Monday, December 27, 2010

Urinal Redux

Just before Christmas, I had to make a last second trip for work. Amid all the travel and the hectic, get it done in time work, I observed two things.

1. Waterless urinals are catching on and are seen in everywhere from fast food restaurants to airports.

2. They smell worse than ever.

Apparently, I'm a typical male and have little sense of smell, but I find these thing offensive. I can't imagine if they came up with a female equivalent and what that would do to most tender female noses.

So I have a humble suggestions. Lets replace the waterless urinals with potted plants. Of course, we would need lots of plants and the pots would have to be large in high traffic areas. The advantage is that guys are used to peeing on plants in the outdoors, so peeing on one indoors would be no problem. The plants and soil would purify the water and give off oxygen to purify the air. Problem solved.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


As the winter has turned colder, my mind has turned loudspeakers and am in the middle of a nice sized project. Although I find loudspeakers just as creative and involving as my other hobbies, for some reason, I have a hard time sharing thoughts on the subject. Maybe, driver compliance, diffraction, and psychoacoutics feel so involved that I am unable to explain them. Whatever the reason, the project is to build a pair of desktop speakers and amplifier with active crossovers in a hybrid omni-directional design. If you look close at the driver in the picture, you will see that the dust cap has been cut off. I'm in the process of adding mass to the coil former to lower the resonant frequency, along with other tweaks to get the performance where I want it. The monitor shows the measured frequency response of a woofer.

I guess the point of this post is to say that I haven't fallen off the face of the earth and to wish all a Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Same Tree

A couple of weeks ago, I found myself with my camera, out in the front yard, taking a picture of a cherry tree that I took pictures of last year about this time, and the year before. So I had to ask myself, why this tree?

I think the answer is that its the last tree to keep its leaves and it color. When every where I look out is in full fall color display, its hard for individual colors to stand out. But when you are the last soldier standing, like this guy, you can certainly make a statement.

Not wanting to repeat myself too often, I looked around for more color and the best I could come up with was this Kerria bush with its green branches and yellow leaves.

Now, a few weeks later and officially in December, even the cherry tree is bare. We are well into winter and, with the wind blowing through the bare branches, into the time named by my California friends as "Stick Time."