GM exhibit,  Posted by Hello

skycar another angle Posted by Hello

Skycar by Moeller Posted by Hello

Baba Ganoush the clone. It was shivering alittle when i took this picture. (apologies, i could have taken one from the same angle so you could see how similar they are, but as thinker pointed out, cats do their own thing). That said, someone at that company must really love meditteranean food.  Posted by Hello

Tahini the DNA donor cat Posted by Hello


Nextfest contd. - solar, NASA, brainball

The GE Solar exhibit was interesting, it explained how hygridding works, by showing how the energy flows from the panels to the inverter, to the battery and finally to the electric grid. For more on the different types of solar systems and how they relate to the grid, check out solarbuzz. There wasn't too much info in their stall and unfortunately was not able to talk to a rep, but i met a very helpful gentleman from the NY academy of sciences. They are working together with other organizations especially in healthcare with an eye towards achieving the UN millenium goals. Check out their site here.
Factoid on the stall: CFL's (Compact Flourescent Lamps) use 70-75% less energy than incandescent lamps.
We then moved on to the Interactive institute exhibit, the guys here were very helpful in explaining their technology. One such gentleman was named Magnus. There was a lamp and a translucent cord, you could see the blue wiring in the cord. When the lamp is plugged in, you could see how you are drawing energy from the grid. Magnus explained how when you connected a stereo you could see the way the bass takes up more energy. It makes for an interesting visual though, imagine a club where the wiring is set up, and you can see the energy thumping to the music. No that was not the point of their invention, it was more to make people more cognizant of how much energy they actually use. IMO energy is sometimes taken for granted. Just drive through any town in the us. and see just how many lights are on that do not really have to be. Magnus then showed us the solar shade. The PV(photovoltaic) panels are light and integrated with the shade to capture solar energy during the day, and the shade would illuminate the room at night. The battery was not visible at all, it was sewn into the fold of the shade at the bottom. They also had textiles that respond to heat, such that you could play tic-tac-toe with your cup of coffee with other guests. They are also the guys behind brainball, a game where you make a ball move on the table by being more relaxed. click here for more of their incredible inventions.
NASA Exhibit.See pics below of the Mars rover (it is solar powered) & link.
Spoke with Rich Wlezien.
Q: What technologies developed by NASA can we look forward to seeing in the consumer/public market?
A:- Replacing cell towers with unmanned remotely operated planes to support mobile communications.
- Use of satellite technology to detect forest fires (These happen often in the US)
- Applications in border security
- Hurricane tracking.

Magnus and the Solar Shade.Note that the visible PV cells would be facing the outside of your window. :) Posted by Hello

high altitude unmanned, remotely operated airplanes. They can stay up there for weeks on end. Posted by Hello

Mars Rover Posted by Hello

mars ho! Posted by Hello

Solar sail Posted by Hello

GE Solar Exhibit Posted by Hello


NextFest Robots

The wired magazine is a popular magazine that highlights new technology, gadgets and ideas in science. This years nextfest was sponsored by several major companies e.g GE, Northrup Grumman, Motorola, etc.
It was a sweltering friday in chicago with temps hovering around 90 degrees fahrenheit, so i was relieved when we entered the exhibition area at the Navy Pier. The first thing we saw was the speed bullet that is capable of land speeds of 315mph. We walked in and passed through a fog produced by a suspended bar, i thought it was a cooling system since it was so hot outside, till when i looked at the other end of the room and saw images of a movie that looked like a holographic image. That is when i turned around and saw that the mist i just passed through had images of interlocking pipes. To my left there was a long rectangular LCD screen and audio..."Welcome to the future".
The first part we went to was the xerox area where several people were waving as they had their picture taken. Free is free right? Got in queue and got my memento of a thermal image. I was expecting a digital picture, instead i got a thermal image that looked very cool. I needed to remind myself..."welcome to the future". Your expectations are about to be blown out the water.
There were so many interesting exhibits, to write about them would take up so much time, so i will hit on the highlights this week of the bits that i particularly enjoyed. First up..Robots.
Philip K Dick Android project is a lifelike android portrait of philip K Dick, the writer of stories like minority report & paycheck that have been made into popular movies. For more info on the android project please click here. We were ushered into a small room that had a couch and a coffee table with PKD propped up on the corner of the couch. See pics below. The exhibitor started by telling us about the project, but some of us were already wondering when we could talk to PKD. He typed on the laptop alittle and PKD's head started going from side to side. He looked like he was twitching. His eyelids open and shut, quite naturally i might add, save for the sound you could hear when he blinked. After the intro by the exhibitor, i got the chance to wear the headset and ask him a question. I was alittle quesy as his eyes were actually focused on me. I asked how old he was. " ___human years". The numbers were not audible. I heard about wired nextfest right around the time our dear first lady asked a certain gentleman as to the name of his mother, so i really wanted to ask PKD too. (You know you wanted me to!) So therefore i asked "Who is your mother?" "I do not understand your question" he said and his eyes started blinking, his head moving side to side.
PKD asked "and what is your name?" "____"i said. "Thank you for the information" PKD replied. I wondered if he was winking. I then passed the headset on to the next guy (after several quizzical looks from the exhibitor who was definitely wondering why the hell i was asking PKD who his mother was, aki! ). The guy i gave the headset to must have been wondering about the winking because he asked "are you flirting with ____?" "I dont know that i am, I am a robot..." said PKD. Apologies for not having audio, i will definitely carry my recorder next time.

