Tag Archives: picture

Cutting down history

10 Jan

Yosemite trip – Heaven on Earth

18 Jun

Next summer’s epic hike will bring us back to the valley here, but there really won’t be a chance to see everything. So what’s one to do? Make two trips!

Mid may and the melt was in full force so all the falls were at peak flow. If nature is your thing then Yosemite needs to be on your bucket list.

I’ll post some more later as I get around to it – this is just what I pulled off my GoPro this morning.

These are in the order they were taken. It kinda goes from “Oh, that’s cool” to “Ooooooh, holy crap.”

First real view of the valley:

El Capitan under clouds. There’s really no sense of scale here because everything is so massive, but here’s an idea – this wall is is 3,000 ft tall.

Bridalveil Fall

Merced River

El Cap minus the clouds

Cathedral Beach

800 miles in 4 days in a Challenger R/T

View of Yosemite Falls from Swinging Bridge

Midday drinks at The Ahwahnee

Merced River

Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls (2,425 ft) – this is the 6th tallest waterfall in the world and the tallest in North America.

Lower Yosemite Fall (320 ft)- there are people on the rocks for scale

View of the eastern part of the valley from Glacier Point -Half Dome, Nevada Fall, and Vernal Fall out there

Western part of the valley from Glacier Point – that’s Yosemite Falls in the middle

Sequoias in the Mariposa Grove

And finally “Tunnel View.” Probably the most recognizable visual from the park

The Fundamentals of Small Arms

23 Apr

I did my CHL requalifying test this weekend so guns are on my mind…

As I was doing my range test one instructor, who is an Army soldier just back from Afghanistan, leaned over my shoulder and said, “Damn, guy… seriously?”

The other instructor who is former Air Force Security Forces, did private security and is now a police officer asked where I learned to shoot and why I don’t shoot competitively 😀 I was only the 7th perfect score he’d had in any of his classes.

I was kinda proud…


50 shots (ranges 3, 7, 15 yards at varying time intervals), 250/250 pts.




Anyway, since it’s on my mind here’s a good set of videos from the Army Pictorial Service.






Interoil – 705 mmcf per day picture

15 Dec

Old pic, but still incredible:

Jan 22, 2010

InterOil 705MMCF per day well

This is a photo of a well test last month in Papua New Guinea.

The well is making 705 MMCF/d and 11,200 BBL/d of condensate while*flowing at 1258 psi through a 4-3/8″ choke -*This is a new world record.

Notice the water curtain to keep the rig cool



** Five of these wells could beat the output of all of the wells in the hottest gas play on the onshore United States, Barnett Shale.

** Encana produced 1.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in 2008 – 6 of these wells would best Encana’s annual gas production.

Empty Space

16 Nov

This whole space thing… it’s big… and it’s full of nothing at all.

I can’t actually put the code in this post, so you have to go to the link for the actual pic/scale


And you thought there was a lot of empty space in the solar system. Well, there’s even more nothing inside an atom. A hydrogen atom is only about a ten millionth of a millimeter in diameter, but the proton in the middle is a hundred thousand times smaller, and the electron whizzing around the outside is a thousand times smaller than THAT. The rest of the atom is empty. I tried to picture it, and I couldn’t. So I put together this page – and I still can’t picture it.

The page is scaled so that the smallest thing on it, the electron, is one pixel. That makes the proton, this big ball right next to us, a thousand pixels across, and the distance between them is… yep, fifty million pixels (not a hundred million, because we’re only showing the radius of the atom. ie: from the middle to the edge). If your monitor displays 72 pixels to the inch, then that works out to eleven miles – making this possibly the biggest page you’ve ever seen (I personally have seen one that was set up to be even bigger, though its exact size did not seem to represent anything specific).

I recommend trying to scroll from here to the right a screen at a time, just to see how long it takes the little thumb in the scrollbar to move visibly. True masochists can try to scroll through the whole eleven miles – but the scenery along the way is pretty bleak.

I used to think that things like rocks and buildings and my own skeleton were fairly solid. But they’re made up of atoms, and atoms, as you can see here, contain so little actual material that they can barely be said to exist.

We are all phantoms.

(Note: users of older versions of Internet Explorer may not be able to scroll manually all the way to the right edge. If you want to actually see the electron, you may need to click HERE. Oddly, for some other users, this link will not work. Hopefully there is no one for whom both are true.)

If you don’t want to actually scroll through it…

Here’s the proton.

Now… the electron is ONE PIXEL… 11 miles away.

Bonus points if you can name what that “proton” is actually a picture of.

From Discover mag…

20 Things You Didn’t Know about Nothing

1. There is vastly more nothing than something. Roughly 74 percent of the universe is “nothing,” or what physicists call dark energy; 22 percent is dark matter, particles we cannot see. Only 4 percent is baryonic matter, the stuff we call something.

2. And even something is mostly nothing. Atoms overwhelmingly consist of empty space. Matter’s solidity is an illusion caused by the electric fields created by subatomic particles.

3. There is more and more nothing every second. In 1998 astronomers measuring the expansion of the universe determined that dark energy is pushing apart the universe at an ever-accelerating speed. The discovery of nothing—and its ability to influence the fate of the cosmos—is considered the most important astronomical finding of the past decade.

4. But even nothing has a weight. The energy in dark matter is equivalent to a tiny mass; there is about one pound of dark energy in a cube of empty space 250,000 miles on each side.

5. In space, no one can hear you scream: Sound, a mechanical wave, cannot travel through a vacuum. Without matter to vibrate through, there is only silence.

6. So what if Kramer falls in a forest? Luckily, electromagnetic waves, including light and radio waves, need no medium to travel through, letting TV stations broadcast endless reruns of Seinfeld, the show about nothing.

