Sphere gears


• Red gears: 20 teeth, 12 count
• Blue gears: 24 teeth, 20 count
• Yellow gears: 13 teeth, 60 count.

Red gears aligned with icosahedron vertices. Blue gears aligned with dodecahedron vertices. The central rotation axes are aligned with the vertices of a frequency 3v, class-I geodesic tessellation of an icosahedron.

Generalized to higher dimensions: Ball bearings in a hypersphere. That is some mad science.

These guys are selling a 3D-printed version. It's kind of blobby.

Kenneth Snelson: I'm pretty sure what I'm seeing here is part of the internal mechanism of the Lament Configuration.

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"The things that will last on the internet are not owned."


My blog isn't part of a system where its usefulness is just a hook to get me to use it.

My blog's older than Twitter and Facebook, and it will outlive them. It has seen Flickr explode and then fade. It's seen Google Wave and Google Reader come and go, and it'll still be here as Google Plus fades. When Medium and Tumblr are gone, my blog will be here.

The things that will last on the internet are not owned. Plain old websites, blogs, RSS, irc, email.

Previously, previously, previously.

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DA rejects charges against sheriff's deputy who killed cyclist

In other news, water remains wet:

A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy who was typing on a patrol car computer when he hit and killed a bicyclist in Calabasas last year will not be prosecuted, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said in a statement Thursday.

In declining to bring criminal charges against Deputy Andrew Francis Wood, prosecutors noted that a state law banning drivers from using wireless electronic devices while driving exempts police officers and other emergency professionals. [...]

Wood initially said that Olin had swerved from the bicycle lane on Mullholland Highway into the path of his patrol car, the statement said. But the district attorney's office concluded that "evidence examined in this investigation shows that this tragic collision occurred as a result of Deputy Wood crossing into the bicycle lane."

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It's made of babies


Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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Testing the 3' passing law

Beginning next month, California law will require that cars stay at least three feet away from cyclists when passing on the roads.

I attached this driveway reflector to the basket of my bike with some zip ties. I chose this flexible plastic stick with reflector because it was 3 feet long and it should be visible, but it should also not kill me if a car decides to drive right through it. [...]

I felt safer because of this extra 3-foot forced space. I was tucked right up against the line of parked cars.

So he's saying "I felt safer" but he's also saying "I was in the door zone the whole time".

Most traffic lanes are about 10-feet wide. If you have 3 feet of space on your left, and, ideally, at least 3 feet of space on your right in order to avoid getting doored, plus probably at least around 18 inches for you and your bike to exist, you end up with at 7.5 feet. Let's call it 8 feet. That's about how wide the lanes are in San Francisco.

If people are actually going to respect and enforce this law it'll change the way we get around in dense urban areas. Either bikes will have to act like cars, or we'll have to get full bike lanes everywhere.

The only way to have 3' on the left and no door-zone on the right is to take the entire lane all the time.

The embarrassment I felt while cruising around the city with a stick attached to my my front basket was worth it: I didn't get clipped by a car once. Let's just hope it won't come down to cyclists having to ride around with 3-foot sticks on their bikes.

The same effect could probably be observed by biking while wearing a clown suit.

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Webcast video help needed

Lazyweb, I need:

1: A replacement for Justin.tv that isn't Streamup.com.

2: A cheap SDI Frame Synchronizer.

Can you help?


  1. Since Justin.tv shut down, Streamup is the only replacement site that I've found for our webcast video that meets the following specifications:

    1. Accepts RTMP video streams 24/7;
    2. Has a web-page-embeddable player;
    3. Does not spam my viewers with ads;
    4. Is free to both me and my viewers.

    However, they fail to meet the implicit specification, "actually works."

    Their embedded Flash player sometimes makes all three browsers just go catatonic-hypnowheel for minutes at a time; on one of my machines it will just never load at all, but on another it will, in the same browser; and since they made some "improvements" recently, FMLECmd won't connect to their server at all if the input source is digital instead of analog. Though the FMLE GUI will connect. Which is a whole lot of WTF.

