http://nytimes.com ran an article about one of the forerunners in what is formally called wingsuit diving, Jeb Corliss. Mr. Corliss came to wingsuit diving (which is basically people trying to be flying squirrels) after trying base-jumping and shark-baiting so you can imagine how dangerous this is. Still, despite it's danger, there are teams in at least half a dozen countries trying to be the first to perfect the art of falling without a parachute. The original article can be found "here":http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/10/sports/othersports/10flying.html?ex=1198040400&en=2246abb0d4805064&ei=5070&emc=eta1 at the New York Times website.
This is an old story but there’s a chance you missed it so here I go again: To stop teenage loiterers, Welsh inventor Howard Stapleton invented a device that emits a very high frequency sound that older people simply cannot hear. The tone sounds like a mosquito buzzing in your ear and so was called The Mosquito. For more about the science and the story behind the invention, check out the very good “Wikipedia page”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mosquito on the subject.
Of course no good deed goes unpunished and the teens have struck back by using the same frequencies as alert tones on their mobile phones, thereby avoiding turning their phones off in class. A minor victory, but still an annoyance for teachers I’m sure.
If you feel like trying out the tones for yourself, the best place to download them seems to be “here”:http://www.freemosquitoringtones.org/. You can download a whole range of frequencies and use the highest one you can hear. Be warned though, one day that frequency will fall away and you won’t hear your phone anymore.
Is anyone else bothered by NASA having its own channel on basic cable? I could understand it if there were educational programs being shown most of the time or maybe displaying a live web cam of the Space Station or looking through the eyes of the Hubble telescope, but that’s not what it shows. Undoubtedly you probably just flick past it on your way to TBS or some other channel, not even seeing it.
I was walking through a not so busy area in Paris yesterday when I noticed the above plaque next to a billboard advertisement for coffee. Here’s a translation:
??You are in front of an interactive advertisement.??
??To get a free multimedia offer from the brand shown on the poster??
??1. Activate your Bluetooth connection??
??2. Accept the mobile request??
??3. Get your media??
I’ve included below the “gift” below and it was depressingly lame. Just a small digital version of the billboard ad itself. The whole experience does make me wonder about all the fun ways this technology could be used to better advertise other things. Just one idea: What if the advertisement had been for a concert or an album being released? The “multimedia offer” could have been a free mp3 track or something equivalent. Of course, that wouldn’t help for coffee, but there’s always “smell-o-vision”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smell-o-vision.
The above photo was taken by Terren of he and his son sitting in his Hyundai under a homemade 5-kilowatt Tesla Coil. The car and its jolting accessory are profiled “here”:http://spectrum.ieee.org/may07/5053