Interesting things 6/12/10

A man who thinks he’s a rock star. May be is.

A lovely lady knitting in public on Knit in Public day.

Once at the beach we had a light snack/dinner

With the right liquid.

Followed by a walk on the beach

Click on any of the pictures for the full gallery for the first day.

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Interesting things I saw today 5/1/10

Today Susan and I took Chip out into the world cause it was a gorgeous day.

It was off to the White Rock Lake Festival where Chip got to meet loads of other dogs. His tail is blurred because it was spinning like a little propeller.

The face of a hot but happy little dog.

Continue reading Interesting things I saw today 5/1/10

Screwing with the traveler

Getting to the airport wasn’t bad. We were fairly close and made it in just about half an hour. I had printed my boarding pass ahead of time and breezed into the security line where it all went slightly pear shaped.

Continue reading Screwing with the traveler

Using holograms to diagnose astigmatism

image This is pretty cool and something that even hobbyist holographers could make.

Laser Focus World is reporting that researchers at New South Wales University have developed a holographic astigmatism test that’s faster to use than the lens-flipping "how does the chart look now?" test we’ve all endured when having our eyes checked.

The current method of looking at a distant object through a number of lenses to prescribe corrective glasses is at best cumbersome. In an alternate approach, the researchers recorded the wavefront emanating from various sunburst patterns located at different distances from the eye in a hologram. When a subject views through this hologram (illuminated by a plane wave), he or she will see the images of various sunburst patterns located at different distances from the eye.

Unfortunately there’s no additional information at the university site.  Perhaps they’ll put something up soon. has a bit more information and a few extra photos available.

Laser mapping the San Andreas fault

After a year, engineers with the University of Florida, the University of California at Berkeley as well as other engineering teams, efforts to laser-map the San Andreas fault are proceeding well with the goal of completing the mapping in another year.

The work is part of an effort to improve earthquake prediction and uses a plane-mounted laser to map the fault with higher precision than ever before.

A small airplane carries a laser that emits thousands of pulses of light each second toward the ground. The pulses hit and scatter back to a sensor, allowing software to gauge the distance between the plane and the terrain, pinpointing the altitude of each target point. When combined with GPS coordinates gathered in part by ground crews, the system also allows the software to determine the latitude and longitude of each identified point.

The result: a highly accurate three-dimensional map that looks something like a photograph, although trees and other features of the terrain can be stripped off to reveal only the bare essentials on the topography.

New blue-violet laser

Researchers at UCSB led by Shuji Nakamura, winner of the 2006 Millennium Technology Prize have developed a new way to produce laser diodes that put out blue-violet light.

in fact, these are the world first nonpolar gallium nitride blue-violet laser diodes.

The nonpolar blue-violet laser diodes have numerous commercial applications, including high-density optical data storage for high definition displays and video, optical sensing, and medical applications. Because of the shorter wavelength of emission in these devices, they can accommodate higher densities of optical storage than conventional red-laser based systems.

Said Nakamura: "Our initial results of the first violet nonpolar laser diodes with a low threshold current density demonstrate a high possibility that current c-plane violet laser diodes used for HD-DVD and Blue Ray DVD could soon be replaced with nonpolar violet laser diodes, which require lower operating power and have longer lifetimes.