Power Clicks

Kamis, 31 Desember 2009

Dubai's Economic Woes Sound Death Knell For Fantastic Architecture


One of the sad things about the recent demise of the construction boom in Dubai is that we will no longer have so many wonderful architectural renderings to show. Some come from talented starchitects jumping through architectural hoops; others like the amazing confection that was Falcon City, feature the Eiffel Tower, pyramids and hanging gardens of Babylon. Sigh, so many glories that will never be built.

sustainable design, green design, dubious dubai, green building, rem koolhaas, ras al khaimah

There was Rem Koolhaas, who first proposed a DeathStar in neighbouring Ras al Khaimah, and then lost his marbles again, with his master plan of a waterfront city.

sustainable design, green design, dubious dubai, green building, anara tower

Atkins proposed the “green” Anara tower with a fake wind-turbiney thing at the top to look cool but not do very much at all; we called it eco-bling.

sustainable design, green design, dubious dubai, green building, palazzo versace

Dubai was a hotbed of technological experimentation as well; at the Palazzo Versace, they are installing a refrigerated beach. TimesOnline explained:

The beach will have a network of pipes beneath the sand containing a coolant that will absorb heat from the surface. The swimming pool will be refrigerated and there are also proposals to install giant blowers to waft a gentle breeze over the beach. [They correctly noted:] The scheme is likely to infuriate environmentalists.

sustainable design, green design, dubious dubai, green building, seawater vertical farm

Another technological tour de force is the elegant Seawater Vertical Farm from Studiomobile. They tell us that “the seawater vertical farm uses seawater to cool and humidify greenhouses and to convert sufficient humidity back in to fresh water to irrigate the crops.” More: Vertical Farm in Dubai Uses Seawater

sustainable design, green design, dubious dubai, green building, david fisher rotating tower

And of course, there were David Fisher’s rotating towers, which Inhabitat covered, even going so far as to announce that it was going to start construction. But alas, it was not to be; the economy tanked and people ran for the exits, often just abandoning their cars at the airport.

At one point we quoted Rachel Noble of Tourism Concern:Dubai is like a bubble world where the things that are worrying the rest of the world, like climate change, are simply ignored so that people can continue their destructive lifestyles.” And unfortunately like all bubbles, it eventually burst. We shall not see the likes of it again for some time.

One Hundred Percent EDIBLE Googly Eyes!

Nilla is watching you.
Googly FSM

After more than a year of painstaking directed research by our Experimental Foods Division, we have finally achieved one of our most important longstanding goals: the production of edible googly eyes. Like many other great inventions, it seems almost simple in retrospect, but in this write up we walk through the process and show you how to make your own.


To begin with, we need a food-grade rigid transparent dome that will form the outer visual shell of the googly eyes. Empty gelatin capsules like these slide apart easily and come with one such dome on each end.

You can get capsules like these in bulk at all kinds of "natural" and "health food" stores-- or even at many grocery stores in the section where dietary supplements are sold. There is of course a huge selection online-- you can even get them in different colors and flavors. Capsules come in range of sizes; we suggest starting with size 00 or so to get a good dome.

Note: Vegetarians will observe that gelatin is an animal product. Gelatin-free capsules that perform similarly are usually available in the same places as regular capsules but tend to cost a bit more.

Illustration only

While the gelatin capsules have a dome on each end, they have a lot of space in between that we really don't need. The photo above illustrates how much of each end we want to keep: the domed part plus a few millimeters. As it turns out, you cannot use the scissors to actually cut it there-- it will crack or suffer permanent creases, making it useless for our application.


Instead, using fine-point scissors, make one continuous cut from the opening to remove the excess capsule material. This actually works very well and does not cause undue stress to the dome that we want to keep.

Cutdown caps

The finished transparent domes, cut down to size.

Giant sprinklesSprinkles!
Next, we're going to need rolling pupils for our eyes, and these fit the bill perfectly. These are Wilton Jumbo Rainbow Nonpareils, one brand of *giant* round sprinkles a couple of millimeters across. Our big surprise: these actually taste pretty good-- they're flavored candy. The downside is that we only really want dark pupils, so there's some fishing around to find them in the assortment..

