Funnbee.info: Playing with The MoonA really cool collection of photos, sent by Myriram. Author is unknown, and we’d appreciate your helps. Reminds me of lifting of the Moon and the world is in your hand.
INTERESTING THINGS FOR YOU AT NIGHT PART 2 + 3 (ULTIMATE EXPANSION)
Japan Video Games Blog
TO THOSE WHO DON'T WANT THEIR WORK PROMOTED
We're not making money off the site, nor are we publishing anything to other places through feedburner claiming that it's our work, just a hobby of finding cool things around the internet, that's all. Sometimes we copy and paste too quickly and a link giving you credit doesn't appear, if that's the case and you DO want your work promoted, we will add in the backlink, we would love to give credit where credit is due!
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Saturday, February 21, 2009
PBS: Tesla - Master of Lightning: A Weapon to End War
Tesla inherited from his father a deep hatred of war. Throughout his life, he sought a technological way to end warfare. He thought that war could be converted into, "a mere spectacle of machines."
In 1931 Tesla announced to reporters at a press conference that he was on the verge of discovering an entirely new source of energy. Asked to explain the nature of the power, he replied, "The idea first came upon me as a tremendous shock... I can only say at this time that it will come from an entirely new and unsuspected source."
War clouds were again darkening Europe. On 11 July 1934 the headline on the front page of the New York Times read, "TESLA, AT 78, BARES NEW 'DEATH BEAM.'" The article reported that the new invention "will send concentrated beams of particles through the free air, of such tremendous energy that they will bring down a fleet of 10,000 enemy airplanes at a distance of 250 miles..." Tesla stated that the death beam would make war impossible by offering every country an "invisible Chinese wall."
The idea generated considerable interest and controversy. Tesla went immediately to J. P. Morgan, Jr. in search of financing to build a prototype of his invention. Morgan was unconvinced. Tesla also attempted to deal directly with Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain of Great Britain. But when Chamberlain resigned upon discovering that he had been out-maneuvered by Hitler at Munich, interest in Tesla's anti-war weapon eventually collapsed.
By 1937 it was clear that war would soon break out in Europe. Frustrated in his attempts to generate interest and financing for his "peace beam," he sent an elaborate technical paper, including diagrams, to a number of Allied nations including the United States, Canada, England, France, the Soviet Union, and Yugoslavia. Titled "New Art of Projecting Concentrated Non-Dispersive Energy Through Natural Media," the paper provided the first technical description of what is today called a charged particle beam weapon.
What set Tesla's proposal apart from the usual run of fantasy "death rays" was a unique vacuum chamber with one end open to the atmosphere. Tesla devised a unique vacuum seal by directing a high-velocity air stream at the tip of his gun to maintain "high vacua." The necessary pumping action would be accomplished with a large Tesla turbine.
Of all the countries to receive Tesla's proposal, the greatest interest came from the Soviet Union. In 1937 Tesla presented a plan to the Amtorg Trading Corporation, an alleged Soviet arms front in New York City. Two years later, in 1939, one stage of the plan was tested in the USSR and Tesla received a check for $25,000.
Tesla hoped that his invention would be used for purely defensive purposes, and thus would become an anti-war machine. His system required a series of power plants located along a country's coast that would scan the skies in search of enemy aircraft. Since the beam was projected in a straight line, it was only effective for about 200 miles — the distance of the curvature of the earth.
Tesla also contemplated peacetime applications for his particle beam, one being to transmit power without wires over long distances. Another radical notion he proposed was to heat up portions of the upper atmosphere to light the sky at night — a man-made aurora borealis.
Whether Tesla's idea was ever taken seriously is still a mater of conjecture. Most experts today consider his idea infeasible. Though, his death beam bears an uncanny resemblance to the charged-particle beam weapon developed by both the United States and the Soviet Union during the cold war.
Nonetheless, Tesla's dream for a technological means to end war seems as impossible now as it did when he proposed the idea in the 1930s.
