Friday, July 27, 2007

Bionic Hands

Last night I was laying in bed and my thumb was hurting from my mechanical bull incident. So then I was thinking about robots. Then I was thinking about robotic thumbs. Then I realized not only how to design the perfect artificial hand, but I also came up with a completely new solution to the current problem facing robotic hand developers regarding the lack of sensory feedback and therefore being unable to control how tightly robotic hands grip things. What's even more ridiculous is that aside from the metal skeleton of the hand itself and the processor to control the hand, I think all the parts I would need to construct this hand could be bought off the shelf.

I know I come up with some really stupid/crazy ideas, but I think this one could actually work. I just don't know if I have the level of skill needed to craft a working model.

I guess we'll find out.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

What's new

There’s just so much going on today, I don’t know where to start.

First off, the Weekly World News, which was never really “news” to begin with will now no longer be weekly or … worldly? It’s dead. After a 28-year run on supermarket checkout shelves, the last issue is slated for August 3.

I’ve only purchased two issues of the Weekly World News, which upon close inspection I found contains disclaimers that all the stories wherewithin are fictional and for entertainment purposes only. However, I’ve been entertained by countless headlines featuring devils, aliens, terrorist, presidents and batboy. I’ll miss the weirdness, and I kind of mourn the fact that now all I’ll have to read while waiting to pay for my groceries are headlines of celebrity scandal.

Now for something else weird but wonderful, they’re making The Big Lebowski action figures. Hilarious.

On the technological frontier, it’s an exciting day. A company called Kameraflage just released its new technology that allows you to print pictures or messages on t-shirts, billboards or whatever medium that are invisible to the naked eye by can be seen through a digital camera. It has something to do with the range of visible light to the human eye versus a silicon chip, but it’s just cool. I can’t wait to get my t-shirt with the secret message that says, “Take a picture, it’ll last longer.” Then again, it could be really annoying if advertisers start putting invisible logos and messages all over tourist attractions, so that the Eiffel Tower still looks beautiful until you take a picture and realize there’s a huge tampon advertisement on the side of it. Supposedly they’re also going to use this technology to start watermarking films to stop bootleggers from taping them. I’m guessing it’s just going to send the bootlegging industry back to analog cameras or they’ll find some new way to turn that light-sensitivity range off in digitals. Check it out here:

So along with that new technology, Fujifilm just announced its new series of digital cameras will be out in September. I just bought the 8mp F40fd last month, but they’ve announced a 12mp F50fd, which apparently has an even better face recognition system, red-eye removal in camera, and true image stabilization. They also have a ridiculous 14x zoom 8mp camera with face detection and image stabilization. And by ridiculous, I mean ridiculously AWESOME! I probably can’t justify purchasing either one of these babies, but they’re both only going to run about $300, so you know I’ll probably rationalize it somehow.

Also on the technological frontier it’s been announced you can still buy an 08 Tesla Roadster for about $90k or you can now pre-order a Moller flying car for about the same price. The electric roadster goes 0 – 60 mph in 4 seconds, but is confined to roadway. The Moller flying car floats at 10’ and has a max speed of 50mph, but only has a capacity of 250 lbs. Sounds like the Tesla will still be better for picking up chicks – unless you like them really skinny. Of course, you could just buy a regular Lotus for $50k, which looks like a Tesla and spend that extra $40k on gasoline, hookers and blow.

On the music front, Martin released a special edition guitar detailing the history of flight with a big astronaut inlaid on the headstock and satellites on the bridge. The on the back there’s a shuttle and a bunch of various planes. It’s really dorky, but I want it.

Not much going on at home. I went country dancing Saturday night and got bucked off the mechanical bull which resulted in re-injuring the thumb and tendons of my left hand that I tore up in my motorcycle wreck a couple years ago. The swelling in my thumb has gone down a little since Saturday, but it still won’t bend all the way down and hurts like hell to put any weight or pressure on it. Kind of a pisser since I had just cleaned and restrung all my guitars Saturday afternoon. Doesn’t look like I’ll be playing anywhere anytime soon.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Em's Birthday

Em's Birthday
Originally uploaded by ffacker
Well, we made it through Em's big 21st birthday celebration. It started with dinner at Benihanas with her family and a few friends. Then we went on to Sam's Boat, and we had planned to stop by BLVD, but as it was a Tuesday night, it was closed. We spent the rest of the night at Swig, and I think Emily ended up appropriately inebriated for a 21st birthday celebration, but not enough to get sick, which is good.