Posted in Humor, Movies, Science, Technology, tagged Batteries, Electricity, Humor, Science, t-shirts, Technology, The Matrix on July 10, 2012 |
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Scientists are always pushing us closer to the future envisioned by sci-fi movies. Now we learn that, like the poor, deceived wretches trapped by the Matrix in the classic movie of the same name, humans soon may become walking batteries — at least, if they wear the right t-shirt.
A professor at the University of South Carolina has figured out how to convert a t-shirt into a power source. He bought a cheap t-shirt from a discount store, soaked it in fluoride and dried it in a high-temperature oxygen-free environment. As a result, the cellulose in the fibers turned into activated carbon. The fibers were then thinly coated with manganese oxide and thereby became capacitors — i.e., a device capable of storing an electric charge. Add an electrode and a plug and — voila! — your t-shirt could be used to power your cell phone or iPad.
I don’t like wearing artificial fibers that don’t “breathe,” so I doubt that I would want to wear a carbonized shirt coated with manganese oxide. What’s more, I don’t think I’d feel comfortable in a garment that was supercharged with electricity. I’d be afraid that a little static electricity could cause a massive short circuit — and I’d hate to think of the electrical firestorm that could be created if I also wore a pair of thigh-rubbing corduroy pants on a cold, dry winter’s day.
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Posted in Books, tagged A Clash of Kings, A Dance with Dragons, A Feast for Crows, A Game of Thrones, A Storm of Swords, George R R Martin, The Winds of Winter, Tyrion, Westeros on July 10, 2012 |
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Wow, if you are looking for really interesting reading I would highly recommend the series of books George R. R. Martin (GRRM) has written from which Game of Thrones the HBO series is based. You can pick up the first four books in a paperback set, A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords and A Feast for Crows for about $30 at Barnes and Noble.
The series is told in the third person from the point of view of his characters which he so richly develops (my favorite being Tyrion an imp whose mother died during his birth leaving his father to loathe him). Wiki places the books in the epic or high fantasy genre and I have several friends both male and female that are currently reading the series so it seems to have appeal for both sexes. All of us reading the series agree you find yourself staying up til early in the morning reading to find out what happens next and you really can’t put the books down.
The story is set in medieval times and revolves around several plots, a group of families who have at one time or another ruled the fictional continent of Westeros all wanting to rule it again, the threat from “others” who dwell beyond a great wall of ice which protects Westeros northern border and the desire of an exiled daughter of a deceased mad king to return to the throne and rule Westeros.
Probably the thing I like most about GRRM’s writing is the way he cleverly will make you believe one or more of his characters is dead and the fact that he does kill off major characters at a whim (maybe it’s just me, but I am tired of reading books where everything always works out for the main characters).
I just completed book three, A Storm of Swords which was the best so far so if you have been watching the HBO series season three will have many surprises in store for you. I did watch Season one when it came out on DVD and I happen to think that the books are much better than the HBO series itself. GRRM has written book five, A Dance with Dragons which was published in 2011 and he is currently writing book six, The Winds of Winter now.
All I know is I am hooked and you might be to if you give these a try – Happy Reading !
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Posted in Movies, TV, tagged Ernest Borgnine, Escape From New York, McHale's Navy, Movies, The Dirty Dozen, The Poseidon Adventure, The Wild Bunch, TV on July 10, 2012 |
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Ernest Borgnine died over the weekend. He was 95, and he was one of those actors who just made Hollywood work.
Borgnine won a best actor Oscar for Marty in 1955, but was equally comfortable in supporting roles. He was featured prominently in four iconic movies that I’ll gladly stop and watch whenever I see them on TV: as the secretly delighted general in The Dirty Dozen, as the awesome Dutch Engstrom in The Wild Bunch, as the exasperated, then devastated, and ultimately heroic Rogo in The Poseidon Adventure, and as the cabbie in Escape From New York. In each role — and in the many others he played during an acting career that spanned 60 years — Borgnine always brought something special and memorable to his characters. Rogo’s intense, fuming responses to the constant chiding of Gene Hackman’s irreligious preacher and the whining of Red Buttons in The Poseidon Adventure are classic examples of an actor whose work can make a marginal plot more believable and a one-dimensional character much more intriguing.
In an era where there was a strict dividing line between movies and TV, Borgnine was equally comfortable on the big screen and the small screen. His starring role in McHale’s Navy, and his work in countless other TV series, helped to break down that barrier. Current stars who work regularly in both TV and film owe a tip of the cap to Ernest Borgnine.
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