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Gary Ray R
Attended U of Hawaii '83, Cal Poly '96
Lives in Central Coast California
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Gary Ray R

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Phidippus johnsoni On Our Window Screen

As I was watering plants today I noticed this little creature.  Very lovely little red-backed jumping spider, quite common, although I have not seen many of these.  

My first spider picture.

Edit:  #spidersunday  If I may.

Also while searching Google Scholar for [Phidippus johnsoni] I came across this paper for those that really really want to know about Red Backed Jumping Spiders. 

LIFE HISTORY OF PHIDIPPUS JOHNSONI  (ARANEAE, SALTICIDAE )
http://www.americanarachnology.org/JoA_free/JoA_v6_n1/JoA_v6_p1.pdf
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+Gary Ray R yes, I can't seem to remember I have a camera in my pocket all the time... :)
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Burning Man

This weekend is Burning Man in the Black Rock Desert in Northern Nevada.  This is a strange gathering to celebrate weird and art and hot high desert.  It started out as a small end of summer festival and has evolved into a massive gathering of 70,000 people in a city designed like a celestial clock, Black Rock City.  

Wiki has a good history of Burning Man  
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burning_Man

And of course Burning Man has a web page.  
http://burningman.org/event/

Many critics say it is too big, too controlled by one organization, and too expensive to attend (from $390 to $800).  

But many thousands of people just love it.  They call it a vibrant participatory metropolis.

"It's like going home. Everyone's so inclusive. Everyone is so helpful and welcoming. There's that whole Burning Man spirit," said Kathryn Kirby, a university recruiting coordinator at Facebook who went two years ago and is considering heading there again this week. USA Today

For a week starting Sunday, tens of thousands of attendees will create what will temporarily be the state's sixth-largest city as they immerse themselves in nudity, DIY art and an anything-goes attitude. The experience, drug-enhanced or not, is cherished as a week free from the high-tech shackles of modern life, or what some attendees term the "Default World.”  USA Today
http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2015/08/25/burning-man-lures-techies-siren-song-going-unplugged/32296633/

For me, it is a little too hot and dusty; my camping outside in the sand days are over, if I did ever have those days.  But I like the art installations that will be built at Black Rock City.  I am really partial to big welded together steel frame sculptures with lots of electronics and movable parts.  I think a lot of high quality craftsmanship as well as creativity goes into those art pieces. One of my favorites this year is Axayacoatl.  It is part of a five year project; this year they are doing the 20’ (6 m) head and will do another part every year.

Here is the link to the page for the designs of this years art installations.  The theme this year is Carnival of Mirrors described as; “about mirrors and masks, mazes and merger. It will be a kind of magic show that takes the form of an old-fashioned carnival.
http://burningman.org/event/brc/2015-art-installations/

The description from Burning Man of this display. 
Axayacoatl (pronounced: ah-shy-ah-co-ah-tul, meaning: serpent mask) is a 20’ tall, 13’ wide copper effigy of Quetzalcoatl’s mask with a translucent copper screen warrior in his mouth. Flame effects and interactive LED lighting allow participants “behind the curtain” to put on an impressive display to those approaching. Large physical levers and wheels form the interface for participants who want to play “wizard” to those approaching the mask. Participants may climb his stair stepped tongue, enter the room created by the swallowed warrior’s head and look out through his eyes.
Burning Man

I really liked this work of art, and the complete Quetzalita being done by FireBulb will be fantastic.  The image below is the completed Quetzalita from the web page of Firebulb, of South San Francisco . 
http://firebulb.com/axayacoatl/

 
Image: Firebulb, South San Francisco 

 
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Ikr?! Young at heart but sitting in the a/c.
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Water and Rosemary

Seeing what I can do with a fast shutter speed. 
This is water sprayed over our old Rosemary bush. 
 
Little Orbs and Rosemary

I am messing around with shutter speed and trying to capture the drops of water from a sprinkler over our Rosemary bush.   Lots and lots of little orbs. 
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I like how you can even see the DofF on the droplets +Gary Ray R​! Can't wait till you capture the hummingbird! 
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US Army, Australians and New Zealanders to Help With Fighting Western US Wildfires

There are almost 30,000 women and men fighting fires in the US right now.  We are running out of people so the National Guard, the US Army, and now expert firefighters from Australia and New Zealand are probably on their way. 

