Mystery Project - part 2

posted in Electronics by Cargo Cult on Friday November 23 2012

I'm good at having weird things arrive through the post. The latest acquisition?

Observation: box is labelled 'potatoes'. Plenty of bubble-wrap! Not seen: the Royal Warrant of Appointment. Plenty of room inside to work.
Vital hardware for my mystery Raspberry Pi project has arrived! Now to integrate the prototype with its enclosure...

STOP PRESS - THE SPACE-ROBOT HAS MOVED

posted in Space by Cargo Cult on Wednesday November 21 2012

That Martian space-robot has gone for another space-drive - having poked and sniffed and ingested lots of Martian space-dust over the past weeks. Did it detect something important? We don't know yet!

Mars rocks. Geddit?
Interactive MSL Curiosity NAVCAM panorama - for sols 102 through to 104. I hear they're going to be taking shots for a big, full-colour panorama over Thanksgiving. Whatever that might be.

Anyway, to celebrate I've been poking away at Hugin and Photoshop to produce another Pannellum-powered interactive panorama. Explore!

Requires a WebGL-enabled browser, etc. etc. - works fine for me in Safari and Chrome.

Sunday Things - miscellaneous edition

posted in Links by Cargo Cult on Sunday November 18 2012

Google Translate declared this to be the 'Combine DAG'. Hmm...
Kombinat DAG Alfred Nobel Krzystkowice - ruins of a WW2-era German munitions factory in the forests outside Nowogród Bobrzański, Poland. More shots here! via locworks

I CAN SEE MY HOUSE FROM HERE. :-(

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Tower climbers working - more vertigo-inducing video, this time of workers climbing a 540m-high radio tower in a not-actually-OSHA-compilant manner. I tried identifying the tower shown. Did you realise how many radio masts of greater than 500m in height there are in the USA? Blimey. via kris
Moulin ... bleu?
Ice caving, Gornergletscher - while looking at photos from the BBC's Operation Iceberg, I discovered that their photo-taking ice-climber had taken lots of photos of ice-climbing elsewhere in the world.

Bonus The Robots Are Replacing Us corner:

  • Random Shopper - a bot is given a budget and goes shopping for unknown items on Amazon. First shipment is decidedly mysterious...
  • Agisoft PhotoScan - extract detailed, 3D model data from photos. The free, two-image StereoScan is quite impressive also. I suspect it's code originally intended for Soviet cruise missiles and the like.
  • Windows 95 Tips - the guide for Windows Me was written by Cthulhu himself.
  • SynDaver - vomit-inducingly realistic anatomical models, as spotted on MythBusters. My desk at work is notoriously untidy as it is. I need to add more stuff.

Sunday Things - electrical edition

posted in Links by Cargo Cult on Sunday November 11 2012

Electricity. What can't it do?

Nikola Tesla - commemorated with a shockingly powerful unit of magnetic flux

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Tesla coil electricity fight - to be honest, they look more concerned about falling off their platforms than of getting shocked. via rincewind
ACHTUNG! DAS RINGMASCHINE MIT BLINKENLICHTEN!
590 MeV ring cyclotron - just a single, low-resolution image, but I love the painted, solid metal surrounds. Compare: TRIUMF cyclotron, stellarators.

Lightning bolt! Lightning bolt!

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Power line 'explosion' - wait until just after one minute in for things to start arcing. Loudly. Not actually explosions, but still surprising. Compare.
Any atmospheric surfers would definitely risk electrocution.
June 19, 2011 McCook Nebraska supercell - next step, releasing clouds of probes into the atmosphere of Jupiter, this time with cameras and sufficient buoyancy to avoid the crushing depths. Above the storm could have been interesting...

Bonus Hidden London corner:

  • London's hidden interiors - dance halls, power stations, masonic lodges, majestic spiral staircases all out of reach of the public eye.
  • Post Office Railway - tiny, unmanned railway for transporting mail underneath London, considered lost from view before being infiltrated by urban explorers.
  • London Underground - perhaps not completely hidden, but still a vast, underground warren resisting exploration...

Sunday Things - phobic edition

posted in Links by Cargo Cult on Sunday November 4 2012

Multiple phobia-tickling videos and photos for your amusement today. We start with...

Dank, dark, underwater and rusting. What's not to like?

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Flooded Titan missile silo dive - both the claustrophobic and aquaphobic should look away right now. Connoisseurs of cold war rust may look on with horrified interest.

I can't see my house from here!

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Hua Shan cliffside plank walk - the acrophobic amongst us (myself included) will enjoy this one. Apparently, it was traditional to ascend Mount Hua during darkness - it being considered safer to climb when one couldn't see the horrifying drops beneath. Also enjoy - bonus nightmare fuel from Spain.
Yo dawg, etc...
Wolf spider with young - the arachnophobic may enjoy this fine example of a spider ... covered with more spiders!

Cyriak's nightmares must be ... interesting.

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Cows & cows & cows - apparently bovinophobia is a thing. If you're a sufferer, congratulations on choosing the wrong blog to follow!

Bonus Martian Robot corner - if you missed yesterday's article update, please find linked an unofficial interactive panorama of the MSL Curiosity Mars rover! What is the fear of suffocation? 'Claustrophobia', disappointingly. But what about suffocating on vast, desolate alien landscapes? Cosmonauts of the future need distinct terminology!