Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

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.


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.


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?


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.



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.


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


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.


Kewl, man. Kite-like.


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.


Looks safe enough.


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.




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.


15th Century Aquaman.


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.


Flying saucer-ish, man.


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.


Sort of like a wind-up toy.


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.


Because everybody likes an aerial screw, amirite?


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.



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.


“How YOU doin’?”

Leonardo da Vinci created plans for a “mechanized knight,” – a robot-like creation reliant on a system of pulleys. When these plans were found almost 500 years later and built according to Leonardo’s specifications, the design worked perfectly.



In 2016, North Korea accidentally leaked its DNS data, showing they only have 28 “.kp” domains. In comparison, there are 10 million “.uk” domains.



Just like the old days.

record phonespeaker

So you go on a date and this happens. Your date is on his or her phone constantly. Uncommon? Sadly, not today. Annoying? Hell yes. So I ask you – how would you handle it? Asked him or her to stop? Walk out? Get out your own phone? Or just smile and put up with it? Or is this normal behavior nowadays and I’m just too old fashioned? What are your thoughts?





[click to enlarge]


Yeah, we all need to stop. Powerful stuff.


Yeah, we’ve all heard of Thomas Edison, Ben Franklin, Henry Ford and all the other famous inventors. However, there are many more inventions that we use every day that were invented by people you’ve never heard of. Read on . . .


No, I’m not talking about the Johnnie Walker who created the scotch whiskey some folks prefer. I’m talking about the other John Walker, the dude who invented friction matches. It might surprise you to learn that matches weren’t invented until 1827. That’s too bad because Lewis and Clark could have used some. Anyhoo, Walker marketed them as “friction lights,” which is cool as hell but most people called them “lucifers” which was even cooler. Walker was never satisfied with his invention and did not patent it, which led to him making zero dollars for an invention that is still widely used today. Crazy, man.




Almost every day of your lives, we as adults use something Ron Klein invented. Anybody? Bueller? Bueller? Nobody? Well, Mr. Klein invented those magnetic strips on the back of ATM or Credit Cards. Before we were able to imprint account numbers on cards, vendors had to consult a large printout of credit accounts before accepting charge cards. Klein saw this pain in the ass and as something he could fix. Using the recently developed magnetic tape being used in the recording industry, he invented a method of encoding magnetic tape with simple information, like an account number, and applied this to the back of a credit card. Freaking genius, bro.



Ah, my favorite. The aptly named Mr. Crum invented something that’s probably in everybody’s cupboard as we speak – the potato chip. And guess what? He did it out of spite. While working as a chef at Moon’s Lake House in 1853, George Crum served a plate of French fries to a customer who complained that the fries were too thick and soft. Deciding to stick it to this irate customer, Crum sliced the potatoes so thin that they came out as fried chips instead of the normal french fries. Incredibly, the thinly sliced chips were a huge hit and George ended up making them so much that when he finally opened his own restaurant, he had a bowl laid out on every table. He called his invention “Saratoga Chips” and the rest is history.


Tasty, man.


This guy invented something most of you touch every day. You grab it, move it around, and it takes you places that only you know. Yep, Doug Engelbart invented the computer mouse. Engelbart demonstrated the mouse in 1968 alongside other innovations, including what would become hypertext, windows, shared screens, and even video conferencing. And once again, although he holds more than 20 patents, he doesn’t hold one for the mouse. He developed it simply as an intuitive device to operate his computer in 1964 and never considered the full commercial applications of it. So sad.



Gotta love Harvey, man. He’s responsible for an American Icon – the Smiley Face. The design took Harvey only 10-minutes to come up with and earned him a tidy sum of $45.00, worth about $350.00 today. He was working as a freelance artist at the time and was commissioned by State Mutual Life Assurance Company to introduce an image to raise morale. Ball’s design was made into buttons for the company and eventually went on to T-shirts, posters, and just about anything and everything else, even inspiring everyone’s favorite emoticon in today’s world. The image has earned billions over the decades, but Ball only ever received that one initial $45.00 check.

The one and only original.

The one and only original.

Honorable Mention would have to go to George Lyon, the man who invented . . . wait for it . . .  the automobile bumper. Dude may have saved more lives than anybody in history.

Fun Invention Fact: Bubblewrap, the popular, poppable packing material was actually invented serendipitously. Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes were trying unsuccessfully to design a plastic wallpaper, and in the process discovered that their invention made an effective packing material. The entrepreneurs went on to found the Sealed Air Corporation, a company that now produces annual revenues exceeding $8-billion, and it employs 26,300 people in 175 countries. Cool beans.

So, did ya learn anything today? Of course you did.

Seems like Norway pops up on my site with regularity, usually because of its natural beauty or beautiful architecture. This time, however, Norway appears because of their plans to build floating underwater tunnels.  Norway’s many fjords pose unique infrastructure challenges, ferries being too slow to handle traffic and bridges being too susceptible to harsh weather conditions, so they’ve decided to venture into the waters themselves to come up with a solution. Underwater tunnels built to accommodate two lanes of traffic will float 100 feet below the surface, possibly bolted to the bottom to create additional stability. The groundbreaking system is set to be completed by 2035.

Man, I have to get to Norway.


Bloomberg: The audio cassette tape is not dead. In fact, one Springfield, cassette-tape-stockbyte-630x419Mo., cassette maker has had its best year since it opened in 1969.

“You can characterize our operating model as stubbornness and stupidity. We were too stubborn to quit,” said National Audio Company President Steve Stepp.

NAC is the largest and one of the few remaining manufacturers of audiocassettes in the U.S. The profitable company produced more than 10 million tapes in 2014 and sales shot up 20 percent in 2015.

“Probably the thing that has really enlarged our business at a faster phase than anything is the retro movement,” Stepp said. “There’s the nostalgia of holding the audio cassette in your hand.”

 NAC has deals with major record labels like Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group as well as a number of small contracts with indie bands. About 70 percent of the company’s sales are from music cassettes while the rest are blank cassettes. 

 “There was a drive from the independent bands to get that warm analog sound again, and it just continued to grow and grow,” said NAC Production Manager Susie Brown.

The company still uses machines built in the 1970s in its production lines.

Who knew? I thought the cassette was dead, man!

Seriously man, I love this. There’s something about this article that makes me happy. I know that LPs have been popular for years, but cassettes? Yep, I love it and I understand it. There was something satisfying about popping that cassette in your player, snapping it shut, pushing the button down and listening to your tunes. It was much better than silently touching icons on your cell phone to bring up you music.

On a related note, I knew that saving all my old cassettes was a good idea.


Analysis of GPS data has revealed new areas of motion around the San



Andreas Fault System. Using data collected by the EarthScope Plate Boundary Observatory’s GPS array, researchers identified 125-mile wide “lobes” of uplift. Computer models simulating the San Andreas Fault System have predicted such crustal movement, but the areas of motion hadn’t been physically identified until now.

“While the San Andreas GPS data has been publicly available for more than a decade, the vertical component of the measurements had largely been ignored in tectonic investigations because of difficulties in interpreting the noisy data,” lead author Samuel Howell, a researcher at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, explained in a news release

First of all, Samuel Howell, quit talking like a freaking know-it-all scientist. “Noisy data?” Stop  it. Bottom line, everybody in California is going to die soon. Just come out and say it. The whole state is going to snap off and drop into the Pacific Ocean like a dead tree limb in the forest. It’s inevitable. Let’s just hope the Kardashians are home at the time.