Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tastes Like Chicken

I've blogged about Savage Chickens before. Doug Savage writes out his cartoons on a Post-It note everyday. A single panel cartoon, usually with a chicken or two, is reminiscent of Gary Larson's cow fetish. Which makes Doug pretty much a genius in my book. He is also good at using the electronic medium he is posting to. Many of his cartoons are cross-referenced against older cartoons that are similar or part of a series or theme (e.g. robots). He's clever, he's funny, he's willing to throw stones at our collective stupidity: good role model for life, in my book.

If you find him as funny as I do, you can subscribe to his cartoons via your newsreader or by email.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Once Upon a Time

Phunkidz, if you've been reading this blog for a while you know that I'm always intrigued when someone does something clever. A twist on an old idea or something old dressed up as something new always piques my interest. Penguin books has released six "books" in interesting formats that are based on older books: a Google maps mashup, a girl's and her parents blogs, an interactive fairy tale, a live chat session, a series of infographs, and an adventure game like book coming on April 22nd.

These are loosely based on the The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan, The Haunted Doll's House by M R James, Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Anderson, Therese Raquin by Emile Zola, Hard Times by Charles Dickens, and Tales from the Thousand and One Nights. No doubt Penguin would like to boost sales of their classics--if you find the unusual versions interesting consider purchasing a book from Penguin.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Biomimetics: Inspiration From Nature

Nature can provide the best inspiration! Did you know that velcro was developed by a Swiss engineer named George after he finished picking burrs off of his dog? How about bubbling blowfish, wet wicking lizards, wall climbing geckos, whale tales, and self-cleaning lotus plants as design patterns for new inventions? National Geographic has penned a great article on how nature can provide ideas for us as humans. Check out the article here and fabulous photo spread here.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Refitting the Space Shuttle

To many of you Phunkidz, the Space Shuttle has been around since you were born. Ho hum. Send a rocket into space. The special effects in movies and video games causes us to underestimate and, indeed under appreciate, how complicated space travel really is. To get the space shuttle up into orbit takes thousands of people and billions of dollars worth of equipment and months of preparation. Ya can't just hop in, turn the key, and go.

There's a great picture show that details the preparation of the shuttle for launch from the assembly of the liquid fuel and solid fuel boosters to the insertion of the payload to the actual travel to the launch pad. Note the scale of the operation: most photos have people in them if you look closely. These are big machines!