Friday, February 25, 2005

Weekend Diversion

I think it's time for a little R&R. With that in mind, here's a fun little shooter that's good for blowing off a few spare minutes.


The only problem is, it needs something else to complete the effect.
Anyone have ideas for simulating a gunsmoke scent in conjunction with a video game?

Technical aside: In reference to the picture above, why can't people figure out that modern cartridges don't fit in a cap and ball revolver?!

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Friday Funny

A priest, a drunkard and an engineer were led to the guillotine by their captors. They asked the priest if he wanted to face up or down when he met his fate. The priest said that he would like to face up so he would be looking towards heaven when he died. They raised the blade of the guillotine, released it, it came speeding down and suddenly stopped just inches from his neck. The authorities took this as divine intervention and released the priest.

Next the drunkard came to the guillotine. He also decided to die face up hoping that he would be as fortunate as the priest. They raised the blade of the guillotine, released it, it came speeding down and suddenly stopped just inches from his neck. So they released the drunkard as well.

The engineer was next. He too decided to die facing up. They slowly raised the blade of the guillotine, when suddenly the engineer said, "Hey, I see what your problem is."

I have to take this call...

Now I have nothing against people who like to drink (in fact there are times when I'd really like to join them) but sometimes I think people devote way too much time and energy to drinking. Of course, little gadgets like the cell phone flask really make me wonder if some people are just plain obsessed. I must admit, however, it is a clever way to hide booze in plain sight. I doubt the inventor was drunk when he thought of it.

Ah...College Life!

Do remember taking a class that you just hated? A class where nothing went right no matter how hard you tried? Wouldn't you have loved to turn in a report like this one?

I thought so. I just wonder if he really had the guts to turn it in.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

New battlefield fashion trend: mother-of-pearl

Mother nature has a knack for surprising us with little things that we engineers have never thought of before. In this case it seems she's come up with a real beauty!
Nacre, also known as "mother of pearl," is teaching us a few things about material science. It appears that this material is much tougher than it looks. So tough, in fact, that it may actually be useful for the manufacture of light weight, high strength armor.

Now who would have thought that something like this could be useful in bullet-proof vests!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


Here's a nifty little pic for those of us who have a little pyromaniac lurking inside.

This is from a firefighting exercise conducted in conjunction with a prescribed burn. That's right, PRESCRIBED. Long gone are the days when fire was considered purely destructive to the wilderness. In many cases it's useful for encouraging new growth. But enough talking like an academic; I just think it's cool to see a fire that big.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Geordi Laforge here we come

Apparently scientists have now implanted an experimental device in two patients. It's a camera system that sends information directly to the optic nerve. Of course the picture isn't exactly crystal clear but it does give some hope to people who experimental degeneration and damage.

The Really cool part is, if this technology can be developed to provide clear vision, it might also be able to pick up different ranges of the EM spectrum. If StarTrek is any indication, it won't be much of a fashion trend.

Still, I'd put up with the looks just for the kicks of having built in UV, infared, nightvision, and other such perks.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Look, Listen, and Live!

Being a railfan, I often spend time around railroad tracks, and when I'm lucky enough to watch a few trains roll by it reminds me of the incredible power that rolls down railroad tracks everyday. Naturally I'm very conscious of the hazards of railroad crossings, sometimes to the point of being paranoid.
Incidents like this one don't make me feel any better about crossings.

It does not appear that the crew was severely injured in the wreck (such incidents are considered when designing the locomotive) but the truly amazing thing is that truck driver was not hurt. He was actually fortunate that train was traveling so fast, because his trailer actually disintegrated rather than dragging him down the tracks.

Don't believe it? Check out the video link on the news report page.
If that doesn't make you look twice when crossing the tracks then you must have a death wish.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Old 4x4s never die; they just fade away.

I can't say that I've ever been a big fan of off-roading and four wheeling (It seems wrong to explore the wilderness without having one's feet on the ground.) That said, I really like well made SUV's because of their usefulness and the fun that can be had while driving them around.

Some people may favor the Willys Jeep variants, but I have a soft spot for another 4x4.
Before the Toyota LandCruiser became the oversized luxury beast it is today, it had a much more functional design.

Now THAT is what a 4x4 should look like! This very Jeep-like appearance of the TLC FJ40 shouldn't be surprising when one considers that the LandCruiser was originally intended for military use. Of course therugged design made it a favorite for many off-road enthusiasts.

I drove one of these beasts when I was in high school (it was a hand-me-down from my parents) and believe me, it felt like you were driving a tank. I loved it! So imagine the thrill I got when I found out that Toyota would be releasing this little gem. Apparently they realized that there was a need for another 4x4 in their lineup and they decided to recreate a little of the old FJ40.

Of course I'm guessing that the new FJ cruiser will be a bit more refined than the older FJ40, but with any luck they'll hold on to some of the old magic of the original.

I can hardly wait to see these on the road!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

In the beginning there was Blogger...

Welcome to the official blog of "Engineering Johnson."

First, a little about myself. As the nerdy nickname might suggest, my name is Johnson and my profession of choice is Engineering. I'm currently a student at a Big 10 university fast approaching graduation. When I'm not going to classes or looking for a job, I like to focus on things like firearms, trains (especially old ones), cars, and hurling bad puns at my ever so patient friends.

OK, so why do I need a blog of my own? Perhaps I just like the sound of myself typing, but I sometimes feel the need to write, even if it's to nobody in particular. My life can be pretty stressful at times, so writing seems like a good, constructive way to blow off steam and make me feel like I've accomplished something. That being said, I hope to provide a little enjoyment for whoever comes across this blog. After all, there MUST be a few people out there who have interests similar to mine.

Sit back, relax, and let the blogging begin.