Power and Charge Wirelessly

[From Wikipedia] Wi-Charge is an Israeli company developing technology and products for far-field wireless power transfer using focused infrared beams. Wi-Charge was founded in 2012 by Victor Vaisleib, Ori Mor and Ortal Alpert. The company is developing a unique far-field wireless power technology based on infrared laser beams. In 2015, Wi-Charge demonstrated its first prototype capable of charging small electronic devices.[1] In 2017, the company claimed to obtain compliance with international safety standards. During CES 2018, Wi-Charge demonstrated simultaneous charging of multiple devices from a single transmitter.[2] Wi-Charge claims to deliver power using focused beams of invisible infrared light. The system consists of a transmitter and a receiver. Transmitter connects to a standard power outlet and converts electricity into infrared laser beam. Receivers use a miniature photo-voltaic cell to convert transmitted light into electrical power. Receivers can be embedded into a device or connected into an existing charging port. The transmitter automatically identifies chargeable receivers and start charging. Several devices can charge at the same time. According to Wi-Charge it can deliver several watts of power to a device at several meters away.[3] The core technology is based on a distributed laser resonator which is formed by the retroreflectors within the transmitter and the receiver.[4] This unique concept allows the charging of multiple devices without any moving components and if an opaque object enters one of the beams the corresponding power transfer is turned off automatically.

A schematic description of typical wireless power transfer using a laser beam. A transmitter converts electricity into a light beam and a receiver on the other side converts the light back to electricity.

Paul McCartney Live at the Apollo – 12/13/2010

Listened to this 2010 concert today on Sirius/XM 30. It was a great show (but I’d say that about all of his! ). I give it 5 out of 5.

[NyTimes.com] Paul McCartney played the Apollo on Monday and was demonstrably proud to do so. “It’s the holy grail,” he muttered early in the set. “I dreamed of playing here for many a year.” Then he touched the Lucky Log, the hunk of elm that’s long been placed onstage as a charm for the theater’s Amateur Night performers.
Luck had little to do with it. The show, a special event and a live broadcast for subscribers to Sirius XM radio in recognition of its 20 millionth subscription, ran two hours and a bit — not quite the epic length of his stadium-and-festival shows over the last decade, but longer than a few “secret” club gigs he played in 2007. And nearly all of it amounted to a serious mission of pleasing: a trail of aesthetic breakthroughs, rave-ups and singalongs, from the beginning of the Beatles through the end of Wings, with one recent solo-album cut (“Dance Tonight”), one very early Lennon-McCartney composition known to most as a late Beatles tune (“One After 909”) and one Christmas song (“Wonderful Christmastime,” with singers from the Choir Academy of Harlem). There are some listeners curious about, and genuinely interested in, Mr. McCartney’s loose moments and toss-offs, who feel that “Hey Jude” has penetrated deeply enough into the world’s culture, who admire the intuitive outtake-i-ness of records like “Ram” and “McCartney II,” and who wouldn’t mind a little more texture in his shows. They may yet have their day, but this concert was not for them.


  • Magical Mystery Tour
  • Jet
  • Drive My Car
  • All My Loving
  • One After 909
  • Let Me Roll It
  • Long and Winding Road
  • Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
  • Maybe I’m Amazed
  • Blackbird
  • I’m Looking Through You
  • And I Love Her
  • Petrushka
  • Dance Tonight
  • Eleanor Rigby
  • Hitch Hike (multiple restarts)
  • Band On The Run
  • Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da
  • Back In The USSR
  • A Day In The Life > Give Peace A Chance
  • Let it Be
  • Hey Jude
  • Encore: Wonderful Christmastime, I Saw Her Standing There, Get Back,
  • Encore2: Yesterday, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) > Carry That Weight > The End

Phoenix Cup Race (03/08/2020)

Chase Elliott started on the pole but ended up in 7th place. Joey Logano wins, Kyle Busch comes in 3rd place.

[Wikipedia] Phoenix Raceway is a 1-mile, low-banked tri-oval race track located in Avondale, Arizona, near Phoenix. The motorsport track opened in 1964 and currently hosts two NASCAR race weekends annually. Phoenix Raceway has also hosted the CART, IndyCar Series, USAC and the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The raceway is currently owned and operated by NASCAR.