Joke Time "The Accountant" - Everything Random
There once was a business owner who was interviewing people for a division manager position. He decided to select the individual that could answer the question “how much is 2+2?”
The engineer pulled out his slide rule and shuffled it back and forth, and finally announced, “It lies between 3.98 and 4.02.”
The mathematician said, “In two hours I can demonstrate it equals 4 with the following short proof.”
The physicist declared, “It’s in the magnitude of 1x101.“
The logician paused for a long while and then said, “This problem is solvable.”
The social worker said, “I don’t know the answer, but I a glad that we discussed this important question.”
The attorney stated, “In the case of Svenson vs. the State, 2+2 was declared to be 4.”
The trader asked, “Are you buying or selling?”
The accountant looked at the business owner, then got out of his chair, went to see if anyone was listening at the door and pulled the drapes. Then he returned to the business owner, leaned across the desk and said in a low voice,
“What would you like it to be?”
I started my career as a finance reporter covering wonky subjects like banks, bonds and agribusiness. I ended up in Silicon Valley covering tech, because it was the late 1990s, and I was doing what finance reporters are supposed to do: Follow the money. I’ve since realized if you want to cover startups well, it’s more complicated than that: You have to distill between the pioneer money and the lemming money. By the time the lemming money is investing, the story has been told, and the pioneers have already picked their bets.Why the Smart VCs Are Boarding their Jets
There are a few ways to do this. One is to poll the smarter VCs, but frequently they don’t want to share their secrets. Another is to look at relative increases in the percentage of capital going to different sectors. For instance, in the mid-2000s, sectors like Web 2.0 and clean tech weren’t getting the most venture capital, but they were getting the biggest percentage of increases in funding before Facebook was gracing every magazine cover and John Doerr was weeping over the environment at TED. A third way is to look at how the money shifts in a downturn. When a bubble bursts do formerly hot sectors turn into wastelands?
One reason I knew Silicon Valley would rise again after the 2000 crash was that it always does. Another was that the percentage of capital going to Valley companies increased, as VCs pulled closer to home and stopped speculating in more nouveau tech hot beds around the U.S. and overseas markets. But the exact opposite is happening this time around. According to new numbers by Dow Jones VentureSource, venture capital investment fell in the United States last year but rose in China, India and Israel despite increased economic and political turmoil in those regions; despite the human desire to nest in bad times; and despite the fact that so far VCs have struggled to get much in the way of returns from billions poured into India and China.
That should tell us something.
Sure, more money is still invested in the U.S.: But all three of my litmus tests support the theory that the pioneer money isn’t pulling back from overseas speculation in the wake of troubled times for the industry. The smart money is doubling down on emerging markets. Investing in unknown entrepreneurs in emerging markets is scary. But there’s a greater fear in venture capital these days: Where is the next new frontier to make big money?
We think of a VC’s job as investing in high tech—but really, it’s about investing in high growth. Doubling or tripling your money is great, but venture capital is at heart a home run business. And most of the sectors where VCs have traditionally gotten the biggest home runs have simply matured: Chips, computers, software, telecom, Internet. Sure, there’s still opportunity in the Web, software and even hardware—look at Facebook, Salesforce.com, and NComputing—but these are increasingly one-off and many of the most promising ventures sell before they get to home run levels.
There continues to be opportunities in biotech, too, but drug discovery takes a lot of money and a lot of time. Instead of swinging for the fences building the next Genentech, most VCs are content to find a novel drug candidate and license it to big pharma. That’s more a base hit than a home run. As for clean tech, the market is huge, but uncertainties around the science, government cooperation and expense of building a new alternative energy industry cast big doubts on just how lucrative returns will be.
