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July 8, 2009

Steampunk Mechanical Cheetah

Robotic cheetah runcycle

Andrew Chase strikes again.

He wrote:

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Hi again.

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Before I started this latest project, I promised myself that this time, things will be different. I shall remember history, I will learn from the excesses of  my past. I will build it small, I will build it light, and above all, I will build it quickly. I failed on all three counts. Dismally. Ah well, as the great sage Dirty Harry often said, "a man's got to know his limitations."

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The cheetah measures 24" high and 50" nose to tail and weighs about 40 pounds. She took about 60 hours, spaced over 10 weeks time, to build. She's constructed out of  the usual electrical conduit, transmission parts, and 20-gauge steel.

The cheetahs are part of the underworld ecosystem in the "Timmy" universe. They are couriers of small objects (a sort of steampunk FedEx) and also run in the treadmills.

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It actually looks pretty good, IMHO.

Regards,

Andrew Chase

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"Pretty good?"

Far too modest, Andrew.

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Breathtaking would be closer to the mark.

Amazing people bestride our planet.

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As do their creations.

July 8, 2009 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (21) | TrackBack

Pocket Microscope

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Brian Fleming's rave review of this device in the latest edition of Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools, edited by Elon Schoenholz, follows.

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Carson MicroBrite Pocket Microscope

We discovered this microscope while traveling in Paris, where it was recommended by a staffer at Nature & Decouvertes, who told us it was incredible for the price — about $10 at the time. Was he ever right.

It comes with a base and a slide with some cotton cloth as a sample, but in practice we never use the base or slide. We just place the microscope on anything we want to look at, and click the LED light on for a terrific view. There is a 20x-40x zoom, as well as adjustable focus. It’s good enough that we end up fighting our kids to play with it. With it we’ve studied leaves, flowers, color printing (kids are surprised by the dot patterns), currency, rugs, even our own fingerprints.

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$12.95.

July 8, 2009 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

JPZenger — The news in quotes

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Literally.

July 8, 2009 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Optimus Minimus — Optimus Maximus on the cheap

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Real cheap.

How does $1,692 (for the Maximus, above) v $7.69 (for the Minimus stickers, below)

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suit you?

About the stickers:

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Optimus Minimus

Optimus Minimus stickers were created for our Optimus Maximus keyboard, but they can be used for regular computer keyboards — desktop or laptop — just as well.

Each key sticker measures 11mm ×11mm (0.43" x 0.43").

All stickers come in black only.

151 stickers per sheet.

July 8, 2009 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Live and uncensored: The Fourth Plinth

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"Every hour, 24 hours a day for 100 days, a different person will step up to the Fourth Plinth [in London's Trafalgar Square] and help make a living portrait of the UK now."

Wrote Sarah Lyall in a July 6, 2009 New York Times story, "Plinthers, as they are being called, are alloted specific slots and are expected to show up on time, even if it is, say, 2 a.m. or raining. They must spend the hour alone, but are otherwise allowed to do whatever they feel like doing, within reason."

"They can even take their clothes off. 'Nakedness is absolutely essential,' Mr. Gormley said in an interview. 'Nakedness is to art what the ball is to football.'"

"How about sex? 'No sex up there,' he decreed. 'Sex after art.'"

Well, there it is, then.

The first person ascended this past Monday and the last will do so on October 6, 2009.

July 8, 2009 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Gucci Zip Stiletto

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"Black multi-color patent leather with ruthenium hardware."

4.1" heel with horsebit and zipper detail.

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$650.

July 8, 2009 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

'Free' — by Chris Anderson: Read it absolutely free

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Right here.

Say what you want about his thesis, he puts his book where your wallet is — and then says, "Nah, keep your money."

Impressive.

But it gets better.

You can also get the audiobook in its unabridged form (6 hours) free, right here.

Prefer the abridged 3 hour version?

No problem: $7.49.

Tell you what: There are plenty of people in the publishing and newspaper business with their baggies in a twist about this kind of thing.

Note to them: It's still early days, fasten your seat belts.

If you're old-fashioned, you can buy the dead tree iteration of the book for $17.19.

July 8, 2009 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

'Danger, Keep Out!'

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Fridge magnet.

3.5" x 1.8".

$3.85.

July 8, 2009 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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