Mechanical TV, Steampunk Style

Steampunk mechanical television

Steampunk Mechanical TV
This is a wonderful project to build a working Baird mechanical television (televisor) that uses, among other things, a real working steam engine and a record as it’s ‘Nipkow disk’. It’s a great idea, Steampunk with real steam, I can’t wait to see some stills from it.

Mechanical TV has been an interest of mine for years now. The very idea that in  the primordial age of television the best solution was a big spinning disk and a flickering neon lamp. I have a model of a Baird Televisior that I built from a kit. It benefits from modern electronic timing and low voltage parts (LEDS not neon bulbs). It clearly works but only produces the most rudimentry of moving images. I have transcoded a few video clips to play on it (it comes with an audio CD of video sequences) and for what it is I’m impressed. I still want to build a camera that I can use to display live motion on it. Perhaps I’ll design it with a Steampunk theme.

SteamTV Part 1 — first looks at my newest project

Thinking About the Bomb, 24/7

gun-type fission weapon - WikipediaThis is quite the facinating story about a man named John Coster-Mullen that while driving his semi truck attempts to plumb the inner workings of America’s first atomic bomb named ‘Little Boy’. Sounds like a strange hobby to some but to me it represents a pure ‘knowledge for the sake of knowledge’ motivation that is lacking in today’s world. Call me morbid but being able to get down to the nuts and bolts of one of the most destructive devices mankind has ever constructed is an amazing achievement.

[via Boingboing]
The New Yorker – Atomic John ( by David Samuels )

Virgle: The Adventure of Many Lifetimes

VirgleLooks like the mega corps of Virgin and Google have decided to reach higher than anyone has ever thought possible. They have she their goal on a journey to the red planet Mars

(from the PR page)

"Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Virgin Group today announced the launch of Virgle Inc., a jointly owned and operated venture dedicated to the establishment of a human settlement on Mars.

"Some people are calling Virgle an ‘interplanetary Noah’s Ark,’" said Virgin Group President and Founder Sir Richard Branson, who conceived the new venture. "I’m one of them. It’s a potentially remarkable business, but more than that, it’s a glorious adventure. For me, Virgle evokes the spirit of explorers such as Christopher Columbus and Marco Polo, who set sail looking for the New World. I do hope we’ll be a bit more efficient about actually finding it, though." 
The Virgle 100 Year Plan’s milestones will include Virgle Pioneer selection (2008-2010), the first manned journey to Mars (2016), a Virgle Inc. initial public offering to capitalize on the first manned journey to Mars (2016), the founding of the first permanent Martian municipality, Virgle City (2050), and the achievement of a truly
self-sustaining Martian civilization with a population exceeding 100,000 (2108).Open source Planet
"Virgle is the ultimate application of a principle we’ve always believed at Google: that you can do well by doing good,” said Google co-founder Larry Page, who plans to share leadership of the new Martian civilization with Branson and Google co-founder Sergey Brin.
"We feel that ensuring the survival of the human race by helping it colonize a new planet is both a moral good in and of itself and also the most likely method of ensuring the survival of our best – okay, fine, only — base of web search volume and advertising inventory,” Page added. “So, you know, it’s, like, win-win."
The original contingent of Virgle Pioneers will be selected by numerous criteria, including an online questionnaire, video submission, personal accomplishments, expertise in scientific, artistic, sociological and/or political fields of endeavor, and inadequate Google and Virgin personal performance reviews."

This is trurlly a banner day for the human race!
And if you want to stay a little closer to the cradle of mankind, you could opt for a position on the Google Copernicus Lunar Center.

Virgle: The Adventure of Many Lifetimes

(I love days like these)

New! Gmail Custom Time

Custom Time from GmailAh yes, it must be that time again…

Ever wish you could go back in time and send that crucial email that could have changed everything — if only it hadn’t slipped your mind? Gmail can now help you with those missed deadlines, missed birthdays and missed opportunities.
Pre-date your messages
You tell us what time you would have wanted your email sent, and we’ll take care of the rest. Need an email to arrive 6 hours ago? No problem.
Mark as read or unread
Take sending emails to the past one step further. We let you make emails look like they’ve been read all along.
Make them count
Use your custom time stamped messages wisely — each Gmail user gets ten per year.
Worry less
Forget your finance reports. Forget your anniversary. We’ll make it look like you remembered.

Gmail: Google’s approach to email

$25 Head-Mounted Display

This is a bit old news but if you act soon you can snatch one of these up before they are gone. This is a cool little hack to repurpose the head mounted display from a remote controlled car for better purposes. The procedure is simple, get a power supply (some batteries) pop the back off the display and move a shunt from one pad to another (switch form PAL to NTSC video standards) and you are set.
[via hackaday]
$25 Head-Mounted Display « Jake of All Trades

DORYU 2-16 Pistol Camera

Oh yeah baby, you can be James Bond and Weegee all at the same time with this gem!
After a bit of digging I discovered it’s DORYU 2-16 with Cine-Nikkor 25mm F1.4 lens.

" This camera is a serious camera for the police, and not a toy. It is a pistol camera DORYU 2-16 famous as rare and valuable camera. The DORYU 2-16 has the same C mount as the 16mm movie camera. A Cine-Nikkor 25mm F1.4 lens was able to be mounted in the DORYU 2-16 pistol camera. You can find the small lens for GOLDECK 16 on the table."

This is something I’d buy if I had that chance.
The site has some impressive Nikon gear on it, I like those S Motor bodies a lot! I love Nikon cameras, go check it out.

[via Ektopia]
DORYU Pistol Camera