Thursday, November 30, 2006


There were a whole bunch of Mars HiRISE images released yesterday. The most fun of the bunch (for now) is yet another shot of the Opportunity Rover landing site - this time with all the bits and pieces.

Landing Site Overview
Parachute and Backshell
Heat Shield

And here is the entire image - from landing site to Victoria Crater...

Light Wait 2048 x 3988 (JPEG - 1.8 MB)
Heavy Wait! 30,000 x 60,000 (JPEG 20000 - 677 MB)

Previous related Wohba links:
More of Victoria
HiRISE Gazes on Opportunity

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Human Echolocation?

Although skeptical by nature, Top Men are willing to give the benefit of the doubt in such remarkable cases as this. Seems this kid lost both his eyes to cancer at age two. His mom told him he had to use his other senses - and he actually listened (literally).

Feel free to feel good.

Previous related Wohba links:

Monday, November 27, 2006

Sort of Amazing

Sometimes Top Men find things intriguing that the teeming masses would consider rather esoteric - sorting algorithms for example. But before you check your brain and move on to the lastest lonelygirl15 episode consider the lowly process of sorting for just a moment.

Perhaps assumed perfunctory, and certainly taken for granted, computer sorting is a rather interesting challenge. Give a list of items to the computer and it returns the list in order. You might be suprised to learn just how many different ways there are to sort a list - and how much faster some methods are than others.

If you're still here, then Top Men consider you highly intelligent and reward your curious nature with this link - a visual demonstration of four sort routines.

It ain't no Dolphin Boat, but at least it won't give you skin cancer.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Dolphin Boat

Top Women love the great outdoors unlike some others around the labs. As a matter of fact, some seem to get their tans mostly from the glow of a CRT rather than the sun. Anyway, in our continual quest for sunny adventure Top Women found this neat boat that's not sure if it's a boat or a dolphin!

Top Women want one of these in our big collective stocking for Christmas!

UPDATE (Top Men): Maybe we're somewhat pasty, but Top Men have a healthy fear of the harmful effects of solar ultraviolet radiation, and the high levels of toxins in lakes and rivers. We're very comfortable within the confines of the lab.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Green Flash

Top Men have often wondered about the legendary Green Flash said to appear on rare occasions at the horizon just as the sun sets. Photographer Chuck Baker managed to snap some photos along the California coast last month with a green flash rolling out of the top of the sun. Top Men made this movie.

And for those of you whose favorite color is blue, how about the even more rare Blue Flash.

Interesting stuff, but we won't believe until we see with our own eyes.

(Okay, back to the turkey.)

UPDATE (11/27): The late Jef Raskin (the human interface legend) snapped this incredible green flash photo. Note the perturbation from a contrail that slices in front of the sun.

Previous related Wohba links:
Fun In The Sun
Sun We Need To Talk
Iron Giant?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Insane Skiing Man

Top Women are familiar with all the ski trail markers from green beginner, blue intermediate, black diamonds to chutes. But we can't imagine what kind of sign to design for the insane trail.

Maybe a cuckoo's nest?

Top Women also wonder if kite flying should be advised to other people around the lab...

Previous related Wohba links:
Insane Flying Man
Insane Surfing Man
Insane Rocket Man

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

More Wohba Changes

No sooner had Top Men graciously accepted the monumental changes so drastically imposed by Top Managment, then the proverbial rug is once more pulled out from under them.

Apparently Top Women feel strongly that there is not enough communication in and around the labs. (Could have something to do with the fact that Top Men think that communication (i.e. meaningless drivel) is highly overrated.) Not sure how we missed seeing this coming, knowing how the female of the species seems to thrive on expressing themselves beyond some perfectly reasonable, male-established quota of 1440 words per day (1 word per minute).

Anyway, rather than belabor the point, suffice it to say that the Teeming Masses (or at least a registered subset thereof ) will soon be able to add comments and thus communicate in a more direct and public manner with Top Women. (Top Men will probably not read the comments - as a defiant act of protest.)

(And just for the record, Top Men do not "love their rainbows".)

Previous related Wohba links:
Wohba Changes
Wohba Changes
Wohba Changes
Wohba Changes

Fog Bows

We know how Top Men love their rainbows, so as a token of friendship Top Women have found the most amazing of weather bow phenomena, a colorless Fog Bow!!! And in an effort to soothe their raw nerves demonstrated by the P-touch "Top Men" labels on all the instrumentation, we offer, yes, another fine example of a calming fog bow.

And how is a colorless bow possible you ask while in equal astonishment of our feminine Wohba seeking talents?

The water droplets in the fog are so small that the quantum mechanical wavelength of light becomes important and cancels out colors that would otherwise be created by larger rainbow water droplets.

Top Women are reminded that sometimes less is more.

(Photos: Mila Zinkova and Craig Moyer)

Previous related Wohba links:
Somewhere Over The...
Rainbows and Lightning

Monday, November 20, 2006

We're Here!


Top Management was absolutely right, this lab is just a bit too --- shall we say --- manly.

We promise not to paint the walls pink or anything like that because we know how you Top Men are fond of that lab-green look, but at the same time please don’t expect us to pick up your dirty beakers.

Top Women have got serious experiments to conduct and don’t have time for such trivial housekeeping matters.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Wohba Changes

Top Men would like to apologize. We feel like perhaps, caught in the emotion of these infelicitous changes, we may have over-dramatized the issue.

