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Dance Dance Immolation on Boing Boing Video

Filed Under Fire Art, Video | 2009-05-27, 14:34

We’ve been boing-boinged a second time for Dance Dance Immolation. The first was back in 2005 when DDI was in it’s infancy. Fast forward 4 years and this time DDI is a bit more polished. BB has a video put together by Eddie Codel, hosted by SFSlim and Charis Tobias and starring the various members of Interpretive Arson. Yours truly is in it for only a moment, but it’s one of those most wonderful moments where Rubin and I are hitting the buttons that makes the fire go! The video was all filmed during our setup and run for How To Destroy The Universe Part 6.

You can check out the official post on Boing Boing.


Time-Lapse Photography with a TI-85 Graphing Calculator

Filed Under Gadgets & Hardware, Hacks and Mods | 2008-10-31, 13:55

I’ve got a soft spot for time-lapse stuff. Most of the time I make my own videos using a webcam because I have things all set up so that it’s easy and quick for me. However, because the webcam is such low quality, I’ve always had a desire to do some higher resolution time-lapse. With my DSLR (a Pentax K100D), I knew that I would be able to take much better quality photos, but the problem was that it didn’t have a handy way for taking a photo at set intervals. Sure, I could have bought an intervalometer, but that costs money and would be another gadget to add to my collection. Then I came across this instructables: Turn a TI Graphing Calculator into an Intervalometer. All you needed was a TI Calculator, the old Calc-to-Calc link cable (which had a 2.5mm plug) and a DSLR that would accept a 2.5mm remtoe trigger shutter. I had all three.

I dug through my old boxes, pulled out my old TI-85 Calculator and dusted it off. By “dusted it off” I mean I cleaned off the battery corrosion that had built up over the years. Some fresh batteries, and a moment of silence for all the games and programs I wrote in high school that had died with the batteries, and I was ready to program my own intervalometer. If you can’t find your old calculator, you can search for a TI calculator on eBay. Make sure it’s one with a link cable (which you can also find cheap on eBay).

It took a few minutes for me to remember how the TI-85 worked, but before long I was writing my first program in probably 10 years. The Instructables suggested the following code for a TI-83 calculator:

: Prompt A
: While 1
: For (H,1,A,1)
: End
: Send(A)
: End

This caused a problem, as the TI-85 calculator doesn’t have the integral Send() function needed to send a signal along the link cable. A little bit of research, and I discovered that you needed to use Outpt(“CBLSEND”,A) instead of Send(A) for the TI-85 calculator. Note, for TI-85 owners, you’ll need at least v9.0 or higher ROM for this. You can check your version by hitting [2nd] [MODE] [ALPHA] [S] and then [EXIT]. I also added an extra line that displays “SNAP!” when a photo should be taken to help troubleshoot if things aren’t working. You can get even fancier with this program, but this is the basic version that should work.

I plugged the calculator into the camera with the link cable, and fired up the program. The first few times I tried really low numbers. Entering 100 for A should give you about a second between shots. While I was testing I had it in RAW mode and it just wasn’t capable of shooting that quickly. I finally settled on entering 5000, which gives me about 12 seconds in between shots, resulting in about 5 shots a minute. I also switched from RAW mode to JPG, since I don’t want to deal with converting all those RAW files into JPGs later. I also set everything (focus, aperture, exposure) to manual so that they wouldn’t change in between shots. I also turned of the photo preview so the LCD wasn’t wasting batteries showing the picture it just took. Then I put the camera on a tripod, pointed it out the window and started the program. After some time I finally stopped the program (hold down the ON key to break execution) and downloaded the images to my laptop for compiling in Quicktime and ended up with what you see above! I can’t wait to try this on a nicer day though, as dreary San Francisco fall days aren’t very exciting.

I should note that the newer Pentax K20D actually has a built in intervolameter, but it’s not clear whether this will produce good time-lapse results as there are some limits on it. Anyone played around with it?

