Friday, February 29, 2008

Awesome Finish Process

See, I knew deducting my cable wasn't a sham. Last night I was watching American Chopper - or as I like to call it "Stagehands Build Bikes" - and they showed a new finishing process you just have to see to believe. It's called hydrographic and its done by this company called Tarjac.

It's this printed patterns on gelatin that uses a water bath to transfer to 3-D objects with no loss of detail. Too cool, check it out:

Thursday, February 28, 2008

For Wayward Build Crew?

Gadgets: The Kiddo Kidkeeper Keeps Your Child on a Digital Leash: "Smart Target's Kiddo Kidkeeper Proximity alarm helps bring peace of mind to the parents of adventurous children using a wearable wireless transmitter. When a child has wandered out of a pre-set range, the transmitter will trigger a visual and audible alarm on the parent's receiver, prompting them to reel the kid back in."


Still Curious About OSWALD?

News from the "Real World": Who is OSWALD? And Where?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I'm Famous

Read this doc on Scribd: CMU Stage Directions

ok, again, not really.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Motor School - Last Day

Today was control, troubleshooting, and automation.

We got to put a motor on a dyno to make the load protector slip:

and around that we had a fairly decent overview of motor control, got hands on testing of troubleshooting chain hoist failures, and then got a demo of Fisher's kick ass automation system (in other news I need $100,000 for work - donations accepted at the address I am sure you can find in the margin).

Then we had a very nice party and at the very end the bus broke down. But if you're going to have a problem, the very end is when to have it.

Tomorrow, back to PA.

Man The Internet Sucks Here

Today we vivisected the baby brother...

and then we went to a hockey game.

Tomorrow is the last day. Good thing too, I'm bushed.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I Lied

Today was day two. I'm exhausted, these have been long days, and there's still two days left. I am not sure if I am going to make it.

This morning we disassembled these:

You can't see that warning until you're well into the breakdown process. (actually that warning only applies to that one part which is apparently locked together and spring loaded such that it would basically explode as soon as you remove the snap ring)

Tomorrow, more of the same.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Motor School - Day Two

Today we learned a lot about truss.

Then we put a bunch of truss in this rig:

and busted it!

I have video, but I am amazed I was even able to get the two photos uploaded (internet woes continue).

Tomorrow we start motors. Woohoo.

Motor School, First Thoughts

So, if the whole program goes like the first hour then this will be the best run thing I have ever participated in. They met us at the airport and we were pre-registered for our hotel rooms, and there was a "welcome" package in the room with a t-shirt and other info. So far, first class.

The hotel "high speed internet" is making me rethink just what "high speed" is supposed to mean. That may be a problem.

Oh well, off to class.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Friday, February 15, 2008


I wonder if anyone over at ETCP read this?

The New Unions - "Some guilds are especially adept at keeping out new members even as demand balloons. The population has grown 22% since 1990, but the number of dentists and hairdressers hasn't budged. The shortage of dentists has pushed up their average real hourly pay 45% over that period."

You Tell 'Em Tom

Top of the Ticket : Los Angeles Times : Boston rocker to Mike Huckabee: No more covers: "Pop music lovers of a certain (advancing) age will recognize a song on the playlist of Mike Huckabee's band, Capitol Offense, as Boston's 'More Than a Feeling,' a hit from the Boston_logoband's eponymous 1976 debut album. And a former Boston band member, Barry Goudreau, has done appearances with Huckabee, leaving the impression that the band is backing the bass-playing Baptist preacher. But band leader Tom Scholz, whose guitar forms Boston's signature sound and who wrote 'More Than a Feeling,' says nope, and has asked Huckabee to drop the song from the playlist."

Thursday, February 14, 2008

"It's Not You, It's Me"

Letter from a young, hip, cynical former Obamamaniac. - By Dahlia Lithwick - Slate Magazine: "I know it's kind of lame to break up with you on Valentine's Day. And on the Internet to boot. But it's also kind of ironic. And that's what I need to tell you. As an ironic, contrarian, so-hip-it-hurts Gen X-er, I just can't love you anymore. I can't like you because … because, well, everyone else does. And suddenly supporting you just seems soooo last week."

