Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Space Junk.

Now I don't know about you, but this concerns me, just a little. I'll never forget reading about space junk in the newspaper for the first time in 2000. It felt like watching reality tv for the first time, there was something blatantly wrong with it. Transfixed at first, but then, a nagging feeling that I would see it again.

Space junk is a near orbit phenomenon. Its so real that NASA have entire department dedicated to it, and have to monitor what they call space debris, for successful space launches of the shuttle.

This week Clayton Anderson aboard the International Space Station jettisoned a piece of space junk weighing 635kg's, due to circle the earth for about 300 days and then re-enter the earths atmosphere. NASA took a while to come to this decision and are hopeful that it will all break up on re-entry. Thanks guys.

What's always struck me about space travel, space ownership and commercialisation of it, is that we seem to be making the same mistakes as we have done on earth. Or our methods are the same. Which is to say, problematic. Apparently there is so much space up there that a little junk would not hurt anyone.

Uh, excuse me but, in the year 2000 a 3000 litre Delta II rocket fuel tank hit the ground at 30 000 km/h. No one in the Durbanville area was notified or even knew about it till it happened. To quote Douglas Adams, maybe NASA were thinking: "Don't Panic!" but who can really tell.

We know NASA can track these objects. Maybe its the just our geographics that don't warrant notification in the southern hemisphere.

Here's a snippet below from the tubes. Notice how the anchorman and woman are trying to pass it off as a meteor shower, when the space geek is clearly telling them, its junk. Maybe they are also thinking: Don't panic!

Monday, July 23, 2007

We need to change

Lets consider change, and the affect a small action might have on our environment and eventually the globe.

I'm sure you have read about Blackle.com, the black screen search engine created by Australian company Heap Media. Yes, it was Heap not Google that put this small effort together in an attempt to reduce the amount of megawatts a pc uses from day to day while using Google.

The initial discovery of this site is awesome, but there seems to be a catch. The Blackle site was inspired by Mark Ontkush's hypothesis that if Google used a black background instead of white they could help save 750 megawatts hours of energy over the period of a year. (What is a watt hour exactly, I was wondering.)

Unfortunately, and if you believe the entry about Blackle on Wikipedia, then its a bit of a let down to think that this energy saving will only work if you are using a CRT monitor. And, that if you use an LCD monitor you might as well stay away from the site because you could use even more energy to display a black web page.

So, where does this leave us? Heap Media says that having a black Google as our homepage will at least remind us that we need to be more energy conscience, on a daily basis.

I could not agree more.

Leave the tech spec behind for a moment and forget whether you are using a CRT or an LCD or an LED display, or what ever comes next. What can we change on a daily basis to help conserve energy and the environment, so that or climate and environment stops changing?

World Wildlife (WWF) has a list
Market Watch posted a list
This one is easy to read

In South Africa we have had an electricity crisis because our national supplier did not quite get the forecast for our energy requirements right. With millions and millions of new cellphones, pcs, digital cameras, kettles, geysers, you-name-it, South Africans have put a bigger strain on their national grid than was forecast. And now we suffer irregular blackouts. We need to change. And we need to do it more than once a month or a few times a year.

Blackle is a great idea and wonderful sentiment, but we need more of these daily reminders and carbon zero commitments as individuals and as supporters of big corporates.

What do you do?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

hand job

Every now and then something pointless and creative pops into someones head and somehow gets on to the net. Incredible! This is another one of those weird and wonderful videos from the tubes. Aren't hands great, they are so versatile!

Where do your fingers go, when you sleep?

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Space invaders rock on!

In keeping with our theme of spaceships, spacejunk and creative work. Here's a little gem from YouTube, enjoy:

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

2012 Olympic logo: I bet you'll like it in 5 years time

I wonder if William Hill are placing odds on peoples opinions changing towards the London 2012 Olympic logo. I would place my bets on people loving this logo in future and it being revered and looked back upon as iconic of our era.

The logo has been fraught with controversy. Its been called a pigs ear, a wooden spoon, that it resembles a swastika, and just plain horrible. I was pretty surprised when I first saw it and its £400,000.00 (or £800,000.00 depending on what you read) price tag in newsprint. But in black and white newsprint it made no sense. In full colour it slowly made more sense. The magenta is surprising but it makes an impact. Then someone chirps, "oh right, it says 2012 somewhere in there". Can you see it?

Personally, and this is a blog of sweeping opinions of course, I love it. I think its going to be very well received in future, and I take my hat off to Wolff Olins and the committee for choosing something new. The young sports stars and kids of 2012 will probably love it, and by then, you might too. I don’t think this logo was designed with the old and wise in mind, I think it was designed with wild imagination and youthful abandon. Consider the brief the designers might have received a year ago in their job bag: Design us a logo that we can use 6 years in the future. A challenging brief by anyones standards.

I also found the Olympics archive. The archive is a great resource of historical information, including all the logos. And the 2012 logo is definitely breaking the mould. But by then maybe all logos will look like this and not like this. In reaction to all the negative opinions to the logo Michael Wolff says, "Prejudice is comfortable and lazy."

I hope they don’t bend to public pressure and change it.

This is quite entertaining: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_pictures/6726301.stm
and this: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_pictures/6727723.stm