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Lyle Zapato

Victorian 3D Scientific Imaging

Lyle Zapato | 2005-02-08.0310 LMT | Kelviniana | Technology | Retro

Looking for some content for your iPod-Stereoscope? Here's an illustration from Lord Kelvin's 1894 paper "On Homogeneous Division of Space":


Stereoscopic photo of an orthic tetrakaidecahedron, constructed out of soldered wire.

Cross your eyes to see cutting-edge 19th century scientific imaging technology! I have exchanged the images left for right from the original since I find crossing my eyes easier than forcing them apart. The original presumably would have been viewed using a stereoscope, a common gizmo for the Victorian-era techno-hipster...

Victorian stereoscope advertisement, as filtered through Apple

Since it took an inordinate amount of time to make the above image, I'll have to put off retyping Kelvin's paper till later. It's an interesting one, with some nice illustrations of tessellations. Until then, busy yourself with making your own tetrakaidecahedra. See how many rooms of your house you can fill!

UPDATE: "On Homogeneous Division of Space" is online.

Lyle Zapato

Lord Kelvin And Global Warming

Lyle Zapato | 2005-02-06.3100 LMT | Kelviniana

An interesting letter from Lord Kelvin to John Clarke. In 1860, Kelvin proposed that an increase in CO2 emissions from coal-burning would raise global temperatures much like how a greenhouse works. What's even more interesting is that he considered doing this intentionally to "provide a very comfortable living environment" for the people of Glasgow.

In the end he decided better of it, considering both the havoc it would cause for non-Glaswegians and, more importantly, the potential danger of introducing malaria to a more tropical Glasgow. "We have quite enough pestilence here, I contend, without inviting another!"

UPDATE: The above letter is fiction. Disregard.

Also, while making the Lord Kelvin library a little more respectable looking (still a work in progress), I found this:

La Bibliothèque nationale de France (that's French for "the French National Bookatorium") has a large collection of scanned books, etc. in PDF format (available one excruciating page at a time). The collection is searchable ("search" in French is "recherche,") by author, title, subject, and full text contents. You'll probably find something to interest you there. There's certainly lots of Kelvin stuff, from a seemingly complete collection of "Proceedings of the Royal Society of London" to his various reprint volumes. There's no way I'm going to retype all that (although I did manage to partially patch up one of the incomplete papers I had), so just go there and look for yourself.

Lyle Zapato

GPM #11: The Terrible Secret Of State

Lyle Zapato | 2005-02-03.6100 LMT | Government Propaganda Mascots
Mayor Anthony Williams

Washington D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams and his friends, anti-segregationist Mary Church Terrell and 1920's baseball pitcher Walter "Big Train" Johnson, welcome you to Kids' Capital! Kids, be sure to click the shield on the top of the screen to learn the terrible secret of what lurks beneath the U.S. Capitol Building. Perhaps it is waiting FOR YOU!


BONUS GPM #11.5: POMBO FOR KIDS

Richard Pombo

This doesn't really fit with the normal GPM thesis, as it doesn't involve a unique mascot pushing a discernable agenda, but U.S. Congressman Richard Pombo (daguerreotype to the right) of the 11th Congressional District of California has created a kids page on his Government-allotted website so godawful that it deserves attention.

The actual content of the page isn't noteworthy or unusual -- mostly some "fun" "facts" about Congress, a few simple games, and links to other Government kids sites. However, this banality is turned into a sublime crime against all that is decent by the gratuitous use of stolen animated GIFs (including a dancing hillbilly critter band), embedded WAVs ripped from the Hampster Dance page and the incidental music from The Brady Bunch, and other examples of blatant copyright infringement and/or bad taste. To top it off, he includes one of those Javascript elastic mouse-trail things that are popular on GPM sites, only his seems specially engineered to trigger seizures. The only thing the site's missing is a voice in the background continuously saying "Welcome to POMBO!!!"

Lyle Zapato

Belgian Identity Theft

Lyle Zapato | 2005-02-01.6930 LMT | Belgian Conspiracy | Cascadia

Person undergoing eID Belgification process.

