March 5th, 2011
February 21st, 2011
December 12th, 2010
Sylvia and I just booked our flights to Boston for the MIT Mystery Hunt (aka puzzle hunt). This will be my third year and Sylvia’s sixth competing with the Simmons Hall team. I wouldn’t say we compete at the highest of levels (we came in 14th of 37 teams last year), but it’s tons of fun. Here are a few puzzles from 2010 that I liked:
March 15th, 2010
Let’s be honest here, if I didn’t have Sylvia to bring new music into my life I’d still be listening the Disco Biscuts [Fun Fact: Their sound man is also named Jon Lesser). My Schi filter works like this:
- Sylvia finds new music (Or it finds her? I don’t really know how this part works).
- Sylvia listens to music on our stereo, infiltrating my personal soundscape.
- About every three months I sort the iTunes by play count and copy the top ten or so albums to my computer.
Boom! I’m up to date with what the kids are listening to.
September 14th, 2009
I’ve narrowed it down to one of these fields. Now I’m hunting for
PhD programs opportunities accordingly.
- Integrating robotics into daily life
- Applying computer vision, AI techniques
Medical information systems
- Electronic health records
- Helping doctors provide better care
Energy information systems
- Sensor networks to manage energy consumption
- Visualize energy use to affect behavior
Democracy / e Governance
- voting, public records, etc.
Brain computer interfaces (BCI)
- EEG or EMG computing interfaces
New Media Conceptual Artist
- Using all of the above to create art
August 28th, 2009
I came across Jay Leno’s Garage last night. It’s definitely the smartest, most entertaining car show I’ve ever seen. Jay tests amazing new and classic cars (and motorcycles), tells you what he thinks, and does some burnouts. The best part is that it’s not over produced like the nausea inducing MotorWeek on PBS or even the BBC’s TopGear.
August 28th, 2009
There is a lot of hating on SNL these days, but it’s really worth watching for the three or four gems in each episode. Be aware that it generally takes a few days of reflection to realize what was truly genius. Here are some winners from the last season you probably didn’t watch.
The 35th season starts in a few weeks (September 26th).
June 15th, 2009
I have been trying to get a sense of how much video processing my computer can do. A 2.2Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo can capture 640 x 480 @ 30 fps from a Logitech Vision Pro webcam while simultaneously playing four previously captured clips encoded with H.264 and AAC mono audio. Capturing video while playing more than four videos results in dropped frames.
This plot shows a pretty linear falloff in captured framerate as the number of video files being played during capture is incremented.
June 14th, 2009
I needed to know the geometry of some common LCD panels for a project I’m working on. I couldn’t find a convenient chart, so I am contributing this one to the Internet. I worked out the X and Y values with some simple trig. An alternative estimation based on resolution multiplied by pixel pitch yields similar results ±0.125”.
|H”||X”||Y”||AR||X res||Y res||a°||b°|
May 28th, 2009
These are our results from an online Farnsworth-Munsell 100 hue test that Sylvia found on the Internet. The test involves arranging color swatches into a continuous spectrum of hues. The bars indicate which hues we were unable to arrange correctly and I’m not sure what the height of a bar means.
As you can see, we got very different results depending on the display used for the test. A proper FM100 test kit costs about $700 and has to be completed under controlled (D50) lighting conditions. Nonetheless, it’s fun to play with the pretty colors and create some order from the randomized initial state.
April 2nd, 2009
How It’s Made is a TV show that I used to watch on the History Channel and a Mystery Hunt puzzle begging to be written. Each episode details the fabrication process of four different things. See if you can figure out how the topics for any given show are connected.
- Car Radiators
- Hatchery Chicks
- Phyllo Dough
- Cross-country Skis
- Three Wheeled Vehicles
- Baseball Bats
- Artificial Bonsai
Items requiring more than one segment to describe
- Carbon Fibre Cellos
- Goalie Masks
- Optical Lenses
- Giant Tires
- Stetson Hats
April 2nd, 2009
February 24th, 2009
I picked up these four Powermax II stepper motors (P21NSXC-LSS-NS-03) on eBay last week. They’re a lot heavier than I thought they would be and huge compared to my previous stepper motor. They have a holding torque of 116 oz-inch, which I learned is the number of ounces you could suspend from a 1 inch rod attached perpendicular to the motor shaft.