How to Move a Million-Pound Turbine

This guy has some pretty cool pictures of the migration of a million-pound turbine from its point of manufacture (CT) to its eventual home in New Hampshire. The logistics of this sort of thing are pretty amazing — coordinating the highway department, state and local police, the telco, electric company, and the transportation contractor. According to the site, the convoy was about half a mile long and moved at about 1 mph.

Dept. of Obsessive Lego Robotics

The Intrepid Dr. Girlfriend and I have thus far built robots capable of frightening her dog. We are therefore shamed by this guy (you’ll probably have to scroll down), who has created a Rubik’s Cube solving machine using the Mindstorms kit.

It should be noted that it amounts to a computer controlled system, as a PC program creates the code based on the scrambled state of the cube, but it’s pretty damned impressive nevertheless.

(Thanks, Cory!)

Just Wait ‘Til They Discover the X-Men

The hip among us area aware of India’s vibrant and growing film industry. The work of directors like Satyajit Ray is known by film buffs worldwide — the Academy even gave him an honorary Oscar in ’92 for his ongoing contribution to the art and craft of filmmaking.

Unfortunately, the directors of this gem were in no way acquainted with such concepts.

Twenty Twenty Twenty Four Hours To Go

Proto-punk pioneer Joey Ramone died Sunday from lymphoma. He was 49.

Even if you don’t know who he was, you know his music and his influence — without the Ramones’ tour of England in 1976, we’d have had no Clash, no Sex Pistols, no X, no punk. The Ramones were also fixtures at seminal New York clubs like CBGB’s and Max’s Kansas City, alongside folks like Patti Smith, Richard Hell, Blondie, and the Talking Heads.

Play something really loud.

Links: SonicNet ABCNews CNN plus a feature at Salon

I am a Bad Person

If I had any human decency at all, I wouldn’t post things like this. But it’s already haunting me, and I felt that, by rights, I shouldn’t be alone in this.

An Ego Bigger Than Mine

Harry Bruce reviews The Art of Nonfiction: A Guide for Writers and Readers by the inimitable Ayn Rand in the current National Post.

Suffice it to say that he pulls no punches, and in an amusing way.


Cary Tennis has a lovely, Thompsonesque rant about the state of energy in his (her?) home state over at Salon (as spotted by E).

Ok, this is just cool.

Two college kids have circumnavigated the globe in a 1957 twin-engine Aero Commander, thanks to lots of corporate and nonprofit sponsorship and, one must suspect, ample amounts of stubborness. Their story is recapped here; their web site is here.

Oh, The Sweetest Thing

My old pal Mikey has raised the bar for any man considering popping the question — of course, as Charlotte points out, he did take his own sweet time, so I guess it all evens out.

First comes the press release, but the really impressive part is the video (9mb streamed QuickTime) of the actual event. In Hawaii. The soundtrack is perfect.

“From Hell to Fargo”

At the risk of sounding like an infomercial, if you read no other links from here, read this one. It will take a while. It’s long. Close your office door, put the phone on busy and read this. It’s all about perspective.

There is a group of orphan boys in Africa called the Lost Boys of the Sudan. They started out maybe 18,000 strong. When the Khartoum-led forces crushed their villages and killed their families, they were sent to Ethiopia. On foot. As children. With no idea how far that was (hint: it’s a long-ass way).

Those who survived the drought, starvation, sickness, marauding bandits, and wildlife — many of the weaker ones were eaten by lions, and more than a few drowned or were eaten by crocs crossing an Ethiopian river — managed to walk a thousand miles, from Sudan to Ethiopia back to Sudan and then on to Kenya and refugee camps. A few have made it here, where “culture shock” doesn’t begin to describe their experience. These guys haven’t seen stairs or light switches or stoves. Ever. Let alone supermarkets — or “cold,” for that matter.

So: Sara Corbett has this nice long piece in the current New York Times magazine. The header title I’m using here comes from the print version; online they’ve retitled it, but it’s the same piece. Go. Read.

Dept. of Legislative Embarrassments

Once upon a time, my home state of Mississippi had great elder statesmen in the Senate. John Stennis served for what seemed like forever until Strom kept ticking like some sort of undead Timex, and our junior man was Thad Cochran — while a Republican, he’s typically been altogether free of dogma and pretty moderate besides.

Then things went to hell when plastic-haired pork-barrel-king Trent Lott ascended from the House. He’s dogma central, and now everyone in the damn country knows where this slick-talking cracker is from. If supporting Ashcroft and Dubya wasn’t enough, he’s now on-record supporting cockfighting.

Way to go, Trent. That’ll show those yankees how much progress we’ve made in Dixie. Thanks.

Genuinely Useful Stuff

Amazing, huh?

About a year ago, my brother and I gave our mother a Ceiva picture frame. You log in to their web site, upload digital pictures, and every night the frame itself dials up and checks to see if there’s anything new to get. Mom had to know next to nothing about it — all you have to do to enjoy it is hook it to a phone line & plug in its power adapter. Neat toy.

Now I’ve found a nice companion service at I haven’t used many of their features — really, I just found it when some pals used it to share their honeymoon shots — but their prints-from-digital-shots service is darned nice & pretty prompt. I had them run some prints of a shot late last week; the site prepped me for about a 2-week wait, but I got them today (I did pay for expedited shipping). The prints themselves were a buck each (5×7) and came on actual Kodak paper. Probably not hardcore shutterbug quality prints, but for snapshots and grandmother-gifts, they’re spot on. Enjoy.