Fun Stuff: April 2011 Archives

On Saturday they had another open day at Cotter Dam.  Except this time you had to book tickets in advance.  So the whole was much more pleasant and civilised than last time, which involved lots of standing around trying to shelter from the rain and getting stressed over people pushing in trying to get onto the buses.

Pleasant waiting area
Cotter bend
View of the old dam, quarry, piles of rocks for the new dam, and one of the saddle dams
Cotter Dam construction
Face of rock where the new dam will be constructed
Cotter Dam construction
One of the completed saddle dams
Saddle dam
Truck bringing rock from the quarry up for processing
Dump truck full of rocks
The top path is where we got to get out and take photos.  The middle path is where we went last time, but couldn't get out this time :(
Cotter Dam open day GPS track

After the bus trip, went on the Discovery Trail again

The old little bridge across the Cotter River was swept away last year
Bridge all gone
Cotter Dam from the Discovery Trail
Cotter Dam
European Wasp in the car park


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Was discussing the problem of representing the Hamiltonian Path on my buckyball with Fred this morning, and he suggested Google Sketchup.  I found an Instructables site that outlined how to create one, but without premium membership the site is completely useless.  So tonight I found one someone had prepared earlier :)  (number 6)

Still trying to figure out the best way of getting a line around it, as I've forgotten everything I've learnt about using Sketchup.
I used a double episode of Lie to Me last week to fold 90 green phizz units.  I used the entire drive back from the coast on Sunday to fold 90 pink phizz units.  I folded 90 blue phizz units on Sunday night while watching Border Security, The Force and Bones.

The result:  270 phizz units.

Bag of phizz units
I started construction on Sunday night.

Three phizz units joined
The top pentagon
Top of phizz ball
Then I spent just about all of last night building it, and finished it this morning.

270-edge phizz buckyball
So there we have a 270-edge buckyball.  I actually don't know what this solid is called.  It has twelve pentagons for the apexes and seven hexagons on each of the twenty "faces" (the two edge ones are common to the adjoining faces).  

Rather than using blue paper for the pentagons and pink paper for the intervening hexagons (as seen in my previous balls), I decided to use three colours and make a Hamiltonian Path ball.  This effectively means that a colour never touches the same colour - always at the points there are the three different colours.  I'd tried this with a dodecahedron (which is pretty simple) and there are patterns floating around for doing it with truncated icosahedrons (here and here, although I think there's a mistake on that second link. Edit: looks like it's been fixed).  But I can't find anything for a ball this size.  So I had to wing it.  I expected it to be a nice double helix all the way around from top to bottom, starting with the top pentagon and finishing with the bottom pentagon.  But this wasn't the case.  Two-thirds of the way through, the loop doubled back on itself around a couple of the lower half pentagons and went the other way.  I'm still trying to figure out how to show this, as it really doesn't all fit in one photo and drawing a 3D shape like this is pretty complicated.  If I can figure out a way to do it I will.

So here's all my phizz balls.  I don't think I'll be making any more any time soon.
I still want have a techie post about them.. one day .. ;)

Phizz Balls

Malua Bay Sunrise

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Setup the iPhone to record the sunrise this morning.  But it was very cloudy so it's actually not all that interesting (although if it had been sunnier I would have been worried about damaging the sensor pointing it into the sun for so long).  

I took 2522 photos over seven hours.  But the resulting avi generated by PhotoLapse was over 2Gb so nothing would open it.  So culled down the number of photos to 1756 and redid it (you're not missing much).  Also recorded a bit faster - 20fps.  So a minute and a half of video.

More time lapse fun.

This is the view out our back window for an hour this morning.


397 photos, one every ten seconds.  Converted to video at 15 fps.

Space Jigsaw

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Since I don't have anything new or exciting to blog tonight (work - dealing with useless vendors, housework - washing, tidying etc, putting Lego away), here's a requested pic of the jigsaw from yesterday..

3D Space Jigsaw

Yesterday we needed to go pick up Stu's car from Civic, so went for a walk around some of the lake while we were there.

Black swan

Jigsaw madness

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Last night I *finally* finished the Ravensburger 3000 piece jigsaw.  The last five hundred or so pieces of dark leaves were just torture.  Definitely not a good jigsaw pattern.  Still, it'd have to be infinitely better than this 32000-piece monster!  Look how much solid colour there is!  There'd be a couple of thousand pieces of just plain white!!  It'd be enough to drive you mental!

3000-piece Ravensburger Jigsaw
This afternoon as a reward, I did a jigsaw I'd borrowed from someone at work.  This was a 3D picture of the solar system.  Just for fun I setup my iPhone (with GorillaCam) to record a photo every ten seconds (735 photos all up). This time I turned off the auto-lock feature which worked well, although getting a couple of SMSes in the middle still confused it, even managing to completely crash my phone at one point.


This was my setup - a bit of Lego bracing, with rubber bands holding it all in place on top of my tripod (ran out of batteries as well most of the way through, so powered it up for the rest).

Time lapse Lego phone mount

Kazza's "Boring Life Of a Geek" aka BLOG

IT geek, originally from Sydney, moved to Canberra in 2007. Married to "the sweetie", aka Stu. Prolific photographer, Lego junkie and tropical fish keeper.

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