Taking Advantage Of Technology – How to make an M80

I-Hacked.com Taking Advantage Of Technology – How to make an M80

Who says the internet makes you stupid? Here’s step-by-step instructions for making those infernal devices that made many a 4th of July a grand time around the Churbuck household in the 60s and 70s. I can remember my father standing in the middle of the yard launching cherry bombs into the woods with a tennis racket. The dog picked up one of his misses and miraculously it didn’t go off.

“With summer on its way, it is time to start preparing for celebrating our independance… Yes I am talking about making your own M-80s! Warning, this is for information use only, don’t actually follow these instructions. They are completely illegal to own, build, and for the love of god shoot off.”

My brothers, cousins and I are all afflicted with genetic pyromania. My father was a chemistry major at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Whoopie-Tech) who taught us how to make contact explosives (ammonium iodide), lent us his textbook on elementary pyrotechnics, and even pointed us at some mailorder sources for our experiments. No fingers were lost or eyes blinded. It’s been a long time since we’ve had the police come visit, so we must be getting tamer in our old age. While recalling past 4th of Julys the other day, I mentioned I had found this M80 recipe and everyone wanted a link, so …. for informational purposes only. Here you go.

And this place looks useful too ….

The Best Product Design of 2006 — Lenovo takes a gold medal

The Best Product Design of 2006


“Take Lenovo. It won a gold for its Opti Desktop PC, designed for tech-centric gamers in China. Perhaps more important, it also won a gold for the design research it did for the Opti with ZIBA Design, based in Portland, Ore. That research, dubbed “Search for the Soul” of the Chinese customer, helped Lenovo move beyond competing on price, where it was being hit hard by Dell (DELL), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), and IBM (IBM) in China. Lenovo and ZIBA delved deeply into Chinese consumer culture to “find out which design elements have meaning and value for specific groups of Chinese consumers,” according to the idea entry form.

ZIBA and Lenovo spent months immersed in Chinese music, history, and objects of desire, such as cell phones, observing families as they lived, worked, and played. In the end, they identified “five technology tribes” in China: Social Butterflies, Relationship Builders, Upward Maximizers, Deep Immersers, and Conspicuous Collectors, each with different needs. The Opti was designed with shapes and colors for Chinese Deep Immersers who seek escape through immersing themselves in games online.

Juror Don Norman (author of Emotional Design and The Design of Everyday Things) said: “At first the judges said ‘yuck’ to the design but then changed their minds when the research showed the Chinese didn’t want our sleek U.S. design but their own from their own culture.”

Desktop Linux at the Tipping Point?

tecosystems: A Lazy, Pre-Holiday weekend Post
Steven O’Grady at Redmonk asks:

Linux at the Tipping Point?:

“You remember how I said the Tipping Point for desktop Linux was not yet in sight? That’s probably still true, but I have to admit, when a near 20 year Mac user with a Mac tatoo decides to leave the platform I might need to rethink my timetable just slightly. And where are all the ex-Mac folks going to? Ubuntu, almost universally. Interestingly, they also seem to be choosing Lenovo’s Thinkpads in large numbers.

I’ve been running Ubuntu for a week now on an X41 Thinkpad and am very, very happy with the experience. As O’Grady also notes in his post, Ubuntu’s package management for apps is superb and makes the entire experience a friendly one. However, I can predict this machine I am running will fall silent the second I try to depend on it for corporate communications due to Lotus Notes lack of support and my technical lassitude in getting Notes to run within the
Wine emulator. That, and knowing the security parameters of the corporate network, this machine will not integrate well. I need to figure out how to integrate it into the home network so I can pull music off of a shared server drive. Ah, holiday weekend beckons and I have better things to do.

Land lines suck

Yesterday the home phone started acting funky. Anyone dialing was answered with a squawk of wet static. No dial tone on the way out. Every so often a call would come in, but I spent the better part of an hour unplugging and replugging extensions, opening up the phone box on the side of the house, and in general playing clueless repairman the day before the college rowing colleges are permitted to call my US national rowing champion daughter and begin the recruiting dance.

So I call my service provider — Trinsic — who somehow gained my account when Sprint decided they didn’t want to service it anymore. They ran line tests, phoned me back on my cell, and said yes, indeed there is something wrong with the line and a tech would be out to fix it by the Fifth.

The fifth?

Yes, the fifth. So, if anyone needs a Churbuck this holiday weekend — call my cell, 508 360 6147 — the land line, it dead.

Ullrich and Basso out of the Tour?

I woke up this morning to the nasty news that this year’s Tour de France is completely wrecked by the Spanish doping scandal, with the two front runners — Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso — both withdrawn due to a cloud of implication hanging over their heads.

While I despise doping in athletics as much, if not more than the next guy, the waves of scandal blowing over professional cycling are getting very tiresome. Lance couldn’t win a Tour without the European press dredging up some whiff of EPO doping. Tyler Hamilton’s career is in ruins — but his Athen’s olympic gold medal secure. And now the greatest cycling event of the year is trashed by the withdrawal of the two favorites.

Well, off to the Tivo to watch the prologue out of Strausbourg, more hope of George Hincapie to rise from the ranks of Lance’s lieutenant to a leader in his own right, but all without two of cycling’s greatest riders participating. This Tour has already gone down in history as one with an asterix next to it, similar to the 1998 Tour which was rocked by the Festina scandal.

Doping in cycling goes way, way back into the 50s and 60s, when riders chowed down on amphetamines to keep themselves going through three week grand tours. When the British cyclist Tom Simpson died on the slopes of Mt. Ventoux — his last words were “put me back on my bike” — and found with pills in his pockets, the sport began to take notice.

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