Sunday, December 28, 2008

Jokes from Unlce Sysfrog

Our Aunt and Uncle came down from Canada for the weekend+ and as usual Uncle Sysfrog infused us with a slew of new jokes (with a good number of old classics too - jokes that are so old they were around when the dead sea was still sick). If the uncle is out there reading this post, he is very welcome to add more jokes (or corrections) in the comments.

These are Jokes:

How do mice like their pasta?

What did they say to the cannibal who came late to the party?
Everybodies eaten

And my personal favorite:
How do you keep a turkey in suspense?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

How to kill your mailman

We have some fairly large stalactites growing from the overhang over our front door.  I measured the longest one yesterday (after it had already melted quite a bit) and it was 2.5 feet (30 inches, 76.2 cm) long.
We even have stalagmites (and some mini stalactites, too).

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Experimental Fluids

Last week I did not post because of today's post. Now I know this seems kind of silly, however this post will explain. Last week I was working on my final project for my Graduate Experimental Fluids class. It consisted of placing a model of the AIAA clubs airplane in a water tunnel. This year the Rutgers AIAA club is building an autonomous UAV that has a camera in the nose, because of the camera a ball turret is going to make up the front of the nose. We wanted to see how much this effected the flow, and to look at the vortex shedding from the ball.

This is the 3/4 scale model of the front section of the aircraft, the design has changed a bit since the model was initial built. However, the model took around 100 hours to build in a FDM (fused deposition modeling) rapid prototyping machine, so we did not have time to make another (also the model was screwed up 3 times due to power failure, one of which I spoke of here and here).
This is the entire set up as we ran the experiment. The experimental method we used is called PIV (Particle Image Velocimetry). It consists of a laser (green square, class 4 laser running at around 125-145 mJ and 532 nanometers wavelength) that is run through a series of optics (light blue square, spherical and cylindrical lenses) that makes the into a thin sheet. Then a mirror (yellow square) reflects the laser sheet around the model and a camera (red square, CCD camera) takes two pictures very close to each other timed to coincide with the lasers pulses with a time difference of in our case 2500-6000 microseconds so around 2.5-6 Milli seconds. The two pictures show illuminated seed particles (in this case I believe we where using glass beads, with a diameter of around 4 microns). Then computer software compares the two images and based upon where the particles moved to it creates a plot of the vector field, and vorticity.

This is the model as it looks before we had to invert it to get it in the right place with regards to the laser sheet.
This is what the whole set up looks like from the top, the only thing I haven't mentioned is the sychronizer, which synchronized the laser and the camera.This is the kind of vector field you get, in this case it is the mean velocity field from 50 individual vector fields. Note the stagnation point at 1.5 inches on the bottom axis (a stagnation point is a point where the flow speed is zero).
In the mean velocity plot for the 15 Hz pump speed the flow is moving a lot slower and as a result the stagnation point is now much farther to the right at pretty much the edge of the image. Also, there are two distinct vortexes (see if you can find them, one is a lot easier than the other. Hint: the shear layer/boundary layer propagates from where the flow separates from the sphere of shot to the left to the fuselage on the right) this indicates that for the slow flow there is a steady state solution.
This is what one of the instantaneous velocity fields looks like, there where 50 of these to make the average field in the image above. You can see a vortex in the approximately the same place as in the mean velocity plot and its pair.
Sorry there is no scale on this graph, also sorry about it not being bounded properly. At (0.75, 1.4) and at (1.25, 1) there is a clear vortex pair. A vortex pair consist of two counter rotating vortexes (see this animation).

Now you can see what I was talking about not posting last week, so this is just a post worthy of two weeks. To give you an idea, the experiment took two people (me and my friend Andrew) around 30 hours a piece to set up (after the model was made) and around an hour to take the data, such is the way experiments work. Hopefully we will be able to do more tests, looking at different sections of the flow, and trying to stop the vortex shedding, as it produces a ton of drag.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Detective Skills

Time for everyone to test out their detective skills Sherlock Holmes style and figure out what my cell phone is doing caged there in the pot.

Hints: Look closely at the cell phone screen (its blurry) but both of the measures on there do not have a lot of bars.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's a Bird! It's a Plane! NO!!! It's Just a Blimp

In the past I have spoken of my job. Well the blimp has been inflated.
Just for the record, I am not wearing my kippah because it kept falling off during the inflating, testing, and mooring.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Niche Catalog

I got a very exciting catalog in the mail today!
That's right, 67 stunning pages filled with all the bulbs you could ever dream of!
How is that for the most inane and niche mail-order catalog out there?  Anyone want to put in an order for a JDR50-MED?  I hear they are the best bulbs!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Emergency Weather Forcast Post

One should be very weary of the weather in Boston today - the high temperature is actually lower than the low temperature making the temperature . . . . !!! What is the real temperature? is it a at + or - infinity?Check out the real thing for yourself in the link below:

Also, have any of you seen the ad in the picture - does anyone really believe that that is a real picture of a woman - not just a bad photoshop.

