Alex Santoso's Blog Posts

Homeless Chinese Farmer's Fantastic Robots.

Photo: Reuters / China Daily

Chinese farmer Wu Yulu likes making robots - has has made 25 robots in the past 26 years. Now, he is homeless and is forced to sell his home-made robots to pay off debts after his house burnt down.

All 25 robots are made of wire, metal, screws and nails found in rubbish sites, with some able to serve tea, light cigarettes and push rickshaws, the China Daily newspaper said.

"I couldn't sleep for several days after selling the child, but I had no other choice. I had to pay off my debts," Wu was quoted as saying.

"I love to play with robots. The cleverer they became, the deeper the emotional link I felt to them. Later, I began to call them my sons."

Link - via Boing Boing

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Light of Invisibility, Coming Soon!

Mark Frogley and Chris Phillips of the Imperial College London, discovered a neat quantum trick: a way to make a light ray that make things invisible.

Using two powerful beams made this way, the team performed its vanishing trick: the artificial atoms became transparent to one beam when a second - coupling - laser illuminated them at the same time. "By shining an invisible powerful laser onto these 'artificial atoms', we have learnt how to control the motion of the electrons so they no longer absorb light - when the laser is switched on, the crystals instantly become invisible, only to return to their normal opaque state when the laser is switched off."


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Rodger Roundy's Artwork.

This one is titled "A Woman of Letters" and if you see closely, she's diving into a sea of alphabets... See more of Rodger's artwork here: Link

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Kids and an Open Can of Paint, What Could Go Wrong?

Forget buying your friend's kids a drumset, buy 'em a gallon of paint instead! Found at Factum

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Strangest Skating Performance Ever: Evgeni Plushenko.

From the 2005 Winter Skating Championships in Lyon, France. The skater is Evgeni Plushenko [wiki] and the song is Tom Jones' Sex Bomb. I have no comment, you'd just have to see it ... Hit play or go to Link [YouTube] via For Your Entertainment

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Kropserkel's Horse Head Pillow.

In addition to making top-notch costumes and replicas (don't miss the Lord of the Ring's Nazgul Armor, Cylon Centurion costume, and Brazil Information Retrieval Mask) conceptual art company Kropserkel also made this awesome severed horse head plush pillow.

Now you can make your friends and enemies a gift they can't refuse ... for only $70!

Link | Kropserkel's website

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Bible Diagrams.

Mark Poyser made some awesome diagrams of events, people, and places described in the Bible. That one above (too small to read, so visit the site) is the descendants of Adam as described in the Genesis.


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Sunny the Horse Needs Sunscreen.

Sunny, a police horse in Humberside, UK, has a sensitive skin that makes him prone to getting sunburns. After asking for help on the Net, a chemist mixed 5 gallon of SPF 50 lotion, which the horse uses everyday now!

Link - via Unique Daily

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Push Pin Lamp.

From Hot Gadgets:

Measuring in at 19cm x 19cm x 39cm our Push Pin Lamp adds a dash of color to all work spaces, or wherever you want to put it for that matter.

The lamp has a cork bottom that is great for sticking notes and reminders, too. Choose from red, orange, blue or green. The light bulb fits right into the push pin head, and to make this sucker light up you just press down on the top of the push pin.

Too bad it's out of stock right now! Link - via Luxury Housing Trend

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Volleyball + Trampoline = Bossaball.

What is bossaball?

Bossaball is a ball game between 2 teams. It's a mix of volleyball, football, gymnastics and capoeira. The court is a combination of inflatables and trampolines, divided by a net.

Link - via Deep Fun

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Monty Python Holy Grail in Lego.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail in Lego. Cardinal Fang put together the scenes of Monty Python and the Holy Grail in Lego. This one to the left is the fight with the Black Knight:

Black Knight: Oh, had enough, eh?
Arthur: Look, you stupid bastard. You've got no arms left.
Black Knight: Yes, I have.
Arthur: Look!
Black Knight: Just a flesh wound.


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Andrey Kuznetsov's Movie-Inspired Lubki.

Andrey Kuznetsov made fantastic lubki (singular lubok), a form of Russian folk arts, inspired by famous Hollywood movies!

Link - via Metafilter

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Stephen Hawking Asked, Regular Folks Answered: How Do we Survive?

Physicist Stephen Hawking asked this question on Yahoo! Answers:

How can the human race survive the next hundred years?