There is certainly nothing to be anxious about. We are more than confident that this forthcoming change will (like all unpropitious fads) simply fade away after the initial rush of pseudo-excitement.

So we rescind our "stand" pronouncement, and simply move forward, confident and secure in our superior competence. Nothing to worry about - Top Men can take the high road.

There. The welcome mat is out. (Just keep your mitts off of our electron microscope!)

Friday, November 17, 2006

Wohba Changes

Top Men consider themselves reasonable.

We've worked hard to procure interesting, yet obscure attractions from the far reaches of the internet - filling the coffers of Top Management with incalculable fortune.

And what do we ask in return? Only the respect reserved for the few that reach such a level of excellence.

Instead we get this imposed change; this oblique overture; this kick in the pants.

Perhaps it's time for Top Men to take a stand?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Conic Juggling


There's this guy. And he's pretty good with juggling. And he's bored with the same old thing. And he has a giant plexiglass cone in the garage (leftover from the giant, clear, spaceship to Venus he was building.)

Suddenly it hits him. BAM!

Conic Juggling!

(Thanks Eleri!)
Previous related Wohba links:
(Yeah, right!)

More of Victoria

Here is another amazing, false-color panorama of Victoria Crater.

(It's appropriate for us to mention that real Top Men have little time to be interested in the secrets of any Victoria but this one.)

(Image by Bernhard Braun)

Previous related Wohba links:
Behold Victoria

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Second Annual Tribute to Corn Day

Since corn is such a staple around the Wohba labs (and to prove to Top Management that we are just as brilliant as ever and change is not neccesary), we decided to start an annual tribute.

So let it be hereby known that November 15th shall be henceforth generally mostly accepted and occasionally thought of as Tribute to Corn Day by Top Men. We don't really care what the teeming masses do, this is all about us - and corn!

Now of course Tribute to Corn Day should be celebrated in some spectacular manner. Like shooting corn-rockets to the moon, or creating a quantum corn computer, or even bonding every kernel on an ear of corn together and harnessing the awesome power in a process known as total corn-fussion. (Okay, so we're Top Men, not Top Comedians.)

But this year how about a good old fashion Spanish corn walk. Well.. okay... corn starch walk. Just watch the video.

And as a bonus, how about a corn starch suspension science lesson from a five year old. Just watch the video.

And finally, in an amazing demonstration of our scientific prowess we will go back in time and actually start Tribute to Corn Day last year - making this the second annual celebration.

Happy Second Annual Tribute to Corn Day! So say we all!

(Top Men bask in this brief moment of gaiety before it's quickly obscured by the ominous cloud of change.)

Previous related Wohba links:
Wonder of Corn (First Annual Tribute to Corn Day)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Wohba Changes

Top Management has dictated some changes here at the lab.

Top Men aren't opposed to changes - when necessary. It's just that when the "necessary" changes require changes to the necessarium we get a little flummoxed.

And besides, Top Men thought things were working just fine, thank you.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Wohba Changes

Something is changing at Wohba.

Top Men are not afraid.

(Now where did we put that Old Spice?)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Eye of the Storm

The Cassini image above of the south pole storm on Saturn is making the rounds. But there is a movie associated with it that Top Men think is the best part. A storm like this is something never seen before on another planet - Top Men wanted to bring it to your attention.

The movie is from several shots taken over a three-hour period. This storm is substantial by Earth standards - 5000 miles across, 350 miles per hour winds.

Previous related Wohba links:
Bigger Better Behold Saturn
Free Saturn Poster
Ring Shine
Disturbance in the Ring
Stunning Saturn View
Ring Waves

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

That's My Soul Up There

Top Men managed to miss the Mercury transit today. But we're pretty sure you'd be hard pressed to find a better view then this TRACE movie anyway. The TRACE (Transition Region And Coronal Explorer) satellite sits a little closer to the sun than Top Men would have been.

For light-weights (waits?) a smaller version is here.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Gee Force

If Top Men ever get to fly with the Blue Angels we will insist that it not be recorded - for all the world to laugh at. This guy is not a Top Man.

Previous related Wohba links:
Watch The Birdy
Dynamic Flight Dynamics
Visible Sound Barrier

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Mount St. Helens Time-Lapse

With a strange obsession for all things volcanic, Top Men for some reason felt compelled to spend way-too-much-time compiling, aligning, and blending the last five months of Mount St. Helen's Brutus web-cam images into this cool, time-lapse movie. Don't ask why - just humor us and enjoy it.

Previous related Wohba links:
Mount St. Helens Fin
Mountain Building
St. Helens Fire
How To Grow a Mountain

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Hikaru Dorodango

You would generally suppose that Top Men would not be impressed with shiny mud balls (hikaru dorodango)...

... but you would suppose incorrectly.

Following a simple (but time consuming) technique, Japanese kids (and adults) have been tranforming plain, old, backyard mud into shiny spheres. And you can too...

Step by step process
Nice gallery site

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Fun in the Sun

The Hinode (Japanese for sunrise) spacecraft (previously Solar-B) has snapped the first test images of it's three year mission to study the sun. In honor of this event Top Men of course bring you the most interesting of these first images, but also a unique video that zooms down into a sunspot. The movie is not from Hinode data, but what the heck - it's amazing.

Hinode Solar Convection Cells Image
Solar Sunspot Zoom Movie (18 MB)

Top Men will be watching.

Previous related Wohba links:
Sun We Need To Talk
That's No Sunspot
Iron Giant