Tuesday, February 01, 2005
New baby at our house is a trebuchet, says crazed marsupial.
We're oohing and ahhing over a new arrival these days--a trebuchet built by eccentric genius Kaden.
This was a suprise--and rather late--Christmas gift I ordered for Frank, after reading about Kaden's toys in BoingBoing. I loved it that this particular hanging counterweight trebuchet was "based on the familiar Monty-Python "dead-cow-over-the-castle-wall" catapult."
Kaden invites special requests--for Frank, of course, I wanted "lots of physics." Kaden dug right into it:
This whole physics angle is challenging...I dug up a chunk of brass heat exchanger tubing at Capital Salvage that I'm using half of the outer shell of for the launch trough...representin' thermodynamics in da hood, I guess.
The trebuchet arrived in a large wooden box stamped "ECCENTRIC GENIUS"--I'm sure we'll find a use for the box somewhere too. So far we've used it to shoot blueberries (which the dog likes to fetch but also likes to eat), small potatoes, and more-or-less round chunks of portobello mushroom, which are too light to go far.
I'm gonna put a hidden compartment in the inside of the weight box. Who doesn't like secret compartments, and the measurable discrepancy between apparent volume and actual mass will serve as a piquant and ironic nod to the ongoing uncertainty regarding Dark Matter.
Levers we got covered.
It's a gorgeous object, and sits in front of the fireplace when nobody is using it to launch pieces of food. I asked Kaden if I could share some of his email, and he replied:
I'm glad the piece was well received, and that your fireplace is now properly defended. Here's some pictures I took of it prior to shipping...do what you want with 'em, and blog like a crazed marsupial...as long as you spell my name right. It's Kaden. Thank you, Kaden! We love our new toy.
[Betsy Devine: Funny Ha-Ha or Funny Peculiar?]
It's a beast and a beauty. Wait for the third version (traditionally the best of MS offerings on any product...)
SharePoint?. SharePoint? -- At my 9-to-5 (or 7:30-to-whatever), we're dabbling with the use of Microsoft's SharePoint Services to replace our shared server directories as a central access point for project information. I'm personally having a tough time warming up to it, compared to the simplicity of other web-based services like the new Basecamp. I'd be interested in pointers to info, tips, hints on efficient and effective use of SharePoint. (Most Google responses on the subject are about tips and hints for the technical underpinnings; what I'm looking for is info on using the portal.) Comment below, please. Thanks.
File under project management, SharePoint [Frank Patrick's Focused Performance Blog]
Oh, goody. I'm so glad...
Drink a Day May Keep Older Women Sharp. Not only red wine but also white wine, beer and hard liquor appear to protect against mental decline in older women, two new studies have found. By By NICHOLAS BAKALAR. [NYT > Health]
A Twelve Step Program For Identifying and Eliminating Organizational Change. No matter what side of the management / engineering fence one is on, there comes a time when one may need to stay right where one is, or to engage in the fine art of stalling. Before the reader passes moral judgment on a word with such pejorative connotation as "stalling," let him stop and reflect on reasons that he might want to stall. [kuro5hin.org]
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2/21/2005; 5:53:56 PM.
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