April 30, 2002

It's Peanut Butter Jelly Time! Is there anything funnier than a dancing banana?

It's only a couple of weeks 'till the The 2002 Canadian National Concrete Canoe Competition. The CNCCC will be held this year in Portage's hometown of Toronto and will be hosted by the University of Toronto. Go U. of T.

April 29, 2002

It appears that Martin Dunwoody, a mathematician at the University of Southampton, may have solved The Poincaré Conjecture. If his proof is accepted as correct he will (eventually) win a million dollars. Here is a CNN account of the story. You can download a .pdf of Dr. Dunwoody's proof here.
(via Follow Me Here)

Fantastic collection of photographs and memorabilia of Harry Houdini at the Library of Congress

April 26, 2002

Adflip is a searchable database of thousands of ads from 1940 to 2001. You can search by year, decade, or product. We liked this one for a 1970 Karmann Ghia.
(via memepool)

For more than thirty years NASA has sponsored a fine arts program to document its work. Some of the artists involved have included Andy Warhol, Norman Rockwell, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jamie Wyeth. Now thirty of these works are avaliable online at the NASA Arts Gallery. We particularly liked "Soyuz Launch" by Andreas Nottebohm and "The Light Ship" by Attila Hejja.

The Arts Gallery is part of the larger NASA Multimedia Gallery which also includes a photo gallery, a video gallery, and an audio gallery. The photo gallery is simply massive as it is "an attempt to bring as many of NASA's still images as we can find to one location." There must be millions of images.

Also very cool is this collection of NASA Mission Patches. Here's the patch for the Mercury 3 mission.

April 25, 2002

The Virtual Gramophone at the National Library of Canada is an amazing collection of music recorded between 1900 and 1950. Presented in both RealAudio and .mp3 format, the Virtual Gramaphone is like having access to a huge (and we mean huge) stack of 78s in pristine condition. The site also contains a comprehensive history of the 78 era in Canadian music. Here, for example, is the Mont Royal Orchestra's rendition of Driftwood. (mp3) or (RA) We here at Portage have been cutting the rug all night.

RoboCup 2002 will be held in Fukuoka, Japan and Busan, Korea in June of this year. That's right, soccer playing robots, and we're not just talking about little doglike things pushing a ball around, we're talking Terminator-like things. The goal of the RoboCup people, as explained on the splashpage of their official website, is "to develop a team of fully autonomous humanoid robots that can win against the human world soccer champions (by the year 2050)". You can read more about it in this BBC story.

April 24, 2002

Two online collections not to be missed at the Museum of Modern Art website in New York. The Russian Avant-Garde Book: 1910-1934 and Artists of Brücke. Both make stunning use of Flash.

China Hatches Space Chickens: The BBC reports that the Chinese space programme has managed to hatch three chicken eggs, one female and two male, that had been in orbit around the earth. The Chinese are very proud of these chickens and point to their particularly pure native Chinese bloodline as evidence of their suitability for space missions. China has been investing greatly in their space programme over the last few years and claim they will send a manned mission within the year. The Chinese rocketeers will be known as yuhangyuans. You can read more about it at SpaceDaily.

April 23, 2002

A rare Megamouth shark has washed up on a South African beach. Less than twenty of these things have been found since they were first discovered in 1976. If you want to know more about these ultra-rare creatures (and who wouldn't?), the Ichthyology Department of the Flordia Museum of Natural History has the information you need here.

The Astonishing World of Musical Instruments
The music department of the Universite de Montreal has amassed a collection of over five hundred musical instruments from around the world, they've put some of the more unusual ones on display in this excellent online gallery.

In Discovering the Double Helix, an online video lecture avaliable on the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory website, Jim Watson describes how he and Francis Crick discovered the double helix structure of DNA. They've broken the lecture up into eighteen parts so you can just watch what you want. It's a very entertaining lecture and Watson makes some interesting points about how science is done and how he thinks it should be done. If you're interested in this Watson wrote a fantastic book about the discovery, which is a must read, called The Double Helix and recently followed it up with a new memoir entitled Genes, Girls, and Gamow: After the Double Helix.

