How did I miss this story?

Jimi Heselden, recent owner of Segway, has died after driving his Segway off a cliff — supposedly while reversing to get out of the way of a hiker.

Not good news for sales, I would imagine.


I seem to be stumbling across quite a few odd links recently — most due to the Cheezburger network. Recent discoveries include:

  • Ignobel prize winner Chonosuke Okamura, who made the startling discovery that every species of life on the planet was already around 425 million years ago — albeit in microscopic form. Or he may just have had an incredibly overactive imagination. Your call.
  • G√∂tz von Berlichingen, an absolutely bonkers German knight who got his arm blown off by a cannon, invented one of the earliest examples of a functional prosthetic hand, was twice made an outlaw, and has been attributed as inventor of the phrase "kiss my ass". In spite of his incredibly violent life, he lived to a ripe old age of around 80.
  • The "Door to Hell" in Derweze, Turkmenistan — an underground cavern filled with natural gas which, after being accidentally punctured in 1971, was set on fire in order to prevent poisonous gas discharge — and has continued burning to this day.
We tend to think of colour photography as being a postwar sort of invention — no doubt due to its association with Kodacolor photographic film, invented in 1942.

But in fact colour photography is much older than this. Early versions used three or more separate exposures, with different colour filters, which were combined into a final version at development time.

One of the most stunning collections of this sort of photography is Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii's photos of pre-Soviet Russia from 1909–1912. The quality of photography and richness of colour make it almost impossible to believe that they were from an entire century ago. The three-hued appearance of flowing water (and the occasional unwary background subject) shows how it was put together from separate Cyan/Magenta/Yellow exposures.

But even older forms of colour photography can be found. Examples from 1906 and 1890 show the "Photocrom" method of pseudo-colour photography. James Clark Maxwell produced a test image as far back as 1855, and Levi Hill's 1851 "Hillotypes" even show some basic colouration — although he fraudulently added extra colours after development!

Edit: Calvin's Dad, as usual, has a different story.
spudtater: (Default)
( Aug. 6th, 2010 01:40 pm)
Promotional video of a Fordson snowmobile from 1926; unlike today's caterpillar-tracked vehicles, the Fordson snowmobile was screw-propelled.

Awesome stuff! A bit mean to the horse around 3½ minutes in, though!   8^(
spudtater: (Default)
( Jul. 30th, 2010 07:39 pm)
Awesome MRI pictures of various fruits and vegetables. The watermelon is the best — more fractaltastic than I would have imagined! Broccoli's also good.

Am having way too much fun with this entry on Charlie's blog about the Fermi paradox, Simulation hypothesis, and Boltzmann brains. All excellent concepts, admirably explored in the article and comments.

Kittens are fuzzy, and have big eyes. Spiders are fuzzy, and have big eyes. So is it really so strange for me to find spiders cute? OMNOMNOMBUGZ!
spudtater: (Default)
( May. 19th, 2010 09:39 pm)
Wilfully misinterpreting Radiohead lyrics:

"When I am king, you will be first against the wall
With your opinionwiches of no consequence at all"

Mmmm, opinionwiches. As served by Fox News?



This article on Wikipedia isn't as exciting as it sounds:

Lesbian Sex Wars

Fairly interesting, though. WTF, people?
Tags:
spudtater: (Default)
( Feb. 20th, 2010 08:15 pm)
First science linky is this very interesting article about ozone depletion denialists. It points out how the exact same tactics being used by climate change denialists today were being used by politicians and industry groups in the 70s/80s, before the discovery of the ozone hole forced a massive backpedal. Particularly interesting is... no, just read the article.   8^)

Second linky is to Ben Goldacre's Bad Science blog, about the Ying Wu chinese herbal medicine case (a woman was given pills for acne, got cancer, and ended up having to have both kidneys and urinary tract removed).

Upon telling [personal profile] galaxy_girl that the industry was entirely unregulated, she responded that "they could be selling rat poison for all we know". I then proceeded to discover via this, this and this:

Aristolochic acid is a rodent carcinogen found in Aristolochia and Asarum, both in the Aristolochiaceae family of plants.

Well, then.
spudtater: (Default)
( Nov. 26th, 2009 12:59 pm)
BBC Breakfast was amusing today. They had as a guest Michel Odent, who believes that husbands should be banned from delivery rooms, citing what he calls the "masculinisation of the birth environment".

I am more than a little sceptical. The reasoning seems to be that the increase in Caesareans over the last half-century or so coincides with the increase in numbers of births attended by husbands. Maybe so, but it also coincides with an enormous range of other factors too, both medical and cultural.

Also in today's news was the 200th anniversary of the opening of the first curry restaurant in the UK, which makes quite an interesting read.
spudtater: (Default)
( Sep. 3rd, 2009 09:24 am)
  • BBC Breakfast News managed to Rick Roll me this morning with this story about YouTube. Fair play to them.
  • And my new general-purpose insult for the month will be donkey blogger. Just so's you know.
Tags:
spudtater: (Default)
( Jul. 10th, 2009 09:57 pm)
Now that's how you market Scotland

I think he's taking the piss out of somebody. Not sure who.
spudtater: (Default)
( Jun. 12th, 2009 10:55 am)

Further to my last post:

Google has introduced an Android scripting environment that lets you code stuff for the Googlephone on the Googlephone. [...] It sits on the Android handset itself, giving coders the power to write and run scripts in Python, Lua, and BeanShell - without help from a PC.

Google lets you code for Googlephones on Googlephones, The Register, 9th June 2009

Did I mention my next phone was going to be an Android?

spudtater: (Default)
( Jun. 4th, 2009 11:37 pm)
Came across this stop-motion wedding invitation via Nothing to do with Arbroath — now that's a lot of effort to put into your wedding invitations!

That led via the "see more" links in youtube to this music video, which is just fantastic. Go watchy!
Tags:
spudtater: (Default)
( May. 27th, 2009 09:47 pm)

And now for some random linkage:

Tags:

The Press Complaints Commission has launched an investigation after the Scottish edition of the Sunday Express ran a front page story alleging survivors of the Dunblane massacre "shamed" the memory of their dead friends by boasting about drunken nights out on social networking websites.

— "PCC targets Sunday Express over Dunblane allegations", Oliver Luft, The Guardian, 16 March 2009

The Scottish Sunday Express has recently been slated – and rightly so – for running a horrifying story about the survivors of the Dunblane Massacre. The story, and the reaction to it, is a great example of the good ways and the very bad ways people are using the web to spread information.

— "Web takes revenge after Express story", Nicole Kobie, IT Pro, 19 March 2009
(includes link to scan of original article, with victims [re-]anonymized)

We, the undersigned, wish to express our deep offense at the article published in the Sunday Express on March 8th 2009 about the survivors of the Dunblane massacre. [...] We demand a swift and proportionate response to the widespread disgust caused by this article, beginning with a front page apology. We would also like to see appropriate disciplinary action taken against Paula Murray, the author of the piece, and her editor at the Scottish Sunday Express, Derek Lambie.

— "Sunday Express "Dunblane shame" article", iPetitions, 8 March 2009
(5,700 signatures so far; donation not neccessary)


So, The Daily Express are getting their arses handed to them, it seems. Serves them right.

.

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