Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Compression Decompressedor, Making Things Smaller: A Visual Introduction

Compression is everywhere. It's used to more efficiently store data on hard drives, send TV signals, transmit web pages like this one, stream Netflix videos, package up video games for distribution, the list is endless. Almost no significant area of modern computing exists that doesn't make use of compression technologies.

So what is it?

Whether you've been using desktop compression software for years, or never thought about it at all, this article will try to explain a little of what goes on under the hood when you squash a file or stream a video. We'll look into the answers to the big questions, and probably raise more new ones along the way.

What does it mean to compress something?

How can you make something smaller than it already is?

How do you practically go about doing that?

Let's get to work!

Way Too Close For Comfort!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

'It’s-a Me, Mario!'

Pounding Mochi with the Fastest Mochi Maker in Japan

Meet the Man Who Beat 'Pac-Man'

Breeding the World’s Hottest Pepper

Alaskan Town Overrun With Bald Eagles

Operation Orofino Walnuts - Proof of Concept

My parents up in Orofino have a mature Black Walnut tree.  On our last visit I decided to see if I could harvest them!  It was an adventure!

I drilled a bunch of holes in a 5 gallon bucket.

Since it is really too early for them, we could only find a handful to bring home and test. Dad says he will begin to collect them for our next visit.

I present the Black Walnut huller!

I started with the largest nozzle thinking I might damage the nuts.  Only the NEEDLE nozzle would even begin to strip the hulls!  This is the same nozzle that would blow a hole in my driveway!

It was not an easy job.  It took about 6 minutes of constant blasting to get them clean.  As an added bonus these things will stain ANYTHING they touch.  My hands will take awhile to return to their normal color.

2 weeks on a drying rack before we can crack them and see how they taste!

Watched The Solar Eclipse From Weiser, Idaho

You can never have too much gear!
Josh joined us for the event.
Weiser was ready despite a much smaller showing than the media predicted.
There were many people up to witness the event.
The clouds that made this great sunset were gone by morning.
Geared up and ready to go!

The Great American Eclipse 2017

In hopes of capturing the "Feel" of the Eclipse I set up my GoPro to shoot a still photograph every 5 seconds. I started it a half hour before totality and ended it a half an hour after. 890 individual photos total. My hope was that once stitched together I could run it a bit faster than real time and relive the chills!

It turns out that the human eye is way better at the subtleties of light and shadow and up until a minute before totality, every frame pretty much looked like the last.

Never fear though! I just started when it got good and made a 23 second teaser of 6 real-time minutes of the event.

Throw in a dramatic sound effect and we are good to go!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Yellowstone and Grand Teton Tour

Nine days, 1,350 miles, and lots of amazing fun!

Below is an interactive map of our latest road-trip!  I will be adding more information over the next week so check back from time to time for new photos and information.

And I am done!  Check out the complete trip.

Jenny Lake Hike and Bear Sighting

Grand Teton National Park

There was a ton of forest fire smoke!  These were the best I could get.

Roughing it at Colter Bay Village in The Grand Teton National Park

Grand Loop Southwest Side