Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

We all heard ’em while growing up. Old Wives’ Tales. Some are so embedded in the fabric of our lives they’re nearly impossible to remove.  Without further ado, let’s take a look at 15 of the most popular ones and I’ll promptly debunk them. I’ll start with an Old Wives’ Tale (OWT), followed by the truth. Sorry in advance old wives, but you are about to be debunked.

OWT

You can catch a cold by going outside in cold weather without a coat or with wet hair.

TRUTH

You catch a cold through exposure to bacteria or viruses, not by actually getting cold. It’s just that viruses survive better in colder temperatures.

OWT

Reading in dim light hurts your eyes.

TRUTH

Reading in a darkly lit room might give your eyes some dryness or fatigue, but it won’t cause any serious or long-term damage. Chillax.

OWT

Humans only use 10% of their brains.

TRUTH

In reality, the entire human brain is constantly active—even when we are sleeping. That said, I had a kid in class we called Cheese Cracker who I’m pretty sure only used about  7% of his brain.

OWT

Humans eat an average of 8 spiders a year while sleeping.

TRUTH

Scientists say it highly unlikely that a spider would ever end up in your mouth. Spiders tend to be found either tending their webs or hunting in nonhuman-infested areas. They usually don’t intentionally crawl into a bed because it offers no prey. Why in the world would they enter your mouth? Spiders ain’t dumb. Everybody settle down.

OWT

You should pee on a jellyfish sting.

TRUTH

Uh, that doesn’t work, but this does – first, remove the tentacles (that’s what’s hurting you so much) with something other than your fingers unless you want get stung again. Next, pour something acidic, like vinegar, lemon juice, or battery acid, on the sting. Finally, use a flat object like a butter knife to scrape off the stinging cells. Do that and you have treated your jellyfish sting, all without having Uncle Roger pee on you.

PS- I was joking about the battery acid. Don’t do that.

OWT

Cracking your knuckles will give you arthritus.

TRUTH

Scientists have never actually found a link between knuckle cracking and arthritis. Still, it’s annoying as hell so stop. Also stop popping your gum. And chewing with your mouth open. I’ll stop now.

OWT

Eating too much turkey makes you sleepy.

TRUTH

While meat does contain an amino acid that helps to create melatonin, a brain chemical known for making people tired, turkey does not actually cause more fatigue than other foods. We’re actually tired because of the large quantities of carbohydrates and alcohol that a lot of us consume on Thanksgiving. What I’m saying is that daddy is in the recliner sleeping because he’s drunk.

OWT

Sitting too close to the television will harm your eyes.

TRUTH

This one stems from the fact that General Electric produced color TVs back in the 1960s that emitted up to 100,000 times more radiation than federal health officials considered to be safe—and while the  television sets were recalled almost immediately, the Old Wives’ Tale hangs around (even with our new TV technology and whatnot).

PS- I’m not expert but 100,000 times more radiation does seem a tad high.

OWT

You shouldn’t swim for 30-minutes after eating.

TRUTH

This Old Wives’ Tale assumes that after eating the body diverts blood from your limbs to the digestive tract, thus depleting your arms and legs of enough blood to swim. While it is true that digestion requires extra blood, the body does not drain the limbs of enough blood to work properly. Bottom line, you might get a small cramp. Deal with it.

PS- I fondly remember swimming at the Mead Pool. It was amazing. I also fondly remember a girl about my age named Tammy that swam there. I had a remendous crush on her and would immediately look for her upon our arrival. I long for a simpler time.

OWT

Bulls hate the color red.

TRUTH

Yes!

People believe this because the bull charges at that thing the matador waves around, called a muleta. Actually, bulls are color blind. They’re agitated by the motion of the muleta, not its color. On a related note, I hate bullfighting. I always root for a good old fashioned goring. Leave the damn bull alone.

OWT

The 5-second rule.

TRUTH

This Old Wives’ Tale infers that if you drop food on the floor and snatch it up within 5-seconds it wasn’t on the floor/ground long enough to gather germs. Nobody really believes athat anymore, right? We say that jokingly, right? Right?

PS- This Old Wives’ Tale is sometimes known as the 3-second rule. Or in my case the 3-minute rule.

OWT

It takes 7-years to digest a piece of gum.

TRUTH

Negatory. The truth is gum doesn’t digest at all. It travels through your digestive tract and then, you know. On a related note, who swallows their gum?

OWT

To cure a hangover, just have a little “hair of the dog.” In other words have a drink.

TRUTH

Seems sort of obvious but you can’t drink your way out of a hangover, although many have tried. Der.

