Saturday, August 27, 2005

Easy Creatures

A Generative Animation project by Michael Chang at UCLA. Uh... whatever. It's a cool little app that makes creatures out of strokes of the mouse. In addition to the short and long strokes - try some circles.

(Thanks Brice)

Thursday, August 25, 2005

One Big Pi

In our never-ending attempt to educate the teeming masses with, sometimes useless, but always amazing information: Top Men at Wohba bring you pi... really big pi... no, really!... this is super pi.

You might think that pi to one hundred decimal places is amazing. Bah. How about a thousand? Child's play. Ten thousand? Yawn. One hundred thousand? Scratch. One million? Ten million? A hundred million?

How about pi to two hundred twenty million decimal places! Now that's one big pi!

We've provided a link to the warm up site. The link to the full two hundred twenty million is at the bottom of the warm-up site. CAUTION! The full site is HUGE - over 200 meg download!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Martian Mountain Climbing

We're getting the first panoramic images from Mars Rover Spirit at the top of Husband Hill. After months of trekking (and back-trekking) Spirit finally arrived at the summit and began to send back spectacular views of the valley (Tennessee Valley) below.

The teeming masses are not waiting for Top Men at NASA to put them together - they're taking the seperate images and stitching them together and building the color (not precisely true color yet) images themselves.

Take a look at this one by Doug Ellison. Everyone is enamored with the odd whitish crater named Home Plate.

To get an idea of just far the rover has... well... roved, here is a photo taken from Spirit's landing sight with Husband Hill in the distance.

Top Men at Wohba will show you more as they become available.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


These letters are from a wonderful collection of butterfly photos by Kjell B. Sandved. Several posters are available. You can click on the letters of the posters (or on the letters in Wohba above) to find more natural letters.

Crowded Skies

Top Men at NASA have used your tax money for more cool stuff. This time it's not exactly down-to-earth, but it is closer-to-home. They've used their computing power to make a movie of a full day's worth of plane traffic over the United States. Amazing.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Stop That Annoying Humming!

From the Man bites Dog news category comes the story of the Bug eats Bird. Seems a praying mantis made a meal of a hummingbird.

Top Men are disgusted and amazed. Ah, the circle of life.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Mountain Building

Mount St. Helens continues to grow, but it's hard to grasp the massive scale of what is going on. Top Men at Wohba are here to help. It's gonna be a two step process...

Step One: Watch this video. This is the last 9 days of new dome growth (7/31 - 8/8)

Step Two: Look at this photo. Those guys are setting up a tiltmeter (8/5)


Rock On Rock On Rock

There's this guy with two first names, and he balances rocks. Here is a gallery. And here is a really amazing movie.

Top Men at Wohba would not lead you wrong.

(Thanks Brice!)

Thursday, August 04, 2005

High Hi-Res

Big (3032 x 2064), beautiful photo of the shuttle. For extra credit find the little white ceramic fabric sticking out from between the tiles on the belly (hint) that Top Men at NASA decided to yank out. For big bonus points find the shredded thermal blanket (hint) that Top Men at NASA decided not to fix.

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

Mark your calendars - Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter launches on August 8th. Why is this cool? It's all about the resolution. This baby is gonna give us some hi-res shots of Mars. Like 20,000 pixels by 60,000 pixels! Wohba!

It's gonna grab some shots of our Moon (among other things) to warm up, on its way out of town. It'll start those on Sept. 8, 2005. It won't get to Mars until November 2006.

They're setting up a web site now so we all get to see pictures hot off the press and actually make requests for what we'd like to see.

Top Men will keep you informed.


The answer for the picture above is "woods".

Now you have an idea how to play Peekaboom . Portions of photos are revealed to you quickly while you try and guess the word. Then it's your turn to reveal parts of a photo.

Simple - and addictive.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Color Perception Deception

Go to this site and click on Illusion 3 for a Wohba! moment.

The more illusion we find, the more Top Men can't believe their eyes.

(Thanks Ryan)

Monday, August 01, 2005

The Long Way to Mercury

With so much stuff going on in space, Top Men were afraid you might miss the MESSENGER spacecraft close swingby of Earth tomorrow (Aug 2). On it's way to an orbit around Mercury in 2011, MESSENGER is swinging by Earth (1,458 miles) for a gravity assisted trajectory correction.

MESSENGER was launched almost exactly one year ago, and after this correction it heads off to Venus for two more corrections and then off to Mercury. Using the gravity of the planets lets the craft carry much less fuel.

Detailed mission designs are here.