George Carlin said there's a forth choice; Obstruct!
I wish someone had stopped these humvee hooligans.
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Monday, January 29, 2007
In WW2 the Allies smashed the European fascists, except for General Franco in Spain. Franco was opposed by rebels and foreign volunteers with some limited Russian support. The short sighted policy of "My enemy's enemy is my friend" led the Allies not to support the communist rebels, and General Franco remained in power until 1975! This movie takes place in 1939/40 when Franco is firmly in control:
There are two main heroes in this movie:
Ofelia is a young girl whose stepfather is a ruthless captain in Franco's army. Her nightmares are feed by the horrors of the civil war. In her dream world Ofelia must solve a tortured, convoluted puzzle to set the world back in order.
This is mirrored in the real world by Mercedes, the Captains housekeeper, who risks her life to support the rebels.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Friday, January 26, 2007
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
The premise of the movie is that in the future women are infertile. And the first woman to give birth in twenty years must be smuggled out of the country (England) to join the 'Human Project'.
I didn't understand why it was so important that the woman and child must leave, and the movie didn't make me care which way the plot went.
There's also a lack of suspense in this dark movie (c.f. Orwell's1984). Perhaps the movie would have succeeded without the suspense if it had been more dark, more disturbing.
On the other hand,The bleak urban atmosphere and battle scenes are very well executed. But I expect good production qualities in my movies.
So despite a great performance by Clive Owen, and a refreshing lack of sentimentality, in the end I just didn't care what happened to the characters.
(Lani wrote about the rudeness of the movie audience here)
Monday, January 22, 2007
Sunday, January 21, 2007
The LaCie Hub might be handy to leave out on your desk to connect those portable devices you don't leave connected all the time. Such as a digital camera, DV camcorder, or iPod.
Notice that you can plug your own extensions into the base , and then cover the ugly mess with the other half of the sphere (I'd ditch the fan).
$80. Ships in February.
Saturday, January 20, 2007
You take three saplings and train them around a jig. It takes 5 years to grow a stool.
"Fruit growers have been training trees to shape since we don't know when, and furniture has been made of wood for thousands of years, so why not train trees to make furniture?"- Chris Cattle from Grown Furniture
Thanks DesignBoom Categories:Furniture
Friday, January 19, 2007
In my neighbourhood we put our old furniture out on the sidewalk for adoption. Since we only put out good stuff, it quickly finds a new home.
But nobody wants old televisions and CRT's. And you can't throw them in the trash because they're full of poisonous lead shielding.
So this Saturday you can take your E-waste to the Sunset Circle parking area at Lake Merced
(Go to MetrobloggingSF for directions and details).
It may all end up being shipped to a third world country where child labour is used to pick it apart for copper wire. But hey, at least we tried to do the right thing.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
The 1905 movie taken from a streetcar traveling down Market Street towards the Ferry Building is quite well known. But in this video someone has interspersed scenes from the same line but taken after the earthquake and fire. That's the clock tower of the ferry Building in the distance.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
I'm intrigued by this 9 cylinder engine designed by Thomas Johansson of Sweden for his MSc thesis.
Mike Spinelli at Jalopnik compares it to a Radial engine. Interesting.
If this was a W3, would it be a Radial engine? Must a Radial engine have the cylinders equally spaced around a circle? In Radial engines I've seen, the master connecting rod on cylinder #1 attaches to the crankshaft, then the other connecting rods attach to the master. Here, each piston has its own complete connecting rod.
And if the W3 was a Radial, then would this W9 be a compound Radial engine. The masive compound radial engines I've seen at the Hiller Aviation Museum have 'banks' of cylinders that spiral. The banks of cylinders on the W9 are straight.
Monday, January 15, 2007
Rumours that electric car maker Tesla Motors will build a 4-door passenger car seem to be true. I was hoping that the San Carlos company would build their car here on the Peninsula, but according to TheCarConnection, Tesla will build an engineering facility for the new car in Auburn Hills, Mich.
