Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Just hanging' around

Nice and quiet day today, not a lot going down and the weather is nice.

Not much to actually report on today but earlier on I was in the city and noticed a sign and couldn't help take a photo of it:

Silly signs seen in the city

Not incredibly funny, but I wanted to share.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Scenes from a balcony

Just a couple of pics that I've taken from the balcony here at the place I;m staying at. The view is pretty good, better than lust looking at a blank wall.

On a rainy day looking out at Darling Harbour

I can see Anzac Bridge

The photos above and below were taken on the same rainy day. The bridge that you can see is Anzac Bridge in Sydney. The rain was pretty heavy and it was going most of the day.

It's so misty I can barely see

The photo below of the setting sun came out rather well. Of course, it is slightly over exposed but I'm still fairly impressed considering that it was taken with a little cheap digital camera on auto.

The setting sun, looks good but slightly over exposed

I love the cloud formations

The photo below of the setting sun in the cloudy evening sky is one of my favourites so far. It came out really well, the light was good and overall I really like it.

My favorite shot of the setting sun. Looks great and came out really good

The rain on the city streets at midnight. Looks really nice and it came out surprisingly well considering how dark it was. Another of the shots that I really like.

Rainy city streets at night.

Nice shot of the evening light.

The colour didn't come out quite right on this last one, but it's still a nice photo of the sunset. I like taking photos of the sunset because home is in that direction...

Really nice sunset with Anzac bridge in the midground.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

There was a bit of a queue...

Today I had a bit of spare time so I figured that I'd go to the Powerhouse Museum and check it out. When I got there, the queue to get in went around the block. Why? Beacuse it's school holidays - duh! of course there would be a lot of people going for these two weeks.

Since I had overlooked that tiny detail I figure if it's best to wait until after the school holidays to go down and have a look.

Other than that, it's been fairly quiet. Not a whole lot on the work front and not a lot on the social side. But that's okay. I was thinking of going and getting a graphics tablet so I can draw on the laptop. They aren't particularly expensive and they are the same price here as they are in WA so I'm not really saving or losing money by buying one here or there.

The main difference would just be how much time I have available to learn to use the silly thing and the possibility of it being damaged in transit whilst I'm traveling.

Do I feel like buying a second one when I get home?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Random Musings

This is just some random stuff that's been floating around in my head for a while. Most of it won't make a whole lot of sense, but I just really want to get it out so I can have a look at it.

Life is messed up, but that's about average. I was offered a really nice job that includes accomodation and everything included right in the heart of the city. And it wasn't some little dingy place - this was a big three bedroom $1500 a week swanky pad. I didn't take it for a variety of reasons that I won't go into, but I'm really torn about it.

I'm getting ready to move back to Perth. Sydneys fun and all but I'm not really acheiving anything here and if I'm going to be sitting around not acheiving then I'd rather do it at home.

Might get an iPod. Used one for the first time a few days ago and they are very intuative and easy to use, I loved it. Not so sure that I love the price tag, but that's why I *might* be getting one. If I can find an option that suits my needs and isn't too expensive then I might go for it - but I probably won't.

Life sucks, but everyone knows that.

Skydiving seems to be out. It's not something that I want to do on my own and the group that I was going to go with all disbanded and decided not to or something. I'll look into doing it in Perth.

Reception sucks as well.

Overall, fitness is looking good. Lost a fair bit of the old waist, but I'm not sure how much I can attribute to exercise and how much I can attribute to poor diet...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Does magnetic generator = free energy?

I have done about three minutes worth of research, so it's not like I'm fully appraised of this, but I was wandering around YouTube and found some interesting vids.

First, the claim:

Basically, this chap is saying that you can get "free" energy out of a magnetic arrangement motor so it becomes a generator. For this thread, I'll use the definition that a generator is a device that creates more electrical energy than you put into it (a standard petrol generator converts petrol into electricity).

Sounds like a load of bunk, right? There's no such thing as free energy, anybody who knows anything will tell you that.

Anyway, looking around I found a few samples which (appear) to use the same principle in order to achieve motion (and potentially generate power) without putting energy into the device (ie - it's a generator, not a motor). Essentially, it consists of a ring of magnets placed around a centrally spinning assembly that also has a magnet. The trick is that each magnet is slightly further back than the previous magnet, so as the rotating magnet spins, the attraction becomes smaller.

Here is an amateur "working" sample that illustrates the placement of the magnets:

Okay, so that one didn't work very well, but it is a hand-made jobby and so one can't expect it to be perfect right off the bat. So let's look at a more professionally built unit:

Here you can see the possibility. The device has been built to a tighter tolerance and has a counterweight on the back. Presumably the magnets have been matched in order to ensure that the attraction for each magnet is at the same intensity. However, we don't know for a fact that all the movement is being generated by the magnetism alone. You can see that there is a device, presumably a magnet / coil assembly (ie - a motor) at the pivot point with some wires going off to the right.

