Monday, September 24, 2012

Chinese families' worldly goods in Huang Qingjun's pictures

Amid China's tumultuous dash to become rich, one man's photographs of families posing with their worldly goods will soon seem like records from a distant era.

How Collecting Opium Antiques Turned Me Into an Opium Addict

You really have to work hard to get hooked on smoking opium. The Victorian-era form of the drug, known as chandu, is rare, and the people who know how to use it aren’t exactly forthcoming. But leave it to an obsessive antiques collector to figure out how to get to addicted to a 19th-century drug.

Fun Facts about Words

We speak, hear, write, and type words all day long, so words can seem pretty boring and not much fun. However, there are some pretty interesting facts about common (and a few that are not so common) words.

Where Are These Thousand Islands? The Origins of 7 Condiments & Sauces

We’ve looked at the origins of a few of our favorite condiments on the blog before, but that didn’t quite answer all of our questions about the namesakes of our favorite spreads, sauces, and dressings. Here are a few stories that you can use to regale your friends the next time you chow down.

Big Jenga: The Second Sanding


Time to add the secret sauce!

Just A Bit Of Drifting

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Tai Chi Zero Trailer

How A Manual Transmission Works: 1936

Wear Your Seat Belt: This Guy Just Used Up ALL Your Luck!

Best Local News Bloopers of 2011

484,291,649 Views: After One Year

Mike Tompkins





257,871,647 Views On YouTube: After 60 Days Online!

Pumpkin Carving by Ray Villafane

Amazing!

Frightened Faces!

Snap shots from a Haunted House.

Hobo Spider Update: And A Political Hand Grenade?

The Views expressed below are that of the author (Richard Whitten Senior) and are posted here for discussion / dissection by the viewers of this blog.  Feel free to comment but keep it civil or it will be flushed by me into the internet trash can.

To all amateur Arachnologists who attended the last Rick/Deb Pool Party:

The two Hobo Spiders collected at the Whitten pool edge are yet alive in my home lab. They are healthy and robust and seem unaffected by the serious smoke/smog generated by local forest fires. I have noticed a gradual change in their behavior however---

The larger of the two has repetedly attempted to push out the cork from his container in several escape attempts. He did once get away for almost a day and was found by me in the window sill eating a large fly and standing on the carcass of a previous meal (another fly). He was (reluctantly) returned to his cage and is better secured at this point.

The smaller specimen has made no attempt to move from the corner of his flask. He merely waits patiently to be fed regularly and rarely moves around much other than to eat and deficate. The two spiders have very different personalities. The larger one which escaped is obviously bent on procuring his own food and can hardly be contained in his zeal to improve his situation. By contrast, the smaller one shows absolutely no interest in doing anything but waiting (expecting) to be fed and watered regularly.

I have therefore formulated a theory (not yet scientifically proven) that these two Hobo Spiders are of differing political persuasions. The larger, ambitious one is obviously Republican, whereas, the smaller, lazy one is likely of the Democratic persuasion!

Please keep in mind that this conjecture is only theoretical at this point. We must remain strictly Scientific. I am however keeping quality field notes and will be following up on my observations in the future.

best regards to all,

"The Father (Bug Man) Whitten

Only In China

Kuroshio Sea

Shopping For New Furniture

Bagel Head: Why?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tokyo

Made by Hand

Marum



Every Making Of Indiana Jones Documentary





Boise Crime: City VS Country

Downtown.
Country.

How Is Wind Chill Calculated? (Plus 9 More Wind Chill FAQs)

What does it really mean when my weatherman says that it feels like minus-20 in Chicago? Is there a wind chill thermometer somewhere, or is he just using a mathematical formula? Let’s answer these and some of the other pressing questions about the ubiquitous winter statistic.

Hula Cam at Burning Man 2012

ADULT CONTENT -- ADULT CONTENT -- ADULT CONTENT

 

ADULT CONTENT -- ADULT CONTENT -- ADULT CONTENT

I Can Tell You Straight Up... This Is TOO CLOSE To The Howler Monkey!

