Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Crime Alert

Last week I blogged about the emergency situation simulation that happened at Rutgers, I joked about it being silly. However in the following day’s newspaper I saw some pictures of what looked like a SWAT team, full body armor automatic weapons and such. Now this is not particularly funny, however what is funny is the email I got sometime later.

The Rutgers University Police Department is currently investigating an assault which occurred on the Cook Campus on Wednesday July 25, 2007. The incident took place at approximately 2:12 PM.

Assault’s not funny but the timing is (July 25, 2007 was the day the simulation occured on).

Monday, July 30, 2007


First, for an update on the Hooters post, an excellent write-in from notElon:
Apparently, Hooters says:
"We've always been controversial," says CEO Coby Brooks from the corporate Hooters of America roost in a Northside office park. "It's been an obstacle we've had to deal with. [But] if we lose our edge and become acceptable to all walks of life, we might lose our niche."
Who knew this was a niche!

Now, Gardening Updates:
First, the blueberry experiment was a success. All blueberries survived to maturity and my mom happily ate them. Wooo Hoo! (Sorry no picture)

Look we have cute baby little baby peppers (I think they are supposed to be red at maturity).

We are being overrun with herbs. Thank heavens my mom is so laid back otherwise she might take offense at the herbs taking over this bed.
The tomatoes - alas, while at first they were so promising have suffered a number of setbacks. These mysteriously died. Eli thinks from drought.

These were mowed due to lack of tomato cages.

These are still doing pretty well so I put them in a tomato cage.

We are excited to taste the fruits of our labor and are eager to report!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Lab Safety

This is me and my two monitors being very safe as I run my computer programs.

By the way, I've determined why I don't have nearly as many blog post this summer. Last summer I came from NJ to CA, this summer I came from Europe to CA. Last year I took 1,262 pictures over the whole summer, so far this one I've only taken a total of 62. I don't know, somehow things just seem less interesting this time around (I'm also sick of taking lots of pictures all the time).

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The sideways drilling machine

YU is doing a lot of construction on its uptown Wilf Campus. The most major work is definitely the new building, the first new construction in many years (the exact number slips my mind). Right now they are digging a rather large hole in the ground, almost reminiscent of Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. Note the drilling machine upright and happy in the 1st picture.

Now look at this picture:

Now, although there was really wimpy response to last week's contest, here are the results:
1) Toasted vanilla and sugar - Shampoo.
2) Banana and poppy - Salad dressing.
3) Honey spice - Salad dressing.
4) Coconut lime verbena - Shampoo.
5) Lime peanut - Salad dressing.
6) Black raspberry vanilla - Shampoo.
7) Citrus and papaya - Salad.
8) Cucumber Melon - Shampoo.
9) Berry tea and orange flower - Shampoo.
10) Raspberry walnut - Salad dressing.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Public Safety Incident Simulation

Yesterday was T’sha B’Av, the day that the Beit Hamikdash (Temple in Jerusalem) was destroyed. It a sad day and as such I decided not to post yesterday, instead I will post today.

Today, Rutgers tested its ability to react to an on-campus incident. What precisely an on-campus incident is they did not tell us, however they did tell us that the test would involve personnel from Rutgers, Piscataway, Middlesex County, and the National Guard. I sadly was working when this test occurred (so I have no pictures :(, I believe that this is the first use of an emoticon on this blog). When I got to Rutgers later in the day and asked my friend if I had missed the situation simulation I was told yes. I asked what it involved and they told me around 30 ambulances and some police vehicles, the only evidence of the National Guard being involved was a Black Hawk helicopter flying overhead. We will hopefully never have to need to react to a bad situation at Rutgers, I hope the worse thing that ever might happen is an accident involving an ambulance pileup occurring during a simulation.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Around the corner

I would have never thought to put a drop cloth on a car, but then I probably also would have splattered the car with paint!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Shampoo or Salad Dressing

I'll just say it: Women's shampoos are weird.
I'm glad to admit that my shampoo bottle's description of its contents states: "Thoroughly cleanses." To me, that is the idea of shampoo. However, Stacy's shampoos are of a different variety. Apparently, it's not enough for a soap to get oneself clean, it must also contain bizarre ingredients. For example:
Icy pineapple and cotton leaf shampoo? I feel that if I had icy pineapple in my hair I'd want to use shampoo to get it out! And tingling potion?! What is this, Harry Potter? Furthemore, a shampoo leaving me "tingly" because it "cleans deep" does not seem like a good thing to me.

In any case, just for fun, we're going to have another Lansey Brothers' Blog Contest! I'm going to list some shampoo or soap descriptions and also some salad dressing descriptions. In the comments let's hear your votes for which ones you think are soap/shampoo and which ones you think are salad dressings. (And no using Google to cheat!):
1) Toasted vanilla and sugar
2) Banana and poppy
3) Honey spice
4) Coconut lime verbena
5) Lime peanut
6) Black raspberry vanilla
7) Citrus and papaya
8) Cucumber Melon
9) Berry tea and orange flower
10) Raspberry walnut

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Fortunately this has not actually occurred, however it could have been a close thing. Last Friday we had some PSE&G (gas company) workers come to the house to replace some pipes so that the gas system can be converted to high pressure. In the course of their work they noticed something interesting. Apparently the exhaust from our hot water heater wasn’t hooked up properly and it was leaking Carbon Monoxide into our basement. In fact the exhaust wasn’t even connected at all. This work was done around thirteen years ago (although it probably wasn’t this bad, when it was first done). In that time Eli slept down there over Shabbat and during the summer and Chagim. Yoni spent hours down there playing his guitar or doing work away from the noise of the house. I slept down there for some Chagim, but I have spent a lot of time watching TV down there. We have been very lucky that none of us got hurt (although it can probably be debated which was worse for me, the small amount of Carbon Monoxide which may have been there, or the prolonged exposure to a TV). We have since had it fixed (although in my opinion it was a pretty shoddy job), although it is yet to be seen if it actually fixes the problem.

