atomic batteries to power

After catching up on Brendan‘s recent bloggings, I was pleasantly blown off my feet by recent progress in the field of exoskeletons. However, this serves to hilight the one area that will almost undoubtedly be the most important field of technological advances in coming years: power sources. The main problem with these exoskeletons and other autonomous devices is the lack of a suitably lasting and quiet power source. The noise you most often hear on a robotic prototype such as these is a constant BZZZZZZ noise — this is coming from a small, internal-combustion-engine powered generator. While these are certainly powerful enough, they are highly inefficient and more importantly, very noisy, which makes them highly impractical for many military applications.

Recent developments in batteries and other such direct energy storage devices is promising. Improvements in recent years allowed the construction of battery-powered rappelling devices, such as you’ve probably seen in James Bond, just much bulkier and not quite as sexy.

One particular type of battery that is particularly exciting is the carbon-nanotube ultracapacitor, which has made significant research progress in recent years. Essentially, using carbon nanotubes can increase the surface area of electrodes in a capacitor dramatically, allowing for sturdy, compact capacitors with an energy density equivalent to that of standard chemical batteries today. The main difference is, they last many times as long (since they undergo no actual chemical changes) and can be recharged and discharged in an extremely short period of time, and be capable of extremely powerful bursts of energy.

Other possibilities for quiet, portable high-powered energy sources might be something like fuel cells, which have been in the technological background for some time now. Remaining far too experimental and expensive for consumer use, they’ve dropped out of the public view for the past few years.

In a rapid change of topics, I recently purchased a gas-powered airsoft blowback pistol – a KWA Glock 18C, semi-automatic or full-automatic selectable. It’s very hard to have more fun with an airsoft gun than you can with a blowback gas pistol.

And on the anime front, Kimagure Orange Road is pretty dang good. Rest assured that this torrent download is 100% legal in the USA now that the license has run out. And don’t forget to watch the two movies, which finish off the series nicely (I’m taking Connway‘s word on this one).

main screen turn on!!

Well, here I am. Writing for real on WordPress. After seeing Connway‘s blog page, I realized that WordPress is, in fact, much better than xanga, which until now I had been subjecting to my intermittent bursts of brilliance.

Important Note: If you’re just going to tl;dr this entire thing, at least take a look down at the bottom and make a comment. At least make one comment, so I know who’s here. Tell me something to write about, and I may very well do it. If I weren’t interested in entertaining whoever it is who’s reading this, I would have just left these links in my interesting-stuff folder instead of taking all this time to show them to you.

Fear not, for these same bursts of brilliance will most likely resume here, no less whimsical and fascinating than before.

Now to business. I have a large number of links which I was saving up in a toolbar folder, so before reading on, it is advisable to brace for epic.

Very small children can be taught to solve Rubiks Cubes very, very fast. Not just if they’re a prodigy, in fact. Most children can be taught this. In fact, it has been asserted that it is not actually very much harder to solve a Rubiks Cube even when you are very, very drunk, though you may have some difficulty locating and picking it up.

Prank calling has evidently been taken to a new level (warn: language); as you can see, if the story is true, there is evidently a lot you can do with simply phone calls. The idea that we have that much power over others using a simple, inexpensive, everyday service like the phone network is pretty frightening.

Along those lines, I encountered the story of another man who has done media hoaxing for a living. Looks to me like a fascinating and fun job.

For those of you who have watched Death Note, you might find this entertaining. The guy who made it did a really good job with the lip syncing arrangement.

I was also contemplating the everlasting awesome that is Bill Nye recently. The man is like an everlasting symbol of science, not unlike batman in my mind. He also did a number of other funny skits and roles for other shows and productions. For instance, Cops in Ballard, or the Employment Agency Sketch, both for Almost Live, which used to be a Seattle-local show not dissimilar to Saturday Night Live in several respects.

The next item on the agenda: a prodigious review for an automatic doughnut-manufacturing machine you can use at home. You really do have to read it.

Considering memes. There is a recent and perhaps confusing internet meme to be found in some corners of the internet, concerning this… guy, crashing down on a steamroller and going WRYYYYY!! It turns out, this originated from an epic combo move in a particular fighting game, by Dio Brando, as demonstrated in this video capture. Another more obscure meme, the cardcrusher comic, originated from some japanese video that I do not know the origin of. Basically, he says “Would you like this card?” and she replies “Sure, I’ll have it”… and then he crushes it. It’s actually kind of epic.

A few random things you might enjoy: this future forum dedicated to time travel, an incredibly strong girl, a frankly terrifying sinkhole created by sleazy mining practice, and the most comprehensive list of grammar correction in the English language that I have ever come across. Interesting reading, that one.

Musically, Nickelback has to be one of the most monotonous bands ever conceived. Rick Astley is much better.

And completely unrelated to the previous links, I found this great muppets outtakes video. You should give it a look.

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Well, that’s all that I’ve got for now. I might perhaps make a dump of the links that I used to have on my old blog page, but that’s for later. I already spent a long time doing this – because really, 711 words, 26 unique and interesting links with explanations… I’m somewhat worn out. Maybe later I’ll tell you about airsoft, and excellent Audiosurf songs. Actually, I’ll just go make a page for audiosurf awesomeness. Talk at you later.