Monday, 31 January 2011

e-clecticism Mobile

Person with PDA handheld device.Image via WikipediaHey everybody, e-clecticism has gone mobile! If you have ever accessed this site via a mobile device you'll have noticed how awful the normal interface is to use on screen the size of a phone.

But now, thanks to a new feature of Blogger, the site will hopefully detect that you are using a phone or other mobile device and automatically switch to a simpler more cut-down interface. Well, that's the plan anyway. This feature is only in "beta" at the moment and is only available on Blogger In Draft so it is only a test and I would be grateful for any feedback you can give.
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Space Planes

You may remember the great video I posted in 2009 about Samsung's SSD's? Well now they're at it again but this time its their SD memory cards that are getting the cool treatement.

Simply put, they decided to launch 100 paper planes from the edge of space! Each plane carried a message for the person who finds it. The messages were carried on memory cards attached to the planes. If you are lucky enough to find one the planes you can let them know here. So far planes have been reported found in Germany, The Netherlands, USA, Canada and South Africa.

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Sunday, 30 January 2011

Head Tracking

The authors of computer games, the robotics industry, the military, they all want to create the perfect head tracking system. Didn't they know they only had to talk to a chicken? Chicken's are a walking squawking Steadicam.

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Saturday, 29 January 2011

The Chase

I don't watch much TV but when I do, I often enjoy the adverts (commercials) as much as the programmes. I do like a commercial that is cleverly made and this one from Intel to promote the 2nd Generation Intel Core i5 processor, is very clever. 'The Chase' is set on a computer's desktop, as the action jumps between programs, applications and websites including Facebook, Flickr and YouTube.

The Chase Film by Intel
Uploaded by Suchablog. - Watch original web videos.
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Friday, 28 January 2011

Lego Antikythera Mechanism

You may or may not have heard of the Antikythera Mechanism. It is an ancient mechanical computer designed to calculate astronomical positions, but its true purpose and complexity were only revealed recently. Astounding in itself, but now a gentleman by the name of Andrew Carol has taken it a step further and recreated the device out of Lego. This is astonishing especially as it only took him thirty days.

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Thursday, 27 January 2011

Cradle Rock

As a father myself I have often teased my children for my own amusement. It's a parent's revenge for the heartache they give you later in life don't you know. Convincing them that the ice cream vendor only sold fried onions, or assuring them that they weren't actually our children but merely on loan from the local Zoo, or any number of other hilarious scenarios that should keep them in therapy for years to come.

On that note, enjoy Alex amusing himself in a way only a dad can.

Baby's First Audition from alex on Vimeo.
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Wednesday, 26 January 2011

TG Is Back

One of my favourite TV shows is back, Top Gear! New cars, a new Stig and new haircuts are all included at no extra cost. Enjoy some behind the scenes footage where Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May tell us what goodies the new series has in store.

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Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Oh Canada!

Skyline of TorontoImage via WikipediaI love to travel but sadly, besides the odd European beach holiday, I have not managed to travel anywhere near as much as I'd like in recent years. But this year I aim to fix that as I am currently planning a trip to a country (actually a continent) that I have never been to before. Canada. It is several months away yet but I'm more than a little bit excited. Regular readers of e-clecticism will know that I am a keen amateur photographer and I so I hope to keep posting from my travels and photographically share my experiences with you all.

I fly in and out of Toronto but my current plan is to also visit Montreal and Quebec as well as Hogtown, which should give me plenty of scope with regard to material such as Niagara Falls, a baseball game (sadly the NHL season will be over) and anything else I can think of. Another reason to be excited is that I'm also really looking forward to finally meeting up with e-clecticism's first fan, and my good friend, Daisy and her family. It is just a shame that dbs is so far away. :-(

I have even got some funny money ready!

So bear with me if I start to bore you with all things Canadia (hehe) but at least now you'll understand why.

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Monday, 24 January 2011

Fire Tornado

If you're going to try this please be very careful, certainly use only a small amount of lighter fluid so that it can burn out safely. It seems creating a tornado of fire is relatively easy. All you need is a mesh type wastepaper basket, the tin from a tea-light, a lazy susan and the aforementioned light fluid.