7. Light can travel through a vacuum, but there is nothing to refract it. Alas for extraterrestrial romantics, stars do not twinkle in outer space.

8. Black holes are not holes or voids; they are the exact opposite of nothing, being the densest concentration of mass known in the universe.

9. “Zero” was first seen in cuneiform tablets written around 300 B.C. by Babylonians who used it as a placeholder (to distinguish 36 from 306 or 360, for example). The concept of zero in its mathematical sense was developed in India in the fifth century.

10. Any number divided by zero is . . . nothing, not even zero. The equation is mathematically impossible.

11. It is said that Abdülhamid II, sultan of the Ottoman Empire in the early 1900s, had censors expunge references to H2O from chemistry books because he was sure it stood for “Hamid the Second is nothing.”

12. Medieval art was mostly flat and two-dimensional until the 15th century, when the Florentine architect Filippo Brunelleschi conceived of the vanishing point, the place where parallel lines converge into nothingness. This allowed for the development of perspective in art.

13. Aristotle once wrote, “Nature abhors a vacuum,” and so did he. His complete rejection of vacuums and voids and his subsequent influence on centuries of learning prevented the adoption of the concept of zero in the Western world until around the 13th century, when Italian bankers found it to be extraordinarily useful in financial transactions.

14. Vacuums do not suck things. They create spaces into which the surrounding atmosphere pushes matter.

15. Creatio ex nihilo, the belief that the world was created out of nothing, is one of the most common themes in ancient myths and religions.

16. Current theories suggest that the universe was created out of a state of vacuum energy, that is, nothing.

17. But to a physicist there is no such thing as nothing. Empty space is instead filled with pairs of particles and antiparticles, called virtual particles, that quickly form and then, in accordance with the law of energy conservation, annihilate each other in about 10-25 second.

18. So Aristotle was right all along.

19. These virtual particles popping in and out of existence create energy. In fact, according to quantum mechanics, the energy contained in all the power plants and nuclear weapons in the world doesn’t equal the theoretical energy contained in the empty spaces between these words.

20. In other words, nothing could be the key to the theory of everything.

More food for thought re: scale of the universe

Award winning astrophotographer Thierry Legault wanted to image the Hubble Space Telescope and space shuttle Atlantis traveling together around Earth.
But how? The pair wouldn’t fly over his hometown in France during the ongoing servicing mission. To catch the rare meeting of spaceships, he decided to do some traveling of his own–all the way to Florida. Yesterday, from a location 100 kilometers south of the Kennedy Space Center, he pointed his telescope at the sun and there they were:

“I took this picture of Atlantis and HST transiting the sun on May 13th at 12:17 p.m. EDT. It was just before the shuttle reached out with its robotic arm to grapple Hubble,” says Legault. “The two spaceships were at an altitude of 600 km and they zipped across the sun in only 0.8 seconds.” He captured the split-second transit using a solar-filtered Takahashi 5-inch refracting telescope and a Canon 5D Mark II digital camera.

Oooooh, she’s bendy!

8 Oct

Boeing 787 during a stress test. There’s ~25 ft of deflection at the wingtips.

That’s some seriously badass engineering.

Larger version here:


Wing ultimate load test complete on 787
Posted by Guy Norris at 3/29/2010 2:27 AM CDT

Boeing completed the ultimate limit-load test on the static test 787 airframe, ZY997, at Everett on March 28. The test – officially dubbed Condition 18b – evaluates the ability of the wing-body structure to sustain loads equal to 150% design limit load – or the most extreme forces ever expected to be seen in service, and its clearance marks the passing of a significant hurdle on the way to FAA certification.

During the test, which occurred with 14.9 psi fuselage pressure, the wingtips deflected upwards by approximately 25 ft. The test, which did not continue until the wings failed, was also a key evaluation of the strengthened side-of-body modification which in June last year caused a six-month delay to the start of 787 flight tests. The deflection of the higher-aspect ratio composite wing was greater than that of the metallic 777 wing, the last major primary structure to undergo “wing ultimate up-bending” tests in Boeing’s sprawling Everett site more than 15 years ago. The 777 wing failed at 154%, having deflected 24 ft.

Internally Boeing is hailing the test as a major success, though externally the company is sounding a note of caution. “The initial results of the ultimate-load test are positive. More extensive analysis and review are required before the test can be deemed a success,” says Boeing.


2 Oct

Shot from our seats at Game 1 of the ALDS, Fri Sep 29, 2011…

Rangers v Phillies this year, Josh Hamilton MVP?

Unusual Internal Combustion Engines

15 Aug

Pretty interesting stuff here:


Not much time to write on this one but there are a ton of explanations, cutaway diagrams, animations, etc at the link…



This cam engine has no connection beyond a coincidence of names with The Michell swashplate engineof 1920, which worked on a completely different principle. I have referred to this one throughout as The German Michel Cam Engine to underline the point.

The original documentation and the drawings are unfortunately neither as clear as they might be.

Left: The German Michel Cam Engine: 1921

This engine was produced by the Michel Engine Company of Kiel, in Germany. It was a water-cooled two-stroke Diesel with three radial cylinders 120 degrees apart. The three cylinders shared a commmon central star-shaped combustion chamber, with the cam on the outside of the cylinders. The NACA report says the three cylinders revolved along with the fuel injection pump, while the cams and housing stayed stationary, but a look at the Michel patent shows the cam rotating around the outside.

To quote from the NACA report: “The introduction of fuel, lubricating oil, and cooling water into the revolving cylinders is said to cause no difficulty.” Oh really? Was there a version where the cylinders did rotate? Confusing.

From NACA technical memorandum No 462, translation of Motorwagen Nov 20, 1927
Original source: Zeitschrift Des Vereines Deutscher Ingenieure (The magazine of the Association of German Engineers) p1405, 1925

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