May 07

Addiction - CopyrightedAs a web developer I spend a “small” amount of time in front of a computer. It’s to be expected, right? The other day a friend proposed that I spend too much time in front of a computer! Utterly shocked, that simple statement has been perplexing me ever since.

So, this week, I kept track. The following was my PC usage for Mon, Apr. 30th through Sun., May 6th:

Dustin’s Week – Time Spent At The Computer

Monday – Friday
- Approximately 42 hours for all five days at my full-time web development job.
- At least 23 hours at home (after work) programming, doing the finances, surfing, and gaming.

Saturday
- At least 11 hours, although two of that was at my friends house playing XBOX (that counts as a PC, right?).

Sunday
- At least 7 hours after church working on side projects and battling my buddies on BF2.

That’s a grand total of 83 hours this week. Not too shabby. ::pats self on back::

Tonight, I Googled the classic symptoms of a computer addiction and immediately found this article. Dr. Maressa Hecht Orzack listed these highly interesting psychological symptoms of computer addiction.

The 7 Symptoms of Computer Addiction

1) “Having a sense of well-being or euphoria while at the computer”
- Come on now, programming just makes me happy!

2) “Inability to stop the activity”
- It’s a part of my job and it’s fun!

3) “Craving more and more time at the computer”
- If only I didn’t have to sleep, then there would be enough time.

4) “Neglect of family and friends”
- My wife is in law school, she’d rather me be busy than bothering her while studying anyways. My friends… they talk to me on the computer (TeamSpeak)!

5) “Feeling empty, depressed, irritable when not at the computer”
- I’m irritable because it’s inefficient to go camping without internet access and electricity! Seriously, why no WiFi at the campground?

6) “Lying to employers and family about activities”
- This one I would never ever do, I promise.

7) “Problems with school or job”
- How is it a problem? You think my boss wants me to work less? Geesh.

I realize that a ‘supposed‘ computer addiction is also strongly related to a ‘supposedinternet addiction. But that’s a whole other article unto itself and doesn’t apply to me either.

So, if you are a computer addict, please look somewhere else for support. I’m sure there are plenty of other people out there that can help you more than I can.

But me, I’m just fine.

Feb 07

A while back, a friend of mine showed me some “secret” photos he had from a Nuclear Power Plant located on the East coast

At first, I was a little worried that he had ascertained the photographs in some clandestine way.  However, it turns out that a close friend of his actually worked in the reactor and had taken some these amazing pictures of the inside bowels of a modern nuclear reactor.

Feel free to check all the pictures out in my gallery if you have a bit of interest.

Interesting Note:  That blue glow seen in some of the pictures is no Photoshop effect my friends; it's actually Cherenkov Radiation.  According to Wikipedia, the glow is caused by “electromagnetic radiation emitted when a charged particle passes through an insulator at a speed greater than the speed of light in that medium. The characteristic 'blue glow' ” seen above is an example of this phenomenon.

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Dec 09

What exactly is déjà vu anyways? 

According to this source, “Déjà vu, French for 'already seen', is the illusionary feeling that one
has previously witnessed or experienced a new situation, and has been
reported to occur in up to 96 per cent of the population.”  I have always been slightly freaked out by that feeling.  I always sorta wondered about the real cause of it, but never really took the time to figure it all out. 

So that's why I found this article so interesting: 

“A blind man who feels like he has 'already seen' some unfamiliar
situations is challenging the long-held belief that déjà vu involves
sight, according to a new U.K. study.

Hearing and touch and smell often seem to intermingle in the déjà
vu experiences,” said the study subject, whose name has not been made
public. “It is almost like photographic memory, without sight obviously
… as if I was encountering a mini-recording in my head, but trying to
think 'Where have I come across that before?'.”

Continue Here if you'd like to read the whole article (and I highly reccommend it).

Nov 29

Although this is just an out and out plug for a site, I think it's a worthy one and I feel like they deserve it!

We're talking (of course) about Wallhogs.  The company offers you (the rarely indifferent consumer) the simple oppurtunity to blow up any photo you legally own to an asonishing 7×4 foot monster.  The process is as easy as simply signing up, uploading the picture(s), and waiting for your masterpiece to be mailed. 

