Sunday, May 20, 2007

Condo Progress

I haven't posted in a few days so I thought I'd give an update of what's going on.

The condominium progresses...We actually started the process in getting it livable. New condos in Venezuela are basically empty shells and it is up to the owner to finish the interior.

There are several projects Tania and I are dealing with; 1. Central air conditioning needs to be bought and installed. 2. We needed to decided what type of flooring, buy the material and have it installed. 3. Design a kitchen, buy appliances, and have installed. 4. Closets need to be built and installed. 5. Furniture, we have very little of, and need to buy more.

Its seems, unfortunately, phases 1 and 2 have had a clash. Just as we get our expensive porcelin tiles being laid down, the air conditioning guys show up pushing down several tiles which needed to be replaced. Each tile cost $7.00.

We needed to buy our appliances by the end of the month and this is pretty much done. We have bought all of the major appliances; Whirlpool refrigerator w/icemaker, Teka (from Spain) 4-burner gas range top, Teka gas/electric oven w/rotisser, Teka exhaust hood, Teka SS sinks (below top design) and "Italian" faucet. We are still needing to buy a washer and drier. Looks like we mostly have a "Teka" kitchen.

The floor should be done this week. We asked the air conditioning guys not to show up until the floor was finished. The kitchen counter/cabinet/countertop contractor is scheduled to measure the area on Wednesday and it is scheduled to be installed the first week in July.

I need to head to the USA sometime in mid-July. We need to be out of our current apartment by Aug 1, but we plan to move as soon as the floor and a/c are in. The bathrooms are finished so we will use a hotplate and "camp out" for a while.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Video from Anaco rocket launch

Video from Anaco rocket launch. George and Gary took on the roles of the Soviets (a.k.a. Russian) in our space race. I took on the role of the Americans in the race. My rocket didn't went up okay, but the parachute did not deploy. They had 5 out of 6 parachute deployments, hence the "superior Russian technology".

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Parachute Failure

Had a water rocket competition today with another school. We decided to have an egg loft competition. The rival school had a simple gravity release, whereas I decided to go with a more complex chemical release which has worked in the past. (I'll be posting video later.)

My vinegar and Alka-Selzer release didn't work, so my egg-tronaut (Egg-ar Mitchell) had a rough landing, but still survived because of my cradle design.

I am going to redesign the same mechanism, instead of vinegar and antacid, I am going two other chemicals that should give a violent reaction.

Just more weirdness.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


Well I did it...I used PayPal and paid the balance on my Scotland mountain biking trip. EGADS! Refrigerator for the condo or Scotland? Both! I'm going to Scotland!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Pinhole Photography

Pinhole photography is something that I've been interested in for a long time, but have never spent much time reseaching or practicing. I made my first working pinhole camera about 10 years ago from an oatmeal box and using photographic paper. My recent attempts have been associated with my physics classes. Two weeks ago, my two physics students and I made cameras. I had them do as much as their own work as possible. They made their own pinholes, we tried to determine the diameter and focal lengths, then tried take some pictures.

These images came from a camera with a pinhole diameter of about 0.3mm and a focal length of 5cm. I used Kodak 110, ASA 400 film. The shutter was heavy black paper hinged with scotch tape. All 24 frames had an image. These aren't perfect images but this camera has been my most successful to date.