Monthly Archives: March 2006

Let's get this party started

So my night of dogsitting was alright. I didn't bring my computer along so I just kind of relaxed with Milo. This is how he stared at me all evening. Like most beagles, he has a sweet tooth and gets pissy if he doesn't get seconds of supper (which he does not need).

The walk home was nice; it was snowing lightly, but enough that the horizon over the railroad tracks disappeared into the haze. When I got back I check up on the ModBlog posts and learned that people are mad that I'm posting too many thin pretty white girls, ha… Well, seriously, I post what gets submitted — I wish I got submissions from a broader range of people, but the truth is that the body modification community skews hard in the direction of whitey.

Other than that, I have to go out and get a vacuum today. Probably another Roomba robot, but because of their policy of donating 15% of their earnings to the Church of Satan, I may go with a Dirt Devil product instead. Most people are unaware of the fact that the name isn't just a marketting decision — the company was started in 1966 by the original members of the CoS as a financing scheme.

I mean really, why else would they partner with Walmart?

And yes, this is me considering the merits of starting a libelous internet rumor.

Steam Power?

So as I've posted here several times in the past, this winter coming up I'd like to build another truck, and this time I'd like to not only build something more imposing than my last truck, but something that can truly go anywhere. Not only do I want it to be able to handle any territory and environment (including being amphibious), but I'd like it to be very versatile in terms of fuel.

Initially I'd considered a completely portable gasification system (basically it lets you turn organic garbage into fuel that can be fed into a traditional engine), but I've moved away from that to something more classic — I want my truck to have a steam engine!

Before you decide I'm an idiot, let me tell you what I'm thinking — to maintain a 55 mph speed in a car about the size of what I want to build consumes in about fifteen to twenty horsepower. You just need a lot more than that for rapid acceleration. Another thing to point out is that “steam horsepower” is that it has almost unlimited torque

A steam engine can produce maximum torque at almost 0 rpm. If you have ever seen an old 10 to 16 horsepower steam tractor at a "tractor pull" pulling against our modern 400+ horsepower gas engines, you will understand. The steam tractor always wins.

Modular and modern 20 hp steam engines that can be clustered for more power — and they're basically indestructible (rated for about 10,000 hours at full throttle between bearing replacements and so on, versus about 100 hours at full throttle for a normal car engine). In terms of “average power needed”, modern steam technology is completely capable. But still, the problem as I see it is that it's not really a throttleable or responsible driveline option in the way we expect a modern car to be (which I suspect is the main reason that gas engines dominate today — they are an incredible solution in terms of something that can throttle power quickly over a wide range).

My thought is that the way to make a steam engine work in a modern car is to have some way of buffering or storing, and then releasing the power to the driveline. Probably the easiest way of doing this would be to have a secondary electric driveline (like in a hybrid car), so that the consistent power from the steam engine can be stored in either battery banks or a large capacitor array (which would be able to release terrifying bursts). A secondary option is to use pneumatic engines (so basically you're storing kinetic energy in the form of compressed air in a 5000psi tank).

Coupled with boilers with a burner unit that can be swapped (so you can choose to run off of logs, or coal, or wood chips, or even just propane), and maybe weirder things like firing the exhaust into Hilsch vortex tubes to both extract waste heat and power the air conditioning, I think you could build a vehicle that would be functional in nearly every environment and not just relatively reliable and indestructible, but also something that could be maintained in the field with relatively simple tools.

I really should have gotten myself an engineering degree (so as to avoid potentially talking out of my ass). Any hot, single engineering types reading this that want to move to the middle of nowhere and build monster trucks and websites? Surely I can't be the only one that thinks that would be the good life?

Well, I'm off to eat supper and then go dogsitting.

My mundane life

For lunch I had a sandwich (three open-top ones actually) topped with herb tofu, sweet peppers, onion, and roasted garlic in a ginger, mango, and black bean sauce.

Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentiles, and millet, and fitches, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof, according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon thy side, three hundred and ninety days shalt thou eat thereof.

- Ezekiel 4:9

The bread I was used was a really awesome ezekiel bread, a pre-sprouted (as in bread with sprouts in it) multi-grain bread that I guess, according to legend, will keep you alive in the desert if you happen to find yourself there for a couple years. Either way it was really yummy.