Suggested substitutes: other brands of round sprinkles and cake decors, as well as Nerds candy (look for the occasional round pieces). While you might be tempted to try using flat "confetti" sprinkles or similar types, we actually found them to be quite unsuitable-- they get stuck in all kinds of unexpected ways instead of rolling freely.

WhoppersWhopper Chopper
Prepare hemisphereThe incision
Next we need a solid substrate that serves as the back surface of the googly eyes-- the whites of the eyes. The substrate needs to be sturdy, so that it can support the rest of the eyes, light in color, and completely dry and free of oil. At the same time, it needs to be soft enough that we can press the gelatin capsules into it.

Our substrate of choice is (are?) Whoppers, although some other things will work as well. To use the Whoppers, first cut them in half with a chef's knife. Then, using a (virginal) half-capsule as a tool, press an indentation into the semirigid center of the Whopper.

Sprinkle, capInsert
First eyeWhoppers Watchin you.
Place one of the round "pupil" sprinkles in the cut-off capsule dome, and press it into the indentation made in the Whopper hemisphere. Press it in deeply enough-- several millimeters-- that it will not fall out, but not so deeply that it restricts the motion of the sprinkle pupil. Some care is required-- the substrate can shatter if you push too hard. Special worry about using this particular substrate: the outer, chocolate-like coating will begin to melt if you handle it too long.

Once the capsule dome and pupil are in place, test your new googly eyes, and make sure that the ball rolls freely in the dome. That's it! You've made edible googly eyes!


Another substrate that works-- but not quite as well-- is a medium-soft cookie. This "Nilla" wafer has a pair of working edible googly eyes on it. The cookie is a little bit too soft for this application, and makes it harder to manage, but it is indeed possible. Other cookies may be too rigid (biscotti), dense (shortbread), or greasy (chocolate chip).


It has been clear for some time that a great many foods are improved by the judicious application of googly eyes. Obviously the one flaw in that scheme-- up to now-- has been that the foods were no longer edible. Removing this restriction opens a world of possibilities. As with many new technologies, the applications are nearly endless, and only time will tell whether this development ever sees its true potential.

As one example, we present a simple recipe:

Flying Spaghetti Monster Treats, featuring edible working googly eyes.

MallowsChow mein noodles
RamenExcellent Flour Stick
The basic idea is that we make rice krispy treats, omitting the rice crispies and instead using some tasty dried noodles. Now, rice krispy treats without the rice is actually just marshmallows and butter-- an effective and edible glue that can be used for all kinds of purposes.

You can crib the butter/marshmallow proportions from the original source or fromwhatever box is handy-- no two of these seem to be exactly the same. Anyway, melt a bunch of marshmallows with a little butter to make the glue. To that, add some small pieces of precooked dry noodles. Spoon the resulting mess out onto parchment paper, and decorate as needed.

(Vegetarians: Lots of other good ways to do this-- start with a general-purposehaystack cookie recipe and go from there.)

The "classic" choice for this sort of thing is to use chow mein noodles-- already used to make a few different kinds of no-bake cookies. Of course, considering our theme, it makes sense to instead use ramen noodles. Ramen noodles have beens successfully employed with sweets lately, and it seems like a fine idea. (Remember to omit the flavor packet.) We used another type of dry asian noodle, beautifully labeled "Excellent Flour Stick," for ours.

EyestalksMounting the googly eyes to the eyestalks presents a bit of a challenge, since the "rice krispy" glue does not set immediately, and the eyes kept falling down. Instead, dip the eyestalks in the glue and place them flat on a piece of parchment paper. Then, set the eyes flat on the eyestocks to cool and bond. Later these eyestalk can be added easily to the top of the noodly blobs.

FSM Treats!

The crowning detail of course is to add the meatballs-- in this case Cocoa Puffs. And we're done-- one hundred percent edible Flying Spaghetti Monster treats with working googly eyes.

So, what can you make with edible googly eyes? As always, action shots are welcome in the Evil Mad Science Auxiliary.

Rabu, 30 Desember 2009

8 most beautiful bridges in the world

The bridge is an iconic structure for countries which helps traffic navigation over physical obstacles especially body of water. Here are famous bridges around the world in pretty scenic views. Some are spectacular breathtaking.