This occurs beacuse the flame draws air in through the mesh. As it passes through it gets pulled round in a circle. Science rocks! :-)

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Sunday, 23 January 2011

Mirror City

This is a very simple but a beautifully captivating effect. Flickr user cshimala attached his video camera to his car and drove around. Apparantly the black flickers are his wipers clearing snow. The mirror effect was added later with a filter using Vegas Movie Studio HD

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Thursday, 20 January 2011

Rude Road Trip

The InbetweenersImage via WikipediaI must apologise to my readers from overseas as this post will make little sense to you guys. However for e-clecticism's UK readers (especially those of you are fans of that most excellent of sit-coms "The Inbetweeners"), I have some good news. To help raise money for this year's Comic Relief Red Nose Day the cast are embarking on a road trip around Great Britain to find it's rudest place names. Simon Bird, Joe Thomas, James Buckley and Blake Harrison aim to travel to 50 smuttily-named places in 50 hours using the show's yellow Fiat. Footage of the trip will be made available on iTunes with the profits going to the charity.

The third and final series of The Inbetweeners came to an end in October last year but a movie is due out later this summer. The show, which followed four students trying to become popular and get girlfriends, proved a huge success for Channel 4.

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Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Instant Vapour

I'm sure my lovely Canadian readers (you know who you are) will confirm but it seems to me that the city of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories can be a pretty inhospitable place in terms of weather, but this is astonishing.

Watch the following video to see samantha683 throw boiling water into the air with unexpected results. Because the temperature at the time was -30c, rather than splashing to the ground the water is instantly vapourised. Pretty impressive to us lot this side of the pond.

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Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Watson TV

'Watson' is a computer (named after Thomas Watson, IBM's founder) that can apparantly take on the best at the TV gameshow Jeopardy! IBM developed Watson to take on Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, two of the all time greats at playing the show.

The rules of the challenge say that Watson can only work from data stored on the machine, it is not allowed to network with other computers or access the Internet. The screen that represents Watson on the show hides a rather impressive setup behind the scenes. According to linuxfordevices...

Watson is powered by 10 racks of Power 750 servers running Linux, containing 15 terabytes of RAM and 2,880 processor cores operating at 80 teraflops, IBM said. Each Power7 system can run thousands of simultaneous analytics algorithms to sift through more than 15 terabytes of information stored in Watson's "brain." The data is stored in a DB2 database.
Although there’s a million dollar prize at stake in the challenge, IBM will donate any winning to charity. It says the aim of developing Watson isn’t TV glory, but rather to have a practical way of coming up with a technology that reverses the usual question-answer format. For example, it could lead to computer systems that do a better job of diagnosing a medical condition from a list of symptoms, or performing a similar role in tech support. It’s also possible it could lead to search engines that are more able to understand natural language questions.

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Monday, 17 January 2011

Slow Flash

Don't panic I'm not going to take my clothes off. Instead the following video is a slow motion film (1052 fps) of an old fashioned single use filament flash bulb being fired. I love that slow motion can make almost anything look spectacular.

slow burn from frazerchurchill on Vimeo.
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Sunday, 16 January 2011

3 Minutes

This is a short film called "3 Minutes" (it is exactly three minutes long, coincidence? I think not. :-)). It has been released exclusively on YouTube and apparently there will be a sequel and a prequel. It stood out for me because of the very impressive special effects. That, and I'm a sucker for a Light Saber. See the website for more info.

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Saturday, 15 January 2011

I Built A Toaster

Another fantastic TED talk. Thomas Thwaites attempts to find out how difficult it would be to build technology from scratch. A Douglas Adams quotation sets him on a path of discovery to see if he can build his own toaster. It turns out he does a fantastic job.

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Friday, 14 January 2011

Mascot Dance

Happy Friday everybody! This just made me grin from ear to ear, so hopefully it will for you guys too. A basketball team mascot shows of his smooth moves at half-time.

