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November 2007 Archives

Latest exoskeleton tech

I didn't realize exoskeleton tech was already this advanced. This is a video about a Sarcos exoskeleton prototype:

I'm particularly impressed with the ability to have a soft touch instead of just clunky Aliens power loader type movements.

klog Science Corner: Practical use of the Bernoulli Effect

Well, so you've probably taken advantage of the Bernoulli Effect as long as you've been on a plane (although it's actually a bit more complicated than that), but there's at least one scenario where you can use it in your everyday life. Well, assuming you still buy physical CDs like I do, which for some people might actually be more rare these days than flying on planes.

Have you ever tried to get the liner notes out of a CD case and had trouble because of the ridge at the end of the case that prevents it from falling out? You kinda try to get your fingernail in there, but you have to kinda press against the front cover of the liner notes, and you're afraid of krinkling it...

Blow across the surface of the liner notes! This will reduce the air pressure, thus sucking the page up as per the Bernoulli Effect, and it will then be easier to get the tip of your finger under the front cover and pull it out. :)

(The neat thing, of course, is that it's kinda counter-intuitive. Normally, you'd expect that blowing on the page would push it harder against the CD case, but it actually does the opposite. Hurray Bernoulli Effect!)

Truck dream

mac-truck.jpg More fun with near-death dreams. I just dreamed that I was driving in dense but smooth-flowing traffic on a city street when I see a bigass truck headed straight for me. "Holy shit, I'm gonna die," I thought, but when we actually collided, the impact didn't feel that bad, presumably because we had both braked enough. My car still got smashed up, and it was sent sliding backward, hitting a few others.

I had a bit of a headache but was otherwise fine. I was wondering if it was my fault at first, but then I realized the truck must've gone into opposing traffic to pass someone. I had the presence of mind to start calling 911 while heading over to the truck with the camera I keep in my pocket all the time to photograph its license plate, just in case.

For some reason I couldn't get through to 911, but there were plenty of other drivers around who were in secondary collisions with me or the truck, and I figured it'd all get sorted out. I just started worrying about having to get a rental or something, and I started walking back to my car to take the CDs out of the changer before I get towed.

Then I suddenly backed out a level in my dream where I was watching myself in the third person and realized it was just a dream. "Aw man, what the hell! I go through all that, and it's just a dream?!" I was actually kind of disappointed. And then I woke myself up and decided to clear my head a bit so I don't keep dreaming about that stuff. :P

(I didn't take this photo; I stole it from a flickr search. Here's the original. This is pretty much the kind of truck that hit me in my dream, and it's pretty much the view I had of it before it hit me.)

Okay, just drank some water. Gonna go back to sleep now...

Rachmaninoff's hands

Okay, another YouTube video for you guys, this one courtesy of Paul. Wait for the second guy to show up:

Fun with a reporter

I feel embarrassed about being so amused by this, especially the way it ends:

Nifty autonomous model helicopters

Check out this article about nifty autonomous model helicopters. It has a couple of videos of one landing on a slope and another transitioning from hover to horizontal and back.

Btw, those are autonomous, but here's a video of a guy doing crazy tricks with a remote-controlled helicopter.



A "Virgin Fogcutter" at a friend's birthday party last weekend.


So I was watching the US version of The Office last night. I continue to be impressed by that show. I liked the hour-long episodes that led off this season in particular. Much of last night's episode took place at a deposition. It led me to think:

(a) Depositions are under-represented in the fiction media, compared to trials.

(b) Maybe (a) is usually because deposition are considered less dramatic than trials (and I suppose they are more common in civil cases than criminal ones), but this Office episode succeeded in turning its deposition into amusing comedy, social commentary, and insightful emotional drama, all at the same time.

I really oughta go watch the British version some time, because I'm betting that there's a good chance I'd like the American version better, and I want to be able to defend it against people who claim the American version is crap. (I base my prediction on the fact that they typically complain about the American version being too sappy, but the pathos and emotional drama are my favorite aspects of the American Office.)

Daily Show writer video about WGA strike

A striking Daily Show writer made a video from the picket lines about their position, with a cameo by a Daily Show correspondent:

Dreamworld near-death

Dream just now: I was hanging out with a bunch of people playing a video game where they set off a bunch of bombs to make big explosions. But then the video game world and the real world became blurred, as per dream logic. When they were going to try it again, someone wondered if it would be safe. "My landlord said it'd be fine as long as we didn't make the explosions too big. But whatever. It'll be fine..."

So guess what? The explosion was too big. We were all under some kind of big metal tower structure with a latticework of beams and stuff, and the whole tower started collapsing to one side. I ran, but I could see that the tower was going to collapse on me.

All I had time to think was, "So this is the end of my life." And at the back of my mind, I wondered what my final thoughts would be and then realized that this was it. I didn't feel any terrifying, paralyzing fear, just a calm sense of disappointment.

I slid to the ground, and the tower fell all around me, but I managed to fit into a gap between beams. I was still alive! "Whew," I thought. "I survived. I'm not even in pain. I guess I just need to wait for the rescuers to arrive."

And then I woke up.

* * *

I think I'm kinda disappointed at how uninteresting my presumed final thoughts were. People say their life flashes before their eyes before their eyes, and so forth, but my guess is that most people probably think totally banal thoughts for their last moments before an accident kills them.

Also, what the fuck, man?!! Why did I have such a messed up dream?!?! I mean, dude! I thought I was gonna die! That was messed up! :P

* * *

P.S.: I think the dream just means I've been playing too much Halo. :P The whole explosions thing comes from the Halo games, where you can stack grenades to see how far you can blow your jeep. And in Halo 3, there's a saved film feature where you can replay the events from your game.

In the dream, actually, we were first viewing some previous explosions on replay, and someone complained that the reply wasn't quite the same as the original explosion, that the original explosion was bigger. That's why we were going to try it again. I left that out of the main text to simplify it.

Korean Restaurant Silhouettes

Korean Restaurant Silhouettes

My first post-Project 365 but Project 365-ish photo.


I don't think I'll be getting one of these [YouTube]. "Many customers by one for each side of the bed."

About November 2007

This page contains all entries posted to the klog in November 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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