OWT

Eating chocolate will give you acne.

TRUTH

I heard this one a lot whilst growing up. It is true that a high fat or high sugar diet can exacerbate acne and sugary stuff can often cause hormone fluctuations, which can increase acne. However, there is no evidence that eating normal amounts of chocolate directly triggers acne. In reality dark chocolate actually promotes numerous health benefits. Snack away kids!

OWT

Rubbing whiskey on you baby’s gums will ease teething pain.

TRUTH

Actually, experts recommend using natural remedies, such as massaging a warm washcloth on your baby’s gums.

Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman purchased a $548,000,000 vessel named Serene. Paul Allen built a yacht named Octopus for $200,000,000. Bill Gates (who happens to be my age and that’s sort of depressing) recently made a purchase worth $645,000,000 because why the hell shouldn’t he? Our boy Bill is the first to buy an eco-friendly mega-yacht that is run entirely on liquid hydrogen. Instead of greenhouse gases, it emits nothing but water. That’s cool. Plus, the yacht can travel 4000 miles before its two tanks have to be refilled, because who wants to pull your mega yacht into Hank’s Marina down in Sayulita? Not I. Anywho, take a gander . . .

[click, scroll, be amazed]

Note: Don’t miss the video below the photos. Incredible.

‘Merica?

Listen, if these damn nerds don’t stop creating more intelligent and athletic robots we’re all in trouble. You know how this turns out, right? Good God. Didn’t anybody see The Terminator? Westworld? The Stepford Wives? Demon Seed? Those fembots in Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery? Come on man! These cyborgs are going to murder us all. WAKE UP NERDS!

This baby was invented by a Frenchman named Franky Zupata and it is outstanding. Man, if I had one of these “personal flight systems” I’d be flying all over town like a boss. I’d put Sparky in one of those doggy backpacks and we’d be off. Be sure and check out all three videos. Wild stuff.

PS- Actually I’m 90% sure if somebody flew one of these contraptions where I live some redneck would think it was an alien and blast it out of the sky.

 

French luxury sports car brand started showing off the new Bugatti La Voiture Noire, which has an eye-popping price tag of nearly $19-million. Bugatti rolled out the one-off supercar to celebrate the brand’s 110th anniversary and to pay homage to the Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic, an extremely rare all-black luxury coupe it made in the 1930s. The car is notable for an all-black, one piece exterior “without any irritating lines” in its design. In fact, the company says the “bumpers are smoothly integrated into the body and the windscreen seems to flow seamlessly into the windows at the sides, like the visor on a helmet.”

Cool car and all, but I’d take that 1930s model over it in a heartbeat, wouldn’t you? And is it me or does every new car model looks like a Toyota Camry? Let’s see some creativity, car people. You’re better’n’at.

PS- A $19-million car, bought on a 5-year plan, would be around $320,000 a month. Seems reasonable.

PPS- This is the only car of its kind. Rich people annoy me, man.

 

So a damn thief stole a package off someone’s porch, and it turns out he picked the wrong house. This is because the someone was an engineer that happens to work for NASA and rigged the box in an epic manner. Dude put a glitter bomb and fart spray in that sucker, set to go off upon opening. Oh, and he had a hidden camera installed as well, so we can see the madness in all its glory. Trust me, it’s worth a look.

The following are drawings by an artist named Sergio Ingravalle, and they are guaranteed to make you think. Some will hit you right away, while with others it may take a minute. In either case they are very, very good. Enjoy.

[click to enlarge]

It’s common knowledge that smart phones have turned most of us into mindless, unimaginative automatons who are losing our ability to interact with each other like the human beings we’re supposed to be. How many times have you seen a couple at a restaurant, heads down, looking at their phones? Passed a car and saw the driver, head down and looking dazed and confused into his mobile device? I know the answer. Of course you have. And hey, I’m no exception. It’s a constant battle for me as well. With all that said, I shall now give you a stark example of how life as we know it has been forever changed by the smart phone.

To begin, I give you this photo of a golf gallery watching Tiger Woods in 2002. Just look at everyone. Taking in the moment, not wanting to miss a second, all eyes on Tiger, soaking it in and embedding the moment into their memory forever . . .

And now, let us fast forward to 2018. Same golfer, different gallery, different time . . .

Yep. 99% of the people are not actually watching what’s happening. They’re watching the moment, and their life, through their cell phones.

I weep for the future of humanity.

Terrifying Fact: People spend an average of 4.7 hours of a day looking at their smart phones. Watch the video below to have your mind boggled.

