Archive for month: January, 2004

Betta Fish Saves Children From Burning Building

January 30, 2004 | News | By: Mark VandeWettering

This comes from the betta group on Yahoo. Fire extinguished by exploding fish bowl in Eagan


January 29, 2004 | General | By: Mark VandeWettering

Yahoo! News – Decomposing Whale Explodes on Street The decomposing remains of a 60-tonsperm whale exploded on a busy Taiwan street, showering nearby cars and shops with blood and organs and stopping traffic for hours, local newspapers said.

Remote Control Vandalism, and more…

January 29, 2004 | Link of the Day | By: Mark VandeWettering

Today Slashdot is running a story about hektor, a robotic graffitti artist. It is a computer controlled robot, driven by an Adobe Illustrator plugin that moves a spraycan over a wall and paints a desired pattern. The cute thing about it is that it uses a very nifty drive mechanism. Rather than using a traditional […]

End of an Era for Pixar?

January 29, 2004 | News | By: Mark VandeWettering

Pixar has decided to end its negotiations with Disney for a new contract after the current five movie deal expires. What does this mean to the company? Who cares, what I want to know is what does it mean for the stock price!?

SCO offering $250K bounty for MyDoom author…

January 28, 2004 | Link of the Day | By: Mark VandeWettering

SCO is apparently the target of the MyDoom e-mail virus. Infected machines are supposed to take part in a denial of service attack against SCO beginning February 1st. Toward that end, SCO has offered a $250K reward for information which leads to the conviction of the miscreant who created the virus. It’s hard not to […]

Best use of Genetic Engineering to date…

January 27, 2004 | Link of the Day | By: Mark VandeWettering

How about a genetically modified flower that signals the presence of unexploded landmines by changing color based upon the presence of nitrogen dioxide? The plants grow quickly, and if their roots pass near buried ordnance they turn bright red. Now that’s thinking outside the box.


January 27, 2004 | My Projects | By: Mark VandeWettering

I’ve become my own latest project. During a recent checkup, my doctor noted my increasing weight (323 lbs) and my high cholesterol. He recommended that I join Weight Watchers, begin a regular exercise routine, and come back to see him in a few months to have my cholesterol rechecked. Well, on my own I managed […]

Balancing Bots…

January 24, 2004 | General | By: Mark VandeWettering

I’m kind of fascinated by the whole “balancing robot” thing so I found Dan Piponi’s Equibot to be pretty interesting. It uses a single Sharp infrared distance sensor to measure the distance to the ground, and tries to maintain that distance via by driving a pair of modified servo motors with an Atmel ATMEGA chip. […]

Fishy Tails…

January 22, 2004 | My Projects | By: Mark VandeWettering

Over Christmas my wife and son presented me with a couple of new Siamese Fighting Fish, or bettas. Betta is actually a fish genus, with many species, the most common of which is Betta Splendens. They are called Siamese Fighting Fish because they are aggressive nasty little fighters, and you can’t keep more than a […]

Codes… Bar Codes…

January 19, 2004 | My Projects | By: Mark VandeWettering

I’ve got a lot of books. I have no idea really how many. For a long time I wish I actually had a master list of all the books I own. This goes beyond mere anal retentiveness: it dawns on me that I probably have thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars worth of […]

Not the first use for SUV mounted missiles, but…

January 18, 2004 | General | By: Mark VandeWettering

Satire? Or not? Check out Tornado Fighters and try to decide. The demo is AWESOME!

A great story

January 15, 2004 | Link of the Day | By: Mark VandeWettering

I ran across The case of the 500-mile email while reading Jef’s website. A great story.

Fun with the Terraserver

January 15, 2004 | My Projects | By: Mark VandeWettering

Okay, it’s nothing really innovative. Jef Poskanzer was the first guy I know who did it. Then my friend Jeff Eaton did it. Now I’ve done it: write a program to loot images of of Microsoft’s TerraServer. Basically I wrote a simple Python script that when given a latitude/longitude in the US, constructs an html […]

I just greatly expanded my library…

January 13, 2004 | My Projects, Public Domain Resources | By: Mark VandeWettering

Along with my usual rash of bills, today’s mail call included a DVD from Project Gutenberg. This CD contains 4 gigabytes of public domain texts, about 9500 individual volumes. Nifty! A single DVD which could be the start of a serious library. I’ve got some ideas for projects that make use of some of these […]

Melting, melting, what a world…

January 12, 2004 | Mad Science | By: Mark VandeWettering

Craig Good gave a link to melting metals in your home microwave. Surprisingly nifty, although I might be tempted to wear a lead apron. Of course, you could always do it the old fashioned way.