Do the Ugly Dance!

It is unpossible to play with this site and keep a straight face, trust me.  And the song is awesome, awesome in the way that wont be stuck in your head for the rest of the day.

You can also make your own by uploading your own picture, I’ve yet to try that, I think the cat is doing the dance perfectly.

Chicago

Chicago sunset

The Windy City.  That’s where I’ve been, and why there’s been no posts recently.  Anyway, I’m back, and as soon as I go through my 1400 unread feeds, I’ll start with some more crazyness to post about.  But for now, here are some pretty pictures from my adventure.

Buckingham Fountain.

A little kid walked in frame carrying a light up stick and made that really cool squiggle.

We saw a Cubs game, they lost.

The reason I went, to see The Blue Angels at the 52nd Annual Chicago Air & Water Show.

That’s a good series of shots.

You can see some more Chicago shots here, and the Air & Water show pictures here.

Real life video games

RACER DEMO 0.1 – video game mashup from sputnic on Vimeo.

This is awesome.  Some Germans made a race track, got a model car, attached a webcam to it.  Then controls for the RC car were attached to an arduino and which in turn was controlled by a steering wheel, and a TV screen showing the first person view of the car.  The size of the car, and the speed it travels at makes it seem like you’re driving at a couple hundred miles an hour, exactly like most racing video games.

This is a pretty neat first version of this idea.  I expect the next version to be able to actually race against another person driving another car on the same track.  The version after that needs jumps.  And the next version needs some missiles or banana peels or powerups of some sort.

Then it’ll be like Mario Kart, and put together Trackmanina.  The only way it could get better is if they get little toy raptors that you have to catch.

{Engadget | racer}

The Smile lighthouse

I dislike most artists, they are all crazy people, but the people who came up with this idea are geniuses.

Too bad there’s not much other information about it I can find.  As far as I can tell it’s in Germany somewhere, and from the owners of the most annoying site in the world award for the month of August.

Anyway, here’s another picture of the construction workers putting it up:

smily construction

{Sepientia}

Pilots with guns

They’ll blow a hole in human bone and flesh the size of the grand canyon, which by the way is coming up on the left!

I want this pilot on my next flight. {source}

Starfish Prime

August 6, 1945, one of the most important days in the history of the world.  The day The United States of America used the first atomic bomb on The Empire of Japan in the closing ceremonies of World War II.  This single day defined the world for the next 50 years.  The dropping of the bomb marked the end of one war, and the beginning of the deadliest race in the history of man – the nuclear arms race.  It’s lead to the downfall of more nations, and the division of more people then almost any event in history.

This day marked the beginning of the modern era, because after that bomb went off, everything changed.  And in a few short years even the dropping of that bomb was overshadowed 1000 times over by the first successful fusion bomb, Ivy Mike.  And then a few short years after that, these weapons of global destruction were attached to massive world spanning rockets, capable of hitting any place on earth, from any other place.

I’m not gonna retell the abridged version of The Cold War, that’s what 7th grade Social Studies is for.  But I am going to tell you about something that you don’t learn in 7th Grade, or in Social Studies, or Chemistry, or Physics, or school in general.  No, what I’m about to share with you is something that the history teachers think is unimportant for the average person to know.  When, when you drill down to the very basics of it, is really the entire essence of what The Cold War was all about – beating the those damned Communists.

To start off this history lesson, I present you with a video.  So get comfortable in your desks as I turn off the lights and treat you to almost 2 minutes of me not talking:

In the 1954, a strange new thing was discovered.  The Van Allen Belt you probably have been told it protects the planet from deadly cosmic radiation.  You were told correctly.  However, did you know that it mere minutes* after it was discovered, they thought to themselves “Let’s see what happens if we blow it up with a nuke.”

The US government proceeded to spend millions of dollars over the next 4 years to do that very thing.  And they didn’t have the luxury of cheap super computers to model this out, they actually fired a missile 250 miles straight up and detonated it’s 1.4 megaton payload.

I like to envision the scientists proposing this to the military with the same old tried and true method “If we don’t do it those commie bastards will”  And in 1950/60s era America, that was all the more reason to do something.  But I can’t help but imagine that after the meeting was over and the scientists walked out of the secret room in the basement of the Pentagon, giddy as schoolboys, going “I wonder what they’ll let us blow up next week?”

In the 1960s (the height of the cold war and very much in my comfort zone of 1950s era America), the most important thing in the United States Military was to beat the Communists.  It didn’t matter how, we just had to do it.  The original idea was to see if they could use the Van Allen Belt to transfer energy from a nuclear blast to a designated point on earth, and destroy it.  Kinda like an ICBM, except, without the giant missile part.  It would be a focused beam of death from the heavens.  Every commanders dream, so of course the military said yes you must figure out how to do this before those Communists do.

The official name was called Starfish Prime, and honestly, that’s an amazing name.  Unfortunately, nothing really happened.  Or, more specifically, nothing useful for the military happened.  Tons of useful data was gained from this, and thousands of civilians got a great light show out of it.

One thing it did do was prove the effectiveness of an EMP, as hundreds of street lamps were knocked out in Hawaii, almost 900 miles away from the blast.  And, as you can see in the picture, the explosion was pretty spectacular as seen from Hawaii.

In the 1950s millions were spent to do something, and get a real result, in 2010 billions are spent to come up with an idea for how to fix a problem that’s not the governments fault.

As I’ve said before, we must go back to the ideology of the 1950s is we are to prosper as a nation again.  It was that thinking of “We can do anything” that led us to develop missiles that can reach any point on earth in an hour, easily travel 3x faster then the speed of sound (when conventional science said it was impossible to go 1x faster then sound), and finally to put a man on the moon.  This kind of thinking, this kind of doing is what made America great, and what will make her great again.

{NPR}

*some time, that same day