The Belgian Conspiracy has a new scheme to further their agenda of Global Dominion through the Belgification of humanity. Since April of 2003, their "citizens" have been programmed to believe that they are carrying electronic identification (eID) cards that contain data on a person's identity stored in an onboard chip and digitally signed by the Belgian government for use in both physical and online transactions.

It's now being reported that noted Cascadian businessman Bill Gates has "traveled to Belgium" and consequently has stated that he will be integrating the Belgian eID card with his Cascadian systems. As many of you already know, people "traveling to Belgium" are actually exposed to knock-out gas on the plane and flown to a secret hanger under Eurodisneyland where their memories are rewritten to suit the Belgian agenda. Mr. Gates has clearly had this procedure done to him and his new found approval of the Belgian eID card scheme is an opinion implanted by the Conspiracy.

But why are they doing this? The Conspiracy's goal is to get their eID technology used by all people in all nations and having Microsoft under their control will help them achieve this. Once your identity is transferred into their cards, it will be verifiable only by the Belgian Conspiracy, giving them final veto over who you are. They can then begin converting people into Belgians by simply changing the nationality field of their databases and issuing new cards (the cards will be valid for only a 5-year period). You will have no choice but to accept your new Belgianity since all transactions and interactions must be approved through their system and your old non-Belgian card won't be verified anymore. If they say you are Belgian, you officially are and no one will have any means to contradict them.

ZPi is taking steps to thwart this scheme. We have contacted Sasquatch Militia who have dispatched a Special Forces unit to Medina to kidnap Mr. Gates upon his return to his home. He will be taken to ZPi HQ for deprogramming and to learn the TRUTH about Belgium. Hopefully we can protect Cascadia -- and the world -- from Belgian identity theft.

Lyle Zapato

GPM #10: Kidd Safety

Lyle Zapato | 2005-01-31.5530 LMT | Government Propaganda Mascots

The Further Adventures of Kidd Safety from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). I'll let Kidd introduce himself:

'Kidd Safety'

Hey everyone! I'm Kidd Safety! I know what you're thinking... oh my goodness, he's a goatboy! Yeah... it's kinda cool.

I'm 11 years old and live in Goatlahoma. Don't try to find it on a map. It is in the middle of nowheresville. I'm on my school soccer team - and I love to yell "SCORE" after a goal.

I love sports, but I'm no dope. I know how to play it safe. I always wear my safety gear before I play so I don't get hurt. My mom is such a nag about that, but I know she is right. I want to avoid getting hurt and having to go to the veterinarian.

Since you're here, stop by my safety house. After you visit my house, take a spin with the safety club. Take a look at my trophy, and for an extra surprise, check out the "K" on my shirt. Woo Hoo!

[Audio version here.]

Oh my goodness, he's a goatboy! But hey, don't worry about that. In fact, it's kinda cool. Wouldn't you like to be a human/goat chimera too? When you get sick, you get to go to the veterinarian, which is much cheaper than those uncool human doctors. Think of the health care savings! Woo Hoo!

They may have been created in a secret lab in Goatlahoma, Nowheresville -- don't bother looking; much like Area 51, it's kept off the maps -- but human/goat chimeras are no dopes. They know how to play it safe by wearing Government approved helmets, not those homemade aluminum things. Remember: Wear the helmet flat atop your head so the sensors can properly read your brain waves.

Of course, being a goatboy isn't all fun and games. You still have to go to school and listen to your nagging mother. Plus you have to monitor playground surface conditions for the Government and let agents of Industry harvest spider silk from your udders. But that's a small price to pay to be as cool as Kidd Safety.

Lyle Zapato

Commie Linux Wallpaper 2.0

Lyle Zapato | 2005-01-25.8100 LMT | Art

This is an updated version of a wallpaper that I made a long time ago. Someone named Mib emailed me a link to his improved version a while back, but I was having server probs at the time and lost the email. (So that's why I didn't email you back, Mib.) I've implemented his two ideas -- adding the RMS-compliant GNU prefix bisected with the flagpole and using И instead of N -- in the re-done versions, and have released the SVG source code.

Lyle Zapato

Aluminum Superatoms

Lyle Zapato | 2005-01-23.1850 LMT | Aluminum | Technology

Aluminum-iodine superatom.