Moving Pictures

Remember this?

Well, now you can (finally) see the video:

This wasn't exactly what I had in mind when I asked them to turn in video, but its pretty cool too - even if I did almost wait a year to get it.

Thanks Ryan.

This year's group got this assignment recently. I wonder what they will come up with - and if it will work.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Remember Bill?

Memo to Obama fans: Clinton-ism was a success. - By David Greenberg - Slate Magazine: "Barack Obama's upscale white supporters (and those too young to recall the 1970s and 1980s) tend to describe Clintonism as a betrayal of liberalism, a sellout to Wall Street, and proof that 'the Clintons' won't bring about change—a view encapsulated in the Daily Kos blog's visceral aversion to Terry McAuliffe's mug. Yet while the courting of big donors with stays in the Lincoln Bedroom left a bad odor, as a historical matter, the Clinton years were unquestionably a time of progress, especially on the economy. And it seems that as Obama mania sweeps the educated classes, the party's struggling lower-income base still prefers Hillary. One reason is that they're less prone than their better-off party mates to vote out of an enthusiasm for stirring rhetoric or viral videos or a wish to play their part in a grand narrative of racial reconciliation. Having been battered by globalization, rising health care and education costs, and the subprime mortgage disaster, they're remembering the Clinton years and voting for who they think will help them."

Well, We Figured Out the Driveway Thing

Remember how I've asked the internet from time to time the best way to deal with the snow on our driveway? Or how from time to time I've had to go through some kind of backflips to get the car or the old truck out when there's been snow? Well we have a solution.

A good solution.

A lazy solution.

We're doing nothing.

We'll keep shoveling the walk, because we have to, but unless the sky opens and dumps like a foot of snow I think we're done shoveling the driveway.

We're fortunate that we have enough space at the end of our drive to pass one car by the other, so on a regular day the order of the vehicles in the drive is inconsequential. Around the year we often see neighbors without the extra space to a kind of dance when one or the other person arrives or has to leave. We're fortunate that we don't need to do that year round.

But for snow days it's this dance that provides the answer. Mrs. TANBI parks her car in the street when she gets home and I put the truck in the space at the bottom of the drive. Then we put her car in the drive and leave it at the top. In the morning she takes off no problem, and then when I leave I just flip the truck into four wheel drive and blast my way up likedysplit.


Just how often is it that the lazy solution can be the correct decision? OK, yes, I know, it isn't the right decision, and some day I will probably get stuck at the bottom of the drive, but I am willing to take that chance. I hate the shoveling that much, it's hard work and with the gravel you can never do a good job, and you always wind up with stones on the lawn in the spring, and, and, and...

So, unless someone comes up with a better solution I am sticking with no solution.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Would You Pay $600 For Old TV?

Amazon - Up to 77% off exclusive DVD bundles: "Movie lovers have hit the bonanza at Amazon, where exclusive DVD bundles have been reduced by up to 77%. Choose from bundles with tags like 'TV Sci-Fi Bundle', 'Ultimate Killer DVD Collection', '80's Hits DVD Collection, Vol. 1', and others. Offer ends 02/18/2008."

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I've Had an Idea

So I am thinking that maybe Bob Knight's retiring from college basketball may not be because he's "tired." The story in the news is that he left so that he could pass the Texas Tech gig on to his son. But I think he's already got another gig in mind: Vice President of the United States.

Is it so far fetched? VP selections are supposed to be people that help you pick up a state. Bob Knight is a statewide hero in Indiana - a state that always threatens to tip republican. With his recent success in Texas he could go a long way toward delivering that state as well. With elections being as close as they have been of late, delivering the electoral votes of two states could be the difference.

