Monday, July 28, 2008

Rio AP Phyz CTF opportunity announced



Windows of Opportunity
1. 9am-12noon
2. 1pm-4pm
(While chores last*)

Credit Toward Final rate: 12 points per hour (1 point per 5 minutes)

Helpers are needed to help prepare Mr. Baird's room and make the Book of Phyz materials ready for the new year of PhyzAction.

*Opportunities will continue until all chores are completed. First come, first served. Supplies will be limited so come early!

CHECK BACK MONDAY 8/4 FOR ANY LAST-MINUTE CHANGES. I don't anticipate any, but better safe...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Las Vegas after dark

When TAM6 closed on Sunday, June 22, I promptly took a nap.

After that, I joined some JREF friends for dinner at The Peppermill. At midnight, I ventured out for a photoshoot. By then the temperature had dipped below the century mark, though the wind and the dry were in full force.

I loaded up my shooting vest, grabbed my travel tripod, and hit The Strip. I shot until about 3am and hardly made a dent in the huge tracts of land occupied by The Strip. But I caught a few keepers. And now have finally posted them on SmugMug.

Las Vegas Lights


Friday, July 25, 2008

What every air freshener wishes it could be

The posts regarding my roadtrip to the Edmonton AAPT meeting (via Yellowstone, Glacier, Banff, Jasper, Glacier again, and the Grand Tetons) may appear to come at random. That's only because they are.

First up is the air at Glacier National Park. I drove long ways to get there (on the way up and on the way back down). So I arrived after dark both times. When I pulled into the parking lot at the Rising Sun Motor Inn in a hurry to register, I was stopped in my tracks (both times!) upon the first breath of Glacier air. The fragrance is a powerful blend of natural wildflowers. It grabs you and says, "Do you know where you are, buddy? Slow it down, take a breath, and appreciate."

I gladly obeyed. Since I couldn't take in the scenery at the moment (sun being down and all), Iooked up and enjoyed the stunning night sky: an astronomer's paradise! I then slowly made my way to the registration desk five minutes before they closed.

But yeah, the air at Glacier is what every air freshener wishes it could be. Go to Glacier and smell it for yourself!

And while you're there, don't forget to at least drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road and stop for pics where you can. Turn it up a notch with a hike to Hidden Lake if the trail is passable. It was a bit too snow-covered for my liking when I had a moment to hike it last week. The loaded shooting vest makes snow-field crossings awkward.

Stay longer and hit some of the myriad trails throughout the park. But bring your bear bells. They aren't simply a cute novelty at Glacier. The glaciers may have retreated, but the bears have not.

If you really want to crank up your experience, you can be like my rockstar niece, Zoe, who's spending time this summer at Glacier doing the heavy lifting involved in clearing and maintaining the trails, among other things.

In any case, be sure to take a meal at the Park Cafe in St. Mary.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

AAPT Edmonton photo album is up!

I got some photos at the High School Share-a-thon and the Demo Show.

The "Tesla Shocks" and "Balloon Execution by Laser" sequences are particularly nice.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Roadtripping to Edmonton

The journey to the American Association of Physics Teachers Summer Meeting in Edmonton began today. The meeting doesn't begin until next Saturday, but I decided to make a roadtrip of the journey so as to have stops in some of my favorite spaces on the way out and back.

Day 1 is always the trip from Sacramento to Salt Lake City, so there wasn't much to shoot. I did take a circulation break at the Salt Flats rest stop to walk up and down the ramp to the "lookout."

The Roadtrip Album is beginning here. I'm about 1/5 up to speed on using Aperture, Apple's high-end photo software. So bear with me as I try to keep things updated!

UPDATE 1: Added images from Yellowstone Day 1 (of only 2): Gibbon Falls, Virginia Cascades, Fountain Paint Pots, Clepsydra Geyser, and the Terraces of Great Fountain Geyser. Thrown in for good measure: a log, some lupines, two runoff stream snags.

Friday, July 04, 2008

The Amazing Spoon Bending video is up!

When Richard Wiseman came to TAM6, he brought spoons. A lot of spoons. Here's what he did with all those spoons in a room full of skeptics.

Curious as to what it's all about? Check out