Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image

Odd Lots

  • The University of Utah has a fascinating animation demonstrating the relative sizes of very small things. Starting at the scale of a coffee bean, you can zoom down by pushing a slider past single cells, various viruses, proteins, until you reach the carbon atom. Won’t take but a minute, and has plenty of wow factor, especially if you can’t picture things clearly at nanoscale.
  • For all the beautiful weather and the fact that school was out, this year’s Halloween saw no trick-or-treaters here on Stanwell Street until almost 5 PM. Summer from around the corner and her third-grade friends arrived in a mob at 6:30, and Dash got plenty of girl-attention, but that mostly exhausted the supply of local grade-schoolers. A few young teens came by between 7 and 8, but that about was it. The neighborhood has a fair number of teens, but we were told they were all having at-home parties, and we’re good with that, though I have a mass of Milk Duds here that would probably go critical if placed in a single sufficiently large bowl.
  • Carol and I went over to our next-door neighbors later in the evening. Carol wore her footie jammies and put her hair up in huge 70s rollers. I cobbled up a Ben Franklin outfit that wasn’t half bad, and I carried the small pink kite tethered to a balloon stick with about two feet of string. When we walked in, the guy down the street commented, “Lost some weight, huh Ben?” “Yup,” I replied. “Low-carb and all that.”
  • Want to haunt a house? Hire a team of scientists and an architect. Real ghosts just never show up for work when you need them.
  • This is the smallest packaged PC I have ever seen. Not worthwhile, given that it lacks digital audio out, is Atom-based, and stuck on Ubuntu 8.04 (!!) but it is small.
  • And if you’ll settle for something only a little bit bigger, the AOpen MP45D will do a lot more.
  • I may have linked to this once years ago, but it’s worth running through again: The Museum of Unworkable Devices, which is bestiary of perpetual motion machines, with careful explanations of why they don’t work. Lots of links to even more of the same.
  • NASA has calculated the “average color of the universe“…and it’s the color of my livingroom walls! (Thanks to Pete Albrecht for the link.)
  • Finally, don’t forget the contest I posted yesterday once it goes down under the fold! Keep those shortie filk schticks coming!


  1. Aki says:

    The animation reminds me of Powers of Ten by Philip Morrison.

  2. Brook Monroe says:

    But will the Fit-PC2 boot Windows 7?

  3. Alex Dillard says:

    On the topic of scale, this is also potentially interesting: “Some stars and planets in scale”

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