Monday, December 31, 2007
I meant to someday test out the a player to see if it really made a difference in viewable screen size. Well, my wife surprised me by getting me one for Christmas. So I got to test it out and it does increase the viewable movie on our TV by approximately 18%.
My test involved Lord of the Rings: Return of the King Extended Edition with the 1st DVD being played in the old DVD player and the 2nd in the newer DVD player. I then used a ruler to measure the increase in height of the picture. The movie still does not fill the entire screen so I guess that occurs when HD or Blu-ray movies are displayed.
Hopefully, I will be able to test this out soon.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
What am I doing over Christmas break? Well raking leaves, fixing things, studying, cooking, and looking at rocks.
Recently, someone brought me a vaporizer I gave them last year. It was not working like it should and they wanted me to look at it. Well, after taking it apart, the heater elements were caked in the material shown. Just a guess, but it could be salts, calcium, and other minerals from the tap water. I used a pair of pliers and a screwdriver to break it away from the element.
The next picture is from a rock taken from a quarry. It has a small section of pyrite that has started to oxidize. The ruler is showing centimeters.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
You can learn more about AMD's new ideas at www.amd.com/innovate where more information about their code-named Spider project. It seems to be a gaming platform that uses ATI graphics technology they acquired in their merger with a new processor called Phenom. Cool name for a gaming processor.
They also mentioned Youngwoong Jang who won an award for an eight minute film, Mirage. More info can be found at http://www.mirage2006.com/ He is from School of Visual Arts in New York City and they appear to use AMD Dual Core Opteron computers for development.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
I guess that is good for me in that I got to mail my package pretty quickly using the automated machine. The one thing I would change is if I could type in the address so it could be printed on the label. While I was preparing my package after generating the label another person used the machine while it seemed like there maybe 13 people in line to get personal help.
Afterwards I visited WalMart and used their automated check out system. It worked well which is great since something always seem to mess up on that system (e.g. cannot read UPC, UPC not is system, some sort of attendant override needed).
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Friday, December 07, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
Here is a closeup of one of the blooms. Needs to be in focus.
A side view of the bloom can be seen here which shows the curling pedals
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
[EDITED: Okay, I need to do my research before posting. It appears this plant is a Billbergia nutans or "Queen Tears". The pictures I am finding on the internet look very much like this plant.]
A picture taken minutes ago from when this post was written shows a multicolor blooms forming. I wonder if they will open?
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
After publishing this post earlier, I did some more research and found that trilobites are arthropods. Their bodies are divided into three sections: cephalon, thorax, and phygidium. In the picture below, I labeled part of the spine breaking away but that was the thorax. They do have spines but in the sense of pointed parts that stick out to fend off predators.
The Trilobite imprint below has been further revealed after using a small awl and hammer to remove pieces of it. It looks like this relatively large trilobite was squished and twisted when it got buried in this mud. I will need to get ruler next to them next time I take a picture.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
The Courier Journal's Bob Hill was interviewed first and he did well in his exchange with the host. It would have been nice to mention that Bob has a local radio show on WFPL about gardening or that he runs a plant nursery. Bob did bring some gifts of some bottled water with a unique name that is produced in Kentucky.
Above pictures shows quiz contestant looking out into theater, Michael Feldman looking to greet members of the audience, and Jim Packard (in background in red).
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Here are the two teams warming up before the game started.
This picture shows a Kentucky player scoring on the inside.
Here is an outside shot going through the hoop.
During a long TV timeout, the cheering squad brings out the big K and then the wildcat mascot is raised up before to get the crowd standing to raise the cheer.
At the end of the game, the pep band plays "My Old Kentucky Home" while the cheer leading and pep squads sway back and forth. Kentucky won the game 82-63.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Here is the link: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/wiredscience/story/63-watermelon_thumping.html
It is a pretty cool idea but I think I will stick with tendril analysis. Of course, what am I going to do in the store when buying a melon?
