Gadgets Sci/Tech

Friday Finds – Coronal Mass Ejection!

First, here are my posts from this week:

And a few new things you might find interesting:

Wired’s GeekDad column tells parents what they need to know about Cars 2.  Sounds better than what I’m expecting to be honest, and I’m from a place that worships at the altar of NASCAR.

Also at Wired, the Sun has sent a Coronal Mass Ejection towards Earth.  The phrase ‘Coronal Mass Ejection’ just sounds awesome to me.

Netflix is now on a few select Android devices, with more to come.

Lifehacker has a whole series of Night School posts – they take a subject and give a layman the basics to improve themselves at it.  The current series is about photography, including how best to use the automated and manual settings on a camera, helping to understand ISO and aperture settings, and the like.  They’ve also covered video editing.

New trend in movie posters – Diagonal!

Finally, looking back on old posts here I found this:  the Ultra-fast, Ultra-intense Laser.  The applications they are looking at for this tech are awesome, whether it’s bonding replacement joints to bone, killing cancer cells, or, you know, creating Wolverine.

Featured Media

Wired: Best Sci-Fi Movie Effects

Wired has an article up about the Best Sci-Fi movie effects scenes of all time, which has some classics, from Godzilla to 2001: A Space Odyssey to Avatar.  To be sure, though, they missed some of my favorites:

  • Iron Man – specifically the scene when Tony puts the upgraded suit on for the first time and takes his first flight.  The filmmakers managed to make it look, if not real, then at least realistic.  Honorable mention to Tony’s holographic UI.
  • The Abyss – Some great stuff here, including the liquid breathing apparatus, aliens made of water and mini-subs.
  • TRON and TRON: Legacy – I’m surprised that no one voted up the original TRON in the original article, considering how amazing it was at the time.  The new movie had some sweet scenes as well, including the light-cycle battle.

What else did they miss?


The Cougar Ace

I may be late to the party here, but you MUST read the amazingly cool story of Titan Salvage from Wired. The story is about the Cougar Ace, bound for the US with nearly 5000 Mazdas on board (at a value of more than $100 million) started listing to port while attempting to purge the ship’s ballast tanks. Titan Salvage was called in to try and rescue the ship and cargo, and they do it their way:

Titan’s business plan hinged on the idea that ships could be saved by human ingenuity, not horsepower, and the company’s unconventional approach worked.

Here’s one of their saves:

In 1992, a freighter sank alongside a dock in Dunkirk, France. Again, the Dutch called for cranes, but Titan won the contract by proposing a novel approach: It hired a naval architect to create a computer model of the ship. The model indicated that the vessel would float again if water was pumped out of the holds in a specific sequence. Titan put the plan into action using a few crates of relatively inexpensive pumps; the ship bobbed to the surface as if by magic.

Just awesome.