PKD Posted by Hello

PKD's brain. Posted by Hello

PKD's hands are made of frubber, a material that looks and feels like human skin (info from wired link above) Posted by Hello


Wired Nextfest- chicago(bad comp:(check out www.nextfest.net)


Sculpture on the grounds of the American Jazz museum. The Negro league Baseball museum is located next to the Jazz museum. Posted by Hello

Guitarist. He is absolutely wicked. Posted by Hello

Koko told of how she had been in a coma, how she regained her walking ability in January of this year. She was thankful to God that she was able to sing the blues that day. Posted by Hello

Koko Taylor at Rhythm and Ribs, 18th and Vine Jazz District in Kansas City. June 18th. Posted by Hello


frontline looks at the contracting biz in Iraq

Update: Link to the PBS website. It has detail on the people interviewed and their background. Incredible footage and first rate reporting. You should be able to view the program online tomorrow wednesday at noon edt.
Frontline is on, check your local Public television listings (US). Its been on for 15 minutes and its incredible.

sidenote: Check out this clip of Rep.Sensenbrenner going bananas at the judiciary commitee. Then check out this clip from the follow up on the house.
You can also see the full vid (about an 1hr and 1/2) on the CSPAN site. (Hearing on the reauthorization of the patriot act).


phat and flat

The World is phat,
The world is flat,
Tom friedman is flat.


Better poll question please?

link to Nationmedia article.
Q:"If elections were held now, who would you vote for?"

Shouldn't the question be about the ISSUE MOST IMPORTANT to kenyans in the runup to 2007 elections instead of WHO should be president?

The stats by Steadman group (Havent researched abt the company yet...)
Posted by Hello


Ludacris shows Africa some love

Ludacris featuring Bobby Valentino
Pimping around the world.
I mentioned the song on this post when we were discussing the chasm between africans and african americans. To recap, it was because of a line at the end of the rap"...ain't no need of even askin brah, the best women all reside in Africa, and that's real".
I was jazzed by this video. He features authentic African dances, which were amazing. To watch the video, (sorry i cant find a link to the vid online right now, give it afew days, hopefully it will be available on MTV.com). According to Africanhiphop.com, the vid was shot in South Africa, specifically the Lion Park, the Zimbali lodge and the Sibaya casino on the Kwa zulu natal coast. On Luda, the shield, the safari suit that has African accents on it, The t-shirt he was wearing had a message on it about culture and the past, I couldn’t quite read all of it. If you see it again please let me know what is written on his t-shirt, it was a nice quote, that I could gather.
He chose to focus the video on the African aspect, the other locations in the world were shown as postcard stills.
Also according to Africanhiphop.com, the model featured Mathapelo Maimane, a part of the local production crew (He declined to use American models).
I am loving what he did with this.
I think the African American market has not been fully tapped as a source of tourism dollars. Americans watch a lot of TV, probably rivaling our very own NG…but hey, watch as more African Americans get curious and go to SA.
Kenya Tourism authority had better call Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Dead Prez, The neptunes etc and offer them tickets to do a video in Kenya.(My mind is racing thinking of the possibilities!) Confluence of cultures, I love it.
To vote for the vid on BET click here
Msanii what do you think?
Side notes
*There is a group called Fatty Koo with a song called ‘Bounce’.On the bet site its highlighted as 'Blowin up, Fatty Koo'. Damn, Fatty Koo?
*Surfergirl on the Brad Pitt interview on Primetime Live with Diane Sawyer.
*Bush, Blair, Africa, Aid and John Stewart. Click here for clip from crooks and liars.


Art of Democracy

I was listening to Eric Wainaina's 'Daima mimi Mkenya' again and was struck by the connection between art and democracy. Several years ago, the song was referred to as 'The New Kenyan Anthem'. I am still marinating this post, you are welcome to comment on what you feel were momentous pieces of art, music or books that are important in the budding democracy that is Kenya. Oh. Unbwoggable by Gidi Gidi Maji Maji for sure is one of those.

Quote of the day: "Nominating John Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations is a little like nominating Jeffrey Dahmer for surgeon general. " Robert Wright in Slate.


10 most harmful books of the 19th and 20th century

Via Billmon The list
I chuckled alittle when i saw Frantz Fanon, i read the excerpt on bullets&honey, and was planning on looking for the book, and yeah, i am definitely getting it.
Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, Origin of species by Darwin also got mentioned.


movie tag- fired by akiey and adrian...HIT!!!

I will keep this brief…
1. Total number of films I own on dvd/video: 5 on dvd, with a box in storage of perhaps 25 VHS tapes.
2. The last film I bought: The Incredibles

3.The last film I watched:
- Tv :Preety woman … It was on TNT and they had this dinner and a makeover thing with a dude proposing during commercial breaks. Sappy!
-Theatre: Crash – Loved loved that movie, it has some of my favourite actors. The star of the movie though is the story. I would add my recommendation to that of Akiey, Deno and others who tell you to go see it.
4.Five films that I watch a lot or that mean a lot to me: I will start with my faves that are not that heavy on meaning..
- Lock stock and 2 smoking barrels
- High heels and low lives
- The usual suspects
Now to the heavy ones,
- Hotel Rwanda
- The Kitchen Toto
* Love Jones too
5. Tag five people and have them put this in their journal: I hope these 5 don’t mind…
JJR and Irene , Bankelele, Wassapangaz, The virtual insanity crew, Magaidi and Techheadz. oops that was 6...oh well.