Archive for March, 2008

Flat Kailyn's Spanish Adventure

March 25, 2008 By: erik Category: Colindres, Photos, Spain, Videos

As you may recall, I have been tasked with showing around a two-dimensional guest from Kansas. Unfortunately, it turns out that taking photos of interesting scenes with a paper girl in the foreground is quite difficult, especially considering the extremely windy and rainy weather we’ve been having lately. So I’ve decided that it would be best if a lot of Kailyn’s adventure was done, shall we say, digitally.

Distance to the Horizon

March 25, 2008 By: erik Category: Geeky, Math, Musings, Science

Distance To Horizon (diagram)A couple years ago, a friend and I, while staying at a beachside condo, were standing on the balcony staring at the flat, distant horizon, and we got to wondering, “I wonder how far we can see right now?” and “I wonder how much further we can see up here on the 9th floor than the people out there on the beach?” Unable to resist, I got out a pen and paper and started drawing circles and right triangles, and we quickly had our answer. I was pleased that I still had the trigonometry knowledge to figure out the answer to such a question.

So hold on tight, because here we go, on a trigonometric journey to the end of the Earth! (more…)


March 24, 2008 By: erik Category: Complaining, Musings, Politics

Have you ever noticed how, every time there is some sort of terrorist attack, the very first thing that all the politicians do is say, “I condemn this attack.” And the second thing they say is that the attack was an act of cowardice and that the attackers are cowards. This confuses the hell out of me. Perhaps someone can explain it to me. It sure seems to me that someone committing a terrorist attack, whether it be a suicide bomber in a crowded market, or an airplane hijacker, or even a pistol-carrying assassin, is anything but a coward.

Ark Under Construction

March 24, 2008 By: erik Category: Colindres, Complaining, House, Photos

Easter WeatherJust a little more wacky weather whinging. All last night there was hail pelting our windows, and today I see that we’ve got several more days of downpours in the future. It plainly does not mainly rain in the plains in Spain…how inane.

Rainy Night

March 21, 2008 By: erik Category: Colindres, Complaining, Photos

These are two photos I took last night and tonight. The weather for the Easter holiday has been downright repugnant. The sky in the first picture was as clear as it’s been, and clouded over shortly after.

Cody's Cuentos – Podcasting Fairy Tales in Spanish

March 21, 2008 By: erik Category: Spain, Stuff I Found

Cody's CuentosEleena, the woman who runs the Voices en Español blog, a podcast-based blog oriented towards English speakers learning Spanish, found my blog a few months ago, and has since become a regular visitor and commenter. I’ve also been following her work on Voices en Español. As a fellow American living in Spain, she’s got a perspective on learning the language that allows her to post on specific areas, crucial to normal life, that most Spanish classes neglect, like proper pronunciation and telephone etiquette.

Surely that seems possible

March 20, 2008 By: erik Category: Geeky, Internet, Music, News

This happens time and time again.

Back in 1995, when I got in trouble for connecting my computer to the computer of my hallmate with an arcnet cable because we were “breaking curfew” at the boarding school, we thought, “What we really need is a radio transmitter and receiver to connect our network cards to. Surely that seems possible!”

And a few years later, Wi-Fi was born.

Tinkerbell Lighting

March 20, 2008 By: erik Category: Geeky, Photos

LED SketchingI’m not sure how I found it, but I was recently fascinated by this article about using an LED flashlight as a light source for still life photography. I was especially excited because I had only recently acquired, for the first time ever, a camera that could take long (multi-second) exposures and an LED flashlight.

The other night, I thought I’d give it a try. Because I don’t have a remote control, and my little miniature tripod is so flimsy that the camera moves when I press the shutter, I had to set the camera on ‘timer’ mode, press the shutter, let the camera settle from the movement of me hitting the shutter, run across the room to turn off the lights, and feel my way back over to where the camera was by the time the shutter opened.

At first, I tried waving the flashlight in front of the camera by hand, but the results weren’t very pleasing. The lines broke at sharp angles as I changed direction. To smooth things out, I had the idea to dangle the flashlight from a string, thus producing nice sweeping arcs.

Porous Pachyderm

March 19, 2008 By: erik Category: House, Photos

Porous PachydermToday’s post is another edition of “Erik can’t think of what to blog about so he’s photographing items on his desk, many of which he’s not sure how they got there, but they sort of ‘belong’ now”. I think this might be my favorite of the objects that stare at me all day. It definitely took the most skill to create. I’ve had her for many years now. Several years ago she fell and chipped a tusk.

The amazing thing about this carved wooden elephant is hard to spot at first glance. Most people never notice its secret, I’m sure. See anything special about it? (more…)

Fetch Robot

March 18, 2008 By: erik Category: Stuff I Found, Videos

Arms tired of throwing that ball? Yet Fido demands that you continue to play Fetch with him? Boy, have we got the solution for you! It’s a robot that will play Fetch with your dog until he wears his little feet out. The video you’re about to see is the perfect combination of geeky robotics and adorable tail-wagging wiener dogs, with a toddler thrown in, just in case the pooch wasn’t cute enough.