Isle of Sheppey - explosive deathtrap or quiet retreat?

Friday, June 26, 2009 | |

Last May or maybe it was June, I visited England, specifically the small towns southeast of London. Of all the new places, my favorite was the Isle of Sheppey, a small island off the
northern coast in the Thames Estuary. It's not well known, but interests me because it could be blown up any second by the beached explosive 'whale' from WWII that remains perched on a sandbar just off the coast. If that wasn't enough, the nuclear plant and cement garden gnome factory make for an entertaining island adventure. The nice folks I stayed with on the mainland were relieved when I returned from my excursion that I hadn't gotten eaten alive by the locals, or 'swampies'. But, I wish I would've stayed around longer and had a chat with the East Enders actress who must've been getting away from city life at the harbor wall next to the Tesco. How sweet.

more pictures? go here-->


Sunday, June 21, 2009 | |

If you can guess I'll send you a prize: What is going on here?

Monday, June 15, 2009 | |

Travel the Country via great feats of American Engineering

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Travel guides I think are cool, expecially ones that are interesting to me. "A Sightseer's Guide to Engineering" is just that a tour through America's grand engineering feats, some more impressive than others, all with interesting back stories.

Here is:

Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark

Twenty 32nd Street North (located at First Avenue North & 32nd Street)
Birmingham, AL 35222
Web Site

Explore the world's only publicly held historic industrial site. Guided tours are available. Free.

Hours of Operation: Open Tues.-Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sun. noon-4 p.m.

Design Police

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Hey from Fargo,
I almost forgot about this little gem for design critics out there. Have fun with it. Please do me a favor and put it on any use of Papyrus font you come across.

It Might Get Loud

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Cable companies say "Fuck off and buy this black box!!"

Thursday, June 11, 2009 | |

Cable companies across the US are using the latest digital to analog switch to swindle consumers. The are telling people that they need to purchase a secondary cable box not related in any way to the original switch.

The swindle is happening to cable subscribers. The providers are deleting channels then telling the subscribers that they will need a converter box to get back the deleted channels. This is a complete outrage and communities are railing against it.

The worst part is most of the companies are attacking the public broadcasting and local information channels, which will soon render their viewership to almost none. Oh and they are charging rent for the boxes in most places as well another huge swindle.

Oh an on a side note those boxes I am guessing are little more than a switch (plug in a cable and then ping back to the company that the the subscriber has a box no more than 5 dollars of materials, and a complete waste of everybody time, money and resources.

So there you have it Cable companies fucking you over not once, not twice, but three times.

We really need a strong consumer watch dog/ advocacy group lobbying for the everyday person here in the US, this type of thing is happening all to much.


Wow, This is Really Impressive (Audio Tool)

Saturday, June 6, 2009 | |

The internet is evolving, and quickly. There are online applications that now let you record music and edit tracks in a web browser!

Above the people at Hobnox have really out done themselves, working with Flash they have made full featured studio with drum machines, controllers, effects, and more, the best part it is fun to play around with, and free! It's called Audio Tool.

Further the Audio Tool that I am so impressed by is surrounded by a full featured website that enables you to upload the song you have made and upload videos, and embed them like youtube. The are German, and Germans love electronic music, and I love Germans who love electronic music.

Here is a song I made just playing around with the interface and seeing if I could upload it (It worked:) )

Tiny Midi to CV interface

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Midi2CV form Midi Plant

I thought this was quite interesting and note worthy, the people over at Midi Plant have shrunk the hardware needed to connect midi with analog synths (well the ones that play nicely). There are a few kits out there notably the one form PAiA which I own, that do the job, but size is an issue with a lot of synths these days both DIY and comercial ones so the smaller the footprint the more you can do.

From PAiA

The PAiA kit has a few more options and is ~$120 for the electronsics
The Midi Plant is about ~$80.

*picutures from the prospective sites.