Friday, July 27, 2007

Image Attributes a Digital Camera Can Detect

Here is a story about a place that is putting images on shirts that show up when seen through the digital camera view finders. It reminds me of using a digital video camera eyepiece to test infrared emitters. When viewed they would like white light through the display.

See this website for more info.

France Will Never Forget

I thought this was a neat event. Sometimes you hear bad things about France in this country but as the images show, the French did not about the D-Day invasion that American troops participated in during World War II. It was clever to assemble people on the beach at Normandy and from the message.

As an American, I have not forgotten about France's help in establishing the independence of the United States in the 1700s.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Watermelon Truck

I was driving on the highway the other day and saw this.

This is not the best of pictures but it was a truck with the back door open and 6 containers of watermelon were in the truck. You can see a yellow bottom of a melon sticking out of the box on the left. I could not tell what type of watermelon it is though. There is no license plate visible so not sure where these are from. I am guessing it is open to keep the melons from getting too hot.

I also wonder what that load is worth. I am guessing that there might be 100 melons a box (I see boxes like this in Walmart sometimes so I will need to try and count them to get an idea of how many a box can hold). If they can sell melons to the retailer at $3 a melon then the load could be worth about $1800. Since I do not have a understanding of the produce retail market so I could be way off base on money values.

On a side note, the watermelons I am growing are quite small as plants. No blooms are showing so I am in trouble with fruit being produced this season. Hopefully, the pumpkin plant will produce a couple pumpkins for Halloween.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Castleberry's Hot Dog Chili Sauce

Wow, the day I was going to buy two cans of this sauce they announced a recall. We had some hot dogs bought for some guests that came to stay with us and they did not eat them so I was going to start eating them for lunch by making them into chili dogs. By the time I got ready to go buy some the news had stories about this. Going to Kroger's the whole shelf was emptied and a sign was posted that the product had been recalled. The Kroger brand was made at the same plant so it was removed as well. So it looks like in the future I should buy the cheaper Kroger brand since it is the same product.

This is too bad, I liked their sauce but I will need to buy some mustard now so I use that to eat hot dogs.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Well, I made a post about the last book in a 2005 entry and early Saturday morning I went to a 24 hour Krogers and bought the book. I waited for the initial line to go away and when I arrived there was no line at the table with the stack of books. A small group came over from the nearby Borders and asked where the line was. The Kroger associate said it had dissipated and the could get their book and check out. They seemed very happy implying that it might be 3 A.M before they could get a book at Borders. After getting home, I then proceeded to read it till about page 320 before going to bed.

I finished reading the book about 6 A.M. Sunday morning and found the book to be very good. While I enjoy reading about his adventures, I am glad it is over but she has room to write books about future adventures.

J.K. Rowling said she would wrap up the story in this book and she does. After reading it, I can see why she has earned so much money and fame as a writer. The story ends with a very tidy ending and adding the epilogue really seals the deal. She shows that she is not afraid of killing off characters but at the same time sticks to themes on the power of love, self-sacrifice and performing the good action. She also adds some misdirection to keep the story from becoming too predictable.

It ends basically how I thought it would go and she did not go to dark in ending the adventure. The ending I think will please the majority of readers. I thought the action sequences were well spaced out with sections of the book dealing with just character development/interaction. It should make a good movie.

One thing, I saw several references to the word veela which appeared in the other books but I forgot what it meant. I looked in Webster's dictionary when I came across it in the book but it did not have an entry. The web says it is a feminine spirit from Eastern European folklore that can appear a young woman with long silky hair that has the ability to mesmerize or enchant men.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Preserving a Section Newspaper

Reading The LaRue County Herald News, July 18, 2007 edition page 7A I found a small section about how to save newsprint. Paraphrased, it says:

1) Dissolve a Milk of Magnesia table in a quart of club soda and let sit overnight.
2) Aftering sitting the required time, pour the mixture into a pan the newsprint will fit in.
3) Soak the newsprint for 1 hour.
4) Remove and pat dry.
5) Place the newsprint section on a flat surface and wait till completely dry.

After this treatment, the life of the newsprint section is 200 years.

I wonder if this will keep it from turning yellow over time?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Lightning Effects on iPods and Notes on Speed Limits

Reading the Business section of the Courier-Journal page D3, there is an interesting AP article about how nearby lightning strikes can harm people wearing music players, cell phones, beeps, and computers while outside. The person they showed had burns on their ear, shoe and shirt from where the player made contact with their body. Another incident described in the article is of a jogger wearing an iPod and lightning struck a tree a couple feet away. The bolt jumped to his body and he suffered burns where the iPod was attached to him. His hearing was damaged where 50% was lost. Go to for more information about this phenomenon.

After looking around some more, Nokia has filed a patent application where they run software on the cell phone that uses FM or GSM to detect lightning in the area and alert the wearer of the phone. See this link for more info:,132220-pg,1/article.html

The speed limit in Kentucky went up to 70 mph yesterday on some roads and there is a Courier Journal article on pages A1 and A5 about it. What caught my attention was a graph showing fuel efficiency from the Department of Energy. It shows a summary of different vehicles and their gas mileage in relation to speed traveled. It shows that efficiency is best at speeds of 40-55 mph showing 30 mpg, at 60 mph it is 28 mpg, 65 it is 28 mpg, 70 it is 25 mpg and 75 it is 23 mpg. Another interesting note it costs almost $11,000 to change the signs to the new speed limit.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Balloon Flower Revealed

I looked at the package for the flower and its name is Platycodon grandiflorus.

The plant is also known as Chinese or Japanese Bellflower.

It emerges in late spring and need partial shade if grown in sunny/hot climates otherwise can be in full sun.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Last Balloon Flower

This flower is known as Platycodon grandiflorus and has has some cultivars called 'Double Blue' colored double violet blue or 'Hime Murasaki' colored lavender-blue; or 'Hakone Blue' colored double violet-blue.
Here is a picture of the last of the balloon flowers. I am trying to grow four more plants but the seeds have yet to sprout after more than 7 days.
I was amazed by 11 PM last night I did not hear fireworks. I am not sure if people fired them off earlier this year or since it was a work night people needed to go to bed. Whatever the reason, it was a lot easier to go to sleep.
The rain today is keeping me from working outside. It is good though we are getting it though.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


Wow, the fireworks are going off in the neighborhood. I did not know we lived by the Zambellis.

Seriously, some people have mucho dinero for fireworks because there are series of large rockets going off which to me might be costing hundreds of dollars. They do seem to be coming from the more affluent subdivisions though.

Here are some blurry still pictures. I will try later to extract images from the .mov I took.

Always tricky trying to go to sleep on 4th of July night. This year seems a little quieter though.

Firework Accident Avoided

Today being the 4th of July, I have an appropriate post. Yesterday while cycling through the neighborhood, I heard a whoosh and then a thud in the grass about 8 feet from me. I looked down and there was a smoking shell of rocket that had just been fired about 4 houses from my location. I heard some little kid asking their parent where the rocket went to and I bent down and picked it up. I then held it up and put in my bicycle basket and cycled away.

I am not sure of what the trajectory was but I had my helmet and sunglasses on so I do not think it would have hurt me if I had been hit. Still it is not something I have happen everyday.