Archive for February, 2006 = LARGE FILE TRANSFERS

Thursday, February 16th, 2006

Want to send a large file to someone – too big to email?  You can use yousendit to send a file up to 100 MB (1 Gb with $4.99/month subscription) in size.  The recipient gets an email with the download location.  So send me that large file.


Of course, the logo will never win any paper airplane contests.  But you can use NASA lesson plans and software to design your own paper airplane.  You could learn something like:

FAS on F-117A Nighthawk

You are flying an F-117A fully equipped, which means that your aircraft weighs 52,500 pounds. You want to maintain equilibrium in straight and level flight at an altitude of 30,000 feet, cruising at 400 knots to conserve fuel. The aircraft’s wing area is 1,140 square feet. At what angle of attack should the F-117A be set to maintain equilibrium?


Happy Birthday Galileo != End of Geocentricity

Wednesday, February 15th, 2006

Starry Messenger     Flammarion Woodcut     Celestial Sphere     Biagioli

Born on this day in 1564, Galileo Galilei (more) published his Starry Messenger in 1610, in which he used his newly perfected telescope to discover, among other things, the ‘Medicean stars‘ (new revisionist book on Galileo’s rise and fall), or, as we know them, the Galilean Moons.  

In the history of science, the Starry Messenger:

It took only 346 years for the Catholic Church to apologize for persecuting him (‘The Galileo Affair‘) – I guess science and religion can coexist in the long run. 

Love Cakes -> Anamophoses

Tuesday, February 14th, 2006

CylindricalConicalConical Inside Out

The earliest Anamorphism goes back to Da Vinci.  Anamorphosis is very much in use today by artists such as Istvan Orosz, Kurt Wenner, and Julian Beever (don’t miss Beever’s amazing street art).  I used this free program to create projections of the love cakes  Alice made for Lia and Alan for Valentine’s Day.


MSB49 is up = Rare Trivia Fun

Monday, February 13th, 2006

Mark Brader 

Mark Brader’s Rare Entries contest MSB49 begins. This is another Rare Entries contest in the MSB series. As always, reply ONLY BY EMAIL to m s b @ v e x . n e t (no spaces); do not post to any newsgroup. Entries must reach Mark by Saturday, March 4, 2006 (by Toronto time, zone -5).

TivoWocky = Free TiVo

Friday, February 10th, 2006


In September 2000 I recieved the following email:

Congratulations!  You’ve won a Personal Video Recorder from TiVo! A team of discriminating judges read the essay you submitted to “The Great TiVo Giveaway Contest” and decided you were most definitely in need of our help!

The contest was the idea of the, now reclusive, original TiVo evangelist Richard (TiVolutionary) Bullwinkle.  My winning essay was the following poem (with serious apologies to Lewis Carroll):

Easy billing, and smiling TIVOs
Are nimble and glisten on the tube.
Commercials are where the boredom goes
And where Mom and Dad’s wrath is engaged.

“Beware of the Infomercial, my son!
The engine oil, the home gyms glut!
Beware the Station Break, and shun
The 30-second sp’t!”

With his old remote in hand
Long time he surfed for shows he sought,
But with TIVO’s Suggestion Guide
It was done without a thought.

And, as he watched, eyes ‘n ears attune,
An Infomercial soon leaped out,
It alleged, sincerely loon,
And soon began to shout!

“Buy two! Buy four! Easy financing. At your door!”
The verbal assault would last and last,
But he took control, TIVO’s control,
And sent it spinning to the past.

“And hast thou slain the Commercial spot?”
“Thanks to TIVO!” revealed the boy.
Oh famous day! Hooray! Hooray!
They chuckled in their joy.

Easy billing, and smiling TIVOs
Are nimble and glisten on the tube:
Commercials are where the boredom goes
And where Mom and Dad’s wrath is engaged.

Oh cay, not grate rime or ti ming (past spelt chequer) .  But it got me my first TiVo.  My low-tech wife Alice said no-way could I buy a TiVo, but here was one she couldn’t refuse (she now agrees with former FCC Chairman Michael Powell about TiVo, and is addicted to TiVo).

TiVo Thumb

Harry Potter Spoiler = Dumb Speculation

Thursday, February 9th, 2006

HP6 British Kids     HP6 British Adult     HP6 US 

Speculation & Spoiler Alert - don’t go here if you haven’t read HBP.

John G. Kemeny, Mathematician + Co-founder of BASIC + Timesharing + President of Dartmouth + Einstein’s Assistant = No Relation

Wednesday, February 8th, 2006

Professor John G. Kemeny    

Although we were both born in Budapest, both of Jewish heritage, and both have a keen interest in computers & mathematics, I am only related to the famous Professor John Kemeny by name.  I did meet him once – he had a fine Hungarian accent.  I have read two of his books, Introduction to Finite Mathematics (pdf) and Man and the Computer.

Jonathan Rotenberg, who founded the Boston Computer Society at age 13, once told Bill Gates, who had started discussing John Kemeny, that “We have our own John Kemeny.”  I was leading the Timex-Sinclair group at the time.

Hungarian Menus = Magyar Etlapok

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006

menu 1menu 6menu 5menu 4menu 3menu 2

Hungarian Menus from the New York Public Library famous menus collection.  I especially like the menu in French picturing Huszars [sic] dinning on potatoes [sic].  But what is a “XIII Club” dinner?