Do Not Mess With Elephants

Australian Fire Twister



THERE'S something mean and magical about Australia's Outback. An Alice Springs filmmaker captured both when a whirlwind of fire erupted before his eyes.

Chris Tangey of Alice Springs Film and Television was scouting locations near Curtin Springs station, about 80km from Ularu, last week when confronted by a fiery phenomenon. He had just finished his tour of the station when workers encountered difficulties with a grader. So he went to help them.

A small fire was burning in nearby bushland, so Mr Tangey decided to start filming. He caught the sight of his life. A twister touched down on the spot fire, fanning it into a furious tower of flame. "It sounded like a jet fighter going by, yet there wasn't a breath of wind where we were," he told the Northern Territory News.

"You would have paid $1000 a head if you knew it was about to happen." The column of fire danced about the landscape for about 40 minutes, he said, as he and the station workers stood transfixed. There was talk of making a quick getaway, Mr Tangey said. But everyone was too hypnotised to feel scared - and he continued furiously filming. "The bizarre thing was that it rarely moved," he said. "These things just stood there because there was no wind to move them ... but it was flickering incredibly fast."

Darwin weather forecaster David Matthews said small twisters were common in isolated areas. But the fiery vortex was highly unusual. "The flames would have assisted by trying to suck in air and that could have helped generate those circular winds," Mr Matthews said.

Ten Years Has Passed...

Sunday night I smoked my computer speakers.  They served me well and lasted a tad over 10 years.

The Old: Logitech Z560 4.1

The New: Logitech Z906 5.1

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Just Finished Seeing Chicago In Concert



Clockwork - K'nex Ball Machine

Boise Weather Wrap Up For AUGUST

AUGUST CONTINUED WHERE JULY LEFT OFF WITH VERY WARM TO HOT AND VERY DRY CONDITIONS. THE AVERAGE MONTHLY TEMPERATURE WAS 78.5 DEGREES WHICH WAS ALMOST 4 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL. THE MONTH FEATURED AN EXCEPTIONAL RUN OF CONSECUTIVE HOT DAYS BETWEEN THE 5TH AND 15TH OF WHICH THREE OF THESE REACHED THE CENTURY MARK OR HIGHER. THE 106 DEGREE READING ON THE 7TH TIED A RECORD FOR THE DATE. OVERALL...THERE WAS AN INCREDIBLE 26 DAYS IN THE 90S OR HIGHER AND ONLY 5 IN THE 80S.

IN ADDITION TO THE AUGUST HEAT...THE MONTH WAS ALSO BONE DRY WITH ONLY A TRACE OF PRECIPITATION RECORDED AT THE AIRPORT. EVEN THOUGH SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS WERE SCATTERED AROUND THE REGION THROUGH THE MONTH...BOISE AND THE TREASURE VALLEY ESCAPED MOST OF THIS CONVECTIVE ACTIVITY. EARLIER IN THE MONTH...A COUPLE OF LIGHTNING EVENTS OVER THE IDAHO CENTRAL MOUNTAINS STARTED FOREST FIRES WHICH GREW INTO SEVERAL LARGE WILDFIRE COMPLEXES. ONE SUCH FIRE WAS THE TRINITY RIDGE FIRE ABOVE 50 MILES EAST OF BOISE NEAR FEATHERVILLE...BROUGHT EXTENSIVE SMOKE INTO THE TREASURE VALLEY DURING A LARGE PART OF THE MONTH. IN FACT...OFFICIALLY THERE WERE 17 DAYS DAYS CLASSIFIED AS SMOKY DURING AUGUST. NEEDLESS TO SAY...AIR QUALITY IN AUGUST WAS POOR OVERALL AND VISIBILITY ON MANY MORNINGS WAS REDUCED TO 2 OR 3 MILES IN SMOKE.