Pulled up the watermelon patch today and dumped about 5 underdeveloped melons in a ditch. The plastic was folded up for next year and the watermelon vines will be turned in to mulch. Having three days of frost just killed all the green on those vines and grape leaves have turned brown as well.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
As it turns out though, the continued hot weather has triggered the watermelon plants to start a second growth that has produced more watermelons. I think at least one more watermelon will mature to be harvested if the hot temperatures keeps up for the next several weeks.
Here are some pictures of the last Crimson Sweet melon picked. It weight 7.6 pounds and had a good red color.
The last Charleston Gray melon weighed 9 pounds.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
It was a pleasant surprise to be able to attend the event at the end. Things were not too busy and pretty laid back after we collected the tickets. I have not read any of Ray Bradbury's books but I did see Martian Chronicles as a child. Did not really understand it though. Ray was a very energetic speaker and it was even more a surprise since he is 87 years old. He spoke about how he became a writer and what events influenced him. He encouraged everyone to become passionate about something and follow that passion. At times he seemed possessed about getting this point across, I guess he knows his time on this Earth is limited and this is his chance make one last impression on society. It was a good motivational speech. I did not get to hear all of the speech or the Q&A since I had to prepare for poster handout.
I did not take any pictures and probably should have. The Teleportic system did not seem all that 3-D to me. Ray did use his arms a lot in the presentation, I think for the benefit of that device. He did answer questions from our site and he could hear the audience but I am not sure if he could see them. The Teleportic system looks like a screen sloped at 45 degree angle from a side view. The screen starts at the top and slopes downward toward the back.
All and all a good festival and I am glad I am now aware of it now.
He shared a number of Steve Jobs stories: how they met, selling to Atari a breakout game, selling a color video terminal, and the early days of Apple corporation. The stories about working long hours on issues and designs tells of the engineering problem solving life.
I watched the last part of the speech from the hallway through the open doors going into the exhibit hall next to the stage. Out in the hallway, it was amazing to see the number of people coming out to talk on cell phones. There was also quite a number of people going to the bathroom. All this movement did not seem affect the speech though. I had an interesting angle to view the speech from, see picture below.
Attendance was very good and I hope the festival did not lose money on the event. The number of tables for the dinner seated maybe 864 people. It appeared that maybe 3-4 tables might have had open seats at the back of the room.
NOTE: I did not use a flash on my still frame pictures and thus got blurring pictures. Sort of knowing this would happen, I took Quicktime movies with the camera in low light conditions to get some better images. The pictures I am posting were frame grabs of these movies.
Afterwards, Steve sat at the Borders books table and signed iWoz copies. I was able to take this picture from the floor above were he was. It was interesting in that the picture of him signing a book for the guy in the suit. After signing the book, the guy gave him the poster to sign as well, which at first seemed to surprise Steve. Maybe he did not know there was a poster but we had quite a few left after the dinner. The signing line was long with maybe 100 people or how ever many people it takes to stretch down the hallway to the exit. From what I observed, he seemed very friendly and easy going.
You can learn more about Steve Wozniak at his web site (http://www.woz.org/). I found the letter section to be educational as he responds to questions and stories from the general public. It is always good to see public figures do that on their websites. Unfortunately, he appears to have stop posting after 2006. Maybe because he was writing his book and then promoting it after September 2006.
One last note, another volunteer had to quickly prepare a menu to be placed on the 108 tables. I was asked to help him prepare them using the computers at the Geek Squad exhibit and print them with the Lexmark printers. We eventually got it done and delivered but we had some help printing them from a visiting Lexmark engineer. I did not get his name but he was very friendly and helpful. He was some sort of sales engineer for the inkjet printer group. He said their popular product was the wireless inkjets that just need to be plugged in and people can start printing with them.
This picture shows the view from the audio/video control area that was off to the side of the room.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
I thought the crowd was pretty good for a weekday morning. My time was spent getting people badges and tickets they had signed up for. The Lexmark representative was having a quite a few issues getting the wireless printer to work at the Geek Squad exhibit and I was very tempted to go help them out. It looks like they eventually got it working.
I got see several film crews making reports and WFPL (89.3) did a live airing of the State of Affairs show. That was neat to watch the small crew of 5 people put on that show.
