Thursday, June 26, 2008

The snow mouse and the ice slide.

A Flickr photo set from this past winter popped up randomly on my igoogle page that I forgot to blog. I always build some type of ice luge in my backyard for the kids and every year some animal gets stuck in it and I have to free it and clean up the fecal matter or scrape off the pee they leave while in temporary captivity.

This year it was a small mouse who must have hit the slide at the top, slid all the way down and got trapped. He was doing a pretty good job of ice climbing (as you can see in the close up photos) but he couldn't quite make it all the way over the lip of the slide. My wife rescued him with a shovel and he scampered off into the bushes to do what mice do (poop and whiz over everything from the looks of it).

Thursday, June 19, 2008

How To Measure the Speed of Light Using Chocolate and a Microwave.

Check this wicked article out! Try this at home!!!! Lenzspot told me about this awesome site a year ago and it's been awhile since I've paid a visit.

It's a how to make anything that someone else has already thought of on the cheap using ordinary household items. Need a bycycle powered tennis ball launcher? This place has you covered!

So back to the chocolate. What you do is melt it in your microwave, measure the distance between the two hotspots (showed by melted concave dips on either end of the bar) and this turns out to be half the wavelength emitted by the microwave oven. With the frequency your microwave operates at, which is supposedly 2.45 gigahertz, you do some fancy math and you get a number very close to the speed of light. Pretty frickin amazing!

Then you eat the chocolate after.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Firefox 3.0 download day!

Download Day 2008

Woohoo! Get your copy now! They're trying to set a world record for the most downloads in one day. I love this browser. I hope all my add-ins still work in 3.0.

Check out their world download map!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Geocaching in the Gatineau Hills 2008-06-07

On the hottest day of the year so far (also my birthday!) a bunch of us decided to hike up in the Gatineau Hills after some geocaches. It was a route I hadn't gone before and we went after La p'tite facile (it actually wasn't that easy). The bugs were the worst I have seen in eons. Not many mosquitoes, but lots of big black horseflies (or deer flies. I dunno the difference - they take chunks out of your skin but do not appear to have teeth). After you put your sun block and then bug spray, you sweat it all off in about five minutes and they would be on you again.

Check out this steamy jungle pic. It was like Jurassic park out there! I was just waiting for the Raptors to come and eat Tripper (or anyone else I could throw in front of them to save myself). Kenmore and Tripper found some kind of snake, and they played with that until it oozed it's stinky snake juice and they let it go. I swear animals and reptiles fall out of the sky on those two guys. Which reminds me of the weird conversation Tripper had on the ride over.

Tripper got a phone call and got all excited when he took it. It like one of those phone calls you get when you're dog is having puppies and you're not home. The conversation went like this:
"Oh yeah? it's happening now??" (pause)
"They say between 40 and 400.. can you take it outside it? I don't want that in the house. " (pause)
"No no, they gotta go outside. If they don't get outside and find food they start eatin' each other..."

And I am thinking, What the &^$% is Tripper growing in his basement? Is this some kind of insect warefare thing going on? Some ant farm? Sea Monkeys? Oh yeah.. Gotta be Sea Monkeys (I know all about those guys).

But he keeps talking..

"In an hour they should all be out. Hey, can you see if you can keep some inside in an aquarium for the kids? Find out what they eat, we'll have to catch some bugs or give 'em fruit flies or something.., Ok, bye!!" (click)

"Tripper".. I said
"What?" he says.
"You gotta 'splain that conversation.." So he does. Apparently he went and ordered some praying Mantis eggs online from Costco or someplace like that, and it all suddenly fell in place.

You see, last week he sent me a youtube video with the subject line "Check this out! Gnarly!" and it was a female praying Mantis being mated by the much smaller male, and when the little male Mantis was almost finished, she reached around, grabbed his head and bit if off, calmly eating it while the male's body continued the mating process albeit sans head. Now that says something about the female of the species, and also a little bit about the male(grin). So of course I have to send away for some of the little guys now. Personally I think Tripper wants his own mantis snuff film(grin).

And speaking of snuff films, we strolled upon a deer carcass in A1 condition. Skull picked clean but meat still on the hoof! I find it hard to take pictures of the live ones, but dead deer make excellent photographic subjects, not only because they hold still, but because they look cool!

We brought a newbie cacher with us and she did great, finding the first cache herself. She hadn't thought of a name yet but I see someone calling her Gazpacho in the logs. I think that may stick.

Oh yeah.. The Praying Mantis video..