine - and the rocket uses three of those bad boys - vs. the Ram's measly 350 hp. (No one's figured out how to measure torque from a rocket engine but we can assume it's full of awesomeness.) The Ram is only three seconds slower in a 0-100 mph showdown, but it sort of gets hammered in the all-important 0-17,500 mph category.

Still, as cool as it would be to pilot a Delta IV Heavy, they won't fit next to a Sonic Drive-In ordering speaker, and you can't hear the stereo once you have lift-off, so there's some significant downsides.

Zombie Movie Posters
March 23, 2011 10:25 PM | Posted in: ,

The dismayingly prolific Neatorama website has an e-commerce arm called, appropriately enough, the Neatoshop, and I just discovered that it has an entire section devoted to classic movie posters that have been reworked with a zombie theme. While I'm pretty sure you-know-who wouldn't consent to my hanging any of these on our walls (she can be so closed minded sometimes), I'll bet you could find a place for at least one of the following:

  • Deadward Scissorhands
  • The Walking Dead of Oz
  • Alice From Underland
  • Wrecks and the City
  • Who Maimed Roger Rabbit? ["She's not really dead; she's just drawn that way."]
  • Breakfast Is Tiffany
  • Gnaws
  • The Princess Died
  • ...and many, many more.
Now, who's going to step up and rework the zombie movie posters to use a Hello Kitty theme?

Oh, right...that would be too horrifying; we have to draw the line somewhere.

Before/After Image Viewer
March 16, 2011 1:12 PM | Posted in: ,

The New York Times website has an incredible series of satellite photos showing the effects of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. They use a slider effect to allow you to instantly compare "before and after" images of the same scene, and it's a very effective technique.

I was curious about how they accomplished this. I assumed it was done in jQuery, and I was right. A quick search uncovered this tutorial and I couldn't wait to try it out.

I grabbed a photo from our recent visit to Hoover Dam and did some quick-and-dirty Photoshopping. I uploaded both versions, and then applied the script and CSS (which I modified slightly) from the tutorial. The result is shown below. Click on the vertical line in the photo and drag it to the left or right to uncover or cover the modified photo. You can also click anywhere on either side of the line to move it to that point. [Note: While this should work in most browsers, you must have Javascript enabled.]

I don't know whether I'll ever have a practical use for this technique in my work, but it's a cool effect.

The Throwaway Special Effect
March 15, 2011 1:15 PM | Posted in:

Yesterday, I ran across a link on Smashing Magazine's twitter feed to an article entitled The protocol-relative URL. This is a rather esoteric topic that will be of extremely limited interest to most (all?) of my readers (it provides a technique for avoiding certain warning messages that occur when a browser calls up a secure website that contains an element from a non-secure source. See. I told you.).

I still had the article in an open tab in my browser and I was idly considering whether there was anything there worth blogging about. I happened to move the cursor off of the main content and onto the page background, which has a rather mundane dark-to-light gray gradient. Well, it's mundane until you move your cursor onto it. I'll wait here for a moment while you go try it.

[Update: An alert reader notified me that this doesn't work in Firefox or Internet Explorer. It only works in Chrome and Safari, or, I suppose, any other WebKit-based browser. Sorry about that.] 

*finger tapping*

Back already?

The website's creator, Paul Irish, is a front-end developer currently working on the Google Chrome team. He's implemented a couple of scripts that turn the background into a playground, thereby validating his website's tagline: "I make the www fun."

I love these throwaway goodies, added without apparent documentation for the benefit of anyone who might stumble across them. If you scroll all the way to the bottom of the page, you'll see that Paul intentionally left a huge bottom margin, giving us plenty of space, and one simple instruction: "play."

Good advice. Good website.

March 10, 2011 6:26 AM | Posted in: ,

OK, this is just awesome. This guy Nils Ferber built a...a...well, I'm not sure what to call it, but it's a vehicle that's powered by a couple of 18-volt cordless drills. (If your first question is "why," then, sadly, this blog isn't for you.) The Drillcycle reportedly has a top speed of almost 20 mph. Click on each photo to see a larger version:

More details on this project are found here, and a description of the design and fabrication process is here.