The Army is deploying 200 soldiers to help fight wildfires that are burning through about 1.1 million acres across the Western United States.
"Four military C-130 cargo planes are also in use as air tankers."
NPR's Howard Berkes  . . . National Guard troops have already been called in to help. The soldiers will be joining nearly 30,000 firefighters and support crews. He says that there are talks underway that may bring in firefighters from New Zealand and Australia.  ⓐ

I read that Australians have already been helping in Canada.

This Californian says; thank you to my Australian friends, my New Zealand friends, and to the men and women of the National Guard and Army. 

ⓐ NPR News
http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/08/17/432622212/u-s-army-soldiers-mobilized-to-help-suppress-wildfires-for-first-time-since-2006 
The 200 active duty military personnel will help fight roughly 95 wildfires in the Western U.S.
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Thanks for the heads up Greg.

These firefighters are experienced and top of the line.  From the link:
 They will fulfil specialist field-based and leadership roles as heavy machinery operators, task force leaders, divisional supervisors, airbase managers, safety officers and strike team leaders.
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Cuesta Fire about 10 miles away

One last picture today.  This is more of a news shot.  This is from standing in our driveway and looking NE over the Cuesta Grade.  It is supposed to be a panorama, but I am not quite up to speed on that type of shot.  If you click the photo and enlarge it a bit you can scroll sideways and it is almost a panorama. 

We are in no danger, but we have many friends that live in the town of Santa Margarita.  The entire town is in danger and had been evacuated.

http://cdfdata.fire.ca.gov/incidents/incidents_details_info?incident_id=1201  
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+Gary Ray R ;-=)
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Scrub Jays Bathing

Well I finally got my new camera.  Wow.  At least 28 different buttons, I know how to use 5 of them so far.  

I was sitting on our couch in the living room and was just learning about the manual setting of the camera.  I had it in manual and cranked up the shutter speed and just then 2 California Scrub Jays that live in our backyard decided to have a bath. I literally turned my head to the side and took this shot of one bird flying in to land just as one took off.  

The other picture is one I got of a Scrub Jay just as he splashed water.  Not too bad for my first set of pictures.   

Have a look, they are hi-res of course. 
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+Gary Ray R PS It's not the camera that takes good pictures.
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Crocs™ and Black Socks?    Haruuumph 

It has come to my attention that certain people think that wearing Crocs™ and black socks is well   .   .   .  unseemly.  I must agree. 

Crocs™ should be worn with socks to match, as you see hear with these lovely orange and purple socks accompanying  the yellow and purple Crocs™.  Rusty approves.

Not kidding about these socks, I quite like them.  They are from Custom Socks Ink (CSI) and come in many extremely bright colors, which if I knew my sportsball teams better I bet are all team colors.  
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+Roger Lacourt Still joyful.
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Buddhist Singing Bowl Resonates with Light

I was recently asked about interesting solar panel technology and remembered this post from last year.  I thought it was quite an interesting method for increasing efficiency, and wanted to repost this for #sciencesunday .

After taking some time off from science posts I am easing back in.  Thank you.  

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Tibetan, or Buddhist singing bowls are a unique type of bell that, according to Wiki, are called standing bells.  These are bells that stand on one end and are vibrated by rubbing or striking the rim with a wrapped mallet.  They usually vibrate at the fundamental frequency of the bell with one or two overtones.  

A young scientist from Australia was inspired by the singing bells to use their design in a new type of solar cell and wrote his PhD thesis at the University of Cambridge on that subject.  He has now done research on using this photonic resonance to increase the efficiency of solar panels. 
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Buddhist Singing Bowl Resonates with Light

Tibetan, or Buddhist singing bowls are a unique type of bell that, according to Wiki, are called standing bells.  These are bells that stand on one end and are vibrated by rubbing or striking the rim with a wrapped mallet.  They usually vibrate at the fundamental frequency of the bell with one or two overtones.  

Singing bowls (also known as Tibetan Singing Bowls, rin gongs, Himalayan bowls or suzu gongs) are a type of bell, specifically classified as a standing bell. Rather than hanging inverted or attached to a handle, singing bowls sit with the bottom surface resting, and the rim of singing bowls vibrates to produce sound characterized by a fundamental frequency (first harmonic) and usually two audible harmonic overtones (second and third harmonic).

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Singing_bowl&oldid=625328564

A young scientist from Australia was inspired by the singing bells to use their design in a new type of solar cell and wrote his PhD thesis at the University of Cambridge on that subject.  He has now done research on using this photonic resonance to increase the efficiency of solar panels. 

