Friday, May 28, 2010

She Was So Before Her Time


The Effects Of Math


Totally All 100% French

No one could be more French than this guy.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

16,999,999 Bees Survive Crash


Care To Enlighten Us?


Not pictured are the parking spots for this place, most of which are certainly marked "not a parking spot." The employees (which can't really be employees) think this stuff up while looking out their windows, most of which are ..of course.. marked "not a window."

This is not a blog post.

I Love Dis Mug, Mon


The "Ease" Of Breaking Into A Car

What a wuss!


Only In Texas


BP: Changes Coming

Obviously they've started with their logo.


Gravity Is Still Winning

Click to enlarge (no pun intended...)


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Starting Early


Cool Underwater 3D Environment

Click the banner image to experience Papervision3D - an underwater interactive environment that's quite intricate in its design. I say interactive because yes, you can even touch fish and sharks and stuff.

Pretty neat! Give it a little bit to load..


Swingin' Any Music

Image Source

The Swinger is a bit of python code that takes any song and makes it swing. It does this be taking each beat and time-stretching the first half of each beat while time-shrinking the second half. It has quite a magical effect.

Swinger uses the new Dirac time-stretching capabilities of Echo Nest remix. Source code is available in the samples directory of remix.

"Dont Stop Believin'" - Journey
Don't Stop Believin' (Swing Version) by plamere

"Sweet Child o' Mine" - Guns 'n' Roses
Sweet Child O' Mine (Swing Version) by plamere

My notes:
There is actually a great version of "Enter Sandman" by Metallica, which I thought sounded better than the original (lol) - until somewhere at the end of the solo (3:20), everything gets all screwed-up, and the rhythm got totally backwards from where it should be. As explained, the algorythm doesn't understand syncopation.

This is the stuff I was BORN to do for a living. I remember when I was a teen - probably 14 or 15.. I was using the all-new double cassette features of brand new stereos to mix & dub all sorts of things. I made mixes of Metallica, Iron Maiden, Dio (RIP), and even farts. Kudos to these guys!!!!1

Continue to the rest of the samples!


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Net Worth Of The U.S. Presidents: Washington To Obama

Having examined the finances of all 43 presidents (yes, 43; remember, Cleveland was president twice), we calculated the net worth figures for each in 2010 dollars. Because a number of presidents, particularly in the early 19th Century, made and lost huge fortunes in a matter of a few years, the number for each man is based on his net worth at its peak.

We have taken into account hard assets like land, estimated lifetime savings based on work history, inheritance, homes, and money paid for services, which include things as diverse as their salary as Collector of Customs at the Port of New York to membership on Fortune 500 boards. Royalties on books have also been taken into account, along with ownership of companies and yields from family estates.

The net worth of the presidents varies widely. George Washington was worth more than half a billion in today's dollars. Several presidents went bankrupt.

The fortunes of American presidents are tied to the economy in the eras in which they lived. For the first 75 years after Washington's election, presidents generally made money on land, crops, and commodity speculation. A president who owned hundreds or thousands of acres could lose most or all of his property after a few years of poor crop yields. Wealthy Americans occasionally lost all of their money through land speculation--leveraging the value of one piece of land to buy additional property. Since there was no reliable national banking system and almost no liquidity in the value of private companies, land was the asset likely to provide the greatest yield, if the property yielded enough to support the costs of operating the farm or plantation.

Because there was no central banking system and no commodities regulatory framework, markets were subject to panics. The panic of 1819 was caused by the deep indebtedness of the federal government and a rapid drop in the price of cotton. The immature banking system was forced to foreclose on many farms. The value of the properties foreclosed upon was often low, because land without a landowner meant land without a crop yield. The panic of 1837 caused a depression that lasted six years. It was triggered by a weak wheat crop, a drop in cotton prices, and a leverage bubble in the value of land created by speculation. These factors caused the U.S. economy to go through a multi-year period of deflation.

The sharp fluctuations in the fortunes of the first 14 presidents were a result of the economic times.

Beginning with Millard Fillmore in 1850, the financial history of the presidency entered a new era. Most presidents were lawyers who spent years in public service. They rarely amassed large fortunes and their incomes were often almost entirely from their salaries. From Fillmore to Garfield, these American presidents were distinctly middle class. These men often retired without the money to support themselves in a fashion anywhere close to the one that they had as president. Buchanan, Lincoln, Johnson, Grant, Hayes, and Garfield had almost no net worth at all.

The rise of inherited wealth in the early 20th Century contributed to the fortunes of many presidents, including Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and both of the Bushes. The other significant change to the economy was the advent of large professionally organized corporations. These corporations produced much of the oil, mining, financial, and railroad fortunes amassed at the end of the 19th Century and the beginning of the 20th. The Kennedys were wealthy because of the financial empire built by Joseph Kennedy. Herbert Hoover made millions of dollars as the owner of mining companies.

The stigma of making money from being a retired president also began to disappear. Calvin Coolidge made a large income from his newspaper column. Gerald Ford, who had almost no money when he was a Congressman made a small fortune from serving on the boards of large companies. Clinton made millions of dollars from writing his autobiography.

We analyzed presidential finances based on historical sources. Most media evaluations of the net worth of presidents have come up with a very wide range, a spread in which the highest figure was often several times the lowest estimate. Most sources provided no hard figures at all. Most of these efforts have focused largely on the analysis of recent chief executives. That is because it is much easier to calculate figures in a world where assets and incomes are a matter of public record.