If you think that this idea works then you would assume that it is a motor being used to get power out of the system - the device is a functional generator (albeit, only a small amount of power).

If you think that this idea does not work, then you would assume that it is a motor being used to put energy into the system and keep the device spinning.

I don't know either way as I have not looked at the device in person.

From simply looking at the magnet arrangement I can see how the device might work (in theory) by having the magnets attracting the rotating magnet in a rail-gun type manner and as it spins around, it is attracted towards the magnets in turn. However, one would assume that it would be attracted to the closest magnet and simply stop there (as seen in the amateur version). However, there is at least one group who have made a working generator (or at least claim to) that they say is capable of generating enough power to run a house.

That's a fairly big claim.

Anybody else heard of or know something about these?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Reaching new Heights!

Well, see if you can guess what I did today. Shouldn't be too hard, you've probably already looked at the pictures rather than reading what I've written here.

The famous Sydney Harbour Bridge

That's right, it turns out that not only can you go to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, but you can also climb all over it.

The arch, in the insert you can see one of the many groups that walk on the bridge

Obviously, for safety reasons you can't have loads of loose items being carted around by distracted tourists above a major city thoroughfare, so personal items (which includes cameras and mobiles) are not allowed. Dropping an expensive camera is bad, but dropping it onto the windscreen of an 18-wheeler in heavy traffic is really bad. I'm a tad upset that personal cameras aren't allowed since there are loads of little things on the bridge itself that I'd rather take photos of. But we must follow the rules. Or bend them when nobody is looking.

What I did was to go down in the morning and do the whole climb, go back to the apartment and then return to the bridge with my camera. Obviously I couldn't get back up onto the bridge itself and take all the really interesting photos that I wanted to take, but I was able to take some more down in the open areas.

One of the bases of the bridge

That's one of the bases of the pylons that support the whole structure. I love those massive bolts and the whole engineering aspect of the whole thing. There isn't anything for scale (if I had my tripod I'd have jumped into the picture) but those bolts are thicker than my leg.

The bridge deck below

That's the view of the roadway as seen from one of the towers on the south end of the bridge. They look dead solid, but they are actually hollow and mainly for decorative effect rather than any "proper" purpose. The extra weight does help anchor the ends, but they could have done the same job with solid concrete one third the volume. But it's prettier this way.

It's a fairly rigorous climb, about two and a bit hours on the structure itself and another hour or so of pre-work (getting gear on, learning the safety rules, etc) so overall it's about a half-day activity. With my running back and forth, it ended up being the whole day.

I'm fairly tall, and there are several really narrow and cramped bits where you really need to scrunch down to get through. And you do work up a bit of a sweat, even with the gentle pace. It's about the equivalent of being on the 40th floor when you're at the top so it's a bit of a climb.

And of course, gotta do the big touristy pose:

Yay, the tourist. Me at the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge

If you want more info or are in Sydney and want to do the bridge climb yourself, check out Bridgeclimb and have a go. I recomend it!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Would you believe it?

Can you believe it? It's raining in Sydney ... in April!

The rain in Sydney falls gently.

What are the odds of that happening? Heh, at least I managed to stay dry and do my shopping today.

Not a whole lot to say about today other than the usual. Managed to get a bit of coding done and have a few ideas for more work on and maybe another essay or two for my main site.

Annoyingly, the ideas aren't enough to properly flesh them out and do what I want with them, but hopefully I'll be able to flesh it out a bit more into something useful. So overall, it was a good day today for me.

Unlike this poor chap:

Poor chap, van broke down

He (the red van) was stuck there for a while (you can see him in the first picture as well), but a towie came and got him soon enough. Hope it wasn't too expensive a problem to fix. And he wasn't rear ended, despite a few close calls.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Just reminiscing...

Well, I've been away from home for a while and I found a couple of old pics on my camera's memory card. Here's the first, of me:

Leonardo, with long hair.

Other than a haircut, it would appear that I've lost weight.

Or, to be more accurate, it would appear that I've lost weight. I'm still floating in the high 70's (78Kg this morning) so it would appear that I've lost excess fat. This makes sense since I'm eating leaner and spending more time exercising.

And exhibit B:

Oh what a mess my room was in!

Man, what a mess! That's my room back home in Perth. If memory serves, I did clean it up a fair bit before leaving.

But now that I've been (effectively) living out of a suitcase for the last month and a half I have to ask myself - what on earth am I doing with all that junk?!?! I've really got to learn to let go. I already dumped a mess of garbage before leaving:

what a load of rubbish

Most of that was garbage from the backyard and shed. I did get rid of a bunch of rubbish from my room, but I'm pretty sure that there is more I could be living without. I haven't needed it in the last six weeks or so, and I don't remember needing it before I left too often either...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Because I can...

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