The Sultan’s Elephant

This is a thing of beauty, I blogged this before but these clips are a whole bunch better.


The Sultan’s Elephant is a giant marionette show put on by the French street theater company Royal de Luxe. It has been performed in several European cities.

I find it simply amazing that a gargantuon marionette can be manipulated in such subtle ways. If it weren’t for the block and tackle surrounding her you might almost forget that it’s 30 feet tall.


CK Pinhole Photography Resources

CK Pinhole Photography ResourcesI ran across this a few days ago:

Being a photographer who is passionate about pinhole photography, I wanted to create a complete all-in-one internet resource that offers information for the beginner, amateur and professional pinhole photographer. I hope you find this information helpful whatever your pinhole interests are.

Maybe one day a few of my pinhole projects will end up on this fine list.

[ CK ] Pinhole Photography Resources

‘Glass Give Gas’ Artistic Hotplate

Glass gives gasI have very little info on this other than it is apparently made by Harry Thaler and is titled ‘GLAS GIBT GAS’ (German for ‘Glass gives gas’). It looks very attractive and quite functional. I wonder if this is a hack (used found parts) or he made everything from scratch.
UPDATE: I received a comment about this item: "Orboc can answer!
I’ve seen it in a show a couple of days in a design show in Paris. I can tell that it’s a prototype made from scratch and the creator is a student from an italian design school." Thank you very much Orboc.
[via notcot]
moN DieU qUe C’Est BeaU ! – ORBOC, a good source of protein!
(Translation by Google)

So You Wanna Build A Rocket?

Atomic Rocketships of the Space Patrol, or So You Wanna Build A Rocket?If I’m asked what kind of book I like to read my answer is science fiction. And the style that I prefer is usually called ‘hard scifi‘. That would be stories that deal with the technological details and loads of information about far fetched star drives, energy beams, and what not. Needless to say I love reading about all the made up details that are in these stories. No wonder my top three favorite authors are Larry Niven, Robert A. Heinlein, and William Gibson. I happened across the ‘Atomic Rocket’ page today and just had to post about it.

"Another annoying fact is that realistic spacecraft propulsion systems are incredibly weak. They will take forever to push the ship to anywhere farther than, say, Luna. So SF authors try to jazz things up by postulating more powerful propulsion systems. Alas, they then run full tilt into Jon’s Law for SF authors.
Jon’s Law for SF authors is closely related to Niven’s Kzinti Lesson. It states: "Any interesting space drive is a weapon of mass destruction. It only matters how long you want to wait for maximum damage." It goes on to say: "Interesting is equal to ‘whatever keeps the readers from getting bored’".
As an example, a spacecraft with an ion drive capable of doing a meager 0.0001g of acceleration may be scientifically realistic and the exhaust is relatively harmless. However, to most of the audience it will not be interesting. "Nine months just to travel to Mars? How boring!"
The author, not wanting his book sales to go flat, hastily re-fits the hero’s spacecraft with a fusion drive. The good news is that the ship can make it to Mars in twelve days flat. The bad news is that the ship’s exhaust is putting out enough terawatts of energy to cut another ship in two, or make the spaceport look like it was hit by a tactical nuclear weapon."

How cool is that? The page is for ‘science fiction authors who wanted a little scientific accuracy’ but the heck with that, I’m going to read this from ‘cover to cover’.

[via retro thing, boingboing]
Atomic Rocketships of the Space Patrol

If you want to read a few book by my favorite masters of scifi, go on over to Amazon and flex the credit chip.

The Mote in God\'s Eye Off the Main Sequence: The Other Science Fiction Stories of Robert A. Heinlein Burning Chrome

Belgium Doesn’t Exist!

Ceci n'est pas une nation
This stunning fact was brought to my attention today:

For too long we have been told lies. The existence of the supposed European country of Belgium has been taken as gospel for years by members of the Liberati. It has long been held up as a shining example of Liberal philosophies in action. However, now is the time the truth be known. Belgium doesn’t exist…

I ,like you, were shocked to discover this. I can only hope that more people will see through the hoax and right the wrong that is the hoax of Belgium. BTW, don’t miss the shocking truth about the moon (it’s a fake no matter what your eyes tell you) and "Wisconsin: The Innocent State That Isn’t".

Belgium Doesn’t Exist!