What I really like is the fact that you can get it in vinyl.  Not the record type, but the static cling type.  That stuff is the best for this sort of thing (in my humble opinion).  Basically, it's a pretty cool way to make a cool picture really come to life. 

In the near future, they'll even have an on-line “Hogalogue” of licensed pictures in endless varieties that should help you find something really cool if don't have anything worth printing yourself.

Plus, the company owner proudly states:  “They are super durable – I once shot an RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade) at mine. The wall came down but the Hog survived”.

Now that is tough!

So, if you have any interest in getting yourself a giant picture of any type, consider checking out Wallhogs.
 

Nov 27

True or False: “In space, if unprotected pieces of metal touch each other, they stick
together permanently.”

Believe it or not, it's TRUE!

Somehow, I had totally missed this fact in all my years of knowing random facts.

Click Here to read more about the reasons why (I found it pretty darn interesting and sadly obvious once I understood why).

Nov 24

I stumbled across a pretty interesting site today.

Basically, you are looking at a nicely formatted readout of the best of hate groups in the United States.

It's got most of the most popular: Black Separatist, Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazi, Racist Skinhead, Christian Identity, Neo-Confederate, and “other”.  Oh yeah, all kinds of fun.

Anyways, if you are bored and need something to do, check out your state and see what's around you.

Click Here to check it out.

Nov 14

I got a good laugh out of this article I found over at Treehugger (and no I'm not a tree hugger myself). 

Basically, it's a “Hybrid” emblem that you can put on any car you own.  At the current time, I don't own anything that qualifies as a gas guzzler, but I guarantee I'll by putting this emblem on my Ferrari when it arrives (just like the picture says).

Sadly, I don't think this emblem is really available, since Sky Maul (the source) is only a parody magazine of the in-flight shopping catalogs found on planes and what-not.  Regardless, I'm betting someone will produce this thing for real in the future.

Click Here to check it out!

Sep 11

I can't really claim that you'll see God by checking out the image below… but you will at least be slightly impressed by the results of the image if you actually follow the instructions properly.  Basically, this is just a simple persistance of vision image, but this particular one has really neat effect (of seemingly visions of God or some similar spiritual being).

Important note:  The image below is not a subsitute for a belief in God.. it's just a trick!

Make sure you stare at the four dots in the image for 30 seconds straight, then lean back and shut you eyes.  Keep them shut!  Now look for the circle of light.. do you see it?

Sep 08

Caught this story on The Allen Almanac earlier today.   Apparently,  there are some Dolphin's that have done some pretty amazing things!

Excerpt from Guardian Unlimited:

“At the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in
Mississippi, Kelly the dolphin has built up quite a reputation. All the
dolphins at the institute are trained to hold onto any litter that
falls into their pools until they see a trainer, when they can trade
the litter for fish. In this way, the dolphins help to keep their pools
clean.

Kelly has taken this task one step further. When people drop paper
into the water she hides it under a rock at the bottom of the pool. The
next time a trainer passes, she goes down to the rock and tears off a
piece of paper to give to the trainer. After a fish reward, she goes
back down, tears off another piece of paper, gets another fish, and so
on. This behaviour is interesting because it shows that Kelly has a
sense of the future and delays gratification. She has realised that a
big piece of paper gets the same reward as a small piece and so
delivers only small pieces to keep the extra food coming. She has, in
effect, trained the humans.

Her cunning has not stopped there. One day, when a gull flew into
her pool, she grabbed it, waited for the trainers and then gave it to
them. It was a large bird and so the trainers gave her lots of fish.
This seemed to give Kelly a new idea. The next time she was fed,
instead of eating the last fish, she took it to the bottom of the pool
and hid it under the rock where she had been hiding the paper. When no
trainers were present, she brought the fish to the surface and used it
to lure the gulls, which she would catch to get even more fish. After
mastering this lucrative strategy, she taught her calf, who taught
other calves, and so gull-baiting has become a hot game among the
dolphins.”


I wonder if anyone is concerned that maybe the Dolphin's might attack one of the trainers?  I can see the headline now: “Dolphin kills trainer, buries under rock, trades for fish“.

Click Here to check out the entire original article (an interesting read).

Sep 05

I found this little game really quite odd, but strangely intriguing.  It's a simple simulation called “Falling Sand Game”.  After a few minutes of tinkering, I found out this thing was fairly complex and had a large variety of rules governing this fake “world”. 