One of the most important conclusions of this analysis is that the presidency has little to do with wealth. Several brought huge net worths to the job. Many lost most of their fortunes after leaving office. Some never had any money at all.

1st - George Washington (1789-1797)
$525 million Rank: 2

His Virginia plantation, "Mount Vernon," consisted of five separate farms on 8,000 acres of prime farmland, run by over 300 slaves. His wife, Martha Washington, inherited significant property from her father. Washington made significantly more than subsequent presidents: his salary was two percent of the total U.S. budget in 1789.

2nd - John Adams (1797-1801)
$19 million Rank: 18

Adams received a modest inheritance from his father. His wife, Abigail Adams, was a member of the Quincys, a prestigious Massachusetts family. Adams owned a handsome estate in Quincy, Massachusetts, known as "Peacefield," a working farm, covering approximately 40 acres. He also had a thriving law practice.

3rd - Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809)
$212 million Rank: 3

Jefferson was left 3,000 acres and several dozen slaves by his father. "Monticello," his home on a 5,000 acre plantation in Virginia, was one of the architectural wonders of its time. He made significant money in various political positions before becoming president, but was mired in debt towards the end of his life.

Continue to the rest of the list..


Catch-22 FTW!

How does it update itself without the update it needs to do updates? Now I'm confooseded.


America's Scariest Highways

To identify the nation's scariest highways we sought advice from Mark Sedenquist and Megan Edwards, who run RoadTrip America, as well as from Marree Forbes (no affiliation with Forbes Inc.), who runs the site American Driving Vacations, and Robert Dolezal, author of The Most Scenic Drives in America: 120 Spectacular Road Trips.

Mark Sedenquist and Megan Edwards' California home was destroyed by a forest fire in 1993. Instead of rebuilding, the couple bought an RV and took to the open road, traveling across the U.S. and Canada for almost seven years.

The couple has since settled in Las Vegas, but they continue to take driving vacations and encourage others to do the same on their website, RoadTrip America, which they run through Flattop Productions, their small business. Sedenquist and Edwards estimate they've traveled over 650,000 miles.

Highway 1 (Florida)

Outside of Key West this roadway turns into a two-lane bridge that crosses an expansive body of shallow water that reflects blinding sunlight. On top of that, "it's really tough for the driver to stay focused because everything around you is so blue," Sedenquist says. This stretch of highway is also troublesome during hurricane warnings because it is the only way out and gets packed with evacuees.

Interstate 70 (Colorado)

I-70 through Denver has one of the highest passes on all the interstates, and its steep hills can be extremely slick in the winter. In bad weather "you just stay in your lane, don't touch your brakes, and hope you make it to the bottom," Sedenquist says.

Pacific Coast Highway (California)

Although it has beautiful views, this elevated, curvy roadway hangs over the water. But not everyone is sold on its scariness. Marree Forbes' clients always ask if this road is safe to drive, and she thinks "it's total, utter nonsense." The highway is "fabulous," she says.

Highway 1 (Alaska)

Because it is surrounded by beautiful scenery and mountains, this roadway is plagued with accidents. Driving along it can be terrifying "because people are sightseeing and they're not watching the road," Sedenquist says.

Continue to the rest of the list.. (Page contains a second link to its partner site.)

Banner Image is the Guoliang Tunnel in China’s Taihang mountains.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Here's Some Perspective

Click to zoom in..


Poor Fish

Click to enlarge!

What an incredible image. That's all...


What's Down There? Hmm.. Can I... Oops

Inquisitive puppy better realize...

Usually only cartoon ostriches get away with this without controversy!


That's What She Said


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Raz Ben Ari: 10 Genres Of Metal In 3 Minutes

Very cool! As I've always said, though, it's when everyone starts trying to classify music into genres, or put labels on music, that the mistake is made in the first place. It is my personal opinion that there are several bands who own their own "genre".

[Music playing in background]
Dude: "Who is that.. is that progressive rock, or is it called progressive metal? Hard rock? Wait no, it's heavy metal."

Another dude: "Shut up already, it's Rush!

You get the idea.. anyway go check out the guy's website. He's pretty damn talented! There's also a track there he created called "One Man Guitar Quartet".

Razbenari's Youtube Page / Via, and everywhere else

It's About Time Subway

As an update to this post, it appears the CEO's of Subway have heard the cries for tesselated cheese:

Click to zoom in!


How About A Full-Body Mustache?

You know, it only took me about a half-dozen views, but I just noticed it actually does go all the way to his shins. Now I'm really lmao..

You might be a redneck if.....


Math Baby Is Smart


The BosWash Corridor

Click to enlarge..

I've actually noticed/thought about this on many occasions. Living near San Antonio, we have Austin within an hour, Houston within 3 hours, Waco 3 hours, Dallas is about 4.5..

How "lucky" are these 30-40 million people to have this many huge metropolitan areas around them! Note: You can also include Providence, Trenton, Newark, and Richmond if you wanted to. And if you go a little bit further you also have Raleigh, Greensboro, Charlotte, and (gulp) Atlanta!


Push Button


Awesome Tree Handrail For Stairs

Very cool!! Too bad we don't have a staircase..


The Rum Cake Is Missing