Oldster's View

Fight Against Maturity

Robotic welly wanger

wellington_boots.jpgBBC NEWS
The eccentric British sport of hurling wellington boots has been given a mechanical makeover by scientists at Aberystwyth University. More commonly known as welly wanging, experts have built a machine capable of propelling a welly up to 262ft (80m).

A team has taken an engine from a concrete mixer and a gearbox from a Citroen 2CV and devised the robotic “wanger” for a TV programme. The team’s machine is set to compete in Channel 4’s Scrapheap Challenge.wanger2203.jpg

Richard Shipman, who teaches artificial intelligence, Andy Shaw, a researcher in space robotics, and computer technician Ian Izett, have built the wanger using scrap metal and discarded mechanical parts.

Powered by a diesel engine, the wellingtons, up to six at a time, are fired from a two-metre diameter computer controlled disc which rotates at up to 250 times per minute.

A second computer monitors wind speed and direction and relays the information via a third computer and a radio link to a laptop where team members can monitor its progress.

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August 28, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | Comments Off on Robotic welly wanger

World’s oldest person dies at 116. Vaya con Dios, Senora.

worldsoldestwoman.jpgReuters via Yahoo! News
The world’s oldest person, a 116-year-old Ecuadorean woman who drank donkey milk for health, died on Sunday less than a month before her birthday, her relatives told local newspapers on Monday.

Maria Esther de Capovilla was declared the world’s oldest person in December by Guinness World Records, taking the title from a U.S. woman. Capovilla was born in Guayaquil in western Ecuador on September 14, 1889, the same year that Adolf Hitler was born and the Eiffel Tower was inaugurated, and lived in a ritzy neighbourhood with her daughter-in-law and son.

Her eyesight was good up to the end and she never needed glasses, they said.

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Woman crashes when teaching dog to drive

Yahoo! News
A woman in Hohhot, the capital of north China’s Inner Mongolia region, crashed her car while giving her dog a driving lesson, the official Xinhua News Agency said Monday. No injuries were reported although both vehicles were slightly damaged, it said.

The woman, identified only by her surname, Li, said her dog “was fond of crouching on the steering wheel and often watched her drive,” according to Xinhua. “She thought she would let the dog ‘have a try’ while she operated the accelerator and brake,” the report said. “They did not make it far before crashing into an oncoming car.”

August 28, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | Comments Off on Woman crashes when teaching dog to drive

Not a bomb

A geocaching scavenger hunt [in Monroe, Ohio] caused the evacuation of residents and businesses Wednesday night as a bomb squad investigated a “suspicious package.”

The intersection of Main and Elm streets in Monroe was a bustle of activity while Monroe police and fire crews and the Butler County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Unit responded to the Monroe Historical Society, 10 Elm St., where a resident reported at 10:45 p.m. Wednesday that suspicious-looking subjects left a package outside the building.

“Police did find a package. It was in some bushes and covered with duct tape,” said Monroe dispatcher Mike McKinney.

The Butler County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Unit took a digital X-ray of the cylinder, which revealed a notebook and small trinkets typically left by people on geocaching scavenger hunts.

Monroe police Chief Greg Homer said what the resident saw was the “tail end” of activity of someone in the dark leaving something in the bushes. “They didn’t see the person write their name in the notebook and leave a souvenir,” Homer said.

After determining the package was a geocaching prize, the police also signed the notebook, left a toy badge as a souvenir and put it back in place, he said.

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Geocaching is an outdoor treasure-hunting game in which the participants use a Global Positioning System device to hide and seek containers called geocaches—waterproof containers with a logbook and a treasure of small toys or trinkets. Participants who find the containers sign the log book, remove a souvenir and replace it with a trinket they have brought. More about geocaching here if you are interested.

August 28, 2006 Posted by | geocache | | Comments Off on Not a bomb

The Naturalist—with a website

naturalist.jpgThe Sartorialist
This guy walks around Washington Square Park wearing not much more than a pair of very tiny, ripped jean shorts. He tells anyone that will listen that he is a “Naturalist” – he rejects anything from the modern world. He then offers to give you his website address so you can learn more – website?….ok Mr. Anti-Modern

August 28, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Naturalist—with a website