OF COURSE THE BIGGEST WEATHER STORY DURING AUGUST 2012 WAS NEARBY FIRE ACTIVITY AND THE SMOKE THAT IT BROUGHT INTO THE VALLEY. WHEN COMBINED WITH THE INTENSE HEAT AND DRYNESS OF THE MONTH...MANY FOLKS WOULD LABEL THE MONTH UNCOMFORTABLE. THE AUGUST BLUE MOON CAME ON THE 31ST NOT TO BE SEEN AGAIN UNTIL 2015. FINALLY AT MONTH`S END...AIR QUALITY IMPROVED AS COOLER WEST WINDS SPREAD ACROSS SOUTHWEST IDAHO AND IMPROVING VISIBILITY. THE SUMMER OF 2012 IN BOISE WHEN CONSIDERING JUNE...JULY AND AUGUST TOGETHER WILL ENTER THE RECORD BOOKS AS THE DRIEST AT THE BOISE AIRPORT SINCE THE SUMMER OF 1957.

Boise Weather Wrap Up For JULY

JULY 2012 WILL ENTER THE RECORD BOOKS AS THE THIRD HOTTEST JULY EVER WITH AN AVERAGE MONTHLY TEMPERATURE OF 81.3 DEGREES. THIS WAS EXCEEDED ONLY BY THE SCORCHING HOT JULY/S OF 2006 AND 2007. THE HOT TEMPERATURES WERE THE MAIN STORY THIS MONTH WITH SEVERAL TOP RANKING CATEGORIES. THERE WAS AN EXCEPTIONAL NINE DAYS OF 100 DEGREES OR MORE AND A STRING OF SIX CONSECUTIVE DAYS OF 100 OR MORE FROM THE THE 7TH THROUGH THE 12TH. THE HIGHEST READING WAS 108 DEGREES WHICH OCCURRED ON TWO DAYS...THE 9TH AND 12TH. THESE BLAZING HIGHS WERE ONLY THREE DEGREES FROM EQUALING THE ALL TIME HIGH OF 111 DEGREES SET ON JULY 19TH BACK IN 1960.

SOME OTHER INTERESTING TEMPERATURE FACTS ABOUT JULY 2012...THERE WERE 28 DAYS WITH HIGHS GREATER THAN OR EQUAL TO 90. THIS WAS TIED FOR 2ND PLACE ALL TIME...THE AVERAGE NUMBER IS JUST 20. FOR LOW TEMPERATURES THERE WERE 29 DAYS WITH LOW TEMPERATURES GREATER THAN OR EQUAL TO 60. THIS WAS THIRD ALL TIME AND THE AVERAGE IS JUST 16. JULY ALSO HAD 6 DAYS OF LOW TEMPERATURES GREATER THAN OR EQUAL TO 70. THIS WAS THE SECOND MOST AND FINALLY THE AVERAGE NUMBER OF DAYS IN JULY OF 100 OR MORE IS FOUR AND THIS YEAR THERE WAS NINE...THE 6TH MOST.

FOR PRECIPITATION JULY 2012 RECORDED ONLY SEVEN HUNDREDTHS OF AN INCH WHICH WAS ABOUT A QUARTER INCH BELOW THE NORMAL. DRYNESS LIKE THIS IS TYPICAL IN JULY WITH MANY YEARS POSTING ZERO OR TRACE AMOUNTS FOR THE MONTH. HOWEVER...WHEN COMBINED WITH A VERY DRY PREVIOUS MONTH OF JUNE...THE JUNE-JULY TOTAL OF .26 HUNDREDTHS WAS THE DRIEST JUNE-JULY COMBINATION SINCE 2000...A 12 YEAR STRETCH.

THERE WERE NO NOTEWORTHY STORMS IN JULY BUT GUSTY WINDS IN THE 40 TO TO 50 MPH RANGE OCCURRED ON A COUPLE OF EVENINGS THIS MONTH. THERE WAS SOME BLOWING DUST REDUCING VISIBILITY BUT NOTHING DAMAGING OR SEVERE.

Boise Weather Wrap Up For JUNE

JUNE 2012 WAS A FAIRLY QUIET BUT DRY MONTH WITH NORMAL TEMPERATURES. THE AVERAGE MONTHLY TEMPERATURE WAS 67.3 DEGREES WHICH CAME IN ALMOST EXACTLY AVERAGE FOR THE MONTH. DAYTIME HIGHS WERE SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL BUT NIGHTTIME LOWS WERE ABOUT A DEGREE BELOW NORMAL. JUNE FEATURED MANY COMFORTABLE NIGHTS WITH LOWS IN THE 40S AND 50S WHILE HIGHS WERE MOSTLY IN THE 80S WITH A FEW 90S MIXED IN. ONE DAY...THE 5TH WAS VERY CHILLY AND SHOWERY WITH THE HIGH ONLY REACHING 57 DEGREES. NO TRIPLE DIGIT READINGS WERE RECORDED DURING JUNE AND NO TEMPERATURE RECORDS WERE TIED OR BROKEN.