Did not get to go to any presentations but there appeared to be quite a few people going.
Find out more information check out: http://www.ideafestival.com/
Friday, September 07, 2007
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Great place to visit and the weather was very nice. It was in the 80s during the day. I had visited the museum when I was a child and remembered the u-boat. It was outside and at the end I got a plastic replica of the u-boat made by a small machine.
Well, things have changed and yet stayed the same. The u-boat was given an exhibit hall in 2004 and what an exhibit it is. You walk down a series of hallways with documentation and images showing the scenes for World War II related to the battle in the Atlantic with u-boats and allied shipping.
You then come out of the hallway and are greeted with this large boat in a very large room. It is like a holding pen with its concrete shell to protect against bombings. Watch the movie Das Boot to get an idea of what this facility was like.We got our tickets a head of time on the Internet which was good since the tours had sold out for the day when we got there. We had a good tour guide who had some pretty good jokes. Too bad we could not take any pictures because the guide said people were selling them on the internet and the boat was now copyrighted. It was neat to see the inside and it is hard to believe that almost 60 people had to live there for months at a time.
The exhibit has a lot to offer with more displays around the submarine with some of them interactive. It was too bad we did not have time to study all the exhibits but we had spent time looking at other things at the museum like the trains, the Boeing 727, the chemistry and energy exhibits, and eating lunch. I wish I had time to look at the geology exhibit.I took a picture of the dents in the submarines nose. I wonder how those dents got there.
At the end of the U-505 exhibit do not forget to look at the monitor on the ceiling that shows how they moved the submarine into its underground chamber.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
They are both a little bigger than a volleyball.
This is the view from inside the Sugar Baby melon. It has a good color and few seeds.
This is the Crimson Sweet melon cut open.
Scene about 30 minutes before ride started with people visiting the different tents with bicycle related information.
Picture above is of the main stage and tent where they were beginning to get people to do warm up exercises.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
So I went to Autozone to look for ultra fine sandpaper (1000-2000 grit) to see if removing some layers of the plastic lens would in fact fix the cars problem. I found the sand paper but in the same section of the store I found a product from CCP called 5 Minute Headlight Restorer for about $12. Well, 5 minutes sounds a lot better than hours sanding so I bought it.
What the kit consists of is a circular plastic plate with a metal shaft, a number of sponge pads with rubbing compound on them and some instructions. You will need a drill, a clean rag, window cleaner, paper towels, and spray bottle with water. First, you need to clean the lens with the window cleaner and paper towels getting the surface clean and smooth. Next, put the bit in the drill and remove the paper from one the circular sponge pads to reveal its adhesive side. Stick the adhesive side to the plate. Mist the pad to get it damp but not too wet. I used a cordless drill to do this work. Next light press the pad to the lens and let the drill spin the sponge on the lens. I worked the sponge back and forth across the lens until I had covered the surface of the lens. I did this several times stopping every so often to make sure the sponge was still damp and if not misting it some more. A white film developed on the areas I had treated and I after finishing with the drill, I took the spray bottle and rinsed the lens. I then took the dry rag and cleaned off the lens.
It was quite a difference. The lens looked a lot more clear. See the pictures. I did the other lens with the same sponge and it cleaned the film off it as well.
The directions said if the film was inside the lens then it would need to be replaced. Luckily, the lens I was treating had the film on the outside.
Friday, August 24, 2007
I was able to make some drawings for my young nephews with the paper and crayons on hand. Our first image is a wake up picture with a sun rising over the ocean which has a sea serpent, shark (complements of my nephew), and fish swimming in it.
This next picture entitled "Fun At the Beach" which shows a picture of the house we rented which was called "Beach Escape". The image of the house is pretty accurate but the surroundings were created with artistic license. The beach house was on a street that was in sight of the beach and the ocean was about 200 meters from the house.
I had brought a bottle of sparkling grape juice and used it to encourage my nephew to eat his vegetables during meals. So I told him he could have some "magic" grape juice in a glass. This image shows how the grape juice made to when it gets to the glass.