Geek Month in Review: April 2015

by JB Sanders

Spring flowers!

World’s Largest Airship Nearly Ready for the Skies
The airship is set to return to the skies (with helium!), now in an industrial capacity.

Fiction to Invention: Timeline
Great infographic on the time it took for something that appeared in science fiction to turn into fact.

All the Best Supervillains Have Them
Elon Musk made a twitter post that seems especially appropriate.

Chinese Farmer Builds Transformer Figures
Doesn’t sound all that exciting, does it? Did I mention that these “figures” are life-sized (as in 20-feet tall)? And made out of car parts? They look pretty awesome.

I Think There’s a Movie In This
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is looking to find people to live in an abandoned mining town that has a reputation for being haunted. You should totally do it! All the cool kids are. And I’m certain that nothing would ever go wrong with living in a haunted ghost town. Definitely.

Wanna Buy a Village?
Speaking of abandoned properties, there’s a little village in Connecticut — all 64 acres of it — that is up for sale again. It was a mill town, then the mill burned, then it was a Victorian recreation village, and then it was planned to be a created community.

The Invisible Infrastructure
Really fascinating visualization of all the airplanes going into and out of the UK airspace in the course of a day.

Ancient Computer Festival
Marvel at the vacuum tubes! Wonder at the giant cabinets! See the original iMac doorstop. All this and more at the Vintage Computer Festival East.

Chernobyl Fox Makes Sandwich
Yup, we got us some mutants. No doubt.
Note: auto-playing vide

GM Futureliner — the Car of the Future, In the 1950’s
They just don’t make ‘em like that anymore — because they NEVER made them like this. A vehicle both huge and odd-looking, it does have the whiff of a 1950’s future. They were put together by General Motors as traveling exhibits to showcase GM tech. And they are monstrously big: 33 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 11’ 2” high.

The Internet of Cows
Researchers in San Francisco are attaching special pedometers to cows. They’ll track all sorts of data about them to help dairy farmers with their herds.

About John:
John’s a geek from way back. He’s been floating between various computer-related jobs for years, until he settled into doing tech support in higher ed. Now he rules the Macs on campus with an iron hand (really, it’s on his desk).

Geek Credentials:
RPG: Blue box D&D, lead minis, been to GenCon in Milwaukee.
Computer: TRS-80 Color Computer, Amiga 1000, UNIX system w/reel-to-reel backup tape
Card games: bought Magic cards at GenCon in 1993
Science: Met Phil Plait, got time on a mainframe for astronomy project in 1983
His Blog:http://www.glenandtyler.com/

Geek Month in Review: March 2015

by JB Sanders

Snow, snow go away…

Jurassic Park Computer System
So, there’s this website out there that simulates the computer control system in the original Jurassic Park movie. Give it a whirl.

Low-Tech Old-School Secret Drawers
Lovely antique small writing desk, with a TON of secret drawers and hidden compartments.

Oldest Surviving Movie Footage of New York City, Annotated
Great video showing what appears to be the oldest movie footage of New York City, from May of 1896. Annotations show a map of the current NYC on the left. Pop-up highlights over the video call out landmarks and other points of interest. There’s movie footage from 1896 to 1906, going backwards in time from newest to oldest. Fascinating stuff.

Geek Makes Secret Door Into His Home Theater
But that’s not the best part — the awesome thing is that it’s a secret door, modeled on the secret back entrance in Moria. Yes, that Moria — as in, Mines of Moria, Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, etc. It even — oh, but I won’t spoil it. Suffice to say it has features.

That’s Not a Table! It’s a Machine!
Watch this crazy complex table go from a small size to a larger size simply by turning. It’s based on an 1835 patent.

Easily Build a Hidden Safe
Ok, it hasn’t got a TON of room, but it’s got the nice benefit of being difficult to spot. Plus who doesn’t like hidden drawer-type-things that you can do yourself for $3?

Zombie Infection Simulation
Watch as zombies spread out from the point of infection, in hour-by-hour time, until they engulf the US. You can even slider-bar the parameters to make zombies faster or slower, and more or less infectious. Science!

Comic Book Cartography
Some 4-color plates of famous geography from yesteryear. Browse the contents of the Bat Cave, or the hidden secrets of the Baxter Building.

About John:
John’s a geek from way back. He’s been floating between various computer-related jobs for years, until he settled into doing tech support in higher ed. Now he rules the Macs on campus with an iron hand (really, it’s on his desk).

Geek Credentials:
RPG: Blue box D&D, lead minis, been to GenCon in Milwaukee.
Computer: TRS-80 Color Computer, Amiga 1000, UNIX system w/reel-to-reel backup tape
Card games: bought Magic cards at GenCon in 1993
Science: Met Phil Plait, got time on a mainframe for astronomy project in 1983
His Blog:http://www.glenandtyler.com/