THE MOST PRONOUNCED ASPECT TO JUNE WAS THE OVERALL DRYNESS THROUGHOUT THE MONTH. THE NINETEEN HUNDREDTHS OF AN INCH RECORDED IN THE RAIN GAGE WAS A FULL HALF INCH BELOW THE NORMAL VALUE. SHOWERS WERE FEW AND FAR BETWEEN AND ONLY THE FIRST WEEK HAD RAIN WHILE THE LAST THREE WEEKS WERE COMPLETELY DRY. THE DRYNESS WAS THE DIRECT RESULT OF A PERSISTENT WEDGE OF DRY AIR BETWEEN A TROUGH IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST AND AN INTENSE HIGH PRESSURE RIDGE OVER THE ROCKIES AND PLAINS. THE DRY CONDITIONS IN JUNE CONTRIBUTED TO QUICKLY DRYING GRASS LAND FUELS AND SEVERAL BLM FIRES OCCURRED IN AND AROUND THE BOISE AREA.

THE MOST IMPORTANT WEATHER OF THE MONTH WAS A HIGH WIND EVENT WHICH OCCURRED ON THE EVENING OF THE 4TH. A STRONG COLD FRONT CROSSED THE AREA ACCOMPANIED BY AN UNUSUALLY POWERFUL JETSTREAM. IN ADDITION...A LINE OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS CONTRIBUTED TO THE HIGH WINDS. THE BOISE AIRPORT RECORDED A WIND GUST OF 60 MPH AS THE FRONT CROSSED WITH A PROLONGED PERIOD OF HIGH WINDS IN THE RANGE OF 35 TO 50 MPH. WIDESPREAD WIND DAMAGE WITH TREES AND DOWNED POWER LINES OCCURRED. LATE IN THE EVENING MORE THAN 50,000 PEOPLE WERE WITHOUT POWER IN THE TREASURE VALLEY AND MANY OF THESE WERE NOT RESTORED UNTIL THE NEXT DAY. TEMPERATURES PLUMMETED BEHIND THE COLD FRONT FROM A HIGH OF 93 DEGREES ON THE 4TH TO A CHILLY 57 DEGREE READING THE NEXT DAY...AN UNBELIEVABLE 24 HOUR DROP OF 36 DEGREES.

Sunday Project: Big Jenga!

Going Shipping.

How hard can it be to cut 54 pieces of wood?

That's ONE six foot 2x4.  Okay this might take awhile.

A complete Jenga set.  BUT... some of the pieces are pretty rough so we're going to cut up one more 6 footer for back up.

Of course!  They put this thing on sale RIGHT next to the wood I need.  I think to myself, "This won't be the last time I ever need to cut wood."

We used the new saw to cut the last 2x4... SO MUCH NICER!

Turns out cutting it was the easy part.  Sanded each one so we don't have nasty splinters, that takes a little bit MORE time.

They still need a bit more sanding but they are ready to play!

The goal.

So it looks like I'm done?  Nope.  Still need to make a carrying box that turns into the elevated platform for playing the game once emptied out.  I also have a few surprises in store for the final product.  Stay tuned.

Surprise OneTwo.

The Finished Product!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Purely Pacific Northwest



 Photographer and Gizmodo fan John Eklund made this extraordinary time-lapse movie of the Pacific Northwest. I thought I was getting tired of these videos, but some of his shots really push it to a new level.

"I started the project from July 2011 to August 2012," he said in an email, "I took approximately 260,000 photos to make this" using Canon 5D Mark II and Mark III cameras with various lenses. The whole project used 6.3 terabytes of hard drive space.

Sunday, September 09, 2012