Resurrect dead on planet Jupiter

Nearly all the credit for this little project should go to John Young and Chris Thompson – a month or so ago they posted some pictures of a linoleum QR Code to Flickr and I started thinking…  John and Chris’ intent, I believe, is to place QR Code tiles around their stomping grounds and link them – via John’s p8tch redirection server – to local info. My idea was less useful – useless, even – and goofily self-referential. First, two definitions:

QR Codes – a matrix code or two dimensional bar code. QR Codes are big in Japan; they’re used to feed URLs to cell phones.

Toynbee Tiles – “are messages of mysterious origin found embedded in asphalt in about two dozen major cities in the United States and three South American capitals.” *


My idea:

With Chris’ help, make some QR Code Toynbee tiles and deploy them here and there (if I can get this going, I’ll be looking for tile droppers world wide). When and if someone scans the tile, they are taken to a web site where they are presented with a random image of a real Toynbee Tile. Not only would it be a cool bauble, it would also bring together a couple threads I’ve been thinking about – the almost unnoticed human extension via gadgets that’s happening ever more quickly and the slightly slower machine info embedding that’s rolling out here and there.

The web site – – is up and running. The ‘m’ stands for mediated or meta or messed-up or whatever else you care to force fit. You can click on the picture of the tile to access the blog where I’m stashing more info – n.b. – the QR Code post is sticky (at least for now); it will stay on top and the most recent post will be directly below it. The current sub-project is adhesive testing; the QRCode Toynbee Tiles need to stay intact and well-aligned. We humans, with our great pattern recognition skills, can pull meaning out of a tile that’s pretty bunged up – bar code scanners are nowhere near as good.

I’ll post little updates here, pointing over to the Mediated Toynbee blog, when we hit milestones.



I realize this is not the sort of display behavior that brings all the girls to the yard lek, but I’m OK with that. I yam what I yam, as a famous mariner once said. From back to front – fancy Swiss aquarium filter foam scraps I’m saving for God knows what reason, an envelope full of Blubberbot, on top of the bot – a transmitter for (next thing down) a remote bownet release and finally an aquarium controller that is tasked with turning the lights over the vivaria on and off.


I’m messing around with a macro lens –  also trying out an extension tube that will allow me even closer shots, but I haven’t gotten as far as the extension yet. I need to work on depth of field; in olden times that meant shrinking the aperture/cranking up the f-stop with an attendant longer exposure time (if I remember correctly). Some thing may have changed as we switched from film to CCDs, but I’ll bet optics remain much the same.

A bamboo shoot


A tree peony

Busy, busy

I’ve been doing a lot of vivarium work – I plan on posting construction details within a month.


And quite a bit of dog training – Dinah’s retrieve work is coming along.

Additionally some (heterogeneous) reading:

Categorize this, NSA!

In the on deck circle – refreshing my soldering skills (is it true that US English is the only variant not to pronounce the ‘l’?). Component to printed circuit board soldering, that is.

A tiny jewel from Ettore

Via the New Cafe Racer Society, a link to the Bugatti Revue’s post on the T72 engine.



It’s 10.5 cubic centimeters of fury (about the size of a large model airplane engine), but this baby has twin OHCs and is SUPERCHARGED! What an incredibly cool bit of machinery. Click through to the Bugatti Revue for loads more pix.


The only thing I can think of that would make me grin even more broadly would be desmodromic valves… As a side note – I’ll bet the fatness where the crankarms meet the spindle is some sort of freewheel.

Frog room move

I – along with some other local froggers – spent yesterday afternoon helping a friend move his frog room into the garagemahal. Many hands make light work – my mind boggles thinking about his last move – across town, with one other helper.


The cookout afterward was killer and I’m not particularly sore today. Win! Poor SportsDoc – his room is moved, but now he needs to organize/unpack/stow – our guesstimate was 20-30 manhours of fun.

Update – forgot to embed this short video of NH’s State Bird – the Black Fly. ‘Tis the season!

Some local wildflowers

I took the camera along when I ran the dogs this morning and I’m glad I did. Wildflower season is well underway. Unfortunately, we were out before some of the flowers woke up.

Trout Lily – also known as Dogtooth Violet, but I’m of the opinion that anything with trout in the name is a winner (see: Trout Fishing in America, Trout Mask Replica).




Marsh Marigolds


And a slide show of the rest.