Yeninko of the Umlaut

Friday, September 22, 2006

Wikipedia, Crush Syndrome, and You

As you may have heard if you have been watching the news, a Maglev train in Germany has been in an accident killing dozens of people. While reading about it on CNN's site, the article referenced Germany's worst rail accident, the 1998 Eschede train disaster.

The Wikipedia article indicated that amongst the causes of the high loss of life, was the design of the bridge, which was not cantilevered. A similar bridge design also caused the high lose of life in the Granville railway disaster in Australia in 1977.

Additional fatalities occurred during the Australian disaster because, as people who had been pinned down were freed, Crush Syndrome, a type of reperfusion injury, set in, allowing toxins which had built up and been trapped in the pinned sections of their bodies to become free and circulate into their blood supply, effectively poisoning them.

And that my friends is how I learn a ton of stuff about nothing at all.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

One Great Picture

Surfing has been great the last couple of weeks. The weather is bright like Summer but the waves are big like Fall. Last week, Jason and I surfed Ocean Beach and it was probably one of my best days out there. I managed to catch my first three waves and Jason and I managed to high-five while up on a wave. Three waves on any day is great, three in a row is a new record.

I also managed to get dragged backward over a sizable wave (I just didn't clear the top on the paddle out) and got rag-dolled for what felt like forever. It was one of those times where I couldn't tell which way was up and I was wondering if you could take a lung full of water and still swim a bit or if you just panicked and died at that point. With any luck, I'll never figure that out. In spite of that, it was gorgeous out there.

Incidentally the shot of Jason above was probably the first good picture I've managed to get off my Olympus Stylus in the waterproof case. It seems no matter what I try it fogs up right in front on the lens. The next trick I'm going to try is spit, just like in swim class. If you have ideas let me know.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Headline Today

International Herald Tribune

In Thailand's first military coup in 15 years, a faction of the armed forces seized control of the capital on Tuesday night, suspended ...

First military coup in 15 years? Kind of sounds like it's been a while. I mean it's not like military coups are supposed to be a regular theme in political transitions.

Other than that, pardon my lack of recent postings. It seems like the more I do the less time I have to post. Conversely, when I have the most time to post, I have the least to write about.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

That's Not What I Meant.

I loved the word Sanction ever since the day I learned it had two definitions that were exact opposites;

1. To encourage or tolerate by indicating approval.
2. To penalize, especially for violating a moral principle or international law.

Today I found another, Oversight;

1. An unintentional omission or mistake.
2. Watchful care or management; supervision.

Anyone got any others?

Friday, September 01, 2006

I Want One.

[PML,]Working in partnership with our customer, Synergy Innovations, we set out to demonstrate what our electric wheel technology is capable of. We simply took a standard BMW Mini One, discarded the engine, the disc brakes, the wheels, and the gearbox. These components were replaced by four of our electric wheels, a lithium polymer battery, a large ultra capacitor, a very small ICE with generator (so small it almost fits alongside the spare wheel), an energy management system and a sexy in-car display module...Featuring four revolutionary electric wheels, the standard BMW Mini One you can see on Stand 270 is predicted to have a top speed approaching 150mph and to out-accelerate a Porsche 911 Carrera from 0-60mph.
The wheels ARE the engines.
The wheels are in constant communication with each other deciding 1000 times each second how much torque share is optimum for the current driving conditions. Should one wheel detect a slippery surface and take appropriate anti-skid actions, the other wheels are aware of this instantly and adopt an appropriate compensating strategy to keep the vehicle as stable as possible.