Cerebral Gibberish

What's on my mind, might just blow yours.

The Sky Is Falling

Posted by heymoe on December 12th, 2007

The Geminid Meteor Shower is your last chance to see the sky fall in 2007. The best time to view the Geminid Meteor Shower will be the night of December 13th and going into the early morning of the 14th. The Geminid Meteor Shower has the potential of being the best meteor shower of 2007 so if you like to wish upon a falling star, here is your last chance for the year. For information and viewing tips for watching a meteor shower click HERE.

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The above flash animation provide by: www.shadowandsubstance.com should give you an idea where you need to be looking. You can view a bigger version by clicking HERE.

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Movies: Machine Girl

Posted by heymoe on December 11th, 2007

Here is a trailer for a new film by Noboru Iguchi called Machine Girl. I know this type of film is not for everyone but come on, you can’t beat the effects. It looks like Ash now has a girl friend to team up with to get revenge / fight evil with.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSpCWJnnWVI]

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Cat Wake Up Call

Posted by heymoe on December 10th, 2007

Justin shared the below video with me today so now it’s my turn to share it with you. For all you cat owners out there, I’m sure you’ll agree that this is so true. Well maybe except for the last part. Enjoy!

[youtube:http://youtube.com/watch?v=w0ffwDYo00Q]

Simon’s Cat in ‘Cat-Man-Do’

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Christmas Lights

Posted by heymoe on December 8th, 2007

Christmas Lights 2007-1985
Christmas Lights 2007-1987
Christmas Lights 2007-1992

I spent this afternoon wiring up my big tree in the front yard with lights for the holidays. Last year I only had a few lights up but after Christmas I bought up a lot of L.E.D. lights at 50+% off so I could use them next year. I would love to do a light display like the video below but I’ll have to work up to that I think. Taking pictures of the lights reminded me that I also need to get a tri-pod which would provide a stable platform for long exposures.
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucjmd032Z-M]
If you don’t know already, light displays like this video are created by using a computer that runs software which talk to power controllers that turn the lights on and off synchronized to music. The music is broadcasted from a radio transmitter in or around the house so people can tune their car radios to that channel to hear the music.


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Korean Cultural Night

Posted by heymoe on December 1st, 2007

Korean Cultural Night-1932
Korean Cultural Night-1968
Korean Cultural Night-1972

I found out there was a Korean Cultural Night being held at Korean Baptist Church up the road from my place so I decided to check it out since I survived my trip to Pullen Park earlier in the day. When I was walking up the walkway to the main building I saw a lady dressed in a traditional Korean outfit and from a distance I almost thought it was my mom (freaky). I was a little late so I not sure what I missed but when I got into the main building there was a lady up on the stage singing what sounded like opera in Korean. There were several examples of traditional Korean dances which were enjoyable to watch but the lighting was really bad so it was very difficult for me to take any pictures without any blurring. I don’t even think a fast lens would have helped me here. Next up was a Tae Kwon-Do demonstration which included board breaking and synchronized executions of different patterns / forms to music. I did find it funny that they used “It’s Raining Men” during one of these synchronized demonstrations. The part I enjoyed the most was the Korean Drumming or Poongmul using the Samul Nori style (meaning: four instruments) which consisted of two types of drums and two type of gongs. At the end of the event there was a lot of mingling and snacks in the form of several type of Tteok (Korean rice cake). I had a good time and was nice to learn more about my Korean half.

More Photos Here

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Watch Your Step: Pullen Park

Posted by heymoe on December 1st, 2007

Pullen Park-1867
Pullen Park-1903-HDR

After getting my haircut yesterday I decided to take the opportunity of already being downtown to visit Pullen Park. The park is pretty much located right next to the N.C. State University (NCSU), my alma mater. It’s a little sad that during the 5 years I went to NCSU, that I never really stepped foot in the park. The park was a buzz with activity as workers were getting everything ready for the Holiday Express activities later on that day. The park is full of activities for a family outing including a train ride, a carousel ride and pedal boats.

Pullen Park-1899
Pullen Park-1929

The park has well maintained and paved walking paths and plenty of things to take pictures of. I even had a run in with some wild life that surely would have sent me to the hospital for some medical attention. While taking some pictures of a tree that still had some brightly colored leaves, I wondered off the main path and down a rocky hill down to a creek when I heard something move and a hiss. Of course this made me jump back the way I came and once I regained my balance I looked down and saw a snake which was sunning next to a rock (see picture). I’m not 100% sure what kind of snake it was but I think it was a cottonmouth water moccasin. Of course since I’ve escaped without a scratch on me I had to go back to take some pictures but this time I looked before I stepped.

