Thursday, February 28, 2008

Star Trails

A time-lapse exposure captures the streaks made by stars over sandstone formations in Utah. Photographers capture "star trails," the movement of stars across the night sky, by keeping the camera shutter open for hours instead of seconds.

Photograph by Bruce Dale

Star trails streak above palm trees in Baja California, Mexico.

Photograph by Bill Hatcher

Star streaks glow in a purple sky above the Mitten buttes of Monument Valley, Arizona.

Photograph by Michael Nichols

Star trails spiral across the night sky above Joshua Tree National Park in California.

Photograph by Tim Laman

Star trails pop over Mariscal Canyon in Big Bend National Park, Texas.

Photograph by Jack Dykinga

Star trails radiate in the sky above trees in the Salmon River wilderness of Idaho.

Photograph by Michael Nichols

Friday, February 22, 2008

Maltese Falcon - The Biggest Boat

If I were rich...
We all have our dreams, but some of us can make them true. Undoubtedly, one of those people is Tom Perkins.
When he turned 70, he decided to build the biggest, riskiest, fastest, most technologically advanced, single-hulled sailing luxury mega yacht in the world. The 289-foot Maltese Falcon, launched in spring 2006, is that engineering dream come to life.
The project has taken Perkins, his designers and Perini's team of 300 laborers more than five years to create this unique vessel and the masts were developed by English company Insensys to have a a fiber-optic sensor system that gathers data on wind speed and force and helps the sails work more efficiently. It has taken history's largest single order of carbon fiber for her masts ("There's more carbon in Falcon's masts than in a Stealth bomber," Perkins claims)
The 289-foot steel-hulled yacht is, at her heart, the modern incarnation of a square-rigged clipper ship.
She is traditional to the point of being old-fashioned in some areas, yet modern with technology that is beyond cutting edge. She is incredibly complicated from an engineering and construction standpoint, yet she is quite simple to sail.
And amazing to look at.

Maltese Falcon, the $100 million megayacht that the designers claim is the largest and fastest personal sailboat in the world, created for venture capitalist Tom Perkins.

The 87.5-meter yacht has three masts which rotate depending on the wind direction.

The Maltese Falcon is the perfect blend of ego and utility, wonder that represents the most daring advance in sailing technology in 150 years.

The interior of the boat is perfectly harmonized with its exterior.

It is a push-button boat in a very literal sense. "I can teach anyone to sail this boat in thirty minutes," Perkins claims. Control panel with touch-sensitive displays of the 15 sails, each with three buttons: furl, unfurl and stop. "It takes only minutes for the boat to tack—just think, you don't have all those lines and rigging to run around."

Monday, February 18, 2008

Designs and Patterns in Nature - Animals

Intricate rings and dots mark the coat of a jaguar (Panthera onca).

Photograph by Steve Winter

A moth's wings appear iridescent when photographed close-up in the Danum Valley Conservation Area in Sabah, Malaysia.

Photograph by Mattias Klum

A map puffer fish's (Arothron mappa) eye appears like coral to casual observers in Indonesia's Tukangbesi Islands.

Photograph by Tim Laman

A close view of a cheetah's wet coat

Photograph by Chris Johns

Black-and-white stripes ripple across the hide of a Grant's zebra.

Photograph by Tim Laman

The sensory glands on the side of an Arctic char are used by the fish during its annual spawning migration.

Photograph by Sam Abell

Boa constrictors use their heat-sensitive scales to locate prey.

Photograph by Rich Reid

Bird feathers create a colorful show.

Photograph by George Grall

An African elephant's skin can be up to one inch (2.5 centimeters) thick.

Photograph by Bobby Model

A giraffe's spots form irregular patterns.

Photograph by Michael Nichols

Welcome Spring!

Enjoy in this great photos of flowers.

Photograph by Jonathan Blair
White borders rich purple in these picotee pansies in Gilroy, California.

Photograph by Jozsef Szentpeteri
Beads of dew cling to the florets that spiral inside a sunflower head.

Photograph by James P. Blair
A water lily thrives in the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis.

Photograph by Jonathan Blair
Genetic engineering created this zinnia hybrid flower.

Photograph by Raul Touzon
A favorite of brides, the ethereal calla lily is often called the wedding flower.

Photograph by Raul Touzon
The flower of a claret cup cactus glows amid Tonto National Forest in Arizona.

Photograph by Tim Laman
Coleus plants grow across much of South America.

Photograph by Jozsef Szentpeteri
A flower's spores are accentuated.

Photograph by Amy White & Al Petteway
Bright petals mark the hibiscus, a flowering plant found in much of the world.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Feel Good and Mr. P vs Hanging Harry

Stupid title, but very funny and interesting gadgets!

Feel Good Family are useful, fun and must-have gadgets. See for yourself!

Feel Good Hook

Always leaving your towel on the floor after a shower or bath? Well here's the answer, a mobile bath hook!
Stick this member of the Feel Good family anywhere and he'll be happy to hold it for you.

Feel Good Soap Dish

Do you often lose the soap? Well worry no more! This cute little feel good guy is here to help! With it's unique shape he'll never drop the soap!

Feel Good Toothbrush Holder

Keep Your toothbrush safe with one of the Feel Good gang wrapped around it. These cute little characters are a great gift for adults or children.
With suction pads attached to their backs the feel good people are able to go anywhere. Simply find a hard surface, breathe on the back of the pad and stick them to your tiles.

Feel Good Razor Holders

Need somewhere to store your razor? Another addition to the Feel Good gang is once again here to help!
It's unique look is not only cute, but also convenient!

Ouch Toothpick Holder

I guess that this one is not feeling that good.

Make your next party painfully amusing by inviting OUCH!, the voodoo-it-yourself toothpick holder!
Perfect for finger food, emergency hexes and jump-starting the good times. Two fashionable colours, dark grey and ivory, housed in an elegant clear display-box packaging.

With Ouch!, olives will never be boring again!

Hanging Harry Light Pull

You can't help Harry to see the light. It's too late. Harry's already dead! However, on the plus side, Harry can help you to see the light. Just grab him and give him a pull and illuminate the room.
To use simply remove the original string and attach Harry's string, then you are ready to go. Harry is made of durable rubber, so if he goes for a swing he won't get hurt, well any more than hanging from your neck.

Mr P Tape Dispenser

Mr. P is always here to give you help in everyday life! If you ever need any sticky tape, just ask him and I'm sure he'll spit some out for you!
The tape is dispensed from Mr. P's mouth and cut on his toes!

Mr P Lamp and Shade

Poor Mr. P has a slightly worried look on his face here. The poor chap is feeling a little bit shy. So shy in fact that he has taken to hiding behind a lamp shade! We aren't entirely sure what the matter is, but maybe you can help him out by giving him some attention.

If you manage to touch the right spots, Mr. P will be very appreciative, if a little bit embarrassed. As you play with his protruding thingy, he gets so embarrassed that he begins to blush! He blushes so much that his whole head glows, giving off a lot of light!

If you take this little guy home with you he will act perfectly as a lamp! Just sit him on a table and flick his willy to light up your home!

I know some people whose face would be something like this if someone "play with his protruding thingy".