This is how it looked just at a glance (if you look closely the inverted funnel shapped object right at the top of the heater is not bolted to the heater).

This is where the exhaust from the heater enters the chimney (notice the big gap at the top, we think that it used to be caulked, but you shouldn't caulk that big of a gap)

This is me lifting the pipe right off the heater, I am not going to post pictures of the fix until it passes inspection

Monday, July 16, 2007


The picture is slightly unclear so let me tell you what it said (no photoshopping needed) : "Hooters, Kids Eat Free All Day Tuesday". While I am no expert on parenting, business or even photography (see above), it seems to me that this establishment is working off a strange business model. Readers any thoughts?

Sunday, July 15, 2007


true story, in the 70's somebody vandalized it to say HOLLYWeeD

In a freak engineering accident, while cleaning the HOLLYWOOD sign they installed it backwards.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Cherry Gore

In addition to gardening, one of my favorite pastimes is cooking. In order to take advantage of the short cherry season, Eli and I spent July fourth making THREE awesome cherry recipes - which all involved cherry gore.
Here they are in order of how good I think they tasted: Black Forest cherry cake, cherry clafoutis and finally cherry ices. While the black forest cherry cake and the cherry clafoutis tasted better, they were nowhere nearly as entertaining (gory) to make. Below you will see the video of pureeing the cherries to make the ices as well as the finished product. Just look at that color!!!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Quantum wormhole elevator

YU recently replaced the elevators in its Pollack Library. The new system has fancy electronics, a nifty animated display and faster cars. All of this is a really (really!) needed upgrade. The one unfortunate thing is that the old elevators were more scientifically advanced.
Unfortunately I never got a video of this (and now it's too late), but the old system had individual lights for each different floor. Something a lot like this:However, in between the 3rd and 4th floors the floor indicator lights turned off for a few seconds (this also happened on the ground-floor display). The only logical conclusion, I believe, is that the elevator jumped through a wormhole to get to the next floor. And if any of you have seen the library's architecture, you'll know why this isn't so surprising.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


This Sunday some friends and I had a paintball game. After a couple of matches we went back to our cars for water. We found two police cars just sitting there waiting for us. We decided that the two of us not dressed as paramilitary would go talk to the cops (me and one other friend who shall remain nameless).

The policeman stuck his head out the window of his squad car and asked if we had been paintballing; we told him yes. He said he didn’t want to bust us (apparently we where playing on private property) so we should get out of there. We asked where we could play and he told us “Just go far enough out so that no one can hear you”.

Long story short we did not get in trouble, however it is also a lot of fun to watch seven guys with guns trying to look as non-aggressive as possible while walking past two police cars.

The irony of the situation was that the people who called the cops on us where breaking the law themselves by driving on the private dirt road.

Because everyone else has, here is a picture of my IDs (the Middlesex County College is a camp staff ID)

Monday, July 09, 2007

ID Cards

As long as we are on the topic, I collected quite a few card while in England. Here are a selection.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Collect them all

I am a recent graduate (finally officially) of Yeshiva University. This means I used to be a student and have a student ID. This also means that I am an alumnus of YU, which means I was able to get a YU Alumni ID. I am also an adjunct instructor of physics at YU, which means I needed to get a faculty ID (well, only needed so that I could get a copy of Mathematica 6.0). Anyone with other YU IDs - feel free to post 'em in the comments (if you need image hosting, let me know). Let's try for the whole collection.

Also, in response to the discussion regarding "On top of Manhattan," here is the actual top of Manhattan. I'm still looking into the Belfer Hall claim, but I'm beginning to think it's not accurate.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

RC Engine

Well I took apart and cleaned the engine that was used on the AIAA plane from last year’s competition. I have also built a wheeled system to mount the engine on (also will be used to break in the new engine), I call it the poodle (not sure why, I just do).

This little guy gets a decent amount of thrust so we had to tie it to the table behind it so it couldn't run away.

Sorry about the video quality I took it on a digital camera.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

No Hot Ashes

To combat the cross-cultural urge to throw Hot Ashes in with the garbage, trash cans worldwide are prominently labeled "No Hot Ashes" in the native language.
As per Eli's suggestion, I started a Flikr photo group to find out exactly how widespread this phenomenon is.
So far I have seen them in the US, England, France, Germany, Switzerland, and Spain
and in English, French, German and Spanish

Check it out at http://www.flickr.com/groups/nohotashes and if you can add some photos! (I don't have any yet from the US).

By the way, the group right now isn't working quite right so you'll actually need to join in order to see all the pictures.