Given the rider's position, a full-face helmet is certainly justified; one can generate a serious case of road rash even at 15 mph. 

I wonder what Nils could do with a chainsaw?

Link via Dudecraft

Georgia to Maine in Four Minutes
March 9, 2011 1:51 PM | Posted in: ,

No, I'm not referring to your teenager's driving, I'm talking about the following video, which documents a 6-month, 2200-mile hike of the entire Appalachian Trail. [Link via Neatorama]

I found this fascinating, probably because it makes the hike look a lot easier than it probably was. It also made me wish I was retracing Kevin Gallagher's steps...only on a high-end, full-suspension mountain bike. With hotels every 40 miles or so. And they wouldn't have to be luxury hotels; I'm not unreasonable. Any Best Western would do.

Well, anyway, back to the video. I've never been on any part of the Appalachian Trail, much less walked the entire route. But the dramatic changes in topography shown in this video make me question whether it's actually a completely linear representation of the route. In any event, I can see why the Trail is a huge attraction for outdoor enthusiasts. We could use something like this in West Texas.

Pi Plate
February 27, 2011 5:32 PM | Posted in: ,

OK, the creator calls it a "pi bowl," but that's semantics, and not very punny, to boot. Anyway, this ceramic concoction is etched with the first 1,498 decimal places of pi, and can be ordered in a variety of colors via Etsy. [Via Neatorama]

Photo of bowl

Two Vids for the Weekend
February 18, 2011 11:30 AM | Posted in: ,

Why is it that the Japanese excel at sword fighting? Perhaps they've had more practice, or perhaps they see it not just as a battle technique, but as an art form. Exhibit A:

[Link via Neatorama]

Then there's this kind of art form, the kind that either makes you want to grab a board and join them, or curl into a ball and hide:

This is the trailer from a film entitled The Art of Flight, scheduled for release this fall. This movie appears to raise the ante on Warren Miller to a disturbing level. And if you're wondering which of the above categories I fall into, well, my heart is in the former but my head is in the latter.

[Link via Twisted Shifter]

Ever wanted to direct your own choir?
January 31, 2011 4:18 PM | Posted in:

The creator of this page calls it "The Zombie Tabernacle Choir." I think it looks more like something from a Dia de los Muertos tribute, but the site owner is obviously insane and so I'm more than happy to play along.

Just click on one of the, um, undead singers to get started. It will be clear what you should do next.

The entire website is mesmerizing in a 70s-FrontPage-designish, epilepsy-inducing manner. Not that there's anything wrong with that

Mad/Bad/Rad Dog
January 7, 2011 2:01 PM | Posted in: ,

It's been a while since I posted a link to a weird website that has no apparent purpose other than confirming that some people have too much time on their hands. And I know you've missed them. So, here. [Via Twisted Sifter's Friday Shirk Report, which also includes a link to this bit of doggiecentric hilarity

Universal Truths
November 1, 2010 12:34 PM | Posted in: ,

I'm pretty sure I've seen it before, but it's been long enough that I had forgotten most of it (meaning that I may have actually read it just last week, but that's a completely different story). Anyway, Charity has posted a list of "Universal Truths" and it's perfect for a Monday that lacks any defining characteristic other than "meh."
I think my favorite is this one:
I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent an idiot from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!
We humans are a vindictive lot, aren't we? Good on us!
This guy is a walking advertisement for rotator cuff surgery. But he does seem to enjoy his work.

Pinnacles of Agility
March 26, 2010 9:46 AM | Posted in:

Via Twisted Sifter, here are two remarkable demonstrations of clever agility, albeit in very different forms:

It's hard to say which is more impressive, but I'd like to see the guy in the second video try those tricks on a recumbent.

Rock Your World
March 1, 2010 11:22 AM | Posted in:

3 steps:

  1. turn up your speakers

  2. visit this website

  3. click on the rocks
Via today and tomorrow

Update: Here's a game to play. See how many "rocks" you can cram into one screen. My best is 30. (I guess your success in this will depend on your screen resolution.)

