1. Ayria, the War Tapes, and VNV Nation at the 9:30 Club.

    24 July 2009

    I got home early Tuesday afternoon after work and after taking care of some lifestyle maintenance (like synching my e-mail, filling out timesheets, and checking the backups) I got changed to hit the 9:30 Club with Lyssa and Laurelinde. We had tickets to see Ayria, the War Tapes, and VNV Nation who were playing an all ages show there last night (though technically the 9:30 is always all-ages). At the back of the closet I found my 40 hole Doc Martens, and discovered much to my chagrin that one of the boots is missing its lace, so I …

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  2. Wardriving new parts of NOVA.

    18 July 2009

    When I first started driving I taught myself how to navigate Pittsburgh by filling up my car with gas, picking a direction to drive in for fifteen or twenty miles, and getting thoroughly lost. I’d then spend the evening trying to get back home, or failing that, someplace that I recognized and could navigate from. I was thinking about that this morning as I attached a GPS puck to the roof of my car and ran the interface cable through the window. It’s been a long and busy couple of weeks, so while Lyssa was out and about …

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  3. Synthetic neurons on the horizon?

    16 July 2009

    Implants in the human brain can be called primitive when considered in light of the organ they are meant to interface with. While the state of the art in technology uses minute electrical impulses to communicate with groups of neurons within the brain, the brain itself goes far beyond mere patterns of electrical impulses. Modern science has confirmed the existence of several score of neurotransmitters, and there are probably more that haven’t been identified yet. I’m willing to bet that there are other mechanisms underlying the operation of the brain that I don’t even know about because …

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  4. Fabbing eyeglasses and Morse Code fail in the Steel City.

    16 July 2009

    Something that’s fascinated me for a while (if you’ve been been keeping an eye on my blog for any length of time) is rapid prototyping, or the use of automated systems to build modular components by laying down successive layers of plastic, ceramic, or other materials. While the technology has not advanced sufficiently to make it truly useful to end users (i.e., your grandmother won’t be using one to make a new coffee mug anytime soon) it’s a subject of heavy development right now and the state of the art is advancing every day. For …

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  5. We've finally named our new hamster.

    14 July 2009

    After much deliberation we've decided to name him Pigpen, after the Peanuts character. Pigpen seems to enjoy making quite a mess in his cage, from throwing everything that isn't nailed down around to kicking his food dish off of the top level of the cage. He also likes kicking bedding between the bars.

    We're still trying to figure out how he produces more mass in poo than food eaten.

    As if that weren't enough we've also caught him teaching himself to climb the bars of his cage and trying to headbutt the door open. It figures that we'd have a …

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  6. Drowning worms, just like in the good old days.

    11 July 2009

    When I was a kid my mom and I used to drive out to North Park Lake in western Pennsylvania and spent the evening (and sometimes most of Saturday) sitting on a bench on the shore with a tackle box, two fishing rods, and a couple of dozen nightcrawlers from the gas station at the bottom of the hill.  We never caught anything really newsworthy - at most a handful of panfish and only once a pair of rainbow trout, but we had some great times out there.  Sometimes a flock of ducks would go swimming in the lake and we'd …

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