Monday, December 27, 2004

One Billion Pixel Image

This is a stitched-together image of Bryce Point in Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. It consists of 196 separate photographs taken with a 6 megapixel digital camera, and then stitched together into one seamless composite.

The final image is 40,784 x 26,800 pixels in size, and contains about 1.09 billion pixels...a little more than one gigapixel.

This image is roughly 100 times sharper then human eyes with 20/20 vision see naturally. If it were printed out, it would be 11 feet wide, or 12 pieces of paper printed landscape with no margins.

Here is a strip of the image. It is only an inch tall, but look at how wide it is!

Here is the site I saw it on...

Sunday, December 26, 2004

A Central Park Birthday Celebration in Winter

A wonderful birthday surprise for Mom's (hand over mouth & mumbling) birthday! We were blessed with snow falling the moment she arrived! All pictures are here. We love you Mamma San.

All pictures here.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Christmas In Pennsylvania

Santa stopped by alright! Everyone was so generous and thoughtful with their gifts.

Pictures Here.

Friday, December 24, 2004

PENNDOT Victory Junction/NASCAR Specialty Plates

PA is jumping on the NASCAR bandwagon with newly released license plates.

Here is an example of one.

The philoranthopic part of all this is that "A portion of the Victory Junction/NASCAR specialty plate fees will go to Victory Junction."


I swear to god this is question and answer posted on the PA DOT website:

"If my driver is no longer racing, is my plate still valid?"


You gotta love rednecks!

NASCAR Specialty Plates

Some new pictures...

All Pictures Here.

Wednesday, December 1, 2004

Will Santa and his 8 reindeer visit your house this Christmas?

Not likely. And for the five specific reasons I have listed below.

1. No known species of reindeer can fly. BUT there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does not COMPLETELY rule out flying reindeer which only Santa has ever seen.

2. There are 2 billion children (persons under 1 in the world. BUT since Santa doesn't (appear) to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to to 15% of the total - 378 million according to Population Reference Bureau. At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that's 91.8 million homes. One presumes there's at least one good child in each.

3. Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 822.6 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with good children, Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house. Assuming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false but for the purposes of our calculations we will accept), we are now talking about .78 miles per household, a total trip of 75-1/2 million miles, not counting stops to do what most of us must do at least once every 31 hours, plus feeding and etc. This means that Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man- made vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a pokey 27.4 miles per second - a conventional reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles per hour.

4.The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized Lego set (2 pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight. On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that "flying reindeer" (see point #1) could pull TEN TIMES the normal amount, we cannot do the job with eight, or even nine. We need 214,200 reindeer. This increases the payload - not even counting the weight of the sleigh - to 353,430 tons. Again, for comparison - this is four times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth.

5. 353,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance - this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as space crafts reentering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy. Per second. Each. In short, they will burst into flame almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and create deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second. Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. A 250-pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force.