Oldster's View

Fight Against Maturity

And speaking of re-entering satellites…

“We saw a big ball of fire rushing across the sky and a little spark came off of it,” recalls Tulsan Lottie Williams…

“I felt a little tap on the back of my left shoulder and I thought someone was just trying to get my attention, and I knew everybody else that I walked with were nowhere near me to be doing that,” says Williams. “I turned around and looked back because you could hear it hit the ground.”

via  FOX23 News

It turned out to be a small piece of the second stage of a Delta II booster re-entering the atmosphere. There’s lots more at the link. She is the only person ever to be hit by a piece of re-entering debris.

September 24, 2011 Posted by | Strange, technology | Comments Off on And speaking of re-entering satellites…

Building materials going to pot

Cannabis could soon be going up in buildings rather than going up in smoke.

The hemp plant is one of six identified by Department of Primary Industries (DPI) scientists in Queensland [Australia] as a source of natural resin to reduce the building industry’s reliance on resins produced from fossil fuels…

Currently most resins and adhesives used in aerospace structures and in structural building materials are ultimately derived from crude oil.

via News.com.au.

January 14, 2009 Posted by | plant, technology | Comments Off on Building materials going to pot

Talk about “light my fire”!

Slow motion video of rocket lift-off.

Vodpod videos no longer available. from www.youtube.com posted with vodpod

April 23, 2008 Posted by | NASA, technology | , , | Comments Off on Talk about “light my fire”!

Thomas Edison wasn’t first

 More at InformationWeek

A group of researchers has played what is thought to be the oldest recording of a human voice.

The recording played Thursday predates Thomas Edison’s invention of the phonograph (previously thought to have recorded the first sound) by 17 years. It captured about 10 seconds of the French folksong “Au Clair De La Lune” on April 9, 1860.

Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville recorded the voice by using a “phonautograph” to scratch sound waves onto a sheet of paper covered in black smoke from an oil lamp. He never intended to play the sounds. Instead, he archived the recording and patented a method for understanding sound. Researchers recently unearthed the recording at the Academy of Sciences (French) in Paris.

March 31, 2008 Posted by | cool stuff, technology | Comments Off on Thomas Edison wasn’t first

Zero to sixty in 2.5 seconds


The Tomahawk is a Viper V-10 based motorcycle, a 500 horsepower engine with four wheels beneath it. The engine breathes through twin throttle bodies mounted right up front.

The Dodge Tomahawk can reach 60 miles an hour in about 2.5 seconds, and has a theoretical top speed of nearly 400 mph.

August 14, 2006 Posted by | technology, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Solar power In Himalayas

Link to more

…Many of the monasteries, or gompas, lining Ladakh's Indus valley, in northwest India near China,tibetsolar.jpg boast a small blue rectangle of photo-voltaic technology. Standing 3,500 metres high (11,480 ft) they have the advantage of being [sunnier] than many other inhabited places.

"There's a lot of scope as we have over 300 days of sun a year here, and average solar radiation is high," said Tashi Chombel, an engineer in Ladakh's local government.

Solar power is mostly used for night-time lighting rather than to keep Ladakh's bitter winter cold at bay, which would need more costly systems. Villagers built around green oases in Ladakh's barren valleys collect sparse poplar wood and animal dung for fuel.

June 19, 2006 Posted by | technology, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Solar power In Himalayas

What you might call “large format” photography

Walk into the massive air hangar and the first thing you notice is an oppressive darkness broken only by a tiny beam of light from a gumball-sized hole in the wall. Then, slowly, an upside-down image emerges on the opposite wall that is startling in its clarity — a dilapidated air traffic control tower, an overgrown runway and palm trees clustered amid rolling hills.

Once home to roaring fighter jets, this decommissioned Marine Corps hangar is now the world’s largest camera poised to take the world’s largest picture. If all goes well, within days the hangar-turned-camera will record a panoramic image of what’s on the other side of the door using the centuries-old principle of “camera obscura.”

An image of the former El Toro Marine Air Corps Station will appear upside down and flipped left-to-right on a sheath of light-sensitive fabric after being projected through the tiny hole in the hangar’s metal door. The fabric is the length of one-third of a football field and about 3 stories tall.

The Guinness Book of World Records has created two new categories for the project — world’s largest camera and world’s largest photograph — and will certify the records once the photo is complete.

This post also appears on TechNudge

June 14, 2006 Posted by | Great Pictures, technology | Comments Off on What you might call “large format” photography

Nixie Tube Clock


A Nixie tube clock by Ronald Dekker of Holland. Just one of several at this link. This great old technology seems to be making a slight comeback for DIY types.

June 11, 2006 Posted by | technology, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Nixie Tube Clock

Magnetic field delivers nanomedicine

U.S. researchers have demonstrated a nanoparticle-based drug delivery concept. The system, developed by University of Buffalo scientists, involves a magnetic field directing the accumulation in tumor cells of custom-designed, drug-filled nanocarriers.The approach may lead to treatments that exploit the advantages of photodynamic therapy, or PDT, and that have the potential to reduce drug accumulation in normal tissues.

The in vitro results show magnetically guided delivery to tumor cells of customized nanocarriers allowed for more precise targeting, while boosting cellular uptake of the PDT drugs contained inside them.


June 9, 2006 Posted by | technology, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Magnetic field delivers nanomedicine

Robot device mimics human touch

A device which may pave the way for robotic hands that can replicate the human sense of touch has been unveiled. US scientists have created a sensor that can "feel" the texture of objects to the same degree of sensitivity as a human fingertip. The team says the tactile sensor could, in the future, aid minimally invasive surgical techniques by giving surgeons a "touch-sensation". The research is reported in the journal Science.

"If you look at the current status of these tactile sensors, the frustration has been that the resolution of all these devices is in the range of millimetres," explained Professor Ravi Saraf, an engineer from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, US, and a co-author of the paper. "Whereas the resolution of a human fingertip is about 40 microns, about half the diameter of a human hair, and this has affected the performance of these devices."


June 8, 2006 Posted by | Robots, technology | Comments Off on Robot device mimics human touch

Webcam mod to IR cam

Did you ever wonder what it is that goes BUMP in the night around your house? Maybe you can find out, even take a picture of it with this webcam mod that turns a webcam into an infrared camera.


June 7, 2006 Posted by | DIY, technology | Comments Off on Webcam mod to IR cam

Band Aid Fuel Cell?

bandaidfuelcellI don't know if this fuel cell made from a band aid actually works or not because I haven't tried it. Interesting if true. Looks like it could be scaled up rather easily into a useful device. And fun to play with in the meantime.


June 7, 2006 Posted by | technology | 2 Comments