May 13, 2016 at 11:39 Leave a comment

Solar Eclipse, pin hole projector experiments

You can just make a hole on a piece of cardboard or use a colander and find a good wall…



or to be more professional

DIY Pin Hole Projector from

There are safe ways to view the sun. The simplest requires only a long box (at least 6 feet long), a piece of aluminum foil, a pin, and a sheet of white paper.The length of the box is important. The longer the box, the bigger the pinhole image. To find the size of the image, multiply the length of the box by the number 0.0093. For a box that is 1 meter long, the image will be 0.0093 meters (or 9.3 mm) in diameter. If your box is 5 feet (60 inches) long, your solar image will be 60 x 0.0093 = 0.56 inches in diameter. If you want to round things off, the size of the image is about 1/100th the length of the box.

May 25, 2012 at 02:48 Leave a comment

Bioluminescence, Puerto Rico, Vieques

I have been lucky enough to go the Biobay in Vieques, Puerto Rico.

Picture by John Morgali (Thank you John!)

Here a description of the phenomena from
To create a bioluminescent bay you need a lagoon surrounded by Red Mangroves (which occur in the tropics and semi tropics only). The roots of the red mangroves release tannins that are rich in Vitamin B12, one of the important nutrients for these light emitting dinoflagellates. The decomposing mangrove leaves release many other nutrients which add to the nutrient rich environment.
The Bay must also be relatively free of pollution, which generally requires protected lands surrounding the bay. Special zoning for all the land in the watershed of the biobay is essential. The zoning must assure sufficient forest cover to hold back the sediment whenever there is significant rain.
The Bay requires enough size and depth to enable the water to stay relatively cool in the daytime, it does, however, remain warmer than the ocean outside. It also requires a restrictive channel to the ocean, with a relatively small tidal exchange. This biobay has the channel to the ocean at the windward end of the bay which may also serve to restrict the outflow of the dinoflagellates to the sea as the tide goes out, while allowing sufficient water exchange to avoid overheating and stagnancy.
Any alterations to the size of the channel to the ocean (such as shallower or deeper or wider) can destroy a biobay. Pollution flowing into the bay from chemicals in groundwater and flood waters can ruin a biobay. Sufficient fluorocarbons from motorboats adversely affects the bioluminescent dinoflagellates, as would waste from any boats anchored in the bay. People swimming, who have sprayed themselves with DEET, adversely affect the biobay.
Lights seen from the bay and ambient light in the sky ( reflected from clouds) greatly reduce the visibility of the bioluminescence at night. It is a real treat to be in the biobay when the electricity goes out on the island! It is also considerably better to see the biobay when there is no moon visible in the sky.
So why is this particular biobay (perhaps) the brightest in the world? Because all these factors are perfectly balanced, creating ideal circumstances for a constant ‘super bloom’ of Pyrodinium bahamense dinoflagellates, over 700,000 per gallon of water!

February 3, 2012 at 21:29 Leave a comment

Tobias Toft: Synthesizing technology

Tobias’ exploration on how to design object with personality:

“Our personality and behaviour defines who we are and how people perceive us. In many ways, the same thing goes for products, as we humans have a tendency to perceive inanimate objects as having personality, even if they don’t really have one by design. This project was an exploration in how to apply the basic elements of human personality to product design. (…)

In order to make the three traits easier to discuss in relation to product design and behaviours, I decided to build three small everyday objects representing each trait through an added layer of behaviour. I chose three objects that most people know and interact with every day. To put emphasis on the object’s added personality trait, I chose objects that are normally quite passive. ”


September 16, 2011 at 00:25 Leave a comment

Edith Widder’s research on bioluminescence

In the deep, dark ocean, many sea creatures make their own light for hunting, mating and self-defense; light is their main communication tool. Bioluminescence expert Edith Widder was one of the first to film this glimmering world. Her research shows how many sea creatures interact and answer to the messages sent by a simple blinking LED.

September 15, 2011 at 19:38 Leave a comment

Alan Kennedy’s Color/Language Project

“We tend to think of colors as ideas which all humans agree on – grass is green, flames are orange, the sky is light blue – even if different languages have different names for these colors.
As English speakers, we also tend to think of color names in terms of the “basic” ones and the more specific, secondary ones (e.g. turquoise, ochre). Think of the words that are taught to young children for color. A quick look at baby books shows that English generally has 11 basic color words:

Many people are surprised to learn, therefore, that different languages do not consider the basic colors to be the same. Some New Guinea Highland languages, for example, still have terms only for black and white (perhaps better translated as “dark” and “light”). Hanuno’o language, spoken in the Philippines, has only four basic color words: black, white, red and green. Looking at the chart below: Berlin & Kay’s landmark study (1969) of 98 languages showed that if a language has a name for a color in a higher-numbered column it always has a name for the ones to the left (i.e. if a language has only 2 color words they will always be white and black; if it has 5 they will always be white, black, red, green and yellow, etc.).”

April 6, 2011 at 02:37 Leave a comment

Open Source Gesture Library

Gesture Works

GestureWorks ships with a library of over 200 built-in gestures. This library is built upon an open source gesture framework, allowing developers to customize and extend the “gesture object” to create support for new gestures. Try GestureWorks multitouch software.

February 13, 2011 at 09:23 Leave a comment

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