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Archive for April, 2006

Thinking outside the box

April 26, 2006 Comments off

Now this is what I call thinking outside the box.  Some brains from an MIT-based startup have developed a turbocharger that runs on ethanol.  What’s the big deal?  It can make a 1.5–liter 4 banger act like a 3.0–liter V6 while consuming less gas.  All this for under $1000 and the ethanol tank could run for months on a single fill. 

Check out AutoBlog (and their source) for more details.

All the talk about hydrogen is nice, but what are we going to use until that’s ready?  And how is hydrogen the answer, seeing as it has to be kept so cold and is so volatile (think Hindenburg).  I remember hearing somewhere that there is a lot of energy required to get hydrogen in a form that can be used in a car … so you’re basically just transferring pollution from many little sources to fewer BIG sources.

Let’s think outside the box – is hydrogen really the answer?  Someone tell me.  🙂

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American icon is changing

April 25, 2006 Comments off

I’m not 100% sure how I feel about this.  Monopoly is a classic game, and now they’re going to change the board?  I assume Boardwalk and Park Place will stay the same … right?!?  On the other hand, making the game relevent to todays kids makes sense.

I do agree with replacing the railroads with airports.  I wonder what you get once you get Logan, Kennedy, O’Hare, and LAX … other than a lot of headaches!  🙂

Monopoly was introduced in 1935 and now, in 2006 is getting ‘modern’. The board will be updated with the names of landmarks, streets and neighborhoods from 22 cities rather than Atlantic City landmarks and streets. The railroads will be replaced with airport names as well.

You can vote at the company’s website.

Read @ Blogging Baby

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National anger by county

April 24, 2006 Comments off
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Officially a BAD idea

April 21, 2006 Comments off

This is officially a HORRIBLE idea.  It will be the first device where it can literally hurt if the thing crashes.  That being said, I can see their point I don’t always feel the vibrate feature of my Blackberry.  [Note: I nearly wrote “I don’t always feel the vibrator…” – too risky.]  🙂

Of course this opens up new opportunities for message alerts on your mobile device.  The only question is will the helpdesk notification be more painful or less painful?

Motorola patents cellphone shock BUZRMotoshockbuzzer

If you need to turn that ringer off in a movie theater or meeting, but find that the ol’ vibrate mode just isn’t doing it for you anymore (or if you need a surefire way to wake yourself up in the AM), Moto has the answer: shock mode.  [continues @ Engadget…]

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Unsolicited praise

April 18, 2006 Comments off

I mowed our lawn this evening for the first time this season.  About a year ago I bought a pretty basic Honda lawn mower after getting tired of our Black and Decker cordless not having enough torque (clogged all the time).  It ran great throughout the year and sometime mid-October I “winterized” it by simply running it completely out of gas (thanks for the tip dad!).

Disclaimer: I have NO idea what makes an engine work or how to take care of it.  I barely remember to get the oil changed in our cars (which are both due right now), and don’t even ask if I do that myself.  🙂

So this evening I went out and filled up our gas can and came home to do my assigned duty (Alicea has trouble getting the mower up our hill in front).  A thought went through my head to check the oil, so I found the dipstick on the side of the engine and took a peak.  I don’t think this thing has gone through any oil since I bought it and the guys at the store put oil in it.  Sweet!  It was perfectly clean oil too – hurray!

I filled up the gas tank, remembered to set the choke on the throttle, and gave a little tug on the starter cord.  The engine turned right over before I was even done pulling the cord … WOW!  It took a minute to warm up (it’s been cold lately – heck we were a few hundred feet under the snow line this past weekend) but it ran great.

If you are in the market for power equipment, get a Honda.  Even I can’t screw it up!

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Anyone need a paperclip?

April 16, 2006 Comments off

Kyle MacDonald had a red paper clip and a dream: Could he use the community power of the Internet to barter that paper clip for something better, and trade that thing for something else — and so on and so on until he had a house?
Man Using Paper Clip to Barter for House – Yahoo! News

One of those feel-good stories you just need to read.

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The Time Is 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

April 4, 2006 Comments off

Late tonight — specifically, 123 seconds after 1:00 a.m. — the time and date, for the first time in all of humanity, will be 01:02:03 04/05/06.
Wired News: The Time Is 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Interesting … of course highly arguable.  This isn’t the “first time in all of humanity” – it’s the first time in a 100 years.  If you’re using two digit years then the last time this happened was 1906, with previous instances in 1806, 1706, etc.  And it will happen again in 2106, and so on.

That being said, probably very few people around today got to witness the last happening, and few are going to see the next one either.

I remember about 16 years ago my folks and I were on our way back home from picking up some paintings at a gallery in Connecticut that my dad no longer was going to show with.  We were just getting on the highway (taking one of those clover-leaf 270–degree turns) and the mid-day announcer on WNPR announced it was another special time.  It was 12:34:56 on 7/8/90.

Funny how those things stick with you.  I doubt I’ll be away for this one though.  🙂

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