    I've tried to contact them via their support email and Twitter and a couple of times with no response. After my last blog post, I got a glad-handing response from a marketing guy, but after I replied with, "Yes, here are my very specific technical problems"... crickets.

    So, FMLECmd is junk, but it used to work with Justin, and it worked with Streamup as of just-before-their-upgrade. Presumably there's a way to do RTMP streaming on MacOS with ffmpeg, but I don't know it.

  2. A Frame Synchronizer takes an SDI HD stream that has inconsistent, variable sync and outputs a single, stable SDI or HDMI stream. I would like to spend closer to a hundred bucks on this than two grand, which seems to be what these things retail for. We found a cheap Hotronic AY86 on eBay which sounded like it would do the trick, but it arrived DOA. Any suggestions?

    We need this because our new SDI video cameras are not genlocked, so when our SDI matrix switcher changes inputs, the sync changes. This causes downstream HDMI devices, like the TVs in the restaurant, to go blank for 8-10 seconds and renegotiate, like they do when you un-plug the cable, every time the switcher switches. Because HDMI is awesome.

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Like tossing a regulation hotdog down a precisely-fitted hallway.

Time-Lapse Video of Panama Canal Traffic:

See also: Maximum Battleships.

Previously, previously, previously, previously.

Scene missing! A video in this post has disappeared. If you know of an accessible version of this video (search), please mail me so that I can update this post.
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I just watched all nine Hellraiser movies. No, I didn't know there were nine of them either.

The decision-making process went something like this:

"There is some unfinished business in my Lament screen saver. I really ought to add the last few moves to that."
"...Hmm, I guess I need to watch the movie again to make sure I got it right."
"...Hmm, I wonder if any of the later movies added new cube behaviors?"

  1. Hellraiser

    Wow, is this movie dated! It's so 80s, with its giant shoulder pads and nuclear family and unfamiliarity with guys in gimp suits with lots of piercings. I remember this being a lot gorier and more shocking than it seems now. Some of the practical effects hold up reasonably well, but it's really not that great a movie.

    The cube goes through the four basic moves, plus there's an impossible shape during the scuffle at the end. It looks like they broke two of the models and just glued them together randomly.

  2. Hellbound

    At the time, I remember thinking this wasn't as good as the first one, but now I think it's a lot better. The Channard and Tiffany characters are pretty interesting, and the whole Leviathan situation is pretty cool. There's really a lot more running and screaming than there needed to be.

    Two new cube behaviors: the opening door, and the transformation into Leviathan. The Leviathan transformation annoys me because some of the pieces of the cube just fade away in a jump cut, and it doesn't even remotely conserve mass. But they are in a hell dimension at the time, so... ok. Also, they changed the orientation of the faces. I assume that was an accident.

  3. Hell On Earth

    This movie is absolutely terrible. They even made the "evil owner of an evil nightclub" boring. (The Crow did that trope much better.) They turned the Cenobites into low-rent late-period Freddy Krugers. This one dimensional character is a cameraman, let's stick a camera in his head. This guy's a DJ, he can shoot CDs out of his mouth. Oh, and since we have a female lead, don't skimp on the daddy issues! Ugh. This is definitely the second worst of the entire series.

    One new cube behavior: a tower pops up and zap, zap, zaps Cenobites. Also, instead of having six distinct faces, the cube only has three faces that are duplicated. Come on, guys, can nobody keep track of the original props?

  4. Bloodline

    Overall, this movie is awful, but it has some good scenes. I really enjoyed the fifteen minutes or so about Lemarchand creating the box, and the Angelique character is kind of interesting, as a Cenobite who predates the gimp-suit fashion trend taking over the hell dimensions. The rest of it is crap: the 90s plot is crap, the Hellraiser In Space plot is crap. I liked the idea of the office building that was itself a Lament Configuration, though they didn't do much with that. Directed by Alan Smithee: probably his finest work since Dune.