I soon let a bit of time slip away and began experimenting with all the variables and options. 

If you have some free time, you should check out.  It's just another diversion from your busy work day.

Click Here to check it out!

Sep 01

Have you ever done any reading on the major dimensions?  It's hard to contemplate the realistic aspects of all of this stuff, because so much of it's a “theory”. 

However, that doesn't mean it isn't interesting to discuss and critique!

It is in fact possible to understand this stuff, no matter how little you may know about Quantum Mechanics, Particle Theory, Particle Physics Phenomenology, or even Physics in general, & the relationships amongst all of them. 

Anyways… I stumbled across the following ultra-simplified explanation of String Theory that should help with the quantum gravity conundrum and give you a little taste of what some of this stuff is like.   Prepare to imagine ten dimensions….

Click Here to check it out!


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Aug 30

So, I stumbled across this site quite literally by accident. 

It was one of the very few sites I've seen in a while that doesn't have an intense focus on advertisements or making money.  It's simply full of fun and interesting facts and that's about it. 

I know, I know.. it's sad.. but I haven't posted anything in a while.. so I had to come up with SOMETHING!

My favorite five:
(1) A ten-gallon hat holds
three-quarters of a gallon.
(2) During the Medieval Crusades,
transporting bodies off the battlefield for burial was a major problem, this was solved by
carrying a huge cauldron into the Holy wars, boiling down the bodies, and taking only the
bones with them.
(3) The childrens' nursery rhyme
'Ring-a-Ring-a-Roses' actually refers to the Black Death which killed about 30 million
people in the fourteenth-century.
(4) The Dutch in general prefer their
french fries with mayonnaise.
(5) People in Siberia often buy milk
frozen on a stick.

Click Here to check the rest of them out!

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Aug 25

This is for gearheads only! I stumbled across this incredible video while reading this article at Autoblog. This thing is wildly impressive.

Imagine a 2,000 HP street legal car that can be dialed back to “only” a 1000 HP for pump fuel (street) cruising.

“The video shows what happens when 522 cubes of big-block Chevy
are subjected to 10 PSI or so of boost and stuffed into a classic
Pontiac LeMans. We’re going to warn our readers that a bit of rowdy
driving occurs past the half-way point, so if you’re easy upset by
hot-testing a rev limiter on public streets, it’s probably best to skip
to the next post. On the other hand, if you want to see what happens
when 1000 HP is applied in 3rd gear at 20 MPH, by all means roll the
clip and prepare to receive some goose bumps. Polite words fail to
accurately describe such a diabolic creation. Note, too, just how mild
mannered this thing is when driving at sane speeds.”

Click Here to check out the video!

Aug 18

My mouth hung open for a bit after I watched this video (courtesy of wearetheweb.org)  I mean, it's so honkin' strange, that I was sorta caught off-guard.  It takes quite a bit to surprise me lately, but this thing did. 

The issue at hand is net neutrality: “Net neutrality is the principle that Internet users
should be in control of what content they view and what applications
they use on the Internet.” 

It has the potential to seriously disrupt how the Internet operates and change the way the world views the web.

So what's the purpose of the video?  You are the Internet.  So are your friends.  Show your support for Internet neutrality by passing along the link to this video here (or anywhere you see it).  The more exposure this issue get's, the better.  Remember, taking action can make a difference!  Plus, the video is oddly entertaining.

It's a serious issue, so if you have a second, check it out by Clicking Here.

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Aug 15

So there we were:  Memorial Day, nothing to do, visiting the family in Illinois

My cousin Blake, who is an avid gun collector (little to my knowledge), offers up the oppurtunity to shoot several fairly well-known guns of differing types.  In the ensuing mayham, I captured a short clip of my soon-to-be-wife shooting an AK-47 and a 9mm pistol. 

I just thought I'd share the footage with you since it's fairly entertaining. 

I found it funny how the AK-47 threw her back on the first shot and how the ejected shell casing of the 9mm scared her.  Truthfully though, I was pretty proud of her.  She did really well considering it was only her second foray into gun shooting (the first was clay pigeon shooting with a 12 gauge).


Check out the video by Clicking Here!


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