Scientists find tsunami produced 90-foot wave

San Francisco Ferry BuildingI was reading this article from the San Francisco Chronicle, which says that last December’s tsunami create a wave 90 feet high. They said that the wave would have reached the clock of the San Francisco Ferry Building (not the top, which is 248 feet, but the lower edge of the clock face). Here is a picture of the building from 1898. I reckon that entire scaffolding would have been underwater.

Ouch.

Build Your Own All-Terrain Robot

Today’s book recommendation is Brad Graham and Kathy McGowan’s Build Your Own All-Terrain Robot. Brad and Kathy are the authors of a book which was highly recommended to me, Atomic Zombie’s Bicycle Builder’s Bonanza. I’m not all that interested in building strange bicycles, but robots, hey, that seems like more up my alley.

I’ve got quite a few books that concentrate on making robots which are little more than toys, but I was beginning to think of a bit grander project: a robot that could navigate outside over realistic if not rugged terrain. And this book delivers! It gives detailed descriptions of two different robotics projects, and tells you what you really need to know to get going. You won’t find chapters entitled “how to solder” or “PIC assembly code”, but you will find lots of information on finding the right motors, batteries, how to design and fabricate a welded steel frame, how to get it all working with remote control, and how to mount cameras and even a FRS radio to allow you to see what your ROV is doing.

Great book, highly recommended.