    One new cube behavior: instead of the door opening as a square, it opens as a pointy octagon. Nothing special.

  5. Inferno

    This movie is not bad. But it's only barely a Hellraiser movie. It's a noir-ish story about a dirty detective chasing a serial killer who (dum dum dum) might be himself. The extremely small amount of Hellraiser fu in it leads me to believe that the first draft of this script wasn't a Hellraiser movie at all, before they re-tooled it.

    No new box behaviors, since the box barely appears.

  6. Hellseeker

    Oh, hey, Kirsty's back! This one is pretty good. Probably the best one so far. Kirsty's jerk husband finds the box, hallucinates wildly, and maybe murders a bunch of his friends. Nice twist at the end.

    One new box behavior, which might have been a dream: it starts out as a sphere, and then turns into a cube. Whatever.

  7. Deader

    Deader? They actually called the movie Deader? This is another script that pretty clearly started out its life as not-a-Hellraiser-story, but I think it was pretty good. It's kind of Flatliners Go Romania. How do you run a nightclub in a subway car? Note to self, look in to that.

    One new cube behavior: when the chains come out, the whole top of the box breaks open. Dumb.

  8. Hellworld

    This is one of the worst movies I've ever seen. This is some shitty student film that they somehow got Lance Henriksen to be in. This movie is so bad, I think I liked it better when it was called House of Wax and starred Paris Hilton. There are a bunch of assholes who play an online Hellraiser game and someone invites them to a party and kills them all. There's a reason but you will never care even remotely what it is. Or whether any of them live.

    One new cube behavior: nails come out of it. But it wasn't a real Lament Configuration so it doesn't count.

  9. Revelations

    Despite the reviews, I must say, I enjoyed this one! Maybe I was a little punch-drunk by the time I made it this far, though. And anything would be a step up from Hellworld. It starts off with some shaky-cam nonsense, but fortunately they didn't keep that up. A couple of jerky bro teens go to Mexico, murder a hooker, and pick up a Lament Configuration from some dude in a bar, you know, like you do. Most of the movie is told as a flashback at a dinner party with their jerky family, when one of them escapes from hell and shows up skinless on the veranda. Antics ensue.

    The box barely moves at all, but the glowing effects are much better. Oh, and the guy who plays Pinhead is the worst. The worst.

So! While I was at it, I also made a supercut of every on-screen appearance of the box, in all nine movies! It's 26 minutes long.

As soon as I posted it, it was immediately blocked with five or six content-ID matches. So I filed a DMCA fair-use counter-claim, and whattayaknow, it was back up less than a day later. I assumed they just ignored those...

Update: Oh, I see that it says the counter-claim is still "being examined". So you'd better download a copy of it in case they change their mind.

Update 2: I am shocked, shocked to report that they have denied my counter-claim without explanation.

Update 3: Success, four and a half months later.

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"We Pulled Over Kids With Weed And Stole And Sold Their Parents' Cars To Get This Murder Van"


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I wish you could stay on the playa forever too

Why Burning Man is not an example of a loosely regulated tech utopia

"We used to have R.V.s and precooked meals," said a man who attends Burning Man with a group of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs... "Now, we have the craziest chefs in the world and people who build yurts for us that have beds and air-conditioning." He added with a sense of amazement, "Yes, air-conditioning in the middle of the desert!"

His camp includes about 100 people from the Valley and Hollywood start-ups, as well as several venture capital firms. And while dues for most non-tech camps run about $300 a person, he said his camp's fees this year were $25,000 a person. A few people, mostly female models flown in from New York, get to go free, but when all is told, the weekend accommodations will collectively cost the partygoers over $2 million.

Such camps, reports Bilton, also included "Sherpas" that serve as servants.


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