Cat saves boy from viscious dog

Well, you’ve probably seen this already but it’s still worth posting here because it’s so amazing. A cat defended a young boy from a viscous dog that was attacking him by ramming the dog and chasing him off. It’s incredible to think the cat flew at the dog like that.

I read last night that the dog has been put down but can’t find that information anywhere now. That was one lucky boy, it could have been so much worse. More on the story here.

BAKERSFIELD – A cat came to her best friend’s rescue Tuesday when a young boy was attacked by a dog in his driveway in Southwest Bakersfield and it was all caught on video.

The surveillance video shows the boy, 4-year-old Jeremy, playing on his bicycle. He was coming home from school when he wanted to fly a kite. Jeremy has mild autism.

The neighbor’s dog, an 8-month-old labrador/chow mix, sneaks up behind him and bites his leg.

The family’s cat, named Tara, rushed the attacking dog and chased it away.

(Quoting the news story because I guarantee the link will die and in a few years time I’ll be wondering about it.)

Amazing Android Audio with ViPER4Android

If I was in any way skilled at writing prose I’d continue the alliteration in this post but alas I’m not so you’ll have to make do with the amazing ViPER4Android that makes Android devices sound absolutely amazing.

Their about page says that “ViPER’s Audio is an audio enhancing software to provide everyone with better audio experiences in various platforms such as smartphones and PCs.” It has a graphic equalizer and controls for changing surround sound, bass, treble, clarity and gain settings in the driver. I mostly used the default settings but pumped the clarity up to 12dB. There are different settings for headset, phone speaker, bluetooth and USB/dock. Music and voice sources sound so much richer, even through the phone speaker. I have yet to try the “sound of the kettle boiling” vs podcast test but hopefully it’ll help.

What first led me to try ViPER4Android was “Adapt Sound” on my Galaxy S4. The difference when using Samsung’s stock music player was like night and day. Unfortunately it didn’t change the sound out of any other player like Google’s Music Player. I needed an alternative.

You can download the apk file here. I installed the FX apk for the extra settings and installation is straightforward if your phone is rooted already. It may ask you to confirm a change to core configuration files that can cause damage. It warns you to make a backup first but I allowed it to do so and the phone rebooted without a hitch. I chose “Super Audio Quality” which the app warns might drain battery more quickly but I’m at home 99% of the time anyway so that’s not a major issue for me.

If you need further help, there’s some good illustrated installation instructions here.

Kerbal Space Program: The Minmus Space Station

Just over a year ago I docked two space ships in Kerbal Space Program for the first time. It was extremely difficult. The first time you do it it’s like balancing a full cup of tea on a 1m pole while cycling down the road on a unicycle. With the pole standing on your nose. It’s something I’ve mostly shied away from as it’s so frustrating.

However, after watching this video I tried again. Balancing my craft is made a lot easier by “hacking gravity” to test that the RCS ports are in the right place, setting the camera mode to chase, and the docking alignment indicator makes final approach more manageable. It’s still not easy but it’s not impossible. So I went a little overboard..

Space Station around Minmus

This is my space station around Minmus. It has a portable laboratory for processing science experiments brought up from the moon’s surface and plenty of fuel for refuelling. It’s also made up of space craft from 3 different launches all docked together. The capsule on the surface side of the station can be detached and can fly back to Kerbin with any valuable science. As you can see, Kenlorf Kerman is overjoyed with his new space station. He better be, he might be there for quite a while!

OK, so there aren’t any spare docking ports. I’ll, umm, have to send those up on the next launch. It’s lucky that Jeb is a competent pilot and can manoeuvre his craft around with ease when a new section arrives. Nothing scares him.

Jebediah and Kenlorf

Update! The space station has progressed. It’s longer after I sent up more rocket fuel and RCS monopropellant. My lander has been down to Minmus twice collecting science and I sent one command module back to Kerbin brimming with science. I then added a new section to the space station with 4 new docking ports. Getting them there was hair raising. I nearly ran out of RCS propellant. Gulp.

Minmus Space Station

Cork City on a Saturday Night

This is a not-so flattering look at Cork City on a Saturday night, but it’s probably repeated most everywhere where drink is served.

I like the music though. Could this be a sneaky attempt to make a viral video for the musician? Bet there’ll be an exclusive interview with thejournal.ie or The Examiner in a few days time. Or, as one Reddit user said,

obvious propaganda from the government in Dublin who want to annex our republic.

Of course.

NASA + Google = SPHERES

This is quite amazing. Google and NASA are working on robots that will float around the International Space Station helping astronauts or perform maintenance activities independently on station. I love the zero G test of the SPHERE in the video. It looked like a lot of fun!

I found this video on Johnny Chung Lee’s blog post. I remember I started following after he blogged about hacking the Wii motion controller a few years ago. Now into space? Great!

Since the summer of 2013, the Project Tango team has been working closely with a team at the NASA Ames Research Center. The goal: to integrate a Project Tango prototype onto a robotic platform, called SPHERES, that flies inside the International Space Station. The SPHERES program aims to develop zero-gravity autonomous platforms that could act as robotic assistants for astronauts or perform maintenance activities independently on station. The 3D-tracking and mapping capabilities of Project Tango would allow SPHERES to reconstruct a 3D-map of the space station and, for the first time in history, enable autonomous navigation of a floating robotic platform 230 miles above the surface of the earth.

Project Tango and SPHERES are scheduled to be launched into orbit this summer. The future is awesome.

A Weekend at Cullintra House

CULLINTRA HOUSE

This was the view from our room in Cullintra House this weekend. It’s a guesthouse on a working farm. Patricia Cantlon, the owner, is an amazing cook and while dinner is late in the evening around 8pm the food is worth it. Over three nights we enjoyed trout, turkey & ham, and lamb. Each dish was better than the previous, topped off with delicious desserts.

If you’re used to hotel accommodation the rooms here may come as a surprise. There are rooms in the main house but we stayed in a beautifully converted barn where Patricia displays her paintings. A wood burning stove provides heat. The last time I lit a fire was probably in the 90′s so it was an education! Wood blocks come from her own farm and readily burned, warming the room quickly. Smoke did escape from the stove at times but the gallery is a large room and it dispersed.

Patricia is a no-nonsense woman who loves to talk. She’ll happily converse into the small hours of the morning I’m sure but each evening we went to bed shortly after dinner was over. If you look up “energy” in the dictionary you’ll find her name there!

I guarantee you won’t have a quiet weekend away if you stay in Cullintra House, but if you’re looking for something a little different and delicious food you really should give it a go. I’m still reeling from the experience.

I’ll be updating this post with more photos over the next few days.

Neil Armstrong on Being a Nerd

orbital_mechanics

Yonatan Zunger posted this video featuring Neil Armstrong’s voice on Google Plus almost 2 weeks ago and I’ve been meaning to post it here for a while. The latest xkcd cartoon finally gave me the opportunity to combine this inspirational video and Kerbal Space Program in one post.

So far the 21st century has been pretty amazing. I’m looking forward to more science!