Brian Yee

Neither Here Nor There

Archive for January, 2010

An Oldie But a Goodie

This is back from 2000.  I still think about this every now and then and thought I’d post it (or re-post it):

Postal Experiments from the Annals of Improbable Research.  Experiments include trying to send all sorts of objects (including a $20 bill in a clear envelope, to a ski, to a deer tibia) through the US Postal Service to see what gets delivered and what doesn’t.

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Wood Burning Pizza Oven from a Weber

This is an interesting project.  Guy with a custom wood-burning weber can get up to 1000 degrees.  Perfect for making pizza.  This inspires me to work on getting better pizza out of my grill.  Reminds me of weber_cam’s firedome.

Home (PizzaHacker).

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Perfect Spot for Kids to Help Cook

This is a great idea from Parent Hacks.  When kids are helping with mixing and measuring, put the bowl over the open dishwasher door.  When you’re done — close it and the dishwasher wash cycle will clean up the mess.  Done.  Easy.


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Time Traveler’s Crib Sheet

Just in case you’re sent back in time 1,000 years, here’s all the basics you need to know.  Like heavier-than-air flight and the basics of fighting infections.  Just hang this up in your time machine.

Time Traveler’s Crib Sheet. (from BoingBoing)

(P.S. Apparently, I’m just a transparent proxy for BoingBoing.  Go read that site, they have more content :))

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2010: Living In the Future | the book

Here’s 1972’s vision of what 2010 would be like.  Hint: Everyone wears jumpsuits.

2010: Living In the Future | the book. (from BoingBoing)

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I’ve always thought it was a little lame to do this, but that never stopped me before.  So…here’s the small list I wrote down last week:


At least at work, get things organized out of the inbox and into a task list of some sort.  It is pleasing to look down to a clean inbox, helps to feel that things are in order.


As fun as it is, it’s really just a time sink — time I could be using for something more useful.


Spend some time doing something creative, doesn’t matter what.


Shannon knows I’m a procrastinator.  So I’ll try to work on that a bit.


Would be nice to not be able to come up with a list like this.

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Sometimes you look at old pictures and think “Awwww”.  I just look at this one and think how beat city my lawn was in 2006.  Yikes.  Eila looks cute, though.

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Flying Free

Yesterday’s Astronomy Picture of the Day was pretty neat.  It was an astronaut grabbing a rather large satellite in an untethered spacewalk.

The picture doesn’t capture really what’s happening here.  The satellite is rotating while being captured.  The video shows this better. Shannon couldn’t believe what she was seeing.  “Is he crazy!” seems like what Not surprisingly, NASA stopped the practice of untether spacewalks after the Challenger accident.

This reminded me of an interesting anecdote from Mike Mullane’s Riding Rockets on risks in spaceflight.  The shuttle engineers had found a very rare but potential flaw with the shuttle that might prevent the solid rocket boosters from separating (which would be fatal to the crew).  They had asked the astronauts if they would still launch knowing the risk.  That astronaut’s response:

They might as well have asked a three-year-old if he wanted to eat his candy now or wait until tomorrow.  If the engineers said, “We forgot to install the center engine.  Do you still want to launch?” Hank (astronaut Hank Hartsfield) probably would have said, “No problem.  We’ll just burn the two we have.”  Nothing was going to get in our way.

The business of being an astronaut is extremely risky.  I wonder if I could fly in the face of those risks.

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