Looks cool, but how does it turn corners?

Have you ever dropped your phone and broken the screen? Because I haven’t. Oh, I’ve dropped my phone before but it’s never broken.* It seems like some people are cursed though, and break their phone every other week. You’ve seen these people, the ones whose screen looks like it was stomped on by a pissed off hippo. Anyway phone droppers, your worries are over. An enterprising young engineering student has invented the “Mobile Airbag” that deploys whenever you drop your phone. Genius really. Check it out.

*I once dropped my phone in the urinal at a restaurant. Awkward. 

      

So Steve Ballmer scoffed at the idea of a $500 phone back in 2006. No keyboard? Please. No way that thing will be used by people. Of course he was defending his own product but man was he off.

And just for kicks, here’s Steve Jobs introducing the iPhone a year later. Pretty cool to watch now.

So what you are about to read was printed in 1999, as you can see at the bottom of the article. The man who wrote it is David Gerrold. He knew.

Remember that big story yesterday where we found out the US government has been investigating UFOs for years? Well, now we have some actual, real video of a goddamn UFO. Did you read what I just wrote? We have video of an alien spacecraft. Watch the video for yourself, man. That spaceship flies off like a damn bumblebee at the end. What the hell moves like that? An alien craft, that’s what. Seriously, the pilots witnessing this are just dumbstruck. I’ll tell you something else, folks – being able to fly like that means they have the technology to travel at the speed of light. Which means they can bend time. Which means they are probably bending time in space so they can’t be seen. Which means we are beyond screwed and we’re all gonna die soon because we would totally lose an intergalactic war. Hey, I’ve seen movies. Those alien transformer freaks don’t mess around. Meanwhile we’re still trying to put a person on Mars while these ETs are cruising from universe to universe like it ain’t no thang. It’s all over but the dying.

PS- The chances of us being alone are as infinitesimally small as the universe in exponentially big. That’s just science.

PPS- No way I’m getting captured either. Nobody’s probing me, man.

Bloomberg — President Donald Trump on Monday will direct the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to send American astronauts back to the moon, shifting the agency’s mission from the study of Earth and a longer-range plan to explore Mars. Trump is scheduled to sign a directive to the NASA administrator on Monday outlining the new mission. Deputy White House Press Secretary Hogan Gidley said in a statement that the new policy reflects recommendations from the National Space Council, a White House advisory panel Trump appointed earlier in the year. 

Hell yes! It’s about time! USA! USA! USA! I just hope to hell we can beat those Russians up there, especially after we threw down the gauntlet back in ’62. Thank God The Donald is going to fulfill JFK’s promise of getting there before 1970 2017. Get to the moon and get there post haste, ‘Merica!

PS- All jokes aside, can you believe nobody’s walked on the moon since 1972? All that hubbub about racing to the moon and we quit after getting there a few times. Also, only Americans have walked on the moon. That’s cray-cray.

PPS- What are the odds Trump thinks the moon is made of cheese? 93%?

Amazing stuff. Be sure and watch both videos.

Jeebus.

Well, I see the plan to wipe out the human element in the workforce is almost complete. As soon as these things become self-aware they’ll organize an army and destroy us all. Seriously, with all the politically correct crap going on these days I can see these robots patrolling the streets monitoring hate speech and trigger words and whatnot. Every time “Trump” and “hate” are uttered in the same sentence one of these dudes will staring you straight in the grillmix. Terrifying really.

PS- Robot tipping will be a thing in the future. Write it down.

pppppppp

Yep. Pretty much.

The fax machine was invented the same year as the Oregon trail migration. It was invented in 1843 by a Scottish mechanic named Alexander Bain. This early model used a combination of synchronized pendulums, electric probes and electrochemically sensitive paper to scan documents, and then send the information over a series of wires to be reproduced. At this same time, the “Great Migration” on the Oregon trail began, when a wagon train of about 1,000 migrants began to travel west.

 

The 1969 moon landing was accomplished with computers less powerful than the laptop I am currently typing on.

In a mere 66-years, America went from having no flight technology to landing a man on the moon 239,000 miles away.

 

Not surprising?

Fascinating.

I was doing some research for another blog I was going to write when I came across several videos regarding the beginning of the internet, and I have to say they’re fascinating as hell. It seems like only yesterday when we actually had to write letters to communicate and go to the library to do research, ya know? And in the beginning, the internet was also known as “The Worldwide Web” or “The Information Superhighway.” Naively, there was no mention of the porn boom that was to come.