Bridge 1 8 most beautiful bridges in the world

The Tower Bridge stoods over the River Thames in London and is one of the world’s most recognisable bridges in the world. One of the most famous examples of the bascule type is the Tower Bridge, which spans the River Thames just below London Bridge. It is the most distinctive of London’s bridges and its construction was a masterly engineering achievement. Engineers were able to build this type of bridge without interrupting traffic on the great commercial waterway.

Bridge 2 8 most beautiful bridges in the world

Westminster Bridge is a road and foot traffic bridge over the River Thames between Westminger and Lambeth.This bridge was esteemed one of the most complete and elegant structures of the kind in the world. It is built entirely of stone, and extends over the river at a place where it is 1,223 feet broad, which is above 300 feet broader than at London Bridge. On each side is a fine balustrade of stone, with places of shelter from the rain. The width of the bridge is 44 feet, having on each side a fine Footway for passengers. It consisting of fourteen piers, and thirteen large and two small arches, all semicircular, that in the centre being 76 feet wide, and the rest decreasing four feet each from the other; so that the two last arches of the thirteen great ones are each 52 feet. It is computed that 40,000l. value in stone and other materials is always under water.

Bridge 3 8 most beautiful bridges in the world

The Bosphorus or Bosporus , also known as the Istanbul Strait , is a strait that forms part of the boundary between the European part of Turkey and its Asian part . It is one of the Turkish Straits, along with the Dardanelles. The world’s narrowest strait used for international navigation, it connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara (which is connected by the Dardanelles to the Aegean Sea, and thereby to the Mediterranean Sea). It is approximately 30 km (19 mi) long, with a maximum width of 3,700 m (12,139 ft) at the northern entrance, and a minimum width of 700 m (2,297 ft) between Kandilli and A?iyan; and 750 m (2,461 ft) between Anadoluhisar? and Rumelihisar?. The depth varies from 36 to 124 m (118 to 407 ft) in midstream. The shores of the strait are heavily populated as the city of Istanbul (with a metropolitan area in excess of 11 million inhabitants) straddles it.

The first, the Bosphorus Bridge, is 1,074 m (3,524 ft) long and was completed in 1973. The second, Fatih Sultan Mehmet (Bosphorus II) Bridge, is 1,090 m (3,576 ft) long, and was completed in 1988 about 5 km (3 mi) north of the first bridge.

bridge 141 8 most beautiful bridges in the world

The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States. At the time it opened, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world, stretching 5,989 feet (1825 m) over the East River, connecting the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Upon completion in 1883, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world, the first steel-wire suspension bridge, and the first bridge to connect to Manhattan.

Originally referred to as the New York and Brooklyn Bridge, it was dubbed the Brooklyn Bridge in an 1867 letter to the editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle and formally so named by the city government in 1915. Since its opening, it has become an iconic part of the New York skyline. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964.

Bridge 5 8 most beautiful bridges in the world

The San-Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is a toll bridge which spans the San Francisco Bay and links the Californian cities of Oakland and San Francisco in the United States.

The toll bridge was conceived as early as the gold rush days, but construction did not begin until 1933. Designed by Charles H. Purcell, and built by American Bridge Company, it opened for traffic on November 12, 1936, six months before the Golden Gate Bridge. It originally carried automobile traffic on its upper deck, and trucks and trains on the lower, but after the closure of the Key System, the lower deck was converted to road traffic as well.

Bridge 6 8 most beautiful bridges in the world

The Tsing Ma Bridge is a bridge in Hong Kong. It is the world’s seventh-longest span suspension bridge. The bridge was named after two of the islands at its ends, namely Tsing Yi and Ma Wan . It has two decks and carries both roadrail traffic, which also makes it the largest suspension bridge of this type. The bridge has a main span of 1,377 metres (4,518 ft) and a height of 206 metres (676 ft). The span is the largest of all bridges in the world carrying rail traffic. and

The 41 metres (135 ft) wide bridge deck carries six lanes of automobile traffic, with three lanes in each direction. The lower level contains two rail tracks. There are also two sheltered carriageways on the lower deck for maintenance access and as backup for traffic when particularly severe typhoons strike Hong Kong. Though road traffic would need to be closed in that case, trains could still get through in either direction.

richmond 1 8 most beautiful bridges in the world

Richmond Bridge is a Grade I listed 18th-century stone arch bridge in south west London, England, which crosses the River Thames at Richmond, connecting the two halves of the present-day London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Because the river meanders from its general west to east direction, flowing from southeast to northwest in this part of London, what would otherwise be known as the north and south banks are often referred to as the “Middlesex” (Twickenham) and “Surrey” (Richmond) banks respectively, named after the historic counties to which each side once belonged.

