Funny label on American clothes sold in France 
Thursday, December 21, 2006, 05:11 PM - TechnoPolitics
Fruit of the Loom, a small American clothing company that is quite popular in France sells clothing in France with the hilarious label pictured below:

(from blogspot)

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See how it flies 
Thursday, December 21, 2006, 03:28 PM - Flying Contraptions
For those of you who don't know this already, you MUST check out the amazing on-line book "See How It Flies, A new spin on the perceptions, procedures, and principles of flight". The book is a gentle introduction to the physics of flight, aerodynamics, airplane design, and many other things. It was written with the private pilot in mind, but the content is relevant to anyone with an interest in flying contraptions, miniature or otherwise.

If you ever wondered why and how an airfoil, or a flat barn door, can generate lift, this book will explain it to you (many other books get this wrong!).

The book was written (and is being constantly updated) by my old friend and buddy John Denker (pictured below), mad scientist extraordinaire, former Bell Labs colleague, physics educator, and all-around smart guy.

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More airplane videos... 
Thursday, December 21, 2006, 01:17 AM - Flying Contraptions
This Aviation Video site has lots of interesting videos of various aiplanes (including many crash videos). It also has a few videos of R/C airplanes, including this indoor quad-electric-ducted-fan Boing 747 being flown inside a gymnasium, and this series of crashes of beautiful scale jets. The site also has this pretty amazing demonstration of 4D flying. 4D flying refers to R/C aerobatic planes with reversible pitch propeller that can make the plane go backward or hover upside down. This type of flying has been around for a while, but this video is quite amusing.


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Video montages of airplane crashes 
Monday, December 18, 2006, 03:03 AM - Flying Contraptions
This video on YouTube is a montage of 12 spectacular airplane crashes (real airplanes, not models), including a P-38. Another (longer) crash compilation is available here, and other ones here, here, here, here (registration required for that one), and here. This last one includes a spitfire, a corsair, and autogyro, and a bunch of carrier jets. The P-38 crash at Duxford in 1998 is available on a separate video.

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Scans of every Lego instruction manuals ever 
Monday, December 18, 2006, 02:51 AM - Misc TechnoToys
This site from the Netherlands has scans of all the Lego instruction manuals ever. The scans are also available through FTP. Too bad the manuals are not in DjVu format.

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Jet-powered bike 
Monday, December 18, 2006, 02:32 AM - Misc TechnoToys
Fun videoof a jet-powered bike. It uses two small turbojet engines normally used for model airplanes. Fun.
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JediCut free foam cutting CNC software 
Monday, December 18, 2006, 12:38 AM - Robotics
JediCut is a free CNC software for foam cutting that can talk to a number of CNC control boards, including the ones from HobbyCNC.
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R/C flapping-wing dragonfly 
Saturday, December 16, 2006, 11:16 PM - Flying Contraptions
WowWee will be releasing this R/C dragon fly. The videos are pretty amazing (thanks Steve Crandall).

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RPM sensor for brushless motor 
Saturday, December 16, 2006, 06:39 PM - Flying Contraptions
Bertrand tells me EagleTree systems sells a nice little sensor that can be used to measure the RPM of a brushless motor by simply connecting the sensor to one of the motors leads. This could be useful for a project we are working on.....

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Left-handed (pusher) propellers for electric motors 
Saturday, December 16, 2006, 06:26 PM - Flying Contraptions
Over the last couple of years, I have built various electric-powered miniature flying contraptions that used two counter-rotating propellers. The main problem was to find left-handed props. Until now, my only source was Todd's Models, which sells a pair of GWS-like 10x4.5 counter-rotating props. Unfortunately, no other size was available. Now, APC is selling left-handed electric props too, and in several sizes (7x5, 8x6, and 9,6). BP Hobbies has them on this page.
They are of the "thin" type, not the "slo-flyer" type.


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USB Airsoft gun turret 
Thursday, December 14, 2006, 01:42 PM - Robotics
InventGeek has the building instructions for a simple USB-controled gun turret that cannibalizes a USB rocket launcher and an airsoft gun.


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Suunto X9i GPS Watch 
Thursday, December 14, 2006, 01:36 PM - Misc TechnoToys
Suunto offers the reasonably-sized, quasi-reasonably-priced X9i watch with GPS, Altimeter, Compass functions. Most places have it for about $400. Reviews are somewhat varied, some saying that the watch takes a while to grab the satellites, and that it doesn't work too well in urban environments.


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Armadillo Run: physics-based game 
Thursday, December 14, 2006, 01:34 PM - Misc TechnoToys
Armadillo Run is a puzzle game based on physics simulation. I hven't tried it yet, but it look to me like the Incredible Machine series of old time (with better physics).

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TinyBoards DSP board with camera support 
Tuesday, December 12, 2006, 06:08 PM - Robotics
Austrian company TinyBoards sells a small board that contains an Analog Devices CM-BF561 dual-core "Blackfin" DSP. Interestingly, they offer a daughter board that can accept two Omnivision OV7660 camera modules.


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Fuel Cell R/C Car 
Friday, December 8, 2006, 08:51 PM - Misc TechnoToys
Apparently, Horizon Fueld Cells is about to release a new model of their H-Racer fuel-cell powered R/C car. Gizmag has an article on the new car, and Jalopnik has a video of the car running.


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Cheap omnidirectional camera 
Sunday, December 3, 2006, 09:16 AM - Robotics
A Korean company is selling an omnidirectional camera mirror for $100.

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