Saturday in Santa Fe

02010-05-24 | Photos | 3 comments


Dezeen » Blog Archive » Applied Physics by Acquacalda
Italian design collective Acquacalda have applied the principles of physics to kitchen objects, including this device for pouring exactly equal amounts of wine into four glasses.

This looks like a great teaching tool!

Braun Lectron System
Dieter Rams and Jurgen Greubel designed the Braun Lectron System (1967- 69) as a teaching tool for use in schools and universities. It is made up of a large range of little bricks, like dominoes, that magnetically connect to one another. Once the blocks are organized on a conductive plate, they can form a variety of functional circuits. See this great article on it from a 1967 issue of Electronics Illustrated, where they discuss “what a drag” it is to make your own circuits, but “now it can be as much fun to put electronic circuits together and to learn fundamentals as it is to put words together when you play Scrabble.”
(Via Beyond the Beyond)


Slashdot Science Story | Copernicus Reburied As Hero
Mikolaj Kopernik, AKA Nicolaus Copernicus, the 16th-century astronomer whose findings were condemned by the Roman Catholic Church as heretical, was reburied by Polish priests as a hero on Saturday, nearly 500 years after he was laid to rest in an unmarked grave. On Saturday, his remains were blessed with holy water by some of Poland’s highest-ranking clerics before an honor guard ceremoniously carried his coffin through the imposing red brick cathedral and lowered it back into the same spot where part of his skull and other bones were found in 2005.


B&W MM-1 PC Speaker reviews – CNET Reviews
The bad: sound is so detailed it makes MP3s and streaming audio of already iffy quality sound worse.

Oh, that means exactly what? These speakers show mp3 flaws, therefore one should use different speakers? Internet journalism, always sharp and informative…
Speaking of sound…

Decibel (Loudness) Comparison Chart
* One-third of the total power of a 75-piece orchestra comes from the bass drum.
* High frequency sounds of 2-4,000 Hz are the most damaging. The uppermost octave of the piccolo is 2,048-4,096 Hz. (((piccolo players are notoriously deaf)))
* Aging causes gradual hearing loss, mostly in the high frequencies.
* Speech reception is not seriously impaired until there is about 30 dB loss; by that time severe damage may have occurred.
* Hypertension and various psychological difficulties can be related to noise exposure.
* The incidence of hearing loss in classical musicians has been estimated at 4-43%, in rock musicians 13-30%. (((I wonder whether that is still true, as it seems that rock and pop concerts keep getting louder)))

Assorted Links:
Planetize the Movement
Dementia Caregivers More Likely to Also Get the Disease (Wired News)
Damian Aspinall’s Extraordinary Gorilla Encounter (YouTube Video)
Scientist inspired by Dalai Lama studies happiness

BP 4Q and full-year 2009 results | press |

Over 16 billion in profits in 2009 and more than 20 billion in 2008. I think they CAN afford to pay for the entire cost of the clean-up, especially considering that before the spill, the company spent so much time and money pushing back against government regulation and safety measures. And consider that an acoustic valve designed as a final failsafe to prevent oil spills costs only $500,000; the Wall Street Journal writes that the valve, while not proven effective, is required on oil rigs in Norway and Brazil, but not in the U.S.

John Mayer makes a good point.
Here is a video about the BP disaster. Strong language. You are warned. But you know what, it’s just strong language, and not oil that clings to our skin and feathers. I think it’s really important that this never happens again, that government regulation and oversight is improved and that BP is forced to completely clean up their mess. This disaster makes me incredibly angry and sad. The three poisons in Buddhism are: Greed, Anger and Ignorance… Got all the elements here: BP’s greed, the media’s apparent ignorance and my anger.

(Via TreeHugger)


  1. salma

    The video has a lot of truth to convey, and I am not surprised at the language which is used. Most of us just feel angry and frustrated but do not know how to word it. At least someone had the courage to speak out. Ottmar, I totally agree with the three poisons theory of Buddhism. The first two usually lead to the third.

  2. steve

    “… sound is so detailed it makes MP3s and streaming audio of already iffy quality sound worse.”

    Wait. I’m confused.

    So it’s a BAD thing to design and produce an accurate transducer, because low bit rate audio sounds horrible, and these units accurately reproduce the audio artifacts of low bit rate? (!) I don’t understand how this is “bad.” (their term, not mine)

    Isn’t accuracy of reproduction what’s being sought if you purchase a B&W product?

  3. Carol

    I am a good example of losing the high tones. Michael and I were sitting on Jeff’s patio of his new log home in the southern foothills of the Black Hills gazing across the meadow, and I remarked about how completely still it was.”You don’t have your ears on,do you, Mom.” Yep, that was it.I put my hearing aids on and laughed. There were meadowlarks and a chorus of other birds. I was missing some wonderous sounds.


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