Compare that to places like India, China and even Central Africa where incomes are rising, populations are growing and nearly everything is a growth industry. Trucking, logistics, coffee shops—and yes, some Internet and tech companies too. Sure, it’s fraught with its own risk, whether it’s ethical quandaries of whether to bribe public officials, language and cultural barriers, immature capital markets or just the grind of investing halfway around the world. But venture investors are supposed to take risk. They are supposed to be pioneers. If it were easy, there wouldn’t be the promise of 10x returns.
Venture capital judges itself on a ten-year cycle, and the riches of 1999 are about to fall off the index. The industry as a whole is in danger of performing about at the level of the S&P 500 or below. If it wants to survive, it’s time for a reboot: Get back to boutique, the way smart seed funds have done, or figure out global. Only a few firms will thrive in between.
Interestingly, the trend is happening at the same time the rank and file in the Valley seems to be coming down with a disturbing case of xenophobia. One of BusinessWeek’s most commented stories this week was about H-1B Visa fraud, and frankly, there were a lot of offensive anti-Asian views throughout the thread. Similarly, when I was on KQED’s Forum last month talking about layoffs in the Valley, a good many people called in angry that they’d been laid off while foreign-born engineers kept their jobs.
I know losing a job is scary, but a lot of the value of Silicon Valley has been built by people from other countries. Put another way: You had your job (and stock options) at companies like Google and PayPal because of foreign-born founders who came to the Valley and were able to thrive. We’d do well as a region to continue to invest in the smartest people from around the world, whether they’re coming to us or—gasp— we have to get on a plane and go to them. I believe the Valley will remain the hub of innovation, but for that to be the case, that hub needs to have far longer spokes.
Ten years after following the money brought me to Silicon Valley, increasingly following the smart money is taking me halfway around the world.
Potheads Urge a Boycott of Kellogg | NBC Washington
NEW YORK — Snap, crackle ... pot?
Bursting with indignation, legions of legalize-marijuana advocates are urging a boycott of Kellogg Co., including all of its popular munchies, for deciding to cut ties with Olympic hero Michael Phelps after he was photographed with a pot pipe.
The leader of one of the biggest groups, the Marijuana Policy Project, called Kellogg's action "hypocritical and disgusting," and said he'd never seen his membership so angry, with more than 2,300 of them signing an online petition.
"Kellogg's had no problem signing up Phelps when he had a conviction for drunk driving, an illegal act that could actually have killed someone," said Rob Kampia, the group's executive director. "To drop him for choosing to relax with a substance that's safer than beer is an outrage, and it sends a dangerous message to young people."
Also urging a boycott were the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, Students for Sensible Drug Policy and the Drug Policy Alliance. They encouraged their members to contact Kellogg to vent their views.
In one sign of the campaign's impact, the Phelps saga took precedence over the tainted peanut butter outbreak in the recorded reply on Kellogg's consumer hot line Tuesday.
"If you would like to share your comments regarding our relationship with Michael Phelps, please press one to speak to a representative," said the recording. "If you're calling about the recent peanut butter recall, please press two now."
From Kellogg's media office, there was no immediate reply to a request for an assessment of the boycott campaign. A Kellogg spokeswoman, Kris Charles, said by e-mail, "Our contract with Michael Phelps was set to expire at the end of February and we made a business decision not to extend that contract."
Last week, the company announced his contract would end and described Phelps' conduct as "not consistent with the image of Kellogg." Kellogg has been placing images of Phelps on the fronts of Frosted Flakes and Corn Flakes boxes since September, after the swimmer's record-shattering haul of eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics.
The groups calling for the boycott were angry at Kellogg, but also eager to use the opportunity to restate long-standing calls for decriminalization of pot.
"It's not just that Michael Phelps did what millions of other twenty-somethings do," said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. "It's that he did what over one hundred million Americans have done at least once in their lives, including the president, former presidents, members of the U.S. Congress and Supreme Court."
Similar commentary sounded even in mainstream media — including columns in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and National Review Online questioning the rationale and effectiveness of U.S. marijuana laws.
