Mega Man coasters
1 year, 11 months ago
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.
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!
Happy Birthday Violet!
Jerry Before Seinfeld (Netflix Special)
1 year, 12 months ago
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.
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.
Comet Version 2.0
1 year, 12 months ago
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:
- Post right from the site, no emails needed!
- Edit your posts after they have been submitted
- Leave comments
- Search previous posts
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:
- All blog posts have been migrated to this new platform.
- I haven't yet implemented the "queue" into this new site. I might keep it that way.
- Post "tags" are not yet implemented.
- Post "categories" are implemented, these are used to mark posts belonging to major themes of the blog. I plan to make a post about these in the near future.
- If you happen to log into the site on the same device as someone else without closing the browser first, then a weird comment bug might occur causing your comments to have the other person's name. I'm working on a fix for this
- I don't think animated gifs currently work
- There will likely be other little bugs here and there. Let me know. Not only is the site new, but I'm using a new hosting service to host the site content
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.
Lucca rough-housing with Violet @ grandma's house.
2 years ago
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
Inside the Caissons...and other tales of the Brooklyn Bridge
2 years ago
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.
2 years ago
I have had four different bluetooth receivers in my car since April of this year. These things plug into the auxiliary audio input jack in my car, and "receive" Bluetooth audio transmitted wirelessly from my phone. Basically, they allow me to play music in my car without having to plug my phone into anything.
These devices suck. They are all garbage. This is why I've bought four of them. I am always hoping that the next one will be decent, but it's always a letdown.
The first receiver was the Miccus mini-jack. I had this for the longest time of the bunch. It lasted about two years before suddenly dying. In retrospect, this was the best product of the bunch. The sound quality was passable, but it required a ground noise filter (which is a separate product you can buy from amazon). The nicest thing about the Miccus was that it would automatically turn on and connect to my phone when I turned on the car. I assumed that this was a typical feature for these kind of devices, but that's definitely not the case. This device still annoyed me though. About once every two weeks I'd have to re-pair it with my phone for no apparent reason. The re-pairing process wasn't so easy either, it was finicky.
After the Miccus died, I bought the MPow from Amazon for around $15. I was really frustrated to learn that the MPow wouldn't automatically turn on and connect when my car started. Every time I wanted to connect I'd have to hold down the button on the MPow - and then about half of the time it would connect. The other half of the time I'd have to go through the painful pairing process. Needless to say, I didn't like this.
After getting fed up with the MPow, I decided to move to a more reputable brand. I bought an Anker brand receiver, which is generally a respected brand for phone accessories. This receiver was probably the worst of the bunch. The power and audio cord were tethered together, which at first seems like a nice design. But it's not; the power causes a lot of interference on the audio cable. The sound quality was awful. I tried to use the ground noise filter, but it wasn't enough to fix it. I ended up returning this to Amazon.
About a month ago, I took yet another gamble and bought an ESuper Bluetooth transmitter and receiver combo device. This device is really only so-so. It doesn't automatically connect to my phone; it requires me to press and hold the button to connect. But, it at least remembers me phone and doesn't require to constantly repeat the pairing process. The sound quality is slightly worse than I'd prefer, but at this point I'm willing to deal with it.
In conclusion, I am still in the market for a good (verifiably good) bluetooth receiver for my car. I'm almost at the point of just manually plugging in the audio cord, which isn't such a big deal if you take into account all of the hassles I've had with these devices.
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