Thursday, January 31, 2013

Slip 'N Slide Escalator

The Fulton Street Subway Station escalator-turned-into-stairs has now been upgraded. It is now an escalator-turned-into-stairs-turned-into-slip-n'-slide:

Sunday, January 27, 2013

When your Youtube video is copied

I am a huge fan of creative commons and remix culture and so when I saw someone had ripped my kickstarter video and uploaded it to youtube with the text "Please contribute to this kickstarter campaign" I thought that was great - getting the message out!

I was a little weirded out when some actual new sites and blogger embedded the ripped youtube video instead of using Kickstarters nice embed feature. I uploaded my own, HD version to youtube once I noticed this, but it was too late. The version uploaded by "tellytubenow" quickly gathered over 5,000 views and topped youtube searches for Loud Bicycle, burying the "official" video.

After the Kickstarter was over I left a comment on the video; asking him to link to the main Loud Bicycle site instead of the Kickstarter. I thought this would be the end of it but this tellytube character did the strangest thing - I was really surprised and confused.
He disabled comments on the video (hiding mine) and changed the video description to
"Update: Thanks everyone for your support!"
The guy actually removed the link to the Kickstarter he had there earlier! It seemed almost like he was pretending the project was his own. Since then tellytube went ahead and deleted the video ... anyway, it would be great if you "liked" the real video below so that it can recover in the rankings, but if not - that is okay too.

Lesson learned: People love youtube, if you share a video somewhere - also post a copy to youtube.

Feel free to check out some of my other youtube videos going way back to 2006 here.

Also a shout-out to Joel who told me several times to upload the Kickstarter video to youtube ... I should have listened to you Joel!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A business card upgrade

As I mentioned in the past, I now have a (fairly) new job. I used to be a doctoral candidate,
but, since graduating, now I'm a Member of the Research Staff at Riverside Research:
I've also learned that, for some reason, the new hip style for business cards requires you to have a full color, fancy back to the card:

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Visualize Max-Q in Shuttle Night Launch

This is a photo of a night launch of the space shuttle, notice how the brightness changes as it gets higher in the sky? Here is another example of the same thing. I have some theories about why this is, but I'm not sure which one is right:

  • The main engine throttles down during Max-Q: I would love this explanation because I think it is a great, visual demonstration of the concept - but I'm afraid that the main engines blue flame is too dim compared with the SRBs to have such a big effect.
  • The angle of the shuttle trajectory changes: This makes the most sense, the change in angle makes the shuttle appear to move slower across the sky (even though it is moving faster), leaving more time to illuminate the film (or ccd) and a resulting brighter spot. An angle change could also make the flame look brighter or dimmer.

Any other ideas? Leave them in the comments.

The photo is by James Vernacotola and it won an honorable mention in the 2012 National Geographic photo contest.

To make my question a little clearer I've added this photo showing the confusing increase in brightness.

Edit: Not even 12 hours after posting we have an answer, thanks to a suggestion by Luke and a helpful link from Eli (see comments). The height of the shuttle at the point of extra brightness was about 20,000 ft. which puts it right in the middle of tropical cirrus cloud altitude resulting in a bright spot even though the actual rocket was not any brighter (likely dimmer).

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Lost in translation

I don't speak or read any Korean, however, I was able to understand at least one thing on this package of "Roasted Salt":
Is there really that much of a market in Korea for kosher products?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Loud Bicycle is funded

It has been really exciting - and now Loud Bicycle is finally funded (with the help of a few more news articles).
Now on to the next stage of the project!

LoudBicycle at the Waterworks from LoudBicycle on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Scientist performs experiment

I was recently browsing the Los Alamos National Laboratory's Flickr page, which contains many astonishing photos, including a copy of Fermi's firsthand account of the Trinity Test (and his famous paper drop estimation). I also came across this picture, titled "Scientist performs experiment":
So, here's the question: What experiment is this scientist performing?  Leave your guesses in the comments.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Another update for Loud Bicycle

This is going to be quick since I'm short on time this week, but:
We passed the Kickstarter goal last night!
An article I wrote appeared in the critically acclaimed Good magazine here. Eli helped me a lot to make it a good article.

An article about the horn also appeared in our local New Jersey Sunday newspaper The Star Ledger, hopefully making my parents proud.

And last but not least: WIRED magazine! Tim wrote a really great article highlighting a lot of points I think are really important.
You can tell from both the logos and the articles which of the organizations linked above are are making the shift into digital media.

Thursday, January 03, 2013


In case you've ever wondered what a can of orange spray paint looks like if it's run over, I provide this picture as a public service: