Archives for: November 2005

Trains are fucking scary.

posted by graham on 05.11.22 at 17:23, Missleaneus, coffee, random, seattle, Leave a comment Permalink

I learned a valuable lesson today... never assume that an old set of train tracks is no longer in use.

Espresso Machine Salesman: [calmly] You might want to move your truck forward or back farther, there's a train coming.
Me: [runs outside, sees train 25 feet from truck, the rear of which is hanging over the tracks] SHIT! FUCK! SHIT!
Train: [Honks twice]
Me: [trying to start ruck as train inches closer] SHIT! FUCK! SHIT!

Fly fierce chariot...

posted by collin on 05.11.15 at 23:14, nonsense, random, 2 comments Permalink

The family lost two automobiles today, one to a siezed engine and one to sale. I don't really care about the siezed Toyota, but I'm gonna miss my Rover on account of my being a sentimental bastard.


[Note: this isn't my Rover, mine was green and in much worse shape]
Comment from: graham [Member] Email · http://nonplatonic.com/index.php/graham
The 914 is still allright, I hope?
Permalink 11/21/05 @ 13:20
Comment from: collin [Member] Email · http://nonplatonic.com/index.php/collin
I did start the 914 when I was back home for Thanksgiving. It turned over surprisingly easily, considering it hasn't been driven in a few months. Though it did blow some fuel lines and sprayed gas every where. But besides that, it's fine.
Permalink 11/29/05 @ 20:56

Physics is more fun than math.

posted by collin on 05.11.14 at 16:56, nonsense, visual, science, random, Leave a comment Permalink

Sometimes I wish I had stayed in physics.

Now I know what you're thinking, "Wow... some high speed photos of a splash." But that's not what they are. The time between frames is on the order of a second. What substance is it? Everyone's favorite goopy plaything, oobleck or cornstarch and water. Just vibrate it at ~120Hz and watch the amazing nonlinear dynamics. There's a video and a copy of the Phys. Rev. Let. paper on the lab's page. You should really watch the video, it's crazy. [Though I had some troubles with it not playing in quicktime. And I'll mirror the paper and video incase they disappear]

For those who don't want to read the paper or watch the video [through you should really watch the video], here's two paragraphs from an Ars Journal post [where I saw this] that sums it up better than I can:

The research team created a phase diagram for this system as a function of acceleration and frequency. They found four distinct regions: unstable, meta-stable, stable, and delocalized. Unstable is just like it sounds—the holes collapse quickly after formation. In the meta-stable region holes would form, however they would collapse after some amount of time (<100,000 cycles of the mechanism). The stable region is where the holes would exist for very long times and not collapse. The final region—delocalized—is very interesting. It was found that the rims of the holes in this region would experience a build up of material. This build up of material (the finger) could grow as high as 2cm, before falling back down and creating a new hole where this process would be repeated. This would become a chain reaction that would spread across the surface, turning it into a writhing mass.

For those thinking, "What's so new about this? People have known that corn starch solutions have odd behavior for years," the research team also showed that the same phenomena occurs for solutions of small glass beads, 1-20 microns in diameter. While the exact mechanism of why this happens is unknown at this time, the researchers believe it be due to the shear thickening behavior of the fluid. Shear thickening fluids have a "critical shear rate," where they transition from a thick fluid to a very thick fluid, it is theorized that the shear rate at the edges of the holes is very close to this critical shear rate allowing the holes to be stable.

This begs the question, "Anybody know how to build a function generator and where to steal some nice piezo transducers?"

RMS is in my cell phone book.

posted by graham on 05.11.09 at 11:25, Missleaneus, technology, 2 comments Permalink

No kidding.

Comment from: graham [Member] Email · http://nonplatonic.com/index.php/graham
What, no snide remarks? I know how we all love RMS here...
Permalink 11/11/05 @ 16:39
Comment from: collin [Member] Email · http://nonplatonic.com/index.php/collin
So have you called him?

What's the rule? Wait at least two days or you seem needy...
Permalink 11/14/05 @ 17:00

Wireless Networks at the King County Regional Justice Center:

posted by graham on 05.11.09 at 11:14, Missleaneus, politics, technology, seattle, Leave a comment Permalink

Forest Classics

posted by graham on 05.11.07 at 15:15, technology, Toys, Leave a comment Permalink


This is about the coolest site I've ever seen. They sell model engines of all sorts, as well as devices you can run off of the engines. See that steam-powered LeMans racer model above? You can buy one that has been adapted for radio control. How sweet is that? I can almost see myself paying the $300 price tag. Oh, and that Stirling engine is pretty cool too.