July 18th, 2008


Hedgehog Launch

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Fun little flash game. Kind of like Nanaca Crash, but with more tech toys to buy.

The above screen shot shows my "luckiest run ever" - 29.9k feet. All I did was hold down the left arrow. Every time the hedgehog started trending down, somehow I'd hit a platform and get thrown back up a bit. This went on for good minute, minute and a half.

And more Friday flash fun: http://fantasticcontraption.com/

Shelby plans 500+ HP electric car.

The guys at Shelby Supercars know a thing or two about defying odds and breaking records. Back in September, the fledgling company's 1,183-HP Ultimate Aero jacked top-speed bragging rights from Bugatti's 16-Cylinder, $1.8 million Veyron. But the Aero's limited to just 50 examples, so the drawing board is particularly important to the West Richland, Washington-based manufacturer. Along with the 220 mph luxury sedan it's got in the pipeline, SSC has announced plans to build a top-speed, 100 percent green supercar.

Details are scarce, but SSC says an Ultimate Aero EV prototype will be ready by February and it plans to roll out four production models by December. The company describes the Tesla destroyer as a "pollution-free, engineering marvel with an exotic supercar exterior." "I think we can do it faster, leaner and cleaner than any other manufacturer," says company founder Jerod Shelby.

We know that at least one 500-HP electric motor is planned. SSC is exploring a twin-motor configuration that would yield twice the power while still emitting zilch. Rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive variants also are on the table. Particularly interesting is the power source for the drive train, which is said to allow for extended time between charging. That seems logical and realistic enough, but SSC went on to mention the possibility of several years between charging. Needless to say, several industry pundits think SSC has gone mad.

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Blind Watchmaker Applet

The Blind Watchmaker algorithm was conceived by Richard Dawkins and is described in his book The Blind Watchmaker. The Blind Watchmaker applet is easy to use and demonstrates very effectively how random mutation followed by non-random selection can lead to interesting, complex forms. These forms are called "biomorphs" (a word invented by Desmond Morris) and are visual representations of a set of 'genes'.


98 to XP?

I'm thinking about trashing my 98SE partition and installing XP Pro. My machine is old - 833 MHz, 512 MB ram. I always thought it was way too underpowered for XP, but when I went and looked recently it appears that if you're not a gamer, that kind of machine may be enough.

What do you guys think?