Bop Lamp – Like A Wobbly Kid’s Punching Bag Light

Remember those inflatable punching bag things from when you were a kid?  I had one with a scary clown face on it, which makes me wonder if that’s why I am totally fight-or-flight when it comes to clowns.  Meet the Bop Lamp – a luminaire that reminds me a lot of one of those things:

It’s a lamp that will apparently right itself when it’s touched – the lamp and ballast live in the bottom of the fixture, and it playfully rocks from side to side when it’s “bopped.”  Thank goodness there’s no clowns on it.

Check out Baita Design’s website – the creator of the Bop Lamp.  Interesting wares there!

Thanks, Design Blog!

12X Blu-Ray Star Trek Phaser That Actually – Um, Phases

Okay, for super nerd-dom I have to hand this one to Jay Rob from the Laser Pointer Forums.  Jay took a 12X Blu-Ray laser (from that great supplier AixiZ) and stuffed it into one of those old Star Trek phaser toys.  So now, instead of being on stun, it’s set on “I’ll Burn You, Mofo.”

That’s right.  Check out this video – Jay opens up a can of ButtKick on some balloons from across the room:

That is freaking awesome.  Jay posted the entire how-to on the Laser Pointer Forums – definitely check it out!  He’s even added a safety to his modification!

CAVEAT:
If you’re gonna be playing around with lasers, especially this kind of laser project, you need to cough up some bread and get a pair of laser filter glasses so you don’t burn your eyes out.  Here’s a pair from OEM LAser Systems, Inc that will do the job fine, and here is a bunch from Amazon. Don’t mess around with this, you need them.  Playing with lasers isn’t worth your sight.  Oh, and also – you’re not gonna blame it on me if you screw up.  Play smart.

POLL: Do You Belong to Any Lighting Organizations?

You know, I am sitting here going through my organizational memberships for 2010, and I wondered just now – to what professional lighting organizations do JimOnLight.com readers belong?  Please let me know below – if you’re an RSS feed reader, could you visit the site and contribute in this poll?  It will literally only take you a few seconds!

I have not added all of them to the list in the poll – however, if there is one you belong to that’s not on the list, leave a comment to support your org!

Select as many that apply below:

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

JimOnLight.com February 2010 DFW Happy Hour!

Hey, everybody! Are you in Dallas, Fort Worth, or somewhere close to the DFW area and wanna meet some lighting folks? Come to the JimOnLight.com February 2010 DFW Happy Hour!

Let’s get together in a few weeks – February 17, 2010, around 6:30pm – and have some pints, chat about some stuff, and enjoy each other’s company! If you’re involved in the lighting industries in any capacity or you just love light, come down to Trinity Hall Pub (off of Mockingbird) and meet some fellow lighting peoples!

I figured 6:30pm to 9pm would be plenty of time, but if we party later into the evening, then that’s just a plus for all of us!

Do me a favor – post a comment below, shot me a quick email through the contact form, or RSVP on the Facebook Event page if you plan on attending. I just want to try and plan ahead. Come on down, I want to meet you all! Let’s get a huge lighting tribe going in the Dallas area!

Trinity Hall Pub is located just off of Mockingbird, literally next to the Mockingbird DART station – 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, Texas 75206. Check out Trinity Hall Irish Pub’s website, too!

Come on down, make plans, let’s get together!

Scanning for Explosives in Body Cavities

I wrote about some body scanning technology (backscatter and millimeter wave) that is being implemented in airports around the world a little while ago, and I just read about some new technology that is being touted as the new frontier in the area of detecting explosives…

…in the body cavities.

Oh yeah.  I cannot wait until Jon Stewart reports on this – “now there’s a scanning technology that can detect the explosive power of Semtex in your anal cavity and differentiate it from the explosive power of Taco Bell in your anal cavity.”  Le sigh.  Now we have to worry about would-be terrorists hiding explosives in their anal cavities?!  Wasn’t it bad enough that we had to be concerned about the Underpants Bomber trying to light his junk on fire to blow up a plane?

