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.


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

Mini Timewaster Flash Game Review: Kon-stroo This!

Here’s a quick and simple wordgame that is played in two phases, and is great for comparing with friends and cow-orkers, and takes perhaps 10 minutes tops.

In the first phase, you re-arrange three groups of letters to spell out one word each, using all of the letters (no partials). You can also get a hint for a 1-point deduction. You get to pick the time limit, if any, and how large the words have to be.

In the second phase, all of the letters of the phase 1 words are placed at the top and you drag them to lower rows to spell out seperate words, and you get a bonus for using all letters. You get to set the minimum letter number for words, and the time limit.

Kon-stroo This!

Most of my scores ended up in the 140-160 range, and you can skip instruction screens in later games if you like, but on the downside, there’s no end review of what words or letters you used, only a non-sendable score card. You can always screen capture your score, paste it into an image editor as a new image and crop the score if you want to send proof, but it seems like they should’ve made this easier.

Sample game:

Phase 1
I picked “More Difficult” (6-letter words) and a 2-minute timer. Three sets of scrambled letters come up: NNEEGI, ETLIOV, LNCEAC. I had to use a hint on the first one, and got ENGINE, VIOLET and CANCEL, for 11, 12, and 12 points respectively (35 total).

Phase 2
I drug the letters down to spell VIOLENCE, LANCE and TINGE. That’s a 25-point bonus for using all letters, plus 70, 25 and 25 points respectively for a phase 2 total of 145.

Score Card:
35+145=180, actually one of my highest scores so far, even with starting the first round with 1:45 to go because I had to type them out for the guide here ^_^

Documentary: The Blunder at Buncefield

About three years ago, there was a giant explosion in Great Britain and was known famously as the largest peacetime explosion in the UKs history. The blast was the fault of Hertfordshire Oil and Storage Ltd (HOSL) which is own by Total and Chevron (oil companies) and ended up obliterating the large nearby estate of an unrelated gentleman living nearby.

HOSL actually has a website, and the website itself appears to be almost entirely devoted (if not completely) to this particular issue in Hemel Hempstead, UK.

There’s a video trailer talking about the issue, specifically with the owner of the large estate whose property was very badly damaged and has been largely ignored by the courts. A word of caution: the trailer is initially has a soft-spoken woman speaking a voice-over (that you may need to turn the volume up to hear, but the jarring explosion and ambulance sounds that soon follow are very very loud.

While I can appreciate the putting-it-into-terms method the trailer does by knocking us out of our chair and into an identifiable feelings that the estate owner felt in a much more terrible scale, the documentary’s trailer could have been done a little more tactfully and less (and frankly) hypocritically. There doesn’t appear to be any indication of how exactly the documentary will be released — just that it will be. I guess we’ll have to check out this page around that time to learn more.

In HOSL’s defense, there has been more than just one estate that was affected as a result of this explosion (approximately 3700 claims so far) and they have address around 2400 of them already, according to their site.

In addition, a simple YouTube search reveals well over a dozen amateur clips of the giant fire and the explosion made by UKers stumbling out of their house wondering what the heck that noise was, and capturing a bit of the smoke and flame for everyone to see. This particular MetaCafe video has a pretty good slideshow of the better pictures of the devestation.

Flash: Totally Creepy Spider Simulator

If you’re not very keen on manipulating a spider, then skip this link. I was itchy within a few seconds, and just clenched-eyes and shuddered typing this out. Eeeeeuuuhhh!

You can change a bunch of features like color, leg length, and shadow angle, plus you can drag it around by one leg with the mouse, or press the spacebar to drop an insect for it to walk over to and eat wherever the mouse is on the screen. Eerie!

Flash Spider Simulator.

Clarifying Ripley: Ivanhoe Reservoir goes Balls-To-The-Water

According to a recent Ripley’s Believe It Or Not newspaper feature panel, “Thousands of black plastic balls float atop the 58-million-gallon Ivanhoe Reservoir in Los Angeles, Calif., to provide shade for the water and to prevent carcinogens from forming!” Hoping to at least find a better picture than their typical hand sketch version, I thought I’d look it up.

The Los Angeles Times covers the incident, where the Department of Water and Power there dropped 400,000 large black plastic balls. More like rolled, perhaps.

As is typical RBION style, the hand-drawn illustration is actually a re-creation of an actual photograph, this one, and here are a few others. This article has a picture of the approximate size of one of them, as held in the hand. And still, yet more pictures.

The idea in doing so, was to prevent chlorine (cleansing agent), bromide (naturally found in groundwater) and sunlight mixing to create a poisonous combination — by mostly eliminating the effects of sunlight on the water. Looks cool, at least.

Debunking Forwards: Hungry at the Olympics?

