brainwagon "There is much pleasure in useless knowledge." — Bertrand Russell


Japanese Name Generator

I ran across a website that claimed to be a Japanese name generator. When I tried mine out, I got 渡辺 Watanabe (near a crossing) 一真 Kazuma (one reality).

I have no idea how this works, but I thought it was cool.


Solar cells powered by plant proteins?

Nature ran an online article entitled: Could laptops run on spinach?: Solar cells turn over a new leaf. Curiously enough, I have been going over plant and animal metabolism with my son who is doing a semester of college biology, so I've been forced to review the chemical reactions that take place as part of the Calvin cycle, so I found the article interesting. The functioning of biological nano-machines can still teach us a great deal. has a better synopsis with some references.

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Radio Controlled Clocks

SkyScan Atomic ClockThe NIST has a very nice history of radio controlled clocks which was written by Michael A. Lombardi. The National Institute of Standards and Technology runs the WWVB time service in Boulder, Colorado which broadcasts at 60khz, and allows my Skyscan Atomic clock to maintain accurate time (or would, if my office wasn't essentially a Faraday cage). Some nifty bits of history.

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