The bridge was built between 1774 and 1777 to the designs of James Paine and Kenton Couse, as a replacement for a ferry crossing which connected Richmond town centre on the east bank with its neighbouring district of East Twickenham (St. Margarets) to the west. Its construction was privately funded by a tontine scheme, for which tolls were charged until 1859. The bridge was widened and slightly flattened in 1937–40, but otherwise still conforms to its original design. The eighth Thames bridge to be built in what is now Greater London, it is today the oldest surviving Thames bridge in London.

Bridge 8 8 most beautiful bridges in the world

The Nanpu Bridge, located at the South Dock – the narrowest part of the lower reaches of the Huangpu River, was constructed in 1991. The main arch of the bridge has a span of 423 meters and a height of 46 meters. The total length of the bridge is 846 meters, and the bridge tower is 150 meters tall. Nanpu bridge is the first bridge on the Huangpu River. Tourists can take the elevator to get to the sidewalk of the bridge and overlook the scenery on both banks of the Huangpu River.

Mouse Click


Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) affects many computer users, and can be frequently associated with conventional mouse usage. Now there is a new version of Mouse Clickavailable for those who may need the relief.

MouseClick waits until the mouse stops moving and sends a click. The application supports left, right and double clicks and when Smart Drag is selected MouseClick can drag windows, scrollbars and other elements.

MouseClick supports Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. Click the screenshot to enlarge them.

Mussolini's Stolen Brain Offered On eBay


After Mussolini was executed, his body was strung up before being brought to the hospital for autopsy and eventually returned to the family members. So, when an eBay auction started for the brain and some blood samples of the deceased dictator, it was entirely possible that the remains (which started at around $22,000) were authentic. Fortunately, eBay has a policy of not allowing these sorts of things, so the auction was canceled a few hours in, before his granddaughter had even heard about the auction.

Meet the Nudibranchs

nudibranch photos from Raymond's Flickr

nudibranch photos from Raymond's Flickr

WebEcoist rocks with an informative piece on a species commonly confused with a sea slug, and yes the name is pronounced how you think it is-

Nudibranchs’ unusual name comes from their distinctive breathing method: “naked” branchial (breathing) tubes on their backs which resemble branches or bushes. However, not all nudibranchs sport this unusual-looking breathing apparatus. While nudibranchs are commonly referred to as “sea slugs,” which is technically a valid title, it should be noted that not all sea slugs are nudibranchs.

Selasa, 29 Desember 2009

US Navy UAV Sets Endurance Record with 26-Hour Flight

With a flight lasting twenty-six hours and one minute, the US Navy experimental unmanned aerial vehicle Ion Tiger broke a flight endurance record. Michael Barkoviak writes for Daily Tech:

The U.S. Navy’s Ion Tiger flew over the Aberdeen Proving Ground on November 16 and November 17 for more than one day, as the 37-lb. aircraft carried its fuel-cell engine, 9.5-lb. compressed hydrogen tank, and a five-pound payload.

Ion Tiger has a a day-night camera capable of surveillance and reconnaissance for future missions, said representatives from the Naval Research Laboratory. The recent test flight was meant as an endurance test, and researchers were quick to point out that much work is left to be done.

A World Map of Nuclear Explosions

The tumblr blog We Love Data Visualizations has all sorts of fascinating maps and charts. This one lists every nuclear explosion, the setting, the year, and the responsible party. Once you’re at the link, click on the image for a larger view.

Senin, 28 Desember 2009

Giant Motorcycle

Its founder, Clemens F. Leonhardt, has established on this vast object the old aviation engine in volume in 4.1 litre and the maximal capacity in 350 h.p. It is not simply huge, and the present motorcycle-giant under name GUNBUS.