Norm Stamper, a former Seattle police chief active in the push for easing marijuana laws, released a letter to Kellogg in which he pleaded for "sane, sensible, and compassionate drug policies" and suggested the company had "underestimated the country's maturity on this issue."
He also said he had purchased his last box of what had been his favorite cereal — Kellogg's Mueslix.
Of Phelps' numerous big-name sponsors, Kellogg was the only one to publicly cut ties after the pot photo emerged. While it received some support, the giant food company has also been singled out for mockery by a host of comedians, bloggers and others.
On Saturday Night Live, Seth Myers questioned whether marijuana use was in fact at odds with Kellogg's image."Every one of your mascots is a wild-eyed cartoon character with uncontrollable munchies," Myers said. "Every one of your products sounds like a wish a genie granted at a Phish concert."
Coffee Brewing - CoffeeResearch.org
Brewing coffee is as much of an art as it is a science. The history of coffee brewing equipment is rich, and methods of brewing are culturally dependent. Of the thousands of coffee machines and coffee brewing devices invented since the advent of coffee consumption, only a few have gained worldwide popularity. The coffee brewing methods discussed below are recommended since they have been found to maximize the extraction of the beneficial flavors of coffee, while minimizing the extraction of bitter coffee compounds a nd undesirable components.
Procedure of Making Coffee: Directions
The following general rules apply to each coffee making process discussed. Coffee should be brewed for 4.5-5 minutes using a ratio of 55 grams of ground coffee per liter of filtered water (195-205°F). It is convenient to use 2 tablespoons of coffee per 6 ounces of filtered water. Filtered water and spring water are recommended. Tap water imparts off flavors to the coffee and some minerals are essential to coffee flavor. Distilled water is not recommended for brewing coffee as it lacks the minerals to bring out the natural flavors of the coffee.
Coffee Maker Reviews
French Press: The best way to control the time and temperature is to use a French press coffee maker. The French press offers unparalleled flavor due to perfect extraction time and delivery of the volatile oils that are often trapped in paper filters. A French press is also the least expensive coffee brewer available. To make coffee in a French press: boil the correct amount of water, freshly grind the coffee beans using a course setting, remove the plunger, place the coffee grounds at the bottom of the glass, add the hot water, stir by shaking, and after 4-5 minutes press the plunger down to separate the grounds from the extracted coffee. The best French presses are made by Bodum and come in sizes of 3 and 12 cups. An insulated version is also available. Note: You do not want to pour boiling water directly onto the coffee. The goal is to brew coffee at a temperature between 195-205°F.
Unfortunately, French press coffee makers are not quite as convenient as a drip coffee makers due to preparation time and cleaning time. The French press also loses heat faster than some other methods, but extraction at slightly varying temperatures will promote a more dynamic and complex cup of coffee. To minimize heat loss effects, Bodum has developed an insulated coffee press. This press is highly recommended for both design and attention to coffee brewing details.
A novel integrated electric water heater-French press is available from Chef's Choice. This French press minimizes the complexity of using multiple devices to boil and then brew the coffee. We use it daily at the Coffee Research Institute and highly recommend it for those who want to simplify the brewing process without sacrificing quality.
Vacuum Coffee Pot: The vacuum coffee pot is a clever device invented by Robert Napier in 1840 that prepares an exceptional cup of coffee with a potent aroma. This is an appropriate alternative for those who have an aversion to the taste of the paper filters from drip brewers or for people who dislike the sediment in the bottom of the cup from the French press method.
To brew coffee in a vacuum pot, add the proper amount of filtered water to the bottom bulb, attach the filter to the upper bulb and fit the upper glass bulb tightly over the bottom glass bulb. Place the vacuum coffee pot on the stove, making sure that the bottom bulb is completely dry on the outside. Use a medium grind and add the grounds when the water begins to fill the upper chamber. Leave the pot on the stove for 3.5 minutes and then place on a hot pad. Within 30 seconds the lower pot will cool enough to form a vacuum to pull the brewing coffee into the lower chamber, thereby separating it from the grounds. Experiment with the heating and cooling cycles until the total extraction time is between 4-5 minutes. A great and inexpensive vacuum coffee pot available is the Bodum pot (pictured to the left). An electric vacuum pot (pictured to the right) is also available from Bodum.
