Solar stoves in Argentine

I found this on HappyNews.nl. (Dutch site)

In the Argentinian town of La Puna, one of the sunniest places in the world, you see solar stalls more and more these days, food stalls where people cook on nothing but solar heat.

During the carnival festivities in the northern area Lap Puna solar stalls pop up, in Tilcara, Humahuaca, La Quiaca, Purmamarca and Uquía, all of them tourist spots.

The solar cooker (kiosko solar) is a cart on wheels which has a mobile solar furnace, nothing more than a strip of pleated aluminium with a diameter of 1.20 metres / 4ft. In the centre of the strip they mounted elements on which the cooking is done.

“People don’t believe that this works, and when they try it they’re surprised,” says Marta Rojas, a teacher who started a solar cooker in Tilcara. “They want to touch the strip and then they get burnt,” she laughs. On her cooker she prepares pizzas and quinopastries.

More information on solarcooking on wikipedia (in English).

Cats are amazing

blackcat0001

A cat can jump up to five times its own height in a single bound.

The little tufts of hair in a cat’s ear that help keep out dirt direct sounds into the ear, and insulate the ears are called “ear furnishings.”

The ability of a cat to find its way home is called “psi-traveling.” Experts think cats either use the angle of the sunlight to find their way or that cats have magnetized cells in their brains that act as compasses.

One reason that kittens sleep so much is because a growth hormone is released only during sleep.

A cat has 230 bones in its body. A human has 206. A cat has no collarbone, so it can fit through any opening the size of its head.

A cat’s nose pad is ridged with a unique pattern, just like the fingerprint of a human.

If they have ample water, cats can tolerate temperatures up to 133 °F.

A cat’s heart beats nearly twice as fast as a human heart, at 110 to 140 beats a minute.

Cats don’t have sweat glands over their bodies like humans do. Instead, they sweat only through their paws.

The claws on the cat’s back paws aren’t as sharp as the claws on the front paws because the claws in the back don’t retract and, consequently, become worn.

Cats make about 100 different sounds. Dogs make only about 10.

Researchers are unsure exactly how a cat purrs. Most veterinarians believe that a cat purrs by vibrating vocal folds deep in the throat. To do this, a muscle in the larynx opens and closes the air passage about 25 times per second.

A cat almost never meows at another cat, mostly just humans. Cats typically will spit, purr, and hiss at other cats.

A cat’s back is extremely flexible because it has up to 53 loosely fitting vertebrae. Humans only have 34.

Some cats have survived falls of over 65 feet (20 meters), due largely to their “righting reflex.” The eyes and balance organs in the inner ear tell it where it is in space so the cat can land on its feet. Even cats without a tail have this ability.

A cat can travel at a top speed of approximately 31 mph (49 km) over a short distance.

A cat’s hearing is better than a dog’s. And a cat can hear high-frequency sounds up to two octaves higher than a human.

A cat’s brain is biologically more similar to a human brain than it is to a dog’s. Both humans and cats have identical regions in their brains that are responsible for emotions.

IT Administrator song

#stopcispa
IT Administrator Song, or A Few Of My Fav’rite Net Things.  This is a pretty old video (this version was uploaded in 2008) but check out this prescient verse: When my page stalls, Or they pass laws to invade free net speech I simply remember that it could be worse.  At least there’re still sites i reach!

The full lyrics:

Route aggregation and increasing payload
Multiway peering and net-friendly C code
Boxes that filter on source-routed pings
These are a few of my fav’rite net things

Multicast native and option-free packets
VLANs that don’t break and short A.S. path lengths
End-to-end measures with meaning to bring
These are a few of my fav’rite net things

When my link’s toast
When the spam grows
When my throughput hits ground
i simply remember my fav’rite net things
and then i don’t feeeel sooo down

Far reaching coverage and routing that’s stable
Aggregate flow stats and mice that are able
to back off when shown that the Net’s being zinged
These are a few of my fav’rite net things

Routers that do red and balanced net loading
Video apps with hierarchical coding
Raw packet traces to dissect and see
all of my absolute fav’rite net things

when DNS freaks
when my routes leak
when i lose a peer
I try to remember my favorite net things
and then go buy more net gear

Visualizations of virtual networks
Discovering “features” in new IOS quirks
Vendor built stacks that respect TCP
These are a few of my fav’rite net things

