Archive for month: July, 2009

Project Mark begins anew…

July 31, 2009 | General | By: Mark VandeWettering

Well, I’m suffering from a feeling of deja-vu: recent doctor visits indicate that my weight has crept back up (no surprise) and that my BP and cholesterol aren’t doing much better either. I could make excuses about the surgery I had earlier in the year or whatever, but the reality is, that I’m back to […]

YouTube Blog: Now in 3D

July 29, 2009 | 3D | By: Mark VandeWettering

Youtube has apparently now got support for 3D Video. Neat! Read about it below, and expect to see a test video of mine over the next few days. YouTube Blog: Now in 3D: Join the Experiment With Us! Addendum: I tried embedding this 3D video two different ways, but without good results. Witness. Annoying. httpv://

Loren posts Vol Libre on Vimeo

July 29, 2009 | Computer Graphics | By: Mark VandeWettering

A few days ago, I posted links to a couple of videos that used fractal rendering techniques. One was the Genesis effect of Star Trek 2, Wrath of Khan, the other, a 4KB demo contest entry. My intent was to show how computer graphics have evolved over the past 25 or so years. But the […]

On Multiplication…

July 27, 2009 | Math | By: Mark VandeWettering

As I was “StumbleUpon”-ing tonight, I was reminded of something that I was thinking about a couple of days ago, and though I’d write it down here. Let’s say we want to multiply, oh… 47 by 69. We begin by writing the two numbers: 47 69 and then proceed by halving the first number and […]

Hydroponics on NASA Website

July 26, 2009 | Gardening | By: Mark VandeWettering

NASA is obviously interested in hydroponics research as an enabling technology for long duration space flights. They are also quite good at educational outreach, so it wasn’t too hard to find this set of activities for kids on hydroponics. They are quite basic, but cover a wide variety of techniques, much wider than I would […]

The Water-Culture Method for Growing Plants without Soil

July 26, 2009 | General | By: Mark VandeWettering

I’ve been doing a bit more reading about growing plants hydroponically. In doing so, I found reference to something called “Hoagland solutions”, which are nutrient solutions used for growing plants hydroponically. Since hydroponically grown plants don’t get nutrients from trace elements in the organic matter in soil, you need to be especially careful to ensure […]

Success: Robot36 encoder works…

July 23, 2009 | Amateur Radio | By: Mark VandeWettering

Well, it works! Using the information in the paper I linked earlier in the day, I spent some time and managed to code up a Robot36 SSTV encoder. Above, you see the image decoded by Multiscan on my Macbook. Here’s a link to the .wav file:

Paper detailing SSTV modes

July 22, 2009 | Amateur Radio | By: Mark VandeWettering

I was looking up technical information suitable for implementing some of the SSTV modes (Robot 36, given the recent satellite activity). Here’s a paper by JL Barber, N7CXI that gives you what you need to know. Robot36 is particularly fussy: uses an odd color space, Y, R-Y, and B-Y, with the difference channels sent only […]

BibliOdyssey: Extinct Monsters

July 22, 2009 | Link of the Day | By: Mark VandeWettering

BibliOdyssey is a terrific blog which posts incredible images from old books that have entered the public domain. By way of example, check out this awesome collection of images of “extinct monster”, megafauna and dinosaurs. Very nice images, such as the giant sloth on the right. If you like old illustratons, check it out, then […]

Schneier on Homomorphic Encryption Breakthrough

July 22, 2009 | Computer Security, Cryptography | By: Mark VandeWettering

A couple of weeks ago during lunch, someone had mentioned that a breakthrough in the world of cryptography had occurred: that someone had succeeded in creating something called a “homomorphic encryption scheme”. The thing was, nobody at the table really understood what that was all about. I did a brief bit of reading on it, […]

Why is ham radio dying?

July 21, 2009 | General | By: Mark VandeWettering

Lately everyone I talk to seems to think ham radio is dying. I wonder why they think that. Anybody have any guesses?

President Obama declares July 21st National Brainwagon Day

July 21, 2009 | General | By: Mark VandeWettering

Okay, not really, but on this day in 2002, I did start this blog. Since then, I’ve made 3,106 posts, and there have been 5,461 comments. I’ve gone through two different hosting services, as well as hosting this on my own web server. And I’ve had a great time. I’ve gone through several different phases, […]

Forty Years of Lunar Lander

July 20, 2009 | General | By: Mark VandeWettering

Here’s a very nice article about the game phenomena that was Lunar Lander: Forty Years of Lunar Lander | Technologizer Addendum: Here’s a screen grab of the arcade version of the game. I used to love this game.

40th Anniversary of Apollo 11 on AO-51

July 20, 2009 | Space | By: Mark VandeWettering

Tonight the amateur satellite AO-51 made an evening pass that was almost directly overhead, and was sending a congratulatory message for Apollo 11, along with a slow scan TV image. I managed to record it, although not the greatest quality, using my little Yaesu VX-3R and my Arrow antenna. Here are links to the recording […]

The Straight Dope: How does a siphon work?

July 20, 2009 | Science | By: Mark VandeWettering

Last night’s reading reminded me that I have never really been satisfied with my understanding of how siphons work. Apparently I’m not the only one, since there was this interesting exchange on Straight Dope which pointed out some of the disconcerting issues that surround explanations of their actions. I’m still not convinced I have a […]