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April 29, 2004

Violin & Baseball



Posted by tplambeck at 11:44 PM

April 27, 2004

Totem Pole

It's hiding in some trees near the "history corner" part of the Stanford University quadrangle.


Posted by tplambeck at 09:37 AM

April 26, 2004


An amusing short film by Jason Zada.

Posted by tplambeck at 10:00 PM

Hinged Dissection

A nice animation of Dudeney's four-piece hinged dissection of a square into an equilateral triangle. (In French)

Posted by tplambeck at 02:10 PM

Fun and Urban Violence

Blurb on a new book at the Princeton University Press, Migrants and Militants: Fun and Urban Violence in Pakistan (first chapter as PDF):

Being part of a violent community in revolt can be addictive—it can be fun. This book offers a fascinating inside look at present-day political violence in Pakistan through a historical ethnography of the Muhajir Qaumi Movement (MQM), one of the most remarkable and successful religious nationalist movements in postcolonial South Asia. The MQM has mobilized much of the "migrant" (Muhajir) population in Karachi and other urban centers in southern Pakistan and has fomented large-scale ethnic-religious violence. Oskar Verkaaik argues that urban youth see it as an irresistible opportunity for "fun..."

Posted by tplambeck at 01:59 PM

Interview with Roentgen

Journalist: What did you think?
Roentgen: I did not think, I investigated.
Journalist: What is it?
Roentgen: I don't know.

Posted by tplambeck at 01:49 PM

Stealth Concealment

Need to hide a cell phone antenna tower? Here's help.

Posted by tplambeck at 11:36 AM

April 24, 2004

Stanford Fisheye, II

A building on the Stanford campus, next to Hoover tower, possibly part of the Hoover Institution ("On War, Revolution, and Peace."—I've always wondered, which?).

Shot with with a fisheye lens.


Posted by tplambeck at 10:25 PM

Stanford Fisheye


Posted by tplambeck at 10:52 AM

April 23, 2004

Jordan Jaguar Marching Band

Our neighborhood middle school practices for the Palo Alto May Fete Parade on our street:


Video (1.3Mb, 15 second MPG).

Posted by tplambeck at 11:00 AM

April 22, 2004

Fisheye Fun

I bought a Canon 15mm fisheye lens and took a bunch of experimental photos.

Houses tend to look Lilliputian, perhaps because the walkways and bushes in front of them look too big:




Later, in San Francisco, Jim drove as I pointed the fisheye-equipped camera up at San Francisco buildings. Here's more.

Posted by tplambeck at 05:34 PM

My Quiz Results


I took the online quiz how grammatically sound are you?
(brought to me by Quizilla), with the following result:


You are a GRAMMAR GOD!

If your mission in life is not already to
preserve the English tongue, it should be.
Congratulations and thank you!

Posted by tplambeck at 12:15 AM

April 20, 2004

Stanford Volleyball

Before their last regular season game against University of the Pacific—which, it must be revealed, is located in Stockton, California, about as conceptually distant from the Pacific Ocean as Lawrence, Kansas—the 2004 Stanford Men's Volleyball team posed for a team photo.

Since I was seated in the endzone with a big telephoto lens, I took a photo of the photo being taken:

(click for larger version)

Once the game started, I was disappointed that I couldn't seem to find a camera setting that took unblurry photos of the action.

To: Jim
From: Thane

How to take photos inside at a volleyball game that aren't blurry?

No flash allowed.

I tried various settings (the "sports" setting on the Canon came close, but still blurry)

Jim replied:

impossible. the reason pix are sharp @ pro indoor games is because they are very well lit. no flash=no stop action=no good in dim situations.

best you can do is is the largest aperture on your fastest lens using aperture priority. bump up the iso setting to 800 or 1600 as well.

you could try panning with the subject—following the player while releasing the shutter. that would isolate him and blur the rest.


