Articles Archive for September 2011
While the quick approach of November means we’ll soon be off for our cruise and a short stay in Morocco, we sadly will not be able to make it down to the south this time around – a shame as we so enjoy Marrakech and Nic still has designs on getting further south
The very same area that the Saadians came to power from.
Originally their rule from 1509 through to 1554 CE only extended over southern Morocco – around the region where the city of Zagora is now.
This all …
One of the best parts of touring Kennedy Space Center at the #NASATweetup for Atlantis’ last launch was getting a look inside the VAB – the Vehicle (originally Vertical) Assembly Building. The VAB (not Vee-Eh-Bee as I initially thought, but Vuh-Ah-Buh, like it’s a word) was first built to assemble the Saturn V Rocket for the Apollo program, then used to mate the Shuttles with their fuel tanks, place them on the mobile launcher and the crawler, and send them out to the launch pad. We were all accordingly in …
A few years ago we had the opportunity to participate in the Waking City alternate reality game that had you solve a series of puzzles as you progressed through the storyline – something I’ll write a bigger post about later on.
One of the things I really enjoyed about it was how it took us through different parts of the city and really made us examine our surroundings. It was like rediscovering the city.
One such location for me was Croft Street.
An area that I’d passed through on many occasions, …
Gamers aren’t just playing games any more. Now we’re solving scientific problems.
Online gamers have been brought together and in a surprisingly short period of time – three weeks – were able to generate an accurate model for the monomeric retroviral protease, a virus from the HIV family, which had stumped scientists for the last decade.
Limited by the traditionally two-dimensional depictions of these viruses, the University of Washington in 2008 developed Foldit and open sourced their research efforts.
The culmination of which is a fun-for-purpose video game which organizes online players …
Because it’s just so cool, figured I share a video I’d come across that does a time-lapsed flyover of the Earth.
Taken as the International Space Station orbited the planet at night, this movie starts out over the Pacific Ocean heading north over the pole before circling around over the Americas before getting blotted out by the rising sun near Antarctica.
If you look out toward the horizon, you can even make out a thin yellow line which would be the Earth’s ionosphere.
Drawing upon Morocco’s top artisans, Grand Vizier Si Mossa had them work on the palace for fourteen years.
Boasting floor to ceiling decorations, el Bahia palace was originally constructed in the 1860s, but was further embellished upon by the slave-turned-vizier, Abu ‘Bou’ Ahmed, between 1894 and 1900.
While only a portion of the 8 hectare palace is open to the public, the sections you can walk are pretty extensive, and gives you a great sense of the lifestyle enjoyed by the two viziers and their many wives and concubines.
Upon his death, …
Because it went up in Toronto – and frankly because it’s kinda cool – I thought I’d put up a quick post about a new brand of marketing utilizing a biological medium.
Capitalizing on the ramp up to this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, two billboards made from live bacteria were mounted in an abandoned storefront at 409 Queen Street West in the downtown to promote the upcoming release of Contagion
This one-of-a-kind advertisement was the brainchild of the Toronto advertising agency Lowe Roche, who teamed up with the …
Ever wonder about the actual history behind some of Hollywood’s biggest hits?
Take the Great Escape for example. Starring Steve McQueen, this movie tells the story of the Allied prisoners at Stalag Luft III who lead a mass escape and the resultant massacre of 50 prisoners – an event that saw British Intelligence smuggle in instructions to the remaining POWs not to make another attempt.
But as the Allied forces drew closer, fear of SS reprisals grew, leading many to chance discovery as they continued digging.
Named George – a ruse which allowed …
Every year we end up debating where to spend our Canada Day. But as some of our relatives live out by Ottawa, the Capitol often tops the list.
There certainly is something to being in the capitol as Canadians of all backgrounds converge on Parliament Hill.
And of course an appearance by the Snowbirds.
However when this celebration also includes a state visit by the Queen of England, the crowds can get especially large.
And if you look closely, you can even make out that the bridges between the buildings are packed full of …
The New York Times recently reported on how the Libyan rebels facing an intelligence deficit, turned to the internet for a solution, and discovered Aeryon Labs based out of Waterloo, Ontario, had what they were looking for.
Aeryon manufactures unmanned surveillance aircraft that are typically used by oil companies to survey spills; the rebels in Libya are instead putting one to use coordinating their attacks.
Thanks to its compact frame and lightweight – coming in at just 3 pounds – this tiny four-rotor helicopter can be mounted with a stabilized-image day- and …