Curium

Curium flies,
o'er the birds.
Into the flames,
Curium yearns,
To Fight the fire,
                            Into the coals.
- David Gannaway

from The Periodic Table of Poetry Uniting Poetry and Chemistry as never before. And, even more exciting, there are still a number of elements that do not have poems. So if you've got an ode to Promethium or a haiku about Europium, this would be the perfect place to share it.

The Virtual Museum of Canada just keeps getting better and better. The VMC is not the online site of a single museum but rather it is a collaboration between dozens of museums and galleries from across Canada and features 54 exhibits on science, arts, history, and technology.

April 22, 2002

We here at Portage take the cocktail hour seriously, we're pleased to see that other people do as well. The Cocktalian Gazette.

Hi George!! It's all true, this weblog really is run by Dave Williams!!


In January 1975 the extraordinary Buckminster Fuller gave a series of lectures entitled "Everything I Know". Although he was best known as the designer of the geodesic dome, Fuller knew a lot about a lot of things and was dedicated to using his knowledge to solve the problems of the world. Some of the topics Fuller covered include architecture, design, philosophy, education, mathematics, geometry, cartography, economics, history, structure, industry, housing and engineering. Now, incredibly, you can read, listen to, or even watch the entire 42 hours of the "Everything I Know" lectures online at The Buckminster Fuller Institute.

April 21, 2002

This NYT obit of Randy Tufts tells the remarkable story of how Tufts and his friend Gary Tenen discovered Kartchner Caverns in Arizona and then kept the discovery secret for fourteen years until they were sure the caverns would be protected. You can take a virtual tour of the Caverns at the Friends of Kartchner Caverns State Park website.

April 20, 2002

Real life superhero, Lloyd Scott, has finished the London Marathon while wearing a 130 lb. antique diving suit. His time was five days, eight hours, 29 minutes and 46 seconds. He raised over £100,000 in aid of childhood cancer and leukaemia. Way to go Lloyd, we are not worthy.





Subway Life is a collection of drawings of subway riders from around the world. Gorgeous use of Flash.

The Molecular Expressions Photo Gallery is a stunning collection of photomicrographs of all manner of things - hormones, perfumes, pharmaceuticals, beer. The pictures themselves are amazing. The picture shown above is magnesium chloride. Here is what Moosehead beer looks like.
(via Follow Me Here)

Another great photomicroscopy site is at MicroAngela's Electron Microscope Image Gallery. MicroAngela has a lot of pictures of bugs, like this ant.

Guardian Unlimited has a good guide to the planetary alignment.

April 19, 2002

Thor Heyerdahl, the anthropologist/adventurer of Kon-Tiki fame has died at the age of 87. Kon-Tiki was one of the first adult books, and certainly the first non-fiction book, I ever read. Here is his New York Times obit. You could also visit the Kon-Tiki Museum Website

April 18, 2002

It's never too early to start planning for Halloween. Here's a great site on How To Make a Tusken Raider (Sand Person) from Star Wars.

Tick Tock Toys is an extensive collection of cereal boxes, premiums (the little toys that come in cereal boxes), candy wrappers, cartoon characters, themed lands, and playground equipment all from the 1950s through 1970s.
(link via mybluehouse).

You Grow Girl is a website devoted to gardening. The unusual thing is that it is run by young, professional women, like founders Beate Schwirtlich and Gayla Sanders, who believe that "if gardening is the new rock’n’roll" then You Grow Girl represents the indie rock scene.

April 17, 2002

Australian scientists believe we all may have unrecognized savant-like skills. All we need to do to unlock our inner genius, it seems, is to put on a magnetic thinking cap that will stimulate our previously untapped resources.

Update: We asked the ever-knowledgeable Dr. Gelwan at Follow Me Here what he thought of this story, here is his thoughtful reply. (scroll down to entry entitled 'The Inner Savant') We here at Portage have, somewhat sheepishly, removed our homemade crowns of fridge magnets.

April 16, 2002

The Science of the Palatte. An Atlantic Unbound interview about how a knowledge of the science of colours can play a crucial role in art history.

The Owlhouse and Las Pozas are the first entries on a planned list of eccentric private dwellings here at Portage.