NOTE: I am in no way saying that Pullen Park is a dangerous place to go. There is always a possibility of something happening when people and nature interact. Especially if you did what I did and leave the main trail.

More Photos Here

Posted in Photography, Travel | 1 Comment »

A Hybrid Experience

Posted by heymoe on November 26th, 2007

While visiting my Mom in Atlanta for Thanksgiving, I was able to drive her new Lexus RX Hybrid that she got almost a year ago. In general I’m not a big fan of SUVs or other vehicles that I can not see around or through while in my car since they block my ability to see whats ahead. This means I have to hope the guy in front of me is not busy talking on the cell phone or dealing with some other distraction that will cause them to slam on the brakes at the last minute thus making me have to slam on my brakes and hope I don’t rear end them. If I could see around or through the vehicle in front of me I would be able to notice traffic ahead slowing down make the necessary decisions on my own. Being that my mom is driving one now, I’ll make an exception for her.

The RX is not overly large and is designed to be driving on the road most of the time unlike the many uber SUVs that are really designed for the off road but are driven by soccer moms or purchased as a status symbol and will never see a dirt road in their life. On the outside I don’t think you could tell the difference between the Hybrid and non-Hybrid version of the Lexus RX if not for the different model identifier on the back. On the inside everything looks normal. Prior to starting the car the only thing I noticed was that instead of an RPM gauge there was a kW/h gauge. The big surprise for me was when I went to start the vehicle for the first time. The ignition system is the traditional “insert key and turn” and not the newer “push the start button” type. The inserting of the key and turning was as to be expected but not having the rumble of an engine starting was new. So new that I pulled the key out and tried again a few times thinking I did something wrong. It was not until my mom told me that if the “Ready” message was displayed you are good to go. So I put the vehicle into drive and released the brakes and we started to move forward. It was not until I started to accelerate that the gas engine came to life to help out. The next big surprise for me was when I came to a stop at a stop light. Upon stopping the gas engine turned off and everything was dead quite. I thought I stalled it or something but when the light turned green and I pushed down on the accelerator, the gas engine started again and away we went.

The information panel, which is also used for the navigation system and rear backup camera when purchased with that option, provides all sorts of information on the vehicle. It’s a touch screen which I admit is a nice feature that I wish my car’s navigation screen had and it did not take me to long to figure out where things are and how to navigate the menus. There is a Hybrid information screen, which I doubt the average owner would use all that much, that shows how power is being provided to the wheels (IE: gas engine or electric motor or both), when the batteries are being recharged (IE: by the gas engine which turns the electric motor into a generator or by the electric motor by itself when you are coasting or braking). Another screen shows your average MPG over the last 30 minutes of drive time as well as how much energy has been regenerated (IE: from braking and coasting) to recharge the batteries. In my mom’s case, she has an over all average MPG of 26.3 which seems low to me but better then the typical SUV or my car even. It looks like this Hybrid system really shines with city driving which I did not really do that much of. On the highway, the gas engine seems to be used the most to maintain highway speeds.

Over all I think I expected more from a Hybrid car in the form of MPG. 26.3 MPG does not seem to be all that special compared to newer gas or diesel non-Hybrid vehicles. Cost wise, it seems that any savings that one would gain from the purchase of gas over the life of the vehicles does not offset the additional cost of paying for the Hybrid technology over the non-Hybrid counter part. At least over the typical life time of ownership of a vehicle. On top of that I’m sure the maintenance cost of a Hybrid would also tap into any gains as well since it is new technology which tends to have higher costs in the form of parts or labor due to the mechanics needing specialized training, etc..

I guess for me after all is said in done, if my mom is happy I’m happy and its a good start to breaking us from having to depend on foreign oil. I personally will consider an alternatively powered vehicle in the future so if my luck with cars continue, that will be another 6-8 years which will hopefully see mass improvements over the currently available alternatives.

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Happy Late Turkey Day!

Posted by heymoe on November 25th, 2007

I was gone visiting family for Thanksgiving and did not have Internet access (gasp!). Hope everyone got stuffed with turkey.

Posted in Random, Travel | No Comments »

All Aligned Up

Posted by heymoe on November 20th, 2007

Just got back from getting an alignment done to the Audi and overall everything checked out except for the front left wheel. The toe adjustment was out just a tad but it’s all better now. I was expecting the front right (driver side) wheel to be out of alignment but it was fine.

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Doh!

Posted by heymoe on November 19th, 2007

Homer Scream
I came across this image today and being a Simpsons fan I just had to share it.

Posted in Entertainment, Gibberish | No Comments »

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