Review – The Pride of Erin

The following is a short review of the DVD Pride of Erin which was filmed and produced by Pat Murphy in 2005 with music played by Heather Breeze.

The DVD is available directly from Pat Murphy.

Overall the DVD is an excellent resource. The dances are explained while being actively demonstrated by the minimum number of people needed (usually two) and the dancing is clear at all times.

Continue reading Review – The Pride of Erin

How long before laser pointers are legislated out of existence?

A man arrested in DeKalb county Georgia faces charges of lying to federal agents. It’s a bit odd since he apparently admitted to police that he’d shone his laser pointer at a police helicopter.

Mohammed Haghighi, 24, allegedly shined the laser at the craft as it responded Feb. 4 to a melee at a roller rink near his apartment. Authorities said the pilots, who were wearing night vision goggles, were temporarily disoriented as the laser bathed the cockpit glass in a green glow.

The pilots saw a man holding the laser and called ground units, who arrested Haghighi. He allegedly admitted shining the light at the helicopter.

Steganography and spam

Why don’t I hear more about this?

There are a few sites on the net talking about hidden messages in spam but most deal with steganographic images. It seems that the following spam could not possibly be a real sales attempt.

Greetings, XXXX lent creepmousy
I called him "the police officer". I called him a taxi.
Our company’s overviews reveal you’ve been overpaying on your current payments. fibromyxosarcoma xylomancy
You have been accepted at much lower!supermalate oralize
That musician finds the book interesting. That bartender told them a joke.
Does Amanda encourage Fred’s wife to jump under the bridge? Virginia opened the door.
Take a sec. to review, and we will be in contact asap. acquaintanceship shamableness
They kept the room warm. Those librarians offered her a ride home.
Unsub => t a kem e o f f "AT" tou g h g uy"dot" n e t ichthyotoxin yawp
I found the book interesting. Those store clerks left her a ticket.
Best Respects, fugaciousness crowtoe
Rocco Philips untuned gallonage
Are the carpenters enjoying running nowadays? gastrostenosis

I can’t imagine that even the dumbest person could be stupid enough to follow the link without being able to read what it’s about.

If the many spam message I receive that look like this are hidden messages, why don’t we (I) hear more about their real content?

Is nobody looking at these messages and decoding them or are the spammers really as lazy as these messages would suggest, if they aren’t steganographic?

Racetrack laser design

Researchers at UCSB in conjunction with Intel have come up with a novel design for a new laser resonator.

The resonator features a racetrack shaped design that will ultimately reduce the cost of production and improve efficiency.

The integration of a racetrack laser with a photodetector on the hybrid silicon evanescent device platform demonstrates the potential to realize practical photonic integrated circuits on a silicon substrate. These two types of photonic devices are fabricated on a single active region design showing the flexibility of the hybrid silicon evanescent device platform. On-chip testing and characterization of the laser simplifies the testing by eliminating facet polishing and characterization uncertainties caused by coupling losses. We have demonstrated a monolithic laser with output powers up to 29 mW operating up to 60 C in the range of 1590nm.

SCMA ceili Apr 14, 2007

bonfire dance at the scma ceiliThere was a really small group this month (where was everyone else?) and we were one musician short (Allison dropped her keyboard! 🙂 ) but everyone had a fun time. The music was played by Mimi Rogers with calling by me and Susan.

We had a few new people at the beginning so we started with the Rakes of Mallow and then moved on to a Scottish dance, the Cumberland Reel followed by several figures from the Caledonian Set.

Mimi didn’t know the music for the Cumberland Reel before the ceili and picked it up from sheet music Susan printed ahead of time. Great job Mimi.

For the last dance of the evening we did the Bonfire Dance with Mimi as the bonfire.

More pictures (and video once I capture it) at the ceili gallery.

It’s alive! It’s really alive!

I spent some time on Thursday night finishing up the platform for the new laser.

I’ve got a Kee-Klamp scaffold over my table that holds the big red laser and nothing else. I had planned to hang optics off the scaffold but that didn’t quite work out. Fortunately it made a great place to put the SP-907 laser box.

Now it’s got another rider in the green laser, telescope and shutter.

Continue reading It’s alive! It’s really alive!

Laser cooling continued

As mentioned here, using lasers to cool objects is becoming common in the lab. Now researchers at MIT have managed to cool a large (relatively) object to near absolute zero.

This study marks the coldest temperature ever reached by laser-cooling of an object of that size, and the technique holds promise that it will experimentally confirm, for the first time, that large objects obey the laws of quantum mechanics just as atoms do.

The researchers are using two lasers. One to hold the mirror in place and another to bring the temperature of the laser down to 0.8 degrees Kelvin.

They still have a few hurdles to overcome before they’ll be able to observe quantum effects with the mirror but the progress to date seems to indicate they are far away.

Once the objects get cold enough, quantum effects such as squeezed
state generation, quantum information storage and quantum entanglement
between the light and the mirror should be observable