A research team has discovered that clusters of aluminum atoms can impersonate the chemical properties of single atoms of other elements. They have dubbed these clusters "superatoms." In experiments with polyiodides, they've found that a superatom of 13 aluminum atoms (Al13) behaves much like an iodine atom, while an Al14 superatom behaves more like an alkaline earth atom such as beryllium.

Joint head of the research, Shiv N. Khanna of Virginia Commonwealth University: "The flexibility of an Al13 cluster to act as an iodine atom shows that superatoms can have synthetic utility, providing an unexplored 'third dimension' to the traditional periodic table of elements. [...] Applications using Al13 clusters instead of iodine in polymers may lead to the development of improved conducting materials. Assembling Al13I units may provide aluminum materials that will not oxidize, and may help to overcome a major problem in fuels that burn aluminum particles."

ZPi Research Labs will be following this discovery for application in Superatomic AFDB (SAFDB) technology that may provide better corrosion protection for Cascadian users.

Lyle Zapato

Malaysian Monorail Tire Blowout

Lyle Zapato | 2005-01-22.2700 LMT | Monorail Danger

On Friday an explosion rocked the KL Monorail in Malaysia. Today it was determined to have been caused by a burst monorail tire. (Note how the monorailular-media spins this incident by emphasizing that the monorail tire was "pneumatic". It's just lucky the tire wasn't solid, otherwise the shrapnel would surely have killed all thirty passengers.) Two people were injured, one with minor wounds and the other requiring ankle surgery.

This follows an incident last September when a tire flew off the monorail in Las Vegas, nearly killing untold numbers of Elvis impersonators.

The inherent explosive and/or projectile danger of monorail tires is becoming clearer every day, and yet dangerous plans to monorailize Cascadia are still being pushed forward by industry groups such as Team Monorail, who are representing a monorail manufacturer prophetically named "Bombardier", and Cascadia Monorail Company, which is trying to capitalize on our great nation's name in order to kill us all.

(Thanks to Hans Delbruck for the links in the guestbook.)

Lyle Zapato

WARNING: Belgian Sheet Aluminum

Lyle Zapato | 2005-01-21.2500 LMT | Belgian Conspiracy | Mind Control | Aluminum

ALUMINUM-SHIELDED ENCLOSURE CONSUMER ALERT:


Propaganda photo of the stripped upper sphere of the Atomium, most likely shot on the Eurodisney backlot.

The Belgian Conspiracy is selling sheet aluminum to the public under the guise of raising funds to repair their absurdly fictional Atomium building (home to Captain Euro and the Twelve Stars Euro Team).

They claim the aluminum was stripped from the outer surface of the Atomium as part of the renovation and that the pieces are "souvenirs". However, this is just a ruse by the Conspiracy to get paranoids as-yet-unaffected by Belgian programming to buy the sheet metal for use in constructing Aluminum-Shielded Enclosures (ASE), as evidenced by the fact that they're now claiming the Atomium itself was a giant ASE and that they're replacing the aluminum with stainless steel, thereby subtly suggesting that the removed aluminum shielding was interfering with their mind-control, thus making it desirable to Belgian-scoffers. Devious.

Besides being excessively expensive -- a six foot long triangle sells for $1,300 -- the sheets are almost certain to contain subsurface mind-control circuitry that will not only allow signals on Belgian carriers to be conducted through the metal, but will also inductively emit a general purpose Belgian Belief Field (BBF) in the presence of psychotronic radiation -- even radiation from rival mind-control factions. Worse yet, half of the 1,000 available sheets have already been sold and are on the open market for resale.

All paranoids who are building ASEs are advised to check their sources carefully to avoid purchasing Belgian aluminum sheet. An ASE constructed with this tainted product will instead turn out to be a Belgian Citizen Incubation Pod. Remember: the first signs of Belgification are cravings for chocolate.

Lyle Zapato

Cake Decorating Of Yesteryear

Lyle Zapato | 2005-01-20.1800 LMT | Random Found Thing | Food | Retro


Figure 1: The seductive appeal of scalloping.

From Magic for Your Table... Cake & Food Decorating By Wilton, published in 1971. It's sort of a combination cake decorating HOWTO and product catalog from Wilton Enterprises, Inc. (now Wilton Industries). Could there be retro-wackiness inside?

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