Friday, June 24, 2011

but i know what you want me to do

Been a while, but here we go. The Heavy - No Time:

Thursday, June 23, 2011

the lost month

So, not quite a month since my post about weight loss, but figured that I'd go ahead and update anyway.

As we pushed on into June, I had managed to drop to 355 (lost around 30lbs in 2 months) and was feeling kind of cocky. On the 10th, I took a 3 day trip to the beach and induldged in carbs. When I got back home, I found I was at 370 and got pretty disheartened about the whole deal. It wasn't until earlier this week that I started getting back on the low carb regimen, and I'm now down to 362.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

maybe that's why it's called spooky

So, I've been reading this quantum mechanics for idiots book recently, mainly because I'm a nerd but also because everyone time I've tried to talk with someone In the Know(tm) about QM I get a "don't worry about it" in response. The book I'm reading is Quantum: A Guide for the Perplexed by Jim Al-Khalili and it does a pretty good job of both not descending too far into the mathematics and acknowledging that basically everything is counterintuitive and the natural response is to say "no wai! lies!".

Any rate, my big epiphany was that everything at the atomic level appears to be indeterministic. Which is highly unsettling because all that stuff we learned in high school is based on the assumption that we live in a deterministic universe: that you can know everything about anything and make predictions accordingly. We've used these tools to split the atom, go to the moon, approximate how long ago dinosaurs roamed the earth, hurl data around the globe, and create machines that can peer inside your head and let a doctor see if blood vessels in your brain are healthy or not.

And it's basically all been an approximation.

Friday, June 3, 2011

laser table mark iii

So, I've mostly completed the frame for the "Mark III" version of the laser table. I decided not to use the previous version because of a change in options to mount the lasers. The drafting table just didn't have enough space for the flush mounts.

The features of the new table are:

* built from 2x4s so it's sturdier (but also heavier)
* the table top is hinged and has legs built in so it can be used flat or lifted to be an angled surface
* used pocket screws to hold stuff together... looks less "engineery" while joins are stronger

What remains to be done:

* figure out some way to mount stops for the tabletop legs to hold it at an angle
* cut some mounting rabbets out of moulding to hold the plexiglass surface just below the center of the laser beam
* cut the plexiglass down to fit in the rabbets :)
* mount the flush mounts at the correct angle to cover the entire surface
* rejigger electrical stuff to run off floppy disk power lead
* see if running lasers in series will work better than in parallel (currently using the parallel setup)
* wax paper on acrylic and see if the projector works

Then I can start on the software phase.

I should probably also think about attaching a trap for the laser light at the edge of the tabletop, but for right now I just want this sucker to work.

Way more info after the jump.