Saturday, January 13, 2007

POV-Ray: Newsgroups: povray.general: Reflected sunlight falls on a material, over the year - on using to design buildings with passive heating and cooling

I like to use SunPos() to show the seasonal solar exposure and penetration of structures so as to minimize heat gain in the summer and maximize it in the winter. I throw a bunch of intensity- and color-coded 'suns' in the sky (red for summer 'cooling days', and blue for winter 'heating days'). The resulting red-magenta-blue hues illuminating the surfaces of the structure indicate where wanted and unwanted solar radiation is intercepted.

Passive solar performance should be good when exterior surfaces appear red (and are well-insulated there) and the surfaces of internal thermal masses are blue.

Friday, January 12, 2007

A theory on why liberals support Islam


There are some who see the rise of militant Islam as an opportunity.

If Islam can be portrayed as simply another expression of religious fervor, then perhaps all of mankind can be turned away from all religious fervor. For such people, the destruction of the beautiful things produced by two millennia of Christian faith serves a two-fold purpose.

First, it crushes the idea of religion as a positive force.

Second, it destroys the beautiful things that reminds the world of the God Who is Truth, Goodness and Beauty and of the religious faith that empowered us to create such true, good and beautiful things in His image.

Best of all, both goals are accomplished without supporters of secularism getting their hands dirty. They can quite correctly claim that they publicly opposed the destruction of the beautiful things, but the marauding religious nutcases could not be stopped. Wouldn't it be better if we rid the world of religion, and rule it without regard to fictional deities?

ImagineFX | Workshops - digital art tutorials in PDF format

Put Up Or Shut Up - filmmaking advice (the first entry is currently here)

"Okay, you're all fired up. You went to the Liberty Film Festival, found it refreshing to watch films terrorists wouldn’t like, and now want to make one of your own. Where to begin?

"This will be a multi part series that will hopefully take you step by step through the process."

Thursday, January 11, 2007

It seems that Amadis of Gaul was originally a Portuguese story... It also happens to be the origin of the name "California", ruled in the story by Calafia.

The CarveWright Woodworking System

"The Carvewright is a compact, computer-controlled, 3-dimensional woodworking machine with an easy-to-use interface that allows even a novice to craft wood and other soft materials like a pro."

It costs $1900, but it's out of stock. It also has a cool 3D scanning probe for $300:

The Probe

"The CarveWright scanning probe opens up the world of 3D scanning to anyone. Now you can reproduce original pieces, repair antique furniture even copy trim and moldings with ease. Almost any material can be scanned even soft materials such as clay or wax. Scanning resolution up to .005 inches are possible. Just plug the probe into the CarveWright, set the desired scan area, and watch the CarveWright go to work. With the included CarveWright Import software you can manipulate the 3D output to meet your needs."

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Chinese police kill 18 in raid on terror camp

China's security forces claim to have killed 18 Islamic terrorists in a gun battle at a suspected training camp in the mountains near the Pakistan border, the state media reported today.

One policeman was also killed and another injured in one of the bloodiest confrontations reported in the far western region of Xinjiang in recent years.

The raid, which took place last Friday, on the suspected East Turkmenistan Islamic Movement facility in the Pamir mountains came just weeks after the government announced plans for a crackdown on seperatists and religious extremists in Xinjiang, a region that is mostly populated by Muslim Uighurs.

According to the China Daily, police captured 17 alleged terrorists and found 22 grenades and materials that could have been used to produce 1,500 other explosive devices. The state newspaper claimed that 1,000 members of the East Turkmenistan Islamic Movement have been trained by al-Qaida.

Who Called Us - lists Caller ID info for various phone numbers (info sent in by website users)

"The phone is ringing, and I don't recognize the number, All Caller ID says is, "NAME UNAVAILABLE". Please help me figure out who is calling and what they want."

British nationals accused of funding Islamist fighters in Horn of Africa


British and American nationals are fighting with Islamist militias in Somalia and the fundamentalist movement is being chiefly funded by sympathisers in the UK, it has been claimed.

The Deputy Prime Minister of the country's transitional government accused Britain of being the main source of money and men for the fighters of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU).

Hussain Mohammed Aideed said: "The ICU's main support was coming from London, paying cash to the ICU against the government. Those who died in the war with the ICU were British passport-holders and American passport-holders. [...] They were the [Somali] elite who went outside, were indoctrinated differently and were told that the government is not a Muslim government, but that it is a government backed by infidels."

The Independent, in Mogadishu after the Somali capital was taken over by Islamist forces last summer, discovered a significant number of young Somalis who had returned to fight for the Islamists from the diaspora in the West.

The Ethiopian Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, said nationals from Britain, Canada, Pakistan and Sudan were among those captured or injured in the violence. He told the French newspaper Le Monde: "Many international terrorists were killed. Photographs have been taken and passports from different countries collected. The Kenyans are detaining foreign passport holders. We have wounded people coming from Yemen, Pakistan, Sudan and the UK."

Template:Tolkien - makes Tolkien's family tree in Wikipedia; have a look at the source code

The family tree is displayed by inserting the following into a page's text:

Category:WikiProject Middle-earth family tree templates - some fictional ones too

Fab @ Home - a wiki on making 3D printers

"Fab@Home is a website dedicated to making and using fabbers - machines that can make almost anything, right on your desktop. This website provides an open source kit that lets you make your own simple fabber, and use it to print three dimensional objects. You can download and print various items, try out new materials, or upload and share your own projects. Advanced users can modify and improve the fabber itself."

Fab@Home:Model 1 Overview

"On this page (and on the pages it links to) you can find everything you need to put together and use your Model 1 Fab@Home desktop fabricator."

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Revealed: UK Muslim preachers' messages of hate

An undercover investigation has revealed disturbing evidence of Islamic extremism at a number of Britain's leading mosques and Muslim institutions, including an organisation praised by the Prime Minister.


At the Sparkbrook mosque, [...] a preacher is captured on film praising the Taliban. In response to the news that a British Muslim solider was killed fighting the Taliban, the speaker declares: 'The hero of Islam is the one who separated his head from his shoulders.'

Another speaker says Muslims cannot accept the rule of non-Muslims. 'You cannot accept the rule of the kaffir [non-Muslim],' a preacher, Dr Ijaz Mian, tells a meeting held within the mosque. 'We have to rule ourselves and we have to rule the others.'


Elsewhere, another preacher at a mosque in the East Midlands is caught on film, praying: 'God help us in our fight against the kaffir, in every field, in every department of life. We beg you to help us fight against the enemies of our religion.'


Another preacher says: 'The time is fast approaching where the tables are going to turn and the Muslims are going to be in the position of being uppermost in strength and, when that happens, people won't get killed - unjustly.'

Monday, January 08, 2007

Star Trek - various versions of an old Star Trek game from 1972

CENTCOM Podcasting

"CENTCOM is proud to host these audio programs which feature sounds and comments from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, giving further insight into the Global War on Terrorism."

GREYCstoration - Open source algorithm for image denoising and interpolation, using state-of-the-art image processing techniques.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Algerian terrorists building cells in welfare states

"Algerian terrorists are trying to establish themselves in the West (Europe, Canada, Australia.) The GSPC members share information via the Internet on how to work the legal and social welfare systems of Western countries, in order to stay out of jail, and get the local governments to pay for living expenses. But known GSPC members are closely watched, and know they will be picked up if they are caught planning an terrorist operations."

What Does 200 Calories Look Like? - Pictures of 200 Calories of Various Foods - a forum on the upcoming Red camcorder