Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dreams and Lasers

Quick dream recap: I was helping some folks in an auditorium test their sound equipment by singing "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" and was about to launch into a rendition of "The Shark Song." But I woke up.

The irises are about done flowering. I do wish they would last longer than two and a half weeks. I guess Mark is right and we need to plant some more things so that something is always flowering (or at least interesting) throughout the lighter months.

My sister is about to have a child (her first). There were some hopes that the child would be born May 18, in which case it would be named Ashley or Ashton in honor of Mt. St. Helens. I was hoping the child would be born today (May 20) which is "Eliza Doolittle Day."

In other news, Mary Robinette Kowal wrote how she was working on a Music of the Spheres Device. I imagined it as a glass harmonia with a bowl of water set into its sounding box with a laser shining on the water so that the vibrations from the various tones could be projected by a laser onto a ceiling. So, last night I borrowed one of Jerry Oltion's laser pointers (he uses them to measure telescope mirrors) and a cereal bowl of water. After several attempts at pinging the bowl I settled on singing right next to it and I got a circular sine wave pattern on Jerry's kitchen cabinet's underside. Someone else pointed out that if I'd used a sheet of mylar it would probably do the same thing (only with more sensitivity)... and I'm thinking that with two lasers and a mylar sheet, I could have one laser reflecting off of the vibrating mylar sheet and a second one refracting through it for extra laser pattern goodness.

Too bad Mark probably won't let me have one, let alone two, laser in the house. Sigh.
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