The raceway was originally constructed with a 2.5 miles (4.0 km) road course that ran on both the inside and the outside of the main tri-oval. In 1991 the track was reconfigured with the current 1.51 miles (2.43 km) interior layout. Phoenix Raceway currently has an estimated grandstand seating capacity of around 51,000. Lights were installed around the track in 2004 following the addition of a second annual NASCAR race weekend. A further reconfiguration in 2011 increased the banking slightly, removed the road course entirely and removed the grass and curbing inside of the dogleg, giving sanctioning bodies the option of whether or not to allow drivers to shortcut the dogleg and run on the now-paved apron that replaced the grass. Renovations in 2018 reconfigured the pit road and infield areas, and moved the start/finish line to just coming out of what was turn 2 (now turn 4), before the dogleg.

Phoenix Raceway is home to two annual NASCAR race weekends, one of 13 facilities on the NASCAR schedule to host more than one race weekend a year.[3] In 2020 the fall race is part of NASCAR Championship Weekend.

Foldable Glass

[From Venturebeat.com] Whether it’s named or used anonymously, Corning’s Gorilla Glass has been a key ingredient in smartphones since the first iPhone — except for folding phones, where the screens are covered in flexible plastic. The reason: Corning says that it’s still working on flexible glass that will meet the specific needs of smartphone users, a development process that could take a couple of years.
Though it went largely uncredited as a development partner for the first iPhone, Corning’s work to create a smartphone screen up to Apple’s standards was down to the wire. In fact, the iPhone’s switch from a plastic screen cover to glass was announced well after the device’s memorable on-stage debut. Over the years, the partnership yielded a series of scratch- and oil-resistant glass panes that could be made harder, thinner, more flexible, or shatter-proof — except not all at the same time.

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For years, Corning was working on a thinner solution — called Willow Glass — that was envisioned specifically for the curved bodies of future wearables. But, according to Wired, the company’s now trying to create an ultrathin, highly and repeatedly bendable glass suitable for folding devices. Unlike plastic, which will eventually develop permanent and visibly distorted creases in its folding zones, the glass will remain in its original shape.
The major challenge now is to simultaneously get the glass to a tight bend radius while enabling it to withstand drops — Corning says it can do one or the other at this point, but not both. For now, the glass can bend to a 3-5mm radius around 200,000 times, but not survive a serious drop event. The company aspires to create a 0.1mm thick glass that can bend to a 5mm radius without breaking.

Whether that radius is tight enough for next-generation foldables remains to be seen, but the inability to survive a drop would be a non-starter for smartphones and tablets  — especially for users of premium devices. Recently announced plastic-screened Samsung and Huawei foldables are slated to hit the market at $2,000 or more, insanely steep prices even for devices that could survive three or four years of normal use.
As the Wired report notes, the bigger problem for plastic-screened devices is that they won’t look as good as the glass smartphones customers are accustomed to. That was the reason Apple was willing to hold out until the last minute for a viable glass solution: The color transmissibility and scratch resistance of glass are visibly superior to plastic. Samsung and Huawei limited media handling of their devices at their launch events and Mobile World Congress booths to obscure these differences, but early foldable phone customers will certainly notice them and may well wish that they waited for later models with next-generation glass.

Cry of the Werewolf (1944)

Watched the 1944 horror movie “Cry of the Werewolf” on Svengoolie. I would give it 2.5 out of 5 stars.  

[From Wikipedia]  Cry of the Werewolf, also known as Daughter of the Werewolf, is a 1944 American horror film starring Nina Foch, based on a story by Griffin Jay and directed by Henry Levin.

Romani princess descended from Marie LaTour has the ability to change into a wolf at will, just like her late mother. When she learns that Marie LaTour’s tomb has been discovered, she decides to use her talent to kill everyone who knows the location, because it is a sacred secret that only her people are allowed to know.

Ad Astra

I watched the 2019 Science Fiction movie Ad Astra. It is very good,  with a great cast,  and I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

[From Wikipedia] Ad Astra (Latin for “To the Stars”) is a 2019 American science fiction adventure film produced, co-written, and directed by James Gray. Starring Brad PittTommy Lee JonesRuth NeggaLiv Tyler, and Donald Sutherland, it follows an astronaut who goes into space in search of his lost father, whose experiment threatens the Solar System.