Anyway, what follows are the videos I found. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have. Let’s start in 1969, when people thought we’d all be living like The Jetsons by now. Honestly, this video wasn’t far off.

Next up we have this CompuServe commercial from 1989 that tells us we can “shop in an electronic mall!”. Priceless, man.

Next we have a video that actually features that screeching, whiney noise we all use to hear as our computer connected to “INTERNET.”  Ah, the cluelessness of the people in this video.

In this gem we have some doofus explaining that we can actually “get an electronic address for our computer.” They even talk about an “electronic mailman.” Good stuff.

And here’s a mention of that “Information Superhighway.”

Here’s a great commercial for Hotmail from 1999. You can access your mail from anywhere! You youngsters may not believe this, but we used to have email addresses that were only accessible from our home computers. Barbaric, I know.

And finally, I give you this absolute classic from The Today Show in 1994. It features Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric trying, in vain, to understand what this newfangled internet was all about.

Man, we’ve come so far so fast. Boggles the mind really. If you liked that last one, get a load of my last video submission.


internet_beginning

leonardo-da-vinci

Stellar beard and luxurious hair, too. Leo had it all, man.

Leonardo da Vinci may well have been the greatest inventor in history, yet he had very little effect on the technology of his time. Da Vinci drew sketches and diagrams of his inventions, but either he lost interest in building them or was never able to convince any of his wealthy patrons to finance construction of his designs. As a result, almost none of da Vinci’s inventions were built during his lifetime. And because he never published his diagrams, nobody else knew about them until his notebooks were discovered long after his death.

Like Edgar Allan Poe, da Vinci wasn’t appreciated until after he was long gone. Sad, really.

And that’s a damn shame, because da Vinci’s designs were spectacularly and amazingly ahead of their time. If they had been built, they might have revolutionized the history of technology. The problem is, many of them may have been impossible to build with the tools available in the 15th and 16th centuries.

How could Leonardo possibly imagine building inventions that would require tools not yet invented? Because he was a freaking genius, man.

In recent years engineers have begun to construct models of da Vinci’s amazing machines, and guess what? Most of them actually work. What follows is just a few of the most imaginative, and coolest, designs that da Vinci sketched out in his notebooks.

As you read about these inventions, remember that Leonardo da Vinci lived from 1452 to 1519. To put this in perspective, he was 40-years old when Columbus discovered America. So, long before Columbus sailed the ocean blue Leonardo was drawing blueprints for flying machines and machine guns.

Incredible.

Read on, and prepare to be amazed. Remember that these are just a few of his ideas.

THE PARACHUTE

Da Vinci, who was fascinated by the idea of human flight, conceived his parachute as a way for people to drift through the air. Its pyramid-shaped framework was draped with cloth. As da Vinci wrote in his notebooks, it would allow a man “to throw himself down from any great height without suffering any injury.” Twenty-first century attempts to build the design show that it would have worked pretty much as da Vinci described.

leonardo-da-vincis-parachute

Kewl, man. Kite-like.

THE ORNITHOPTER

The ornithopter would theoretically have allowed humans to soar through the air like birds. While da Vinci’s parachute would have allowed a human being to jump off a cliff without being hurt, the ornithopter was actually a way for people to soar off the ground and into the air. As you can imagine this was beyond comprehension during da Vinci’s time. On paper, the ornithopter looks much more birdlike than present-day airplanes. Its wings are designed to flap while the pilot turns a crank. This invention demonstrates da Vinci’s strong grasp of aerodynamics and modern attempts to reproduce the ornithopter show that it could indeed have flown. However, it would have already had to be in the air because taking by hand would have been impossible. And get this – the parachute and ornithopter were only two of the flying machines concocted by da Vinci in his notebooks. Others include a glider and something a little farther down on this list.

ornithopter_leonardo_da_vinci

Looks safe enough.

THE MACHINE GUN

Da Vinci’s idea for a machine gun, or “33-barrelled organ,” wasn’t a machine gun like we think of one. That is, it couldn’t fire multiple bullets rapidly out of a single barrel. It could, however, deliver punishing volleys of gunfire at rapid intervals and, if it had been built, would have effectively mowed-down oncoming infantry like a boss. Da Vinci proposed mounting 11-muskets side by side on a rectangular board, then attaching three such boards together in a triangular arrangement. By placing a shaft down the middle, the entire contraption could be rotated, so that one set of 11 guns could be fired while a second set cooled off and a third set was being reloaded. Then the entire mechanism could be rotated to bring the loaded set to the top where it could be fired again. That’s just terrifying, man.