Ever had one of those days?
February 26, 2010 9:00 AM | Posted in: ,

At least it's Friday.

Link via TwistedShifter

Oh, and here's where it gets even worse. Somebody needs to retake Fly Catching 101.

Strangest Airports
February 20, 2010 6:35 PM | Posted in: ,

Popular Mechanics has posted a list of The World's 18 Strangest Airports, and I was curious to see if I'd been to any of them. Turns out that we've flown in and out of three on the list, all of them associated with dive trips:

  • The Princess Juliana Airport on the Caribbean island of St. Maarten (the Dutch counterpart to St. Martin) was a stopover on our way to Saba (more about that next). I had no idea the airport was "strange," but it made the list because of the approach over a beach and a highway. I do remember sweating our return trip, both literally and figuratively, as we weren't sure that our baggage would make the weight limit. (It did.)

  • And speaking of Saba, that tiny island - a part of the Netherlands Antilles - is served by the Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport, and there was absolutely no doubt that we were experiencing a "strange" airport! At 1,300 feet in length, the lone runway is scary short, but it's even worse given that both ends lead to sheer drop-offs into the ocean. Nevertheless, our STOL aircraft handled the strip with aplomb (and we got some great video through the open pilot cabin door; I think they liked to show off the approach!).

  • Another trip took us to the island of Guanaja, off the coast of Honduras. En route, we landed at the Toncontin International Airport in the capitol city of Tegucigalpa. Apparently, the location and comparatively short runways make this a challenge for jumbo jets, but we weren't flying on one and thus never suspected our lives were in danger.
You'll notice that the new(ish) Denver International Airport is also on the list; my wife has been there a number of times on business but my only experience flying to Denver was with Stapleton. DIA makes the list presumably because of its sheer size (53 square miles) and big solar farm.

Stalking the wily cursor
February 12, 2010 11:28 AM | Posted in: ,

We once had a neighbor whose hyperactive Maltese terrier would chase a flashlight beam around the room for as long as we had the energy to move the light. His seriousness in attempting to capture what was obviously a highly annoying if not downright dangerous prey never failed to amuse. Nor does the following:

If you've never been around mantids, you won't completely understand how creepy they can be as they follow your every movement with their beady little eyes.

Link via Neatorama
We spent the last few days in scenic Weatherford, Texas (if that sounds like sarcasm, you need to drive through some of the neighborhoods south of I-20 and you'll see that I'm serious. But be sure to pack a GPS.) and thus haven't been attending to bloggerly duties. Here's some stuff I hope will make up for that.

  • We don't live far from Carlsbad Caverns, in New Mexico, but I've never seen the bats emerge from or return to the caves. I'll bet you haven't either, at least not like this:

The flight of the bats was filmed using an infrared camera which tracked their movements via their body heat. Amazing footage. I've watched it closely, and out of a half million bats (unaudited, I suspect, but still) I saw not a single collision. Drivers in Houston's rush hour traffic should be so skilled. (Via Wired)
  • From the sublime to the, um, not so. Here's how Terminator should have ended. (Via  Geeks are Sexy)

  • Wonder if Bruce Schneier knows about this?

  • Peace Frog is a Japanese motorcycle shop (manufacturer? customizer? hard to tell) which has assembled what appears to be a Royal Enfield with an Indian badge. Gotta love the minimalism; I'd ride one.

  • Speaking of bicycles (well, sort of) here's a lush new (to me) online-only cycling publication called The Ride (big honkin' PDF). It's mostly a series of one page essays written mostly by people unfamiliar to me, although Greg LeMond does recollect The Time Trial (surely you don't have to ask).

  • On a less light-hearted note, I continue to be disappointed, if not downright disgusted, by the names appearing on the petition to have Roman Polanski released. Wonder how many of them would be OK with their 13-year-old daughters being raped? Ah, don't answer that.

  • Last, and probably least, here's a list of 50 large corporations whose PR departments dropped the ball, social-media-wise, and allowed their names to fall victim to cyber-squatters. It's interesting that Chevron's fall-back name, @chevron_justinh, makes it sound like they've assigned their Twitter campaign to an HR intern. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Around the Web category.

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