Archive for the ‘Experiments’

5/8/13 – Fibonacci Day Viral Experiment

May 08, 2013 By: erik Category: Experiments, Geeky, Internet

Happy Fibonacci DaySeveral months ago, amongst random meandering thoughts, I realized that there would be a day this year that would match three consecutive numbers on the Fibonacci sequence. For those of you who can’t remember your math teacher’s face, the Fibonacci sequence is the sequence of numbers that starts with 0 and 1, and creates each number in the sequence by summing the previous two. So it goes: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89… You may notice that three of those numbers are 5, 8, and 13, which are today’s date. In the United States and nowhere else. Anyway, this sequence is important throughout mathematics, including the awesomeness of the Golden Ratio and its surprising, but not so surprising when you think about it, occurrence in Nature.
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Learning Lytro – Light Field Camera Review

November 13, 2012 By: erik Category: Experiments, Photography, Photos, Reviews

LytroI had never heard of a “light field” camera until I began hearing marketing buzz about the Lytro camera last year. To be perfectly honest, I still don’t really understand how the technology works. I have a pretty good layman’s grasp of how normal lens optics work to focus an image onto film or a CCD sensor, and how and why focusing at a certain depth works, but the “light field” camera concept still seems a bit like magic. They say that it captures not only the intensity and color of the light hitting each sensor pixel, but the direction of said photon as well. Huh? And somehow this magically allows the focal length (what depth in the image is in focus) to be modified after the moment has been captured, just like they do in Hollywood movies and television where a detective tells a lab geek to “enhance this area of the photograph here” and they can now magically read the perp’s license plate. Like I said, it still seems a bit like magic, but it really, really works.
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Egocentric Light Painting

September 05, 2012 By: erik Category: Experiments, Photography, Photos, Weird

Light painting: erikrasOn Flickr, I follow the work of this Finnish guy, named Janne Parviainen, who does absolutely crazy things with a trick photography technique called “light painting”, which involves opening the camera’s shutter and then “painting” with an LED in three dimensions. In the same way that a long exposure photograph of cars at night shows only the headlights and no cars since the cars don’t reflect enough light from one position to leave an image on the film or digital sensor, the body of a light painter is also invisible in such photographs.
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Blindfolded Wine Taste Test: Can you distinguish white from red? Cheap from expensive?

June 11, 2012 By: erik Category: Experiments, Fighting Stupidity, Science, Skepticism, Spain, Wine

Blind Wine Taste TestHave you ever heard the claim that some wine experts, when blindfolded, cannot actually tell white wine from red wine? My gut reaction was the same as everyone’s, “That’s ridiculous, they’re so different!!” But I know enough about psychology and illusions to know that the wine industry is mostly bullshit, and it’s very possible that we might be kidding ourselves. Ever since hearing this claim, I’ve been dying to run an experiment on myself. This past weekend, I finally had the time and wine and test subjects… My parents, wife and I drank wine blindfolded to see how good we were at sensing the wine in the glass without our eyes.
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Father and Daughter Dancing

November 15, 2011 By: erik Category: Experiments, Geeky, Offspring, Photos, Photoshop

Dancing with NoraToday I finally got around to attempting a bit of Photoshop trickery I’ve been wanting to try, creating a photo of me dancing with my two-year-old daughter where our sizes are adjusted, either me down to her height, or her up to mine. It turns out that this is very, very hard to do well. The principal difficulty is aligning the hands, in space and with the proper angles, so that they appear to touch. Of the five or so photos I took to work with, I chose the best two to merge together. The result is a photo where the viewer is never really fooled into thinking that the two people are actually interacting physically.
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My Eye

November 11, 2011 By: erik Category: Experiments, Photos, Scary, Videos

Erik EyeToday I discovered a macro feature of my video camera lens that I had forgotten existed. The first thing I did was pick up a one dollar bill that I have on my desk for some reason and examine POTUS1′s face. Impressed, I decided I needed to record a video of something very close up. Not having an ant farm or a pet praying mantis, I decided the best subject for my first macro video should be my gorgeous greenish-yellow eyes. It took a couple attempts to figure out how to best, without too much effort, keep the camera and my head from moving around too much. I ended up sitting on the floor with the camera resting on my desk. Clearly, this level of intimacy required some creepy background music, so I found some.
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Roomba Eye View

September 13, 2011 By: erik Category: Experiments, House, Reviews, Videos, Weird

Roomba

Just over a year ago, in May of 2010, we bought Roomba. We had two recommendations from friends, so we splurged the 300€ and bought a robot to vacuum our floors. Initially it seemed pricy, but it’s some of the best 300€ we’ve ever spent. As my wife said to me soon after we bought it…

I think I like the Roomba. It doesn’t clean as well as I do, but it cleans about as well as you do.

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Wall Walking

September 01, 2011 By: erik Category: Colindres, Experiments, Offspring, Photos, Photoshop, Videos

Wall Walking CompositeEvery kid has done it and loved it. What could be better than walking on top of a wall, holding your parent’s hand, up at grownup eye level, carefully placing each step, enjoying the illusion of danger. Last Sunday, we took a stroll up to Colindres de Arriba, the picturesque village within a town just up a hill past the town hall. We spent about thirty minutes picking blackberries and then continued on to the medieval church. If I had been planning on it before we left, I’d have taken a better camera, but it occurred to me while we were up there that I could take a series of photographs and photoshop them together into a motion composite. I’m fairly pleased with the result.
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Maneki Neko

August 12, 2011 By: erik Category: Complaining, Experiments, Photoshop, Weird

Maneki Neko (thumbnail)In general, I am very much against knickknacks, a.k.a. crap you have to clean the dust off every once in a while. So perhaps you can imagine my dismay when my daughter and mother-in-law bring home one of those horribly gaudy asian waving cat things. Apparently it had caught my daughter’s toddler eye (and why wouldn’t it?) in the local chinos shop, and her grandmother had bought it for her. “Mimi mimi mimi”, they said to each other mimicking the not-entirely-unlike-the-Nazi-salute gesture. I facepalmed and sighed.
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Motion Composite Dives

July 22, 2011 By: erik Category: Experiments, Photos, Photoshop

Paul DivesRecently, when I was with my family at a swimming pool, I had the opportunity to use the fast shutter rate of my DSLR camera to take some quick photographs of them. I took the photographs specifically with the intention of practicing a Photoshop technique called motion composition or motion multiplication. The idea is that you make a composite photograph of a subject that is in motion by combining various copies of the subject in different positions.
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