I also got a chance to finally see Modify (the movie) last night… I'll do up a real review soon, but I really think they did an awesome job with it. The release date is very soon now, and we've got them up for pre-order in BMEshop already — click below to place your order now (they will ship a week from next Monday; April 1st).

Greg and his crew really hit a homerun with this one I think (or maybe the credit goes to those interviewed, either way I enjoyed it a lot). I want to get a bunch of people together (mostly professionals in this industry) and have a little viewing party and record an “unauthorized not-the-director's commentary” mp3 track that can be downloaded and played with the movie. Want to take part in that? Drop me a line.

Let's see what else… Here's a couple pictures from yesterday. On the left is Phil standing next to the tower I built until I ran out of pieces. There are no secondary supports holding it together. And on the right I tried to take a picture of Marty and his mother — and I'm guessing he's well on his way to Texas by now (assuming he's not already made it).

I was reading the newspaper (I guess my landlords had a subscription that's still active) and they had all of these Iraq statistics, some of which are very interesting if true. I say “if true” because these are US State Department numbers and I really can't say for certain if they're accurate or misleading. A claim is made that the number of independent newspapers has doubled, and that the number of internet subscribers has gone up 328 times. I don't know how many subscribers there used to be, but that number is so extreme that I suspect the initial number was very small.

But let's assume for the moment that number is genuine and there are a few hundred thousand internet users, if not significantly more (and now that I think about it, the fact that jihadists are using the internet to organize makes me think it's likely in the millions)… Anyway, if that number is spread out across the country via internet cafés (rather than being clustered in just wealthy communities), it might actually have that “democratizing” effect that the neo-cons have been predicting… just not quite for the reason the expected I suppose.

Finally, getting pictures like this from Abel make me really miss living in Mexico. Now I'm going to do some writing for ModBlog, do some video work, edit some interviews, and then it's off to Saira's house to feed her dog while her and Michael are out of town…

Edit: Apparently I lost the photo from Abel. Sorry.

I am a little tipsy right now

So I finished the first final draft of the arm wrestling shirt for my brother and his crew. The whole thing (front and back, including text) is drawn by hand. I work by drawing by hand, scanning that, printing it lightly, and then drawing over that (in part or in full), and repeating the process until I've got it as needed… basically hand drawing with computer assistance. I kind of like it:

When I'm at the meet this weekend I'll take some photos so I can draw up something that's more anatomically correct. But I really am so thrilled to be able to help out.

Other than that, I had a really nice night out with Marty and his mother (and Badur too). Marty is one of my older online friends and someone I really relate to — and he's leaving for Dallas tomorrow for at least six weeks. It was like old times, downing pitchers of blonde on Queen Street…

And continued well wishes to my apparently both cured and blessed friend Lane, who, assuming he makes it to fifty, will have one of the greatest autobiographies of anyone I know. Seriously, check out his page if you're an IAM member for a crazy story. Along those lines I should mention that the very talented Steve Truitt will be in Edmonton, Alberta for the next little while, so drop him a line if you're in the area and looking for advanced work.

Oh, and in continued good news, I bumped into my old friend Damien from Tattoos.com (and host of the NIX tattoo convention) here today… Booths at the Toronto convention are pretty cheap and there are still some available so maybe I'll go grab one for BMEshop and I to split?

Other than that, I apologize, but it's going to be tomorrow before I post to ModBlog next.

Scammers get outed

There are a few photos and videos that get submitted to BME over and over and over with the attached claim of “my girlfriend” because they've been floating around the net forever and particularly stupid people think they'll get away with it. Stolen stuff surely gets through from time to time, but when you pick a clichéed image, you're caught! For example, this idiot submitted a crappy hood piercing video that wasn't his — and hey, Jan Stojkovi, now when your potential clients type your name into Google, they'll see you're a moron and a liar.

Ooops!

From: Jan Stojkovi <jan@addictive-media.net>
Subject: Video for BME site

Here I'm sending you a video of my girlfriend while she was doin' clit pierceing. I know that isn't so extreme but we'll film some more stuff and i'll send it to you.

Can I get the membership to bmevideo.com??

Thanx


Oh, and Jan — if you're going to try this scam again with someone, at least learn what part of a woman is the clitoris. I'm sure that your partners will appreciate you having that knowledge.

Now go buy yourself an untainted domain.