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September 25, 2004

'I can feel what is going on in a piece of electronic equipment.'


Robert Moog, inventor of the Moog synthesizer, in the first scene of a new documentary, "Moog."

He describes the process of invention as opening his mind to let the ideas come through from above.

Strenuous, organized thinking, he says, has little to do with it.

Later in the film he suggests that all matter is just energy and that therefore all material things can respond to vibrations of energy.

New York Times movie reviewer Stephen Holden writes, "The next step, which he doesn't take, would be to insist that humans and machines really do communicate and affect each other's behavior, although he stops just short of making that blanket assertion."

Well, I'll make it for him.

If humans can move a computer cursor with only their thoughts, unconnected by hardware - and this was done last year - then there is certainly energy being directed by the brain.

And a computer is a machine.

So Moog's thinking is right on the money.

And in regard to his thoughts on matter and energy being the same thing, hey, I thought Einstein made quite a strong case for that with this equation early last century:


With it, Einstein showed the absolute equivalence and interchangeability of matter and energy.

And if you still had doubts, well, the Manhattan Project clearly demonstrated he was right.

I think movie reviewer Stephen Holden needs to read his own paper's superb Tuesday Science section and perhaps ask for a mini-tutorial with Dennis Overbye and Kenneth Chang.

They'll sort him out in hurry.

September 25, 2004 at 10:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Apple G5 laptop - who will create the very first one?


Sure, you can be like me and wait patiently till next year's unveiling of the G5 Powerbook.


But there are wonderfully inventive, creative minds at work in their garages and basements this very second, all over the world, feverishly trying to combine the latest iMac - a steal, really, at $1,299 for a 17" screen running on a G5 at 1.6 GHz - with a keyboard that attaches and a stand that keeps the behemoth (the iMac weighs 18.5 pounds, including the stand/base, which must itself weigh at least two pounds to keep the thing from moving/tipping) upright and usable.


Expect instant fame via the internet, on engadget and Gizmodo and a million other sites, for whoever's first.

What fun!


Except, perhaps, in Cupertino, where Steve Jobs and his minions will no doubt sic their legal team on the inventor lo mas pronto possible.

September 25, 2004 at 08:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack



Wallace Wallington is a 58 year old retired carpenter who lives near Flint, Michigan.

In 1987, while on a job, he encountered a 1,200 lb. concrete block that had to be moved.

The block was in an area inaccessible to machines.

He improvised with a few rocks and leverage, and moved the block.

After he retired, he decided to study the history of leverage in construction.

He's created a website incorporating everything he's learned.

He has a large following in Europe, where art students study his photos and diagrams.

Says Wallington, "You do not need to lift weight to move it from place to place."

Or, as Archimedes put it in 230 B.C., "Give me a lever long enough and a place to stand, and I will move the world."

September 25, 2004 at 06:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

'Dubble Bubble' Gumball Phone


From the website:

Watch the gumballs go around with lights and music when the phone rings.

Then the telephone dispenses a gumball.

This is an actual telephone, not a toy.


•Demonstration button

•Animation on/off switch

•Receiver volume control

•Ringer volume control

•Tone/pulse switchable

•Last number redial

•Flash button

•Requires 3 "C" batteries (not included)

What's not to like about this cool, $69.95 creation?

[via redferret.net]

September 25, 2004 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: bp magazine - 'The healthy living magazine for those with bipolar'


The first issue of this new quarterly magazine just came out.

It's a sister publication to Schizophrenia Digest, which has been out for three years.

Bp is underwritten by Pfizer and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, both of which make drugs for bipolar illness.

An estimated 2.5 million Americans have it, and millions more are directly affected by living with someone who's bipolar.

The magazine's publisher, Joanne D. Garvey, said she hopes to attract mainstream advertisers who have so far shunned Schizophrenia Digest.

An annual subscription costs $19.95, either at bp's website or by calling 888-834-5537.

Correction added January 7, 2005: Kaye Zanatta, editorial production assistant for bp, has just informed me that "the pharmaceutical companies mentioned do not underwrite our magazine. While we appreciate the advertising support from these major companies, we are free to write any articles the editor chooses to."

September 25, 2004 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Nike Free 5.0 - 'Like running barefoot'


So says the company about its newest shoe ($84.99). More:


Designed to fit like a glove and allow your foot to run in its natural state like it's barefoot, to reduce injuries.

Lightweight, with a lightweight liner for breathability.

Engineered to match the contours of the bare foot.

One-piece seamless upper offers superb fit.

Vents stretch where needed and provide support where needed most.

Dynamic heel pocket allows the heel a more natural environment.

Women's versions are above;



are down



September 25, 2004 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (67) | TrackBack

Flexible Robot Skin


Tokyo University researchers have developed an artificial skin for robots that gives them a sense of touch.

Essentially an array of pressure sensors embedded into flexible, inexpensive materials, the prototype skin has about 16 sensors per square centimeter - not bad, until you realize that the human fingertip (admittedly one of the highest density areas we have) has around 1,500 per square centimeter.

Still, it's a start.

The work was reported in the July 6, 2004 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences under the title, "A large-area, flexible pressure sensor matrix with organic-field effect transistors for artificial skin applications."

[via Gizmodo and Piquepaille]

September 25, 2004 at 03:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hummer Fragrance For Men


Launching this month.


So, even if you can't be like Mike, you can be like Arnold.

[via redferret.net]

September 25, 2004 at 12:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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