Automatic Drip Coffee Maker: The easiest way to brew coffee is by using an automatic drip coffee brewer. Unfortunately, few coffee machines brew at the right temperature for the correct amount of time. The best drip coffee makers currently available are produced by Techni Vorm and distributed by Boyd's coffee and Sweet Maria's Coffee. Of the available models, the MoccaMaster Clubline KB 741 with the insulated carafe is probably the best drip brewer available on the market.
To brew coffee in a drip brewer, place a thick paper filter in the brewing cone (basket) and thoroughly wet with water. This helps remove the paper taste from the filter. Then freshly grind the coffee using a medium grinder setting. As the water begins to boil, pour the coffee into the coffee filter. Now as the water pours over the coffee, shake the basket (removable in the Technivorm) to ensure an even extraction. Brew time and temperature are taken care of automatically. If your brewer has a hot plate under a glass carafe, remove the carafe after the coffee is fully brewed to prevent the coffee from burning.
Espresso: Making espresso is a bit more difficult than the above brewing methods and an espresso section of this website has been dedicated to it.
No other coffee brewing method is recommended due to problems with either over extraction, under extraction, or timing.
Annette Obrestad made history when she won £1m at the 2007 WSOPE Main Event aged just 19. Incredibly she nearly won back-to-back majors but just missed out on the EPT Dublin title a month later, finishing second for another $ 429,181. However, she cut her teeth playing thousands of MTTs online, where she learnt the secrets to going deep and cashing big. Now she spills the beans...Annette Obrestad's Top Tournament Poker Tips
1 'Try and build a stack early otherwise you're going to find yourself having to shove all-in to survive, and you don't want to do that. It's definitely worth taking some risks to achieve this. You might have to shove all-in as a bluff sometimes or risk chips, but it's the best way to ensure a deep run. Don't be afraid of going out early.'
2 'The more hands you play early on the more reads you'll be able to get, and attacking limpers in position is a good way to get chips. I think the earlier into the tournament that you start doing this the better!'
3 'I'll never limp in if I'm first to enter a pot, but I'll open pretty much any suited connector, any pair, or any two broadway cards. When blinds are low it's only costing 60 chips or so. If someone calls then you can make a continuation bet on the flop. Often this will get opponents to fold, but if not, you're not going to be putting a lot of money in the pot unless you hit something big.'
4 'At the beginning of tournaments, opening to three times the big blind is standard. But as the tournament progresses there's a trend now to open for 2.5 times the big blind or less. But when should you change? It depends on your stack and the average stack. If I have more than 40 big blinds and the average is more than 40 big blinds, I'll open for 3x, but if it's less I'll make it 2.5x, and if both of those figures are about 20 big blinds or less sometimes I'll just make it 2x.'
5 'Position is crucial, especially when used in conjunction with picking up weaknesses on other players. Look at their betting patterns and what they've done when they show down a weak hand or a strong hand and take advantage of what they're doing.
6 'Generally I'll never fold to a shove if I open a pot when I've got less than 15 big blinds. I know people don't like to do it, but now and again it's possible to find a fold. For example, if you've got a stack of 12 big blinds and raise to 2.5x only to get shoved on by a really tight player who you know is never shoving light, then you might have to consider folding, unless you've got a real hand of course.'
7 'The presence of antes in play doesn't make a huge difference to the hands I play. I might be more inclined to open suited connectors just because there's more in the pot, but that goes for every hand really. Don't worry about the better odds the blinds are getting to call with antes in play, because you want them to call! You'll have position on them for the rest of the hand and they'll miss the flop two out of three times, meaning you'll often pick up the pot with a continuation bet.'
