Friday, May 05, 2006

Cattle

You wouldn't think that there's that much to be said about the great animals that provide us with the most sumptuous of steaks, but I was pleasantly surprised at how interesting I found this article on cattle. From your run of the mill black and white milk cow, to the outlandish highland cow, I'm sure you'll find something here that perks your interest.

Muhammed Ali

I just read the wikipedia article on Muhammed Ali. It's well written and interesting to read about the man who many have named the sportsman of the century. Even if boxing is not your thing, I think that you'll find that you enjoy this article.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Rising Sun

This is a huge yacht (largest privately owned in the world, in fact) belonging to Larry Ellison, the current CEO of Oracle. A floating estate, it has more rooms than you'd probably find in the houses of all your friends combined.

Ion Drive

Anyone into Star Wars has certainly seen Lucas' vision of the use of Ion Drives as a powerful means for spacecraft propulsion. Some may find themselves surprised to learn that, in fact, the ion drive was first developed in the 1960s, and many different working models have been produced, though it has not yet found widespread use. Perhaps with the prospect of future missions to Mars, there will be increased interest in the use of an ion drive, as it allows for a sustained moderate acceleration that is well suited to interplanetary travel.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Time travel

I've been reading Brian Greene's latest novel, Fabric of the Cosmos. He addresses many aspects of physics, among them the concept of time and tries to explain the reason for time's arrow. It's forward running direction, he says, is an effect of the Universe's tendency towards increasing entropy. All the talk of time sent my mind running, and I just had to do some reading about the idea of time travel and the ways in which some think it may be possible.

The Tsar Bomba

This was the mother of all thermonuclear devices. The Soviets built it during the Cold War and to date it remains the highest yielding nuclear weapon ever detonated. The mushroom cloud reached as high as 64 km up into the atmosphere. In the USA, if you've traveled above 80 km, you're considered an astronaut. The International Space Station orbits at around 300 km elevation. That's a tall mushroom cloud.

Tuned Mass Damper

Huge buildings have always amazed me. It sometimes seems impossible that they are not easily knocked over in strong winds (I'm talking 200 km/h here). If you've ever tried to hold a long stick parallel to the ground while someone pushes down on the opposite end, then you've discovered how torque works. This same force can impact a tall skyscraper when strong winds are blowing against the top of the structure, trying to rip the building free from its base. Engineers, be the great thinkers they are, devised the Tuned Mass Damper to minimize the swaying of tall buildings under driving forces. Enjoy.

The Birthday Paradox

Many of you may have heard of the birthday paradox. Apparently, in a room of 23 people, there is a better than 50% chance that two people share the same birthday. Sounds pretty amazing doesn't it? But don't take my word for it- go check it out.

Monday, April 24, 2006

The 407

The 407 ETR is a toll highway in the Greater Toronto Region.  If any of you have ever been on this highway, then you'd know that it may be the most technologically advanced highway in Canada.  Wanting to know more, I pulled it up in Wikipedia.  Learn more about it here.

Welcome to WikiBlog

I love Wikipedia. I truly do. I generally spend at least 2-3 hours a day reading articles, and so, I decided, what better an idea than to start a blog to share my favorite articles I run across. Enjoy...