Good Night Gracie

Posted: January 29th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Blog | Tags: | Comments Off on Good Night Gracie

After watching her health & strength decline in the past year and a half, Liuhwen & I decided that it was time to let Gracie rest peacefully. Since mid-December she has been suffering from a bad cough which even antibiotics couldn’t help so we finally decided to take her to the vet one last time.

Gracie came into my world in the early summer of 2003 from my neighbor Harriet Zucker who rescued her from a Long Island shelter just in time to save her from an early end. One morning as I was getting a cup of coffee at the Blue Whiting, one of Red Hook’s several delis and Harriet prevailed upon me to look at a picture of a new dog she had just rescued. The image was looking down on a scrawny black-and-white flecked dog that looked skinny and neglected. But she looked at the camera with the cutest look and I guess I just couldn’t resist. So when Harriet asked me if I would take care of her “just for a few days” and though I had no interest in getting a dog, I relented and the rest is history…

Gracie you will be missed. Good-bye!


Laser Lessons

Posted: January 25th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Blog, Work | Tags: , | Comments Off on Laser Lessons

I love my PLS 180 laser level. Bought it last year for a metalwork installation job and I wonder how I ever did anything without it (I vaguely remember using strings for something… but how did I level them? no matter….)

Last week¬† I did learn the hard way that despite how useful they are, lasers are unforgiving when you treat them badly. Mine was faithfully stuck via magnet mount to a beam in my kitchen renovation in Park Slope when someone (who will remain Nameless….) knocked it off while we were putting insulation in between joists. 8′ fall down to the floor and voila! It’s out of level 1 inch per 4 feet now.

Since we were about to install the ceiling framing and I needed a level reference I had to improvise quickly. I managed to set up the laser so it would project a beam across the room and I very carefully shimmed the bracket while manually checking the level with a a spirit level. It wasn’t as perfect as I would have liked, but it was better than buying a new laser (and trying to remember what I did with strings….)

Anyway – it went off to PLS today via next day air. Hopefully we’ll have it back before we have to put up the cabinets.

MTA Subway Parts!

Posted: January 25th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Blog | Comments Off on MTA Subway Parts!

Subway Globe

Master Controller

Want some collectible parts from MTA subways & buses? Check out the MTA’s memorabilia & collectibles sale page. Globes, horns, doors, signs, all kinds of cool stuff…

Michele De Lucchi Models

Posted: January 16th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Blog | Tags: | Comments Off on Michele De Lucchi Models

Sometimes the models are so much better than the real thing could be…

via notcot

Bacterial Gearing

Posted: January 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Blog | Tags: | Comments Off on Bacterial Gearing

Scientists at the Argonne National Laboratory & Northwestern University have figured out how to get bacteria to swim in swarms big enough to spin microscopic gears.

Not sure how this is useful but I’m sure some clever soul is already working on it.

via notcot

Design Sketches

Posted: January 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Blog | Tags: , | Comments Off on Design Sketches

Sometimes the sketches are more interesting than the finished product…

via designboom

Underwater Robot crosses Atlantic

Posted: January 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Blog | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Underwater Robot crosses Atlantic

Traveling from New Jersey to Spain in 221 days, the Scarlet Knight is the first autonomous vehicle to safely cross the Atlantic ocean. Traveling mostly underwater at depths of up to 600 feet, the device was controlled remotely from a control room at Rutgers University as it collected measurements of temperature and salinity of water.

I don’t know if it is possible for us to manage the environment, but if so I’m sure that lots of real time data will be needed. I’m no expert but it seems the oceans are pretty important in our ecosystem… and it looks like robotic vehicles will be helping collect oceanic data.

via slashdot

Scrap Lamp by Midas

Posted: January 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Blog | Tags: , | Comments Off on Scrap Lamp by Midas

I’m always wondering what do do with scrap wood. Using scrap wood from their furniture production,¬† Midas designed this nifty lamp that you can play with.

Now I’ll feel extra guilty when I just throw out my scraps….

via notcot