In a world that is in chaos politically, socially and environmentally, how can the human race sustain another 100 years?

And within a few hours, he received over 10,000 answers from regular folks!

Link - via Reality Carnival

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Ice That Sinks.

Yes, everyone knows that ice floats - but you can actually make heavy ice that sinks to the bottom by using heavy water.

The key to the trick is heavy ice. Many terms shouldn't be taken literally—a red quark isn't red, a peanut is neither a pea nor a nut—but heavy water is exactly what it sounds like: water that weighs more than normal. This is possible because elements occur in several different forms, or isotopes, made up of atoms with the same number of protons and electrons (which determine their chemical properties) but a variable number of neutrons (which contribute weight but not much else).

Hydrogen atoms always have one proton and one electron, but only one in every 6,400 has a neutron that nearly doubles the atom¹s mass. Using a complex process called H2S, it¹s possible to isolate this heavy hydrogen, also known as deuterium (D), creating water that¹s about 10 percent heavier than normal.

Chemically, D2O—as it's written—is real water. Algae can grow and thrive in pure heavy water. Specially raised mice have contained as much as 25 percent heavy hydrogen; beyond that level, subtle biochemical reactions make the heavy mice sick. (Researchers used mice because they are small. Raising a heavy cow would be expensive.)


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Jaques Rougerie's Sea Orbiter.

French architect Jaques Rougerie designed this floating rig that would look right at home in Jules Verne's story. So far, only a scale model has been built (this whole thing is from 2005), but the real thing will be a huge 51-meter tall floating platform.

The upper part of the Sea Orbiter will be a scientific station for studies of the climate and changes in water and the atmosphere. The station will make wave measurements and calibrate the precise position of satellite trajectories. The underwater part of the new vessel will be equipped with a fish-collection system for studies of the pelagic ecosystem, plankton biodiversity and fish stocks.


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Japanese Soldier Fought WW II Decades After It's Over.

In 1944, the Japanese Army sent then 23-year-old soldier named Hiroo Onoda to the small island of Lubang in the Philippines to lead a guerilla warfare.

In 1974, nearly 30 years after the war was over, he finally surrendered:

By the time he formally surrendered to Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos in 1974, Onoda had spent twenty nine of his fifty two years hiding the jungle, fighting a war that had long been over for the rest of the world.

Link | Hiroo Onoda [wiki]

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Sandals from Old Things...

When Make Blog put a post on sandals from old auto tire, that's creative!

But when Neatorama puts out sandals from old water bottles, that's just sad...

(Forgot where I got this pic - if anyone knows the story behind it, please let me know!)

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Cloning Oak Trees.

Life in New York City is tough on trees: compacted soil with high pH, pollution, and hot summer and cold winter make it hard for trees to flourish there.

So, Cornell grad student Naalamie Amissah, Professor of Horticultural Physiology Nina Bassuk, and plant breeder Peter Podaras developed a new, easier technique to clone oak trees:

"We have combined native cold-hardy trees with much shorter southern and desert species that can tolerate heat, drought, compacted low oxygen soil, road salt and the concrete-induced high pH soils common to cities," Podaras said. "Smaller-sized trees require less long-term maintenance and do not interfere with power lines. We believe these new extremely vigorous hybrids have excellent potential as the ultimate street trees and for backyard landscaping."


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The Thief and the Cobbler's Chase Scene. has this video clip of the Escher-like chase scene of Richard Williams' classic The Thief and the Cobbler.

Fantastic! Link - via Milk and Cookies

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Kenny Rogers and the Muppets Sing The Gambler.

Know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when to run ...

Hit play or go to Link [YouTube] via WFMU Beware of the Blog

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Wim Delvoye's Tattooed Pigs.

Wim Delyove Delvoye is a Belgian artist who is famous for having unconventional art projects (such as cloaca, a machine whose sole purpose is to digest food and produce feces).

Wim has also been tattooing pigs (yes, oink oink pigs) since the 1990s. He could only do this in his "art farm" in China, where

Wim Delvoye [wiki] | Tattooed pigs photos at Cellar Image of the Day | Lenin Tattoo on pigs

Update 7/21/06: Wim's cloaca machine website: Link - Thanks for the name correction & link, Uw Moeder!

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Jan Bollaert's Neo-Pop Art.

Jan Bollaert draws some very cool neo-pop art (with lots of flowers). This one is titled "The Little Butterfly".

