Intel's Ronler Acres Plant


Silicon Forest

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Spacex Falcon Heavy

Falcon Heavy Flight Animation

I'm not quite sure whether this is what is really being planned, or whether someone's imagination got loose. Recovering the boosters by having them land vertically in a reversal of their launch is brilliant, if you can make it work. Once the booster has consumed the bulk of its fuel it will weigh practically nothing, which means slowing it back down would take hardly any fuel at all. Being able to recover the boosters could save you some money on your next launch. You do have a weight penalty on launch from the landing gear and the fuel needed for deceleration and landing. And the engines would need to be more durable. A rocket motor designed for one use is not the motor you want to use in a reusable rocket booster. It's still the best idea for rockets I've seen in a long time.


Gypsy Wagon In The Moonlight
Why is "dear" one of the most difficult words to translate? And where does this come up in the Romany folk tale of  the Red King and the Witch ? - Totalitarianism Today
I have no idea why 'dear' would be difficult to translate, and reading the fairy tale doesn't help much, but it's kind of an unusual fairy tale. It has a lot of common fairy tale elements, but there are a couple of incidents that make you wonder.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

My Favorite Plaything

My Favorite Plaything
An non-computerized RPG (Role Playing Game) from Brazil, a game that you play with actual people sitting around an actual table. Although it is about children, the game is for adults. It looks like it could be very entertaining. Of course, you would have to spend time in a room with other people, but who know? It might be worth it. From the introduction:
You have probably heard imagination has no limits, right?
But when it comes to children this saying embodies another proportion. To some of them, the difference between what’s real or imaginary is almost nonexistent. Through play, they learn about the world, and while projecting their fears, insecurities and frustration during play, they learn ways to overcome these feelings.
If role-playing games are a kind of make-believe, then My Favorite Plaything could be considered a kind of metalanguage, because in here you will return to the nostalgic times when you were little. It will be fun and exciting. Some kind of “Conscious Childhood”.
This is a game for adults. So they can revisit their childhood traits and, who knows, maybe learn more about themselves in a possible journey of self-discovery.
 The whole game is explained in the manual (a PDF file). Via Brent Newhall on Google+.

Monday, January 26, 2015

1960 Chevrolet

1960 Chevrolet Bel Air in Le Doulos, 1962.
Got a comment on my post about Le Doulos, a French film. Commenter mentions that the car is a Bel Air, not an Impala. OK, if you are driving around Paris in a Cadillac (which the director was known for), why would you opt for the economy model Chevy instead of a top of line Impala? Not that anybody cares, but it does make an interesting forensic analysis problem, at least for this old-time gear head.  So I start looking at pictures and I notice a couple of things:

  • The strip along the side across the rear door and the rear quarter panel comes in two styles. The Bel Air has a thin line running down the middle of this strip and the Impala has wide white stripe. The car in the top photo has the thin line, so plus one for it being a Bel Air.
  • The Bel Air has two taillights on each side, the Impala has three. You can't see the rear of the car in this shot, so no points for either one.
Chevrolet Bel Air 4-door Sedan 1960.
  • There are two roof styles. The flat style as shown at the top, and the one that curves down at the back shown here. Google for pictures of the Bel Air and most of the cars have the curved roof. Look for Impalas and you get some of each style. Kind of looks like it might be an Impala then.
Then I found an old sales brochure and learn that the flat roof style came on the Sport Sedan, and Sport Sedans come in two flavors: Bel Air and Impala. So the stripe is the only evidence I have and it indicates Bel Air.

Fun with Chromebook, Part 2

For some value of 'fun'. I Like To Make Stuff recommended a Sci-Fi audio book on Audible, and since I like Science Fiction and I have an iPod, I thought I would see if I could download a copy of the book to my iPod via my new Chromebook (oooo, chrome, shiny). It looks like the answer is mostly NO. You need iTunes to load stuff onto an iPod*, and iTunes only runs on real computers, like Mac's and PC's. Chromebooks don't count. But then I came across this tantalizing little bit on an Apple support forum:
If you want the Chromebook to remain a 'Google Chromebook' than the answer is no, unfortunately. You're at the mercy of what you can utilize in the Chrome web app. store..however, Chromebooks with developer mode enabled make, in my opinion, the perfect little cheap machine to run your favorite distro of linux (Kubuntu for me). And it's literally a few key presses in the terminal and voila, you've got a linux box capable of running everything and anything. You don't even have to choose Chromebook or Linux either, you can very easily have them installed and capable of running concurrently, in a matter of a few keystrokes.
I'm not quite sure what 'everything and anything' means. Do you install Linux and then set up a virtual environment to run Windows in, so you can run iTunes? Is there even enough memory in a Chromebook to support such an abomination? And can you get back to Chrome afterwards? It sounds like a frigging nightmare.
     Probably should just wait a bit until someone develops an iPod loader for Chromebooks.

*This isn't quite true. CNET has a Windows program that claims it will load your iPod. Doesn't help me, but at least we aren't locked into Apple.

Sunday, January 25, 2015


Victorinox Swiss Army Tinker Knife

I left my pocketknife with the kids in Buenos Aires. I could have packed it in my luggage, but I decided that since the last time I traveled by air I ended up donating my pocketknife to the TSA, I may as well donate this one to someone I know. Especially since any kind of hardware seems to be exorbitantly priced in Buenos Aires. I ordered a replacement from Amazon when I got home ($20) and it arrived yesterday. I also thought I would check to see how much it would cost to send one to B.A., but they won't do it. They now have a whole list of things they won't ship to Argentina, which makes me wonder if what, if anything, they will ship.

A Natural Fix for A.D.H.D.

OCT. 31, 2014 issue of the NY Times. The first dozen or so paragraphs bear out what you already instinctively knew. It explains a lot about me.