Franceso sez, "Rick Hamel, an American RC airplanes builder, created the Mythical Beast, a radio controlled fire-breathing dragon. It's powered by a Jetcat P80 Kerostart turbine, is over 7 feet long and has a wing span of 9 feet. Beside flying, this scratchbuilt dragon is able to breath fire thanks to a liquid propane and a stun gun circuit. Mythical Beast won Best of Show at the Weak Signal event held in Toledo a few weeks ago."
On her wonderful page of "Famous Unsolved Codes and Ciphers" the game developer and recreational code-cracker Elonka Dunin describes the Voynich Manuscript, which is written in an as-yet uncrackable cipher:
At least 600 years old, this is a 232-page illuminated manuscript entirely written in a secret script. It is filled with copious drawings of unidentified plants, herbal recipes of some sort, astrological diagrams, and many small human figures in strange plumbing-like contraptions. Carbon-dated to the early 1400s, it was brought to modern attention in 1912 when it was purchased by Wilfrid Voynich from the collections at the Villa Mondragone, near Rome. Color images of all of the pages can be seen at archive.org and Yale's Beinecke Library website (the current owner of the manuscript). The script is unlike anything else in existence, but is written in a confident style, seemingly by someone who was very comfortable with it.
On Friday, May 11, a celebration commemorating the 100th anniversary of the re-discovery of the Voynich manuscript will take place in Rome. The program includes a number of presentations about the history of the Voynich manuscript, forensic investigations, word structure and statistical analysis, and an interpretation of its unusual drawings.
If any Boing Boing readers are attending, we'd love a report!
A New Aesthetic eruption I caught yesterday off Brick Lane in east London: this LCD adverscreen displaying rotating, chiding public safety messages beneath a CCTV camera, nestled among the graffiti-daubed old buildings above the cobbled and thronged street.
Phil Torrone interviewed Andrew (bunnie) Huang about the end of his company Chumby, and what he's working on now.
What are you currently working on? I recently saw an open-source hardware radiation detector and HDMI “hack” that’s full shipping product.
Since the end of chumby, I’ve been continuing to produce open source reference designs. One of the wonderful parts of living in Singapore is that even though I made no money from the exit at chumby, I am able to choose a lifestyle where I can engage in non-profit, community-oriented design work. Although Singapore has a reputation for being an expensive city to live in, I’ve found the public housing to be reasonably priced, and combined with a solid public healthcare system, $60/month 100-Mbit home broadband connections, and ubiquitous hawker centers featuring $3 dishes celebrated by Anthony Bourdain, I have everything I need to geek out on a shoestring budget.
A personal goal of mine is to spend a year building things that I care about, as opposed to things that could make investors rich.
Two 13-year-old girls sunbathing in a rural road were struck by a car Sunday. Police in Beaver County, PA., said that the pair were in fair condition at Pittsburgh's Children's Hospital. The driver was one of the teens' cousins; he was questioned and released by authorities.
"They were upset," another relative told WTAE-TV. "It was like the worst thing I've ever seen... I was like crying real bad. Shaking."
The Guardian's Deborah Orr is probably right that the Marks and Spencer "shwopping" initiative is "an ugly word for a dubious enterprise", but I am rather taken with this promotion for the program. M&S is encouraging shoppers to "shwop" -- swap their old clothes for discount vouchers when they buy new clothes at M&S, with the old clothes going to charity -- and to promote the affair, they covered this large Truman Brewery warehouse building off Brick Lane with used clothes, to great effect.
[Video Link] Special effects are used here in an attempt to artificially enhance the credibility of candidate Mitt Romney. I hope the public isn't fooled into taking him more seriously because of this video.
The Olympics are still months away, the surface-to-air missiles are still tucked safely in their beds, but already our talented signwriters are practicing night and day for the 100m passive-aggressive signmaking event, judging by this sweet number I photographed yesterday.
"When I was a child I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things, except for my Kitchen Kong Gorilla Whisk." -- 1 Corinthians 13:11