Link - via Xayide

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Beautiful Water of Maldives.

From the website:

A single boat seemingly floats in midair in the beautiful crystal clear beaches in the Republic of Maldives in the Indian Ocean.

Link | Lots more neat photos at A Thousand and One

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World's Largest Laser: 500 Trillion Watt!

In 2009, when the National Ignition Facility reaches its full operative capability, it will have the most powerful laser in the world at 500 trillion watt.

On final approach, 192 laser beams will zing into a million-pound target chamber 33 feet in diameter, with 20-inch walls. To prevent any radiation from escaping, the chamber is encased by walls that are six feet thick. Each 20-nanosecond laser burst will blast target materials in the chamber with 500 trillion watts of power—1,000 times the electrical output of the entire U.S. over the same period of time. All that awesome power will be used in fusion research, in astrophysics (for example, studying what conditions might be like at the center of Jupiter), and in generating thermonuclear detonations for weapons research.


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Cambodian Bamboo Train.

Fed up with horrible train service (it only runs once a week and at speed not much more than walking pace!), Cambodians have created their own rail service using trains made from bamboo:

A tiny electric generator engine provides the power, and the passenger accommodation is a bamboo platform that rests on top of two sets of wheels. A dried-grass mat to sit on counts as a luxury.

It would be a white-knuckle ride - if there were actually anything to hold on to.

The bamboo trains reach about 40km/h (25mph), with the track just a couple of inches below the passengers. Warped and broken rails make for a bone-shaking journey.

But the drivers insist it is a safe form of transport.

"We're very careful," said 18-year-old Sok Kimhor, a 10-year veteran of the bamboo trains. "We look out for children and animals running across the lines, and we have to slow down when other trains come along."

Link - via Fortrean Times

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A Piece of Man's Skull Fell Off.

If you think you're having a bad day, at least a piece of your skull hasn't fallen off like Sambhu Roy's:

Doctors say a large, dead section of 25-year-old electrician Sambhu Roy's skull came away Sunday after severe burns starved it of blood.

"When he came to us late last year, his scalp was completely burned and within months it came off exposing the skull," Ratan Lal Bandyopadhyay, the surgeon who treated Roy told Reuters Wednesday.

"Later, we noticed that the part of his skull was loosening due to lack of blood supply to the affected area, which can happen in such extensive burn cases."

The piece came off Sunday and hundreds of people and dozens of doctors now crowd around his bed, where he lies holding the bone.

Link - via starspirit

Update 7/5/05: BBC news article has more photos: Link - Thanks LanceR!

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Turning Old TV Set into Aquarium.

Michael Khor of Victoria, Australia, turned an ancient 26" wooden TV set into this gorgeous aquarium.

Link - via J-Walk Blog

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Witch School Moved Into Midwestern Town.

Hoopeston, Illinois, a small midwestern town known as the Sweet Corn Capital of the World got its first witch school:

It's a humble beginning, Hubbard says. The school is adorned with a "Witch School" sign and has maintained a quiet presence since moving to Hoopeston in 2003. He says that with an estimated 30 new students to 50 new students registering on the Web site every day, the "cyberministry" is rapidly growing.

The town's residents weren't amused:

When Hubbard first announced plans to house Witch School in Hoopeston, population 6,000, it caused an uproar among some residents, who feared the school would bring notoriety to the central Illinois town.

In 2003 as he finalized plans to move from Chicago to Hoopeston, residents of the town and its surrounding areas mobilized, signing petitions in opposition to the school and lobbying the City Council to try to stop it.

But the Witch School perservered:

When Witch School finally opens its doors to the public on July 1, Hubbard says he won't expect a flood of visitors, though he feels it will be a step toward acceptance as Wiccans in Hoopeston.

"Three years ago the question was did we have a right to be here," he said. "Now it's can we be successful."

Religion News Blog article | AOL News

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Teen Built Submarine from Pig Trough.

14-year-old Swiss teen and naval enthusiast Aron Kreier spent 4 years to build his own pedal-powered submarine made from parts of a pig trough.

Link to photo [article in German], News Article - via Fortrean Times

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Jinnai Tomonori's Tetris Standup Comedy.

Jinnai Tomonori can make anything funny - even Tetris. It's probably funnier in Japanese, but you won't need a translation to figure out what's going on ...

Hit play or go to Link [YouTube] - via Unique Daily

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Profile for Alex Santoso

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