A recent e-mail forward going around shows many unattributed photos (with edited-in captions) of a Chinese Olympic foodcart court with such offerings as scorpions, silk worms, sea horses, goat lungs, and more. I don’t especially see a reason to doubt these are from an Olympic venue (other than the fact that Chinah as a ban on dog meat, and “dog liver and vegetables” is shown as an open-air food cart offering.

I was not able to find any mention of it on the web through a standard Googling — the only similar story seemed to be a BBC news article about how China is banning dog meat, that included the phrase “hungry at the olympics”..

However, I was able to locate a few pictures that seemed strikingly similar (without the edited-in captions, perhaps being the originals upon which the captions were added) by searching directly on Flickr. Mauricio Moreno came up after searching for olympics, food, scorpion. I only found a few of them, so I suspect there may be another photographer, possibly from the same venue. The search continues.. can anyone else find a gallery of these?

Here are a few from the email, but I won’t post all 17 pictures for fear of getting server hammered! heh

Edit — OK, scratch that. I DID find someone who posted the entire series of pictures.. but they’re in a flash-based slideshow format, and at a terrible quality reduction. I somehow doubt some radio station is the origin of these, though!

Signs Best Read Only From The Proper Spot

A sign-painter has painted some ingenuitous letterings that read properly only when viewed from the angle at which the information applies to the viewer, but looks skewed when viewed at nearly any other angle.

When viewed directly on, the letters appear to simply exist outside of the normal limits of perspective (such as not appearing to diminish in perspective when viewed on an angled wall), but it’s hard to describe just by saying so:

Axel Peemoeller’s Parking Garage Letterings

Flip-Flop Animation Experiment #1

I’ve been trying to test out what I’ve come to simply refer to as a flip-flop animation, using two or more pictures played at 10ms each in an endless loop (animated GIF). The example below was one of my Random Images a while ago, and got me to experimenting on how one might be produced.

Random Image From A Previous Post

I tried it out at first taking two pictures that I thought were relatively side-by-side — by just pressing the shot button once, then again. I then edited them together using the default frame time of 10ms with a trial version of GIF Movie Gear that I got and have since enjoyed so far. What resulted were two images that, instead of looking 3D, actually shook like an earthquake (and almost panic-attack inducing, I might add).

I’ve created a new Flickr account, twothreeeight, to showcase most all of my photography in general, including this set of experiments. However, when viewing them from Flickr itself, you’ve got to click on the View All Sizes button above the preview thumb in order to see the actual animation sequence.



It was then that I remembered my camera had one of those less-oft used functions of rapid-ish-ly taking multiple shots with only one button press, so I decided to try using that, and with GIF Movie Gear lined up a Shot1/Shot2/Shot3/Shot4/Shot3/Shot2 loop, so that it would go back and forth up and down the line — moving the camera only what I estimated to be very minutely. Not that much better!


After this semi-failure, I wondered that perhaps my angling really wasn’t as deep as it should have been, so I tried a few outside instead.

Zooming In: Fail

Going Around a Shrub: Fail

Looking Down A Street: Fail-ish

The last one was probably the best try, but still not quite what I was trying to do.
I’ll still have to experiment with this more, but take a stab at it yourself and let me know how it comes out — maybe even provide a link?

Custom Halo 3 Map: AT-AT

A guy I’ve chatted with a few times (and played matchmaking with once or twice), Lucifer7, and a few other gents created this Empire Strikes Back-ish AT-AT (the four-legged walkers in the snow) in the Halo 3 Forge. I made a little exploration video of it to show it off. Lucifer7 later discovered the video, and told me I’d made him “net famous” now.

You can view a few screenshots I made with two players doing simult-lasers from the “mouth” ledges righ’ cha.

Add To My List: LOLCat-esque sites

As suggested by a frequent Halo3 matchmaking friend, here’s a list of those familiar LOLCat-like sites, puppies included. Are there others I’ve missed? Please add them in the comments ^_^

ASmallVictory.net (one image for the whole site?)
LOLTheist (religious pictures LOLspeak’d)

The next few I’ve lifted straight from a LaughingSquid post of the same subject matter (that I came across whilst searching for sites)..

LOLCat Buildr Beta (easily make your own)
(Trek’s Tribbles episode redone LOL-style)
LOL President (political pictures)
LOL Geeks (geeky pictures)
LOLMaps (map-related, click image to change)
LOLburners (Flickr pool of Burning Man images)
LOLcode (hmm…)
The LOLcky Horror Picture Show (like the Tribbles link above)
LOL Bots
LOL Bats (small gallery of Batman images)
LOL Pilgrims (small gallery of ye olde images)
LOL Lost (meh..)
LOL NIN (Nine Inch Nails theme)
LOL Theorists (oldish science images)
LOLvangelists (televangelist images)
LOLGod (seems Christian-made)
LOLbrarians (book nerd images)
LOLgoth (click post titles for images)
LOL Heroes (TV Show Heroes gallery)
LOLsingularity (uh… wut?)
LOLcopz (Flickr pool, police related)
LOLthulu (a public msgboard post)
LOL Rapz (rappers)
Pink Floyd LOL Wall (small gallery, LJ)
LOL 80s (msgboard thread?)

