Oh, if I lived in the city I would *so* get one of these (experimental now) Seqway P.U.M.A. (Personal Urban Mobility & Accessibility) vehicles! Although I’d try to figure out a way to enclose it more for rainy days…

PUMA Seqway

See the Segway PUMA website for more info/pix. Fun!

Tim Berners-Lee in 2001

Tim Berners-Lee in 2001

It was twenty years ago today (March 13, 1989) that Tim Berners-Lee wrote up his proposal for management at CERN, titled “Information Management: A Proposal“.

This document was an attempt to persuade CERN management that a global hypertext system was in CERN’s interests. Note that the only name I had for it at this time was “Mesh” — I decided on “World Wide Web” when writing the code in 1990.

Berners-Lee’s boss thought his proposal was “vague but exciting”. :)

A client/server model for a distributed hypertext system.

A client/server model for a distributed hypertext system.

At lunch today I was browsing Amazon.com via the Amazon iPhone app. It prompted me to try a new experimental service: Amazon Remembers. Seems you can take pictures of things you want to “remember” while you are out and about. The pix get sent to Amazon, and the system will try to find the item for you.

Well, all I had with me in the lunch room was the book I was reading. I took a quick snapshot of it (bad photo – too much glare from the overhead lights). Sent it on.

Later today I got an email from Amazon that they have found a “similar” item for me: And sure enough, they had a link to The Fire by Katherine Neville.

This is something that will come in handy!

Xylocopa has a set of Alphabet blocks engraved with pictures of all the equipment and training a budding mad scientist will need:

A – Appendages | B – Bioengineering | C – Caffeine | D – Dirigible | E – Experiment | F – Freeze ray | G – Goggles | H – Henchmen | I – Invention | J – Jargon | K – Potassium | L – Laser | M – Maniacal | N – Nanotechnology | O – Organs | P – Peasants (with Pitchforks) | Q – Quantum physics | R – Robot | S – Self-experimentation | T – Tentacles | U – Underground Lair | V – Virus | W – Wrench | X – X-Ray | Y – You, the Mad Scientist of Tomorrow | Z – Zombies


…the blocks have a super-secret built in encryption function – if you rotate any block 180 degrees, it’ll encode to ROT13. If it’s good enough for Adobe Acrobat, it’s good enough for Mad Science!

-via BoingBoing

This toolbox (toolchest) was built by a piano repairman (Henry Studley) who worked for the Smith Organ Company and then the Poole Piano Company in the 1800’s. This beautiful chest contains 300 tools, and is made of mahogany, rosewood, walnut, ebony and mother of pearl (all of which were probably scraps from Poole Piano).

Though now owned by a private collector, it is supposedly still on display at the Smithsonian – the National Museum of American History. I’m definitely going to check on it the next time I go downtown!

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