Some good links:
Instructables article
All you ever wanted to know about the TI-85 Calculator
TI Calc FAQ (circa 1997)


Khronos Projector: Messing with the concepts of space and time

Filed Under Art | 2008-10-20, 16:55

Prompted by a twitter, I revisited a project I was amazed at several years ago, the Khronos Projector. It’s an incredibly cool project that blew my mind when I watched videos of it back in 2005. I hope to some day catch it in person and get a chance to play with it. I’ve shown people the videos off and on, but realized I never made an actual post about it. So here it is!

Basically the Khronos Projector takes your normal 2 dimensional picture and adds the 3rd an additional dimension of time. You interact via a touchscreen of sorts (depending on the setup) and can rewind/fastforward time in only parts of the image. They’ve also added video input since I’ve last checked up on the project, which really starts to mess with your concept of space & time. It can be a bit difficult to describe in words. Seeing it in action makes it all “click”:

Khronos Projector (few demos):

A new way to interact with a soccer game:

Khronos Projector (live video input + Chromatic Time mode):

While I was looking for Khronos Project online, I came across something else that played with time/space and video with realtime input and altered output. It’s just a proposal from Liam Mclaney as far as I can tell, but it has a really neat video to go with it (his post explains how it works):


Explosion Collection

Filed Under Fire Art, Video | 2007-09-18, 21:31

We’ve recently stumbled upon some good videos of explosions again. Last time it was Explosive Ordinance Disposals but this time it’s an even bigger explosion, as well as some other large ones I had the opportunity to see in person.

Russian Vacuum Bomb
Containing 7.8 tons of high explosives, Russia’s latest “vacuum bomb” is non-nuclear but results in an explosions equivalent to 44 tons of explosives. While the “Mother of all Bombs” is 8.0 tons, it is said this “Father of all Bombs” is even more powerful. The shockwave is readily visible, I only wish that the video had audio.

2BLEVE was an art piece created by Nate Smith at Burning Man in 2006. In short about 250 gallons of fuel was ignited in two “boiling liquid expanding vapor explosions” (hence the name, 2BLEVE). A BLEVE occurs when a tank containing pressurized liquid is ruptured and the fuel quickly vaporizes, something you don’t want to happen by accident.

More pictures and videos of 2BLEVE.

Crude Awakening
Crude Awakening was an art piece in the deep playa for Burning Man 2007. It consisted of a 100ft high oil derrick and 8 figures in poses of prayer “worshipping” the derrick. Politics, opinions, and green man theme aside, the explosion and burning of it at the end of the week was still awe-inspiring.

The extended version with the ridiculous amount of fireworks (for those without ADD):

The explosion from up close:

From a mile away:

Morning after
from thinkcooper:

Following the Crude Awakening burn, early Sunday morning, Nate figured we should dispose of the last couple of hundred gallons of AV fuel on his trailer. A group of a ~dozen of us headed out to the CA site around 5:30AM, and cleared out a 250′ safety perimeter. Nate filled two tanks with a ~200 gallons of aviation fuel each, pressurized them with propane, and then set them off. Bob Hoffman and I were laying on the playa right below the rings. What a Sunday morning treat for the all-nighters still hanging out at Crude Awakening site


Las Vegas Hotel Implosions

Filed Under Fire | 2007-06-14, 14:01

On my first trip to Las Vegas last weekend, I marveled at the sheer size of some of the buildings on the strip. But I would have loved to be there to see the buildings get destroyed. Luckily the top ten Las Vegas hotel implosions are captured on video for your enjoyment. My personal fave was the Hacienda:

More hotel destruction


Large Detonations and Explosions

Filed Under Fire, Video | 2007-04-17, 14:37

It started with a 100 ton detonation found via techyum:

Then we found another view of it:

Then we started poking around and found these:

How about a 426 ton one?

These all appear to be from the EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) guys over in Iraq, disposing of weapons and explosives they’ve seized.

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What is my hard drive doing?!

Filed Under Geek, Video | 2006-10-09, 13:10

Ever wondering what goes on in that box as it makes little noises and the light flash? LeTheOnline.net took the top off one and turned on the computer to show you. And another video showing a demo of a harddrive with a little more educational content:

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