Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Wasn’t it Ken Richardson who said that innovation was the ultimate practical application of the imagination? Two Japanese hikers, one paralyzed from the neck down, made it to within 500 yards of the summit of 13,741ft Breithorn mountain in Switzerland. Normally, this would not be a great story of the power of personal will in overcoming obstacles and achieving goals. But what makes this story special is the team’s use of a robotic exoskeleton. With the aid of the HAL or hybrid assistive limb robotic suit developed by Cyberdyne of Japan (talk about irony) the two-man team was able to make the trek up the mountain “piggy-back” style. With use of the HAL suit, a person normally able to lift 220 lbs on a leg press can lift an amazing 396 lbs. This is an 80% increase if lifting capacity. More on this story can be found here.

Below is a mark-up of the HAL-3 assistive suit.


Monday, August 21, 2006

Now I've said before...

...that Technology is like a bitch who really knows how to fuck. Apparently, she's also quite the cock tease. Check this sexy beast out over at Engadget and tell me it doesn't give you a hard-on!

Why do the limeys have to be so fucking lucky???


Saturday, August 19, 2006

Something I've Always Wanted to Know...

Big Johnny Johnston

People Iced:Thirty Eight
Car Bombs Planted:Eight
Favorite WeaponCurdled Milk
Arms Broken:Twenty Nine
Eyes Gouged:Seven
Tongues Cut Off:Eleven
Biggest Enemy:Buck-Eyed Bart

Get Your HITMAN Name

Curlded milk, eh?


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Thank heavens for small victories!

Today could best be summed up by weaving a sweater out of a mass of wild yarn.

I woke this morning knowing that I would have a lot on my plate; running around as well as little fix-it projects to get done so that I don't go completely insane. If you're like me then you'll realize that procrastination is one thing but once too many things start to build up you can feel Mr. Hyde rearing his ugly head! One thing that got me pissed off the night before happened just before I left my apartment for downtown. I go to hit the tab on my throne to flush and SNAP, then nothing. No flush. No rattling. Nada. "Shit," I say to myself as I lift off the porcelain lid to see what the fuck happened. My instincts were correct: the chain broke connecting the flapper to the lever. This is no big deal, just cut of the bad link in the chain and reattach the chain to the flapper and the lever and Voila - just like nothing ever happened. Well, upon closer inspection the chain wasn't a chain at all but a plastic/rubberized strip that looked something like a zip tie. So the thing snapped in half and there was no way to simply reattach it. What a piece of shit! So I ended up calling my property manager's office to send someone to fix it. The dude showed up quick enough and the problem was solved but in the mean time I had two BMs.



Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Approaching the last weekend of round 1...

...and I am worn out to say the least! But this isn't a bad thing considering my involvement in the tourney thus far and the fact that the tourney has been a super great time! Being a judge this year is probably a lot harder than it has been in past years because this year has an actual scoring rubric. A pretty detailed one at that. This is an excellent step to being able to quantify what we see and hear a DJ due during a set. It beats just sitting their, listening and then trying to qualitatively decide who was better. The qualitative process alone brings in so much error to the equation. (I'm not even going to go into it here.)

The weekend I had initially wrote I would be judging turned out to be false. Instead, they used me twice on this past Friday and Saturday night to finish out the second-to-last quarter bracket. Last first round bracket will be completed this weekend on August 3rd, 4th and 5th (Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights). All of the DJs who have entered thus far are really good. Some have obvious faults which can be attributed to lack of experience playing in front of a croud and lack of experience playing with different equipment. After all, it is easy for us to master our own kit. The trouble is getting other devices that you don't know to put out like your kit does. This is something that can only come from experience and getting around and playing with other DJs. Just talking to them you can pass a lot of knowledge between a group. Also, it doesn't hurt to ask about a certain plateau or "brick wall" you may be facing. In the hunt for a new sound or new trick behind the decks, we often get hunkered down in technique when what we should be doing is allowing ourselves to improv every now and then. Many of of the neatest tricks and turntable wizardry have been discovered through pure accident.

In any case, the losers in the opening rounds I have made it a point to shake their hands and give them definite kudos and head-knods for their efforts. I mean it takes a lot of minerals to get up their and look at three judges staring at you plus hoping everything in your set goes smoothly. It can flat rattle people in that situation.

I'm still trying to figure out how to get a dynamic link of the bracket I created up and running so that all who give a shit can following along with the competition. I may have to do some snooping around in order to solve this problem or I may have to resort to printing, scanning and creating a pdf or slide of some kind. Y'all will know once I get it right - because I will be happier and excited like the crazy person I am!


On a less happy note, Biggah-B had a buddy over in Germany die from complications resulting from a seizure. I'm not quite sure of the absolute details, but I do know the person suffered from periodic seizures. I hope to learn more from Biggah-B and the crew as time goes on as I am only slightly experienced with seizure disorders.

My grandmother before she passed used to get seizures when she could no longer walk. She was able to move herself and position herself on a bedside or commode if she was exiting a wheelchair or some other transport device, but shortly afterwords she would have a bout of some sort. It could be just her sitting and twitching a bit or it could be a more animated type of convulsion. Luckily, they would never knock her off balance, meaning she would never fall off the chair, bed or commode. But what she would definitely experience would be a loss of time. Often, when she came out she had no idea what time it was or where she was for brief moments until she was aclimated by familiar voices and surroundings.

If you are interested, click the word "seizure" above or following this link for further information on epilepsy and related disorders.

Biggah-B feel better. I know exactly what you are going through. Time will heal all wounds. My deepest sympathy and regards to your friend's family.