Posted by on 23 October 2008 at 5:02 pm  Cool, Sports
Oct 232008

Wow, this video of mind-blowing acrobatics on a flexible bar makes the balance beam look damn easy:

(Via The Agitator.)

Sep 262008

Tammy and I thought it would be great to produce a series of T-shirt designs for those occasions when it is appropriate to wear our ideas on our sleeves.  Bonus points if they aren’t just provocative but actually spark some good engagement!

Here is the first design.  It uses the same font and style of a certain famous ad campaign, echoing its clever device for pointing to something important we need and should want:

(Just click through to BoltOfReason.Com to check out all the available styles and colors. We of course love suggestions and requests — we’re already working on a lot of fun ideas, and if you are the first to hit us with a new one that we use in a future shirt design, you’ll get one for free!)

Water Fountain

 Posted by on 16 September 2008 at 12:37 pm  Cool, Technology
Sep 162008

There’s nothing worse than the big vertical jets of water that often populate shopping malls. They’re loud — and not interesting in the slightest. In contrast, I’ve seen some cool “jumping” fountains, but this fountain beats them all:

(Via Guy.)

Threat to America

 Posted by on 19 August 2008 at 1:33 pm  Cool
Aug 192008

Watching the demolition of this house made a new threat to America all-too-clear to me, namely that our homes are shockingly vulnerable to destruction from large monsters. Seriously, they are just too damn flimsy.

(That’s Greg and Tammy Perkins’ house, by the way.)

A Moral Example of Salami Slicing

 Posted by on 26 June 2008 at 11:47 pm  Business, Cool, Ethics
Jun 262008

Remember that technique which showed up in the plots of movies like Superman III, Hackers, and Office Space, where someone would change bank software to take fractions of cents from transactions like interest payments and funnel them all into one account? Nobody misses a fraction of a cent — but given enough transactions over time, the sum can really add up! That’s what they call “Salami Slicing.”

Of course it is stealing in cases like that, but the same idea of accumulating vast numbers of tiny values that are hardly noticeable could legitimately pay off, too.

Consider this fact about driving your vehicle: left turns often require waiting for oncoming traffic to clear, taking a little more time and gas on average than right turns do. Now, this doesn’t make all that much of a difference to most of us (just like the above fraction of a cent we may or may not get in interest from the bank) — but if you have a fleet of 90,000 big brown trucks that follow the routes you schedule for them each day to deliver packages, then adjusting your software to minimize left turns could really add up!

Last year, according to Heather Robinson, a U.P.S. spokeswoman, the software helped the company shave 28.5 million miles off its delivery routes, which has resulted in savings of roughly three million gallons of gas…

That’s some serious scratch, especially with the price of gas today! I love it — kudos to the brain at UPS who saw and brilliantly exploited this little fact.

[HT: Jason]

Just a Pleasant Springtime Hike

 Posted by on 19 June 2008 at 11:12 am  Cool
Jun 192008

If you have a fear of heights, then don’t watch this video.

And especially don’t watch it in “full screen” mode (small icon near the bottom right that looks like a square with brackets).

(Via Not Totally Rad.)

Not Your Father’s Way Up Pike’s Peak

 Posted by on 14 June 2008 at 5:00 am  Cool
Jun 142008

BoingBoing says: “This short film of the Peugeot 405 T16 rally car doing a run up Pikes Peak is fantastic. I love the piano intro, the tone of the film stock, and most of all: the driving. Can you imagine what it must feel like to toss a 1,000-bhp rally car around a dirt track just inches away from certain death?”

Just watching the run from the comfort of my living room that got my heart racing! (Via Howard.)


 Posted by on 7 June 2008 at 3:30 pm  Cool
Jun 072008

Many years ago, my co-blogger Greg attempted to teach me to juggle. While I was skeptical, he told me that he could teach anyone to juggle in an hour. After three hours of attempting to correct painful juggling ineptitude, he finally admitted defeat.

Hence, I watch this awesome bit of juggling using a large triangle with no small degree of awe:

Update: Damn, that video has been pulled. Try this one:

(Just ignore the idiotic commentary.)

Here’s a longer — and slightly comic — performance, without the idiotic commentary:

The Panama Canal in 75 Seconds

 Posted by on 29 May 2008 at 4:23 pm  Cool, Technology
May 292008

This cool time lapse movie shows a passage of a tanker through the Panama Canal in 75 Seconds.

The Panama Canal Authority website states, “The history of the construction of the Panama Canal is the saga of human ingenuity and courage: years of sacrifice, crushing defeat, and final victory. Many gave their life in the effort. Follow the story from the early days of the French construction period, to the completion by the United States, and into the present time.”

More details of the history of this amazing creation can be found here. And of course there’s a Wikipedia article.

(Via Joost Bonsen.)

Peanut Butter Ingenuity

 Posted by on 20 May 2008 at 4:28 pm  Cool
May 202008

Sometimes, simple ideas are often the best. For example, the invention known as the Easy PB&J Jar:

…How many times have reached the bottom of the jar only to be frustrated at not being able to get those last few bits? Well, too often for me.

The Easy PB&J Jar is a jar with two lids that allows you to access all of your peanut butter easily without having to resort to breaking open the jar. As you near the end on one side, simply flip the jar over to get the rest. The straight and smooth internal walls also ensure that no peanut butter is ever left behind a nook or cranny like existing jars.

(Via Neatorama.)

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