Virtual Keyboard

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The I.TECH Virtual Keyboard (VKB) is an infrared keyboard that uses the latest infrared & laser technology to project a full-size keyboard onto any flat surface. Users can then type as normal on this virtual infrared keyboard, enabling them to work quickly and effectively, taking the pain and frustration out of minuscule mobile phone or pda keyboards and handwriting recognition software. Imagine how much easier it would be if you had a proper mobile phone keyboard that fits in your pocket.

Online Scale Model of the Solar System

This is a cool model of the solar system using a scrolling webpage to show the distances between the sun and the planets. Luckily, you can jump from planet to planet instead of scrolling all the way down.

One of the most amazing things about our solar system is the sheer scale of it. In fact it is so big that it is very difficult for us to comprehend it at all. This page is designed to try to give you some idea of just how much empty space there is out there by representing the solar system with a scale model. 1 pixel represents approximately 2000 kilometres, which means that the whole of Europe would be completely covered by the dot on this i!

Try scrolling through the space between planets using your keyboard’s arrow keys and the ‘Page up’ and ‘Page down’ buttons, and keep an eye on the scrollbar to see where you are in the solar system. Just click on the link below to open the model in a new window, and close the window when you have finished to get back here. One word of warning though, the solar system is so huge you may find it difficult to find the planets at all amongst all the blank space! (I have provided links between neighbouring planets to make the journey easier).

Survival Guide to Homelessness

This is one of the most interesting blogs I have ever read. It is written by a person who was homeless for about five years and details his experiences. Here is an excerpt from the entry The Importance of a Car Cover:

There is a combat element to homelessness, but as every martial artist you ask will tell you, the best way to win a fight is not to be in the fight. Car thieves are easy to deal with, if you understand the psychology of thievery. Thieves will be attracted to a covered car, because they will believe that it is more valuable than the average vehicle. After all, the owner is taking good care of it. The thief will approach, leery of police, and to a lesser extent worried about being observed by citizens. He will begin trying to remove the cover, and you will hear the commotion. Adrenaline will course through your body, and you may be tempted to yell. Don’t.

Be patient. Be sure it is not a cop. Look through the cover, to the extent you can. Search for glints that would reveal a badge. Look for the beam of a flashlight. Look for the red and blue strobes that reveal a police vehicle. Look for these things, because police require different tactics.

Now, when you are sure it is a thief, lean on the horn. The thief, terrified by the unfamiliar will retreat. In all my years in a car, I only had one thief return for a second try. They all ran away, and only one came back. That one did not return after a second blast of the horn. This plan works for several reasons. One is that the loudness of a car horn attracts unwanted (for the thief) attention that a car alarm never brings.

Middle Finger Man

This is great.

I have been living in Provo for about four years and I was just barely introduced to one of Provo’s finest characters. A friend of mine told me about this man and where he could be found. I call him “Middle Finger Man” (MFM)because no one knows his real name. These man sits on his porch all day every day and flips off everyone that drives by and has been doing this for years. He is so reliable to be there that you can actually give directions according to this man as a landmark. “Yeah, head up Geneva and then when you see middle finger man, then I am the second turn after him….etc” When I heard about this guy, I just couldn’t believe it. I thought that would have to be the funniest thing that I have seen for a while. So i hopped on my motorcycle and headed over to Geneva Road. I drove over the bridge that spans the Provo River and counted the houses, ” One House, two houses, three houses.” I didn’t see him at first and thought that i would go home without seeing him then BAM! There he was on his porch and AS SOON as I caught eyes with him, both fingers went flying up and stayed there til I was out of sight. I couldn’t believe it. I quickly turned around to try it again. Same thing happened. so I tried it six more times (8 total) and just chuckled each time.

He ends up going back and taking video of Middle Finger Man. It is a pretty funny story but isn’t there a little of Middle Finger Man in all of us?

(via Boing Boing)