While the unique shape of Buddhist singing bowls is vital to the creation of their signature sound, a researcher from Australia National University (ANU) has used their design as the inspiration for a new breed of solar cells. In completing his PhD at the University of Cambridge, Dr Niraj Lal found that just as the bowls cause sound to resonate, miniaturized versions can be made to interact with light in much the same way, inspiring solar cells better able to capture sunlight.  ⓐ

Previous research has established that light behaves differently when working at the nanoscale. Downsizing his bowl-inspired cells to this level, Lal, now working at ANU, was able to demonstrate a device with the ability to capture significantly more light and convert it to electricity.  ⓐ

"Current standard solar panels lose a large amount of light-energy as it hits the surface, making the panels’ generation of electricity inefficient," says Niraj. "But if the cells are singing bowl-shaped, then the light bounces around inside the cell for longer."  ⓐ

This process is called plasmonic resonance and I first discussed this on my post about the Lycurgus cup.  That cup had the property of plasmatic resonance and looked green in reflection and red in transmission of light. 
The Lycurgus Cup, The Rest Of The Story  posted to Materials Science on G+ August 27, 2013
https://plus.google.com/117751903650439005786/posts/CPRuEMQqu68

"Current standard solar panels lose a large amount of light-energy as it hits the surface, making the panels’ generation of electricity inefficient," says Niraj. "But if the cells are singing bowl-shaped, then the light bounces around inside the cell for longer."  ⓐ

Niraj calls this process "plasmonic resonance"" and says his nanobowls perform at four times the efficiency of flat solar cells in the lab, which when made from single materials such as silicon have an efficiency of 25 percent.  ⓐ

Improvements have been made on flat, single structure solar cells by way of tandem devices that stack a number of cells on top of each other. With the cells made from different materials, each with their own light absorption properties, the device is able to catch a wider range of the solar spectrum, enhancing its overall efficiency.  ⓐ

Niraj and his team are now exploring ways that the nanobowl design can be incorporated into these tandem structures. "If we can make a solar cell that ‘sees’ more colors and keeps the right light in the right layers, then we could increase efficiency even further," he says   ⓐ

In research which will be published in the November issue ofIEEE Journal of Photonics, Niraj and his collegues have shown that by layering two different types of solar panels on top of each other in tandem, the efficiency of flat rooftop solar panels can achieve 30 per cent—currently, laboratory silicon solar panels convert only 25 per cent of light into electricity, while commercial varieties convert closer to 20 per cent.
http://www.scienceinpublic.com.au/media-releases/solarbowl


What makes this really interesting is that we have full access to the PhD thesis of Niraj Narsey Lal at the University of Cambridge.   If you are interested you can't get a more detailed explanation of this unique method of increasing solar panel efficiency than his thesis.  






ⓐ  Gizmag
Buddhist singing bowls could inspire highly efficient solar cells
http://www.gizmag.com/buddhist-singing-bowl-solar-cell/33794/

ⓑ  _Enhancing solar cells with plasmonic nanovoids_
https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/243864

Image: Figure 1.2 in the PhD Thesis of Dr Niraj Lal University of Cambridge 
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Oh yes, it has a lovely sound. One day I'd love to get another, perhaps with a deeper tone.
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Most Comprehensive Hurricane Tracking Site

As this hurricane season finally starts up here in the US I wanted to share this site.  

Mikes Weather Page - http://spaghettimodels.com/

You will want to look at this site from a larger screen as it is full of graphical information, dozens of charts, maps, and graphs on the latest hurricane(s) affecting the US.  If you are interested in weather then this site is for you.  Lots of data.

The below are the current different model paths forecast for Tropical Storm Erika (or storm 5) from the South Florida Water Management District site, thus the title Spaghetti Models. 

http://www.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/xweb%20weather/hurricane%20model%20plots

Spaghetti Maps Explained edit

Spaghetti maps are the name given to the maps of the different models that the hurricane forecasters use to forecast the cone of uncertainty of the hurricane track.
You can see the five day forecast cone for Erika here: 
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at5+shtml/083850.shtml?5-daynl

To make that cone map of where they think the tropical storm may go, they put all those different lines of spaghetti together into one big blob that looks like strands of a spaghetti.  
Here is a short explanation and the acronyms for all the different models.  Some models are from the US and some are European.  
Hurricane computer models explained
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/weather/hurricane/hurricane-guide/os-hg-hurricane-computer-models-20150527-story.html

And this site has spaghetti models for all the current tropical storms, another great site for information worldwide. 
Cyclocane
Hurricane Spaghetti Models
http://www.cyclocane.com/spaghetti-models/
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Thanks, useful.
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More of the Yard, and one of the Dog

I've taken a few more pictures and thought these looked good enough to show.  I would have more subjects than the yard, but I tweaked the crud out of my hip and walk like Grandpa McCoy on the very old TV show The Real McCoy's.  
Gettin' better but not fast enough because of course, Old's Cool.      Not   .  .  .  some days.

