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July 20, 2014

Driverless Cars of Yesteryear


From WeirdUniverse: "Why can't Google do a fun ad like this for their robot cars?"

July 20, 2014 at 08:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (8)

Juggle Bubbles


From the website:


Juggle Bubbles give kids hours of unstoppable, unpoppable fun.

Unlike ordinary blow bubbles, these won't pop when they touch your hands.

Just blow a bubble, toss it in the air, and catch with the special magic gloves.

Perform all kinds of cool bubble tricks and games: bounce them, spin them, balance them, pass them back and forth!

You get 4 oz. non-toxic bubble solution, tray, blower and one pair of gloves.  

For kids 5 and up.


"5 and up?"

Why, that's nearly all my readers: I'm stoked!


July 20, 2014 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

What happens when you put an alligator on a treadmill

From io9


When you come across a paper on "alligator kinematics," it's time to pay attention. Somewhere, at some time, a scientist wanted to find out deep secrets of evolution and decided the best way to do it was putting an alligator on a treadmill.

Crocodilians have two ways of getting around on land. There's a sprawling crawl that drags their belly along the ground, and there's the "high walk." The high walk lifts most of their body up off of the ground, and allows them to move fairly fast. Many species, like lizards and salamanders, are crawlers. Others, like dinosaurs and birds, walk upright and erect. Scientists posited that alligators and crocodiles represented a midpoint between these two modes of transportation. To find out about the transition from crawl to walk, they investigated the matter, resulting in the delightful paper, "Locomotion in Alligator Mississippiensis."

The paper has everything. Alligator pelvic diagrams. A series of photos of an alligator on a treadmill. Detailed discussion on how the timing and angle of alligator walks differ from those of lizards and birds. And, in the end, complete futility. Well, I shouldn't say that. Anything that gives us more complete knowledge about the world isn't completely futile, but as it turns out, the gators aren't the missing link in crawling versus walking upright.

"Essentially one could say that the crocodilian sprawl is a lower version of the 'high walk' or a low walk. Crocodilians . . . do not switch from a primitive sprawling posture to an intermediate semi-erect posture as posed in the Introduction. Furthermore, because it is only used to move short distances or in transitions to and from a high walk the sprawl should perhaps not be used for comparisons made to understand the evolution of vertebrate postures."

July 20, 2014 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Binocular Visor


Stylish, what?

From the website:


2-in-1 Binocular Visor shields your eyes from the sun's rays and delivers instant outdoor distance viewing.

Why strap a pair of heavy binoculars around your neck?

Ingenious sun visor features binocular lenses built into the brim.

No need to remove the visor to view; just pull down over your eyes for immediate 2.5X magnification!

Perfect for sporting events, bird-watching, all kinds of outdoor activities.

Has adjustable head strap for a comfy fit; one size fits most.

7-3/4" wide brim.



July 20, 2014 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Writing of Stones (49)


July 20, 2014 at 04:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

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