Monday, July 30, 2012

Video on the new Mars rover.

Over at PhD Comics.  Five minutes well spent.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Familiar Mustang pics, almost.

Here are a couple of pics of a Mustang hardtop similar to one my brother bought new in 1972.  If you imagine this one in plain white, same vinyl roof, and a dark blue interior, that'd be it.
Here are links to the source of these pics, (1) & (2).
How does that stack up with the current offering from Ford?  From a handy Mustang stats page, the 302 V8 put out a whopping 140hp, while the 2012 V6 (3.7l, or 227ci) puts out more than double at 305hp.  Of course, that little 302 V8 was only a starting platform for tricking out, where the current V6 is born pretty much already there.  Many other engine choices were available in '72, running from a 98hp runt V6 up through a respectable 275hp 351ci V8.  Since 2011, the only choices – not that anyone's complaining here – have been the afore-mentioned 305hp V6 and a Coyote 302ci V8 putting out somewhere between 402 and 444hp (the numbers vary with fuel grade, day of the week, and number of stripes on the exterior).
As for the real statistic, the price, a '72 went for between $2,679 and $3,003 on the sticker.  In today's money those numbers would be $14,707 and $16,486, respectively, according to the BLS inflation calculator.  That's about 1/2 to 3/4 the price of current models, but the current models will probably last about 3x miles.  Close enough.
Well if I had a time machine and a bundle of pre-'72 $100 bills, I still wouldn't swap, but it is fun to look at some of the last 1st generation Mustangs.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

One Tough Cyclist

Man cycles across the world from China for London 2012, story at the BBC.  That's tough enough, but in a single-speed rickshaw?  That's determination.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

More on Higgs

Earlier this summer a short video explaining the Higgs boson was posted over at PhD Comics.  Well, it looks like earlier this month something interesting popped up, and it's pretty likely they've got the Higgs in the bag.
Here's some more stuff on the subject: an easy-to-understand paper that goes into more depth than the pop press explanations, and a Q-and-A session over at Slashdot.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Has it been a year already?

Yeah, I guess so.  Nice article at the LA Times.
What a voice.  What a shame.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Choosing the STEM school (and life) track?

Look before you leap, according to articles at Physics Today and the Washington Post.
I'm not going to recap the entire story here, but the bottom line is in most areas of science, the jobs just aren't there.  Closing quote from the WP article:
Haas, the former drug company chemist, has even harsher words. She plans to “get out of Jersey and get out of science” when her daughter graduates from high school in two years. “She’s very good at everything, very smart,” Haas said of her daughter. “She loves chemistry, loves math. I tell her, ‘Don’t go into science.’ I’ve made that very clear to her.” 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Stick or Auto?

Article on the low numbers of manual transmissions over at CNN.  Interesting sidebar to the article puts manual in new U.S. cars at just under 7%, with Ford Mustangs at 36%.  Some people just know how to have fun.  Well, a little over a third of them anyway.
Me?  Stick.  Wouldn't have it any other way.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Huh, I've heard of that place.

St. George Island map shown in new iPhone/Siri ad.

But honestly, I've never so much as picked up a copy of People mag.  Saw it on the back page of The Week.

Timber Beast

The latest from Lazy Magnolia.  It's a lot like their Southern Hops'pitality.  Per the description at Lazy Mag's web site:
Southern Hops’pitality is our offering of delicious cheer to Lazy Magnolia’s loyal fans all over the Southeast. A traditional IPA at its core, we have built Southern complexity into this new brew. The aroma is a bold citrus burst on the front end with hints of tropical fruits such as grapefruit, orange and mango in the finish. Lazy Magnolia’s brewers used a unique hop blend for an exciting dry-hoped aroma. Southern Hops’pitality has a Light Straw color and crisp, smooth finish on the palate. With an alcohol content right at the 6% ABV limit and a very hoppy 60 IBUs, Southern Hops’pitality is breaking new ground for Lazy Magnolia and the Magnolia State.
But Timber Beast is brewed pretty much to the new legal alcohol limit (9%, IIRC), so nothing's held back.  So tasty.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Real-world tested.

The game that can give you 10 extra years of life.  Over at TED.
Yeah, it works.  At least, it got me out the door and through today.