Comet


Boston Public Library

Posted by: Ryan 2 years, 3 months ago
Categories: Family, Friends, & Life

I like this place - it gives me a good studying vibe. It definitely has some drawbacks, though - it closes way too early. And some people take up the big desks just to sit and play on an iPad. But that's not the Library's fault.

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Mega Man coasters

Posted by: Ryan 2 years, 3 months ago
Categories: Video Games
I saw these coasters on Reddit. It's funny because Casey and I were just recently talking about how we played Mega Man in Long Island.
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Casey, Mike, and Vincent are Visiting Boston!

Posted by: Ryan 2 years, 3 months ago
Categories: Family, Friends, & Life
I made a map that might help during your visit:
Click here to open it!
(If you're on an iphone, you should click and hold that link and then "Open in New Tab")

Depending on your browser, it might also show up below!
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Happy Birthday Violet!

Posted by: Ryan 2 years, 3 months ago
Categories: Family, Friends, & Life
Happy Birthday Violet!
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Jerry Before Seinfeld (Netflix Special)

Posted by: Ryan 2 years, 4 months ago
Categories: TV & Movies
I just watched this 1 hr special on Netflix. I would definitely recommend it. There are no surprises - it's just another rock solid comedy set by Jerry Seinfeld, broken up by a few short segments about his childhood and his first steps into comedy.
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Hand-off at Rapscallion

Posted by: Ryan 2 years, 4 months ago
Categories: Family, Friends, & Life
This picture was taken about two weeks ago after handing Violet off to my parents at Rapscallion brewery in Sturbridge, MA. They watched her for a week so Jess and I could catch up on studying and work.
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Comet Version 2.0

Posted by: Ryan 2 years, 4 months ago
Categories: Metaposts
I am pleased to present a whole new Comet.cool. It might look very similar to the old version, but the back-end is new and improved. Here is a list of some of the new features you'll enjoy: The site is still under development, but hopefully its somewhat stable. If you've posted to comet in the past, then I've already set you up with an account. You can click on the "Log in" button in the top right and then log in with your old username and password (password should be all lowercase). There are more detailed instructions for the new site here. Some things you should know: The old comet served me well for the last 1.5 years. I look forward to using this new blog to share new adventures for years to come.
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Lucca and Violet

Posted by: Ryan 2 years, 4 months ago
Categories: Family, Friends, & Life
Lucca rough-housing with Violet @ grandma's house.
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iPhone tinkering

Posted by: Ryan 2 years, 4 months ago
Categories: Web
I recommend these two YouTube videos. They are by a guy who tinkers with iPhones while in China. First, he built an iPhone by buying all of the components individually. Then, in his next video, he added a headphone jack to an iPhone 7.
Building an iPhone from scratch (sorta)
Adding a headphone jack to an iphone 7
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Inside the Caissons...and other tales of the Brooklyn Bridge

Posted by: Ryan 2 years, 4 months ago
Categories: Comet
Construction of the Brooklyn Bridge started in 1869. Fourteen years later, the bridge was finished. The bridge was such a feat at the time that people didn't trust it to actually stay up. Six days after opening, a crowd of pedestrians thought the bridge was collapsing. This caused a stampede which ended up fatally crushing twelve people.
There seems to be an endless amount of interesting facts and stories about the Brooklyn Bridge, but the caissons used to construct the bridge piers are my favorite.
The sand on the riverbed had to be excavated away to build the bridge piers on bedrock. Excavating underwater was made possible by using caissons, which were giant air-tight wooden boxes. Massive stone blocks were stacked on top of the caissons to hold them on the bottom of the river. The boxes were filled with heavily pressurized air to neutralize the massive weight of the water on all sides. The caissons had no bottoms, so workers could dig away at the sand.
People working in the caissons were called "sandhogs" and were paid about $2 per day, which is equivalent to about $33 per day in 2017. That's especially bad pay when you consider 27 workers died during construction and hundreds got "caisson disease" which we know as "the bends" today. The Bends is an extremely painful ailment that happens when returning to the surface too quickly after being in a pressurized environment; it's caused by gas dissolved in a persons blood turning into small air bubbles as they return to normal atmospheric pressure. Deep sea divers nowadays know to transition back to the surface slowly.
Being inside the caissons was a surreal and terrible experience. A quote from the project's mechanical engineer, E.F. Farrington, is below:
"Inside the caisson everything wore an unreal, weird appearance. There was a confused sensation in the head, like "the rush of many waters." The pulse was at first accelerated, then sometimes fell below the normal rate. The voice sounded faint unnatural, and it became a great effort to speak. What with the flaming lights, the deep shadows, the confusing noise of hammers, drills and chains, the half-naked forms flitting about, if of a poetic temperament, get a realizing sense of Dante's inferno. One thing to me was noticeable - time passed quickly in the caisson."

I know it's a little hard to parse that 1800s talk, so let me translate that into a more "modern" format:



The designer and engineer of the bridge, John Roebling, got his foot crushed between a boat and a dock while performing surveying for the bridge. He ended up getting his foot amputated, then he died of a tetanus infection. His son, Washington Roebling, took over the project - but not for long. He ended up getting a severe case of caissons disease, which left him permanently paralyzed.



...On a lighter note, the bridge piers are actually hollow and contained a wine cellar for many years. In 2006, they opened the piers and found giant Cold War era bomb shelters. I have like 15 more Brooklyn Bridge facts that I didn't include in here, so ask me about it sometime.
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