So here I am, in my nice home office, with my nice bright light and my nice computer and my comfortable chair and my pile of work, and a teleconference for my online course coming up in about an hour. And the grandchildren of the people next door are running around outdoors, in the dark, mind you, screaming.
Obviously, they must be playing some sort of game. I’m sure they are having a lot of fun, and I’m not some crochety 80-year-old. It just makes me wish I had some bagpipes and knew how to use them. Still, I’d rather live where I am or even in the city, as opposed to out in the middle of nowhere.
I’m still behind on schoolwork, planning for the big Physics Olympics meet that my school is hosting next Saturday, still have mucous in my sinuses from my second cold of the month, hoping to stay caught up on my online course, and hoping I can find the time to put together my props for Halloween. Only one more weekend left before Halloween.
The Physics Teachers’ Demo Night went very well on Friday, and as usual I learned a lot, including what happens when you shine a green laser on something fluorescent and all the cool apps you can get for an iPod Touch, which has a built-in 3-axis accelerometer. Accelerometers are useful because they can tell you if you crash your car, by deploying an airbag, but in the iPod Touch the main point is to know which way is down. That way you can view your video right side up no matter how you are holding it, I guess. But people have written little programs that take advantage of the accelerometer that turn your iPod Touch into a bubble level, or you can check the acceleration and braking performance of your car, or you can take it on a roller coaster and collect acceleration data (how many g’s did we feel in that dip? Is the shoulder harness really necessary in the circle?) and then you can e-mail the data to yourself if you are in a WiFi area. Now that is fantastic! In physics classes we can get a 3-axis accelerometer which is housed in a black plastic box thicker than an iPod Touch and which has a long cable to attach it to another plastic box which is an interface that allows the data from the accelerometer to go to a computer and be displayed on the screen. Now all that can be in one small package for a mere $300. Not that we could ever get away with buying a class set of iPod Touches for school use.
Despite all I do, I found a few minutes to experiment with some photos I took and I played with the coloring, the “sharpness,” the contrast, etc, which you can do in iPhoto. Here are two versions of a photo I took of the various squashes and guords that I made into a fall table decoration. I actually kindof like the black and white version slightly better. What do you think?
These are two photos that I took with different camera settings, within a few seconds of each other of the same edge of a wall. They are so different!
Ah, a few minutes of typing and the screaming outdoors has stopped. Time to get some work done!