8 'Once antes are in play don't start opening for 4x or 5x simply because you want to give the blinds worse odds. What if they raise and you have to fold? That sucks. You'll get the exact same result by raising to 2.5x. Also, if you open for more and get called, you'll have to make your c-bets bigger and put a larger percentage of your stack in on future streets, when you're likely to be up against bigger hands.'
9 'Increasing your stack in line with the rising blinds during the middle stages of tournaments is tough. One effective course of action is to three-bet pre-flop. On that basis it pays to be aware of who is raising a lot and who is tight. Also, be aware of your own table image, as if you have a crazy image you're liable to get shoved on lighter.'
10 'In online tournaments the bubble is overrated - nowadays everyone knows what you're up to so be very careful!'
Yasuo Kuniyoshi Smart Goggle Glasses Can Find Anything
We've all asked ourselves that irritating question: "Where on earth did I leave my car keys?"
A team of Japanese scientists claims to have come up with the answer, and the secretive artificial intelligence project code-named Smart Goggle does not stop at elusive keys!
With Yasuo Kuniyoshi's invention balanced on your nose, you will lose nothing. Simply tell the glasses what you are looking for and it will play into your eye a video of the last few seconds you saw that item.
Well, it's not magic, right? So how does it work?
Behind the goggles is an advanced object-recognition software and a computer that can learn the identity of new objects within seconds. So this is what you do, as a user: to start with, you wander around your house for about an hour "telling" the goggles the name of everything you see around you, as you fix your eyes on that object. So you essentially pronounce "coat hanger" when you are in front of the coat hanger and the word "kitchen sink" when you are in front of the kitchen sink - you get the idea. Once this process is over, the software using object recognition tech, stores the image of the object against the word you pronounced. Every time after that you move around your house, as and when that product is sighted by the goggles (though perhaps not perceived by you), its location is stored. And when you are at a loss one fine day as to where you left that product, all you need to do is to say the product name, and voila, the goggles tell you where you (rather, the goggles!) last saw it.
Sounds like a very sophisticated solution to a simple problem, but admit it, this simple problem can be at times most vexing, so who knows, the Smart Goggles could be a big hit!
The Associated Press: Pa. boy, 11, charged with killing pregnant woman
WAMPUM, Pa. (AP) — An 11-year-old boy has been charged in the shotgun death of his father's pregnant girlfriend, who was found slain in a bedroom of her western Pennsylvania farmhouse, authorities said Saturday.
Jordan Brown was charged as an adult in the shooting death of Kenzie Marie Houk, who was 8 months pregnant, Lawrence County District Attorney John Bongivengo said at a news conference.
Jordan, the son of Houk's live-in boyfriend, was charged with criminal homicide and criminal homicide of an unborn child, Bongivengo said.
Police said Houk's 4-year-old daughter found her mother's body Friday morning in a bedroom of their home in a wooded area in the community of Wampum. Houk's other daughter, who is 7 years old, later told police that Brown killed her mother, Bongivengo said.
Police said the boy had been arraigned in district court and placed in the county jail.
The home, located at the end of a half-mile-long driveway along a road scattered with abandoned and burned-out trailers, was cordoned off with yellow police tape and a Pennsylvania State Police vehicle was parked out front early Saturday afternoon. Next to the house was farm equipment and a barn filled with hay.
A neighbor, Cameron Tucker, said Houk was engaged and had been renting the house for no more than a year. Tucker said he had never met Houk's fiance, but that both of them had children.
"She was very protective of her kids," he said, adding that she seemed very excited about her pregnancy.
Tucker's wife sometimes drove Houk's daughter to the bus stop because she went to preschool with the Tuckers' 5-year-old.
WPXI-TV identified the dead woman's father as Jack Houk. There was no immediate response Saturday to a call by The Associated Press seeking comment from a Jack Houk of New Castle, a town next to Wampum.
A preliminary hearing is set for Thursday.
The rural community is about 35 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.