The end of an Era

Earlier this month something unbelievable happened, StumbleUpon closed down.  I didn’t know it was founded in 2002.  I started using it in 2005, or 2006 I think.  I can’t remember exactly, I’m pretty sure that I started using the site well before that blog post, but who knows.

Endless hours, nay, days were spent stumbling across the internet.  I found many a strange photo, or comic, or video.  Some interesting natural? formations.  The whole basis of the Going Green series of posts started from some stumbles.  I had interesting conversations with people, sadly I can’t remember any of their names.

It all started with that browser add-on.  You know, back in the hay-day of browser add-ons.  You couldn’t open someone’s browser without 36 different things opening up, stealing all your cookies, and making life really weird.  Yet back then, no one cared.  I gladly stumbled all over the internet, well into the morning hours.  Things slowed down when I switched to the Chrome browser.  And things practically disappeared when the browser add-on turned more into an iframe.  I guess SU wanted even more of our dataz.  It might have been around this time that they changed their logo from the cool green SU to the strange ugly orange.  I see that as the death of them.

I honestly not have known that they were shutting down had it not been for this Reddit Post.

Regardless, me and my 42k likes will live on forever.  They might not be relevant, they might not even exist anymore, but good golly, they were some great times wasted away on the immature internetz.

Trick Pool Shot

Technically, this was Snooker, not that it really matters that much, this was an incredible shot.  I think I’m equally impressed with the amount of room that this pool hall has.  I lost count of the number of tables visible, but it seemed like quite a set up.  Another thing that always amazes me is the timing and initial setup that’s required.  I’m sure where ever this was needed to be closed down for multiple hours in order to set it up.  And if it didn’t all work out the first take, well then that’s more hours, more time, more patience.

It’s still pretty ace though.

So Many Faucets

Seriously, who knew that the lonely faucet had so many new ways to operate?  If you don’t believe me, search for “faucet” on Yanko Design, (or just click that link).  At the time of this writing, there’s 13 pages worth.  Sure, some of them are stupid crazy things, but some are actually pretty neat.

This swirling pattern faucet is what first sparked my interest.

swirling faucet

It is neat, and it probably is less harsh on your hands, but I don’t know 2 things.  1 – how much water it will actually save.  There’s the paradox of you’re using less of something, but that something is so cheap now that you’ll end up using more of it anyway.  In this case, the price of the water hasn’t changed, but the delivery method is so neat that people will watch it more then usual.  And secondly, as someone on imgur pointed out, calcium deposits.

Next on the list is this strange one that directs a waterfall upwards.

water-up

How it’s expected to get this perfect curve I’ll never understand.  Anyone who’s played with a hose will know that that stream will work for about 2 seconds, then fall apart and mess everything up.  The creators think the water fountain like design will make it easier to brush your teeth, I think that’s quite an edge case.  But hey, it’s a free concept!

The Ring Faucet though is my favorite:

ring faucet

I could conceive of this faucet in a bathroom at my house.  Provided I had a wife that would allow it, or a workshop where I could tinker with things that is.  While I don’t share all of the sentimental things that the designer does, I do think that the ring of water falling down is quite cool.  Like most humans, I could watch moving water for hours on end, so I think this might end up needing to go into the guest bathroom where I won’t see it often enough to waste the water.

I totally could put this on the wall and get looks from people though.  What are you supposed to put in that hole?

ring-wall

{imgur}

Alternate History Thursday: WAR!

Is good for absolutely nothing.  The song was right about that.  But we’re not talking about that song, we’re talking about something that actually happened.*

When we last left our heroes (or villains as some might call them), The Nation of New York had started a war with the United States of America (Minus New York City).  Most of the bridges connecting Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and The Bronx had been destroyed months ago in separate acts of aggression, but now things were getting bad.  The aircraft carrier that was dispatched last month was loaded up on refugees and sailed out of the harbor prior to any major conflict, but they didn’t go far.  The President, knowing the options on the table transported them down the coast to Florida, he claimed it was the best place for them.  In reality he was getting them as far away from the blast zones as possible.  While it was unlikely that much would spread past New Jersey, he couldn’t take the chance that radical New Yorkers had traveled far enough out of state to cause problems.

Luckily for America, they have the world’s most powerful Navy, and another aircraft carrier was sent up to collect more refugees.  However, the hurricane prevented docking.  All for the better because of the attack that happened on the city.  Somehow, the rebels had gotten their hands on surface to surface missiles and had mounted them atop most of the tallest buildings in the city.  (As luck would have it, they left The World Trade Center alone, they felt that those towers acted as a nice shield masking the true location of the launches).