I eventually gave up trying to take action shots and just took photos of people standing still:




Posted by tplambeck at 10:50 PM

The Dictator


Posted by tplambeck at 12:00 AM

April 19, 2004

The Businessman


Posted by tplambeck at 11:59 PM

Lloyd George


From Good-Bye to All That, by Robert Graves:

Later, in London, my father took me to a dinner of the Honourable Cymmrodorion Society—a Welsh literary club—where Lloyd George, then Secretary for War, and W. M. Hughes, the Australian Prime Minister, both spoke. Hughes was perky, dry and to the point; Lloyd George was up in the air on one of his `glory of the Welsh hills' speeches. The power of his rhetoric amazed me. The substance of the speech might be commonplace, idle and false, but I had to fight hard against abandoning myself with the rest of his audience. He sucked power from his listeners and spurted it back at them. Afterwards, my father introduced me to Lloyd George, and when I looked closely into his eyes they seemed like those of a sleepwalker.
Posted by tplambeck at 10:43 AM

April 15, 2004

Two ways to hold a violin bow

Denise illustrated two violin bow grips for me.

One for me while learning:



Her actual grip:



Posted by tplambeck at 09:38 AM

April 14, 2004


At the intersection of Embacadero Road & El Camino Real, near Stanford University.



The guy on the left apologized for only having a one-sided sign. He sold me this bumper sticker for $1. It had http://tian.greens.org handwritten on the back.

Posted by tplambeck at 11:38 PM

Tee Ball


Owen got his first hit (MPG video) off this "pitcher".

Posted by tplambeck at 11:25 PM

Cole & Pearl


Posted by tplambeck at 10:56 PM

Experimental Math Conference


Rich Schroeppel (center). In the background, Helaman Ferguson (left), and Sherry Li.

Posted by tplambeck at 10:44 PM

G4G6: Brick Packing

Cole attempts a brick packing puzzle that Bill Gosper distributed at G4G6.


Note added 18 April 2004 He found a solution.

Posted by tplambeck at 10:28 PM

Bee on California Poppy


Posted by tplambeck at 03:39 PM

April 13, 2004

Capturing the Oak

Another attempt at photographing the oak tree across the street:


Two earlier attempts: #1 #2

Posted by tplambeck at 09:25 PM

G4G6: Metatrino

A sculpture by Bathsheba Grossman that I bought at G4G6.


Posted by tplambeck at 02:40 PM

April 03, 2004

G4G6: Biomechanics

Robert Friedhoffer demonstrated how a little kid can make himself almost impossible to pick up by applying appropriate counterforces to the arm and shoulder of the person lifting him.


(I didn't exactly see how this worked).

[Coming soon: a video, which doesn't really help]

Posted by tplambeck at 09:13 PM

G4G6: Micro Aircraft

Matt Keenon demonstrated an amazingly slow-flying and light radio-controlled airplane.


I think it was this one, the .7 ounce Bristol Scout:


It's described as being able to fly 30 minutes inside a 20 x 20 room.

Posted by tplambeck at 08:59 PM

G4G6: House of Cards


Posted by tplambeck at 04:46 PM

G4G6: People

Alan Schoen & Ed Pegg, Jr


Will Shortz (red tie, left of video camera);
Solomon Golomb (behind camera)


Nick Baxter (facing camera). Albert Lucas (foreground), demonstrating that scarf juggling is no more difficult than flashing seventeen rings.

Erik Demaine (center), Martin Demaine's arm, and Craig Kaplan

Posted by tplambeck at 03:14 PM

G4G6: Juggling

I photographed Albert Lucas juggling four rings, then five, then seven, then eight at G4G6. I also took some (low res) video (6 Mb, about 1 minute, MPG).


He showed a video of himself on the Ed Sullivan show at age ten, and another (more recent) one where he flashed seventeen rings in four groups of 4, 4, 4 and 5, then caught each one.

Posted by tplambeck at 08:51 AM

April 02, 2004

G4G6 + Experimental Math

I spoke at the Gathering for Gardner in Atlanta on the subject of Satterfield's Tomb and at the Experimental Mathematics workshop on Pretending in Combinatorial Games.

Posted by tplambeck at 09:55 PM

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