Believe it or not, there has been one reported attempt of a d-bag terrorist trying to kill somebody by hiding explosives in that place – a Saudi prince – who was attacked by some idiot called Abdullah Hassan Al Aseeri.  Aseeri stuffed an IED in the rear and went after the Saudi prince.  The prince survived, but as you can imagine, Aseeri was blown into little chunks.

Well, regardless of the situation, there’s this new tech out now called DEXI – diffraction-enhanced X-ray imaging.  Instead of just analyzing the x-rays that pass through the body or that are reflected off of the body, this new DEXI technology analyzes the x-rays that get scattered by soft tissue or other low-density material.  This technology comes to the market from a company in Crown Point, Indiana called Nesch.

From an article at Danger Room:

“Our patented technology can detect substances such as explosive materials, narcotics, and low-density plastics hidden inside or outside of the human body,” company CEO Ivan Nesch claims. DEXI allows explosives to create contrast, he adds, so it would be able to detect both the underpants bomber and the shoe bomber before they boarded.

The image above shows how a conventional radiograph does not detect two packets of “illegal materials” concealed in soft tissue, while they are plainly visible in when DEXI technology is used.

The process of taking the images, analyzing them, and then recognizing substances of interest — such as explosives — can be automated. Alerts issued can be computer-generated. Security staff would simply have to get passengers in and out of the imaging unit.

“The initial expected throughput is approximately one to two passengers a minute,” according to Nesch. “Once installed and tested in real applications, the throughput will be increased.”

One or two people per minute? Holy moly. As if we didn’t have long enough to stand in line through security now.

Why exactly does this technology work so well?  Again, Ivan Nesch – from an article at Purdue University:

“X-ray absorption is the basis of conventional radiography, but carbon, nitrogen and oxygen do not absorb X-rays well. Explosives and narcotics are typically made of these elements. Conventional radiography detects these objects poorly due to its exclusive reliance on absorption,” said Ivan Nesch, CEO. “DEXI is different because it uses X-ray refraction and scattering to construct images, along with absorption. It can detect explosives and narcotics because they noticeably refract and scatter X-rays.”

DEXI’s claim to safety fame is their corporate slogan:  “Less radiation, more information.”  Nesch claims that passengers scanned by NEXI technology are exposed to 50 times less radiation than those scanned by a conventional radiograph.  Well, at least there’s something.  I guess I’d rather have TSA looking in my behind than be dead.

An image scanned with a conventional radiograph vs. a DEXI scan:

On a lighter note, this technology makes me want to have a nice large meal of Taco Bell, KFC, and Burger King ten hours before heading to the airport so I can give the pleasant and friendly TSA employees something interesting to look at while they get to check out all kinds of my personal space.  Make sure to eat some corn.

Steve Roudebush (@steve_BMI) Promoted to VP Sales for BMI Supply

Sweet – I just got a bit of information from Carl at BMI Supply that Steve Roudebush (or as many of you know him, @steve_BMI) has been promoted to the Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Development for BMI Supply.  Please join me in saying congrats, Steve!

Press release below:

BMI Supply
Press Release
February 3,2010

Cynthia L. Barber, President and CEO of BMI Supply, has announced the promotion of Steve Roudebush to the position of Vice President of Sales, Marketing, & Development.  In his new position, Roudebush will continue directing sales for New York State, in addition to coordinating overall sales efforts for BMI Supply and BMI Supply South.

“I am excited to have Steve in this key role as BMI Supply continues its steady growth.  Steve will work hard to support BMI Supply’s longstanding traditions of excellent customer service, broad product offerings, and industry expertise” noted Barber.

“We have a fantastic team of pros that takes great pride in helping customers produce wonderful theatre and events.  I am eager to help craft the next chapter in our company’s history” commented Roudebush.