Unlike the Roadster (which is built by Lotus and based on the Elise) the car is expected to be all new and may be built by an existing specialty automotive manufacturer such as ASC.
Price goal is in the $50,00o-$70,000 range.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
So far this month I've had five requests for the Rietveld Chair Plans. I know more people would ask if they'd found the post inviting them to email me. So I'll be working on the TreoughBlog template to make a "Downloads" area in the sidebar for the plans in a .pdf file format.
Thanks Robert Corkey for the photo
Saturday, January 13, 2007
The weather has been colder than normal. It was 36 when I left work in Fremont at 2am.
This time of year the temperature can get well below freezing in inland parts of Northern California. But here on the coast, the ocean and bay water have a moderating effect on the temperature.
So today I was surprised to come across ice while cycling in Marin.
Friday, January 12, 2007
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
The iPhone was announced today at MacWorld in SF.
Apple shares jumped higher on news of the iPhone. Predictions are that it will be a huge hit when it goes on sale at Cingular in June.
On paper it appears to be far ahead of the Treo. But no one has yet been given an iPhone to evaluate, so we'll have to wait for an initial review before we'll know if it lives up to the hype.
The front of the iPhone is all screen like some of the PDA's Sony used to sell. And like the Sony, it uses a virtual keyboard. It uses the OS X operating system, so it leap-frogs ahead of Palm and Symbian smart phones.
If the keyboard is a success, this phone will be mine.
Monday, January 08, 2007
Chrysler has gone back to the 70's for styling inspiration. And they've styled the most awkward looking 'C' pillar since the Mark III Ford Cortina or Datsun 180B. The problem with those cars is that to eliminate the vent window in the rear doors, the door glass and the door had to be a certain shape so that the window could be wound down. Chrysler must like this look, but I think it looks as cheap now as it did in the 70's.
Sunday, January 07, 2007
On Sundays I'm used to seeing swing dancing on the Bandshell stage in the Music Concourse in Golden Gate Park. But because of the ongoing construction (first the de Young Museum and now the academy of Sciences) and restoration work on the bandshell, this ten year tradition has temporarily moved to JFK Drive next to the de Young.
Saturday, January 06, 2007
This unisex Belgian thermoplastic polyester resin belt is strong and waterproof, yet soft and supple. The 'buckle' works like the rachet on a cycling shoe or ski boot. And the tail-end of the belt is hidden out of the way, behind the belt.
$65 at Amazon. $70 at TheMagazine
~$80.25 at the Branie website
Friday, January 05, 2007
"If evolution could create a chair...
Trees have the ability to add material where strength it is needed. But bones also have the ability to take away material where it is not needed. With this knowledge the International Development Centre Adam Opel GmbH, a part of General Motors Engineering Europe created a dynamic digital tool to copy these ways of constructing used for optimizing car parts. In a way it quite precisely copies the way evolution constructs. .... The chair is the first in a series and the process can be applied to any scale until architectural sizes in any material strength."
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Jeff Bezos (Amazon.com) founded Blue Origin in 2000 in Kent(Seattle), Washington:
"Our first objective is developing New Shepard, a vertical take-off, vertical-landing vehicle designed to take a small number of astronauts on a sub-orbital journey into space.
"On the morning of November 13, 2006, we launched and landed Goddard a first development vehicle in the New Shepard program."
These images are from the test site in Texas. Click on the image to watch the takeoff and landing as seen from the vehicle.
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Monday, January 01, 2007
An example of muscular British design.
The Black Shadow was built in England from 1948 to 1954. It has a 998cc pushrod 50˚ V twin engine making 55 bhp and driving a 4-speed gearbox to produce a top speed of 125mph. It uses the engine as a stressed member of the frame. And the frame has a cantilever rear suspension.
"The Black Lightning was a racing version of the Black Shadow, with every necessary steel part on it that could be, remade in aluminium, and anything not essential removed altogether, reducing the weight from 458 lb to 380 lb. Every bit the racer, it had a single racing seat and rear-set footrests."
Richard Thompson wrote a popular song about the Black lightning.