Category Archives: Awesomenessocity

Early version of Google

This was the early version of Google. Using these humble wooden drawers, generations of scholars and researchers, desperate students and cunning spies, despairing parents and fanatical bibliophiles, and every other shape and size of reader delved into the depth and breadth of human understanding.

Something worth considering: Google contains only a fraction of the knowledge once cataloged by card catalogs. Technology has digitized and indexed only that which is easy to digitize and index; most journal articles, newspaper articles, books, scientific papers, notebooks and other written material are still confined to physical forms, and unknown to Internet search engines.

How I miss card catalogs.

The humble card catalog was the early version of Google. These wooden drawers held the wonder's of the world's past and the future of the universe.

The humble card catalog was the early version of Google. These wooden drawers held the wonder’s of the world’s past and the future of the universe.

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Along the Louisville waterfront

Louisville is a seaport, of sorts. The Louisville, Kentucky, “seacoast” is the waterfront along the Ohio River, with that other coastal state, Indiana, just across the water. Barge traffic has moved up and down the river for a couple of centuries, winding its watery way to the Gulf of Mexico.

Most of the waterfront is industrial, or devoted to roads. There are a couple of parks. And a boat ramp, where this sign was found:

"Cars will be launched" could be frightening, unless you had a car that was also a launch, which is a particular type of boat.

“Cars will be launched” could be frightening, unless you had a car that was also a launch, which is a particular type of boat.

Less whimsical is this concrete obelisk, marked off in feet, showing the height of the river above “normal” elevation. At 26.5 feet is a note that this was the height of the 1997 flood. A mark at 29.2 feet shows the 1964 flood level. A mark at 30.1 feet shows the 1945 flood level. And the red arrow at the top points to the air above the 32 foot mark, noting the 1937 flood level, at 40 feet, would be somewhere up there.

Flood gauge along the Ohio River front in Louisville, Ohio, showing the heights of the 1997, 1964, and 1945 floods. A mark at the 32 foot level notes that the 1937 flood would have been up there somewhere, eight feet higher.

Flood gauge along the Ohio River front in Louisville, Ohio, showing the heights of the 1997, 1964, and 1945 floods. A mark at the 32 foot level notes that the 1937 flood would have been up there somewhere, eight feet higher.

Seriously glorious feat of engineering

No, this is not another Internet posting of a food photo. Instead, it is a posting about art and craft and workmanship.

Who cares what it is, or what it tastes like: this is a seriously impressive piece of engineering.

They say this was shrimp tempura, and yes, it did taste like excellent shrimp tempura, but the design and engineering were truly stellar.

They say this was shrimp tempura, and yes, it did taste like excellent shrimp tempura, but the design and engineering were truly stellar.

University of Maryland versus Army

The University of Maryland women’s basketball team met the U.S. Army Military Academy’s women’s basketball team in the first round of the 2014 NCAA tournament and — Army did a credible job, showing crisp teamwork and passion, but lost by 90 to 52.

Scoreboard at the Maryland-Army game

Scoreboard at the end of the first round of the 2014 NCAA tournament, featuring the University of Maryland women’s basketball team against the women of West Point.

In the second round, Maryland defeated the University of Texas by a much tighter 69-64. In the third round, Maryland defeated the University of Tennessee in Louisville, KY, 73-62. This was followed in the fourth round by a victory over the University of Louisville, essentially on their home court, by a score of 76-73.

Alas, in the Final Four, Maryland finally succumbed to the University of Notre Dame, 87-61. It was a great run.

Bottle cap Flag

In the United States, you can start a riot, or sink a political campaign, or fill nightly newscasts for a week with a real or implied desecration of the American flag. But apparently there is nothing at all wrong with creating a flag out of beer bottle caps.

Beer bottlecap flag over bar in Northern Virginia

To be honest, this really is an impressive piece of artwork.

It is worth noting that the American Revolution was fomented, in large measure, in the fermented confines of taverns.

Ducks!

Some of the 257 (and counting) rubber duckies surrounding one coworker’s cubicle. Each one is unique:

One of 257 rubber duckies surrounding one coworker's cubicle.

One of 257 rubber duckies surrounding one coworker’s cubicle. Each one is unique.

There is nothing more to be said, other than to note that the person in question is a computer techie.

NOAA Patch and Coins

NOAA is the world’s leading publisher of original content on the Internet. Not collected from others, but direct publishing. Every day, NOAA instruments, programs, projects and people push a steady stream of environmental, technical and scientific information out to the U.S. public. These commemorative coins were issued to honor NOAA’s history; the patch is just a patch.