The first picture is drops from our drip spray on the Mexican Feather Grass.  Nice plant but it will take over your yard.  
I have one obligatory picture of Rusty, a few flower pictures and that display of strange googahs and tchotchkes we have on our TV Cabinet.
Can anyone name the flags behind the alien?  And that is St. Vivian - Patron Saint of Hangovers right in front of the surprised alien.  Over on the side is a genuine Bill Clinton Cork Screw.  

Thanks for having a look.
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Thank you +Greg Batten 
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PhotoWalk Around Our Yard

As I am still giggling like a kid over my new camera, I will be posting a few lot more photographs.  These are all from around our yard.  I still have to stop and go inside to read on how to use the camera occasionally.  The spider web was hard to focus on, still working on that technique.

The rest are just art shots of our yard.  

Thanks for having a look.  
 
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Thanks +Greg Batten, I have figured out about a third of the buttons and about 5% of the functions of this camera.
 
It is a great tool and needs lots of work/study to be able to use it well.

But mostly it is fun and I get to bring forth my limited creative/artistic abilities and have some fun at the same time. As you say, " It doesn't get any better :-)"
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California Towhee

I am taking pictures of all our yard critters.  This California Towhee is part of a couple that live in our yard.  They are great for eating bugs and are cute to watch as they hop and run all over the yard. 
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I think I have used up the battery already, that's OK I got two.  I have learned what 12 of the over 20 buttons do, and promptly forgot 4 of them.  But that's alright as the buttons are customizable.  But I can't do that yet. 

And yes, I am quite enjoying my new camera.
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I am science geek, and Engineer. I write posts about all types of Science, I love Mechanical Engineering, Materials Engineering and the sea. I am a man of odd enthusiasms.
Introduction

I have been on the Internet since 1990.  We have had a computer in our home since 1983.

As I am a bit older than the “average bear,”

I lived in Hawaii and Guam for years, and spent over one and a half years underwater on a Boomer and a Fast Attack Nuclear Submarine, and spent some time on a couple of WW2 Destroyers.   

 I have a Mechanical Engineering Degree from U of Hawaii and a Masters in Materials Engineering from Cal Poly.

I worked as a Field Engineer for General Electric. I worked in Power Delivery, Large and Medium Steam Turbines, Large Gas Turbines, and Nuclear Submarine Engines, in Hawaii, Massachusetts and Oregon.   

I am a strong advocate for people with disabilities and an expert on ADA standards. I am also a feminist and believe in equal rights for women.  I tend to post mostly about science and materials science.

I laugh about everything and love dark humor, but really don’t put up with Internet Trolls well.  If you are a makebate or a mumpsimus you will be blocked.  

Mumpsimus is an action by a person, or the person themselves,who adheres to a routine, idea, custom, set of beliefs, that has been shown to be unreasonable or incorrect.

Makebate - a person who causes contention or discord, just wants to argue.

I love all kinds of science, Mechanical Engineering, Materials Engineering, Astronomy and lots of weird stuff like Nuclear Weapons, Technology of War, Failure Analysis, Weather and more. I also like art of all types, especially sculpture, photography, and anyone who can draw or paint. 

I am one of the Owners for Science on G+  Community

I am Co-Owner for Materials Science on G+ Community with Bill Carter.

I do not use Collections.  I cannot move my posts directly from a community to a collection.

Bragging rights
Worked on some of the largest most powerful machines on earth. (and loved it) Nuclear Submarine Veteran of the Cold War, Boomer, Engine Room Supervisor and Enlisted man. Field Engineer, General Electric. Masters in Materials Engineering. I am a strong advocate for People with Disabilities. Married the most beautiful woman in the world. I am a strong feminist. I once slept next to a nuclear weapon for a few weeks in the torpedo room of a submarine.
Education
  • U of Hawaii '83, Cal Poly '96
    Mechanical Engineering, 1983
  • California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo
    M.S. Materials Engineering, 1996
  • US Navy
    Nuclear Power School
  • General Electric
    Field Engineer Traininng
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