The project was announced in early 2016, with Gray saying he wanted to feature “the most realistic depiction of space travel that’s been put in a movie”. Pitt signed on to star in April 2017 and the rest of the cast joined later that year. Filming began around Los Angeles that August, lasting through October.

Ad Astra premiered at the Venice Film Festival on August 29, 2019, and was theatrically released in the United States on September 20, 2019 by 20th Century Fox.[4] It received positive reviews from critics, with praise for Pitt’s performance and the strong visuals, and grossed $133 million worldwide against an $80–100 million budget.[5] At the 92nd Academy Awards the film was nominated for Best Sound Mixing.

Shadow Government

Watched this documentary. Pretty straight forward,  didn’t really learn anything.  The movie was full of the truth but presented by conspiracy theory folks.  It ends by telling you if you accept God everything will be OK. I give it 2 out of 5.
[From Wikipedia] It is becoming increasingly apparent to American citizens that government is no longer being conducted in accordance with the U.S. Constitution, or, within states, according to state constitutions. While people have recognized for more than 150 years that the rich and powerful often corrupt individual officials, or exert undue influence to get legislation passed that favors their interests, most Americans still cling to the naive belief that such corruption is exceptional, and that most of the institutions of society, the courts, the press, and law enforcement agencies, still largely comply with the Constitution and the law in important matters. They expect that these corrupting forces are disunited and in competition with one another, so that they tend to balance one another.

The Darwin Awards

I watched the 2006 movie The Darwin Awards.  It has a scene with the Mythbusters and Metallica.  I thought it was ok, funny in places,  not hilarious like some reviewers were saying.  I’d give it 2.4 out of 5.
[From Wikipedia] The Darwin Awards is a 2006 American adventure comedy film based on the website of the same name written and directed by Finn Taylor, the film premiered January 25, 2006, at the Sundance Film Festival. The film features Joseph FiennesWinona RyderDavid ArquetteJuliette LewisWilmer ValderramaChris PennJulianna MarguliesRobin TunneyLawrence FerlinghettiBrad HuntAdam SavageJamie Hyneman and Metallica. This was Chris Penn‘s last movie before his death on January 24, 2006, the day before the film’s premiere. The film includes several full and partial re-enactments of “Darwin Awards“, the earliest of which were fictitious, most notably the debunked JATO Rocket Car story.
The Darwin Awards are a tongue-in- cheek honour, originating in Usenet newsgroup discussions around 1985. They recognise individuals who have supposedly contributed to human evolution by selecting themselves out of the gene pool via death or sterilisation by their own actions.

Accidental self-sterilisation also qualifies; however, the site notes: “Of necessity, the award is usually bestowed posthumously.” The candidate is disqualified, though, if “innocent bystanders”, who might have contributed positively to the gene pool, are killed in the process. The logical problem presented by award winners who may have already reproduced is not addressed in the selection process due to the difficulty of ascertaining if a person has or does not have children; the Darwin Award rules state that the presence of offspring does not disqualify a nominee[3].The project became more formalized with the creation of a website in 1993, and followed up by a series of books starting in 2000, authored by Wendy Northcutt. The criterion for the awards states, “In the spirit of Charles Darwin, the Darwin Awards commemorate individuals who protect our gene pool by making the ultimate sacrifice of their own lives. Darwin Award winners eliminate themselves in an extraordinarily idiotic manner, thereby improving our species’ chances of long-term survival.”[2]

People who have somehow miraculously survived their suicidal idiocy can be given an “Honourable Mention” if their attempted act of self removal is deemed worthy (and humorous), i.e. they tried their best.

The Darwin Awards books state that an attempt is made to disallow known urban legends from the awards, but some older “winners” have been “grandfathered” to keep their awards. The Darwin Awards site does try to verify all submitted stories, but many similar sites, and the vast number of circulating “Darwin awards” emails, are largely fictional.

[From Wikipedia] The account of the JATO Rocket Car was one of the original Darwin Awards winners: a man who supposedly met his death in a spectacular manner after mounting a JATO unit (a rocket engine used to help heavy aircraft to take off) onto an ordinary automobile. It was originally circulated as a forwarded email.

In 1996, after numerous inquires, the Arizona Department of Public Safety issued a news release posted on their website concerning the story. It termed the story “an Arizona myth.”

The story was also debunked in 2003 on the pilot episode of MythBusters, titled “Jet Assisted Chevy“.