Plus, there are other things. Inevitably people will point out Obama's lack of military service. Bob Knight was in the army. Ok so he was a basketball coach in the army, but he was still in the army and that's more than Barak can say. Then there's temperament; I can't think of anyone more able to wrest the "straight talk" label away from John McCain than Bob Knight. Here's a man that speaks his mind, to hell with the consequences. Plus, after having a VP who would shoot someone in the face and then get them to apologize I think the next VP has got to be formidable and I don't think that anyone would argue that Bob Knight is not formidable. I honestly think he could get Dick Cheney to wet his pants.

Then there's the good cop/bad cop dimension. Obama certainly wants to be the level headed good cop. He's going to need someone he can send off to the hill to kick some ass. I can already hear him on the phone "No senator I understand your position, if you don't mind I am going to send Vice President Knight over to explain ours. What's that senator, you've had a change of heart?" Excellent.

And then of course theres the Pat Riley dimension. Chris Rock says that no white man has been responsible for the success of more young black men than Pat Riley. I think Bob Knight could probably give him a run for his money. So who better to facilitate the election of the first black president than Coach Bob Knight. Think about it, I believe it could work out well.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


CAN Blog: "Our nation’s creativity has filled the world’s libraries, museums, recital halls, movie houses, and marketplaces with works of genius. The arts embody the American spirit of self-definition. As the author of two best-selling books – Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope – Barack Obama uniquely appreciates the role and value of creative expression."

Super Tuesday

Is a good day today for McCain really a bad day?

Seems to me that if the two top Democrats split and McCain gets his mandate that ultimately it might work out to his detriment. If the Republican race is essentially over, and especially if it is McCain, he's going to have to fight tooth and nail to get his face on the news between now and the convention.

The top story is going to be "Who's going to get the Democratic nomination?" and then the second story will be "Will the 'true conservatives' find a third party candidate?" Only after that - or even worse as sort of a negative inspiration for the second story - will John McCain make the discussion. That's not the kind of swell toward the general election one might hope for after tying up the nomination.

If I am in McCain's offices tonight I am quietly pulling for some Romney and Huckabee wins, or at least strong showings. As far as the media goes a lame race is more newsworthy than no race at all; and news coverage is a whole lot cheaper than television advertising.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

I Guess They Can

Pretty good game.

Who's one loss season do you think is more historic, the 2008 Patriots or the 1986 Bears?

I'll take the shorter streak and the Superbowl victory given the choice.

Can They Kill 0:29?

I wonder.

Saturday, February 02, 2008


It's amazing how much more gets done when you do the prep... Did you know that people in the class of 2011 never saw Johnny Carson on TV? So sad... That debate the other night was like some kind of love-in... The people that make Enzyte admitted in court recently that their product doesn't actually do anything... Drama faculty are in New York this weekend, NYDAC scheduled an event for next weekend - coincidence??? The Superbowl is tomorrow, I have no plans. At least the NFL isn't trying to break up my party...Juno is a decent flick, really well written and a great cast... The slingbox is working, it's pretty cool but I don't think I'll be able to use it to show videos in class... That "I'm fucking Matt Damon" video is fucking hilarious... It's going into week three and my new class still doesn't have a syllabus; maybe I should just give them all A's and move on... They keep telling us that it's just that expensive, but big oil once again posted record profits... I think the Daily Show should do a Ron Paul vs. Mike Gravel debate before the parties throw in the towel on the whole primary thing, might be nice to hear something that wasn't a sound bite... They are making a Land of the Lost movie, Yay! It will star Will Farrell, Boo... The new laptop is cool... I've done a lot of renovating over at the other page, you should check it out... Oh and OH MY GOD! 60,000 HITS what is up with that??? Thanks for the help on the flier, keep it coming... Did you hear that if the GOP nominates McCain, Ann Coulter says she'll campaign for Hillary? Thanks but no thanks...

Friday, February 01, 2008

Would This Whet Your Appetite?

I've been working on some handouts for USITT this year. Let me know if you have any thoughts either about the content or the layout.

Here's the front:
and here's the back:
I'm trying to come up with something that shows what we're doing that other people aren't. I'm not sure if that's really the best angle we have, but it's one we haven't really tried before.

Let me know.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Chris Berman