Mmm…Potato Bazookas

The Times Online reports that “German youths have taken up a dangerous new pastime: firing potatoes as fast as a rocket from ‘bazookas’ made from drainage pipes.” The Kartoffelkanone are in some cases powered by the ignition of hair spray, and “at a range of 200 metres they could split a man’s head at 15 metres and penetrate a wooden wall at 90 metres.” And here I thought only American Rednecks armed with pumpkin launchers delved into the ballistics of produce…

Cool Runnings II?

I can see it now – Cool Runnings meets Pollock with a touch of The Miracle Worker. That’s how I’ll pitch a movie that tells the compelling story of a Kenyan team competing in the “Olympics of snow-sculpting” in Quebec City, Canada despite never having seen snow. I can see it now, they can score “Chariots of Fire” to the final chiseling of the snowy rhino horn, while in the background Rip Torn, playing the grizzled, down-on-his-luck snow-sculpting veteran that mentors the underdog Kenyans, laughs maniacally as the villainous Finnish team falls through the ice as a final insult to their sneering cockiness. It practically writes itself!

DVD Copying Back-Up Software

I finally found a review on DVD X Copy, an application that purports to be able to “back up & copy DVD movies,” the first time I’ve seen any software package make that claim. Apparently, it works as advertised, which surprised me a little. However, 321 Studios is already being sued by the MPAA, which was the first thought that came into my mind when I read about this.

ThinkGeek is selling the software separately and as part of a DVD burner bundle. I’m thinking of jumping on this, although if the company goes under, development may never progress and outstanding bugs may never get fixed. It is pretty expensive, $99 at most places, but DVD media is getting cheaper and it would pay for itself pretty quickly once I start “backing up” movies. So far the recording process only works on one layer at a time, meaning that multiple layer DVDs need to be spread onto more than one disc, so that is a bit of a pain. I imagine that newer generations of the software and DVD-Recordable drives will remedy this, though. Any thoughts or comments?

Stereographic Fun

Lisa and Chief Wiggum Stereograph has a great post on stereographic photography, including the above do-it-yourself example with Lisa and Chief Wiggum from The Simpsons. The post includes a larger version of this image (which I had trouble getting to work), some more examples he made, and some interesting links to galleries and information on stereo photography.