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December 23, 2008

Jeopardy! Map of the U.S.

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It's been running on U.S. TV for nearly 45 years, having debuted on NBC back in March, 1964.

According to Ken Jennings's blog, the map above was a 1999 Newsweek magazine sidebar feature.

Who's Ken Jennings?

Surely you jest.

The map summarized:

• Trebekkies (after the host Alex Trebek) watch the show most avidly. These are concentrated in South Dakota and Mississippi (whole state covered), Louisiana, Alabama, South Carolina, Florida, Vermont, New Hampshire, North Dakota and Montana.

• The most trivia-challenged states are Utah (entirely) and (for a large part) California, Nevada, Colorado, Texas, Minnesota, Indiana and Ohio.

[via Strange Maps]

December 23, 2008 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Power Chiller — Official beverage cooler of Ned Vizzini

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From websites:
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One Minute Drink Chiller

Eliminating the wait associated with trying to rapidly cool packaged beverages, this device chills drinks 90 times faster than a refrigerator and 40 times faster than a freezer — without risk of freezing.

It cools cans of soda to 38°F in just one minute and can chill a bottle of white wine to the low-50°sF in less than four minutes.

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Ideal for last-minute dining events as well as sporting events (a 12-volt car adapter is included), the chiller stops automatically when your drink reaches the correct temperature and is capable of holding one 12-oz. can or one wine bottle.

The process begins when you add ice and water to the unit and turn it on; the device gently spins the beverage for even, thorough cooling.

A no-spin option is available for delicate wines.

9"H x 6"W x 14"L.
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$63.95 (beverage not included).

December 23, 2008 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Maybe All This — by Wislawa Szymborska

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Maybe all this
is happening in some lab?
Under one lamp by day
and billions by night?

Maybe we’re experimental generations?
Poured from one vial to the next,
shaken in test tubes,
not scrutinized by eyes alone,
each of us separately
plucked up by tweezers in the end?

Or maybe it’s more like this:
No interference?
The changes occur on their own
according to plan?
The graph’s needle slowly etches
its predictable zigzags?

Maybe thus far we aren’t of much interest?
The control monitors aren’t usually plugged in?
Only for wars, preferably large ones,
for the odd ascent above our clump of Earth,
for major migrations from point A to B?

Maybe just the opposite:
They’ve got a taste for trivia up there?
Look! on the big screen a little girl
is sewing a button on her sleeve.
The radar shrieks,
the staff comes at a run.
What a darling little being
with its tiny heart beating inside it!
How sweet, its solemn
threading of the needle!
Someone cries enraptured:
Get the Boss,
tell him he’s got to see this for himself!
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December 23, 2008 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: Nose Filter

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That's different.

Long story short: It's a device you stick up your nose to prevent inhaling stuff that makes you miserable.

From the website:

    Nose Filter

    Tired of coughing and sneezing your way through the day?

    Whether you battle dirt and dust, air pollution, hay fever or allergens, nothing stops respiratory distress faster and easier than the Nosk Nose Filter.

    Twin soft nasal filters gently slip into the nostrils to help block and stop the substances that irritate and aggravate.

    Virtually invisible to those around you, a thin translucent plastic strip holds the Nosk Nose Filter securely in place, so whether you’re jogging, mowing the lawn or just enjoying nature, you can do the things you enjoy without sneezing and coughing.

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"Virtually..." — aye, there's the rub.

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I can't speak for you but from where I stand that little thingie hanging out of her nostril seems kind of disturbing, like it was snot or some such unmentionable.

And smiling while it just hangs there, I dunno.... if I were interviewing her I'd have trouble concentrating on what she was saying, meanwhile doing my level best not to stare at her nose while trying to figure out exactly what that thing was.

Set of 10: $29.95.

December 23, 2008 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Air Force Cyber Command — 'Air, Space, Cyberspace'

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The other day I happened to glance at a TV commercial and saw an ad for the Air Force which ended with a shot of a rotating Earth beneath which were the words "Air, Space, Cyberspace."

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Cyber Command is the U.S. military's newest "MAJCOM" — Major Command — and comprises 8,000 people in all 50 states, according to Noah Shactman's June 19, 2008 Wired blog article.

Who knew?

Since when did the Air Force subsume cyberspace as its own purlieu, superseding the Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard?

The proposed Cyberspace Operator Badge (below)

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is noted to be "awaiting wear criteria approval."

I wonder if the other branches of the military were asleep at the switch on this or whether they purposely ceded this Command to the Air Force.

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Though nascent, look for it to increasingly dominate the U.S. military's activities as more and more of the real world acquires virtual counterparts and representation, ultimately dropping its atomic identity for one composed entirely of bits.

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Or are we already there and simply as yet unaware?

December 23, 2008 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

MicroFly — World's smallest radio-controlled flying device*

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*That's one huge asterisk, let me tell you: what's already up and hovering in very, very deep black at Langley is pretty much invisible from every perspective — visible, audible, radar, and means I'm unable to share with you unless you've got the proper clearances.

No matter.

What follows is what's out there for hoi polloi this holiday season.

From the website:
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MicroFly Tiny Radio-Controlled Hovering UFO — Smallest Flying R/C Device Ever

When highly evolved nano-aliens descend upon our planet to mine our carbon dioxide gas they'll surely be piloting something like this MicroFly Hovering UFO.

This is by far the smallest flying R/C device we've ever seen and it's damn impressive in the air.

With a diameter not much larger than a silver dollar and a single propeller on the bottom, the MicroFly somehow manages to hover in the air as it spins and flashes its blue LED.

The simple slider control allows only up-and down movement... but this makes it so easy to fly that anyone can instantly control it.

Buy a few and create your own buzzing alien insect swarm... they use the same channel so you can control multiple MicroFly units from one remote.

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Features

Incredibly tiny flying r/c toy looks like a Mini-UFO

Up/down slider on remote controls hovering height

10 minute charge time, 5-7 minute fly time

Requires 6 AA batteries (not included)

Blue flashing LED on the top

Charges from remote

65mm Ø, 35mm H
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14.99.

December 23, 2008 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

MoteDaemon

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"Screenfashion has released MoteDaemon, an application that allows Adobe Flash/Flex developers to create Wiimote-controlled applications for OS X."

Gee, that's nice.

"Imagine the potential for homebrew video games and VJ applications."

Sure wish my only computer language wasn't TechnoDolt™.

"Pairing the Wiimote to MoteDaemon is a snap. Fortunately, a little test-drive application, WiiCockpit, is included, and although the documentation is in German, they were kind enough to include the .fla document with all the ActionScript for WiiCockpit."

No matter, I'm sure you'll know what to do.

"Experienced Flash developers will quickly figure out how to integrate MoteDaemon from a peek at WiiCockpit's code."

Have at it.

[via Bill Byrne in MAKE magazine, issue 16]

December 23, 2008 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Super Spork — Lowest price ever

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From the website:
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Super Spork

We have seen Sporks before, but the Super Spork has a whole new twist — it's a knife, spoon and fork all in one, with artistic flair.

The serrated knife really cuts.

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These Sporks are perfect for your backpack, boat, glove box, picnic basket, lunch box, purse, briefcase or pocket.

Manufactured from heat-resistant polycarbonate material (works great in boiling liquids and doesn't burn your fingers).

Teflon- and titanium-friendly (won't scratch your expensive cookware).

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Dishwasher-safe and extremely durable.

Weight: 6 grams (0.2 oz.).

Length: 6.5".
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From the top down: High Visibility Green, Olive Drab Green, International Orange, or Gray.

$2.60.

December 23, 2008 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

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