The RNYs took potshots at the carrier group, never really doing any damage, but causing headaches.  After a week of non-stop attacking, the President played hardball and ordered a response.

Things did not go well.

Citi Corp Building

The City Corp Building was demolished.  To the average RNY, this was motivation enough to surrender.  But the ruling class had too much pride, or more likely too much stubborn New Yorker in them to give up that easily.  They hunkered down and spread out.  The last of the known tunnels out of Manhattan were used to spread themselves and their explosives wide.  The President was not going to start an urban war on the streets of the most famous city in the world, so he had the Air Force keep buzzing the building tops trying to demotivate the populace.  Unbeknownst to them, no one was in those buildings.

Where they went is still a mystery, but once it was discovered that the island was nearly empty, all bets were off the table, bad things were about to happen.

*in an alternate reality, duh.

As is customary

Continue reading “Alternate History Thursday: WAR!”

New York City – By Drone

I know this video is almost 3 years old, but sometimes it’s nice to revisit some old things, and show how times have changed, and technology improved.  In this case, the video quality is still amazing, as is the production quality.  You know what has changed, the ability to do something like this and not get arrested.

Victor Chu flew his drone around the 5 boroughs of New York City taking the above footage.  He’s pretty good with the drone, and the rest of his channel is now fleshed out with plenty of cool stuff for you to watch and enjoy.

I will say, seeing anything from above is unique, but seeing Manhattan, someplace I go to often, or at least pass by and through from above is unique.  There’s so much that you don’t notice or see in the world from the ground.

{NY Post}

The Gustav Gun

Admiring the Gustav Gun

World War 2 was the most devastating war in human history.  If we forget about the events that ended the war thousands of miles away, Germany, Europe and the rest of the combatants used plenty of conventional weapons to wreck havoc on each other for nearly 6 years.

The above shows Hitler and some generals admiring the massive Gustav Gun.  A weapon so large that it was mounted on rails.  It fired shells over 30 inches in diameter weighing 7 tons at a range of nearly 30 miles.  The main purpose was to utterly destroy the forts of the Maginot Line.  Though it was transported and used in Operation Barbarossa.

Unfortunately, it was destroyed by the Germans themselves in order to prevent it’s capture by those damned Commies towards the end of the war in 1945.  And while there have been more massively wide guns made, The Gustav remains the largest caliber rifle ever used in war time.

Check out this quick little video regarding some of the famous railroad guns:

https://youtu.be/oxykqgRodTc

{reddit}

Hidden Tombs

Europe is full of old stuff.  So many old things are so old that it’s not a surprise to people when records are misplaced, and memories lost to time.  That just so happens to have been the case under the floor of St. Mary’s Church in London.  While renovating the church in order to turn it into a Garden Museum, construction workers uncovered a 300-400 year old tomb under the alter that contained numerous coffins.


These weren’t just anyone’s coffins either, included under the most sacred spot of the Church were the bodies of probably five Archbishops of Canterbury.  I say what could be five because of an interesting phenomenon of burring human bodies in old lead coffins – the bodies decompose into a black viscous liquid appropriately called coffin liquor.  That sounds lovely doesn’t it?

If that wasn’t enough, I think the greatest part of this entire thing is the fact that the contractors, and the researchers and everyone involved managed to keep this thing a secret for nearly an entire year.  That’s right, they uncovered this find months ago, did research, entered the tomb to see if it was stable, identified the remains as best they could, and then, on Easter Sunday, released the findings to the greater world. Impressive.

It makes you wonder, that scene from The Last Crusade in Venice, how many other ancient Churches in Europe have hidden treasures beneath their floors?

Continue reading “Hidden Tombs”

It was December 24th

You know the words.

If that’s not your thing, then take a gander at this trailer for the documentary of the events from 28 years ago.

Wooden Cities

city table

James McNabb is a furniture maker, he uses a bandsaw to make these intricate city skylines out of discarded, and unusable scraps of wood.  I really like the above table.  Especially using the taller buildings as the legs.  It’s not practical for sitting around, or putting stuff under, but it does look cool.

curved city

While these things look cool, I can’t help but be concerned about all the dust that they will eventually collect.  All those nooks and carnies, dust magnets.

Here’s a nice video showing some more detail:

{Colossal}