Monday, December 08, 2008

NJIT Features Press

NJIT just made an alumni profile news thing for me. Its linked from the NJIT homepage occasionally (keep hitting refresh and it will show up eventually). Or you can click the link here.

The most exaggerated part which I find rather funny is the following:
To be invited to give a Goggle Talk is considered something of an honor -- one usually reserved for prominent speakers and leaders in their fields: Senator Hillary Clinton, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, for instance, all recently gave Google Talks. So for Lansey to have given a talk one week after graduating from NJIT is quite an achievement.
Whats especially funny is that the brother of the guy who wrote this also gave a tech talk at Google!
I might as well give a shout out to the author, Robert Florida, who is cool.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Sidewalk troubles

You know, when there's freshly poured cement with a blockade around it, sometimes, maybe sometimes, you should pay attention:

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Even More Power Failures

Last week I talked about a power failure at the Rutgers Engineering Building. This week I get to show you the results. The power was fixed this Monday, however I took pictures of two of the generators powering the building in the area.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

youtube, Yahoo and AP

Here you see AP ripping off a youtube video of Obama . . . they either don't know how to use the embed function - or don't like the way that youtube does the progress bar. Whatever the reasoning what I see looks pretty ridiculous to me . . . any thoughts?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

How to identify a math major

I recently received a lab report that was stapled in an interesting way.
Just in case you're having trouble seeing what happened here, the student first used a stapler designed for many pages (I think it's for over 45 pages, but I'm not sure) on a stack that was way too short.  He did this three times. Then, for good measure, he topped it off with a standard staple (after a misfire, first).
Needless to say, this student is a math major.

And, Happy Turkey Day to all our American readers.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Aerodynamic Power Failures

Last Thursday I was scheduled to make up my Aerodynamics midterm (which I had missed over Simchat Torah). As fate would have it there was a power failure. Not just any power failure, an extended outage, in fact as of this afternoon the power company still hadn't found where the underground cable blew out. My exam was scheduled for 4:00, I started it at 4:15 (sundown) in a conference room in the engineering building. As would be expected it got dark quickly, and suddenly I was taking an exam in a room with no lights at night. Fortunately, I have a flash light in my backpack.
My initial setup, note the sealed envelope with the exam in it.

My view after about 20 minutes (and this is the actual picture I took with the flash off, not just a black plate, if you open it you can see the small amount of light reflecting off of my watch in the right hand side, you can also see the table to some degree).
The same view, but with my flashlight on (so this is how I took the exam).

Finally the same image but with the flash on, you can see the flashlight on the exam booklet (if you look close you can even see the compass). And yes, I was taking the exam by myself with no supervison, although to be fair it is rather hard to cheat on an open book, open notes, open quiz, and open home work exam.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Title to be determined

After requesting to get access to a directory for my new job I received a very helpful message: "If you have any questions of problems, contact or visit the following: to be determined"

Fortunately for me the only problem or question that I have is the following:
Who/Where do I contact or visit!?!?!?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What's Inside a Diaper? Project

We have some left over, fairly low quality [i.e. leaky], WalMart-brand diapers (White Cloud and Parent's Choice) in a size too small.  So I figured that it is time for...a Science Experiment!
I chose one diaper, and prepared the specimen for dissection:

After some preliminary incisions to remove some connective tissue, I was able to peel back the outer layer, revealing the inner guts of the diaper:

This flaky, dusty, papery, almost cotton-like material was laced with little beads:

Upon addition of water, I noticed two phases of absorption.  First there was a rapid, although weak absorption by the papery stuff.  This was followed by the second, stronger, slower absorption phase when the beads started taking up the water.
This two-stage method is fairly clever, and efficient in vivo.  The first step rapidly pulls the, well, "moisture" away from the, erhm, "source," decreasing the likelihood of instant leaks, while the second phase stores the "moisture" well for a longer period of time, thus allowing the source's "handlers" to sleep a little bit longer.

But just how much moisture can these things hold?
The dry weight of the absorbent part of the diaper is around 20 grams.  I added water until it just stopped absorbing:
The added weight of the absorbed water was around 600 grams (and the absorbed volume was similarly around 600 ml).  So, the diaper can hold around 30 times its weight in fluid.  (And these are the cheap diapers!)  I was pretty impressed.
Here are the beads at near-full absorbency:

We still have a bunch of these diapers left, so if there are any further experiments you'd like to see, please let me know in the comments.

And now you know What's Inside a Diaper.  Aside from the obvious, that is.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cinnamon Buns for Fun

Last week I made cinnamon buns. I got the recipe from Alton Browns cooking show Good Eats and I recommend it anyone who ever wanted to make their own cinnamon buns. While it was a slight pain to work with dough that has butter in it (I couldn’t use my mothers Parve Kitchen Aid, so had to do it by hand) and it’s a test of patience to let the dough sit overnight in your fridge before they are baked, I think it is well worth it.

Before the baking.

After the baking and glazing, you can see the glaze in the pot in the left corner of this picture. It should be noted I used Alton Browns doughnut glaze recipe instead of the glaze in the recipe.

And of course the close up.