Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Back in China


I'm back in China! Look here for more lessons on signage - and a probably giant post about rice terraces. This photo is actually part of a photo sphere - which you can probably see live on your phone with this link:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/XQM8VGA1hvHgYGEr9

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Powdered sugar lightening pattern

I found this cool pattern on the side of a plastic takeout container, the pattern is made from powdered sugar.



It looks reminiscent of Lichtenberg Figures from lightening strike burns, but not exactly. Any ideas how it could have formed ... perhaps something to do with static electricity?

Sunday, August 05, 2018

Star naming on blockchain with Astro Ledger

I'm very excited to release a totally new project letting you name a star on blockchain built with the decentralized application platform Ethereum. It was built with the help of a small team, primarily Aleeza and Tony, but please check out the full Astro Ledger team.

The idea came to me as I was listening to blockchain podcasts driving back from the Falcon Heavy launch - and glanced out the window to see some stars. The podcast happened to be extremely boring ... so I just turned it off and imagined a future where the news coverage of an awesome exoplanet discoveries - includes the name of the star system it was found in, not just the boring ID number.

The FAQ page has lots of info about how to name a star but the key idea is that there is a card for each star, and if you own the card then you get to name the star. The ownership of the cards is handled by a smart contract and it is fully decentralized so that the names are as secure as the Ethereum cryptocurrency is.

The revenue from the star card auctions will go to Astro Ledger grants and the flow of all the cryptocurrency is completely transparent. We expect people to apply for grants in a similar style to the way the Awesome Foundation works, and actually we won an awesome foundation grant to build Astro Ledger:
www.awesomefoundation.org/en/projects/103076-blockchain-star-names-to-find-shark-aliens

This is the link to my personal "deck" or collection of star cards and screenshot where you can see some of the names I've chosen for stars. Shannon, is named after one of my heroes Claude Shannon.


This is a screenshot of what the auctions look like:


I really like this project because it incorporates a lot of elements that I really love, specifically: outer space, neat art, and a bit of edgy controversy that makes for an excellent topic of discussion!

https://www.astroledger.org

I can talk/chat/comment about this all day so please feel free to communicate!


Monday, May 14, 2018

Schengen temporary visa stay time tracker

Americans are only allowed to stay in Schengen Europe for 90 days out of the previous 180 days. Below is a link to a spreadsheet you can copy and use to track how much time you have left to stay - and the date you must leave by.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1RacWAQPgHV1SnaVnejF_5-omCSZBrd37cVmV1v8P7Gs

Input the dates that you enter and leave Shengen

The results are listed below.

Comments and feedback welcome!

*No warranties with this spreadsheet sorry!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Trip to Falcon Heavy

Back in 2011 Aryeh and I drove down to Cape Canaveral to watch the very last space shuttle launch. (Read, all, about it on the blog).



This year I'm attempting to watch the first launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket (see static fire below).



Along the way I've stopped at Savannah Georgia - where an art student was collecting vaguely constrained notes from random people - that will then be turned into art. I wrote this slightly overdramatic bit with some questionable facts and terrible handwriting. I'm writing about the overview effect: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overview_effect if I ever hear back about what art they turn it into - I will be posting about it here!


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Toilet made by Apple computers

I'm super excited to bring back the all time favorite "restrooms" tag on the blog to discuss this awesome toilet:


Thats right, the bite of the apple is the small flush... and in case you think that the similarity to the Apple logo is just a coincidence ...you can see below that the brand of toilet is iPhoada which sounds a whole lot like iphone


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Russian (Kazakh?) engineering

This gate is never going to break. You operate it by finding some rocks and putting them in the little rock-holders. Would love to know more about who designed it when etc... found this by Lake Burabay, in Kazakhstan.



Friday, August 18, 2017

Please keep an eye out for this ferret


We may never know what happened to this ferret - but thanks to Google instant translate we at least know what the sign says.