April 10, 2002

Absolutely amazing site that allows you to do a virtual frog dissection. froguts.com
(via boing boing)

Transit Toronto is a railfan site devoted to the Toronto Transit Commission, they have a great collection of transit maps, pictures, and historical accounts. Our favorite is this map of the system as it was in 1933.

A great collection of transit maps from around the world (but not yet including Toronto) can be found at The Map is the Thing by the always amazing coudal partners.

The U.K. plans to spend £50 million over the next few years on digitising collections.

The U.K. plans to spend £50 million over the next few years on digitising collections.

NYT article on how biology is directing the development of robots.

April 09, 2002

Good news for planetarium lovers. New technology has allowed the Washington Planetarium to create what it promises will be a doze free show but one that is still highly accurate and still features the venerable Zeiss projector. You can read about Zeiss projectors here and here.

Good news for planetarium lovers. New technology has allowed the Washington Planetarium to create what it promises will be a doze free show but one that is still highly accurate and still features the venerable Zeiss projector. You can read about Zeiss projectors here and here.

April 08, 2002

If you've ever wondered just how the beaver became an official symbol of Canada (and who amongst us can say they haven't?) here's the answer.

Great collection of photographs of the construction of the Empire State Building, here are two examples 1, 2 .
(link via plep)

Apparently, eels are making a comeback as a gourmet food. The Guardian has the links you need for a good eel feed.

The five planets visible to the naked-eye--Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn--are all currently in the same part of the night sky. It is the best chance in the past 62 years to see such an event. The prime viewing time will be about an hour after sunset between April 13 and mid-May.

"All of the visible objects in the solar system will be lined up in the same part of the sky. This should be high on your life list of personal experiences," - Terence Dickinson, editor of Canada's SkyNews magazine.
Read about it at SkyNews or in this Globe and Mail article.

The five planets visible to the naked-eye--Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn--are all currently in the same part of the night sky. It is the best chance in the past 62 years to see such an event. The prime viewing time will be about an hour after sunset between April 13 and mid-May.

"All of the visible objects in the solar system will be lined up in the same part of the sky. This should be high on your life list of personal experiences," - Terence Dickinson, editor of Canada's SkyNews magazine.
Read about it at SkyNews or in this Globe and Mail article.

April 07, 2002

A great site devoted to the work of the Czech surrealist artist Jan Svankmajer.
(link via Bonnie Burton's guest blog at Boing Boing)

April 05, 2002

The new MZTV Television Museum in Toronto has a great website about the history of television focusing on Moses Znaimer's very impressive collection of vintage TVs. According to Znaimer, the founder of the museum, there are fewer prewar TVs left in the world than there are Stradivarius violins.

April 04, 2002

Paper Plate Education is a great site with instructions for dozens of things to do with paper plates including making an Addition & Multiplication Table, an Altitude Measurer, and a Plate-a-tarium. Amazing.

April 03, 2002

According to the Oxford English Dictionary ships have been female since 1375, as in "Yar, she's a lovely vessel is the Persephone." Well, no longer. Lloyd's List has decided that from now on ships will no longer be known as 'she' but as 'it'. Julian Barnes comments in The New Yorker.

High on our list of 'places to go' has always been Wood Buffalo National Park in the NWT. Here is a good story about the park by Cleo Paskal. Paskal is fast becoming one of our favorite new travel writers, she's always telling us stuff we didn't know, (like that Agatha Christie was an avid amateur archeologist) or about places we should go (like the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia).

April 02, 2002

Apparently, snake charming is on the decline in modern-day India.

It's snowing like crazy here in Toronto. Wanting to learn more about snowflakes we went to Snow Crystals. Wow. Snow Crystals will be of interest to anyone who is interested in "understanding pattern formation in nonlinear nonequilibrim systems" but you also might just like the pretty pictures. Here is a sample from their galleries.


...............

April 01, 2002

We here at Portage plan to join General Claire and General Jenny in their bid to effect Canadian World Domination. (Besides we think General Claire is kinda sexy.)


Google
Search WWW Search Portage: Stuff Worth Saving


Powered by Blogger Pro™

Counter installed May 25, 2002

Counter Installed March 1, 2002