September 27th, 2010

Odd Lots

  • From the Words I Didn't Know Until Yesterday Department: bricoleur, a person who creates bricolage; that is, who pieces together useful things from odd bits that are just lying around. In other words, me.
  • Now, this interests me: Modkit, a GUI IDE for Arduino, with drag-and-drop "blocks" for program structures (inspired by MIT's Scratch language for kids) and function calls. Alas, I don't have any good way to test it (nor time to take up Arduino tinkering, as much as it appeals to me) but this is definitely headed in the right direction. I'm not sure I'd prefer it all out in the cloud, but that's what seems to be in vogue these days.
  • Sometimes the universe is so startling that it looks fake. Like this.
  • I'm thinking that I'll be toting an Android someday, and I was pleased to see the logo for the Android port of Firefox, called Fennec. When my father was in North Africa during WWII, he and his buddies at the AACS radio station in Mali killed time by attempting to tame the local desert fox population, generally by applying K-rations. What the fennecs thought of K-rations was not recorded, but as best I know they were not driven to extinction in the process.
  • I'd had this insight some years ago, while listening to one side of lame cellphone conversations in supermarkets (triggered, I'm guessing, by the invention of Bluetooth earclippie headsets) but evidently there's some research behind it: Overheard "halfalogue" conversations are far more distracting than conversations heard in full. I know! Put it on speakerphone!
  • The guy who ran the UK Segway operation rode his scooter off a cliff to his unfortunate demise. Gravity's a bitch, and overconfidence kills. (Thanks to Michael Covington for the link.)
  • Back when I was in college I saw a truck carrying uncounted cartons of head lettuce hit a low railroad viaduct and split open, and heads, well, rolled. Over in Japan, they're working on the dressing side, with a major mayonnaise spill.
  • And from the same site, a writeup on a new Las Vegas hotel that makes significant use of solar energy, even if they didn't actually intend to. (Did FLW have this kind of trouble?)
  • From the Gadgets I'm Sure I Will Never Use Department: In case of emergency, well...