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Gender: Male
Hometown: Northern VA
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 10:34 AM
Number of posts: 25,514

Journal Archives

Robot Termites Build Complex Structures with Amazingly Simple Rules

From Meeri Kim, Washington Post

"The termite, typically reviled as the wood-eating nemesis of buildings and homes, has ironically inspired a new batch of construction robots. The automated machines, each about the size of a small brick, can work as a team to build any predefined structure given to them — without a leader or step-by-step instructions, as termites are thought to do.

Instead of communicating directly with one another or following a central command, the robots coordinate their actions by assessing what work has already been done and adding to it. So, say the first robot puts down a block. As it leaves the site, another comes along and senses the block’s location. Based on this local information, as well as knowledge about the end product, it decides to put down its own load on top of the first."

Whole article and video here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/termites-inspire-construction-robots/2014/02/13/e6ef44ce-941f-11e3-83b9-1f024193bb84_story.html

Embedded video at

Building with blueprints or designs? That'll be the end on my career one day.

Prepare to have your mind blown: Jodorowsky’s Dune

A documentary about Alejandro Jodorowsky's unfilmed version of Frank Herbert's sci-fi classic premired at Cannes last year and will be released in the US this March. Was to star David Carradine, Mick Jagger, Salvador Dali (as the mad Emperor of the Galaxy), and Orson Wells. Set design by an unknown H.R. Giger.

Submitted without comment:

From Wiley's Non Sequitur:

Saw "The Momuments Men" today. Good film, highly recommend.

Had Jean Dujardin (The Artist) in it, as well as George Clooney, Bill Murry, John Goodman. Enjoyed it.

To DU: Thanks for the hearts

Much appreciated.

Keep up the good work DU and GOTV in 2014.

A valentine for our times.

From Brian McFadden:

more at:

"Chelsea Clinton’s 2036 Presidential Debate with Ken Ham" from Matt Bors

Blaming Obamacare

From Jen Sorensen's "Slowpoke"

Do you know this person?

From Mr Tim of "Our Valued Customers"

Today in History! (actually Wednesday, but I forgot to post it)

Tybee Bomb is lost by the US Air Force, February 5, 1958

"A 7,600-pound Mark 15 hydrogen bomb was lost in the waters off Tybee Island near Savannah, GA, on February 5, 1958, by the US Air Force. (See photo to right of a similar Mark 15 bomb)

The Air Force had been running practice exercises at about 2 AM that morning when the B-47 bomber carrying the bomb collided in midair with an F-86 fighter plane.

The F-86 pilot ejected before the collision but the B-47 remained airborne. Struggling, the pilot requested permission to jettison the bomb to reduce weight and prevent the bomb from exploding during an emergency landing.

Permission was granted and the bomb was jettisoned at 7,200 feet while the bomber was traveling about 200 knots. When the bomb struck the sea, no explosion was seen. The B-47 safely landed at the nearby Hunter Air Force Base."

The rest of the story by Suzanne Deffree of Engineer Design News at:
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