SNMP tools like MRTG
Knowing how to unconfig your P.V.C.’s
Measurement boxes that sniff OC3
These are a few of my fav’rite net things

When my page stalls
Or they pass laws
to invade free net speech
i simply remember that it could be worse
at least there’re still sites i reach

Cool network geeks and their company perks
Analysis tools in which true insight lurks
Stable peer sessions and route symmetry
These are a few of my fav’rite net things

Multi-mode fiber with an optical splitter
BGP sessions config’d not to litter
Reverting from ATM back to IP
These are a few of my fav’rite net things

When popups leap
when copyrights creep
into my browser’s cache
i simply remember that SDMI
will most likely buuurn & crash

Stock trading web sites that haven’t yet crashed
MP3 players with plenty of flash
having my cell phone talk to my PC
These are a few of my fav’rite net things

Linux and Open- and FreeBSD
Persistence in TCP’s HTTP
Finally remembering my PGP key
All of my abosolute fav’rite net things

When Backhoes sting
or TIME_WAITs bring
servers to the ground
i simply remember my fav’rite net things
and then i don’t feeeel sooo down

(None of this is my work, I just copied it from Google+ for posterity and entertainment.)

Unwoman

Unwoman? Strange name, you may say. Unwoman is a San Francisco based Steampunk artist. She’s unique in my opinion. The way she uses a cello (well, several cellos)  in her music is very special, very different to e.g. Rasputina.

I have all her work, including her latest achievement, “Lemniscate, uncovered 2”, which is an amazing collection of covers of more or less known music. (This of course depends on what you know.)

Unwoman

I had the pleasure of meeting her once in London, where she was on her first ever tour outside the United States. With each album she produces I appreciate her music more. She’s still growing as an artist and performer, and helping her achieve her goals (through several kickstarter projects) is really something worthwhile.

Here is a youtube video of one of her amazing songs, The City:

If you want to learn more about her, do visit her website at www.unwoman.com.

Netware 3.12 server runs for 16 years non-stop

“Ars Technica’s Peter Bright reports on a Netware 3.12 server that has been decommissioned after over 16 years of continuous operation. The plug was pulled when noise from the server’s hard drives become intolerable. From the article: ‘It’s September 23, 1996. It’s a Monday. The Macarena is pumping out of the office radio, mid-way through its 14 week run at the top of the Billboard Hot 100, doing little to improve the usual Monday gloom…Sixteen and a half years later, INTEL’s hard disks—a pair of full height 5.25 inch 800 MB Quantum SCSI devices—are making some disconcerting noises from their bearings, and you’re tired of the complaints. It’s time to turn off the old warhorse.'”

(Found on Slashdot.)

Suspended coffee

This story will warm you better than a coffee on a cold winter day:

“We enter a little coffeehouse with a friend of mine and give our order. While we’re approaching our table two people come in and they go to the counter –
‘Five coffees, please. Two of them for us and three suspended’
They pay for their order, take the two and leave. I ask my friend:
‘What are those ‘suspended’ coffees ?’
‘Wait for it and you will see’
Some more people enter. Two girls ask for one coffee each, pay and go. The next order was for seven coffees and it was made by three lawyers – three for them and four ‘suspended’. While I still wonder what’s the deal with those ‘suspended’ coffees I enjoy the sunny weather and the beautiful view towards the square in front of the café. Suddenly a man dressed in shabby clothes who looks like a beggar comes in through the door and kindly asks
‘Do you have a suspended coffee ?’
It’s simple – people pay in advance for a coffee meant for someone who can not afford a warm beverage. The tradition with the suspended coffees started in Naples, but it has spread all over the world and in some places you can order not only a suspended coffee, but also a sandwich or a whole meal.”

There Are Whales Living Now That Were Born Before Moby Dick Was Written

via tor.com

There are Whales Living Now That Were Born Before Moby Dick Was Written

Recently the Smithsonian Magazine highlighted an interesting tidbit from this Alaska Dispatch article about the recovering bowhead whale population. Since bowheads live for over 200 years, that means the older whales amongst the current population were born before Moby Dick was written!

Not only that, but these bowhead whales also avoided being killed by a massively active whaling industry that reduced their numbers to a mere 1000. Spit your last breath at that, Ahab!

[News via The Smithsonian, Art via Arctic Whales]