The cool thing about a magnetic air car isn't that it is (or would be if they built it) air powered. It's cool because it's got a magnetic motor. I'm not sure what that means exactly but I read last week about free-piston engines that use magnets so that's where my head is going. UPDATE: I read more of the magnetic air car's press material and they insist it uses no fuel. There's some suggestion that the magnets produce electricity which produces heat to build air pressure but it seems like the company is being a bit cagey on the details.
The good news: Solar powered motorcycle. The bad news: U-G-L-Y. (Actual story: It's battery powered and the batteries are charged with attachable solar panels.)
As long as I'm getting jeeped about hot alternative cars, Lamborghini is considering a new hybrid.
Speaking of driving cars, the idea of photographing people while they're driving has occurred to me but frankly the results are kind of boring and overall it feels like a creepy thing to do. But this guy had real success putting together a gallery that actually made me laugh at how well he'd documented some classic car/driver combinations.
Speaking photos, if you can't bear to read another thing because you've been up to your eyeballs in political and economic analysis articles, let's take a bit of a visual detour:
Another one of those sites that is vital to share with your adolescent who may be developing a self image. Click on Portfolio in the top nav. "No dear, even the model in that picture doesn't look like the model in that picture." I wish I'd kept a folder of these as they come up.
It's funny that I'm grumpy about seeing these tricks done in the media but I'm always interested in seeing how to do them: 40 Cool Beauty Amplifying Photoshop Effects
Speaking of Photoshop, Sumo Paint, in beta still but looks like a promising Web based free Photoshop-lite.
30 Amazing photoblogs (and a few tips for creating one)
I also found myself on Dripbook a few times last week. It's a place for creative types to display their portfolios and do some networking. NOTE: Contains some art/model portrait photography, some of which falls into the category of "some guy got a bunch of women to get naked and make pouty faces for the camera" so while it's interesting and good inspiration, pay attention to who's looking over your shoulder. UPDATE: Link fixed. Sorry 'bout that.
Celebration Of Smoke Photography and Smoke Art - Interesting similarity to these light trick photos.
OK, back to the headaches of politics and the economy:
The Web lately is full of "one of the best pieces I've read on the economic crisis" recommendations from bloggers. For a while I was trying to collect them but ultimately I had a lot of links and no new insight (that is to say, I never got around to reading all those links). Thankfully, TheMoneyMeltdown.com does a nice job of keeping it all organized.
I gotta say, even though I'm not a fool for that anti-celebrity line of political coercion, weird passive aggressive nagging from celebrities actually makes me want not to vote just to spite them. Tsk, Jennifer Aniston and that dude from the stoner movies telling me what do to. Please.
The "silence yourself" ad campaign, however, is just creepy.
I will say, Google's voter registration map is potentially handy. Enter your address and it tells you when your voter registration deadline is. Not surprisingly they plan to add voting locations as well.
Tina Brown launches a new online magazine, The Daily Beast.
100 Skills Every Man Should Know: The Instructions (With Videos!) (Yes, it does seem like there's a new one of these out every month. It's enough to make a man wonder if someone out there thinks we're not skilled enough.)
The atlas of the real world - Wow! 18 slides that redraw the world map based on stats other than simple land mass. Some pretty amazing insights here.
I don't hate the new James Bond theme but I have a feeling both of these performers (Jack White and Alicia Keys) will do better versions on their own when they're on tour. Not a very smooth mix.
Microsoft's Viral Video Adventure: Seinfeld/Gates vs. I'm a PC - They note that the Seinfeld/Gates commercials saw considerably more viral traffic than the "I'm a PC" ad. Not really too surprising if you think about it. Does that necessarily mean the Seinfeld/Gates commercials were better even if it seemed like more people didn't like them?
I noticed Yahoo has the first five minutes of that new Blindness movie available online. I thought that was unique but it turns out they have a whole list of opening scenes you can watch for free. I guess it's like offering a free chapter from a book. Pretty compelling actually.
How do bloggers make money?
And... Big blogger pay cuts - What's interesting to me about this item is the addition of press mentions of a blog as a measure of success. That's a pretty mainstream standard that doesn't fit the typical "link and be linked" blog strategy.
Search Google's 2001 database. The cool thing is that they partnered with the Web Archive so that some of the search results actually render to old Web pages. Go back to the days when Baja Picante was a new Dorito flavor.
Folks in New York City on Halloween may want to participate in a reenactment of the parade scene from Ferris Beuller's Day Off.
This might make you feel better if you're in some of the more weather stricken parts of the country. (Potentially NSFW finger gesture.)
Our old friend Desktop Tower Defense in a slightly different (and is it just me or is it also slightly harder?) whiteboard version.
A commonly held conception is that any problem can be solved if it's given enough thought. I admit to generally imagining future solutions in terms of how much time it'll take to think them out. Turns out, I'm being "thinkist" in holding that faith. Thought alone doesn't solve problems. (Though it may seem anti-intellectual at on its face, this is probably the opposite of anti-intellectualism. The point is that solutions require more rigor than just thought.)
Metal Gear Solid Rubber Band Gun Is the Most Badass Way to Take Someone's Eye Out - (If this feels familiar, it's because we met the Disintegrator back in January.)