February 2009: The Perfect Month

Just a little note for those who didn’t notice: we won’t be seeing another month like this month of this year for quite a long time again — one that starts on Sunday and ends on Saturday, comprising exactly four weeks.

Thankfully, someone already thought to ask my question before I did (although some of the people answering didn’t read the entire question). This one appears to be the most sound:

The last time this happened was 2004. It doesn’t happen every “so many years”. If it’s leap year obviously there cannot be a perfect 28 day month even if the first day is a Sunday.

Non- leap years push the dates one day ahead the following year. For example, if Jan 31 1 fell on a Friday this year, next year it would fall on a Saturday (perfect Feb 1 on a Sunday!). If this were to happen on a leap year however, next year Jan 31 would fall on a Sunday causing the perfect Feb not to happen.

So, a perfect 28 day February beginning on a Sunday and ending on a Saturday (exactly four perfect weeks) happens every six years until Jan 31 falls on a Saturday on a leap year; then we wait 5 more years.

There is either 6 or 11 years between. There is a random pattern of 6’s and 11’s. The long stretch is caused by Jan 31 falling on a Saturday in a leap year sending Feb 1 to start on Monday the next year as opposed to a Sunday if it were a non-leap year. So then we had to wait for the cycle to run through all days of the week again and until Jan 31 fell on a Saturday in a non-leap year.

Perfect February’s since 1970, next was 81, 87, 98, 09. Next one is due in 2015.

Clarifying Ripley: The Singapore Flyer

It’s been a while since I did one of these, so I figured I’d get my restart perhaps on something a little easier. The most recent Ripley’s Believe-It-Or-Not feature comic panel notes that the Signapore Flyer is the tallest/widest ferris wheel and takes half an hour to make one complete revolution.

Singapore Flyer Official Website

Manufactured by Mitsubishi’s Heavy Industries, “the final capsule (each air conditioned and holds 28 people) was installed on October 2, 2007. The wheel started rotating on February 11, 2008 and officially opened to the public on March 1, 2008. Tickets for rides on the first 3 nights were sold out for US$6,271 (which comes to $8,888 in Singapore currency, number that predicts prosperity in Chinese culture). The grand opening for the Flyer was held on 15 April 2008,” notes the wiki article (paraphrased by me).

The wheel itself is 42 stories high, and perches atop a 3-story transportation terminal. It initially rotated one particular direction, but at the advice of Feng-Shui masters, the direction was reversed.

The following is a slightly-corny promotional video from YouTube, about the Singapore Flyer:

The Singapore Flyer was the subject of some worldwide news articles again when it suffered a power loss and trapped quite a number of people in their capsules, according to this Goldsea article. It had lost power for an hour or so at least twice since it first opened, but this particular time was a 6-hour ordeal as people waited patiently for the ride to begin moving again. Some people closer to the ground had to be lowered by ropes for rescue, while others were delivered sandwiches and soft drinks by delivery harnesses as they waited out the repairs. The ABC article for the same story has a photograph of a closeup of one of the capsules.

Flickr Pool of Singapore Flyer Photographs

A February 23, 2002 announcement published on Emporis.com notes plans for a 170-meter-tall ferris wheel to be built in Moscow, which would trump the Signapore Flyer by 20 meters, with an appx opening date of 2004, in hopes of attracting 70 million riders per year — but I can’t find any other reference to the wheel in Moscow beyond that article.

Another, larger ferris wheel is being constructed in the middle east called the Great Dubai Wheel to open in 2009, reaching 185 meters. Even still, another Chinese wheel is to be opened in 2010 reaching 208 meters, called the Great Observation Wheel according to China’s Great Wheel Corporation website.

Hydraulic Earth Mover Photoset.. Amazing!

At first, I saw this image of a hydraulic earth mover with its main scoop shovel up against a tower as if it was going to push it over. The caption (from a message board forum) said it was going to demonstrate its arm strength. I’m like, pssh, pushing over a tower is strength? But then I saw the rest.

WOW!

Anyhow, here are a few more picture sets of amazing crane or earth mover photos of stuff tipping over, accidentals, and HOLY—- moments:

Dark Roasted Blend – Heavy Machinery Acrobatics
Dark Roasted Blend – Heavy Machinery Acrobatics 2

Astoundingly Detailed Sketches: Daniel Simon

While running through the usual avenues for random images, I came upon a site by a gentleman who does computer illustration by trade, but by hobby does these amazing painstaking concept-design sketches using only a ball-point pen, a gray marker, and digital airbrush just as something to throw in the mix and not get bogged down with work.

DanielSimon.net – Concept Sketches

In some ways, I’m surprised it’s done by hand. But then again — how else could it be?

(note: there is a tasteful, but still nsfw, sketch section two clicks away)

“A Chicken Goes… Cluck cluck cluck!” Website

There’s a spiffy little website (must open a pop-up window to work) that has pictures of animals of which you may click, to receive — not the actual animal sound, but children recreating that sound — and from around the world, at that! It is quite a delightful website. There also happen to be other things like ambulance sirens and general random things that a kid might know.

My favorites so far:

))) The german version of an ambulance (bottom left corner for ambulance, first of the middle row of ambulances for german)
))) the hungarian version of a duck (top right corner for duck, first of the bottom row of ducks for hungarian)
))) the uk version of a lion (two down from the top left corner for lion, first of the top row of lions for the uk)
))) the italian version of a cat (just below the lion, middle of the bottom row on the second page for italian)

Good fun!