Cynthia L. Barber is the wife of the late founder of BMI Supply, Robert S. Barber, who passed away earlier this year.

www.bmisupply.com

Siemens Superstar – A Wind Turbine-Sized LED Display

Super company Siemens (they’re the parent company of OSRAM) installed a ton of high-power LED modules onto a wind turbine located next to the A9 Autobahn highway at Christmas time.  In conjunction with multimedia artist Michael Pendry, Siemens installed 9,000 OSRAM LEDs onto the blades of the wind turbine.  You could see the installation (it was 70 meters wide, or almost 230 feet) from almost 20 miles away.  All of the display was powered by the wind turbine, which is extra awesome.

The installation was up for the Global Climate Conference in Munich, and stayed up until January 6, 2010.  You have to see the video and images I posted below.  At the very bottom, I posted the press release.  Check it out!

Images from the Siemens Press Site:

The press release from Siemens:

Quite a few people wondered if it would ever function. Yet right on time for the first Advent Sunday it is obvious to all: But still it moves! Siemens – together with multimedia artist Michael Pendry – has lighted up the world’s biggest revolving Christmas star. The lighting installation can be seen throughout December at the northern gateway to Munich – beginning at dusk every evening. “The Siemens Superstar is a pioneering technological project and an important symbol for the Global Climate Conference in Copenhagen. Green innovations are lighting our way to a better future,” said Siemens President and CEO Peter Löscher. “Munich has a new landmark for the Christmas season. It stands for renewable energies and energy efficiency – and these are also important issues for Munich. By 2025, we want Munich to be the world’s first city to meet all its energy requirements from renewable sources,” noted Munich’s Mayor Christian Ude enthusiastically. “I like to take art outside the narrow confines of museums,” explained lighting artist Michael Pendry.

Siemens developed and completed the unique and pioneering technological project together with Munich multimedia artist Michael Pendry over the past twelve months. The lighting installation consists of 9,000 Siemens Osram light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that are as bright as around 20,000 Christmas candles. Yet the entire installation uses only as much electricity as a hair dryer or a water kettle. In good weather, the art object can be seen for 30 kilometers. The span of the world’s biggest revolving Christmas star is nearly 70 meters – as wide as a soccer field.

Nearly 400 meters of power cables were laid for installation – a length that would reach over the top of the Eifel Tower. The lighting installation adds 100 kilos to each rotor blade. The LEDs are fastened to the wind turbine blades with superglue used in space, since under windy conditions the LEDs are subject to forces up to 20 G, or more than three times the g-force experienced by an astronaut during a rocket launch. Just a few days ago, TÜV SÜD – the technical service corporation responsible for inspecting and testing technical installations – gave its final approval to the installation. Munich residents, motorists and airplane passengers can be assured everything is in order.

Because of the wind turbine’s prominent location next to the A9 autobahn – a main traffic artery not far from the airport and used by well over 150,000 motorists a day – it was considered to be ideal for the lighting installation from the very beginning. In the fall of 2008, representatives of Siemens and Munich multimedia artist first discussed the idea of creating a shining symbol for green technologies and sustainability on the eve of the Global Climate Conference in Copenhagen. And what better place to demonstrate the sustainable use of electricity than a wind turbine? The operator of the wind turbine, Stadtwerke München (Munich City Utilities), offered its full support for the project from the very beginning.

In the following months, the idea slowly became reality. At first, the focus was on the project’s technical feasibility. In the spring of 2009, a handful of experts in various disciplines such as wind energy, aerodynamics, lighting and adhesives got together to sketch out all aspects necessary for realizing the project. Answers had to be found for all key issues: How should the LEDs be arranged to have the least possible impact on the wind turbine’s aerodynamics? Which type of LED should be used? Which adhesives were most effective for securing the LEDs in every type of weather?

Late in the summer, the wind energy experts completed their computer simulation analyses on the effects of the installation on the rotor aerodynamics. At this point, tests were begun under real conditions: In wind tunnel tests at the Technical University Berlin, over 15 different configurations of LED models, lighting arrangements and cable routing were analyzed until optimal conditions were found. Tests showed that the LED installation had only a minimal effect on the wind turbine’s performance.

