Jeffries Tubes

Film/TV art director Matt Jeffries died from a heart attack July 21 at age 81. He was best known for designing the original Starship Enterprise for the “Star Trek” TV series—and remembered for the “Jeffries Tubes” in the ship, where the guts of the mechanics are.

Future Tech: 20 Hot Technologies to Watch (from PC Magazine)

[doug]Technology enthusiasts (or probably anyone else) will be interested in reading this article from PC Magazine about technologies that will definitely have an impact on our lives in the next 2 to 25 years. There’s some amazing stuff: Everything from E-Bombs (think EMP*) to Wireless Mesh Networks to Quantum Cryptography.

*Electromagnetic pulse, for those of you who weren’t interested in the Cold War, or have never seen “Dark Angel.”

Dungeon Seiges the Wilcox Family

After hearing Phil Luchon tell as about half a million times, “You have to buy Dungeon Seige,” I finally picked up a copy of this $30 gem. It’s a role-playing game with an emphasis on action done by Microsoft and Gas Powered Games. David and Isaac beg to play it every day (and lament the fact that, unless they supplement their computer time with educational activities, they only get an hour of game time per day). A few screen shots are below.

Dumb, Dumb, Dumb

[doug][nuke]It seems that today I have come across a number of headlines that reflect individual, societal, or corporate stupidity. Let me share a few:

Individual: Not getting enough attention with your body piercings? Have your tongue split!

Reuters Oddly Enough news simply titled this article, “Aaaaaaaaagggggghhhhhhhhhhh!!!! ” Enough said, da?

Societal: Let’s boost tourism by catering to marijuana-smokers!

A little history:

Last month, the Canadian government introduced legislation to end criminal penalties for the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Under the bill, people caught with 15 grams (half an ounce, or enough for about 15 to 30 joints) or less of cannabis would only be fined, and criminal penalties would be reduced on those growing up to 25 marijuana plants.

I won’t even begin to list the stupidity of moving toward the legalization of marijuana (but, hey, it’s Canada—the people who brought you the best argument against Socialized Medicine in North America), but check out these statements, made by “Prince of Pot” Mark Emery:

”Marijuana—that means fun times, parties, a cool city and an enlightened state of mind,” Emery told a crowd gathered in front of Toronto's police headquarters.

Cradling a marijuana plant in the crook of his arm, and a pipe in one hand, Emery said: “Believe me, marijuana people don’t create problems like alcohol people. You want those kinds of tourists who are laughing, having a good time, and eating a whole lot in Toronto restaurants.”

See the full article here at Reuters.

¡Qué bárbaro! (What an idiot!) Apparently, slowed thinking and reaction time, confusion, impaired balance and coordination, cough, frequent respiratory infections, permanently impaired memory and learning, increased heart rate, anxiety, panic attacks, drug tolerance, and addiction are not problems. You might want to wander over to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America® site.

Corporate: USB Whah?

Confused about USB standards? You will be.

In December [the USB Forum] announced that henceforth USB 1.1 would be called USB 2 and USB 2 would continue to be called USB 2. To help the public grasp this subtle distinction USB 2, which was the old USB 1.1, would have “Full Speed” added to its title and USB 2, which was USB 2, would have “Hi-Speed” added.

See the full article here at the Bangkok Post.

Yeah, right!

According to the Hobbes’ Internet Timeline, CERN didn’t release the WWW until 1991. So, you can imagine my surprise when I saw this AdWords link on Google, of a Web developer boasting of 20 years’ experience.

Judging by the view through his Webcam (overlooking a private harbor of some sort), he hasn’t exactly done too badly for himself, even if his site is a bit overdesigned and hyperactive.

The Amazing Geckoman

Scientists in the UK have created a sticky tape which works in the same way as gecko feet.

Co-worker Brian Cortez sent me this link from the BBC, about a tape that has been developed that works using microscopic hairs, just like a gecko’s feet. (Isaac owns a New Caledonian crested gecko, and they are amazing climbers.)

There are still significant technical challenges to overcome before this can be mass-produced, but Brian suggested this likely scenario at the WIlcox house:

I can see the toy manufacturers drooling over this one. Imagine being able to sell a set of real “Spiderman” gloves! I can also imagine you as a parent telling your son Isaac to get off the ceiling … it’s dinner time. 🙂

Thank you, Mr. Greene!

Mark Greene (a master of all things related to databases) was kind enough to diagnose our ailing SQL string that was preventing certain numbers from being found. Thanks, Mark!

The Top 10 Things I Hate About Star Trek

[doug]Okay, I’m really a fairly big Star Trek fan, despite being very disappointed by the latest film, but this list on the Happy Fun Pundit site is too delicious to pass up. Somewhere down the page you’ll find my own comments.

Here’s item one from the list, to give you a sample:

Noisy doors.

You can't walk three feet in a starship without some door whooshing or screeching at you. My office building has automatic sliding doors. They're dead silent. If those doors went “wheet!” every time a person walked through them, about once a month some guy in accounting would snap and go on a shooting rampage. Sorry Scotty, the IEEE has revoked your membership until you learn to master WD-40.