Friday, September 6, 2013

Arts Alive / Free Museum Day

Arts Alive / Free Museum Day

Over 1,400 museums nationwide will be participating in a "once a year" free admission day on Saturday, September 28, 2013 from 10am to 3pm.

In Pinellas County, Florida several local museums will join in the festivities.

Some of the museums participating:
  • Florida Holocaust Museum
  • Museum of Fine Arts
  • St. Petersburg Museum of History
  • The Dali Museum
  • The Morean Arts Center
  • and many more

Arts Alive / Free Museum Day only takes place once a year so save the day on your calendar. Several museums and galleries will also offer discounts for memberships to their venues on that day. It's a win win event for many in our area.

Here's the official website for Arts Alive / Free Museum Day.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

USB Refrigerator from X-Treme Geeks

USB Refrigerator from X-Treme Geeks

I just found out that I still have one more of these puppies to give away. We'll have a drawing for it at the next monthly meeting of the Tampa Bay Computer Society (TBCS).

A couple of years ago I ran into a cache of these USB refrigerators from X-Treme Geeks. I bought a bunch of them to give to my geeky friends for Christmas, and to give away to TBCS members in drawings.

I had forgotten that we still have one to give away, and so: Tuesday night, September 17, 2013 from 6:45-8:45pm at our offices in Clearwater at 1510 Barry Rd.

Just what do these little rascals do? Here's their official advert:

"USB Fridge - Handy Desktop cooler keeps beverages frosty cool. Micro desktop fridge for a single 12oz soda or beer can. USB cable works with all platforms including PC, Mac, and Linux."

These things actually work! I only use it for fun, however. The USB refrigerator is X-Treme Geeks way of separating the gadget-minded from their hard-earned dollars... well, they certainly saw me coming. Even though I got a deal on them, I'm sure I paid too much.

Here's the link to watch it on YouTube: USB Refrigerator X-Treme Geeks

3D Printing to Change How We Fix Broken Bones

3D Printing to Change How We Fix Broken Bones

Many of us have gone through the nightmare of breaking a bone. First you suffer the pain of the bone breaking, then you suffer the pain of having the bone set... whew! Next your broken appendage is wrapped in a plaster cast, and you face several weeks of wearing this heavy, smelly, and sweaty cast.

Enter 3D printers. 3D printed casts are much more comfortable and lightweight. This seems like an excellent advance.

Using 3D printing will change how we fix broken bones. This is really revolutionary. So far it appears that the most major drawback to this new technology is that we're not going to be able to sign the victim's cast. <grin>

For the most part, 3D printing seems to have several advantages:

"The 3D casts are meant to be much more comfortable and easy to wear. Currently, the casts made of plaster are often uncomfortable, heavy, and get ruined if they get wet. A 3D printable cast would change all of that. Not only would it be able to get wet, but it would also be much more lightweight and comfortable.

The process involved in getting a 3D printed cast would be very similar to the process we currently have to go through to get a plaster cast. The patient is first x-rayed in order to determine exactly where the break is. The limb is then 3D scanned in order for the cast to be moulded to the particular shape of the patients limb. The software behind the system then creates a cast that is specifically designed to support the location of the break.

The cast that is created both protects your limb and creates an environment for the bones to heal, but it also allows for your skin to breath. You can also take a shower without having to worry about damaging the cast."

3D Printing to Change How We Fix Broken Bones. Not only will the 3D casts be lighter and more comfortable, but you will also be able to wear clothes over them, AND they are recyclable.

Here's the full story: 3D Printing to Change How We Fix Broken Bones

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Food City Salute- Fourth of July 2013

Food City Salute- Fourth of July 2013

This is a commercial for Food City that salutes our military. It's a beautiful little vignette that'll bring a tear to your eye.

I saw some people on another blog complaining that there was a problem with the way the saluting takes place... pedants.  <grin>

If you can get by the "faux salutes", you're in for an uplifting experience that will cause a lump in your throat. Take a look. It's only a minute long.

Food City Salute- Fourth of July 2013

If you're feeling really, really good about life after watching this, please leave a comment below. If, for some reason, you are NOT uplifted, complain to your parents that they screwed up something in your upbringing. Of course, I am joking.

I don't know the fine people at Food City (heck I don't even know WHERE they are), but I surely loved this commercial.

You can send others to this ad on YouTube:
Food City Salute- Fourth of July 2013

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

How does a skyscraper melt a car?

How does a skyscraper melt a car? Wow!


"A London skyscraper dubbed the Walkie-Talkie has been blamed for reflecting light which melted parts of a car parked on a nearby street. What happened?"

How DOES a skyscraper melt a car?

"It's like starting a fire with a parabolic mirror.

Fundamentally it's reflection. If a building creates enough of a curve with a series of flat windows, which act like mirrors, the reflections all converge at one point, focusing and concentrating the light,' says Chris Shepherd, from the Institute of Physics.

The half-finished 37-storey "Walkie Talkie"- nicknamed such because of its tapering rectangular design - is indeed a curvy building. Its design, which has also been compared to a brimming pint glass, has provoked controversy before.

It transpires the car, a Jaguar on Eastcheap in the City of London, was parked at just the spot where the focused light landed."

While melting parts of a Jaguar is newsworthy, turns out this overheating phenomenon HAS happened before.  Here's the complete story:
Who, what, why: How does a skyscraper melt a car?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fastest-Spinning Man-Made Object Created

Scientists have created a microscopic sphere which rotates roughly 500,000 times faster than your average washing machine - 600 million rotations per minute. It's the fastest spinning object EVER created. (Maybe we need to work on our washing machine R&D.)  <grin>
"Michael Mazilu, a physicist at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, said in a statement. 'The rotation rate is so fast that the angular acceleration at the sphere surface is 1 billion times that of gravity on the Earth surface — it's amazing that the centrifugal forces [the forces pushing outward due to circular motion] do not cause the sphere to disintegrate.'
Very large objects obey classical rules of physics as laid out prior to the 20th century, whereas quantum theory describes the bizarre behavior of tiny subatomic particles. But at the boundary between the very small and the merely tiny, scientists aren't quite sure what happens."
They manufactured a miniature sphere, levitated it in a beam of laser light, and accelerated its spin to 600 million rotations per minute (rpm) until it broke apart. The rotating sphere acted like a tiny gyroscope which stabilized its motion, and it cooled to minus 387 degrees Fahrenheit.
Read the full story here:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Brazilian Testicle Mascot 'Mr. Balls' Promotes Cancer Awareness

Brazilian Testicle Mascot 'Mr. Balls' Promotes Cancer Awareness

As long as I'm talking about health this morning, here's a newsy item about testicles (betcha never thought you'd ever read that sentence). The article claims that both children and adults just love to have their pictures taken aside Senhor Testiculo as he promotes cancer awareness.

"BRAZIL -- In order to raise awareness about testicular cancer, a Brazilian non profit organization has created a mascot named "Senhor Testiculo," which translated into English means "Mr. Balls."

Read the full story: