(with a tip of the hat to our cousins at Bad Astronomy Blog)
(And it seems to me that if you could use it for dogs, you could use it for cats as well — assuming that the hardware’s not too big.)
They also do locators for cars, bikes, family members, backpacks, etc. The devices report in via mobile phone, using the T-Mobile network and networks of the company’s roaming partners. (The coverage map doesn’t make it clear whether this coverage extends outside North America.)
The uranium content of granite has always been somewhat in our radar since we moved to Ireland, since there’s a lot of granite in Wicklow; and where there’s granite, because of the decay of the tiny amounts of uranium it often contains, sometimes there’s radon as well. But here’s a side effect I hadn’t given that much thought to.
As the popularity of granite countertops has grown in the last decade — demand for them has increased tenfold, according to the Marble Institute of America, a trade group representing granite fabricators — so have the types of granite available. For example, one source, Graniteland (graniteland.com) offers more than 900 kinds of granite from 63 countries. And with increased sales volume and variety, there have been more reports of [radioactive] or potentially hazardous countertops, particularly among the more exotic and striated varieties from Brazil and Namibia.
“It’s not that all granite is dangerous,” said Stanley Liebert, the quality assurance director at CMT Laboratories in Clifton Park, N.Y., who took radiation measurements at Dr. Sugarman’s house. “But I’ve seen a few that might heat up your Cheerios a little.”
Eek. I do not want my Cheerios heated up. Not even slightly!
One more thing to think about for when we redo the kitchen…
Those of you who may have been watching the progressive site revamp at The-Big-Meow.com should be warned that, while I was attempting to add some features this morning, some stuff got screwed up. It’s not serious, but it affects the look-and-feel of the site, and may take a while to fix, as I’m still not entirely sure what caused the problem.
I was attempting to do two things, one fairly dull and one kind of neat. (a) was the addition of a custom “favicon” that would show up in people’s browser tabs when the pages loaded. (b) was access, via a separate internal blog, to the research materials I’ve been using while writing the book. (I keep these materials under control using Onfolio — once a stand-alone resource, now part of Internet Explorer since Onfolio was bought by Microsoft. Onfolio enables you to save entire web pages, even web sites, for offline viewing, and to publish the pages either as printed reports or as part of a weblog for personal use.) It occurred to me that it might be fun for interested people to see the “raw material” that I’m using.
Since I was working on both of these additions to the TBM site at once, one or another of them has caused the site’s formatting to be screwed up for logged-in site members — sidebar images aren’t displaying, and text formatting has gone erratic: some is centered when it shouldn’t be; some that shouldn’t be centered, is. I’ve removed all the new material and done everything I can think of to return the site to the way it was earlier, but the problem persists, and I don’t have any more time to spend on it today, as I’m supposed to be doing, you know, work.
Registered users, please excuse the problem for the time being. I am reluctant to do too much more about it for two reasons: (a) we’re about to change hosting providers (see the message here) and (b) when we do, I’m going to upgrade the Drupal installation to the newly released version 5, which is much slicker and smarter than the v.4.7.4 we’re using now. One or the other of these solutions will most likely fix the problem. (Which I privately suspect has something to do with the fact that our present hosting provider, GoDaddy, won’t let Drupal have the database access it needs to perform correctly. This is why the site’s search function is presently turned off.) Once the move to the new provider takes place, we’ll be able to implement the discussion forums and personal blogs and so on (Drupal truly is a rich and wonderfully equipped website-building tool, with more bells and whistles than any sane person could reasonably desire).
(sigh) Sorry about this.
[tags]The Big Meow, feline, wizard, cat, online, novel, Diane Duane, technical, website, problem[/tags]
A gentleman with a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Stanford has created a street-legal Beetle with a jet engine stuffed in the back.
Best line from his erudite and fascinating discussion of this subject:
And just wait till you see what he wants to do to his wife’s motor scooter.
[tags]VW, Volkswagen, VW Beetle, Volkswagen Beetle, jet engine, jet[/tags]
On summer evenings, when the little ultrasonic things that keep bugs and mice out of the house are turned on, if the windows are going to be open, turn the ultrasonics off. Otherwise the local pipistrelle bats come in the windows and start hunting through the house for the strange mutant bat-thing that’s suddenly appeared on their territory and is making these weird noises.
[tags] bats, pipistrelle, protected species, Ireland, summer[/tags]
The Nike+ system, which has taken 18 months to develop, uses a tiny transmitter fitted in the trainers to send information back to the music player with every step. Runners can find out how they are doing by hitting the centre button on their iPod Nano and listening to a spoken update of their progress. Should the hi-tech pavement-pounders start to flag, they can give themselves a quick boost by calling up a pre-chosen “power song” for that all-important motivational lift.
The sensor kit will cost £25 and will be available in the UK from July 13. The first training shoe it can be fitted into, the new Air Zoom Moire, will go on sale at the same time priced at £65. Six more styles will follow.
I might just get these. I’m a walker, not a runner, but I doubt the iPod’ll care.
[tags]Nike, iPod, runner, exercise, weight loss, pedometer[/tags]
…and a half.
The ElectriClerk was built as a prop for “a game of ‘Cthulhu Lives’ that has yet to be played”. The builder took the guts of a 1988-vintage Mac and mounted them inside a 1923 Underwood typewriter. I particularly admire the trackba and number pad.
The maker’s page also has the promotional literature he designed to go along with the “product”.
[tags]Casemod, Underwood, typewriter, Mac, Macintosh, computer, prop, Cthulhu[/tags]