Irish Dance Wiki open

We’ve opened up the Irish Dance Wiki which aims to become for Irish dancing what Wikipedia is to general information.

Everyone is welcome to contribute and fill out information on schools, dancing venues, stores, books, videos, etc as they’re related to Irish dancing.

At the moment there are a large list of schools in the South USA area and links to organizations, resources and venues of interest to Irish dancers.

The wiki is open for editing so feel free to add information about your school, class, store, pub, band, etc that either caters directly to Irish dance or welcomes dancers.

Laser pointer kills millions!

That’s the story we’ll hear next week.

This week we’re hearing about a laser pointer that way "laid" or "placed" (depending on who is transcribing the story that everyone is repeating) on a dermatology exam table and somehow sparked a fire that caused $200,000 in damages.


Continue reading Laser pointer kills millions!

Power supply stunner

Alright, a bit of background first.

A few years ago I needed a variable power supply and found one at a local shop that would do +-5v, 12v and 0-12v dc. It was about $70 if I remember right. It’s similar to this model. The one I have isn’t sold by Omnitron any longer.

Somehow I broke it along the way (it smelled like I let the smoke out) and it stopped being variable and instead put out 16v on the variable side and normal levels on the non-variable side.

Last night I had the time to take a look at it and opened the puppy up.

What I found stunned me.

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DPSS laser idiot

Kids, don’t do this at home or anywhere else.

Ok, so the story goes that this future Darwin award winner was playing around with a 15mW green laser pointer one night and wondered what would happen if he scanned the laser past his eye.

At this point a meteor should have fallen on him but it didn’t, so he got to start his experiment.

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New lighting in the MINI

MINI boot light modificationSeveral weeks ago Michael saw a thread over on the Metroplex MINI forums about adding a light strip from Oznium to the MINI boot in order to increase the amount of light available in the boot.

I try to light that area up but I wasn’t given much to work with at the factory.

Over the holidays Michael ordered some light strips and set about increasing the light available in my boot and in the cockpit.

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Lotus leaves for a cleaner world

The leaves themselves aren’t going to be working to keep the world clean and it remains to be seen how the process will be used in real products but researches at the University of Twente in the Netherlands have developed a laser process that can be used to duplicate the surface properties of the lotus leaf which can then be duplicated using current injection molding technologies.

The material used for the mold source is first blasted by a femtosecond laser to produce pits and then another pass is made to product very fine lines.

The combination of the two patterns produces a surface the is highly water resistant.

In ordinary hydrophylic surfaces a drop of water will wet the surface, which means that its contact area grows until an equilibrium is reached. On very hydrophobic surfaces however, the water will form a droplet, making as little contact as possible. This makes drops very mobile, just a slight inclination is enough to let the droplet roll away.

Another advantage to such surfaces is that in addition to staying relatively dry, they are self-cleaning. At the water falls away it will tend to take contaminants with it.

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Bookham to introduce high power at Photonics West 2007

Beckham 10xx diode barBookham has announced that they will be demonstrating several high power laser products in their booth at Photonics West next week.

These include the following:

  • Direct systems using 9xxnm laser diode bars for welding, marking, soldering, thermal processing
    and medical applications.
  • Fiber lasers and pump blocks using 9xxnm laser diode single emitters for material processing, fiber
    laser pumping, micromachining and medical applications;
  • Frequency conversion visible lasers using 9xxnm single mode diodes for display applications and
    biomedical instrumentation.

Continue reading Bookham to introduce high power at Photonics West 2007