Awesome Mascot Dance at Halftime - Watch more Funny Videos
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Thursday, 13 January 2011


I may receive a beating for this one, but I'm willing to sacrifice myself for the male e-clecticism readers who might need help in their relationships!

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Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Replica Light Saber

Slothfurnace, AKA Bradley W. Lewis, is an ubergeek with a real talent. Amongst other things, Bradley likes to build replica props from the Star Wars films; especially Light Sabers. Just look at the detail and craftsmenship that went into this replica of Luke Skywalker's weapon of choice from The Return of the Jedi. See more from Slothfurnace on his website.

First without the blast attached...

Now with the optional blade fitted...

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Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Star Trek Remix

I need to give a you a Bad Language Warning for the following video, but it must appeal to my inner immaturity because to be honest it is far too funny not to post. :-)

A group calling themselves Dayjob Orchestra have produced a series of videos that use the mistaken lip-reading of (mostly) Star Trek Next Generation episodes to hilarious effect. Enjoy, but don't say I didn't warn you about the language.

Now if I can just get a t-shirt that says "both my parents are budgies"!

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Monday, 10 January 2011

Net Neutrality

The following video is well worth a watch. There is a growing fear that the Independence and freedom you as a user of the Internet will soon be a thing of the past. That major corporations such as the phone companies will one day have control of what you can do and see whilst connected. If this is something that would concern you, you need to watch all of this. Edited by Arin Crumley.

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Sunday, 9 January 2011

Time Fountain

This is a rather nice illustration of science in action. A strobe light flashing at just the right speed to make it look like dripping water is going in slow motion or even backwards. This phenomenon happens because strobe lights can 'capture' an instant in time and allow your eyes to see it as lasting longer than an instant. More information on how this was done, can be found here.

Uploaded by natetrue. - Explore more science and tech videos.
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Saturday, 8 January 2011

Guest Bloggers

Image representing Blogger as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBaseI thought for a bit of fun it might be nice to invite some of my favourite bloggers to write a guest post for e-clecticism. As it is eclectic by name and nature, I'm not going to influence them in anyway, I'll let them choose a topic and encorage them to write in their own style. They can even plug their own blogs. I'll invite one at a time and if it works out well I might even start inviting non-bloggers aswell. I have created a new label called "Guest" so watch out for the first of the posts soon. In the meantime, if you're a glutton for punishment and you'd really like to post something of your own, please get in touch.
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Friday, 7 January 2011

Mini Fridge Cannon

Throughout history there have been great men and women. People that have led the way and inspired the rest of and left us in awe. This guy is one such man. He deserves the Nobel Prize for services to humanity.

The only trouble is, he has very girly tastes in beer. :-)

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Thursday, 6 January 2011

Holographic Printing

Zebra Imaging boldly proclaims that they "produce the most innovative holographic products and technology in the world". Judging by the 3D holographic architectural models they were showing off at the recent Autodesk University exhibition, I'm inclined to agree.

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Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Biblical Living

Another great TED talk. This time from author, philosopher, prankster and journalist A.J. Jacobs. Here he talks about the year he spent living biblically. Following the rules in the Bible as literally as possible.

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Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Pencil Full Of Lego

A long time friend of mine decided to have some fun with his kids. Armed with a camera, some Lego, some basic movie making software and a great taste in music they came up with these gems. Here's hoping they make it a trilogy. :-)

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Monday, 3 January 2011

Modern Times Legacy

With all the fuss about Tron Legacy at the moment, this video mashup of it and Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times by Vimeo user Nick Tierce, is simply great.

Nick Tierce's Tron-ified Modern Times from Nick Tierce on Vimeo.
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Sunday, 2 January 2011

Hug A Developer

Dedicated to developers everywhere. If you work with one or more, go find them and give them a big hug. They need it.

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Saturday, 1 January 2011


Happy New Year Everyone!

Peter Root made a model of a city called Ephemicropolis out of staples. Apparently he used about 100,000 staples and 18 square metres of floor space and it took him 40 hours. See here for some great photos.

The Making of Ephemicropolis from Peter Root on Vimeo.
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