Leonardo da Vinci noted time and again in his notebooks that he hated war and loathed the idea of creating killing machines like this one, he needed the cash and found it easy to convince his wealthy patrons that such machines would help them triumph over their enemies. Perhaps it was for the best that this hellish death machine was never actually built.

machinegun

Diabolical.

THE DIVING SUIT

While living in Venice in the late 15th century, da Vinci devised a wild idea (for its time) for repelling invading ships. He suggested sending men to the bottom of the harbor in diving suits so they could cut holes in enemy hulls. That idea is not so outrageous nowadays, amirite? Hell, it’s common now for frogmen with scuba gear to engage in underwater sabotage. In da Vinci’s time? Unheard of, man. Da Vinci’s divers would have carried breathing hoses connected to a floating bell full of air, wearing facemasks with glass goggles that would help them see underwater. In another version of the concept, the divers would have breathed from wine bladders filled with air. In both versions, the men would carry a bottle to urinate in so that they could stay underwater indefinitely. Da Vinci’s design was not only feasible, it was practical. These diving suits were actually going to be constructed, but the invaders they were intended for were driven away by the Venetian Navy. Hence, they were never tried.

scuba-gear

15th Century Aquaman.

THE ARMORED TANK

While working for Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, da Vinci proposed what may have been his ultimate war machine – the armored tank. Driven by the muscle power of eight men, the armored tank was a turtle-like moving shell with no less than 36-guns poking out of its sides. It was operated by a system of gears propelled by cranks that turned a sequence of wheels. Sounds complicated, huh? The eight men would have been protected by the outer shell so that they could have driven the tank at about walking speed right into the heat of battle without being hurt. The guns, firing in all directions, would have been devastating to the bad guys. Dude was pretty good at devising weapons of destruction for somebody that hated war, right? Money is a magnet, folks.

leonardo-da-vincis-tank-invention1

Flying saucer-ish, man.

THE SELF-PROPELLED CART

Da Vinci’s self-propelled cart was pretty much the first car in history. In fact, because it has no driver, it can be looked at as history’s first robot vehicle, too. The drawings that da Vinci made of the car in his notebooks don’t fully reveal the mechanism inside and modern engineers have had to guess at what made it go. The best guess is that it used a spring-driven mechanism similar to that in a clock. The “mainsprings” were contained inside drum-shaped casings and would be wound up by hand. So, the cart would be driven forward like a wind-up toy. Leonardo apparently considered his cart to be sort of a toy, but it’s not hard to imagine that useful applications for it would have followed pretty quickly.

cart

Sort of like a wind-up toy.

THE AERIAL SCREW

No, this is not some weird sexual accomplishment. Da Vinci’s aerial screw is arguably one of the coolest designs that he ever sketched in his notebooks. Working much like a modern helicopter, this flying machine looks a lot like a giant spinning pinwheel. However, the blades of this helicopter were to have been made out of linen. When turned fast enough, they were intended to produce lift, the exact same aeronautical phenomenon that makes airplanes and helicopters fly. Air pressure would have built up under each blade, forcing the flying machine right up into the sky. At least that was the idea, anyway. The aerial screw would probably not have worked, but da Vinci had the basic concepts of flight pretty much down pat.

airscrew1

Because everybody likes an aerial screw, amirite?

THE ROBOTIC KNIGHT

If da Vinci’s self-propelled cart was the first working design for a robotic vehicle, then the robotic knight would have been the first robot, albeit one from the 15th damn century. Da Vinci was fascinated by human anatomy and spent long hours dissecting corpses in order to figure out how the human body worked. Sort of a morbid hobby but hey, geniuses are weird like that. Anyhoo, this gave him an understanding of how muscles propelled bone. Being the brainiac that he was, he reasoned that these same principles could be applied to a machine. Unlike most of da Vinci’s inventions, Leonard apparently actually built the robotic knight. Driven by a system of pulleys and gears, it was used primarily for entertainment at parties thrown by his wealthy budro Lodovico Sforza.  Da Vinci’s robot has not survived and no one knows exactly what it was capable of doing, but apparently it could walk, sit down and even work its jaw. Yowza.

leonardos-robots-book-mario-taddei-_page_189

Unsettling.

So yeah. Leonardo da Vinci? WAY ahead of his time, man.

PS: I haven’t even mentioned Leonardo da Vinci’s paintings, which weren’t half-bad as well. After all he did paint the freaking Mona Lisa. Bro was multi-talented, man.

mona-lisa

“How YOU doin’?”