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WEEKLY "QUANTUM SHOTS" WEB REVIEWS OF ALL THINGS COOL AND FUNNY
First Issue. October 15, 2006
Citroen C-Metisse Concept Car
We'll start with a dream car that only French could dream up. It has such an unmistakable style that my son Ian (6 years old) upon seeing it immediately asked "Is it French?" Certainly, it's one of the best-looking designs of all time. For more pictures click here - (click to enlarge) -
(images credit: Serious Wheels)
Speaking about cool cars, here is one built around an aquarium. The fish inside controls where the vehicle is going and how fast. The computer tracks the movements of fish' eyes and points the car in the direction fish is looking.
This site has a video of it in motion.
There are different ways to power the car, and this blog mentions the often over-looked way:
"Bob is sick of paying fuel prices. His car could run on vegetable oil, of course, but that's still 25p a litre, and he doesn't want his fuel to congeal on those cold winter mornings.
So he installs a few compressed air tanks instead. The expansion of this air pushes the pistons to move his car. He uses the air pumps at petrol stations to refuel. Sometimes this costs 20p, but mostly he avoids those stations."
(from Urban Fantasy Blog)
If you think such practice is not feasible, consider this link (www.theaircar.com) to an actual "compressed air fuel" car being built:
(image credit: MDI)
Enough of cars, but here is a little discussion about air:
""The most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity" — Harlan Ellison.
It therefore follows that stupidity is either Helium, or Metal. We can test the former option by saying saying "Helium is stupid" — which, on the face of it, is pretty damn stupid. Which leads us to conclude that the other possibility is the only reasonable one. Stupidity is clearly Metallic.
(Unless it's dark matter.)
More about air: these skies will make you cry... Check out the collection of photos from various storm-chasers across North America at Extreme Instability.
A few examples... bookmark this site, they update often; the site also documents the evolution of storms, which is quite mesmerizing -
It's pretty cool how they appear to be beams going up from the ground when they are actually shining down...
(images courtesy Ryan McGinnis)
Great Short SF Movie
Neal Asher's blog posted a link to an awesome mini-movie by 3D animators from the Blur company. Here is a link to a page where you can watch it (appr. 10 minutes)
(images credit: Blur)
The Whimsical Lighthouse
Here is a curious story related to the current Eddystone Rocks Lighthouse:
In 1964 National Geographic did an article on various lighthouses in Devon, England, and mentioned the original light tower build by a practical joker and curious character Henry Winstanley in 1696. His own mansion was a London attraction for decades, filled with various gadgets, pitfalls, traps and curiosities - almost a "Ripley's Believe it or not" in itself. However his imagination was not satisfied with that and he set out to build the first Eddystone Lighthouse. Against incredible odds the tower was completed in 1698, saving the lives of many sailors from the fate of the thousands who previously died upon the rocks. The architecture was pretty fanciful, as you can see:
He himself could be seen in this drawing fishing in one of the windows. The lighthouse survived its first winter, and Winstanley expressed a wish that if he perish, it'd be on top of his tower in the storm. This wish came true when in a winter storm in November 1703 the tower was demolished, among with Winstanley who was in the lighthouse that night.
See this engraving depicting the tower right after the storm:
Since then, there were 4 more lighthouses build on Eddystone Rocks, but none as extravagant as the Winstanley's tower.
As an afterthought, here is what Jeff Vandermeer said once:
"The marvelous is not the same in every period of history - it partakes of the sort of the general revelation only the fragment of which come down to us; they are the romantic ruins, the modern mannequins"
Some architecture lives in our imagination as a sort of "the romantic ruins", and perhaps only benefits from it.
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