Yet even after the wind tunnel tests were completed late in the summer, all hurdles still hadn’t been taken. Approval from all relevant authorities had to be obtained. And last but not least, the lighting installation had to be attached in only two weeks. 30 technicians worked day and night to make the Siemens Superstar shine. Programming the lighting animation alone took two full days. The lights are coordinated in real time with the various strengths of the wind and speed of the wind turbine itself. A technical masterpiece!

Truly excellent.

The SEL – Sustainable Emergency Light

Jonathan Janke has created an emergency light source that is pretty cool – it’s chemically luminescent, creates no heat, is not affected by wind, and has the packaging material integrated into the design.  Meet the Sustainable Emergency Light:

The SEL is about as large as a large coffee mug, and creates about 24 hours of light.  From the image above you might notice the four capsule-looking things on the top – those are the chemical activators.  Once pushed, they add liquid to the lower container and create light.  One of my favorite aspects of this fixture is that once it’s reacted completely and no longer gives off light, you can mail it back to the manufacturer who will fill it again and mail it back.  The SEL uses a non-toxic chemical, and never expires if stored properly.  Pretty cool.

The green color of the chemical light emitted from the SEL reminds me of that scene in The Abyss with Ed Harris when he’s in the liquid breathing suit using light from a green chemical light trying to diffuse a nuclear warhead, trying to tell apart the difference between a white and yellow wire in the green light!

More of the Sustainable Emergency Light:

Thanks, Design Blog!

Thanks to JimOnLight.com Sponsors – January 2010

Folks, the readers of JimOnLight.com have been called a lot of wonderful things – “the most dedicated readership in the lighting industry,” “a very engaged group,” and my personal favorite, “the most supportive group of readers that a website could be fortunate enough to have.”

Yeah, that’s right, you guys rock.

Advertisements on JimOnLight.com are hand-picked.  I keep reputable companies on the site because you all deserve to have relevant ads supporting JimOnLight.com.  If it weren’t for the great companies that advertise on JimOnLight.com, I wouldn’t be able to write every day for all of you.

If your company is interested in being a part of this awesome community, check out the advertising page.

January Sponsors:



Electronic Theatre Controls – you might know them as ETC – is a great company that is known for their Source Four line of luminaires and their outstanding lines of lighting control consoles.  ETC has also entered the rigging market with their Prodigy line of hoists, and the LED market with the Selador line of fixtures.  Check them out if you haven’t – it’s worth your while!

Genielux is the new rental and sales locator for lighting, audio, video, staging, and entertainment production gear.  Using your iPhone, you can find out who has 300 star strobes in Stickney, Illinois when you’re in a pinch or find out who’s got your Meyer cabinets in Tookus, Nebraska.  For suppliers, it costs you a couple of bucks a month to get your information into Genielux and help people in a pinch.  Oh yeah – and for users, the Genielux iPhone app is completely free!  How much better does it get to help out the industry?

I gotta believe that everybody knows Mike Zinman and Zinman Software – he started out rocking AutoCAD with AutoBlock back in the day – now he rocks the iPhone software market with great software like ML Finder PRO, PocketLD, GelCalc, iSwitch DMX, and Portfolio.  Check out his stuff – it’s a time saver!

From color scrollers to LED fixtures, dichroic color-changing fixtures to feedback control, Wybron has been around for a long time.  Wybron’s Coloram scrollers have been in thousands of shows across the globe; their InfoTrace system has gotten tons of press for its feedback prowess; and the Nexera and Cygnus lines of fixtures are making their mark in the industry.
Thank you to our sponsors, and thank you to every JimOnLight.com reader on the planet!

The Cosmonaut Lamp

There was something about this lamp that just rocked me – maybe it was the music I was listening to when I first saw it.  Meet the Cosmonaut Lamp by Matthew Borgatti (Giant Eye on Flickr, and all images came from his account):

What a beautiful model – to me, that little guy is sitting there in contemplation, holding his knees and wondering what to do next.  I love it.  Can you imagine it with a CFL screwed into the neck?  Below is the lamp with a frosted incandescent – equally as awesome:

So wonderful!  Matt needs your help to get this thing into production – go check out Matt’s Kickstarter page to help him out!

Thanks, Make!