Cool dad, sad dad

A few years ago, I got a new longboard for Christmas. The kids and I went out in the neighborhood and I decided I was going to be cool and ride my board as we walked around.

I immediately fall off and nearly sprain my wrist. To this day, our oldest still brings it up.

This past Christmas, we got some rad new scooters for the little ones and decided to take them around the block for a spin. It’s been awhile since I’ve ridden my board so I grab it and walk out the door.

“Be careful and don’t fall, Dad!” she says.

Listen here, kiddo. I may have a few more grey hairs than I did in the past, but I can still do this. Don’t worry!

Not even 2 doors down the street, I eat it and sprain my wrist.

I guess it’s going to be awhile yet before I can do this…


3 weeks of GOES-17 imagery: hurricanes, wildfires and more

I recently built a side project recently that automatically downloads GOES-17 imagery every 10 minutes and then compiles it into a video.

The result is pretty darn awesome! Here is 3 weeks of GOES-17 imagery sourced from NOAA / CIRA / RAMMB. The video begins the night of August 15th, 2020 as lightning storms rolled through Northern California and runs until the afternoon of September 10th, 2020.

Almost immediately, you begin to see smoke plumes from fires created due to lightning strikes.

Note: The blue and yellow blocks that you see periodically flash on screen are the result of corrupted image data downlinked from GOES-17. I’m not sure exactly what causes this, but these errors are present within the original images files hosted on NOAA’s CDN.

(Be sure to bump up the video quality — YouTube’s default compression really ruins the image)

Solar death ray

This is pretty fantastic! Eric Jacqmain built a “solar death ray” using 5,800 mirrors glued to a satellite dish.

The R5800 is my latest and greatest solar creation. Made from an ordinary fiberglass satellite dish, it is covered in about 5800 3/8″ (~1cm) mirror tiles. When properly aligned, it can generate a spot the size of a dime with an intensity of 5000 suns! This amount of power is more than enough to melt steel, vaporize aluminum, boil concrete, turn dirt into lava, and obliterate any organic material in an instant. It stands at 5’9″ and is 42″ across.

Seeing kids and young adults do science experiments and create things like this gives me hope for our future!

[via @papermodelplane on Twitter]

Restrepo and The Last Patrol

I watched “Restrepo” earlier this evening after a friend’s recommendation to me. It’s a fantastically done documentary that follows an Army unit over the course of a year long deployment in Afghanistan’s Korangal Valley. It’s pretty raw and heart-wrenching, but it’s a fascinating look into the war and what it’s doing to the people we’re sending over there.

Also, I recently read a piece by Brian Mockenhaupt, writing for The Atlantic, following the deployment of another Army unit in the Arghandab Valley (“The Devil’s Playground”) region of Afghanistan. It’s equally raw and shares some of the unimaginable horrors of the war.

A thunderclap rocked the tree line, and the concussion punched our ears and rolled through our chests. Beside us, along the canal, a cloud of smoke and dirt billowed 100 feet into the air, far above the trees, against a cloudless blue sky. “IED! IED! IED!” a soldier barked over the radio. Knollinger, leading the element along the road, ran into the field between the road and the canal, toward the explosion, yelling into the hand mike clipped to his vest. “I need a sitrep! I need a sitrep!” Soldiers answered, one by one, save for the two snipers with the patrol. “Viper 4,” Knollinger said. “Are you okay? Viper 4!” Sgt. Christopher Rush responded, dazed, his voice slow. “No, I’m not okay.” Beside him, his partner, Specialist Christopher Moon, lay in a crater five feet wide and two feet deep, his legs missing.

Missed gdgt live in SF? Watch it on TWiT!

Part 1 – (Fast forward to 1 hour and 39 minutes in the video, that’s when the coverage starts in this particular video):

Part 2 –

Part 3-

Nike’s 2010 World Cup commercial

The World Cup is almost upon us and Nike released a brilliant soccer commercial that debuted during yesterday’s UEFA Champions League Final. It’s called “Write the Future”, and features various players from around the world, writing their own destiny depending on what happens in the World Cup. It’s an epic and often hilarious commercial.

My personal favorite Nike soccer commercial is from Euro 2008, called “Take it to the Next Level”, which shows a soccer player’s career evolve in first person view. (See previously)

Lastly, this soccer commercial from Euro 2004, pokes fun at the Italian national team’s propensity for “diving“. Via Wikipedia:

Diving in the context of association football is an attempt by a player to gain an unfair advantage by diving to the ground and possibly feigning an injury, to appear as if a foul has been committed. Dives are often used to exaggerate the amount of contact present in a challenge.

Treme on HBO

Treme is a new show on HBO created by David Simon (who also created The Wire). It’s focused on life in New Orleans, three months after the Hurricane Katrina disaster.

It’s definitely enjoyable, and in only three episodes, it’s become one of my favorite shows that I’m currently watching.