Whew! Any more?

Geeky Garage Sale Find: Ewok VHS movies

Me and dad, on our usual Saturday tour through the local garage sales, occasionally find some rare steals. One such incident occurs not too long ago, resulting in nerdy grab at a dollar apiece:

The Ewok Adventure (listed for $1.99 at half.com)
Ewoks: The Battle For Endor (listed for $6.99 at half.com)

Also pictured is my official ablestmage mascot, Pallu.

For your.. um.. Stadium Fixation?

I stumbled across an interesting site with a collection of images of sports stadiums across the globe, organized very keenly by seating size, as well as by country that you can click on a map to locate. It’s WorldStadiums.com and worth a peek at least.

Even more interesting was that they actually had listings for the good stadiums in my city (which is not especially big) although they didn’t have pictures for it. I wonder if they accept submissions..? Yep!

Timewaster Flash Game: RoboKill Titan Prime

There’s a really good game out there but it requires a bit of two-hand simultaneous coordination. It’s called RoboKill and I would characterize it as a cross between Smash TV, Legend of Zelda, set in the time period of the old arcade classic Berzerk.

You’re a little robot, seen from the overhead perspective of Zelda-style, and you navigate through rooms like a Zelda dungeon or a Smash TV arena collecting bonuses and powerups, shooting the baddies you come across. If you’re a righty like me, you can use the left hand for using the up-down-left-right keys while using the mouse to aim the crosshairs and holding left-click to fire. You can buy upgrades with the dollars you find on the ground, pick up random bonuses (like front armor, shield recharges, etc) and sell old weapons to a shop keeper.

The basic idea is that a bunch of enemy robots have infiltrated a starbase and you’re going through the levels eradicating them. There’s also some dude on your com system at the beginning and end of each level telling you stuff. You’ve got the classic Zelda-1-style overhead map showing where you’ve been. If you die, you lose money and robots reclaim a few rooms you’ve already cleared. You gain experience and get level-up bonuses like better shields, higher damage, and ability to use new weapons. I spent a good 3-4 hours on this, and it just breezed by. Pretty good, but I had a little tough time getting used to using my left hand to navigate (better than trying to aim, though!) and I kept walking off the edge of some of the in-game cliffs (the borders are generally just walls you can walk up against). Really really good, and remarkable graphics. Very impressive. Cool music, too.

I got up to level 10, with an Uncommon Heavy Blaster, A Medium Blaster with Knockback and +39% Bullet Speed, 2 Light Grenade Launchers, a riot shield, 3 shield chargers and about $9,900 in cash. I even recorded a screen-captured demo of some of the action, notably implementing my strategy for getting my shield recharged.

Boyfriend Scandal Looms Near Jpop Idol

For those unaware, which I’m sure is quite a few, there are Japanese pop music groups made entirely of girls — some of them having anywhere from solo to upwards of 48 members. One particular collection of them, in the Hello!Project group (governed by Up-Front Agency, and includes Berryz Koubou, C-ute, and Morning Musume, among others) has a particular clause in their contracts that dictates to the effect that no female artist under contract with them may have a boyfriend or demonstrate any evidence of dating, romance, etc.

At one point some years ago, a scandal emerged regarding a potential romance for one artist from the group C-ute (one of my favorite groups), Murakami Megumi — and the artist involved was let go, though it was instead reported that she simply retired to put more focus on her schoolwork (considering they are foremostly minors).

Well, another such scandal has emerged, but it is actually not particularly certain whether or not the person in the video clips is actually the female artist that is accused of having these ties. Either Natsuyaki Miyabi or someone very closely resembling her is seen in pictures and video clips provided by Hello!Online’s unfolding coverage. I personally don’t have particular preference to that artist, so I’m somewhat indifferent as to whether it spells contract termination should the verdict unfurl to reveal she is actually the person in the picture, but generally I would hope not. The Hello!Project groups in general have already had their share of scandals (one recently being semi-resolved in a good way, after having been terminated for smoking, although signing with a different agency).

I’ve taken a few snapshots of my own, using Topaz Moment that I reviewed earlier to extract a few slightly higher quality images from the grainy video if possible. The only one of her was the best possible version I could get, because the camera isn’t very stable and blurs a lot regardless of which frame, plus there is low lighting and they naturally don’t often turn to look at the camera anyway.

Natsuyaki Miyabi ?

Inoo Kei ?